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Shrinking Violet: The Incredible Story of One Blogger’s Massive Weight Loss Journey

Shrinking Violet: The Incredible Story of One Blogger’s Massive Weight Loss Journey

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Four ‘A New Start’ of The Shrinking Violet by Elora Harré

 The day I left Christchurch behind was tough but exhilarating. I had planned to drive from Christchurch to Auckland so that I could have my car with me and take a few more of my belongings with me. Saying my goodbyes was hard, of course, but I was excited to take a new step in life. It’s a four-hour drive from Christchurch to Picton, followed by a three-hour ferry ride to Wellington, topped off with a further ten or so hours of driving from Wellington to Auckland! I roped in Vanessa for the drive and we set off to Picton early one January morning.

I remember exactly what we took to eat on that drive. Being huge fans of road trips, Vanessa and I were no strangers to long drives together; but another thing we share is a love of eating. I will admit it was always instigated by me! We knew we were going to have a long day and while we wanted to take our time and drive at leisure, we still wanted to take some snacks for the journey.

We started off with a big loaf of bread, large cans of energy drinks, chocolate and bags of chips. To be honest, we probably pulled through McDonald’s breakfast on our way out too for a BLT bagel with an extra hash brown –needless to say eating well was not on my priority list at all. The healthiest thing we ate that day was an entire kilo of cherries! The next day we set off towards my new home, stopping for more food along the way, which with no doubt included takeaways. It got to the point where Vanessa refused the thought of takeaways whilst I stopped for more! I was so far gone with my self-control around food by this point, it’s a wonder I had never experienced any health scares as a result.

I remember our first hints at Auckland. We arrived into peak hour traffic and both Vanessa and I were bewildered at how huge it was. I was definitely going to have to get used to such a big and busy place. Arriving at my aunt and uncle’s place after the long journey, all we wanted was to shower and sleep! I hadn’t seen my dad’s side of the family in years and it was nice to connect with them again. I was lucky enough that they had offered to let me live with them until I found my feet. That night, we had our first healthy meal for the duration of our journey, and I guarantee my body would’ve loved some actual vegetables.

Over the next few days I spent time with Vanessa looking around Auckland. It was our first time there on our own and an opportunity for us to see the city fresh out of high school. We took a ferry from West Auckland over the harbor into the city for the day, but despite my sensible footwear, I still couldn’t hack the pace. Even just walking up and down Queen Street was a struggle for me.

I also used to really struggle with ‘chub rub’, something anyone who has carried a significant amount of weight would have had to deal with. For those of you who have never had this awful problem, it’s when your thighs are so big that they rub together creating awful chafing. Usually it was something I would only receive when wearing stockings, but apparently my body decided to do it in my usual leggings and dress combo that day. I would never be caught dead bare legged!

I continued on despite my discomfort, and we wandered in and out of a few clothes shops having a general look around. At size 24, I was never going to fit into anything in the stores, but I spent the time with Vanessa browsing. I was so used to wearing my same old clothes to death that I was numb to the fact I hated not being able to wear anything in the normal stores, but yearned desperately for the day I could walk into a store and fit into anything I liked.

Throughout my life, Vanessa had been the one constant friend I could trust with everything. Even now, throughout my blog, you will hear me mention her often. Vanessa and I have been best friends since meeting at four years old, despite my frequent changes in country and schools. Many people go their whole lives without having the kind of friendship that Vanessa and I have and I will always be thankful to have our friendship. She has been there for me at my biggest, supported me through my weight loss and now still gets excited to hear what I’m up to next. She also puts up with me changing my mind every five minutes and constantly blabbing about myself.

I was always significantly bigger than Vanessa but we put on weight together, attempted to lose weight together and shared both success and failure. In the early days of my weight loss, she would always be my walking buddy and even my camerawoman to help me document my journey! We both often talked about the day when we would finally lose all the weight we wanted.

That day was no different. After a big day out, I remember complaining about how sore and unfit I was. We made the comment that maybe this was our year! How wrong I was.

The Shrinking Violet_front cover_HR

The Shrinking Violet, New Holland Publishers, RRP $26.99 available at all good book stores and online



Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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