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The beginning

This is the first day of my weight loss attempt. I’m going to go over my goals, the reasons I want to lose weight, and my plan.

STATS

Starting Weight: 360 pounds

Goal Weight: 160 pounds

Weight to Lose: 200 pounds (gadzooks!)

Goal Rate of Loss: 10 pounds per month.

Time to lose weight: 20 months, or almost 2 years.

I have been overweight for most of my life, though I weigh more now than I ever have before. I don’t recall exactly when the weight started piling on, but I know by 6th grade I was being made fun of. Some bitchy girl said I looked like I was pregnant. I can’t remember ever not thinking myself as a fat girl. It’s become as much a part of my identity as my eye color.

There are several reasons I’d like to lose weight. First, it’s difficult to find proper fitting clothes. Lately I can’t even find pants that fit. I wear the same pair of pants almost all the time because they are the only pair I have that fit. I have to buy clothes mostly at Lane Bryant, which is a nice store, but limited in its selection. I would like to be able to buy calf high leather boots, but I can’t currently because they won’t fit around my fat calves. I’d like to buy things in the Misses section. I’d like to be able to wear sleepless tops without fear of exposing my flabby arms. I’d like to be able to wear a swimsuit without looking like a beached whale. I’d like to like my body.

Also, my obesity makes me feel extremely anxious when meeting new people because I assume they will find me physically disgusting. But the most important reason for me to lose weight is my health. I recently had to have gall bladder surgery, partly due to genetics, but also due to my crappy diet that is high in fat. My surgeon raised serious concerns about my weight and told me that if I stay at my current size I am taking 7 years off of my life. This really shocked me to my senses and I appreciate that my doctor was brave enough to mention this to me despite social taboo and the chance I could have gotten very pissed at him.

Ignoring your weight is pretty easy to do. I basically stay at home a lot and only go out for errands or work. I don’t put myself in situations where I am overly concerned about my weight or where I would be worried about people judging me about it. This makes it easy to continue a lifestyle of no exercise and bad eating habits. But having someone finally say to me “You’re morbidly obese. This is a serious problem. You need to do something about this now” was such an enormous relief. Finally someone was talking about the elephant in the room that my family and friends had always ignored. Finally I had to face up to the fact that I am fat and that it is killing me. If I were an alcoholic or drug addict, surely someone would have said something sooner. But obesity is intertwined so deeply with self-esteem and identity that it is almost forbidden to talk about someone’s weight issues without being considered cruel and taunting.

To sum up, I’d like to lose weight to feel good about myself, be able to buy hot clothes, and to improve my social life.

Oh yeah, I’d also like to add a decade onto my life, avoid diabetes and not die of heart failure.

So how am I going to do this? Tonight my mom is going to go over the American Diabetics Association daily food intake recommendations that she’s been following for the past year. She’s lost 50 pounds and is healthier and happier than ever. I’d like to follow her example. That covers food.

Tomorrow I am going to call the YMCA and the Ladies Gym and join one of them. I want to start walking daily again, something I haven’t done since our treadmill broke. That covers exercise.

I’m also going to start keeping an online food diary and this weight loss diary. By keeping these testaments I think it will make my weight loss project seem more tangible. It’s not just a passing fancy that I’ve had daily for the past decade. This time I am actually going to lose weight and keep it off. See, I have a food diary and everything! I’m putting into place the support system I will need when I feel like quitting.

Last night there was a CNN special called “Fat Chance” that said 95% of people who lose weight gain it back. I plan on being one of the 5% who doesn’t. Ultimately I believe this will be the old mind over matter battle. I am just going to have to discipline myself into eating properly and exercising. When I want to go on a binge I’m going to have to tell myself that as much as I’d like to eat a tray of cookies, I’d like to look hot in a mini-skirt even more.

Robert Downey Jr. was on Letterman the other week and he said something about his drug addiction that’s stuck with me. He said he’s an adult and he has a reasonable control about what he put in his mouth. Now, taking advice from a former drug addict and felon might not be the best thing to do, but what he said is true. Ultimately I control what I eat and drink. No one is forcing cookies and ice cream down my throat. I decided what I eat and what I don’t. It’s that simple and that complicated.

I just have to want it, bad, really bad. And I do.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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11 Comments

Melissa • January 2, 2006 at 8:31 pm

I applaud your efforts. You have come a long way. However, did you have to make mention that the bitchy girl who said you looked pregnant was black. If she were white, would she be a bitchy white girl? Food for thought. No pun intended.

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PastaQueen • January 3, 2006 at 2:27 pm

It’s okay, this is a pun-friendly zone. Pun’s can totally be intended.

You’re right though, that line is subtly racist, isn’t it? It’s been over 2 years since I wrote this, but I’m guessing I was going for the alliteration with two “b” words back to back.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend who was just starting med school a couple months ago. She mentioned there was a lot of subtly sexist language in the textbooks that annoyed her, but the authors probably didn’t even notice they’d used. I would guess we all have slight biases like this that slip into our writing and speech that we don’t notice until someone else points it out.

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KJohn • June 4, 2006 at 2:19 pm

You look awesome!! I’ve had the same struggles as you since I was young, and have gone up and down in weight since high school. I myself have been working out like crazy for about a year and gone from 233 to 183 (I’m 5’5). I still have about 40 pounds to lose, but I feel like I have changed my life and the way I look at things. It sounds to me like you have done the same. I think you are determined to be in that 5% that doesn’t gain it back, and hopefully…no definately, I will be in the 5% with you. Keep up the amazinging job. Keep fighting!!

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Abi • July 12, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Gosh, your blog is such an inspiration! I am just now getting on the bus to weight loss and reading your postings has really helped me have faith that it can be done! I am now blogging my daily battles to losing 120 lbs. I have a disease, PCOS, which makes weight loss even harder. I have used this disease as an excuse for not losing weight and constantly gaining it. Now, I want to let the real me back out – I am tired of being a bitchy hermit! Thanks so much for posting such personal information! It really helps the rest of us trying to follow in your footsteps! I hope you don’t mind but I put a link to your site on my blog. http://yellowabi.blogspot.com/

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Pam • August 15, 2006 at 12:11 pm

I’ve just discovered your blog (it was linked from Allan’s page) and love what you’ve done here. After exploring a bit, I ended up here – at your first message and can’t wait to read the rest.

Keep up the good work!

~Pam

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T.T. • November 28, 2006 at 10:56 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I am 5’7″ and 207 lbs but should be 135 lbs for my frame. I am amazed at how far you have come yet, I can’t my but off the couch! I have heard about the South Beach and my parents did it and lost some weight.

Just wanted to tell you that you are a huge inspiration to me even though we don’t know each other. I am hoping to follow in your footsteps and lose this weight. Hopefully I can set my goals and copy the idea that you had set for yourself in your first blog. They sound like great ideas. Thanks so much!

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Deb • May 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I found your blog today and just came to the realization that you are the author of the “Half Assed” book I had seen on Amazon awhile back. It was only available for pre-order at that time so I didn’t get. Now I will.

I decided to go back in time and read one of your early posts. I have a lot of weight to lose (150) and just started a weightloss blog of my own. I thought it would be interesting to read some posts from “then” and “now”. I so glad to have found your blog and intend to come back and read your archives often as I progress through my own journey.

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Marcia • May 26, 2008 at 1:11 am

I just found your blog because I was googling weight loss success stories/inspiration…and your blog was just what I needed to read! I applaud your dedication to this blog and your weight loss; you give people like us(200+ lbs to lose)hope! I would love to start a blog of my own to encourage me to hold myself accountable and find support when I’m down. But I must say, I am intimidated at the thought of sharing that with the world. Keep up the awesome work! Thanks!

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alisha • February 12, 2009 at 9:18 pm

i have alot of weight to loose, i have to get back in shape , i am too young to be this overweight and would like to live alot longer. take better care of me.

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Dana • August 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Hi, Im 22, and I had my gallbladder removed too this past Thanksgiving (not on Thanksgiving but the Tuesday before) the funny thing is I had lost 60lbs before I had the surgery and I kinda felt like why did I even bother? I have since gained most of the weight back, mostly because I spend a lot of time at my grandmother’s house where the staple meals are pizza and take out. When I am at home I do a little better with my eating. I know these are just excuses and even though I was successful the first time around in loosing weight, I wasn’t successful in managing how I thought and interacted with food, and ended going right back to my old ways gradually. But stumbling across your site has given me some hope the maybe I can loose the 60lbs again and maybe a little more.

Thanks

Dana Miller

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~jo • February 22, 2010 at 3:10 am

Ah, Jennette…I have only just found this blog but I am SO very grateful for your courage!

I am going to read my way through it as I work to lose the weight I have been carrying for so very long (most of my life). It is sad to say that at 50 years old, I have kept my “girlish” figure.

I don’t want to be a victim anymore. What took me so long to realize that keeping this weight on also keeps me in “victim” status?

Anyway, I thank you again for the inspiration. I can’t wait to get started.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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The Making of CHOCOLATE & VICODIN
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