New Year Goals Check-In: January

I thought I'd do a monthly update on my New Year Goals. 1/12 of 2011 is already gone, by crikey! Well, a wee bit more now since it's taken me til February 10 to write the update.

I'll probably be mowed down by a bus for admitting this, but January was great. I can't believe that I'm actually feeling positive, purposeful and full of hope. It's been years since I felt like this. Years since I sincerely cared. Years since I properly wanted to, and believed, that I can make changes and see things through. I dunno why it's happened but I like it!

It feels different this time though, because the motivations are healthier. I'm doing this for me and not fretting about what other people think*. Not like 2001 with the "must lose weight to be a presentable member of society" feeling or the panicky "must lose weight to be bookworthy" angst of the last few years. Every day when I decide how to spend my time it's all, Righto Shaundogg! What do you want to do? What will make you feel best, mind and body?

Well! I don't want to get all woo-woo touchy-feely now, so let's bust out some bullet points.

  • Food Diary – completed 41 days on the trot now!
  • Exercise – focusing on fun rather than punishing regimes. After a year of hiding in the Beginners group or not going at all, I'm back at the "Big Girls' Class" at kickboxing, which is my pal Claire's nickname for the Advanced class. I can't keep up with the prize fighters but huffing along regardless and the old kickboxing love is returning.
  • Meal planning – why the bloody heck did I ever stop doing this? It's ace having all the meals and tasty snacks sorted. Knowing my true love Green & Blacks is waiting in the pantry at home helps me back away from lesser confections.
  • Accountability – I've said to friends and colleagues, "Well, as you know I've stacked on some weight; but now I'm back on track so that's why I'm laying off the cakes". Saying it out loud has been very helpful and refreshing.
  • Mindfulness Stuff – Ace! Recently I had the most ratty rat arse of a day at work. My heart thumped and my cheeks burned with crankiness. Then a thought popped up: "This is the moment when you usually head to the vending machine or go out and buy something decadent for lunch to take the edge off."

    It was gobsmacking to recognise the feeling BEFORE I'd mindlessly munched a chocolate bar. I went outside for some fresh air, pulled cranky faces at a tree (dunno where that came from) and felt a little better. When you've been trapped in a fog of emotional eating for so long, it is amazing to realise you can ride out a shitty feeling; that you don't have to distract yourself from it.

  • Random January Consumption Statistics: 28 tangerines, 16 bowls of porridge, 33 slices of bread, 94 cups of tea!

* There was one January moment of worrying about what other people thought. Surprise surprise, during the throes of PMS. Out came the Ghost of Diets Past: You could do better! You should cut more calories! Bust some serious poundage before Fitbloggin so you're not so lardy in front of the Americans!

But we'll have none of that! The calm and steady approach must continue. The blinkers are off and I'm cool with where I am right now, in a daggy size 20 pair of jeans, and I'll slowly work my way down…

(Yes, size bloody 20. Remember in the Spreadsheets entry where I wrote about my size 18 party dress being too tight? I thought later, "how about I just admit the size 18 jeans are starting to cut off my circulation too?". I bought a bigger pair the next day. It was soul-crushing to see that number on the tag, but much more comfy!)

… So there will be no miracle transformation in time for Fitbloggin. I'm building a good, sustainable set of tools here and I'm not going to muck that up. I did lose a few pounds in January but that's not the focus. It's all about a healthier relationship with food and practicing the mindfulness malarkey. I doooooo not want to get crazy obsessive and make my whole life about weight loss like I did back in 2001. There are more important and fun things to do; more productive uses for my energy.

February has also been good thus far. The plan is to just keep on trucking. I know I'll get back to my happy weight all in good time. GIDDYUP!

44 thoughts on “New Year Goals Check-In: January

  1. Way to go, Shauna! Making cranky faces at a tree makes me laugh, I think I ought to try that the next time I’m frustrated. Better than filling that void with timtams.

  2. Oh, you are lovely, Shauna! πŸ™‚ Isn’t that great, what you did (and didn’t) do on your rat arse day at work? I remember driving past a gas station and thinking with amazement, hey, I used to stop at that gas station all the time for a big bag of chips! Love those moments!
    And the meal planning really is key, also because it keeps you from ordering pizza if you’ve already planned and shopped for the meal. I’m noticing that this really saves my, eh, arse on a regular basis.
    February does sound really good so far. Proud of you, man. Eh, lass.

  3. I’m so glad you’re feeling “positive, purposeful and full of hope”!

    I’m in the same damn size 20 jeansβ€” disappointing but so much more comfortableβ€” so I feel you on that one.

  4. Shauna, (God, I love your name!) I have just recently reached that point in my life where I have come to recognize that this is not about impressing anyone but me! Health is primary. If I get to wear cute clothes and the boys whistle, well, that’s frosting on that particular cake, but its about being healthy now. We all have demons to battle. Some of them easier to stomp than others, but they are there. You are doing just fine and we are not judging you.

  5. Shauna, I to struggle with emotional eating and I know keeping a food diary is one of the key things to getting it under control. Although I struggle to keep it up. Can I ask do you do yours on paper/computer, do you follow an template you found on a book/online, or literally just write what you eat?

  6. Love your work!

    You know, I think most successful flab-busters go through similar things. Lose weight, struggle to maintain, regain some weight, lose it again, regain, before they begin to address the emotional crap that’s the whole crux of the matter. It’s all an important part of the journey, even if some of it sucks.

    Sadly, many never do the necessary and often painful digging deep that’s required to fix the real problem (which is NOT being overweight, of course). They just continue on their yo-yo-ing, desperately unhappy way forever, latching onto the latest diet and thinking that THIS TIME they’ll finally be thin and happy.

    Oh, and Green and Blacks is always worth the wait.


  7. There is no feeling like uncomfortable jeans to make you feel fat and awkward – size 20 – schmenty, I bet you feel better not pulling at denim all day.

    You’re so sound Shauny.

  8. I am reading your book and enjoy it so much. My highest weight was 250 lbs. in high school, and I can relate to so much of your anguish. All the best to you as you continue on the journey that so many us share.

  9. ok , that makes me feel better …pre planning the green and blacks..If I know I’ve got that chocolate or biscotti or popcorn planned out in the day and waiting for’s easier to make the sacrifices ..I know my goodies are waiting for me as well as my pjs after work and a workout at the gym..

  10. Dear Shauna

    I’m a big fan of your blog and have so much respect for all the work you’ve done up to now. Don’t beat yourself up over buying a size 20 , after all you have 3 choices, you can stay at size 20, you can get disheartened and throw the towel in and let the tag labels go up and up, or you can choose to continue on you path and watch the label go back down. In the grand scheme of things wearing a size 20 for a while is not the end of the world. And remember a size 20 is a size 18 in the voila! youre already one size smaller for your state trip! πŸ™‚
    I am a personal trainer and in my opinion you are absolutely on the right track – running your own race, managing your weight under your own terms for yourself and no one else, and making consistently better choices every day…like making faces at a tree rather than eating rubbish! You dont have to worry about being a success, you already ARE a success girl!
    Good on you!

  11. You sound so HEALTHY and mature. It makes me really sad when I read about people who are tormenting themselves with unrealistic expectations in the dieting world. There is so much more to life and happiness than the size of your jeans and it makes me sick when people don’t get that.

    I think people get it bass-ackwards, putting the weight loss ahead of the true happiness of being “the real you” and what that looks like:permission to think what you want, do what you want, how you want it and on our OWN time frame. It’s a lovely moment to come to when you realize you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone for any reason. In weight or job or love, it’s incredibly freeing. I’m so happy that you’re on track with yourself and with what you want and how you want it!

  12. What an awe inspiring blog. I must be on the same wave length as you. I finally am realizing that losing the weight and keeping it off MUST come from within me and for no one else. Slowly, I’m pulling myself up by the boot straps and gaining control of my life again.

    Thank you so much for your honesty and your humor!

    ~ Linda aka “Miss Pie”

  13. Woohoo! So great to hear you’re doing well. And I so appreciate you being honest about the hard times too. You are an inspiration, lady!

  14. you are so awesome!

    i found myself smiling in recognition through this whole post. in the profound words of dorrie from finding nemo: just keep swimming.


  15. So pleased to read this – sounds like you’re getting the balance just right. I’m trying to be a bit more careful after watching the scales slowly creep up over the last few years and a little bit of accountability really helps. I used to try to keep any weight loss efforts under wraps so I didn’t bore people but this time told Chris straight away and have been merrily meal planning and porridge eating knowing that I have support in my quest to stop having to hold my stomach in quite so much!


    p.s – doing the Moonwalk again this year. I must be mad.

  16. xoxoxoxoxoxo
    but no.
    this does not mean I,too, am doing a goals checkin post.

    just FYI πŸ™‚



  17. Why does meal planning seem like such a chore when you aren’t in the habit and such a blessing when you are?

    This is the whole, “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it” thing, isn’t it?

  18. I love those “penny drop” moments. So very empowering to know that nothing bad will happen if we don’t eat/ drink ourselves into oblivion after a tough day.
    Candydog just licked the keyboard. Think she likes you πŸ™‚ xx

  19. Brill post Shauna. I think it’s all about accepting who you are and how your body works and then deciding what makes you feel best. I know for me I feel best when I’m not carrying extra kgs and I have had to accept that for the rest of my life if I want to feel good I always need to keep watching what I eat – if I slacken up – on go the pounds – but I think I’ve finally got to the stage where I can rein in reasonably early rather than waiting till I’ve stacked on major amounts. I’m loving the WW app on my iphone! Zxx

  20. Lovely Shauna, we are going to have such a lovely time in Baltimore, fret not! If I totally kicked butt for the next three months, I might just be able to get into size 20 pants (but probably not). Nevermind, we’ll go on walks every day by the waterside and perhaps even take out one of the dragon boats. (Oh yes, there are rental dragon boats!)

  21. What a terrific post! Strength, honesty and determination throughout. Very nice to read, and to feel. (But please, oh please, go back and smile at that tree for a minute or so. Trust me, it’s a karma thing. And I’m not even that touchy feely. Just go make things right in the world.) Good on ya!

  22. Love this! Can you update/ explain your meal planning process? I have never been good at that!

  23. So wonderful to hear! Especially your eye opening moment that led you to “pull cranky faces at a tree…” Partly because it is always such an excellent victory to not mindlessly eat in frustrating moments, and partly because the image gave me such a huge Sunday-morning smile!

  24. It is brilliant to read your reflection. I have come to conclusion that it is not good to do all kinds of operational changes in my life. I need to be clear about why I have chosen my strategies and values. Operational tricks (follow the food plan, tick calorie counters, follow gym program etc.) I can carry on for a while but it all fades away if I am not really honest to myself. I have been there, seen it. Real change is hard and it starts from honesty.
    Merja UK

  25. I went to my first Zumba class Friday night and yesterday met with a personal trainer for the first time in my life. I can’t move, but I feel hopeful, and I can tell how much for FUN life will be without all this extra weight. Your example is such an inspiration. πŸ™‚

  26. I can so relate…like you I lost a bunch o’ weight and some has found it’s way back onto that back of my bum and now I’m at war again with Gertie and Ethel – I thought it might be good to give human characteristics to my thighs given I curse them so…anyway, I too, have been approaching it from a healthy attitude. I need to make peace, with myself, along the way. Keep up the good work, and I totally agree with you about the planning thing…

  27. Well I’m down to size 14 jeans as of right now, but I’m hanging on to the 24, 22, and 20’s because you just never know…You hope you’ll never need them again…but you might.

  28. Pam, I reckon if one works on the mind as much as the body when losing weight, you can safely ditch the bigger sizes. Just look at long term successful maintainers like Diane at Fit To The Finish, Vickie at Baby Steps V, Lynn at Lynn's Weigh πŸ™‚

  29. hey there… im in the same place as you…after a couple of really fithealthy years,Ive let it all go. πŸ™‚ time to do something about it – have joined your e-running thingy.

  30. Congrats Shauna! You’re inspiring–and have a great sense of humor to boot. (Hope I can start getting back into exercising along w/ you. Enjoying your running blog.)

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