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Why I want to get to goal

If I’d made a list of questions ten years ago that I thought I would never be asked, “Do you really think you need to lose any more weight?” would have been near the top. It would only be placed underneath, “What’s it like to be a world famous kazoo player?” But I now have to cross this question off my imaginary list with an imaginary pen because I have been asked it several times. It’s actually a nice question to be asked. It doesn’t induce hyperventilating like all the times people asked me what college I was going to and what I was majoring in. I take it as a compliment.

But sometimes people also say it in a way that sounds like they are trying to protect me from disappointment if I never get to goal. It’s like they’re telling me Santa might not be bringing me that My Little Pony for Christmas after all even though I sprinkled the sugar on the cookies all by myself and chose the reindeer-shaped cookie cutters over the holly-shaped ones in an effort to suck up to Rudolph. It’s nice that people are looking out for me, but I still want to get to goal for several reasons.

1) I have a perfectly reasonable goal weight

Goal weights are weird because they are basically numbers you pull out of your ass. You can check the BMI charts or try to remember how much you weighed at a time you considered yourself thin, but you’re still randomly choosing a number within a certain range. I believe there is fairly wide range of weight at which you can live a healthy lifestyle (probably at least a 30 pound swath). I picked 160 as my goal because it qualifies me as normal according to my BMI, it seemed like a number I could reach, and it ended in a zero. I could just as easily set 161 or 159 as my goal, but who does that? Back in college I set 140 as my goal weight, so setting it at 160 this time around was an act of leniency on my part and a reflection of more realistic standards.

At the beginning of the year Tyra Banks told people magazine she weighed 161 pounds after the tabloids said she looked fat in a bathing suit. She’s only an inch or two taller than me. In the months following that she lost 30 pounds. One hundred and sixty pounds – the weight at which supermodels go running for their personal trainers and tabloids call you fat. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable goal weight to me.

2) 20 pounds is not an insignificant amount of weight

I’m about 20 pounds away from goal right now, which is a trifle in comparison to the 190 that I have lost. But it’s still fairly heavy. I recently bought a 20 pound dumbbell to use in my weight training. If someone shoved it in my arms and said, “Go run 3 miles with this,” I would shove it back at them and say, “No thanks.” When I am using the dumbbell to do a back pullover I know that if I drop it I could literally smash my face in. Sweaty palms could be fatal. Some people have weight loss goals that only consist of losing 20 pounds and I’m sure anyone of them will tell you it’s a pretty significant accomplishment in itself. So even though I’m really close to my goal, I don’t think it’s any reason to stop just because I can see the finish line on the horizon.

3) I am willing to push myself farther

If I had reached a point where I was exercising 3 hours a day and counting every calorie and my weight still wouldn’t budge, it’s likely I would conclude that my body had become as slender as it wanted to become. I am not at that point yet. I’m willing to run longer and faster, lift heavier weights, and maybe one day actually do a cartwheel. If my damn leg would heal. Stupid leg.

When I was test-driving cars last year I needed to see what those babies could do. I took them all to The Big Honkin’ Hill. I first drove over The Big Honkin’ Hill during an ice storm in 2000 and was somewhat surprised I did not go sliding down its steep slope, through the stop sign and into the side of an SUV. When I took cars to The Big Honkin’ Hill, I got to see what they were made of. Similarly, I’d love to see what my body can do, how far I can push it. I want to climb the big hill and see how fast I can accelerate. I want to push it to the limit just so I know where that limit is. I’m never going to be younger than I am now and I’d like to experience all the cool things my body can do before the cartilage in my knees completely rubs itself clean away. I don’t necessarily need to weigh 160 pounds to do that, but dropping another 20 pounds will most likely make running easier and faster, just like I get better gas mileage when I’m not hauling around my 20 pound dumbbell in the trunk.

4) I like having goals.

Goals are good. Goals prevent me from sleeping in on Sunday mornings while I stare at the ceiling wondering, “What is the purpose of this thing called life? What is the point?” I need to have something to get me up in the morning that is not small and furry and batting my face demanding to be fed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a weight loss goal, but it has to be something. Otherwise I feel directionless and start eating out of boredom. Right now several things keep me getting up in the morning and the idea of one day weighing 160 is one of them.

5) I like reaching goals

The other great thing about having goals is reaching them, especially when you’ve worked really hard for them or when people think it’s impossible. I’ve read all the articles about how dieting doesn’t work and how I’m supposedly doomed to gain back all the weight. I think that will just make it all the more awesome when I get to goal and keep it off. It’s definitely hard. That’s why it will be such a grand accomplishment. That’s why it’s worth doing. I already have 5 wisdom teeth, crossed toes, and a slightly inverted breastbone, so I am perfectly comfortable adding “long term weight-loss maintainer” to my list of medical anomalies someday.

6) Is it too much to ask that my boobs stick out farther than my belly?

Seriously, y’all, is it really that much to ask? Right now if I were to run a close race I’d have to win by my belly and not by my tits. I don’t mind the cellulite, the saggy butt, or the underarm flab, but can I please have boobs that stick out farther than my pooch?

Taking all of this into account, I don’t feel an incredible rush to get to my goal weight. I was sitting on my couch after eating too much pudding last week and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be at goal? Then it wouldn’t be as much of a setback when I pig out.” But upon reflection that doesn’t make much sense. The pudding won’t have less calories when I’m at goal. It will still make me gain maybe a 1/10 of a pound no matter what. It’s weight I’d have to work to lose again anyway.

I have to remind myself not to fall into that trap. Crossing through the goal posts to my goal weight doesn’t mean that this is over. It’s never over. I’m always going to have to think about what I eat and I’m always going to have to exercise. Weighing 160 pounds does not change that. So, whenever I feel a little down and mumble “Geez, why can’t I just be at goal already?!” I just remind myself that this is indeed for the rest of my life. So, it doesn’t matter that much if I get to 160 this year or next year or in five years. As long as I don’t gain back any significant amount weight, I’m cool.

Because from this point out my weight-loss really is basically about vanity and seeing what my limits are. I bet I’m healthier than a lot of people who are thinner than me. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. I exercise almost daily. I floss every night. Every night, people! I don’t care if you just completed a triathlon, how healthy are your gums? The flossing is what really puts me over the top in the “I’m-healthier-than-you” competition.

I know I could live a happy and fulfilling life at 180. I could have lived a happy and fulfilling life at 220, which was the weight when I first looked in the mirror and thought, “I could live with this.” I know I could tell people that I weigh 150 right now and most of them would believe me. But I still want to get to goal. And I’m going to get there and do a ridiculous touchdown dance when I do.

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53 Comments

Jill • July 9, 2007 at 9:56 am

I know you can do it! You’re inspiration for fat girls like myself (who is down 30 so far!).

And that photo is hilarious!

Thanks.

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joan • July 9, 2007 at 10:14 am

You are going to get there, and we want to see film footage of that dance when you do!

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BrightAngel • July 9, 2007 at 10:23 am

Yes.

I agree with every comment you’ve made today.

I’m now in my 18th month of Maintenance, and am determined to continue holding my loss forever.

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Têtue • July 9, 2007 at 10:48 am

I’m going to do a touchdown happy dance, too, when you reach your goal weight! You are my HERO!!! :) I’m lifting weights today, dang it!

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emily • July 9, 2007 at 10:52 am

I ABSOLUTELY think you should keep working, keep running, eating well, and I do think you will lose more weight. And you may well end up less than 160 – your body will eventually stabilize, when your energy input matches your output.

Two things to keep in mind though:

1) Your bones may be denser & heavier than someone who has never been obese. As I understand it, someone who grows up overweight and stays overweight for a number of years will end up with denser, heavier, stronger bones to support that weight. This is a good thing! Less chance of osteoporosis, and it won’t affect how you look. But, you may find you are heavier than someone of the same size who has been thin-ish most of her life.

2) When I had a BMI of 18.5 (borderline underweight), and almost no fat on my body, my stomach stuck out further than my boobs, unless I sucked it in.

However, standing up straight will help with that – put a dot on your picture at your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. They should be a straight line. If you correct your lordosis, it’ll help your stomach stick out less. Check it out: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9583.htm

BTW, I don’t think your spine is curved in a permanent way, it’s just your posture – easily correctable. I recognize it because I have it too, unless I consciously work on it. It’s partly caused by a tight psoas muscle, which you have to stretch.

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Janice Bridge • July 9, 2007 at 11:46 am

Great personal analysis! Way to go PQ.

Emily’s assessment of bone density is on point. And the extra skin you chuckle about from time to time probably adds 3 to 7 pounds. But these are numbers to factor in when you reach 160 . . . not 180.

Your “through the goal post’ comment is right on. Goals are important. Setting them, sticking to the original goal, and pushing onward is important. But maintenance must also be a goal. Unfortunately some of us have reached a weight loss goal in a previous part of our life – and then, resting on our glory, regained the pounds lost. Not a pretty picture.

If it provides any additional encouragement, pound for pound, the greatest benefits as far as clothing options, will be recognized in the last 20 pounds lost! While on my journey, my first 40 pounds lost equated to only one dress size – the last 20 pounds took me through three sizes!! If you think the choices available in 12s and 14s are neat – wait until you get to rattle the racks of the 8s and 10s!!!

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Kimberly • July 9, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I love that you’ve got a group of gals here rooting for you to keep pushing on. How wonderful to be supported like that!

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ann • July 9, 2007 at 12:31 pm

You go girl!!! Loved this post!!!

I set a goal and picked a diet and exercise program I thought I could follow without too much hassle the rest of my life. I ended up about five pounds below my goal, and then my weight seemed to settle there. So, I have a new lifelong goal, voila.

The hardest part about staying at goal (this spoken after 3 months at goal) is the emotional stuff – I thought things in my personal and work life would just be nice and rosy and easy at my new weight, but much of the old stuff is still there. Actually more so since I don’t have bingeing and crash dieting to use as an anesthetic for emotional pain, so for the first time in ages I have to face emotional pain raw. Ouch!

Plus, lonely evenings are more lonely when one don’t have a bunch of desserts to stuff down one’s gullett and blur the emotions.

Plus, any screwed up patterns one has in one’s life (ie, choices with men, procrastination at work, familly issues, etc) will march right behind one into the land of thinness.

Previously, after losing weight on crash diets, this stuff would have made me give up and grab my trusty box or cookies. But this time, I’m so delighted with where I am weight -wise that I’ll stay here, and deal with the rest, somehow.

Good luck reaching your goal – I’m sure you’ll do it! And that’s crap about how everyone regains – the National Weight Registry shows many, many people who follow sensible plans who do not.

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ann • July 9, 2007 at 12:34 pm

trusty box OF cookies, I mean!

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ann • July 9, 2007 at 12:36 pm

when one DOESN’T have a bunch of desserts (yeow – I need to hit spell check next time)

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JanB • July 9, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I think it is great to keep on going. I had this same conversation with my own brain here a while back. I am a lot further from my goal, but I was wondering, should I set my goal a little further back? Then I thought, well, I guess I’ll just get as close as I can and worry about it then.

You’re right that it’s just a stab in the dark to find the right number. Getting too hung up on that number can be bad too, your body will tell you when you’re there.

By the way, you look wonderful and it is great to read your blog and hear how far you have come. Gives me hope.

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kalmia • July 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Ditto what everyone said above about commending you for carrying on. Based on my own experience, I’m wondering if it would also work for you if you deliberately try to maintain your current weight for a while before going lower. In other words, rather than trying to lose, to deliberately induce a plateau for a few months or however long it takes for your body to feel good and satisfied with your current weight. It has been constantly experiencing thinner and thinner weights for a couple of years. It must be in panic mode by now, since it doesn’t know you intend to stop at 160. Maybe you need to “reassure” it by maintaining a stable weight for awhile and setting this as an intermim goal. Not easy to do psychologically, I know. But if anyone could pull this off successfully, you could.

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Patty • July 9, 2007 at 2:13 pm

I know what you mean by ‘it will never end’. The monitoring of the food, the exercise. But, it is so worth it and like you I enjoy exercising (most times) and see how far my body can go and improve. I know it will take a long time to goal for me and some more time for you and we will get there. I do get impatient from time to time but I know the wt didn’t come on overnight and it takes a long time to take off.

Sorry about the boobs/tummy thing. Look at it this way, I’m at the other end and well endowed and wish for smaller ones so they aren’t bouncing all the time when I jog! So I think you are lucky in that sense!

Good luck to you PQ!

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Tammy • July 9, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Hang in there and keep working hard. You’ll make it. Don’t feel bad about the boobage. I lost 85lbs about 20 years ago. I was so proud of myself. I was working out religiously and was also tan for the first time in my life. When I saw my sister, 18yrs my senior, for the first time since I had started dieting, she said, “You’d look great if you had some boobs!” Besides my face, it’s still the first place I lose and gain weight….lol

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Debbie • July 9, 2007 at 2:59 pm

If the last 20 pounds take you a little longer than you’d hoped, I think that’s almost a good thing. That way, you’re more prepared for maintaining your weight when you won’t get the thrill of the scale going down every week to keep you eating right.

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Chris H • July 9, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Excellent post again mate! I got to goal, did the victory dance, did the surgery to fix the huge saggy belly… went to the gym 7 days a week, and RELAXED AND PUT BACK ON 15 kilos!!! So don’t do what I did, it is a life long battle to A) get to goal, and B) Stay there! I hope you get there soon… it is an AMAZING feeling.

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Leora • July 9, 2007 at 5:01 pm

I think that you are right about a goal weight being an arbitrary number. But your level of dedication to a continued healthy lifestyle is so amazing and inspiring. It’s so great that you continue to remind us how progress is not linear and how we need to have those difficult days along with the great days. It’s what makes healing and health so attainable. Stress and self criticism are never healthy.

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lulu • July 9, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Having got this far is a splendiferous achievement, but you have every right to want to reach your goal. It’s astonishing how much difference those last few pounds can make.

Forgive what may be an impertinent suggestion: are you sure you are standing straight? Many formerly-heavy people have developed a habit of tilting foward from the ankle and leaning backward from the hips. This gives the illusion of standing up straight and helps take the strain off the stomach muscles, which is why it is an easy stance to adopt when heavy. The downside is that it makes the stomach stick out and curves the upper spine slightly forward. Your posture may well be absolutely perfect:it’s not easy to tell from a photograph, so it might be worth checking with a dance teacher. I only mention this because it’s exactly what I was doing, and it took a lot of practice to break me of the habit. My pilates teacher didn’t mention it, but my dance tutor certainly did (many, many times).

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K • July 9, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Lots and lots of good points there!

In fact, I should print out this list, or make one for myself, because I am also in that zone where one is technically overweight but looks OK when clothed. (In fact, we’re weight twins, but I’m four inches shorter.)

It is difficult! I’m not terribly vain, so that’s not much of a lever.

Oh, and like Patty, I’d say there are distinct disadvantages to bigger breasts. I can remember what it was like before they appeared (you could run without pre-planning! you didn’t have to consider the strap-hiding possibilities and tastefulness of every single garment!) and if someone invents a handy shrink ray I will be first in line.

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Kris • July 9, 2007 at 6:53 pm

I’ve enjoyed all your posts but the last two have really touched me. Thanks again for helping me stay on track.

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Patricia • July 9, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Way to go PQ for making it as far as you have! We all know, (you included) that you will make it to your goal. :) The things that take the longest are the things that are most worth it. :) I am also around 20 lbs away from goal, and like you, I am no longer technically overweight, I look great, (I’ve also lost most of my boobs, I sure do miss those girls!) but I don’t want to stop here. I want to make it to my goal. Thank you for the encouragement to keep on going!

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yo • July 9, 2007 at 8:04 pm

I think living like you are working for 160 is really smart.

i mean, it’s not an insane goal, and it’s better to have a goal of 160 and accidentally gain 10, then have a goal of 180 and accidentally gain 10.

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PastaQueen • July 9, 2007 at 8:11 pm

lulu – Enough people have mentioned something about my posture that I wouldn’t surprised if I think I’m standing up straight but actually am not. I made a real effort to stand up straight in the last pic, but I might still have been crooked. Thanks for the tips though. That’s the most detailed explanation I’ve gotten for my posture and it might be what I’m doing without knowing it.

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Renee • July 9, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Your blog has been a source of encouragement and motivation for me in my own weight loss efforts, so thank you very much for that. You have done so great in setting realistic goals and working towards them. It’s not always a smooth and even road to becoming healthier (Rocky rest stop for cheese fries? Why, yes, I think I will.), but the consistent strides forward are so worth it, and you remind me of that when I have those blah days like you mentioned in the previous post. You’re right, too. This is about doing something for YOU because you want it and it makes you do a happy dance. I want to do that same happy dance, and I’m getting there.

This current post also brought up a question I’ve been wondering about for a while: How often do you workout? I aim for 7 hours a week, which I sometimes reach and sometimes don’t, but it’s a goal.

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Lily • July 9, 2007 at 8:54 pm

haha! All good reasons! And I believe you do win the healthy contest.

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Laura • July 9, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Man this is perfect timing for me. I am 25 pounds from goal, and ditto just about everything you said (except for flossing–I hate to floss; and I have zero wisdom teeth–I’m a medical anomalie too, just the other way). I know you wrote these for yourself, but I am mighty beholden to you for putting it out there just when I needed it, too.

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PastaQueen • July 9, 2007 at 9:33 pm

Renee – I try to do both weights and Pilates three times a week. They take about half an hour each, so that’s three hours. When I was running, I tried to do 3 or 4 days a week. I’d gotten up to about 3 miles, which took, um, 35-40 minutes depending on how fast I went and how long I warmed up. So that’s maybe another 2 hours there. I usually take one day off a week too, because, dude, I need a day off, you know? All together that’s 5 hours I suppose. Now that I’m walking I try to do more like 50-60 minutes of walking 4 days a week, so that’s about 7 hours, I guess?

I might have been going to hard with the running though, because I hurt my leg. I think you need to gauge what your limits are and aim to go just a little below that so you don’t hurt yourself.

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Jenny • July 9, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Wow, you have NO idea how much I needed this today. Great post, great inspiration. Thanks.

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Cindy • July 9, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Hi PQ,

These last two posts have been very timely, illustrating the ups and downs of this big battle. I, too, am about 20 pounds from a goal (I think—I never set an END, because I was afraid if I did, I’d worry too much about failure). But after nearly two years of working at this, having an end number is starting to make sense. I am struggling with the pain of realizing that all this work on my body has done little to fix the issues inside (Well, it has helped some, but life is not the bed of roses I once dreamed it could be if only I could be thinner…). So I’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster (which has, interestingly, been reflected in the scale in my bathroom—dancing up and down the same five pounds for several months now…). I KNOW what to do, theoretically, to get back on the losing side. I just have too many days when I can’t do what is right, even when I think about it.

Your posts have helped me see this as a normal part of the process and that helps me feel like it is more manageable again. I’ve got to set a goal (or GOALS, actually!) so I know what I am working for—and then just do it, for crying out loud! Thanks for everything!

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MizAngie • July 9, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Okay, if that were a side view of me you could put “boobs” and “belly” on the same line. I hate gravity!

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lurker • July 9, 2007 at 11:42 pm

i have a few thoughts… feel free to disregard them but just wanted to put my two cents in.

1) if you started out this weight loss thing to become healthier, you might want to consider the fact that losing more weight at this point could very well be unhealthier than just accepting where you are now. “pushing yourself” to lose more weight could put your body into a starvation mode, which is unhealthy.

2) BMI is not the be-all and end-all of health determiners… you probably have denser bones, as someone above mentioned, plus when you factor in some extra skin… although your BMI might say you are overweight now, you are probably not “really” overweight… your current weight, in any case, is almost certainly not going to cause you health problems.

3) i understand that it is fun to have goals. but aren’t there better goals to have than losing 20 pounds? a hallmark of eating disorders is that we start giving food and weight an undue significance. our self-worth is measured by how much we weigh and how well we stick to our diets. you clearly have a lot of drive and energy — why not ease up on the quest to lose 20 more pounds and instead devote that energy to other pursuits? you are more than your body.

4) your boobs may never be bigger than your belly. for many people, weight around your breasts comes off quicker than weight around your belly. especially when we put our bodies into starvation mode, the body likes to keep weight around the belly because that weight is easily accessible. if you lose more weight, it will come from all over — not just your belly. it is a recipe for frustration to try to radically alter your natural body shape. sure, you could get breast implants, and then your boobs would be bigger than your belly. or you could just try to love yourself the way you are right now.

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Kathy • July 10, 2007 at 7:36 am

Hurray for your great attitude and the patience that is necessary for a lifetime change. Great post.

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RG • July 10, 2007 at 9:08 am

I was confused about the comment that “losing more weight could by unhealthy at this point”. I understand that BMI is not the litmus test for health, but 1. Her current BMI is “average”, not defined as healthy, and around the BMI where I start to go “woah, need to lose weight pronto”.

2. Even her goal BMI is “overweight” on the Asian scale, nowhere near “Unhealthily thin” and

3. There’s a lot of scientific evidence that the lower the weight the more healthy well into a BMI range of 19-20. Where did you get the impression that “starvation mode” is unhealthy? All the research I’ve read on mice, and calorie restriction, says that there are lifespan-enhancing effects to the metabolic changes that happen with lowered calorie intake (aka “starvation mode”).

I’m sorry if attempts to lose weight have morphed into an eating disorder for you – but that’s a specific warning she can look out for.

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PastaQueen • July 10, 2007 at 9:26 am

RG & lurker – There are no worries about me starving myself. I don’t really count calories, but I did recently guesstimate how many I eat in a day and it falls around 1700-1800. A female of my weight and height engaging in light activity burns around 2200 calories daily (your mileage may vary). So, a 400-500 deficit is nothing to worry about. That also averages out to a pound a week, which is about what I’ve been losing when I don’t eat half the kitchen out of boredom.

As for BMI, yeah I know it’s flawed and it says Shaquille O’Neil is a fatass, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s still good to get a general guidline of where I should be. And since I have to buy my own health insurance it is very important since it’s what the insurance companies look at to see how much to charge me. BMI was developed by insurance companies after all.

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LadyT • July 10, 2007 at 12:18 pm

ahhhh…this is refreshing. and i agree with you. just starting out (15lbs in to a 100lbs loss)i sometimes have times when i am tired of this eating right, needing to excercise…ordering water and the occasional unsweetened tea (bc i’m in the south and people look at you wierd when you do that!)…..then i think just what you said…that it wouldn’t matter if i was at goal….bc i would still need to eat right, still need to excercise if i want to maintain my glorious loss……so i got to buck up an dmove on….complain but still get my rummp out the door…and into the stuffy air of my apartment gym (bc its just too d@amn hot and humid in the south to walk outside)

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Cannibal • July 10, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I think your reasons are great and you definetely are not anywhere near starving yourself (your weekend was kinda like my weekend, though I am now able to gorge myself on things like flax chips and beans–still no good!). I don’t know how anyone could say that eating healthier is unhealthy. Healthy food nourishes the body and unhealthy food starves the body of nutrients, no matter how many calories there are. Overeating doesn’t feel good, is unhealthy, and getting out of that takes time–two steps forward, one step back, but two steps forward again! The farther you go, the easier it gets.

As a smaller-busted lady, I agree that you may never meet the stomach goal–BUT you have every right to expect it to go down somewhat, and maybe have them sticking out around the same. I have gotten to this goal (with correct posture) and it’s quite nice. I would also like to say, the small chest is chic, athletic and subtle. Don’t be afraid to take advantage–do all those bouncy exercises others can’t do (as much as the looser skin will allow, I suppose), wear shirts cut as low as you want (sadly, people won’t judge you the way they would a bigger-chested girl–you’ll look suggestive but not “slutty”–it’s not fair but you can take advantage), spend way less on bras, etc! Fat distribution is pretty much entirely genetic, but there are advantages to all types–revel in it.

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Lindsey • July 10, 2007 at 1:50 pm

This is a little off topic, and related more to a random aside you made in your last entry (the blah entry). However, there wasn’t anywhere to post comments on that one, so I had to add it here.

I saw that you were a fan of Alias (or have to assume so as you own the box set), so I thought I’d make another recommendation along those lines.

Before Alias, there was La Femme Nikita on the USA network. I usually don’t push USA network stuff as most of it’s crap (La Femme Nikita and Law n Order SVU re-runs being the exceptions). But La Femme Nikita was the original—it’s based upon the original French movie (which Point of No Return with Bridget Fonda was the American rip-off).

Pretty much as soon as La Femme Nikita ended (ran for 5 seasons or so), then the network came out with Alias. Coincidence? I think not, my friend.

Although La Femme Nikita doesn’t have nearly the budget that Alias does, I think it does far better than Alias on almost every level. For a low-budget mid-90s series, it’s amazingly well-written, sleek, stylish, believeable. If you like Alias, you really should check out La Femme Nikita (finally, all seasons are available in box sets as well). After watching La Femme Nikita (female star is Aussie Peta Wilson), I think you’ll find that Alias really is just a cheap rip-off of the much more sophisticated and belieaveable La Femme Nikita.

Anyway, I just wanted to pass that along…

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Kate H • July 10, 2007 at 3:11 pm

I’m curious to know if you’ve thought about changing your routines and habits. It’s a well known fact that the body can (and does) adjust to how we treat it and what we do with it. It basically becomes efficient at doing what was once very hard.

So maybe changing to a different diet and switching your excersize routine would help. Consider starting the c25k (couch to marathon) and think about trying something like the YOU on a diet.

It might just shock your body into losing some more weight :)

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Mymsie • July 10, 2007 at 4:26 pm

“…I’m always going to have to think about what I eat and I’m always going to have to exercise.” & rarr; So true for me too and something I have to constantly remind myself. In many ways, it’s inhibited me because it makes me feel overwhelmed BUT ultimately I think it could be freeing, once I accept that’s the way things will always be with my body and mind so I may as well get on board and let go of my desire to eat compulsively. (run on!)

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jen • July 10, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Hey, “I want to be there” is reason enough to shoot for 160. No one says we have to take a vote. You look good now, you’ll look good 20 pounds from now. It’s funny how much difference even 5 or 10 pounds can make — 20 will probably put you in a size or two smaller clothes and you’ll look a lot different.

I think you’re right that there’s a broad range of “healthy,” probably broader than what most of us might think. But for running and just getting around, it is true that less weight just makes everything easier.

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Betsy • July 10, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I just wanted to defend lurker a little bit — I think your current entry, combined with your previous one, made you seem a little sad or almost trapped, in a way, by your current eating and exercise regimen. And I think it was that that lurker was addressing more than anything: a mental starvation mode, perhaps, rather than a physical one.

I lost 30 pounds when I was in college, and while my BMI was still normal after my weight loss, my behavior became anything but. I didn’t count calories either, but I became obsessed with what I ate and how much I exercised, and I felt that the day was either “good” or “bad” based almost exclusively on these criteria. And when it was a bad day, I felt almost precisely as you described in your last entry.

So, I think what I’m trying to say is that right now you are clearly healthy, both mentally and physically, but it’s strangely easy to cross over to a not-so-healthy mindset to weight loss and weight maintenance. I couldn’t really pinpoint when my healthy approach to these things dissolved into obsessiveness, and I think lurker may just be suggesting that it’s something that can happen to any of us. Even me, who had always thought people who obsessed about their weight were kind of ridiculous and sad, until I became one.

I don’t mean to say that you’re an obsessor or that you shouldn’t try to reach your goal weight — I think you should! — but that it’s not bad to keep checking with yourself along the way to ensure that your relationship to food and exercise remains just a part of your life and doesn’t become your whole life.

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Devil's Advocate. • July 10, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Here’s what I am wondering.

Assume for argument’s sake, Betsy, that PastaQueen became obsessed with calories and exercise. Why is that dangerous?

What exactly is the fear? I mean, if I had to trade my current weight for being my ideal weight and an obsessive relationship with food, I’d pick Door No. 2.

I mean, do 26 year old women suddenly get anorexia and die? Is that .. really something she should fear? Considering that it’s really hard not to regain lost weight, one would think a dose of obsession would be an asset.

Maybe I’m naive though.

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Erin • July 10, 2007 at 10:43 pm

All very great points.

And it may also just be that the people who say that to you are in a bit of a panic mode because they need to drop a few and they don’t like that your ass is getting smaller at a rate faster than their asses are. I hope that’s not the case for you, though.

And take solace in the fact that as an improving runner, your lack of boobage is actually a benefit to you. I try running or anything that causes mammarial movement, and I wake up the next morning with chin bruises.

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natala • July 11, 2007 at 10:09 am

these were so great to read.

I’m still 170 pounds (or so) away from my goal, but it’s funny my reasons for getting to my goal keep changing – it’s not so much about looking hot in a bathing suit anymore ;) as much is it is about how I feel (inside and out)

peace out

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shinypenny • July 11, 2007 at 11:10 am

Another rec for La Femme Nikita here (Roy Dupuis, rowr: http://www.roydupuis-online.com/history/tv/lfn.htm)

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PastaQueen • July 11, 2007 at 11:57 am

Lindsey & shinypenny – I was actually a big LFN fan back in the 90’s. If I’m remembering correctly, I would even read summaries of the shows online from Canadians before they showed them in the US. Joel Surnow co-produced some eps of LFN and he now produces 24, so sometimes old LFN actors show upin Jack Baur’s world. This year Mr. Jones played Chloe’s ex-husband on 24.

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shinypenny • July 11, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Hee! Let me know if Roy shows up in an episode! I miss him. :)

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n.b. • July 11, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Hi! I’m a friend Of Ned Batchelder and found you thru his blog’s link. Wonderful! You are truly awe inspiring.

I bet people aren’t actually trying to discourage you from reaching goal, it’s just that they know how heard it is to lose that last 15-20 pounds. I want to lose 20 pounds myself, and after the first five…I’m stuck! The body is saying “Uh-uh, I need that muffintop and those love handles in case a famine arrives or something.” It is hard and demoralizing to keep going when you hit a plateau. Thanks for the inspiration!

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jake silver • July 11, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Dear Queen,

Great post. Loved it.

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Heather • July 12, 2007 at 12:23 am

It’s hard to tell from your picture, but the boob belly thing, might be related to posture.

Lordosis (not lardosis, like I first read it, don’t worry. :o) can cause your abdomon to protrude, then your back will curve back in, and your head sticks slightly forward.

Again, hard to tell from pics, and I’m no expert anyhow,but I thought of that when I saw your pic– so maybe posture work and perhaps a chiropractor visit if you have a hard time doing the posture work?

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Tracy • July 13, 2007 at 9:07 am

Just as I was reading this excellent post and the comments, I’m also reading the book ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer (it’s about effortless, injury-free running). FWIW, There happens to be a helpful section in there about posture, with some exercises and pictures.

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Kristin • July 14, 2007 at 6:08 pm

I completely understand how you feel..I’ve lost about 20 pounds so far, and still have about 20 more to go..what little bit of boobs I had before have almost entirely disappeared..but you know what, I guess I’d rather be thin with no boobs than 40 pounds overweight with a little bit of a chest..

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Aunt Donna • July 16, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Man, you look great in that picture — and you’re right, there’s no way anyone could guess from that picture which one was you — well, the hair might be a clue!!! But I think the discussion has gotten side-tracked from what is definitely the key issue here: your flossing regimen — EVERY NIGHT????!!!! I am impressed! My dental hygienist wishes I would be half so good! Kudos!! :)

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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.

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