New Years Goals Check-in: August

I'm doing monthly updates on my New Year Goals.

Not posting an August update on September 15 is a sure fire sign that August was rather rubbish and I wanted to get my act together before writing again!

In summary: exercise good, eating not good for latter half of the month. I dunno what to say, things have been messy around here and I pretty much temporarily abandoned the Basic Tools o' Healthy Living. I didn't register it properly until I hopped on the scales and saw I was five pounds up, wiping out months and months of slow and steady progress. I'd almost forgotten how quickly I can stack it on if I stop paying attention. It reminded me of a rapid gain five years ago:

"You're like a Marvel comic," said the Scottish Companion in awed tones… "The Amazing Expanding and Contracting Woman!"

The dΓ©jΓ  vu lead to a Spiral of Blogging Doom…

Downward-spiral-of-bloggingAt the pointy end of the Spiral is Blogging Paralysis. Have you ever experienced this condition? It's where you stare blankly at the computer with imaginary reader voices swirling around your head…


  • Random Person A: "You're being too tough on yourself!"
  • Random Person B: "You need to get tough with yourself!"
  • Anonymous: "HA HA told u you'd fail and ur still failing… lardy!"
  • Ex-Boyfriends: "Good lord, I totally dodged a bullet"
  • Work Colleagues: "That explains the crumbs on the keyboard"
  • Gareth: "Typo in paragraph three"

While struck dumb, blog wise, I've been getting back into the swing of things. A few rough weeks does not mean doom. I need to keep working on why my Mega Stress repsonse still seems to be… Stop Doing The Healthy Things. But just focusing on the helpful actions: exercise no matter what, cosy porridge to start the day off right, back to the food diary, tuning into the hunger, getting enough sleep. Yes I feel like a nong to still be writing about this stuff, but I guess this is how it is. Fall down, get up, repeat til the end?

42 thoughts on “New Years Goals Check-in: August

  1. Dude. You know that I share your tendency towards Blogger Paralysis when things are a bit crap. I also struggle to maintain my health/fitness equilibrium when under stress… I suspect we are twins, separated at birth. Uh, except for the many years between us. Oh well, there goes that theory…

    My current focus is to minimise stress (SO easy. Not!) and specifically to make sure I get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation = craziness inside my head, adds to stress and spikes my appetite.

    Anyway. Just tell the imaginary reader voices to eff off. You’re awesome, no matter what the scales say. The evidence of that is right there in the fact that you never give up, even if you do get temporarily distracted now and then.


  2. I’m in the same boat as you. Trying to figure out this intuitive eating thing. And it ain’t easy. And just when I think I’ve got the hang of it, and that it is working… I lose my mojo and things just fall apart a little.

    I’m here with you. thank you for posting and being so courageous with your journey.

  3. Did you know you were mentioned in the Australian magazine Women’s Health this month? p44:

    “Take your pick – the web is full of people blogging about thier weight woes. For an Aussie flavour try the Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl ( or Me vs. the Bulge (”

    I was like… I know her! (sort of) Exciting.

  4. I hope you have some idea of how helpful it is to read that you struggle with the same old stuff the same as the rest of us. We may not be lean and lithe and limber (or maybe you are, I should speak for myself!), but we’re in it together and that means a lot. Your support, advice, struggles and successes over the years have encouraged me immensely. I’m not giving up or giving in, I’m going to continue to give it my all.

  5. I love the chinese (i think) proverb “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Although I think I’ll ‘fallen’ way more than seven times, the general meaning rings true for me: It doesn’t matter how many times I fall as long as I keep getting back up.

    I also have a copy of this, which my Dad gave me many years ago which sums it up so perfectly…

    Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

    Chapter 1

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost … I am helpless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    Chapter 2

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place.
    But it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    Chapter 3

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in … it’s a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    Chapter 4

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    Chapter 5

    I walk down another street.

    ~ Portia Nelson ~

    (Apologies for such a long ‘comment’! I was going to just email you the last bit as it’s long, but thought some of your readers might like it too. xx)

  6. I suppose it sucks to write a post like this, but since my August was rubbish also in almost exactly the same way, I am very glad to read it. πŸ™‚

  7. I recently found your blog and have not only enjoyed it but found some encouragement too.

    I have to say, the Scottish Champion totally cracks me up.

  8. Och now, wumman. Come on. “This writing about your life thing”? It’s to be an inspiration to others. To motivate and support them. Make everyone else with similar struggles feel they’re not alone. Which is epic! Never, ever think you’re shouting pointlessly into the void. Because for every struggle you’re having, countless others are in the same boat right there with you. Okay, some of them you might want to turf overboard in case they sink the ship, but they’re relying on you. So haud yer wheesht and keep calm, carry on. You’ll manage. You absolutely will.

  9. Um, yeah. That’s why everyone wants to talk about the new exciting fad or exercise craze, I suppose. Cos what actually works is boring. And simple. And _hard_ to keep up for ever and ever.

    Also, I love your imaginary Gareth comment. That’s me too.

  10. my theme song at the moment is Tubthumping by Chumbawumba – I get knocked down, I get up again, never gunna keep me down…(help yourself to the earworm, you’re welcome).
    I bet your 2011 version of Stop Doing the Healthy things is a lot more functional than the 2001 or even the 2006 versions – making it easier to veer back to the path o’ righteousness when the time is right

  11. Hi Shauna,
    Long time reader here – all I can say is hugs and best wishes.It has always been clear what a smart, kind, generous and fun person you are.Blog or no blog, weight or no weight. We all have difficult areas in our lives we struggle with seemingly without end.
    PS I am coming to Scotland to visit friends in Stirling at the end of the month. This is my first across the ocean trip (I live in Toronto) and I alternate between being excited and anxious. Thanks for your Scotland guide in the FAQs!
    Best wishes, pk

  12. It’s so hard–and yet I am frustrated that you worked all summer to lose those 5 lbs., and then gained them back in a couple weeks of mindLESS eating. It frustrated me because I know how easily I could let that happen to me. Especially since tonite, I can’t stop eating. I should just go to bed. This struggle is still better than being as FAT as I was though, so I’m gonna just keep struggling….I guess.

  13. Dude! Never beat yourself up for being human…we all do the same thing. I know my hubby and I say the same thing about eating well and exercising every single week…
    You’ve accomplished a whole mountain of healthy lifestyle changes over the years and nobody can ever take that away from you.
    Just remember there are lots of us out here sending positive vibes your way from the internet universe πŸ™‚

  14. Longtime lurker and lover of your blog – which is hitting home even more, now that I’ve finished my latest work contract. Gone is the walking to and back from work, healthy eating planning and multiple summer weddings to aim my weight loss for.

    So your link to your Basic Tools post was inspiring to say the least. I definitely need routine and the weight hikes up when I’m not stuck to it. Luckily some of it is always water retention from not eating/drinking right. (Maybe the same with you?)

    Anyway keep up the good work, you’re helping people in their path to healthy eating habits, and everyone slips now and again – you’re getting back on the horse!

  15. Fall down. Get up. Repeat till the end.

    I like that, Mrs. I think it pretty much sums up our existence, not just weight loss alone. To me the key is to get up without thinking “my what a first class low-down dirty dog i was for falling over, I am a moron and a disaster!”

    I heard this once: imagine you were skating on the lake in the dead of winter and someone comes along and knocks you over, they send you flying, but totally accidentally. They haven’t noticed so they keep on skating. If you get up and skate off straight away you have a chance to catch them up and say “OI!! YOU!!! You knocked me over, apologise!” But, imagine you stayed down, sat tantrum-on-face stubborn arms folded. Eventually if you stayed down long enough it would get pretty cold, maybe even hypothermic. And if you stay till spring….you fall in the water. Um, ahem, the point: gettinrg up as soon as we can is essential for our well being, resolve and move on as soon as possible.

    I type this because I also packed on the pounds i spent months losing, so trying to get perspective also.

  16. Oh Shauna, I hear you! For me, stress = comfort eating, and there’s been a lot of stress, with no end in sight. Here’s a blog topic request: moved abroad and lived to tell the tale. I can see the tide of stress headed towards me as I plan my imminent move away from the Country of Excellent Chocolate Bars to live in what I hear is a green and pleasant land…

  17. Lovely Shauna, we are all here because we find you charming and interesting and smart and funny and we enjoy reading about your life. I have found your blog incredibly inspiring – especially the posts describing your struggles. It has made me realise that it’s normal to struggle and it doesn’t mean I am failing or will never get where I need to be. It’s made me understand that even when times are hard you just have to keep on going, stay in the moment and do the best you can.

  18. Great post and an excellent plan for refocusing. I agree with Suzy, your final sentence is life in a nutshell. It’s why the yin-yang is my symbol of choice. Ups and downs, we has them. Rock on, my awesome dear! And thanks for all the awesome support over at UAR. You’re the best.

  19. I’m sure I speak for many others by saying that I love to read your blog not because I’m expecting advice or stories from someone who’s coasting at the pinnacle of healthy living, but because you understand and put into words so beautifully (and cleverly) what so many of us are experiencing day in and day out in the ongoing pursuit of healthy living. We have desk jobs, we have time constraints, we have sugar cravings. You get it and you share your reality. We all want to improve our habits and our health, but knowing that my weakness in some areas isn’t unique gives me encouragement to not give up. Your successes are an inspiration, but that doesn’t mean that your struggles are a disappointment. Please keep on just as you have been πŸ™‚

    Thank you to South American Slimmer for posting that “Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters”… I’m printing that out.

  20. Everyone said it all before me (and better then I could have)- story of my life. Always late to the party. But…what they said. And also “typo in paragraph 3”. That’s funny (and one of the many reasons I keep reading!)

  21. Exactly. Quote from linked-to blog post:
    It’s all about how quick you bounce back, how quick you throw your pudgy leg back over that horse and RIDE AGAIN!
    At least that’s the sort of thing I try to tell myself now and again.
    Don’t stop believin’.

  22. Oh man, thank you so much for your kind comments. It is so good to know you aren’t alone. I have been in a work meeting all day (YES, working at work, how inconvenient!) so only just catching up on your comments properly. Thank you gazillions everyone πŸ™‚ You always bring great perspective!!!


  23. Keep writing!

    10 years, 10 days, 10 months. You keep writing, because sometimes I’ve been fighting the good fight for ten years and others ten minutes- and you’re there to make me laugh, relate, advise, motivate, commiserate . . . and basically remind me I’m not alone in each and every one of these emotions- good or bad.

  24. Ah Shauna. You may have a superhero cape hanging around here somewhere, but the truth is that we love you because you’re human. Just like us.
    Gaining five pounds in a few weeks doesn’t undo any of the slow and steady work of the last several months – you still did all that hard work and learned from it. Nothing deletes that, even if numbers on the scale are being sucky.
    Knowing that you need to focus on those healthy actions as you said means you’ve come a long way in ten years. Not everything has changed – ten years ago you had great determination to press onwards through your struggles, and today you still have that too.
    Writing about your life might be a crazy caper, but we’re glad that you do it. Thanks for being yourself.

  25. Fall down, get up, repeat til the end? – I love when you remind me about this.
    Sorry it’s been hard.
    Oh, by the way, I shouted out to you in my Popchips post.
    Hugs to you.

  26. I think this has been said many times in the comments above, but I’ll say it again cos it is from the heart. We love you cos you are Shauna, not cos of what your scale might read at any particular date. Your writings and pod castings have inspired and educated us for many years. For many of us (me included), your inspiration was a key part of our healthy journey. So don’t despair, get back up and back on that bike!

  27. Oh yes…BTDT. It takes as long as it needs to take, and that’s okay. AND it’s not about “never again,” but catching yourself sooner (as the poem by Portia Nelson so eloquently states).

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  28. I have all your imaginary reader voices living inside my head too. What do we do? Look for a group rate on lobotomies?

  29. I have realised that people are not nearly as judgemental of me as I am of myself.
    Us, we are our own worst enemies.
    Sometimes, it helps to say those more ahem unhelpful thoughts aloud to somebody. They lose their power then.
    Big hugs, miss shauny. I will be in London town soon. We can arrange to skype. xxx

  30. Yes, you iz human!!! And I totally agree with the last line, only you do this in a far more interesting way than most:

    fall down
    get up
    do massive ‘Wyld Stallyns’-style windmill
    tippy-toe across tightrope
    bounce off net
    eat a few biscuits
    feel a bit bad
    kick-box that maddening chorus in your head
    feel much better
    cycle across the countryside most triumphantly
    be generally awesome


  31. Don’t panic Shauna! You are still a complete legend. I soo know how it feels to see the scales rocket up that quickly. Gaah! But it’ll be OK. Hope the next month is a better month. Hugs.

  32. Shauna, please stop knocking yourself and please start remembering what a smart, funny, entertaining, original, vivid and stimulating writer and person you are. Who gives a flying fuck whether you put on 5 lbs?

  33. Oh yes, the spiral of blogging doom, I know it well. I hear those anon and ex voices loud and clear … urgh. I like Samone’s suggestion to “kick box the maddening chorus in your head”!

    “fall down, get up, repeat until the end” – the words I needed to read this week. I’m dwelling too much on the reasons why I fall down, and being half-arsed about getting back up.

    Hoping this month is much better. x

  34. Fall down, get up, repeat til the end?

    => Yup, that’s what you keep telling US so it must be good advice ;).

  35. Shauna, You have no idea how wonderful it was for me to read your post this morning.

    I feel exactly as you have said, “Why am I still writing about the same issues???”

    I started my weight loss journey almost two-and-a-half years ago and have yet to reach my goal weight. It’s nothing new stopping me and yet I feel the need to start over, again. Along with this feeling is the embarrassment I feel to blog about the same old stuff. I should be blogging about my latest fitness goal right? You know, “life in maintenance” etc. etc. But I’m not.

    This may or may not encourage you, but I appreciate that I’m not the only one out there feeling that way. I’ve loved reading your blog on an off since your book came out. The fact that you continue to blog about your issues with food and weight says a lot. Thank you for that.

    It says you aren’t quitting. And neither am I.

    One of my favorite quotes is, “Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down.” Here’s to getting up one more time!!

  36. I love your determination- you keep plugging at it and that is what keeps us all reading. You never give up. You are a fighter. I like to think I possess some of that stuff too; still sometimes I just want to bang my head against a wall and say FUCK IT! FUCK THIS! (Sorry for the vulgarity-In this regard it was warranted.) So if you ever just want to throw a dozen stale donuts at your computer screen- go for it! I think it’s good to get a little- or a lot angry sometimes.

  37. oh I know the feeling but I think you are right that it is just a matter of keeping on keeping on – though where I find that energy for that is still a mystery – good luck with it

Comments are now closed on all Dietgirl posts. For fresh conversation please visit me at