The Weary Squirrel

I'm back from me holidays! We attempted to balance all the whisky, cooked Scottish breakfasts and Cadbury Top Deck with lots of walking – to big rocks, steep steps and a pair of Munros.

Mysterious Jenny on Ben Lawers.

I'm pleased to report that Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas were my least whiny hills ever. Partially because they were touristy fellas, side by side with non-scary paths. But also because my mate Jenny was there and I didn't want to look like a wuss. So there was only one obscene gesture and a wee bit of stick waving!

Cadbury Top Deck - Jenny brought it over from Oz!
We need to start a lobby group to bring this to the UK.

. . .

It's been awhile between entries – sorry you had to look at my boofy cheeks for so long. No matter where I've been on the scales, I've always had chubby cheeks that grandmothers love to squeeze. Gareth once said they were like "little cushions". That a weary squirrel might rest upon!

. . .

A year ago this week I was dancing in the streets after handing in my manuscript. "La la la!" I said, "I AM DONE WITH THIS WEIGHT LOSS SHIT and I am never going to think of it again!"

Then I ate a packet of Marks & Spencer choc-coated strawberries.

Of course I remembered the next day that you are never done, sucker. Ever since then it has been a challenge – no, let's not downplay it – it's been a constant, shitty struggle to get the balance right. I so badly want to stay healthy without needing to be a slave to scales and calories, but I have to bear in mind the brutal reality that when it comes to food, I got issues. I can't pretend that I don't need to think about it.

It's like my peanut butter fork. I keep a jar of PB in my desk at work and I like to spread a wee bit on spelt crackers. For the past couple of months I've being doing this with a plastic fork. Part of my brain screams, "This isn't working! This ain't the tool for the job!" and the other part of my brain says, "Oh shuddup. Sure it's messy and the cracker is cracking up all over the keyboard but it sort of does the trick, right?"

Likewise I've been letting everything get chaotic. I cram more and more into the day, not sleeping properly, eating too much, feeling like crap but telling myself I'm still good! I'm still good, just because my guts have not yet exploded out of my jeans. I keep diggin' and diggin' with my plastic fork. 

Last Wednesday on the Isle of Skye, we hauled our arses up to the Old Man of Storr. There was a polite sign near the big rock that said, You are advised not to go beyond this point. There's no better sign than an actual SIGN!

Old Man of Storr
Dr G laughs in the face of danger.

Hmm hmm hmm. I really need to stop and get my priorities in order, before I burn out and bloat up. And/or become an annoying wanker who claims to be too busy to peel an orange.

. . .

Ooh I gotta write about the Moonwalk! Next time Gadget. Next time. Hope you're all doing well!

En route to the Old Man of Storr
Heading up to the Old Man of Storr.

43 thoughts on “The Weary Squirrel

  1. What? No midges this year? There is a new TV ad in Australia and I think of you each time I see it – a woman living overseas receives a “care package” from Australia with Arnott’s Mint Slice biccies in it. Its just like you and the Mothership!

  2. Mmm, Mint Slices πŸ™‚ There were midges Tracey! I was the only one that got gnawed. Right on my chubby cheeks, dammit.

  3. It’s scary to think that the whole weight loss thing never ends. You know I’d like to be all positive and rah-rah and say that there is a whole future of new challenges to look forward to — but screw that. I want to get the body then kinda laminate it so it stays that way forever, without ever having to think about it again.

  4. I think it does end – you have learned all the strategies now and one daY you will be able to ‘switch back’ to them pretty much on autopilot when you realise you’ve veered off track. The thing is, it’ll take until ‘one day’ for you to realise, hey, that’s easy for me now! (if you follow me) Don’t be sad.
    BTW OMG those HILLS!!! You hardcore climber you they scare me just looking at them.

  5. Top Deck is the greatest chocolate in the world. Yes. Yum. Is it as yummy there as it is here?


  6. Wow…I wish I had “hills” like that to hike! I’m still excited to hear how the moonwalk went, I’m incredibly impressed by you for not only finishing it, but just for having the cahones to do it in your bra! Way to go!

  7. I bet Dr Claw’s big ol’ silver glove/hand would be a GREAT tool for scooping out the peanut butter from the jar. LOL

    It took you how many years to get those bad food habits? You’ve made tremendous progress. Comfort eating is normal. People who’ve never had eating disorders do it. Unlike us they don’t think it’s the end of the world though.

    Relaaaaax, Chickybabe! You’ll get your shit together again. Have great faith in you!

  8. Shauna – I do believe I’ve hiked up that mountain before! I remember that very sign and our ahem, tour guide, calmly threw his jacket over it and hurried us along. Except it was the middle of winter in February, and we ended up CLIMBING up the rocks at the top to get the best view, then sliding down the other side in the snow on our arses.

    Very classy.

    Thank you for refreshing my memory!!!

  9. Mick, I don’t think we have Top Deck in the UK – must have been part of a ‘care package!’
    Looks jolly tasty stuff, though.

  10. Morning comrades! πŸ™‚

    Mick, sadly we do not have Top Deck here in the UK! Jenny bought some over from Oz for us. I feel it is a glaring omission from the UK Cadbury repertoire! They also don’t have Black Forest or Marble or Peppermint or Snack or that lovely Dream white chocolate.

    Probably a good thing that we don’t have ’em over here actually…

  11. Aw, my love, don’t beat yourself up about the food things! Yeah, it is kinda gonna be in the back of your mind, but it’s not a prison anymore, right? That’s a journey YOU have made, all by yourself, which is why you have all of us goons slavishly following your every word in the hope that we too can get your to your kind of normality. And normality by its nature is never perfect because We Are All Only Human!

    I’m SURE we used to have Top Deck in the UK back in the 90s/80s.

    I noticed today that they now make a WHITE kinder bueno. I haven’t tried one yet. It looks intense.

    TA x

  12. We definitely USED to have Top Deck in the UK, I’m positive of it.

    And don’t beat yourself up about the food stuff! Yeah it’s always gonna be in the back of our minds, us people with a Food Thing, but it’s not a prison anymore, and that’s a journey YOU have made by yourself. Which is why you have all of us goons hanging out here, trying to do the same thing – find a balance. And by it’s nature balance isn’t perfect, because we are human, and sometimes we do the things we ought to do, and sometimes we don’t, and that’s cool.

    On an unrelated note, have you seen they’re now making a white Kinder Bueno?
    It looks intense.

    TA x

  13. We do have Dream white chocolate. You also used to get them in boxes of minature heroes (they were the ones that were always left till the end in my house!) I remember us having Marble a few years back, but like top deck, it mysteriously disappeared!

  14. Sorry, just remember i meant to add it that we have snack in Scotland too! You can also buy it in biscuit form (2 snacks in a pack) I’m slightly concerned by my extensive knowledge of chocolate, hence the weight problems!! Lol.

  15. OOOH that’s right you do get the Dream in the 50g bars! Just not in the mega 250g slabs. Thanks Gillian πŸ™‚

    I’m curious to hear from anyone has lived in both Oz and UK as to which Cadbury’s you think is better or if you think there’s a taste difference at all. I reckon Oz tastes better, but the UK stuff doesn’t really grab me; I’d rather go for G&B’s.

    And TA… thanks mate πŸ™‚

  16. Oh I love the plastic spoon analogy – that is SO me. And then whenever I do finally get the right tool, whether that’s a tangible tool or a mental one, I can’t believe I’d gone on for so long being a total dumb-ass. Apparently I am very change-resistant.

    Love the sign! So very understated. In my boating class I learned audible signals for various navigational situations (tooting the boat’s horn) and the one that cracked me up is five short blasts for “I disagree with your proposed maneuver.” In real life that signal means “OMG LOOK OUT AAAAAHHHHH!!!!”

  17. hello!!!

    I have eaten both Aussie Cadbury and English Cadbury…I’m from England but spent a few good weeks in Aus on a couple of occasions. I think English Cadbury is best! But then, thats cos its what I’m used to I guess. My friends in Aus think Australian Cadbury is best. But yes, you CAN taste a BIG difference!! My fave Aussie choc ~ CHERRY RIPE!!!!! MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  18. interesting looking chocolate that is!! Your hiking holiday too πŸ™‚ can’t wait to read more on your walk!!

  19. Hi Dietgirl, Just starting to follow your blog–I’m kinda late to the party I guess. I love the hills in the picture. I used to want to visit places to see the textiles (spinning, weaving, knitting, quilting) but now I find myself more drawn to the landscape, as in I’d like to walk there, not just look at it out the car window! Wow, that is a big change for me. Looked back at your entry about “it never ends,” and I have felt the same way, but am trying to re-frame my thinking. My brother pointed out to me (when I was whining one day) that it becomes like a hobby. I really like that idea.

  20. Chocolate chocolate chocolate!

    I know what you mean about the constant struggle and getting the balance… you’re never really “finished” with it all. But maybe with that in mind its nice to think that we are constantly improving and becoming something even more wonderful than we already are:)

  21. I am de-lurking myself to ask a favor. I am making a blogger quilt and am asking all my favorite bloggers to dig down deep and find your creative side. Would you be willing to quilt a 12″ X 12″ square? Make it reflect who you are!

    email me at if your interested!

  22. Thanks for being so honest in your blogging – you realism is very encouraging.

    I have a love for the Isle of Skye – 9 years ago this week we were there on our honeymoon. We didn’t hike the old man (ha) but did Macleod’s Tables instead. What a lovely corner of the world. *sigh*

    I’m going to have to checkt the Cadbury’s situation here in Canada – sounds like Oz got the good end of that stick!

  23. OK – this probably isn’t the best suggestion for a weight loss blog, but we should do an international chocolate exchange or something. I’m sure someone out there in internet land has done it already, but I can’ stop thinking of all that good Aussie cadbury chocolate!

  24. I’m in two minds – sometimes it feels like the shitty struggle you related to and other days I find it easy. All about balance. One thing is I’m a whole lot happier where I am nowdays than what I used to be.

  25. We did indeed once have Top Deck in the UK, but I think it may have been called something else (but still made by Cadbury). I’m surprised it doesn’t still exist…

    Will you still speak to me if I admit that I can’t be bothered peeling oranges? (It’s the stringy bits of pith. I can’t bear to swallow them, and it takes a long time to pick off every shred!)

  26. I know a guy who bought a plastic orange peeler! He got it as a joke though, because seriously, you can’t a peel an orange?

  27. I was just looking at Cadbury’s Australian site and I quote: “Not only is chocolate a great source of energy, but it gives us a fantastic boost when we need an emotional massage. Dig in for a magical journey on its health benefits and let us debunk a few myths along the way. ” Well, that sounds good to me – but even better is the fact that you can buy catering boxes of Top Deck – 650 in a pack – ohhh yumm ! That’s a lot of “emotional massages”.
    Cadbury also had a Triology Top Deck – 3 layers – dark, milk and white choc – I haven’t seen it for sale recently but it was fantastic. They also had one that had a layer of pink, strawberry flavoured chocolate – it was hideous! I had to lick off all the milk and white choc then throw the strawberry flavour away – first time I have ever chucked out Cadbury’s in my life.

  28. Hey DG – thanks for jolting the memory of Top Deck – omg childhood amazing sweets! We do indeed need a campaign – if they brought back the Wispa bar then surely Top Deck would be a best seller!

    I don’t think I’ll ever get past the point of scale/calorie obsessing…trouble is that food is so closely tied with my emotional life that it’s never going to be as simple as ‘you know the tools and techniques so get back on track’ – in fact it’s more a case of ‘i don’t FEEEEEEEEL like sticking to it today and i WANNNNNNA eat 12 bags of crisps…’ Hey ho, as ever you have reminded me I am NOT alone – thanks!!!

    And finally – I too suffer from the curse of chubby cheeks – even when super skinny! Life’s a bugger hey!!

    Lots of love BFP xxx

  29. maybe we could do a country export/import business??

    Top deck for choc covered strawberries coz they sound yummy!!!

  30. Irish Cadbury chocolate is much better than British. I always bing a few bars home – something to do with the grass that the cows eat before they produce the milk.

  31. All of your posts that mention Aussie chocolate make my mouth water!! So, I searched on the inter-web and found a company in the U.S. that imports Aussie goods πŸ™‚ Now I have Aussie chocs headed my way, hee, hee! Can’t wait to try the Cherry Ripes and Mint Slices….drool, drool.

  32. We were just on Loch Tay last week – and we walked around the nature reserve on Ben Lawers, which was well high and hard enough for me. Did we pass you? If we did you didn’t offer us any Top Deck.

    I eat a lot of oranges, but never peel them. I cut them into quarters and bite the flesh off the skin, with a bowl under my chin. Yum. I’ll be finished with my orange whilst you lot are still peeling yours!

    My Mum used to cut oranges in half, sprinkle them with sugar, and hand them out to us with a teaspoon, like a grapefruit. Apples and melon got a coat or sugar and cinnamon. Strawberries were sugar and cream. Strange that we still have teeth in our heads really.

  33. I have to comment on Aussie chocolate. I lived in the UK for 15 years and now I am in the UK and have been for 20 years. I personally don’t see a difference in Cadbury chocolate, although of course I DO miss the stuff that for some reason you can get there but not here in the UK now. My two faves being Top Deck, and Snack. But I have to say that my all time fave Aussie chocolate are VIOLET CRUMBLES. Tim Tams are great, Mint Slices are awesome, and on the healthier front the canned beetroot over there is THE best in the world. But yep it’s a good job we can’t get them easily over here or I know I would never lose a lb. I had a holiday to Australia in 97 and I put on a stone and a half in one month (21 lbs). Imagine if I lived there again lol.

    Anyway enough of the food talk, just want to say well done Shauna on doing the ‘walk’



  34. Fellow “shitty struggler” here Shauna, I also get sick to the back teeth of being a slave to scales etc worried that I will go back to full size. I suppose its a small price to pay for feeling so much healthier and happier (I think)??? Congratulations on doing your moon walk yay! Do you get brazil nut cadburys choc in Oz? I had it in tenerife years ago and havent seen it anywhere else jeez it was bloody good though x

  35. Meant to say I have a friend who swears she is having “oh great the dieting is over now ” on her gravestone ha ha! x

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