Three Times A Lady

Thanks everyone who kindly left Entry Requests in my last post. I initially wrote that line as a joke but later thought I quite like the idea of you guys bossing me about. And I’d like to be helpful. Maybe it could be a weekly feature? I remember when I was starting out I had so many burning questions and just wanted some honest answers and encouragement, dammit. So leave a comment or send an email if there’s anything on your mind – food, exercise, what’s with the Freddo obsession, whatever πŸ™‚ And of course I shall link back to the Question Asker’s blog, if they have one.

I’ll start with the Loose Skin Conundrum as it’s such a FAQ. I’ve touched on it before but I’m getting together some more thoughts and information.

. . .

It’s now September and if my shaky maths serves me correctly this means TWO THIRDS of 2007 is gone! But I’ve knocked off a New Years Resolution ahead of schedule – Try three new sporty activities. First we had kickboxing in January and canoeing in April and now finally… kayaking!

Yesterday I did a wee taster lesson and it was pretty cool. The most traumatic part of the whole experience was donning the wetsuit, surely the least flattering garment on earth. And even more so when you put it on inside out by mistake, and the inside of the suit is bright yellow with black sleeves, so you look like a bloated neoprene bumble bee. I’m just glad my friend pointed this out before we left the change rooms.

I quite enjoyed paddling around the loch in my sexy yellow boat, even when I kept running into the banks and/or spinning round in circles. I like how I don’t feel panicky anymore doing sporty things, just willing to have a go and not feeling like my self-esteem is in danger of being demolished at any moment.

There was one Fat Girl Freakout though; albeit a quiet one. There were five of us in the class – me, Gareth, two of our friends Dave and Lynne and their 8-year-old son Alexander. We had to paddle close together so our kayaks were in a row, then hold on to each others boats so we formed a sort of kayak raft. Then we had to take turns jumping out and walking across the raft then back again. One by one they wobbled over, laughing and struggling to keep their balance.

As I watched them clamber over me I couldn’t help crunching numbers. Dave and Lynne are a lot shorter than me and a good 20-30 kilos lighter. Alexander would be no more that 20 kilos himself, and that svelte bastard Gareth is about 5 kilos lighter than me too. So I when it was my turn I froze in my kayak thinking stubbornly, "No bloody way."

It’s been so long since I’ve thought about my weight. As in, you know, my heaviness. I haven’t felt conscious of being at all weighty. I wasn’t scared of falling or drowning or whatnot, but I did feel my Impending Humiliation Detector going off.

Gareth said, "C’mon Marsho!" and the instructor said, "You’ve come all the way from New Zealand and you’re not going to have a go?" and I just said quietly, "Not today thanks."

Blah. Sometimes you feel like you’ve come so far then sometimes you feel the opposite, and those moments can happen ridiculously close together.

After the kayaking lesson we got the canoe out again for some capsizing practice! Dave, Gareth and I are going to try some bigger water soon and it’s really very highly unlikely we’d ever get chucked out, but Dave likes to err on the side of caution. So the three of us spent about an hour throwing each other overboard and snorting up vile loch water and flipping the boat over and trying to haul ourselves back in. It was such a hoot, especially when I accidentally kicked Gareth underwater and he yelped in shock and said, "I thought it was f*cking Jaws!"

I feel like I’ve found real joy with exercise this year. Real joy in just living in this body, in general. I’m spending far less time in the gym but I’m so much fitter. Yesterday I felt such strength in my arms and shoulders as I pulled myself back into the canoe from deep water. I also felt goofy and messy and drenched and scared but uninhibited. Today my shins are covered in bruises and it feels like they’re the bruises I was too tentative and self-conscious to accumulate when I was a kid.

30 thoughts on “Three Times A Lady

  1. Incidentally, I am an idiot and initially wrote that the year was 75% over. Knowing my luck this version of the entry will show up on Bloglines and a couple hundred people will see my total lack of numeracy skillz πŸ˜›

  2. Dear Shauna, you have come so far. I can identify with all the posts you have about your self confidence. I just wish that I’d have lost weight when I was still young, like you and not wasted so much of my life hiding behind my fat. You are a true inspiration to us all!

  3. Woohoo for bruises. Although I wished I’d been more tentative when i was a kid cos my legs are covered in scars (but then scars are kinda cool).

  4. Sometimes it is the better part of valour to remove yourself from an “Impending Humilation Detector” moment. And sometimes you just go for it and hope not too many people notice. You do both – and I think that is brilliant.

    It truely makes me want to go and do something that scares me now. I just have to think of something πŸ™‚

    And Whooo for being comfortable in your own skin. Have a great day DG..

  5. Good gods, I wouldn’t be doin no kayak hoppin regardless of how light/heavy I am – I have visions of one leg in one kayak, one leg in the other, and the two of them drifting in opposite directions towards the respective ends of the earth. O_O

  6. Recent reader/first time commenter. πŸ˜‰

    I really appreciate looking over the years and see how not only your physical state changed but also how you view yourself. Very inspiring.

  7. “I feel like I’ve found real joy with exercise this year.”
    Now THAT is an achievement that will last you a lifetime (HUGS)

  8. And the fact he thought you were from New Zealand is more than enough reason to not what to do what he said πŸ˜‰

  9. Sometimes it pays to listen to the little voice telling you to STAY IN THE BOAT! I sure wish I had.
    Back in the day, rowing was my sport. When I was still a novice, we had to practice capsizing, too.
    At the time, my weight-for-height was quite acceptable, but, being 6’1″ (187cm) I still weighed about 25kg more than everyone else.
    So, as I hauled myself back into the boat, I put my weight in the wrong spot, tore a hole in the hull, and watched in horror as the boat sank to the bottom of the Parramatta river. That remains my most embarrassing memory – thanks for dredging it up! πŸ˜›
    Oh, and I sure as hell NEVER capsized a boat again.

  10. I’m so happy for your happiness, it even makes me happy! Well done, dear. Bet the wetsuit worries were worth it. (Look at all that alliteration, my brain is going to explode.)

    Oh Sam from Oz, capsizing in Parra River.. oh dear.. one of the worst places to take a dip, eh? πŸ˜‰

  11. A giant bloated bumblebee?! Shauna you’re hilarious :))
    I’m so happy for you that you’re enjoying the exercise and moving about so much. You’ve come such a long way, stop getting self-conscious, you look f-a-b-ulous!!!
    Hugs, Nath xxx

  12. Hi–I read you often, but rarely comment. You are amazing and this post is really inspiring, in the simplest of ways. You’ve helped me see that when you “get there”, you are not dramatically different in big!huge!ways!…but the ways you different are deep and really important.

  13. I don’t know if I’d have size issues from doing that kayak thing, but I’d definitely have klutz issues! I get to display my clumsiness enough in everyday life without looking for opportunities…

  14. Hi Shauna,

    Could you maybe write about the support you receive from your husband? I think it would be interesting to hear how that has also helped you in the last years of your weightloss journey. I know you did a significant amount of work on yourself prior to meeting him, but it also sounds like he has not been an obstacle of any kind to your continued success. I am recently married and am slowly gaining back the hard earned weight I lost before meeting him. I am afraid i might be one of those people who can only stay thin when I am single. For me, I became successful in my weightloss journey when I accepted the fact that I LOVE food but needed to make better choices and exercise more. My husband doesn’t seem to understand this and he likes to point out that I shouldn’t have the bread on the table at the restaurant or that I am always thinking about food. This makes me want the bread even more, and then when I am not around him I will go binge in a way that I thought was way in my past. Just curious about that factor in your own weight loss/weight maintenance journey. Thanks!

  15. I couldn’t do the get out and run over kayaks thing either. But then when I was in that kayak I was 15 years old and weighed 15 stone. They had to give me a special kayak. Hmmmmm mmmm! Humiliation on a LARGE scale!

    That was also the first climbing escapade when it took 3 people to bilet me. Now I can scurry up rock faces like spiderman! Heh!

  16. ‘Sometimes you feel like you’ve come so far then sometimes you feel the opposite, and those moments can happen ridiculously close together.’

    Yep. I had a Fat Girl freakout when we went to the Whitsundays in 2005 when I’d hit an all time low in weight. I was feeling confident in my bikini on the beach and posing for photos and yet when it was time to don a stinger suit to go snorkelling I freaked out that they wouldn’t have a suit to fit me and that I’d have to get dragged back into the boat like a beached whale.

    After a lifetime of Humiliating Moments it’s understandable that you still have the occasional freakout – but it’s so good to hear you are finding joy in being in your body, in general. You’ve come so far, and continue to be such an inspiration.

  17. Sometimes I read these comments and I just want to bawl, really. I dunno. Thanks comrades xx

    Susie – That is a fab topic idea and it’s going on my list πŸ™‚

  18. I’m also curious about the relationship angle to your weight loss, can’t wait for that post πŸ™‚
    The freak out is allowed methinks… especially since you were already trying something new anyway! Kayaking is fuuuun. What is the point of using all the kayaks as a bridge exactly?

  19. Shauna, I really love seeing the transformation you have made from the first entries to these recent ones.. And I am not talking about the physical one.. It is massively inspiring that you are now taking on these challenges & its not about scheduled exercise just being active & having fun.. And like Susie mentioned, the support you are getting from your husband must be a huge benefit..

  20. Shauna, I love the bumblebee wetsuit line — maybe you’ll let someone take a photograph of the suit itself. At our gym, they offer capsizing classes and take over the shallow end of the pool for the kayak classes so it’s interesting to watch. I’d like to learn this once I get my knee back in order. It’s so cool that you are ENJOYING exercise. I’m sure you never thought that would happen.

    You were very brave and I can imagine how you felt. You go!

  21. Shauna, I really enjoy your blog, especially the way your writing took on a Scottish accent part way through! Glad you are enjoying the canoeing. It really is a great way to travel. When you are trying to steer don’t worry about your stroke – just use your paddle like a rudder & it will much easier. Also, Dave is right to insist on practicing roll overs! Knowing a bit about your Scottish weather I know how quickly the weather can change. I had been in canoes for a few years when we were on our way back from a 10 day trip & the weather suddenly changed. We were on a reasonably small lake but I can tell you, it was still very scary! The waves were suddenly coming into the canoe & it was almost impossible to paddle even though we had 2 strong, experienced paddlers. Keep up the great work with the weight & enjoy all your new “adventures”.

  22. Aargghh – and he accused you of being a kiwi too! Ouch. Actually I no longer get annoyed when someone assumes I’m Australian because after 7 years over here I have made mistakes myself.
    Anyway, I think those little moments of feeling nervous about something don’t always go just cause you’re smaller than you once were. Some people are fearless and will try anything. I will never be that person. I’m scared of heights and you will never find me rockclimbing. I saw one of those US weightloss programmes where the guy got the lardy woman to do rockclimbing and when she failed to reach the top he thought it was an indication of her determination. I thought – no – she’s just afraid. It wouldn’t matter if she was half the size, she would still be afraid. me too!

  23. The loose skin question was by *far* the most FAQ I got. I eventually updated my “Contact” page with a link to the post I did on skin. Everything I had to say was in there anyway and I haven’t gotten a question about it since. Answering reader questions is fun though. It’ll be fun to see what people ask you!

  24. Just a thought on a topic that I’m going to write about myself – when I was younger, I was teased by my family quite a bit, but I was also teased by kids at school, and this impacted my activity – did anything like that ever happen to you? My friends at my school used to go behind my back during school camps and laugh about how I ‘jiggled when I ran’, and so on and so forth – so I would avoid running or anything that would make me ‘jiggle’ in front of them. “I ain’t doing no jigglin!” Do you have any childhood memories or situations like that that have basically ‘configured you’ to be the way you are with regards to The Whole Weight Thing? [that’s my put-in, I’ll go and put-in to my work now!]

  25. I, too, am enjoying your various forays into the world of Being Active. I’ve done kayaking before, too, and I’d frankly love to get a set of kayaks and get into it regularly with TCB when he gets home. Although I’m absolutely huge, anything involving water makes me feel much lighter for some reason (always a bonus)!

  26. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such an encouraging comment! That was really nice of you, and I appreciate it so much! And it means alot coming from you because you have been where I am right now… and you have accomplished the goal that you set out to do. You are truly an inspiration. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  27. i would be interested in knowing more about stretch marks. i am losing weight and obtained tons of SMs, is there a way to get rid of them?

  28. Dee, Sandra.. assuming Shauna was a kiwi is like a default way of saying he thought she was cute and feisty. It’s not an INSULT. sheesh.

    Shauna, I love the insight into how your inner fat girl is slowly getting attitude adjusted. I have lost only about 20kg but the mental changes feel much bigger than that. I still always buy the wrong size underwear.. just can’t get it that my ass isn’t all that big anymore.

  29. You know hon, I think we all still have fat moments and that’s okay. You have come so far, there is no going back now! I would love to try kayaking. Maybe it’ll have to be the next event in Summer. We are trying rollerblading next month πŸ™‚

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