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Time is on my side

I’m glad I didn’t have to lose weight back in the 80′s or 70′s, and not just because I missed that whole Jazzercise craze. Occasionally I get e-mails from women in their 40′s or 50′s who’ve lost a lot of weight and tell me they only wish they’d been able to do it sooner in their lives like I have. I don’t think it’s fair to compare because I have several advantages over them that come from existing farther down the time stream.

I loves me the Internets. A lot of the information I have learned about fitness and exercise is from articles I’ve read online. Even though I didn’t start using the Internet until high school, it’s difficult to remember a time when I wasn’t skimming my eyeballs across an Internet browser for at least an hour or more a day. I think I was dependent on the World Book Encyclopedia for most school research projects, which was more readable and shorter than the huge Encyclopedia Britannica. It even had pictures! Now if I’m curious about anything I don’t need a library card. I just google it and out comes the information. I’m sure I could find magazine articles and books with similar information, but it would be much more time consuming. I don’t want to have to drive to the library every time I don’t know how to cook a sweet potato or turnip or cauliflower. Also, the Internet provides anonymity, so I can look up information about loose skin and embarrassing topics without fearing a librarian catching me.

The word “blogging” didn’t even exist nor did the actual blogs. I would have pretty much been in this alone. I have friends and family who would have supported me, but not all of them are overweight. It’s difficult to get together a group of people who are all trying to become thin without having to pay a monthly membership fee. It’s so simple these days where anyone can set up a blog or visit message boards for support and advice. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to lose all this weight without the accountability that came from weighing-in for you guys every week. Blogging is all about thinking and as long as I’m blogging I’m forced to think about my health and fitness goals.

I also have the advantage of knowledge. The diet plan that has worked so well for my life didn’t even exist 20 years ago, at least not in a book. Even though we don’t know half as much about the causes of obesity as I’d like us to, there is much more scientific knowledge about proper nutrition and health than ever before. Didn’t they tell people in the 90′s that fat in foods would actually make you fat? That turned out to be wrong, but Snackwell still made a fortune selling fat free cookies. I’m sure some of the stuff we believe now will also turn out to be wrong, but we still know more than before.

I have disadvantages too. The small size cups at most fast food restaurants are equivalent to the medium or larges of a couple decades ago. Portion sizes keep getting larger and larger. It has never been more affordable to eat crap. There are more and more office jobs where people sit in cubicles all day long. But all in all I’m glad I was born in the 80′s and had to lose weight in the… oughties? What the hell is this decade supposed to be called, anyway? The turn of the century? The turn of the millennium?

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21 Comments

Bree • April 17, 2007 at 9:35 am

Hi PQ! As always I loves me some internet (& reading your blog) too. It helped me before and I’m in the process of taking full advantage of all the info the internet has to offer.

Take care.

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Annie • April 17, 2007 at 10:13 am

That is a question I have been asking myself too…what do we call this decade…I can’t find anything that sounds “correct”. LOL That was a very good post, I agree the internet is a wealth of information and the support of on-line world is amazing.

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Jen • April 17, 2007 at 11:22 am

In Little House on the Pairie, they called them the “Oughts” This would be ought-seven.

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Genki • April 17, 2007 at 12:25 pm

The noughties baby… at least that is what they call them on this side of the Atlantic. I see it everywhere though it took me about four years to cop on to what it meant!

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dg • April 17, 2007 at 12:45 pm

:) fab post PQ. one thing that would have been good busting lard in the 80s would be legwarmers. i always fancied a pair of those but my mum wouldn’t let me.

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PastaQueen • April 17, 2007 at 1:02 pm

I just thought of another advantage too – workout tapes/DVDs. VCR’s only started entering people’s homes in the 80′s and I’m sure there weren’t too many exercise tapes out right away. I depend on my DVD workouts a lot to do my Pilates and weight training. I’d hate to be without them!

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Peter • April 17, 2007 at 1:57 pm

On the other hand (regarding the Internet, and the modern era), web-browsing enforces the kind of rapt, absolute immobility–meaning no extra calories consumed at all, potentially for hours a day–that in the olden days you could only get from being in a coma, or from watching a series of TV shows in which you had no interest at all.

So it’s both problem and solution. And for me, on a daily basis–apart from those moments of finding things out, or being inspired by blogs like this one–possible more the former than the latter.

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Debbie • April 17, 2007 at 3:50 pm

I think there’s a lot more information available today. Plus I think you were more isolated if you dieted in the 1980s because most people didn’t talk about it as much as they do today. For a lot of people, it was something they did in secret and only really told people about after they lost the weight. People are more open about dieting today.

Most of the 80s was more about exercising and fitness and cute little outfits and big hair rather than dieting.

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Natalie • April 17, 2007 at 5:27 pm

PastaQueen-

I’ve just spent a week reading through your archives. Sorry to be all stalkerish, but I just got hooked. Thanks for writing so much and sharing your experiences- it’s motivating. (Do you get tired from people telling you that all the time?) Anyway- keep it up!

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Marla • April 17, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Sweetie, I’m 45 and you would not believe the stupid things I grew up believing. “Dieting” was all about half a grapefruit for breakfast, and cottage cheese with a lettuce leaf for lunch. Then came Susan Powter with this incredible new idea, telling us to do tons of aerobic exercise and eat tons of carbs – whatever you do, do not for god’s sake eat a molecule of fat! I credit her with at least half of my 100+ pounds overweight. On my first weight loss effort, I lived on bagels, rice, and tortilla chips, and did hours of step aerobics. Gaaaaaaaahhhhh!

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Chris H • April 17, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Hmmmm, I was born in the late 50′s and to be honest I think I could have lost my weight 20 years ago without the internet or blogging … cos it is a mind over matter thing, and if your head isn’t in the right place you ain’t gunna lose weight. If my head had been in the “right” place 20 years ago it would have been just as “hard” as it was 4 years ago… for me personally anyway. I did it without help from the internet,bloggers… just the good old fashioned way actually. Weight watchers, support from other WW’s and my own bloody determination. Having support is fantastic… but at the end of the day it is up to one’s self to do the work.

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Melissa • April 17, 2007 at 9:03 pm

The Noughties, I concur – That’s what we say in Australia. Plus, it sounds like Naughty. And I like that. Hehehe.

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Lose Weight With Me • April 17, 2007 at 9:08 pm

A LOT of people still try to diet using the bad information from the low fat craze. Fat is NOT the culprit…I believe that processed food, sugar and portion sizes are the reason that so many Americans struggle with weight. I believe those were the reasons that I had my own weight problem.

Brian

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Deirdre • April 17, 2007 at 9:44 pm

“I just thought of another advantage too – workout tapes/DVDs. VCR’s only started entering people’s homes in the 80′s and I’m sure there weren’t too many exercise tapes out right away.”

We had Jack LaLane on TV. That was pretty much it.

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Erin • April 17, 2007 at 11:08 pm

And also that your body is primed to still lose weight right now. You haven’t reached the metabolic crawling phase like middle aged women have either.

But come on, you’re telling me you’re not in the least wistful for shiny pink leotards and bangle weights? Not even a little bit?

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Joan • April 18, 2007 at 9:02 am

Also, weren’t you pretty much a “diet virgin” when you started? Don’t underestimate the power of yoyo dieting to f**k up your metabolism and mess with your head. I wish I had known a long time ago that your mind cannot indefinitely control your body, but that they need to work together as a team if you want to make lasting changes. Congratulations on having figured it out, and on doing this the right way!

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Trina • April 18, 2007 at 11:48 am

I agree with the disadvantages and advantages of trying to lose weight in this era.

I totally agree with what you said about junk being affordable – I can eat a head of lettuce for $1.00, or a whole box of kraft dinner for $0.69 – which is going to fill me up better?

Love your blog – I can never wait to see what you’re going to say next!

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zara • April 18, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Jazzercise RULES! What’s wrong with you, woman? ;)

Congrats on your 9:30 mile! That has to feel awesome.

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starbird • April 18, 2007 at 4:51 pm

I totally agree with you and Brian — Fat is NOT the culprit! Also that sugar, highly-processed carbs and large portions are a big part of our problems. What bothers me is the most of the media advisors are still saying, “Cut down on fat.”

They also believe that fat causes high cholesterol, when I’ve known for decades that, once again, it is sugar, etc. that causes cholesterol levels to go nuts.

We just have to use our own noggins, consult as many sources as possible – including PQ – and then Just Do It.

BTW – don’t forget Jane Fonda – the video exercise queeen. She must have sold millions of exercise videos. Plus, I think she really launched the video rental industry.

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Kathleen • April 20, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Hi! Love your blog, but I have to disagree about the library thing! Librarians are not into judging and looking over your shoulder. And you can use a card just to access the online magazines and journals and never set foot in the library! And you can try out DVDs before you buy. :-)

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Notyourchelle • September 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Don’t know if you get comment notifications, or if you care at this point, but back at the turn of the century I read an article regarding what to call this decade. My personal favorite of the names listed? “The Zips”. It just sounds like some weird punk-pop-hybrid band.

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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.

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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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