The Awful Tooth

Ww While going through the Boxes of Stuff at Chez Mothership earlier this year I found my old Weight Watchers weigh-in cards (click pic to zoom). Specifically the cards from 2001, as opposed to the cards from the seventy previous attempts. The 2001 cards were sprinkled with gold stars and hope and toil, as opposed to despair and chocolate.

Just one look at those stars and I'm back there in my brown size 26 trousers with the dissolving thighs, about to nick off for one last pee before facing the machine. Looking at the handwriting I see how the ladies didn't write my weight down until Week 6, only the result, so I wouldn't freak out. I knew the actual number – I saw it on that other card, you know the one they store inside the WW high-tech filing system of Rusty Metal Box With Dividers In It? But it was cool that they tried to conceal it, lest I wail over their scale again. I know I've said this many times but they were the kindest women I ever met.

Looks like after Week 6 it was deemed safe to write it down, and I went back and filled in the gaps. I must've been getting cocky. So sure of success after six weeks! Hold your horses sucka, it's going to be six more years!

It's kind of sad that I can look at a piece of cardboard from eight years ago and know exactly what happened when, each pink sticker like a family photograph. Oh bless, that's that 0.4 gain when McDonalds introduced the Crunchie McFlurry. And that kilo came off the week I started Body Combat! And look, now its back again, after a family feud and two Chinese takeaways.

Another treasure I found was my weirdo tooth x-ray from 2003. There's a bit in the DG book where I had to get all four of my wisdom teeth surgically removed and I had a Fat Girl Freak Out that there won't be enough anesthetic in the land to knock me out. If only I'd found this earlier so we could have illustrated the chapter! Disappointing.

Check out the freaky corner choppers, flying in from all the wrong angles! I know I talk a lot of rubbish but surprisingly I have a non-big mouth… therefore there was no room at the inn for wisdom teeth.


Every time I see an x-ray I always marvel that underneath our clothes and words and personae WE'RE ALL JUST SKELETONS. Isn't that comforting?

Dramatic close up of one quarter of my wisdom…


Disclaimer: I've not been sleeping well this week and I'm totally delirious so please excuse the random piffle of this entry. Tomorrow's my first salsacise class – maybe it's anticipation keeping me up?! Bless ye and goodnight.

35 thoughts on “The Awful Tooth

  1. Oh Shauna, just seeing that WW weigh in card brought back so many memories of my own attempts at it. Oh the humiliation! I wonder if WW in other countries also have those metal boxes with the cards and dividers in them. And the ladies sitting around stamping your card, weighing you etc and there is always one “helper” there who is, well frankly, pretty fat and even if you leave WW and return 2 years later she is still there AND HASN’T LOST ANY WEIGHT! I always identify with her……
    I have joined WW quite a few times in the last 20 years, always heavier than the time before.

  2. I’m dying laughing. I needed your sleep deprived post! I do WW online but I can remember the other times I’ve tried the meetings. Very high tech with the metal boxes with cards and dividers….they were the same here in the states when I did WW (it’s been a long time). I loved your take on the weigh in and the ritual of the weigh in from your book…..I can hear the women making the excuses still, LOL.

    And the xrays are hilarious…would have been a nice visual for the book.

  3. I’m dying laughing. I needed your sleep deprived post! I do WW online but I can remember the other times I’ve tried the meetings. Very high tech with the metal boxes with cards and dividers….they were the same here in the states when I did WW (it’s been a long time). I loved your take on the weigh in and the ritual of the weigh in from your book…..I can hear the women making the excuses still, LOL.

    And the xrays are hilarious…would have been a nice visual for the book.

  4. Ahhh bless… Your “random piffle” cheered me up to no end.
    I wish I still had MY Weight Watchers “Passports”!! Those were fun times. I was such a WW over-achiever/teacher’s pet. Looking back I can imagine 95% of the people in my group probably hated my guts!! (I’m getting karmic payback this time around as I sweat blood for every stupid half pound! LOL)

  5. Here’s to your fabulous “random piffle”. It’s anything but. It really is. Thank you for being so honest. Again!

    I am loving the freaky choppers, too. Man, those teeth were on a different trajectory!! As someone who has also had the four fangs of wisdom surgically removed – because they were impacted – I appreciated the whole x-ray thang and interactive element.

    Thank you for making me smile today. xxxxxxx

  6. I’m so relieved that this was about your old wisdom teeth! I thought you were about to launch into a graphic description of a toothache, and was wincing in sympathetic preparation. 🙂

  7. I too had all four wisdom teeth removed at once and my xray looked exactly like yours. I was terribly freaked out because I wanted to be knocked out entirely and the dental surgeon informed me that they don’t do that anymore, they use “conscious sedation” instead. The fact that I was going to be awake and aware for this procedure after hearing everyone else’s wisdom tooth horror story had me absolutely terrified. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel a thing and that I even fell asleep during the procedure! The worst part was the subway ride home because I was still a little woozy and I was wearing too many layers of clothes since it was -30 celcius the day I had the procedure. I didn’t even swell up much or bruise afterwards.

  8. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww! OMG there isn’t enough anaesthetic in the world for ANYONE to be treated for THAT (until I had a wisdom tooth out I wasn’t afraid of the dentist, and now I am. That’s all I’m saying)
    Throw those cards out, DG. That life is over

  9. Hi Shauna

    My daughter has just finished reading my copy of your book and loved it. She is a slim wee thing but still got loads out of your book because even though her issue is not weight, she could totally relate to your body image problems. Oh and she has met an Irish man just as you have your Scots man!

    We are currently touring Europe (am from NZ) and I’m finally getting to meet Argy next week in Athens, how cool is that. Unfortunately I have been out of touch with her since she stopped blogging but I have always wanted to meet her and luckily she has agreed!!

  10. Salsa is great so I’m sure Salsacise should be fun too!! Those xrays of your teeth are great, must have been painful though. I love your interactive reader idea :o)

  11. Oooooh-ouch! I had the a different set of 4 teeth removed so I could keep my wisdom (and yet somehow here I am, still distinctly un-wise!), but I sympathise – they were bad enough! I like looking at my before and after orthodontics x-rays – way cool to see my new mouth :o)

    I’d actually say keep the cards tucked away somewhere – a little something to remind you how amazingly far you’ve come and how much you’ve changed – yeeeeha!

  12. Morning groovers… thanks for the comments!

    @Tracey – Oh yes… I’ve had a few meetings like that 🙂

    @Quix – I think it might be a little like Zumba! I just hope I get to move my hips. Hehe.

    @Lynda – That’s cool, tell her thanks for reading it! And say hello to Argy mou, she is a legend and you will love her. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  13. Hi Shauna! I´m relatively new to your blog, atm I´m reading the Finnish translation of your book. You´ve probably heard this thousands of times already but I just have to say it once more: your book is fantastic and I love this site! You´re such an inspiration.

    As for WW, I´m happy to report that that metal box with dividers is part of the Essensial WW Experience here in Finland as well. Or at least it was the last time I went to meetings, in 2005. Yes the box is pretty medieval but hey: it´s not likely to let you down!

  14. Laardileidi – it’s the same in Finland too?! So cool. I think in the future when everyone in the world will have their ID & credit card number embedded in a chip on their forehead, Weight Watchers will still be using paper and metal boxes!

    Thank you for reading the book! 🙂

  15. Hey sweetpea, hope you’re sleeping better. Never forget how far you’ve come and what an inspiration you’ve been to soo many people. My plan is to get a meeting organised with you, me and Isabelle – what a bugger that Lainey is going to be in Brazil! Zxx

  16. o
    suzie sunshine here 🙂

    is it SAD or does it make you a writer?
    I have the same reaction to most things in my life (boxed and non) and I like to think it’s the latter.

    have a great weekend, DG and thank you for all that you do.

  17. is salsacise what we call Zumba in the states? If it is – get ready to laugh and sweat. The first day is a total tangle of feet – have to learn to let go of the mind panic and just let your feet follow the instructors.

  18. I found an old journal I kept detailing how I was sure I would be able to lose weight. I had my weight (290’s) and my “plans”. For me it was another 3 years before I got myself under control.

    It’s funny how vivid those memories still are, for me now 12 years later!

  19. Hi,

    as a veteran WWer who has moved round the UK a bit and must have attended about 15 different WW meetings over the years I can confirm that they ALL had plastic boxes, rusty metal dividers and tatty card board! Even the one right in the swanky City of London had the aforementioned equipment.

    Also thanks to WW I have seen a great variety of church halls, primary school gyms, Women’s Institute halls, community centers and other bizarre meeting rooms across the country! Usually hidden down some alley way.

  20. I had the same freakish wisdom teeth as you… That surgery was not so fun, but glad not to have stray teeth growing into the ones next door. (and the headaches and sinus troubles that went with it…!)

    This post reminds me that I should probably go through a couple of boxes of papers at home when I visit in a couple of weeks…

  21. Hi Shauna,

    I can’t remember when I found your blog but I’m glad I did, I’ve been lurking around for a couple of years now and I’m happy every time there’s a new entry. The other day, I finally ordered your book (in English, I didn’t trust the German translation, after all, I knew your blog already) and read it within two days. I laughed, I cried, I felt with you, it is so well written. And I guess I just wanted to finally say thank you for writing down in such a witty and funny way what goes through lots of your readers’ heads. And mine! So after daydreaming a lot about a magic pill that will make me skinny and all my problems go away (yeah, I know), I decided the moment after I finished your book to JUST DO IT. To sum this up: Thank you so much for the inspiration! Keep it up! All the best,

    T from Germany

  22. I am so excited!!!! You’re teeth are like my teeth!

    I had exactly the same thing but my dentist gave me the option of major surgery to remove the wisdom teeth or to have local and remove the 4 in front! Guess which I chose? OK so I still have wonky wisdom teeth but there is no gap (I’d hate to think what they would look like if I had opted for neither!)

    I hate it when I find my old Weight Watchers cards as all my attempts (so far) have been terrible failures but I always find the cards from YEARS ago so I weight so little compared to now! Ah well, as Dory says, just keep swimming!

  23. Hi Shauna,

    Long time reader, first time poster… I have just started back at WW after a couple years and came across my old passbook – I was such a dork I had filled the book in completely including a passport photo “before” shot! Even with the E-tools and other technology, the card file system is still the same.

    Re the teeth: My teeth are so large and my mouth is so small that I had four adult teeth removed when I was twelve and there was still no room for the wisdom teeth – all four suckers had to be pulled while I was under general anasthetic. Thank goodness for pain meds!

  24. Ooohh have a fun class! That photo is awesome. And it’s kinda nice to look back at old records of those things, isn’t it?

  25. My wisdom teeth look exactly the same as yours did, only i refuse to get them removed until i can’t open my mouth anymore!

    aren’t xrays just amazing!?

  26. Man I was member THEN when they had the high tech filing boxes and NOW. I am a WW repeat offender but I’m attacking this fat and kicking its azz!!!

    WW has gone high tech for real and I’m loving the changes. Wow, your weight loss is impressive and very inspiring.

  27. How strange that so many of us have sideways wisdom teeth! Because – of course – me too. Except that mine are right over on their sides, and still with me. My dentist won’t remove them because they’re not causing enough trouble, apparently. (And frankly, I’m not that upset, because having them removed would be scary.)

    On the other hand, I have never done WW. Maybe I should.

  28. It really is amazing how much we remember about our struggles with weight. I haven’t done Weight Watchers, but I do have spreadsheets filled with my previous attempts to lose weight.

    I can also vividly remember some of the foods I ate in my quest to reach a “normal” body weight. Funny thing is, I don’t remember the exercise I’ve done in the same way. I must learn something from that?

    Anyway, I did wake up while the dentist was struggling with my wisdom teeth. I opened my eyes and gave him this “what the hell are you doing” look. He quickly dripped some more drugs in my vein.

  29. Ha! I can do better than that – as well as the x-rays I’ve kept the actual mangled old teeth that finally were yanked out. They’re in my jewellery box to scare off burglars. Oh! the after-pain. I vividly remember pacing up and down the stairs with a packet of frozen peas clamped to my face in between throwing up. I’ve had 2 c-sections since and trust me, extraction of impacted wisdom teeth was MUCH worse (and a less cute result too).


  30. Ahhh, bloody wisdom teeth. I’m glad you’ve had yours done, and not have to have them done soon in the future. Gah, that sentence doesn’t even make sense!

    Love ya site, loved the book and especially love the piffle. In my opinion, there’s not enough piffle in the world. Not quality piffle like yours, anyhoo.

  31. I HAVE NO WISDOM TEETH. Apparently I’m some sort of genetic mutation.

    Kudos to you for all those gold stars…! victory is still sweet even after six years. You should gloat about it at every possible opportunity.

  32. The numbers were never quite as high on mine, but I have a few of those WW cards stashed away over the years as well!

    As I’ve just read the US edition of your book, it was all in pounds rather than kilograms. I knew that you were really being weighed in kilos though! Especially, the book only really commemorated the metric milestones (such as when you dropped below 100kg).

    I wonder if they also translated your clothing sizes for the US audiences? US sizes are two sizes smaller than in the UK or Australia – so I wear size 8 jeans in the US but size 12 at home.

    I don’t think they actually did translate the sizes but I’m just guessing. It doesn’t really matter of course!

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