New Year Goals Check-In: April

I'm doing monthly updates on my New Year Goals. ONE THIRD of 2011 is now done and dusted!

The lovely Jennette wrote on her blog today:

I have often wondered if someone who's lost a ton of weight has to become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life.

Recently I was emailling with some podcast listeners about the Maintenance episode and we were pondering pretty much the same thing. The thought of having to be "hardcore" for the rest of your life was just totally depressing, quite frankly. But I've been thinking about it and I reckon what I've been doing this year is sustainable and realistic – healthy but not hardcore.

Sure, progress is happening at a glacial pace and thus I too shall be fat at Fitbloggin next week (loved Jennette's post there – ditto to all that!). But I feel so peaceful and positive right now, and a helluva lot happier than I did when I got to my so-called Happy Weight a few years ago.

Reasons why:

  • I'm not constantly thinking about food
  • I no longer feel like I'm on any sort of wagon, poised to fall off at the slightest wobble
  • I'm getting better every day at pausing before I eat to decide whether I am really hungry
  • I no longer fear losing control around food
  • There's no good or bad foods anymore. I'm starting to observe how different foods make me feel and choosing accordingly. Lately my body makes the choices more often than my mind, if that makes sense!?
  • I can now recognise when I am feeling upset or angry or tired rather than hungry. Sometimes I still eat anyway, but the ability to pinpoint the real emotion just plain rawks!
  • I'm getting better at doing what I need to do to feel sane and happy and not worrying about what others may think
  • I am getting better at being honest with myself e.g. Are you really sooooo busy or just can't be arsed to go kickboxing? 
  • I'm getting better at dealing with problems and issues as they arise, instead of letting them rot and/or eating to supress the feelings.

All this progress feels SO HUGE to me but the changes aren't quite as big on the outside yet. I have no idea where all this will lead in terms of my size. I feel it is more important to keep working on the problem, rather than the symptom. The emotional eating, not the weight loss. I don't want to screw that up and get all obsessive just to get back into The Jeans of 2007.

I'll be honest. I would like to lose some weight, simply to have more choice of clothes and to have less wobbles in the way when I exercise. But I am prepared to be patient and focus on being consistent and sane. Ahhhhhhhh πŸ™‚

April highlights (aside from the Zumba ferret dude of course):

  • I hit my goal of exercising consistently, until the 'flu and a very loud and annoying cough slayed me in the last week
  • I hit my goal of consistently planning meals. Amazing how that half an hour of effort every fortnight brings so much freaking CALM and order to everyday life
  • I lost a grand total of one pound
  • Food diary is still humming along. I tell you it is so satisfying to a spreadsheet lover to see four months of entries filled in!

Hope your May is going smashingly so far!

31 thoughts on “New Year Goals Check-In: April

  1. Good on ya, Shauna! I love how you’re learning to pinpoint the emotion you’re feeling rather than eating straight away. This happened to me the other night and it just felt plain strange. I had a stressful moment with my daughter the other night and almost instantly I had a desire to find chocolate and gorge on it. But I sat there and recognised it, felt it and decided not to indulge it. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling to ignore the craving, but later on I felt very cool for not sabotaging myself (like I tend to do at night). I loved your post and I’m pleased you’re feeling so different.

  2. That’s really cool Jo, i agree it is a weird feeling to just sit there with an emotion and not scoff it away. hope you are well comrade! I owe you an email πŸ™‚

  3. Shauna,
    Just wanted to say I read your book in about 48 hours this weekend and loved it! Very interesting, funny and most importantly thought provoking.
    It’s made me look at very overweight people differently- not that I’m on the skinny side myself!!


  4. ‘I no longer feel like I’m on any sort of wagon, poised to fall off at the slightest wobble’

    That, Shauna is my life’s ambition. A wagon free world. No more wagons. Ever!

  5. You are really getting your life together and straightening out priorities – I love it! When you have it all figured out, put it in a bottle and send me a gallon πŸ™‚

    XOXO, Crazy Joe’s Weight Loss Emporium.

  6. dude i totally hear you.

    the emotional eating thing (we really need to rebrand that) felt so uncomfortable to me, i resisted admitting this for so long.

    but the last year has been all about trying to do exactly what you have described – being conscious about how i feel and why i am eating what i am eating.

    i’ve let go of so much crappiness around food.


  7. I love this post, Shauna. Thank you for writing it. I am not where you are yet, but I’m beginning that journey now. Congrats to you for finding PEACE with all this food business. I love your “no more wagon” line. Brilliant.

    Will be sharing a link to this post on my blog.

    Have a great time in the States at fitbloggin!

  8. Since listening to your maintenance episode I’ve been trying to write a post about how I feel about maintenance mode, but haven’t been able to properly solidify my thoughts, but this post has helped. By your definition, and from reading my blog, am I “hardcore”. I only ask because the word obsessed was used last week by a loved one.

  9. Ha, I just read her blog and thought the exact same thing about what she wrote…
    I also dont want to obsess if I should have a glass of wine with my husband or will it put my overall points out, etc etc… that just sounds like no fun at all!!

    Trying to find that balance myself – while trying to shed a few kg’s….
    I want both as bad as each other – but have to work out what is easier to live with and be happy about.
    good luck to you.

  10. Amazing! I think those achievements are 100x harder than losing weight. I bow down before you in awe πŸ™‚ You should be so proud of yourself.

  11. Rebranding emotional eating…
    meal spam?
    crying tears of cadbury?
    the stresschomp reflex?
    And another one:
    It is good to realise that nothing bad will happen if we don’t eat a second biscuit. It never tastes as good as the first (I know from experience).

  12. This post is pure gold. It should be compulsory reading for everyone who’s about to embark on a weight loss quest.

    Of course, 99% of them would still go ahead and start that diet and insane exercise program anyway. It’s like trying to save your kids painful lessons by telling them how to do things – they never listen. They just have to learn it for themselves.

    Love your work! x

  13. Is this enlightenment at last? I like it very much. Not a formula, but a Way. It looks good. It warms my heart! Thank you for posting this. It can take a long time to arrive at this place.
    I sometimes wonder if young women dieting in their teens and 20s should try to visualise their lives positively in middle age while still being overweight (because they are 95% likely to still be overweight) and practise loving themselves ANYWAY and thereby start to ditch the cycle of escapism/shame/diet/denial. I wonder if they might then also start to make peace with themselves earlier and start the process of enlightenment earlier. If you can project forward and practise loving yourself as a fat middle aged woman – then you might find peace now.

  14. Oh wow, I got two link mentions in your post today! I am blushing. Anyway, I’m happy you’re in a better place lately and I hope you continue to reside there!

  15. Well done, Shauna!

    You are such a champion.

    I know I feel like I’ve been on a roundabout for years and years, even before I had kids, worrying about my body and if it was falling short of an ideal (always was). I’m starting to feel like I’m making a shift (with the running, especially) to doing exercise for PROPER FUN and with results that aren’t measured solely in scales/dress size.


  16. Dood! That is SOOOO exciting, I’m genuinely very happy for you. Such great, real, calm, GOOD STUFF. You studying you and helping you be happy healthy you. SOLID. Very impressed with your bravery.

    btw, 2 months ago I had a quick trip to doctor (just a consult) and I stepped on the scale and the woman told me the number and I was SHOCKED. I’d not weighed that much in AGES. BUT, I know I’d been working out, doing weights, and actually getting smaller, so it meant I’d gained muscle. Que milagro! So, actually I was totally excited and even flexed for my doctor, who was all smiles.

    Haven’t weighed myself in ages. No plans to.

    =) xoxoxo

  17. i find, when you can control yourself at a buffet, that is the peak moment.
    I have been confronted with really ace breakfast buffets.
    3 years ago, I had a 3 course breakfast.
    Last week, in Singapore (best breakfast buffet ever), I had a 1 course breakfast.

  18. Shauna,

    You and I have very similar struggles, and I am totally inspired by you and your achievements. I am starting a blog today…as sort of a challenge to myself…15 weeks from TODAY I will be getting on a plane for a long needed vacation. My Challenge is lose between 20-30lbs by then. I hope you will read along as I go, because like I said you are my inspiration, and one of my heros!

  19. fabulous fabulous….I too will not be my ideal weight when I get to london, but I won’t mind if you don’t πŸ™‚
    Your words are always inspirational and yet so logical, love it !

  20. I’m at the stage where I know I eat emotionally, but I still do it anyway. I suppose at least I am self aware now. I found this blog so inspirational, I finally got off my butt and went to my first dance class in 7 years! And I didn’t totally suck (I have 15 years’ experience). Thanks for giving me the kick up the backside I needed.

  21. saw your note. was very glad you left it. But wasn’t worried about you being careful, I know you are. I was worried about Laura, interpreting information. I have known her for a long time. she tends to go 100% one way, or 100% the other. Middle ground is hard struggle.

  22. Proud of you ginger!

    I’m getting there with the mindful eating. Had two amaaaaaazing squares of chocolate today – not the whole damn bar – and really enjoyed it! That’s the exception rather than the rule though and I still calorie count to keep myself on track.

    Love the new picture of you on here too, you look really happy and healthy! πŸ™‚

  23. Onya Shauna – sounds like you are making great progress – life is such a crazy journey – wish i could make some progress with getting back some of the health I had – but I know there have been such worse times in the past that I am just thankful to feel happier at the moment and I know it will change anyway

    btw – just noticed your about me photo on the side bar – not sure if it is new or if I am just totally blinkered but it looks good and I love your about me page

  24. Good for you! That slow but steady process just sounds so healthy, balanced and real. Cheering you on!

  25. It is such a lightbulb moment when all that obsession gives way to just being normal and the result is healthiness!

  26. CHEERS everyone for your comments!

    Johanna & PK – thank you! I took a new pic on Friday to reflect the additional chin and chubbier cheeks πŸ™‚ I am going to Fitbloggin conference next week so wanted it to be more accurate so people recognise me! The previous pic was a couple of years old, I think πŸ™‚

  27. I don’t think the cheeks look any chubbier – just a different angle. Have a fab time at fitbloggin’!

    Oh, and I love that you’ve started calling me PK – I love having a nickname that isn’t pippy…. πŸ˜‰

  28. It started when I was replying to a post on the Up & Running Forum and auto-correct would not let me type Philippa, so I typed PK to shut it up, then quite liked the sound of it! πŸ™‚

    Re the cheeks, they really are chubbier; I’m not being self-deprecating! And I have an extra chin I didn’t have a couple of years ago, but c’est la vie, and all that. Hehehehe!

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