Bagel Belly

Here I am back on British soil. Damp, dark British soil! But it’s nice to be home. While we were away, the leaves were busy morphing into even toastier shades of gold. Those leaves still left on the trees, that is. Bare branches against a grey sky are always a beautiful sight, anyway.

So, I LOVE AMERICA. It always shows us a good time. The people are glorious. I want to go back nnnnow! I can’t decide if San Francisco or Chicago or New York is my favourite city so far. I think New York has the edge right now; I still feel so hyper and exhilarated and grinny. It’s like those dizzy days when you first fall in love and everything in the world suddenly seems more colorful and sexy. What a town!

But now I’m thinking of all those other unexplored states. In my alternative lottery-winning fantasy life, I have jacked in my job and I’m driving around America for months and months in an obnoxious tank of a vehicle until the immigration people kick me out. Look out people. Toot toot!

. . .

In days of yore, I always came back from holiday and filed a report en blog re: What I Ate Abroad, often footnoted with loathing and remorse. But these days it seems I can be let out of the country without gnawing everything in sight. In fact I was so overcome with excitement and delirium (or drink?) in the first two days in New York that – gasp – I lost my appetite. We had dinner with a friend on the second night at an Argentinian place and I barely nibbled a third of my main course. Then when the manager presented us with a free mega platter of spectacular desserts and I all I could muster were a few idle bites. There just seemed to be too much else going on to bother with food. All those sights and sounds and craziness!

But by day four the stomach was back! I made my way through my Things To Eat In NYC list. Things I’d read about in food blogs, mostly, like famous cupcakes and pizza and burgers. But I was very modest and had just one of each of those things, instead of multiple sortees. A much better way of doing things, methinks.

(TANGENT: Every time I ate my lunch in a New York park, I would casually fluff my hair and look around in the hope of seeing the Elastic Waist dears filming an episode of Are You Out To Lunch. That’s where they ask random punters to guess how many calories are in their lunches. It’s my favourite thing on EW, and not just because the Nutrition Data Center guy is foxy. ANYWAY, despite sending ESP messages and thinking very hard about the calorie content of my Shake Shack burger and making sure I didn’t get it all over my face, etcetera, I didn’t see Sarah and her microphone. Hehe.)

ANYWAY, methinks I’ve gained a bit of lard. It is so bloody annoying how small my threshold is. Despite being choosy and walking a bazillion miles a day, I was still eating far more than I would at home. And a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast at the hotel each day is far more stodgy than I’d normally have. But bloody delicious, mind you πŸ™‚

After five days of bagel brekkies I could feel my UK size 14 jeans clinging unpleasantly to my thighs and belly. This was the same day I tried on a size 10 US petite dress and it was too big… so that ego trip didn’t last long, mwahaha. (And I really liked that bloody dress too. I thought if I crossed my fingers and stared hard at it, the power of my mighty thoughts would make a petite size miraculously grow long enough to cover my podgy knees… WRONG!)

So now I am back home and faced with the task of getting back to normal. And all I can say to that is (Homer Simpson voice) – BORRRRRRRING! There is nothing more tedious than that Home From Holidays thing, where you realise the fun is over and you have to plan the meals and order the groceries and wash your skanky clothes and resume your exercise routine. Life… it keeps rolling on!

My exercise routine has been pathetic for the past few months – sporadic heroism of bike rides and mountain climbs with very little everyday grunt sessions in between. So I am going back to how I did things earlier this year – before I descended into Manuscript Deadline Hermit Hysteria – and that’s the good old Weekly Exercise Plan. It starts on Monday evening with a return to kick boxing class. I booked in this afternoon. I am committed! Woohoo!

This weekend may involve some walking and weights but mostly socialising because I turned 30 yesterday! I grow old, I grow old. But thirty feels good, I tell you. At the start of this year I was still obsessed with the idea that I had to get a certain number on the scales before I turned 30 OR ELSE I would be the biggest loser in the universe. But writing that darn book made me look long and hard at my life helped me let go of that freaky dieting mentality for good. So I say let’s dive into them thirties with a delicious sense of sanity and joy and pride and healthiness for living in this ol’ body of mine.

This entry was brought to you by the letter J for JETLAG!

45 thoughts on “Bagel Belly

  1. Glad you had such an amazing trip and made it home safely. New York. Those two words just say it all. (Of course, it does much better with the following two words: “expense account”).

    At any rate we in San Francisco await your next visit. With the way the exchange rate is going, pretty soon you’ll be able to buy my house with your lunch money!


  2. Yay, I’m glad you love America! It seems so few people do nowadays. I think your next stop should be Austin, Texas! It is, after all, the live music capital of the world! And one of the only cities in which its inhabitants sit around as a pastime and talk about how much they love it. (I heard that on the local NPR radio station.) : )

  3. Happy wonderful 30th birthday Shauna! I hope that your publishers are bringing you out here for a publicity tour for The Book. It would be fantastic to get a signed copy!

  4. Fabulous that you had a good holiday!
    I feel the same way about my knees when I am looking for new clothes…
    Have a great day!

  5. I second the Austin, TX trip…I lived there for a few years before moving to NYC and loved every minute…definately have a local take you around if you can. Happy Birthday again btw…and 30’s very young, not even close to middle age (that’s another 20 years away nowadays).

    Glad you liked our City and look forward to having you back…and next time you must try the Soup Dumplings in Chinatown πŸ™‚

  6. I loved turning 30! It was when I started to get a bit of confidence in myself – and we had a fabulous toga party and got really pissed so that was fun too LOL.
    I wanna go to New York now!

  7. Happy Birthday Shauna. The thirties were good, the forties – so far – are the best!

    I love NYC and the energy that it gives out.

  8. Hey Shauna-happy birthday to you! I hit the big 3-0 in April, and I hear ya about setting deadlines. When I started my weight loss thing, I thought to myself, I sure as heck better lose all the weight before I turn 30, or else… or else what? Who knows? Don’t you love the mindgames you play with yourself when losing/maintaining weight?

    Also, a wee plug for a side trip to Canada next time you make it across the pond. There’s lots of neat stuff to see in the North, and if you’re in Ontario, I promise to show you the sights!

  9. Lookie how far you’ve come.. Seems like yesterday we were reading entries where you’ve returned from vacation disappointed with yourself… And here you are, having displayed the most sensible yet responsibly indulgent balance ever! Wahoo for you!

    Happy 30th Shauna!

    I hope you had a black and white cookie while in NYC, they’re my favorite east coast treat.

    And by the way… if you’re ever in Portland Oregon, rest assured, I can show you the best eats in town! πŸ˜‰

  10. Austin is truly wonderful! And the fine people of this city would show you a good time for sure : )

    Happy Belated Birthday! May this decade be your best yet!

  11. Glad you’re comfortable with growing “old”. Start wearing the bottoms of your trousers rolled though, and I may have to slap you.

    Holiday weight gain is something I just expect – it’s usually only a kilo or two anyway and it soon goes. I figure it’s better than the alternative of obsessing over every morsel you eat and having amiserable time…

  12. Please come and visit me in Alaska, all other states will pale in comparison. Well, in terms of natural beauty, of course. You and your husband will have plenty of mountains to climb, and I will be glad to be your support team.

  13. 30 flirty and fabulous πŸ˜‰ glad to hear you had such a rockin’ time! the bagel belly will be blasted off soon enough!!!

  14. HaPpY BiRtHDay SwEEtIe!!!
    Keep up the good work – you are so doing the right thing with your committed outlook to food & excercise. I was half arsed about it in my 30’s and now I’m paying the price in my 40’s!!! 1/2 arsed now = fat arse later πŸ˜‰

  15. Happy birthday and congratulation with the book!
    I am too scared to ride my bike on any real road. I think there should be bike paths EVERYWHERE so we get around in a healthy and environmentally-friendly way!
    Why not write “One hand off the handlebar: 10 seconds – Shauny” under speedy-rowers record!

  16. You know the perfect cure for the post-holiday blues Shauna… start planning the next one! πŸ˜‰

    I’m busting to get me to New York. It sounds amazing. As do those bagels!

    Hope you had a fab bday πŸ™‚



    I hope it was grand.

    I loved NYC. I call it Sore Feet City as I walked soooo much.

  18. Wooo hooo on turning 30!! I too would love to tour America.. not likely to happen though! Dreams are free luckily. Glad you had a fabulous time.

  19. HAPPY DIRTY THIRTY, Shauna! And many many more, you legend woman you!

    I wanna go to New York too-hoooo. πŸ˜€ XXX

  20. Woohoo! Happy Birthday, Shauna! I will hit the ginormous 3-0 in June! AHHHHHHHHH. The twenties rocked! The thirties shall be splendid bliss!

  21. Thought you might want to fix the typos on your “about” page –
    “My philosophy boils down to: Do the healthy more more often that you don’t do the healthy thing”.

  22. Boston and Washington are cities not to be missed! So plan your next US visit accordingly… You won’t be disappointed!!!

    Happy Birthday! -30s Rock!

  23. Happy birthday, Shauna!! I’ll be hitting the big 3-0 in January–yikes!
    Cheers, Wilma

  24. I’m glad you had fun in NYC. I hope you make it to Boston on your next trip across the pond.

    I agree with Brooke, the cure for the returning from holiday blues is planning the next one.


  25. thanks for that anon! fixed now πŸ™‚

    and cheers for the good wishes, you legends. shall add austin, boston et al to the wishlist! πŸ™‚

  26. The 30’s are a fantastic time, full of adventure. At 30 I suddenly got brave, backpacked around the world by myself, started a business, all that stuff that had seemed too scary previously.
    Happy birthday sweetheart, might as well celebrate for.. at least a month. 30 is a big deal, make the most of it!

  27. You are rockin’ your 30th b’day, my dear. I was in the hospital with endogenous depression just before I hit that number. Thank goodness that was long, long ago, seems like another lifetime.

    Thanks for the shout-out! My stats are through the roof! Heh.

  28. It’s always funny how we can’t wait to see other countries and seem to appreciate it more than our own sometimes. Glad you enjoyed the US. It’s nice to see it through someone else’s eyes every once in a while. I’ll get to the Uk someday, if only to buy a copy of your book! πŸ˜‰

  29. I have to put a plug in for my amazing state, the Heart of Dixie, Alabama!!! NASCAR, college football, Helen Keller, Muscle Shoals Music, beautiful white sandy beaches, the US Space and Rocket Center, the biggest cast iron statue in the world lording over Birmingham with his arse showing…Vulcan!, lovely outdoorsy things, and AMAZING FOOD! Fried green tomatoes are a fav of mine.

  30. A belated Happy Birthday to you!

    If you come back to the US, you should definitely come to Columbus, Ohio!

    We have many fabulous things! I promise!

Comments are now closed on all Dietgirl posts. For fresh conversation please visit me at