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Weighing in on August

If my August weight was a person, it would be the twin sister of my July weight. I averaged all my weigh-ins for August and the calculator spit out the number 179.325. The average for July was 179.5. Given at least a 1/8 lb margin of error, I’ve been holding steady.

From the optimistic, “What’s that hanging around my cloud? Oh, it’s a silver lining” perspective, it’s cool to know that I can maintain my weight by doing what I’m doing right now. I know there is a lot of debate in the fatosphere and the scientific community about whether people are genetically doomed to be fat or if you can do anything about it by manipulating your environment. I’ve only lived in my own body, so I can’t speak about anyone else with 100% certainty, but I know that when I show up and do the work, I get paid. Fifty percent of success comes just from showing up.

For example, I recently read an article in Newsweek about the social networking site Facebook by Kurt Soller. The lead sentence was “I have three fond memories from my senior year of high school: the day I got my college acceptance letter, the day I graduated and the day I joined Facebook.” My first thought was, “Wait up, how old is this guy? We didn’t even have Napster yet when I was a senior in high school. Facebook is only a couple years old.” For a second, I was jealous that there was someone much younger than me writing articles for Newsweek. But then I thought, “Well, PastaQueen did you ever apply for a job at Newsweek? Did you ever try to get a journalism internship? Did you even study journalism?” The answer to all these questions is NO. In fact, I rarely ever read Newsweek. Upon deeper reflection I doubt an oddball like me would find any satisfaction working at a weekly news magazine for any other reason than to brag about it to other people. The reason I don’t work at Newsweek is because I never showed up. I never tried to get a job there. I didn’t do the work. If I did try, I may or may not get a job there, but we’ll never know because I have no intention of ever doing that. However, when it comes to weight loss I have done the work. I do show up. I haven’t lost much weight in the past couple months, but I haven’t gained any either. I know that for me personally, if I show up and do the work then I can maintain my loss.

My biggest problem lately is that I have been overeating in the evenings. I have been hitting the yogurt really hard. Live bacteria cultures beware, PastaQueen’s coming to get you! And then she’s coming back for your children! I’m not sure why I’ve been doing this, but my best guess is that exercising in the mornings makes me hungrier in the afternoon. I’ve thinking about eating a bigger breakfast and lunch to compensate. For the past week my strategy for stopping the evening pig-outs has been, “Well, just stop doing that,” but that strategy has been as effective as the troop surge in Iraq. Last night I cooked two pork chops, one for dinner and one for tomorrow. I got my Tupperware container out to put the other one away, but I took a bite out of it before I put it in the tub. Then I took another bite and another and hey, I’m almost done so why don’t I just finish the whole thing? I’m very good at rationalizing, but it’s very hard to justify a two pork chop dinner as a boon for weight-loss.

My best excuse is that I exercised a lot yesterday. I lifted weights in the morning and did Pilates when I came home. Then I decided to run 3-miles because it was so nice out, like Disney movie beautiful with the sun smiling at me. I half expected to run into an animated dragon at the second mile marker who would offer to be my friend. This means I exercised for at least 90 minutes, which is pretty much the limit for what I’m willing to put into fitness on a daily basis. I’ve read that some people exercise 3-4 hours a day to maintain their weight loss, but honestly, I’d rather be a bit chubby than to move that much. I’m willing to try a lot of things to lose weight, but if there’s a line, that’s it.

I will admit though, I have not been pushing myself as hard as I did back in the early days. When I moved here last year I would walk for an entire hour. Granted, I probably burn as many calories running for 35 minutes as I did walking for 60, but I could definitely push myself harder. I’ve gotten comfortable and I need to break out of that comfort zone. I’m reading about running plans and I’m going to make an effort to start training harder, especially since I’m running a 5K in two weeks.

Since my weigh-in numbers in my sidebar haven’t budged much lately, I decided to try for a quicker mile time. The fastest mile I’ve ever run is 9:30. My leg has been feeling much better this month and I’d prepared my body by running 3-4 times a week for two weeks before attempting my high-speed dash. Last weekend I gave it my all and sped down the trail from stone mile-marker to stone mile-marker, dodging dogs on leashes and couples holding hands without breaking through them Red Rover style. When I finished, I looked down at my stopwatch and it said:

9:30

Aaaarggh! Exactly the same number as my last best time. Nine minutes and thirty seconds. Well, at least I didn’t lose any speed when I took July off to heal. But damn, I would have loved to at least gotten 9:29. Next time I’m going to run the other direction down the trail because it’s slightly downhill. Time was not on my side, but next time gravity will be.

In other exercise news, my final tennis lesson was last Monday, and honestly I was relieved. I really suck at tennis, y’all. Which is probably funny for other people to watch, and humbling for me since I’m naturally good at other things, but I could not even serve the ball into the service box. Everyone else was getting much better than me and when we played games against each other I could tell I was dragging everyone else down. My hand-eye coordination SUCKS. It sucks so hard you can probably feel your face being pulled into the monitor right now by its intense vacuum force. You’re most likely reading these words with your right eye because your left cheek is stuck to the screen. There were times balls would pass right by me and there was no excuse for missing them. All those years I avoided team sports and athletics I also avoided creating the synapses and neural pathways in my brain that taught people how to hit moving balls. I’m sure if I practiced a lot (if I showed up), these pathways would be formed, but I’m not crazy enough about tennis to bother. I’m glad I stepped out onto the court, but in the future I’m going to avoid team sports because I prefer to just compete against myself. One of the reasons I like running is because it’s idiot proof and I only have to beat myself, not some ultra-marathoner.

And if all else fails, there’s always aerobic wedding dancing.

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

Scale Junkie • September 1, 2007 at 9:51 am

Thanks! I really needed to put my life in check today and the whole 50% is showing up did the trick.

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Al • September 1, 2007 at 10:52 am

I came across your blog from BlogCatalog – I love this site! You just got a new subscriber.

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Mary • September 1, 2007 at 11:07 am

They exercise “3-4 hours a day” for maintenance? Cheeses of Nazareth! Even at my most delusionally optimistic that sounds crazy.

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Vivian • September 1, 2007 at 11:19 am

I have been skimming through your blog every now and then and i love it. you inspire me as i have half of me to lose, too! i thank you for expressing yourself so well and sharing it, you don’t realize how helpful your blog has been for me! sometimes (okay a lot of the times) i feel so overwhelmed with how much weight i want to lose (135lbs).. but i see that you did it.. and i think to myself.. if pastaqueen can do it, then by george, i can, too!

you know, i even used my amazon.com gift certificate to get the kickboxing and pilates dvd’s you recommended.. i’m eagerly awaiting them in the mail!

anyways.. just wanted to pop in and say THANK YOU.. keep doing what you’re doing.

blessings,

divina

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anji • September 1, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Love that shimmery dress!! I’m going to email you a URL you might be interested in… bye for now!

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john • September 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm

It’s actually reassuring to me that someone who has had the weight loss success you have had still sucumbs to the one bite, two bite, oh what the hell I might as well eat it now, syndrome. Reassuring to me, probasbly not so for you though.

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annie b • September 1, 2007 at 3:08 pm

There’s an article series in the NYTimes titled Personal Best. One is about running (no. 7 most emailed article right now) and how women don’t usually push themselves to run their fastest. Your blog reminded me of that, I thought I’d point you to it if it helps. It’s certainly good to set new goals and I always admired that you focus on what your body can do, rather than that number on the scale. You really look great in that dress btw, I’m amazed you got it on Ebay and it suits you perfectly.

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Kala • September 1, 2007 at 4:01 pm

your skinny neck and clavicles (sp?) look great. I’m very jealous. GO PQ.

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starbird • September 1, 2007 at 8:19 pm

I loved your comments about Newsweek. Rest assured, you don’t need a journalism degree to be a reporter, even for a big deal publication. I and many of my editors haven’t had one. You write better than 99% of today’s writers anyway.

Have you checked the relative effect of two pork chops compared to a bunch of yogurt? I’d bet that the pork chops would put on fewer ounces, or maybe even result in a loss. IIRC, you don’t eat plain yogurt, right? Then, the sugar in the flavored yogurts will put on ounces faster and more permanently than the pork chops.

My favorite appetite-killer snack is whole wheat bread with peanut butter and cheddar cheese slices. Lasts for hours. Another appetite killer, if you can find it, (I grow it in my herb garden) is fennel. Chew the fresh, not dried, fennel seeds. Yum! And no calories.

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Weightless • September 2, 2007 at 3:00 am

Jennette, You are truly a very pretty girl with alot of motivation in your weightloss past. I chose you as one of my links for Blog Day to discuss and I look forward to reading your book next year. I applaud you for continuing to have the courage to move forward and meet your goal. Congratulations and Thank You!

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Heather • September 2, 2007 at 8:40 am

I can’t imagine exercising 3-4 hours a day for maintenance… training for events, however, yessirree…

The most I’ve averaged has probably been 3-4 hours a day… and most would be surprised to know that you still can’t eat whatever you want. I’m even still a “big girl”! (Though I did have hotwings last night– that’s pretty close to eating whatever you want… that’s a bit over 2 hours of running and bicycling, and an hour of weight training that justified that. Still, couldn’t do it every night. Those of us who really, really, really like food appreciate the extra exercise time. ;)

And the running v walking thing… You pretty much definitely burn more Calories running for 35 minutes than walking for 60. First of all, let’s say you cover 3.5 miles either way. Then, contrary to that stubborn myth perpetuating the internet– running burns more Calories per mile than walking because it is a less efficient mean of locomotion. Calories don’t change much based on speed of running, but from the motion of walking to the motion of running, it sure does.

To find your net Calorie burn for running, .63 x your weight (lb); for walking– .3 x your weight. That’s a real difference! (Total Calorie burn, .75 x weight, or .53 x weight respectively)

I wish the myth would go away… While there are VERY good reasons to walk instead of run for many people, the Calorie confusion deludes people and convinces them not to do what helps. I will say however, that if you walk FASTER than 5 mph, this does not apply…. walking faster than 5 mph is inefficient and does burn those Calories.

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Kalyn • September 2, 2007 at 11:42 am

Hey, I’m your first Bloglines subscriber on the new server.

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Mark • September 2, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Wasn’t it “digging the dancing queen,” not “dig in the dancing queen”?

I thought so too, but Lyrics Freak said “dig in” and who am I to question Lyrics Freak? – PQ

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Megan • September 2, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Question: Are you going to put any of your awesome wedding pics in the Fancy Dress Edition of your progress photos?

Also, have you ever tried wind sprints? I read that doing them 1-2 times per week can speed up your running time if you want to be faster. They are described in great detail in Covert Bailey’s “Fit or Fat.”

Have a good day!

My mom returned my dress yesterday with all new straps, so I’ll be adding a 360 photo sometime this week. – PQ

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BrightAngel • September 2, 2007 at 12:23 pm

You are an incredibly talented writer, and

I love your amusing, clever, insightful comments.

You’ve received many comments from me, so you are probably now aware of my weight/weight-loss/maintenance history.

So….CAUTION…I see DENIAL appearing in your BLOG today.

Bottom Line for weight maintenance,

it is necessary to gain innner ACCEPTANCE of a Very Hard Truth.

The more one engages in heavy exercise activity,

the more efficient one’s body gets.

While exercise is beneficial to one’s body in many, many ways…

For almost everyone…tons of Exercise Activity, still physically justifies VERY LITTLE increase in one’s daily calories.

It is hard to incorporate that into our Mental process, and DENIAL is there ready and waiting.

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dietgirl • September 2, 2007 at 3:59 pm

I don’t see any denial in this entry… you said quite clearly that you recognised you need to push yourself harder and have been thinking of ways to do that. Half the skill in blasting blubber and keeping it off is being able to notice these things. Rock on, the QUEEN! Love the photos too :)

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the veggie paparazzo • September 2, 2007 at 7:33 pm

That dress looks beautiful on you.

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Michelle • September 2, 2007 at 7:44 pm

This is my first time visiting your blog and it is so inspiring! You have done an amazing job losing weight. Keep up the great work! I lost 100 pounds and have struggled changing from losing weight to maintaining. Check out my blog at http://www.lightsize.com

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Mia • September 3, 2007 at 9:09 am

I agree with diet girl; I don’t see denial in your entry. In fact, it seems like the exact opposite to me.

I’m so glad you like running! I think I need to get a stop watch so I can time my mile. I’ve been letting Nike+ do it, but it averages the time for the entire run. I’d really like to time a sprint or just see how fast I can run 1 mile, not 3 or 5.

Great post! And you look great in the photos!

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Roni • September 3, 2007 at 3:56 pm

First of all I just want to say there wasn’t even an internet when I was in high school!!! Thanks for making me feel OLD! ;~)

Second, just came across your blog, absolutely LOVE IT! You are doing awesome an I also agree with diet girl, you aren’t in denial you especially if you are online telling us you think you are.

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Catherine • September 3, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Holding steady is WONDERFUL. Good work.

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Jenny • September 3, 2007 at 10:19 pm

I’ve read the same thing – 3-4 times a week to maintain. Crazy bodies!!! You don’t seem in denial.. it seems like you’re looking for something new…that’s great!! YOU look great.

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Mark • September 4, 2007 at 2:57 am

Apparently “dig in”/”digging” has been exhaustively analyzed online:

http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/sanga_pemci/dancing_queen.html

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/14/messages/90.html

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/14/messages/114.html

Apparently “dig in” was in the original lyric sheet.

However, as a resident of Japan, I tend to think this was just a non-native transcriptionist mistake. Here in Japan the English lyric sheets with CDs and the English subtitles on U.S. movies are filled with such “homonym” errors. And non-native speakers just mangle the language. I like “Rainy Days Never Stays” by The Brilliant Green, but the title does cause a chuckle.

PQ – Heh, I am amazed by the amount of time and thought people have put into debating this topic. I personally like “diggin’” better, but I’m too lazy to change the image and according to the official site I’m using the right lyrics, so I’m just going to leave it.

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G.G. • September 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

Here’s some unsolicited. probably unwanted advice–but if you are interested in sports that will improve your hand/eye coordination, you might try something more fast-paced than tennis, something that might prompt a more instinctual response. I used to have problems with hand/eye coordination when I played tennis and slow-pitch softball, in part because (this is going to sound weird) I had too much time to think and I could psych myself out. However, when I played fast-pitch softball, raquetball, and volleyball, I had more success because my body reacted better than my mind would let it when I had time to think about what I was doing. Anyway–something to think about. Raquetball is a pretty nifty sport, and might give you a better workout than tennis, anyway.

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CEL • September 10, 2007 at 12:46 pm

WOW! I really needed to read this today! Thank you!!! You are right SHOWING UP is the key. I love to workout but I need to SHOW UP in terms of my diet to get the results I say I want. Thanks for the reminder and the laughs!

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Rebecca • February 7, 2009 at 2:02 am

You can see the red glimmers in the dress in the dancing photos! Pretty!

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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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