Diary of a Deranged Dieter

It's easy to look at the Before and After photos and forget about all the wackiness that happened in between. But whenever I need reminding I look at my trusty Diet Diary of August 2004. Holy analogue angst, Batman.


I'd had a brainwave to keep a paper diary of my food-related thoughts and become more conscious of my scoffing. First I wrote down what I'd eaten, then I analysed my daily performance.

2004 was a transition year in the lard-busting process – sometimes I was too busy travelling and swooning over Dr G to care about my weight, but other times I was hitting new heights of scale obsession. It annoyed me that that my social life was slowing down my shrinkage. 

I was convinced the paper diary would be my saviour; The Very Thing to sort myself out Once And For All! It lasted all of two weeks. But it is bloody hilarious to read now; such desperation and bossiness. 26 going on 13. That's the beauty of diaries though – they're the perfect dumping ground for extremes of emotion.

It's a relief to see how my relationship with food and my body has finally mellowed and balanced out. It's sobering to remember how difficult it was to get there.

Not to mention shitty handwriting.

Exhibit A: Mantras
Don't remember actually chanting out loud, but evidently I was using envy and the snugness of my Enell sports bra as motivation. My sister was on a health kick at the time and I was spewingly jealous.

Diet Mantras
– Would Rhiannon be eating that?
– think of yr jeans & yr sports bra

Exhibit B: The Twix

Why the hell was I angry at a supermarket!?

Bought Twix & scoffed even tho didn't really want
– was angry coz of supermarket!

Exhibit C: Hot Love

My job at the time was a hotbed of dietary temptation. Every morning the Hot Roll Man arrived with hot rolls and fresh scones and every morning I'd struggle to resist his siren call.

Carb craving. Hard to watch ppl eating scones, choccies, bacon rolls.
But I want to be smaller than I want that shite.

Exhibit D: A small victory


Exhibit E: Message from above?

sold out
Was going to have SCONE but they were sold out

Exhibit F: Longing

I was so obsessed with getting under 90 kilos, and felt like my lardy issues were a dirty secret.

I want to be an 80s girl.
I want to stop secret eating.
I want to be honest w/ G about my issues.

(I'm much more honest with Dr G these days. One of his nicknames for me is "Issues" Reid. Hehe.)

Exhibit G: Great Expectations

This was the last entry in the diary. I didn't realise how early on I'd pondered the Book Thing. And Gareth would have had a coronary had he known how early on I'd pondered the Marriage Thing!

What do I want?
What Do I Want?
– to be able to wear better clothes
– to write a book about my experiences
– to be able to wear something ultra foxy for possible VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONS!!

41 thoughts on “Diary of a Deranged Dieter

  1. Holy crap, that expectations list was totally like a Looking Into The Future list.

    *frantically scribbles*

    Expectations: What do I want? 1) To win the lotto, 2) To marry Daniel Vettori… *ahem*… ambitious, much?

  2. Intriguing, thanks for sharing.

    Who doesn’t want to be an 80s girl? That was a decade that new how to keep its legs warm.

  3. Could be worse. You could have found your books of poetry you wrote as a teenager. In the Eighties. Not that I would know, obviously…….

  4. I love old journals… And then again, sometimes I think I should burn any and all evidence that proves I am a complete quack.

  5. Ahhh… the old “I’ll write it down and have a moment of insight” trick … the number of times I have attempted to write insightful, searing comments which will prove the be the very *exact* phrase that would turn my whole life/lardbusting around … Unfortunately whenever I tried it I’d come off sounding like a twat. I’d never have written anything as funny as ‘wearing something ultra foxy for possible very special ocassions!” That is Gold!
    xxMiss T

  6. It’s funny to read back on old journal entries. For a few years I decided to write on the way to work, lots of insightful and literary things. Now I have umpteen journals filled with “I hate my job, I don’t want to go to work.”

    Well done for making your expectations come true πŸ˜€

  7. Actually, that’s fairly legible handwriting. I’m impressed. Beats the heck out of mine πŸ™‚

  8. Andrew, I dunno what is about Daniel Vettori that has such a hold over young Marshy… is it the glasses? Like Harry Potter with a cricket bat…

  9. Oooh Harry Potter lustings. Is that wrong? I even saw him in Equus last year, very disturbing.

    Great post and interesting journal entries. Like Miss T whenever I reread my entries I think I sound like a twat…

  10. It’s great to read stuff like this — and I need to go through your archives, too — to see your “in the moment” thoughts and struggles. Helps me see my difficulties… er, challenges in the context of a wider war in which I will emerge victorious!!!

  11. ooh, i had such a bad diary-related experience when i was 12 i have never written my thoughts down ever since.

    i don’t know if it’s because of the Mothership, but you have teacher’s handwriting! i love it!

    i wonder, did you ever try keeping a food diary,? i always say i will start one but just don’t get around to it.

  12. i disagree with me of 2004, sometimes chocolate IS the answer! hehe.

    Bushra – Actually you just made me realise I didn’t explain in the entry – the diary was basically a daily food diary, also noting steps and water intake. then afterwards i do my utterly compelling analysis (which is the bits posted here).

    it wasn’t a winning tactic since i only lasted two weeks. i felt stupid writing it all down, coz it looked so bloody neurotic once in ink! hehe. after that i moved on to an online tracker and i felt much better just keeping track of cold hard calories. the blog was enough to deal with the Feelings, even though it was much more censored πŸ™‚

    Pamela – I’ve just spent ages sorting my entries into categories so if you get desperate all the shitty moments are in the Screw Ups & Setbacks category πŸ˜›

  13. I struggle with the same, but it’s bagels instead of scones…but that bacon roll sounds delish…is it anything like a sausage role? See, already thinking with the carb side of my brain.

    I love how your paper diary shows the foreshadowing of your current life…look how you wrote it down one day and then it happened…what accomplishment!…The “experts” do say to alway right down your goals…you’re living proof…cool huh?

  14. My god I could start a library with the amount of notebooks and journals I’ve bought with the intention of it being THE ONE thats is PERFECT! No such thing lol! I never learn either. I should spend my money on some Green and Blacks choc – the perfect answer!

  15. Oh Shauna, I loved reading this. I’m having a transition few months at the moment and struggling. Loved ‘chocolate is not the answer’. So short, so sweet, so succinct πŸ™‚

  16. “Chocolate is not the answer”- way too cute!

    I love reading through old food diaries and such. They’re so insightful. Thank you for sharing these!

  17. OMG-LOL! I have done some very similar things in my various attempts at writing things down. One day I realized that if anyone ever found my food diary with comments like these, I may have to curl up and die of embarrassment, so I stopped. I love that you posted the wackiest stuff you wrote-how brave and subversive of you!

    Isn’t it enlightening to look back with the advantage of wisdom and insight? I have looked at diaries I kept in junior high and high school-oh the stuff I thought was life and death then… Tee hee!

  18. I used to write down “goal” lists from time to time. It’s cool to find one of them and discover that I’ve actually achieved the goals on there. Yay, progress!

  19. What a fun look into Shauna 2004’s psyche. I’m glad you translated. Your writing’s as bad as mine!

    I’ve been having the “I wanna write a book” thing floating around in my head ever since reading you and PQ and now Jen Lancaster, and then I dismiss it as YOU’RE NUTS IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. But hey, looky at you having that thought in 2004–and you made it happen. Perhaps in 4 years after I’ve reached my goal and am a rock-hard marathon goddess, I’ll be able to pimp a book on your site. hehehe. =) (BTW, other than my husband you’re the only one who knows my secret about wanting to write a book, but I figure I’m safe since you live all the way over in Scotland. =)

  20. Maybe life’s like one of those Magic 8 balls, and if chocolate isn’t the answer the first time you ask the question, it may very well be the answer if you shake the ball up and ask the question again. And again. Or as many times as necessary:-)

    Oh, and I like to blame the supermarket as much as I can. It’s always their fault. Makes for a very pleasant shopping experience!

  21. Hi SHauna,

    I agree with you about chocolate. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will do.

    By the love all your photos. You looked so cute in your 21st party photos.

    All the best for your walk-a-thon.


  22. Shauna, you are such a crack-up!

    I am getting excited planning a trip to England next month (from Australia). Trip planning is such a distraction!

  23. Classic.

    It’s so funny reading old journals. I haven’t kept one since I was a teenager because how ever grown up I’m supposed to be now I still read like a spoilt 13 year old in a handwritten journal. Yours are in a league above.

  24. Beautiful penmanship, DG. It’s so important to write things down when they’re tough and then reflect, I think. I have a diary from when I was in London which is aching to read, but man, it’s so good to look back (when I can stand it!) and see things have progressed markedly, thank ye lord.

  25. I have done exactly the same thing this week – written down little ‘mantras’ on a card, supposedly to keep me on track. Except that I have LOST the card, and am now dreading it turning up on one of my colleagues. Or one of my students. I’m never writing anything down again!

  26. I still read my diary from when I was 13 and laugh.

    though less and less as there are many I HATE MY MOTHER entries and now I AM a mother.

    (though hopefully not “my” mother)


  27. Oh my….sigh.
    Reading this made me cry. It was like reading my own thoughts that had been plastered all over your blog for the world to read. Except with a cute accent.

  28. I remember discovering an OOOLD diary; I believe I was sixteen when I wrote the entry. In it I detailed The Horror! that I felt at being loaned a pair of bathers by another girl in my swim squad. . .OMG WHAT WAS she THINKing? Did she think I was fat? I couldn’t wear her size 16 bathers, I was a size 12! How DARE she!

    Never mind that was the only spare pair of bathers around, and she was left with her ratty old pair to use for that training session, and without them I’d be unable to train that day. It was all about the Me! And the Horror!

  29. Oh my gosh, I have diaries that look just like that. It’s amazing to see just how much we wanted it hey? I still want it but not in the psychotic journal keeping kind of way that I used to.

  30. Fabulous! Like you!

    Do you know what I loved the most? The scans of your actual diaries. What a wonderful post, even if you were super bossy (and hard on yourself) sometimes!!!

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxxx

  31. I so love reading your blog and book. You are such an inspiration to a lot of people around the world.

    I also so loved that you scanned your actual diaries in your last blog, what a great idea.

  32. Thanks so much for dropping by my brand new blog, Shauna. It will take me a few years to catch up with the SUCCESSFUL weight loss blog people (like yourself and Jennette Fulda).

    I have 150+ lbs currently to lose, so a long way to go, and hundreds of blog entries no doubt!

    Many thanks.

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