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Weight: 184 – Pounds left to lose: 24

It’s weeks like this that make my journey relatable, right? You can always tell yourself, “Even PastaQueen has crap weeks.” I’m up and then down and then up again, like a teeter-totter. Except when I used to play on the teeter-totter as a kid it was just down. Then the kid on the other end dangling in the air would giggle for awhile and then stare at me as their eyes slowly grew wide-eyed in horror when they started to wonder, “How am I going to get down without breaking my tailbone when the fat girl gets off?” I really hated the teeter-totter. I never got to go flying up in the air.

I always feel like I’m supposed to make an excuse when my weight goes up a bit, like “I was attacked by the evil salt monster of French Lick. I had to bite off his head in self-defense and all that sodium must be making me retain water.” It’s certainly more interesting than the real reason which is probably that I ate too much and didn’t exercise enough. I slightly hurt my right leg two weeks ago and I’m letting the muscle heal itself before getting back into my interval running. I’ve been doing some cycling to fill the gaping cardio hole, but it doesn’t work me as hard. I can’t go very fast on the trail without running down little doggies. Sure, I’m a cat person, but even I wouldn’t run down a Chihuahua unless he asked for it by pooping on the road.

I’ve also been thinking about food more than I’d like to lately. Now that I’m getting closer to goal I know every little bite counts. I keep wondering if I’m eating too little or too much, trying to just eat until I’m full or when I’m hungry. This sounds easy and intuitive, but it’s really hard. Mostly I just keep questioning myself like, “Am I really hungry? If I *am* hungry should I be eating this or something else? Have I already eaten enough for today?” It’s kind of annoying and I think I should just stop with it already. If I think about something too much I can jinx myself. Back when I took piano lessons I learned how to play “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” but if I started to look at my hands or think about what keys I was pressing the fairies would stumble and I couldn’t finish the song. I’d gotten into a groove with what I ate and now that I’m overanalyzing it I’m in danger of messing things up. I’m going to try to go back on autopilot, still making healthy choices but not trying to mentally calculate whether I’ve had too many calories today. The other way is not fun and it’s too exhausting anyway.

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21 Comments

Karen Baum • May 19, 2007 at 11:06 am

I know this is completely selfish, but I am dying to see new photos of you. Yes, your weight is going up and down, but I am betting your body composition has changed dramatically since your last photo session. I’m afraid that if you keep teetering (or tottering) then it’ll be a while before we get to live vicariously through your triumphant photos! So, put us out of our misery, break the “decade rule,” and let us have a visual update! :-)

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kate • May 19, 2007 at 11:24 am

I agree! Eventhough you’re down 6 lbs instead of your usual amount when you take a pic, it’s been 4.5 months since we’ve gotten a new pic! Surely something has changed!!! Put us out of our misery!!! :)

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Betsy • May 19, 2007 at 11:36 am

Hi PastaQueen,

Indeed, I’m a lurker, but I thought I might have something to add to this post. About taking time off when you have an injury — there was recently (maybe last fall?) an article in the NYT about this. It said that perhaps the best way to recover from a sports-related injury is not to stop exercising but to continue. It apparently helps the muscle heal more quickly. The article suggested putting ice on the sore area and taking ibuprofen or something before exercising, and maybe taking it a little easier than normal. I’m not sure precisely and I can’t find the link to the story so I’m relying on memory. And — not being any kind of medical professional — I also don’t want to encourage you to do something that would exacerbate an injury. However, my sister, who does trapeze (of all things), discovered that her sore shoulder improved when she exercised it and that it just stayed the same when she didn’t.

Maybe if you have the means (i.e. the health insurance) you could speak with your doctor or a sports physiologist or whatever about this? It may be that something counterintuitive like exercising an injury may help more than not.

Also, I think you’re spot-on about finding the flow and not getting too caught up in calorie counting and overanalyzing how much you exercised or ate. Even though you want to lose the last few pounds, you also want to do it in a way that you can continue for the rest of your life. If you know what I mean.

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Debbi • May 19, 2007 at 12:34 pm

No excuses necessary! Your attitude is what counts, and as I’ve said before, you’re so matter-of-fact and practical about the process you’ve been going through. I admire that as much as I do your steady losses.

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Hilly • May 19, 2007 at 1:10 pm

It’s an amazing thing blogging about weight…I think that *we* put the guilt on ourselves to be perfect. Weight loss is a journey, as you know, and I am sure that others will not judge you when you don’t lose!

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barbara • May 19, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Hey PQ, I can sort of hear the outer edges of desperation in this post. Don’t despair! I know you said just recently that you are not ready to conclude that you have reached your goal, albeit a different one than the one you set out to achieve. So here’s another question: what if it turns out that the place you are now with your weight is not necessarily the lowest you can go and even maintain, but what if it IS within your natural range of weight, thus requiring MORE exercise and LESS food than what you’ve gotten comfortable with… what if it takes consistently even MORE work to drop that last 24 pounds, and to keep it off? Is it something you’re willing to do, and keep doing? Is it something you can do without becoming obsessed and anxiety-ridden over calories? I think you’ve sort of reached that place that a lot of somewhat-overweight-but-not-all-that-much people reach: having to really make decisions about what you’re willing to do or not do to knock off those extra 20-ish pounds. Lots of people constantly claim they’re going to do it, going to do it, going to do it dammit… and some even DO it… but in many ways these are the hardest pounds to struggle with because our bodies don’t really need or even want to let go of them. I am sure that all your friends and fans respect whatever decision you make, and who knows — maybe you’ll make one decision today, and another one a month or a year from now — but all I’m saying is, you may need to wrap your brain around the fact that your current body and metabolism won’t respond anymore (in a weight loss sense) to what has worked in the past, and it’s necessary for YOU to decide how much hell you’re willing to put yourself through to leave those final pounds on the cutting room floor, so to speak. Good luck, and I agree with everybody else who says we want to see how you look these days — I bet you look really different from the last photo!

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jen • May 19, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Look back at your post from a couple of days ago about the joy you’re finding with your new life. The number on the scale is bound to go up now and then, but your new outlook doesn’t have to wobble when it does.

Loved your pic flexing your muscles the other day. You look very buff! Good luck healing that injury.

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bitchwhoblogs • May 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm

PQ — its so helpful to read about your teeters and your totters….

I am on a mini-journey compared to ‘half of me’ – I am really working on more like 35-40% of me… but anyway…

I am queen of the TandT…. Its like 166 and oopsy daisy now I am 169… back to 167 and back to 168…. back to 166… OK I won’t bore you as you have the trend…

In my case, its a mystery… I log food and there is nothing new or increased there.. I log exercise and the only change is adding some more strength training and an extra couple hours of cardio…. anyway that is to say, I am the original up and down gal… Now I am wondering when will I crack open the 150s….

BTW… I am over at the cult with my first 44 lbs gone… will be magazining it in the Fall — and hopefully with photos from the 150s to join those of the 170s that are over on their site…

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Laura • May 19, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Pasta Queen,

Can you tell me where I can get wicking exercise clothing in size 16? I cannot find anything bigger than a large at Dicks or anywhere online. Help! I would love nice pants and top.

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FatLady • May 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Your description of obsessing on hungry/full and eat-this/eat-that really resonated. I’m not sure what’s worse, the state of being overweight or the state of always thinking about it.

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jen • May 19, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Laura, try Junonia. Target also sells plus-sized exercise clothes.

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aw • May 19, 2007 at 6:31 pm

PQ, don’t worry! You will get to 160 — just give yourself some time for your body to adjust.

I know you aren’t much of a weight watchers person, but go look at their “close to goal” message boards — there’s a reason for the cliche of the “last lbs are the hardest to lose!”

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and • May 19, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Also, you’ve lost, like, FORTY LBS in the past year!

FORTY LBS!! Going from 220s to 180s at your height is basically going from “fat” to “normal.” That’s an amazing accomplishment.

Losing those 40 lbs in a year? That’s so impressive. I personally have struggled to lose only 15, 17-ish since Sept and am your height, a couple years older than you, and about twenty lbs heavier than you right now, and it’s been SO tough. Down two, up one, down one, etc. etc. And this is with working out RELIGIOUSLY.

So, even ignoring all the weight loss you accomplished even before that, definitely feel very very very proud of that 40 lb accomplishment in particular. You have done what many many women find near impossible.

And the slower it comes off, the easier it all stays off, they say. :)

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Cindy • May 19, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Hi PQ,

I have ben doing the dance with the scale over the last several months, as well, which is why I think it is so important for me to continue weighing myself every day. What I notice, though, is even if it goes up and down regularly, the overall trend contiues to be heading downward (six more pounds down in three months of waffling). So, mostly, I’ve gotten okay with the waffling, even if I continue to take it seriously and watch myself more carefully after a gain. It is always a balance, isn’t it? Finding how to be attentive to this stuff without obsessing to the point of giving up just to find relief… it is a struggle, but one I am willing to live with and work with, until I can be more comfortable. Thanks for your honesty and bravery in your posts. You are the QUEEN!

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Sarah • May 20, 2007 at 5:04 am

I feel the same way when I weigh in and the scale jumps up… I have to have a reason or excuse or something to tell the readers… but like you I try to keep it honest and open. I’m not trying to be a hero or super human…just trying to be real. And what’s funny is that it’s THOSE posts that usually get comments (encouraging ones)… people are GLAD to read that I’m human and my weight went up. It makes them be able to connect with me more.

You’ll get there!

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Brigitte • May 20, 2007 at 8:55 am

You are on the right track, just keep going for it. As soon as you are healed, the weight will come off when you can exercise as usual.

I read an article( that of course I can’t find right now) where the doctor was saying that it was normal to think about food and not eating it, so much when you are on a diet. You told your brain to not think about food and so your brain is always checking to see if you are thinking about it. The key is for us to become eaters that really don’t think about it. For the eating to become something as normal as brushing your teeth. A routine. Same thing for exercise. Easier thing said then done. :)

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Adam • May 20, 2007 at 10:53 am

I cannot believe you have lost 188lbs. WHAT AN INSPIRATION you are!

It’s also nice to see that even at your stage in weight loss you struggle. Not nice that you struggle (of course) but nice to know that you are keeping on course and continuing to lose weight.

I will be an avid reader!

Peace,

Adam

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PastaQueen • May 20, 2007 at 11:23 am

Betsy – That’s an interesting theory about healing. Kind of good to hear too because I haven’t been completely resting my leg. I feel fine when I walk around, but during certain Pilates moves I’ve noticed a pull on it. The cycling might be using the muscle too, but not with the stress level running puts on it which is what seems to cause the pain. If it doesn’t go away in a month I’ll probably see a doctor about it, but now I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping it goes away on its own. Also, you now have made me want to take trapeze lessons, though I doubt I could afford them or find a trapeze class locally :)

Laura – Like jen said, Junonia makes plus-sized activewear, though I don’t know if they have wicking material. If you refresh this page enough an ad will come up in the right sidebar right below the South Beach ad that will give you 10% off a $75 order.

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None Given • May 20, 2007 at 3:58 pm

I was the weird 2nd grader that figured out how to teeter-totter with one kid a lot bigger than the other. I would tell the littler kid to move back as far as possible and still hold onto the handle and I would tell the bigger kid to move in towards the middle and hold the handle behind his back or turn around to hold it. I could make the teeter totter work for everyone. The other kids didn’t believe me until they saw it work a few times.

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PastaQueen • May 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm

None Given – Our playground teeter totter also let you adjust the position of the fulcrum from one of 3 settings to help adjust for weight. And I did do the “slide forward” trick a couple times, but it wasn’t much fun because I would only go up and down a little then the skinny kid got to go way up in the air.

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Natalie • May 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Pasta Queen, I am reading this post retrospectively, after you announced the end of the Saturday weigh in “justification” posts. I hear you about why every week was becoming too often. But I want to say that maybe stretching to find something to say about the number on the scale was inspiring brilliance. This post was funny, clever, well-written (yes, your other posts are too, but I’m just trying to give you a compliment!) :) I was laughing so obnoxiously out loud at the scared kid on the teeter-totter and the run-over Chihuahuas.

Also, another compliment about the newest photos. Oh my GOSH!!! You look really, really great & happy.

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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 at JennetteFulda.com.

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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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