What’s The Story

Is it possible to train yourself to become a Morning Person? Being an Afternoon Person is not working for me anymore. I’ve pretty much always done my exercise after work but I finish work later now, plus I’ve got lots to do in the evenings lately. Result? Bugger all exercise aside from Monday Night Kickboxing and sporadic weight training, therefore feeling like a lumpy, grumpy old SLUG.

I don’t start work until 9AM now and I’m only 15 minutes walk from work. So there’s really plenty of time for me get out of bed earlier and get the exercise done first thing – instead of waking up at 8.15AM shrieking shit shit shit shit, throwing on clothes, throwing down some Weetbix then flying oot the door.

Back in 2001 I used to get up early and go walking before work, so the streets would be quiet and no one would see me wobbling round the block. If I did it back then surely I can do it now. It just takes organisation and a bit of effort!

. . .

I really, really need those endorphins right now! I don’t want to bore you all to death with Book Stuff, but I tell you it’s quite a wild, wild ride. It’s coming out in five teeny tiny weeks and I’m swinging between delirious joy and terror.

The book arrived in the post on Thursday morning. The REAL BOOK! I can’t believe it’s real. It looked so good I wanted to lick it. Even if you scored a proof copy, you may wish to consider the Real Thing! It’s got the sexy embossed lettering on the cover, it’s 397 pages, including 8 pages of colour photographs, and the typos are fixed and the text is formatted beautifully! I feel kinda sheepish that they all went to so much effort just to sandwich together my deranged ramblings.

The cover also now contains MORE GINGER! Sooo many of you (okay, ten of you) wrote to say the cartoon Dietgirl looked more blonde than redhead that we changed it! Feel your power!

So I showed the book to Gareth then took it to work to show my new comrades. I was grinning and teary and hiccup-y as I walked up the high street. I considered stopping strangers to say, Shauna Reid my book?

At lunchtime I went to a cafe, bought myself a cuppa and started reading, as if it was a proper book. I was totally chuffed with it and thought it how pleasant that there’s a wee book talking honestly about what a dirty bitch of a task it is, trying to lose a lot of weight.

But then yesterday I read more as I was coming home from Edinburgh on the train, in a bad mood. I wanted to shout at myself in the book, WHY DON’T YOU JUST STOP EATING SO MUCH BLOODY FOOD! Just stop it, you crazy fool!

And then I thought… Oh lord, what if someone buys this? What if they read it? What if they read it and agree I’m a moron? It’s bad enough putting your life out there on the internet where a few hundred people know you’re a moron, but to put it down ON PAPER for ever and ever? What was I thinking?


Gareth picked me up at the station and we went to the supermarket and I thought I was going to throw up. I prowled the aisles as he asked what I fancied for dinner. I froze in front of a shelf full of Quorn products and thought I was going to spew and spew and spew from sheer bone-rattling panic.

So yes. It’s a wild ride, luvvies! This blog has been a safe place, much like my excess weight used to be… comforting, reassuring, protective. Even though so many of you are anonymous and faceless, it feels cosy hanging round here. It’s rather nervewracking to have the Real World get involved.

But… I am determined to make the most of this experience, darnit! Besides, have I ever done anything new or worthwhile without the eleventeen requisite Fat Girl Freak Outs? Panic is all part of the process.

In the meantime, I’m going to attempt a morning workout and shall keep up with the kickboxing. An hour of sweat and mock violence always kicks self-doubt to the doghouse. POW!

53 thoughts on “What’s The Story

  1. I think we can all safely agree that you’re not a moron! And you do like to panic πŸ™‚ Maybe for the adrenaline? πŸ˜›

    If your weight loss was a perfectly easy journey, you wouldn’t have a book :)Don’t worry about the old Shauna, I’m sure she’ll get yelled at a lot – but isn’t the point that people read your story and get inspired to change their life as well? If someone overweight is yelling at old-you for eating too much, they’re (hopefully!) going to recognise that’s what they need to be doing as well.

  2. Look, the book is an elaborated-on version of your blog, right? And hunners of us read and love your blog, right? We recognise ourselves in what you write and find your story funny and empathetic and enlightening and uplifting. So why in the name of the wee man do you think people will react any differently to the book version? Lecture over. (I can’t wait to get my book!)

  3. This is the diet book that everyone will want to read. Its about a real person and real weight loss – how exciting for you. Take the glory, accept the praise… you have done this and you deserve the rewards!

  4. thanks dear comrades! it’s just a weird and wee bit nervewracking feeling sometimes, a book is so PERMANENT, y’know?

    it’s so cosy being a nerd waffling along on the internet, where there’s always a delete button πŸ™‚

  5. That’s like asking yourself is it possible to lose weight? You know you can and all it takes is patience and persistance πŸ™‚

    I became a morning person and to make it to work on time, I need to get up at 5am to fit in a yoga session and walk. Its worth it! Sometimes it sucks though if I’ve had a big night.

    And LOL at the panic. I know I shouldn’t laugh but you’re so cute. You’re a darling Shauna and so many more people will get something out of your book than not. The idea is to read the WHOLE book right to see how you progressed and became even more amazing πŸ™‚

  6. Um, hugs. I am sure nobody will think you’re a moron. Everyone else has their moments of feeling like a moron too. Some of us more than others…

    Here’s hoping the kickboxing kicks the self-doubt into touch. WE all know you’re a star; why would your new readers disagree?

  7. Of course you’re not a moron. Believe me, I’m an English teacher and I’m experienced in this area. You’re great and funny and I can’t wait to buy the book and display it on my shelves and tell all my friends I know you. Well, my daughter knows you. And maybe one day I’ll get to meet you too.

    I know the feeling, though. I still cringe when I see the book I wrote many years ago and I never read it in case it’s rubbish.

    However, as we’ve all established: yours won’t be.

  8. Yes it is possible to be a morning person.
    A great friend of mine has a saying – get up. It sucks. then it doesn’t. Go and train. It sucks. Then it doesn’t. ALWAYS.
    Works for me πŸ™‚
    yay for your book, hope the eleventeen freakouts pass soon!
    BTW thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

  9. I think it’s hard to make the evening/morning transition so maybe start slowly with 1 or 2 mornings. Less of a shock to the body I’d say.

    I think we need to work out a way to get you on a book signing tour down under.

  10. I am so grateful that you became GINGER again for the cover!
    As for the panic – stop. Just stop. See, easy! πŸ˜›

  11. The “definitive guide to becoming an early riser” was written by Steve Pavlina some time ago…


    I was able to make the switch thanks to his advice but I did it mostly based on his “30 days to success” article (force yourself as a trial for 1 month and the habit will tend to stick). The key seems to be (1) not to sabotage yourself by late nights… you can’t burn it at both ends, and (2) to maintain the same sleeping habits on the weekends or you’ll derail quickly.

    The rub is that you get wiped out early and some things have to go… for me it was less internet and socialising in the evenings because I was dead by 10pm. Being a morning person does make one a part-time recluse.

  12. Holy shite DG! I can’t imagine what you are going through! But honestly, I know I couldn’t be prouder of you and honestly CANNOT wait to read your book. I’m trying to figure out if I can order from Amazon UK or not. I’m sure I can, right? Anyway, if you want to become a morning person, I have no doubt that you can get it done. I can’t, but I work out at lunch since we have showers in my office building. Hooray for showers!

    Keep up the good work Shauna!!!!

  13. Okay, “Shauna Reid my book” is simply hilarious. Did you seek out a guy with that last name just for the pun value?

    Also, I can assure you that you can start getting up early. I used to sleep until noon as a teenager and now I get up around 7:00 a.m. even on the weekends because my sleeping rhythm has changed. It’s nice getting it over with in the mornings because then you don’t have to worry about it at night.

  14. I can’t wait to lick my own copy of your book. I’m sure your readers will be inspired just like all of us here have been.

    I feel so much better when I get up and workout in the morning. I wish I could get my ass out of bed more often and stop hitting the snooze button.

  15. Hiya.
    Many of us beat ourselves up when we are in the throes of glory. It’s just part of who we are. There’s a better wave coming, you just need to ride this one out.
    All the best.

  16. You definitely can train yourself to be a morning person – I did it for months to leave for work early enough to avoid the traffic. The minute I didn’t have to do it though I slipped back into old habits. Bed = good!

    If anyone reads your book and thinks you’re a moron then they are a moron.

  17. This is how I pretend to be a morning person:

    – get stuff ready the night before – pack your work bag, get your gym clothes read, make sure you’ve got showering stuff – all the gear, all ready to go.

    – in the morning, get up as late as possible – just enough time to throw clothes on (pre-prepared!) and stumble to the gym (or out the door)

    – workout.

    – I shower at work, much less crowded than the gym, and much less of the scantily clad wandering around to make me feel bad.

    Mostly it seems to be about routine, and *wanting* to do it – if you’re not keen, all the excuses in the world await!

  18. I don’t think that if you’re truly NOT a morning person you can not train to be one. I’m over 40 today and I have tried and tried but I will never be a morning person. I can get up early, no trouble at all, but I do not wake up. I have had jobs where I started at 05.45 but I still did not become a morning person. But by your description of your morning I’m not so sure that you are a true night person. A true night person seldom can just jump out of bed and run to work. It takes an effort and it takes time to wake up. So perhaps you really can change. For you it may really be just a change of habit.

    What a skinny neck you’ve got by the way πŸ™‚

  19. Of course you can train yourself…. I used to be of the jump out of bed and run around going “shit, shit, shit!” variety too. In fact, for way more than half my life.

    It was hard for a few weeks, then I found myself waking up 5 minutes before the alarm was set to go off.

    Now I can’t sleep in to save myself. And if your’e awake anyway, you may as well get up and on yer bike. Literally or not.

    The book will be AWESOME and people will love it. Or else I’ll thump them over the head with a copy. So there.

  20. I reckon it’s quite normal to feel anxious when you’re teetering on the threshold of exposing yourself to a heap of new readers, but honestly Shauna, you have no need to worry. Your writing has that typical self-effacing Aussie style that automatically makes people feel a bond with you. And I find people generally don’t judge us anywhere near to the degree we judge ourselves. I’m just so impressed that you’ve done so much since way back when, while feeling the fear! Courage isn’t about not being scared, it’s about moving forward through the pants-wetting terror :o)

  21. Hey Shauna, I am so proud of you & your book ..but can understand ur freak outs. Just like that review said – it will be a one the big hits of 2008!! Good luck teaching yourself to be a morning person… I’m not sure I ever will be πŸ™‚

  22. Re the mornings…I have a hard time running/working out in the morning…so I normally go at lunch, or after work. But the way to get going in the mornings might be to meet someone–for a run, class, whatever. The guilt of not showing up will get you out of bed. πŸ™‚

  23. Oof I am in the process of trying to retrain myself as well. It is not pleasant, especially on Mondays (though I suspect I will still be able to get out of bed on Christmas morning this year : D ).

    Let us hope the mystical powers of the ginger hair can get us through!

    And also let me say- I am damn stoked about your book! I will be a-ordering from the USofA. Happy Impending Holiday Season!

  24. Oh Shauna… I’m sure it is a scary process, and it’s new and nerve-wracking, and such…. but take heart in the fact that everyone LOVES and appreicates your brutal honesty. And surely everyone feels like they can relate. Even skinny people have demons, ya know. You should absolutely be proud of yourself – you’ve conquored your Goliath! AND written a book about it!

  25. What you did was quite brave! And to publish a book! What an accomplishment! There might be some drawbacks, but at least you have something to leave a mark in the world with.

  26. I’m so excited that you have a real, hard copy of your book in your hot little hands. Although it incited panic, it’s so amazing that its real. There’s nothing like something concrete to make it believable. (For instance, I don’t think I’ll believe that I’ve actually finished my PhD until I get my degree or the bound copy of my dissertation in the mail.) I’m so pumped for you, and so excited to read the book.

    Also-about the morning person thing. I agree with others advice-go to bed early, be prepped for whatever you plan to do, and eventually you’ll get used to waking at the wee hours. You may never like it, but it can become routine. The way I finished my dissertation was by getting up at 5 am to work on it before work. I started to wake up at 5 am on weekends. Sadly, the downfall is that I fall asleep between 10 and 10:30, so I have to tape any shows that go to 11 pm and try to watch them while I’m conscious. It can be done though. I too need to implement this plan again, (for workout purposes) because my job is keeping me later these days, and hence my gym time is going out the window. Thanks for the reminder that mornings do exist for more than sleep!

  27. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re a moron! The only people that MIGHT think that of you would be the naturally skinny… and not to hurt your feelings or anything, but they WON’T be buying your book! All the rest of us are going through or have been through what you have and totally understand you. That’s why we all love you Shauny!

    Getting up early requires your alarm clock being set 30 minutes earlier than the actual time. If that doesn’t work, have Gareth change it daily… then you will NEVER know just how off it is… that will get you up and out!

  28. Glad that it wasn’t too late to change the hair to ginger… was definitely a good thing to do so, looks heaps better!

  29. Hi there! I have been coming here every day now for the past several months. I find your blog very funny and enlightening and HONEST. I think that is what people will appreciate about the book as well. I really really look forward to buying a copy!
    Don’t worry….everything is going to be wonderful! Just wait!

  30. It’s pretty weird ain’t it when it’s so irrevocably ‘in-print’.. just you wait till it turns up in Chinese or Urdu πŸ˜‰ That’s really freaky!

  31. Imagine how excited I was to learn that your book will also be coming to us State-side January 1st! Now, I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions anymore (after so many years of utter failure in that department) but if the January 1st publish date isn’t a Sign that it’s time to make a change, I don’t know what is. I can’t wait to read it. Congrats!!!

  32. You are just too adorable. Who would shout at you? No way! Now stop worrying about the real world. Believe it or not, we all live in the real world, too. And if we love you, they will, too. πŸ™‚ Good job with the book, Shauna! Be proud, woman!

  33. This time next year your book will be translated into 20 languages and you’ll be working on the sequel and optioning the film rights. Your only concerns will be which city’s Christmas lights you want to push the button on and what luxury item you take into the Celebrity jungle. And your loyal fans will still be loyally taking inspiration from you regardless πŸ™‚ The book will rock (I already have my copy on order).

  34. I don’t think you can become a morning person but you can get up early. I use the method like another commenter suggested – roll out of bed, roll into the shower or clothes and roll to the car/gym/work.

  35. It is so brave of you to be putting yourself out there in a book and I think that you will inspire so many people and let them know that no matter their starting weight they can get there by sheer determination, the odd wagon abandonment, but by just being a normal healthy exercising person. You have faced trials and tribulations and you have still come out on top. I love ya!!

  36. I am not a morning person but I am trying to change that Right now I am having 50/50 success with that!!
    I cannot wait til your book hits the shelves in merry old land of Oz. I love reading your blog and I am sure your book is going to love it as much as we love this blog.
    Congratulations Shauna and try not to panic too much – we love you!! πŸ˜€

  37. I cant believe it … I turn my back on you for 5 minutes and you PUBLISH A BOOK!? That’s AMAZING! Are you kidding – all this hard work you put in: People NEED TO KNOW IT CAN WORK! You inspire me everyday, and you need to share that with other people! Especially every woman who has ever dieted, starved, given up, binged, purged, hated themselves, procrastinated, lost weight and put it all on again, lost faith in themselves, or need inspiration.

    (Come to think of it… that’s pretty much every woman I know…)

    Thanks for having the guts to tell us the beautiful, hideous truth.

  38. I so understand your panic…putting yourself out there for the whole world to read and judge is soooo scary, no matter how wonderful it is too.

    Nobody’s going to think you’re a moron though – you’ve SUCCEEDED. And it is a completely dirty bitch of a task. We all applaud you and I can’t wait for the book.

  39. I am so happy for you! Things will calm down; someday….will there be a book tour? When it comes out in the US you should make sure you get Columbus Ohio on that list! (oops stay calm!)
    :)what people love about you is that you write down what they think…and I know that makes me feel like I am not crazy…see I am normal, Shauna does the same thing!;)Embrace the freak out; we all need to freak out now and again.

  40. “Is it possible to train yourself to become a Morning Person?””

    If you find a way let me know, my wife could stand to be more of a morning person. I on the other hand wake up at 4 a.m. for my workout.

  41. Squee! The book looks fabulous, so shiny and happy and real. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    As for training yourself to become a morning person, I don’t know about training, but I seem to have somehow metamorphosed into one without really trying. This is not meant to sound boastful. I am now a 24 year old woman who can’t stay up past 11pm, but I’m bursting with energy and eagerness from about 6am, when you can’t even get a cup of coffee.

    I read somewhere that if you really, truly concentrate on the time you want to get up before you go to bed you’ll get up around that time. I don’t know if it works, but it’s worth a try.

    But, yes, congratulations, lady!

  42. Would it help if I said that exercising in the morning burns literally double the energy of the exact same workout in the evening?

    Works on our energy system, because our carb, sugar, protein levels etc are low after a nights digestion, the body quickly gets to using up the next available energy source – our stored fat cells.

    Of an evening however, we have a full days worth of food, coffee, etc to burn before it gets to those stores.

    If THAT doesn’t get you out of bed early, I don’t know what will.

    Also, when i used to work out early in the morning, I found I was stacks more organised to begin my day.

    I can’t imagine what you are going through with your fabulous book but I’m 400% positive this will all pass once it hits the shelves.

    You know what? You are about to be opened up to a world of brand new admirers. Please don’t assume they’ll judge you over this. Most will be sitting in your beginning shoes and hoping they can acheive half of what you’ve acheived.

    Breathe. πŸ™‚

  43. If people are motivated to shout at someone in a book then it must be one heck of a tale!! It means that somehow you have touched them & those same people will be rooting for you (as we all do here in tinternet land) to succeed – which you did and will continue to!!
    As for the morning bit just start getting up a bit earlier every day – your body will soon adjust. Have to admit it is easier in the summer though πŸ™‚ Keep on keeping on hun!!

  44. Dude, if I can train myself to get up at 5.50 to get to the gym, and I’m the laziest and most petulant slug person of the morn – you can do it! Best thing about exercising in the morning is feeling so SMUG for the rest of the day. I’m often deliriously going about interval training, like in a sleep bubble, so afterwards it’s almost like it NEVER happened and I recover quicker! Just try it, kicking screaming, for a week, and you’ll feel more normal about it the week after, and yada yada, routine achieved.

    I do try to do it first thing 3 x a week, and then fit in another couple of sessions in the evening/weekend. I’m finding myself being a lot more automatic about the morning sessions, and more likely to talk myself out of evening ones. This has surpised me!

  45. I’ve just got my hands on a proof copy and am very excited about binge reading it. I’ve been lurking in these parts for three years or more and it’s been one hell of an adventure for us too, you know. I’m so pleased for you πŸ™‚

  46. I think this will be the first new book I pay real money for in a shop for quite some time.

    I’m hoping for the mass-market crossover, where it gets to the point that I can’t walk through a checkout without seeing glinting Β£3.97 EVERY LITTLE HELPS stickers over Dietgirl’s ginger-locked features. (Must have been all that Irn-Bru.)

  47. I’ve already got your book on my Amazon pre-order list. So there’s one girl down in Texas who is looking forward to reading about your journey ;).

  48. Funnily enough, I just finished writing about exactly this issue. Getting up early can be a nightmare, but is so very worth it.

    I can very strongly relate to the wanting-to-shout-at-the-past-you bit. I used to be fit, healthy, energetic. Now, I’m tubby, unhealthy and slow. I wish I could shout at me-10-years-ago and tell me to avoid the beer and go running!

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