A Bit of Positive Self Talk + Photos From When I Was Fat(ter).

A Bit of Positive Self Talk + Photos From When I Was Fat(ter).
Carly Jacobs

I was walking home from a girlfriend’s house last night and I stopped at the corner shop to grab some milk. As I was walking home I realised I had achieved one of my major life goals and I hadn’t even realised it. About ten years ago, my gorgeous young aunt lived in Melbourne in Prahan. I’d come to visit her a few times a year. I’d catch the tram all the way down Swanston St, practically to St Kilda, dump my bags and spend the rest of my time in Fitzroy on Brunswick Street and Smith Street. I loved it. It fed my soul like no other place had done before. The book shops, cafes, boutiques, pubs, street art and galleries. It was like I’d come home. I’d sit on park benches and watch pale skinned, leather clad, black draped Melbourne girls walking home along Gertrude Street with shopping bags and I’d feel so jealous because they lived here. In this grungy, trendy fascinating place. They lived here. At that moment in time, that was all I wanted. To live in Fitzroy. I totally forgot that I had actively wanted that until last night when I found that I myself was a pale skinned, leather clad, black draped Melbourne girl walking home along Gertrude Street. It was a pretty cool moment.

This got me thinking about how when we achieve a dream or a goal, we promptly forget about it and move on to the next thing. Which is great. There is nothing more admirable than the pursuit of self-improvement and it’s pretty important that we don’t stunt our personal development by being too self congratulatory, but I think sometimes we need to stop and remember all the things we have achieved because they’re pretty cool. That’s what I think we should all do today. Right now. Take a moment and have a think of all the goals that you’ve achieved that you don’t really celebrate anymore. Graduating from university? Singing in a band? Running a 10 km race? It’s so weird and it’s really hard to do so like a total tosser, I’ll start. 

I’m so uber trendy. I live in Fitzroy. 

I live in Fitzroy (seriously, I’m like 80% hipster) 

At this stage in my life, I want to live in New York so badly I can taste it but the life I’m living right now as a freelance writer and blogger living in my favourite suburb in Melbourne is pretty bloody cool. 20-year-old Carly would be extremely impressed.

I’m Totally Self Sufficient 

I moved out of my parents house four years ago and I have not had to ask them for a cent. Not once. I’ve never had to have my partner pay my rent either. I’ve earned and paid my own way always and I’m pretty proud of that.


Me at age 19. Believe it or not, I’d already lost some weight at this point. 

Me at age 17… yep.

My Year 12 Formal Dress Is Too Big For Me (and I lost 10kg to get into it in the first place)

I struggle with my weight CONSTANTLY. I lost a lot of weight in my early 20s and have maintained it (within 5 kilos) for almost 9 years. I’m really hard on myself, especially if I’m at the top of my 5 kilo weight bracket (like now… thanks Depo Provera. Bastard.) but I have all the odds stacked against me (terrible metabolism, not the greatest genes) so I think I’m doing pretty well to still be maintaining a healthy size 14 weight.

I’m a Legitimate Writer

Obviously I’d love a book deal and a regular column in a women’s monthly but I’m pretty much a full-time writer these days. Awesome.

And now that I’ve had a giant public wank, it’s your turn!

What about you? What big goals have you achieved that have gotten lost in your bigger plans? Take a moment. Make a cup of tea. Sit down and tell me all about how awesome you are.



  1. Carli 6 years ago

    Oh I had that Fitzroy dream for a long time thanks to the Punter’s Club and the Evelyn Hotel! Go you x

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I seriously love it here. I pay more rent than I can probably afford but it’s so worth it.

  2. Danimezza 6 years ago

    … inspired a post x

  3. Lara 6 years ago

    Nice work Carly. Funny how our goal posts shift. Awesome that you’ve ticked a few off the list and taken the time to acknowledge it! Watch out NYC!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      You should share yours! 🙂

  4. Vivian Mansour 6 years ago

    Yay for celebrating achievements!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Why is no one sharing their achievements? I’m looking like such self satisfying loser… 🙂

      • Vivian Mansour 6 years ago

        You are far from that, lovely. Okay my achievements: studying and working as an interior designer. Still have more work to do but I’m so happy to be doing it finally!

  5. JicyJac 6 years ago

    Love it that you are living your dream. I’ve lived in nearby in Collingwood in a warehouse apartment which was a dream of my as a teenager. It was awesome. My big achieved goal was to live and work in London. I was married at the time (well I still am, my husband is ace) and it was just I had hoped to do on my own when younger but I’m grateful that my beloved was prepared to up stumps to help me fulfill the dream.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      It’s funny how if you achieve your goals when you’re with your partner it’s almost not as legit? My man is crazy supportive but everything I’ve achieved has been because of me and sometimes I feel like other people think he carries me. You know?

  6. Hailz 6 years ago

    I purchased a house when I was 22 which I forget 4 years later is massive. Recently, I just did my first 10 k run and smashed it without training GOOD JOB SELF! x

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Holy shit. Purchase of a house is MASSIVE! That’s waaaaay off for me. 🙂

  7. Nessbow 6 years ago

    I can think of a few things I’ve done that I’m pretty proud of:
    – I lived in Melbourne for six years, which is something that teenage Vanessa wanted very badly. It was awesome.
    – I’ve graduated from university with not one, but two degrees
    – I’ve made money from my writing. Not enough to live off yet, but I’m slowly getting there.
    – I’ve beaten an eating disorder and now have a much better attitude towards my body. In fact, I think I’m happier with my body now than I’ve ever been before.
    – Since moving out of home seven years ago, I’ve never had to borrow money off anyone. I’ve had some very lean times, but I’ve managed.
    – I now own a TARDIS cookie jar, which is very important to me.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I didn’t know you had an eating disorder. Well done love. They’re tricky to beat. xxx

  8. Chrystal 6 years ago

    Great post Carly! It’s great to stop and appreciate things once in a while – it’s funny though, I don’t often celebrate my achievements. My most important one to date would have to be raising two awesome twin boys that are just the most amazing and respectful munchikins you could ever meet. Professionally – taking the leap to start my blog is pretty awesome. Oh, and so is living inner city – I love being so close to all the action!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Celebrate them more! It’s super important and starting the blog is the hardest part. 😉

  9. Lucy Napthali 6 years ago

    Still quite young, so my achievements aren’t quite as big as some listed here, but here they are:
    -I got into university and moved away. My high school has a very small university rate. Something like 10% of each graduating Year 12 goes on to university, and even smaller amounts move from home to do so. I did both! I moved seven hours north-east, from a climate that thinks nothing of 45 degree heat, to somewhere that snows and where 15 degrees is an excuse to bust out the bathers and go swimming. And I have never regretted it!
    -I have gotten paid photography jobs. I’m doing my first wedding in February and I’m beyond excited.
    -I dyed my hair a ridiculous colour. My hair has been bright pink for 14 months. It really forces you to be social as everyone feels the need to come up to you and ask about it, so, for a very shy person, this has been integral in building my rather dodgy social skills.
    -Being a keynote speaker at a conference. At age 17. I thought that was pretty amazing.
    -Working a full proper television camera unassisted. When a documentary that I had made won first prize in a film competition, and I went on a television program to accept the award, I asked if I could help film a bit of another segment for the program, and surprisingly they let me! They tapped me up with a steady-cam and let me go wild; it was fantastic!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Good girl! Getting paid creative work at such a young age is awesome! Go you!

  10. Sammie Russell 6 years ago

    Your Fitzroy dream sounds a lot like my inner Brisbane dream, which is done and dusted. One day I was wandering down Brunswick Street from my New Farm apartment and thought “Heck, I’ve done it!” I also realised the other day that I can mark off my two big career dreams from childhood – to be a computer geek like Matthew Broderick in War Games (pretty geeky) and to work in a library (super geeky).

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Geeky dreams are usually bigger and cooler than all the others. x

    • Melissa Mitchell 6 years ago

      I live in Brisbane. Kind of. So far to the North it’s embarrassing. So suburban. I’d love to live in New Farm. LOVE it. Go you!

  11. kathryn 6 years ago

    I loved this. I grew up in Tassie and moving to Melbourne was such a huge deal! Even now when I go home I feel like everything I could achieve pales into insignificance beside ‘OMG ZOINKS you live in Melbourne’… and I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years now.

    One of my biggest dream achievements was moving to Japan for a year, and tucked inside that, is the fact that I could travel to a small city or town where few people spoke English and manage to get around and do everything I needed, even go to a bar and have a decent conversation with people in foreign.

    I produced a show that ran on community TV for 3 seasons. I forget that then if it comes up in conversation, I’m all yeah I did that 🙂

    Also got a uni degree while working full time and raising a child on my own Even I can’t work out how I did that now. Pure stubbornness, I think.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Somehow I think the move from Tassie to Melbs is way harder than Canberra to Melbs which is what I did! Produced a TV show? Bragging rights FOREVER!!!!

  12. Simone 6 years ago

    This post made me smile when when I really needed it today! My boyfriend and I were having this exact discussion – I’d come home from a hard day at work, and was really down on myself about how I should have done this better, or done that differently. For anyone like me who’s had depression in the past, the slippery slope down to ‘everything about me sucks’ is pretty insidious, but I’m lucky I have people like him in my life who remind me to look at how far I have come. It’s so important to acknowledge that and not let yourself drown in the “should haves”!
    So having said that – my proudest accomplishment is when I travelled overseas with a girlfriend; it allowed me to be independent, even if only for a little while 🙂

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      You totally have to do that kind of stuff. Good on you!

  13. drstumpy 6 years ago

    For years I had the goal to have my PhD before I was 30 (was submitted 4 days before my 29th birthday)

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      That’s freaking huge. I remember that. 🙂

  14. Twitchy 6 years ago

    I have such affection for your everlovin’ gorgeousness, C.
    One day I’ll show you *my* Yr12 formal photo.
    I wanted to move out of home, get a real job with creative types and live in the nicer Melb-burbs. Meet the one. I got a job in big Adland at 18. Lived in St.Kilda, Elwood and South Yarra from ages 20-26. Partied, share-housed, fell in love, paid my own way for everything the entire time too except my initial bond (which was a payment in lieu for other stuff agreed anyways.)
    Met the man of my dreams and we had our first bub before we were both 30.
    I was off to a great start. Back from first trip to NY last week, woo! I think I need some more dreams to aim for now. xx

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Thanks Twitch! How lovely of you! New York takes a piece of your soul… and you always have to go back to get it! 🙂

    • Melissa Mitchell 6 years ago

      I didn’t go to mine. I thought I was too fat and refused to come.

  15. Nikki | Styling You 6 years ago

    Bless you Smags for being you x

  16. Sugandha 6 years ago

    I love this! Proof that dreams come true and we get further even before we realise it. I think you’re gorgeous. My goals…rebelled somewhat against my parents and married the boy of my dreams. Living without said husband in Hong Kong for 3.5 months and getting out there and meeting new people. Being content that life is taking me in a direction I never thought it would (i.e motherhood)…

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Thank you my dear. How lovely of you. x I love a rebeliious romance. Good on you!

  17. JessB 6 years ago

    Oh Gods, I love this post so much, but I am absolutely shit at thinking I’ve ever achieved anything. Really, it’s my biggest failing, and something I have promised myself I will work on, as it means I’m rubbish in job interviews.

    Particularly at the moment, as I’m turning 30 in one month and 6 days, and I’m constantly comparing myself unfavourably to my little brother and sisters, my friends and cousins and complete strangers.

    Having said that, when I was in uni, I went to Sydney for holiday. It was the farthest I’d been from home, and I organised and paid for the whole thing myself. I had a completely brilliant time, and felt incredibly grown-up.

    In 2008, I went to New York for two weeks. I met up with a friend there, but had my last day on my own. Again, I’d never felt so grown-up. I made some stuff-ups (like not noting the address of a company we’d made a helicopter tour booking with…oops! But it worked out fine!) but I survived the trip, and had an incredible time. Last year I went to Thailand with a friend, and again had a great time. I didn’t have quite the feeling of independence that I had had on previous trips, but it was a great time.

    Before I went to New York, I got a tattoo, and two years ago I got another one. I love these and really think of them as personal achievements, as they mark important realisations I have come to about myself.

    I have also dealt with some pretty ordinary work situations, in particular one where I was being bullied really severely. I didn’t deal with it the best I could, but I learnt some great lessons and got out of there intact. Since then I’ve worked as a temp and have had a number of long-term placements, confirming that I’m a great worker.

    Finally, I have done some great study, most recently becoming a qualified librarian last year. I made friends I think I will have for the rest of my life and was inspired by some brilliant teachers. Although I don’t work in the industry, I use those lessons every day.

    There are some nights when I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and wonder what I’ve done with my life – no significant other, or even many relationships; no kids; no property; no drivers license; a body I’m not particularly delighted with; clothes that are old and boring; a blog I keep saying I’ll start; limited interstate and international travel; no knowledge of other languages – the list is endless.

    But there are also moments I can look around and think I’m doing alright… in fact, I’m doing really great.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Of course you are my love and all of the things that you HAVE achieved are way more valid as the things you haven’t ‘yet’ achieved. Never give priority to things that are theoretical. x

  18. tuffhr 6 years ago

    Isn’t it weird that wanting to celebrate what we have achieved makes us wankers? And that self-pleasure can be a perjorative….
    I’m in 🙂
    Graduated from university. Have house and mortgage to go with it. House is a very comfortable home filled with things I love. Including a husband, something that was rather unexpected (partner – yes, marriage – no). Really good collection of books and music, always looking for more. Reasonably paid job in IT. Acknowledged and high-functioning CFS and depression, dealing with them (these are actually quite enormous). Building a beautiful, productive, organic garden twice (once at my old home, second time now). Still writing – not as often as I’d like, but everything counts. A line of very happy and spoilt pets (down to 3 dogs and 4 chooks). Reasonable cook.
    Perhaps most importantly, I manage to mostly to live my life according to my beliefs.
    Great post. Anything that makes us stop, think and appreciate is very worthwhile. Thank you.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I agree! I think we all need to be a bit more self contratulatory! Thanks for sharing. x P.S Organic garden??? Totes on my list.

  19. Melissa Mitchell 6 years ago

    Currently, I’m focused on my weight loss goal. Not so much as an aesthetic thing (though lets not kid ourselves. I’d love to be beautiful again. I was once. Not the inner beauty. The Hot beauty. 😉 But I digress..).

    I’ve changed my eating habits completely. In 3 months I’ve gone from a 22 to an 18. I’m almost off insulin. The odds are not in my favour. I have PCOS and diabetes. I am on 5 medications that cause people to gain weight. I live in chronic, quite severe pain. I have arthritis and Fibromyalgia. I last year lost a large amount of my vision overnight – which is fine, but with it I lost my license. So I’m not independent anymore.

    But I’m making real, life-saving and wonderful changes. And I’m as proud as I’ve ever been. I’m still the fat girl. But I’m the fat girl who knows she’s heading in the right direction, and having a wonderful time doing it.

    That counts, right?

    • Sins and Candy 6 years ago

      YES that totally counts. You are amazing. Keep being amazing. The 3-months-ago version of you would probably look at you & see you as so strong & inspiring. You’re inspiring me!

  20. Corrie Sebire 6 years ago

    I love this! I’m like you, I now weigh less than high school and it’s kind of weird looking back over high school and uni photos as I had the big double chin etc.I still have 5kgs to lose to get my pre baby weight but when I’m having a fat day I remind myself of how far I’ve come. That I’ve had 5 kids and I’ve only gotten up to my biggest weight when I was carrying twins!
    I think as you get older you get a bit wiser and a bit kinder and I just wish blogs and curvy models were around when I was growing up. I had dolly and every teenager in that magazine was perfect and thin and it was all a bit depressing!
    good luck with NYC! love that city, I couldn’t sleep on the one trip I went there and was waking at like 4am looking out at the city and just wanting to get out there

  21. Anonymous 6 years ago

    This really cheared me up! I struggle with Social anxiety, but I’ve overcome a lot of problems, and ended up being interviewed on TV when I published my second book. Becoming a writer is also one of my goals.
    Kisses and congratulations for your blog!


  1. […] needed to see this post this week. A bit of positive self talk goes a long way! I feel like I am having a hard time coming up with some positive things to say about myself […]

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