“There is a small, competitive part of me that gets annoyed from time to time that I didn’t ‘finish’ Weight Watchers. Not just because I crave a sense of completion, not because I once had a burning desire to be on the cover of the magazine; but because I wanted to be a Gold Member.

That’s what you become when you reach your goal weight. And they give you a GOLD CARD. You could carry it around in your wallet and whip it out at any time to prove that you’d WON weight loss! πŸ˜›

While I never became a Gold Member, I once stood beside a gold member at the Museum of Sex in Copenhagen – see picture below. That’s not too bad a consolation prize, I reckon.”

Copenhagen, Summer 2004

Copenhagen, Summer 2004

I wrote the above about five years ago, saved it to my draft posts and forgot about it until yesterday, when I cracked open those cocoa nibs and one of them was shaped like a tiny penis. This amused my juvenile mind and I thought, I should write about this cocoa nib development!Β And that made me remember the old Copenhagen Willy post.

Last night I worried that some people might find that poor taste and never read the blog again. But then I remembered a recent conversationΒ with the incredible Sas about how trying to please everyone is futile, especially everyone on the internet. It’s physically impossible, for one; plus it can get in the way of you being the real you and that leads to all sorts of unhappiness.

So I thought, dang it,Β I’ll go ahead and post it, as a tiny step towards writing more fearlessly. As you can see there were no deep, profound thoughts lurking behind the inner censor. It’s all chocolate and male appendages.

. . .

I feel very sad looking at that photo from eight years ago. It was the first day of our Russia-Scandinavia tour and I thought I was the most humungous, ugly blob. I’d lost a shitload of weight but had little appreciation of how far I’d come. I felt huge compared to my tour mates, though looking through the photos all these years later it clearly wasn’t the case. I was so scared of gaining weight on that tour. My whole self-worth was attached to the lard busting mission and I felt like I was one Finnish chocolate bar from it all spinning out of control.

With such unsustainable and unkind motivations I can kinda see the inevitability of everything that happened in the following years. Today, properly large again, I’d be chuffed to be the size I was in that photo (minus the dodgy hairdo and maudlin clothing!). But I don’t want that old headspace.

I hope, and quietly believe, that there exists a middle ground where my knees, vanity and mind can all find peace. I’ll keep working on it.

54 thoughts on “Goldmember

  1. “It’s all chocolate and male appendages.” would be a great tagline for your website, should you ever decide to do a redesign. Just sayin’.

    Should have something more profound to say about your post, but this is a sincere appreciation of your word-smithin’.
    : )

  2. “Its all chocolate and male appendages” – what’s not to like? Am very much looking forward to going to bed tonight hoping this blogpost will have inspired tonight’s dreams!

    Seriously Shauna you are one gorgeous inspiring fabulously clever and funny darling!

  3. I loved this post, the photos and the absolutely brilliant prose of “it’s all chocolate and male appendages.”

    I found a lot of healing last year in a photo taken when I was in Medellin, Colombia where I am standing next two two normal sized women while I ‘know’ I am still 35 pounds overweight. Taking the photo I thought “As usual I am the fat one.” But the reality of the photo was “I am normal. I am not fat.” It was the first photo of me where I accepted (and liked) myself as I was not as I wished to be. If only I could have been standing next to a Gold Member at the time. Alas, I am next to a Botero Sculpture of a fat cat. There is never a sex museum around when you need it.

  4. “Gold…MEMBAAA! (Shirley Bassey voice).

    There is a Museum of Sex in Copenhagen? Wow! Also, that’s a very cute picture. It’s such a shame that we don’t stop and appreciate ourselves as we are. I feel that way about many old pictures. When I look at them now I see a cute young woman who is a trifle plump but at the time I HATED my looks.

  5. I love the wordplay on Gold Member — WW should print that thing on their cards. It would really help them get men in their program! I thought this post was fun. You look great in that photo — too bad you didn’t feel it.

    In the U.S., Weight Watchers calls people who get to goal and maintain for 6 weeks “Lifetime Members.” And it felt like I would be going to meetings and failing for the rest of my life when I gained that weight back. I don’t feel anything great when I look at my Lifetime card or trinkets. I still feel the tug to go back but I’m mostly happier doing the Jen Plan.

    • Svavaaaaa! I went to that Museum, the year before Copenhagen, and was gutted to find it CLOSED! All I have is a windswept picture beneath the phallic sign!

      And yes. Willies and chocolate. We’ve uncovered the meaning of life!

      Iceland Penis Museum

  6. Great photo.. I laughed…

    I’ve been there with the photo thing and feeling fat.. such a waste of energy.

    Strive to be happy πŸ˜‰ forget the rest of the rubbish,

    Oh and I’ve yet to make it through a week of weight watchers tracking let alone becoming a gold.. member!

  7. Oh… for a Gold Member(ship) card!

    I know what you mean about writing to please your audience, but I think you do that no matter what. You’re frank and fearless and searching for the middle ground that so many of us can relate to!!!


  8. I love reading your posts because I feel like you are inside my head! I have been struggling with this lately, too…never feeling good enough, and looking at photos of myself in college and thinking “oh to be that size again” then remembering how huge I felt then, even though I was a normal weight. Just yesterday, I beat myself up all day for not going for a run…my plantar fasciaitis was acting up so I walked instead. I ended up walking six miles, but still felt like a failure. Never mind that I’ve lost 30 lbs over the past 3 months, or that I ran Friday AND today…I still feel like it’s a drop in an endless ocean when I see pictures of myself looking like Tubby McFattypants or catch a bad angle in a mirror. I wish there was an U&R for self-acceptance! I would get a lifetime membership card in that club! πŸ™‚

    • I’m with Jen, that is so not a failure it’s a smart move! We need a membership card that says I Listened To My Body Today And Didn’t Make An Injury Worse So I’m AWESOME. It would be sparkly like a disco ball, I reckon! Keep on rockin’ Sunita, you are a champ πŸ™‚

  9. OMG – took me a minute to see what you were standing next to in the photo then I had to laugh out loud. Thanks so much for your honestly about your journey. I also had to go back and see what you looked like when you talked about feeling so huge. You looked great and do every time I see your picture!

  10. I feel much happier with myself in photos with my husband’s family, who are all shapes and sizes, than in photos with my side of the family, who are all thin, tanned and athletic. It’s all relative.

  11. Hey Shauna! Write what ever you want to write in your own blog. I know that problem. There have been times, when I thought, I have to give my audience a full package of philosophical thaughts and always a great laughter. But I found out that the people out there in the internet want to read about ME. My feelings. Sometimes philosophical. Sometimes funny. Sometimes sad. Sometimes about weight loss and sometimes about increase weight. And it’s all fine because it’s just me. Love your blog – never change and never stop! Love, Sandy

  12. I’m saying nothing about you looking spunky…

    I would love to go back even eight years and say to myself: you are okay, you are doing amazingly, you will be okay. Ironically, I can say that to eight-years-ago me, but can’t imagine in-eight-years me saying it to now me. But I am okay, I am doing amazingly, I will be okay. As are/will be you.

    Remind us to come back here in eight years and go, “oh, you WERE okay!” and laugh at ourselves. Oh, okay, mostly the laughing at ourselves part…

  13. hey shauna! i am battling serious weight atm ….and also knees are GONE! oh dear …. and to think that bastard made me believe i was fat … jesus f$#@ing christ, i was 68 kilos!

  14. Hi Shauna today I officially start my lard busting again. This time in a new head space too. I will continue to stalk for motivation. Xx jen

  15. I haven’t commented in years, but I’m thrilled you are writing so much these days and just had to pipe up. Over the years, no matter what you’ve written, you’ve kept me as a reader. Someone would have to be spewing some serious hate for me to walk away from reading for good (to guard my soul and whatnot). Not to say my reading habits don’t wax and wane based on what my desires are at different times of my life, of course. You are human and that’s what I love about reading you. Your blogs are often hilarious (like this one), sometimes reflective and thought provoking (this one again), and seem to be honest even when it is hard to be during the struggles of life. Thank you for being true to you through it all!!! I hope you continue to be 100% Shauna on this blog πŸ™‚

    • Ellen it is so comforting to know you’re out there. I will add you to the list of Kind People to Picture While Writing. Thanks for your lovely comment!

  16. First, I immediately started singing “Goldfingerrr”-that James Bond movie song when I saw the title.

    Second, I’m so impressed that you had the guts to go to the museum of sex and the that you posted about it.


  17. Your post reminds me of an expression I’ve heard: “It’s better for people to hate you for who you are than to like you for who you aren’t.” I’ll get all Bridget-Jones’y and say I like you just as you are!

    I have a Starbucks Gold card. All you have to do to get one is buy lots of coffee! Much more fun than the WW gold card.

  18. What a great post, DG! You’ve managed to squeeze a whole lot of truth and authenticity in one very amusing post — with quite a photo πŸ™‚ We love you just the way you are/were/will be!

  19. With this new insight all I can say is that we are going to have a great time in Amsterdam in three weeks πŸ˜‰

    Loving your posts…

  20. I love that you have a picture of you next to a huge gold dick. I can’t believe I missed the sex museum in Copenhagen, what the hell was I doing just touring the boring art gallery and eating waffles!?! At least I did get a photo of myself with a big dick at the Amsterdam sex museum – although it was a little more boringly flesh coloured.

    I always thought you grew out of the “ha-ha! penis!” stage…but I never seem to have lost that teenage level of maturity. I don’t know if everyone else does or if they are just better at hiding it but I always seem to be the only one snickering to myself like some 14 year old when something “comes up” πŸ™‚

  21. Well, that’s my new favorite photo of you.

    Yes, I’ve often seen an old photo and thought how much I’d like to look that way now, when at the time I thought I was the Blimp of the Universe. Perspective…

    If it’s any consolation, you look fabulously beautiful now, as always, and Hrodebert has a giant crush on you. I might be a little bit jealous.

  22. I have been reading for years and commenting once in a blue moon, but I love ya all the time! You are great!

    Male chocolate nibs?? Hooooooboy

  23. Hilarious! I’ve got a similar picture from the Erotik museum in Hamburg. Glad to know someone else is all about the culture abroad! Enjoyed this post so much am going to re-read your book again on the commute tomorrow!

  24. I can’t decide if I like the Gold Member part or the “middle ground” part better. I choose to like them both equally. First comes the “head space” then comes the body space.

  25. Hey, I only come here FOR the penis jokes, so there aren’t nearly enough from my perspective.

    I know what you mean about looking back and wishing you had a different perspective on yourself in the past. Maybe you should also consider how a kinder you might view your situation now. I think you still look pretty awesome now. And I am glad you are not in a bad headspace. You will get to a happy and healthy middle ground, I am sure of it.

  26. I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves. I think we are too quick to criticise ourselves when surely we should be loving ourselves. (I am absolutely guilty of self criticism!) I would love to achieve eating mindfully and getting to a place where I am happy with my outside appearance. Good luck! xxx

  27. Funny & profound at the same time. Nice job!

    Looking at old pictures is always hard for me, whether I was thinner or fatter back then. The fat pictures I think “holy cow, I was huge! and How could I let myself get that way?” The thinner pictures I think “why did I gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose?” I’m thankful that my current pics have me in the middle ground, and I can appreciate ME for who I am NOW.

  28. darling shauna – such a profund post πŸ™‚
    there is a reason why there is a penis in the middle of happiness.

  29. There is a sex museum in Copenhagen and I DIDN’T GO?! πŸ˜‰

    I love your writing, I always have. You inspire me to be more fearless too. xx

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