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Remember we forget

There have been a couple times in the past year when I have snatched too many bagels from the break room or eaten far too many slices of cake and pie at family gatherings or I’ve eaten a lot on the weekends for no reason at all. Whenever these things have happened, I’ve thought to myself, “Why am I like this now? What happened to the old me who was so good at dieting?”

Then I went back and read some of my blog entries and realized that’s a load of crap.

I’ve always had issues with eating on the weekends. I’ve always eaten too many M&M’s at baby showers. Food has always been an issue for me – when I was fat, when I was losing weight, and now as I am maintaining my loss. Yet, for some reason, I make myself believe that I was more perfect in the past, that I was better back then, when my blog stands as proof otherwise. The human brain is tricky like that, remembering things as we think they were instead of how they actually were.

That’s one of the best things about keeping a journal, it’s immune to the shadings of time. The best way to know what it’s like to go through an experience is to write about it as it’s happening so your brain doesn’t play tricks on you later. When I’ve rooted through boxes in my closets, I’ve occasionally found diaries or old school journals. Usually I find myself reading them as I sit cross-legged on the floor thinking, “Wow, I was a total doofus!” The thoughts I had back then, the things that were important, are not the same as now. But I would never remember how different I was unless I’d written it down to read later. And I’d probably never realize how much the same I am in other ways either. That girl I think I was never really existed.

So, when I’m trying to fight off the urge to eat another granola bar and wondering why I’m so weak-willed lately, I can console myself with the fact that I’ve always been weak-willed. Thank goodness I took the time to write it down.

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43 Comments

Melanie • April 18, 2008 at 9:15 am

Hey PQ, did you feel the quake today? I’m in Louisville and it woke me up at 5:38 this morning. Pretty wild huh?

As for today’s post – thank you for writing this. I needed to read it today. I needed to know that even those of you who have succeeded in losing a lot of weight still “forget” too. So thanks.

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JEM • April 18, 2008 at 9:20 am

The brain is so tricky that way. It helps to know you aren’t perfect but have had such extraordinary results. Maybe I can still make it.

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Rah • April 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

Very astute observation, PQ, and very helpful reminder. Thank you.

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Cindy • April 18, 2008 at 10:18 am

Hi PQ,

Right on the money…as usual! This was a perfect reminder. I’ve stopped journaling, after 2 1/2 years and it is not going well. I am “forgetting” all the time, because my brain no longer has to keep track of every morsel I eat, in order to write it down at the end of the day. This little shift in practice could be a HUGE shift in my eating, if I let it get away from me. It has shown me that I, too, have not really changed and I will over-eat, given the soonest opportunity. I must return to journaling, both for the “record” of the truth, and for the discipline of having to record. Thnak you…and thank you again…

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PastaQueen • April 18, 2008 at 10:30 am

I did feel the earthquake and it was awesome! I’m sure my Californian readers are shaking their heads at me, but I’ve never been in an earthquake before and I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like. There’s one more thing to cross off my “To do before I die” list.

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John Fit • April 18, 2008 at 10:32 am

I love where you’re going with this. Keeping a Journal about your weight loss and progression is awesome. If you want any helpful tips make sure you check out my site. I’d love to help you out with keeping on track.

Consider me your online trainer.

John Fit

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Cathleen • April 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

Okay, this has nothing to do with what you were writing about, but I just wanted to let you know I ordered your book on Amazon. I am looking forward to reading it!

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Gaby • April 18, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Hi PQ

I just discovered your blog this week and you’ve inspired me to dig out my copy of South Beach and just do it.

I got your book too, cant’ wait to read it!

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Laura • April 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Well this is a timely post for me, thank you for writing it. I have been going through major issues with food lately and I keep thinking “what is wrong with me?” And guess what? It’s the same thing that’s always been and always will be wrong with me. I just have to figure out how to live with it and keep this weight off.

You enjoyed the earthquake??!!! Holy cow, you are crazy girl. =) I am scared to death of earthquakes. Felt my first one in early high school (I’ve lived in So. Indiana all my life) and was sure the ground was going to open up and swallow me. Now I’m scared that the building is going to fall in on me and my kids. It woke me right up and I knew exactly what it was and I ran from room to room trying to figure out if I needed to pick up the kids and take them outside. Thankfully it wasn’t bad and it stopped before I woke anyone up. Other than the dog, I was the only one in my house that even knew what was going on. That’s what mom’s do, I guess. Did you feel the aftershock around 11 am EST? That scared me too! I have got to get a grip.

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PastaQueen • April 18, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I did feel the aftershock, but I was at work in a big concrete building so it felt like someone was slightly jostling my chair. Some of my coworkers didn’t even feel it.

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Tami (Foode Fight) • April 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Hi! I’ve been tracking your blog for a few weeks now, but today’s post really grabbed my attention. Just last night I porked out on an entire homemade pizza and piece of pie, foods I don’t even allow myself unless it’s in extremely rare and careful moderation! And weekends are the WORST for me, so I am grateful to have your archives to sort through.

Thanks for sharing and I hope to be able to write about running half marathons in a year and a half or so.

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Red • April 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for reminding me of this, I just had a croissant because it was there and was busy thinking “I didn’t USE to fall for these foods.”

Of course I did.

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victoria • April 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm

THis is amazing, because I was thinking the same thing. I was reading your early entries last night, and thinking, “Wow, she sure had a lot of slip ups. But she still managed to lose 180 lbs. How is that even possible?”

I think the answer is, you just kept trying. You never used a slip as an excuse to give up altogether. You just kept plugging away, even though it was always hard and you were never perfect. Even when you could only walk half a mile and stairs made you tired, you kept at it.

Your mistakes are more inspiring to me than anything else about your story. I have perfectionistic, black & white tendencies in my thinking. If I’m not the best player on the team I don’t want to play. If I eat more than 1,000 calories in a day I might as well eat everything I want that night. If I’m not at my ideal weight I’m not a good person. If my arthritis means I’ll never run a marathon then I won’t bother to do the short, slow runs, or stairmastering, that my joints *can* tolerate.

The way I think hurts me in so many ways. So, thank you for keeping this very candid, accurate, honest account of your imperfections as well as your incredible success. You have really helped me see how rigid and unrealistic I am in my thinking and how accepting small failures is necessary to success.

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Andrea • April 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Thanks:

1) for reminding me why, again, I really should be taking the time to journal at least minimally

2) for showing me that even if I always will still have the same ol’ food and exercise issues, I learn to acknowledge them and deal with them, as you have, rather than just surrender to them.

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Andrew is getting fit • April 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Cognitive disassociation. Believing something to be true even when the evidence supports the opposite. :)

And I have exactly the same issue.

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Liz • April 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I like this post. I find this with myself in other arenas. I will think that I used to be more fluent in Spanish, or that I used to do (insert skill here) really well. But sometimes if then I take the time to honestly look back and appraise where I was, I realize that it is not true. Somehow I get an idealized vision of who or where I was in the past.

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Jean from NY • April 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Your book arrived in the mail today and I’m about 2/3s of the way through. I discovered your blog last summer when I was searching the internet for some ray of hope that my decision to deal with my weight(I was over 450lbs)wasn’t automatically doomed to failure. I’ve had type II diabetes for over 10 years and at 56, I’m a lot older than you, but your blog and book give me a lot of hope. I’ve lost over 90 lbs so far since 8/07 and I’ve been able to cut back on one of my diabetes medications. I have a long way to go but I don’t feel so alone anymore. Maybe those in the FA movement think I’m just setting myself up for disappointment and ultimate weight gain, but I’ve got more confidence now that I can succeed. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

My best,

Jean

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

That’s pretty much how I feel about training for my marathon. I remember *so well* that I was a disciplined runner the year before and WHY is it so hard to do it this year? However, I didn’t log all of my unwillingness to go out for my 5 runs/week the first year but you remind me that I was indeed reluctant and it was something that scared me to run five times a week and it’s complaisancy now that I don’t.

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Wendy • April 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Got my book!

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Jaime • April 19, 2008 at 12:31 am

Hi,

I am just starting out on this weight loss journey/blogging experience. I came across your site and am so amazed at what you have done! Way to go! I would like to blogroll you, hope you don’t mind. Keep in touch.

Jaime

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baretta • April 19, 2008 at 4:42 am

Thank You.

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PastaQueen • April 19, 2008 at 7:01 am

It’s always okay to blogroll me! Thanks!

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Jenny • April 19, 2008 at 10:03 am

I just love your blog. And I ordered your book today! Congrats on everything.

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Kellie • April 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

Congrats on all of your success! I haven’t had time to really dig through your past blogs but I look forward to doing so. What an inspiration you are! I’d love any of your top tips that you have. I’ve got quite a journey to go! Keep up the great work!

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BrightAngel • April 19, 2008 at 11:03 am

[quote]So, when I’m trying to fight off the urge to eat another granola bar and wondering why I’m so weak-willed lately, I can console myself with the fact that I’ve always been weak-willed. Thank goodness I took the time to write it down.[/quote]

So true.

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Tricia • April 19, 2008 at 11:11 am

i just re read the m & m blog, and im still laughing. im the same way. thanks for the laughs pq.

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G.G. • April 19, 2008 at 12:09 pm

You know, I think that’s one of the reasons this blog is so popular. I’ve been able to lose 120 pounds since I began reading it, and while I know, heart and soul, that *I’m* the person responsible for my success, seeing her lay out her successes and failures on a regular basis really helped hammer home the fact that perserverance trumps perfection when you’re working through this body stuff. After I’d been reading for about a year, I looked in the archives to where she had been when I started reading, and something clicked. “I still weigh X pounds, and she’s lost a lot more. How did she do it? By persisting from increment of time to increment of time, and getting things right more often that she got them wrong. I can’t be perfect, but I can aim for doing things better more often than not.”

Have to say I got the book last night and am very much enjoying it. It doesn’t just tell a good story, it’s so well-written, and very accessible. It’s not often I read a book and laugh out loud repeatedly in involuntary bursts. I had to put the book down and take a break after I read the phrase “like pork confetti in a parade” (that may or may not be exact, but it’s close). And there were a lot of little word-gems like that nestled throughout.

You did good, PQ!

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G.G. • April 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Well, I meant to link that with victoria’s quote above, but goofed up. Sorry.

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debby • April 19, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for re-mentioning the m&m blog–I just read it and laughed out loud so much–expecially the baby in the freezer quote! I hate baby showers, and I am a neonatal ICU nurse, so it was funny on many levels!

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debby • April 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Jean, Just wanted to write to encourage you to keep up the good work (fight, battle, whatever this weight loss thing is.) I am your age, and also have a dad with diabetes, so really relate. I have lost 94 pounds in the last 3 years, still fighting with the last 20-30. it is a daily battle, but a good one. I love the new way of eating I have, and that I am finally starting to enjoy exercise, but there is the daily temptation to overeat. I find it really encouraging to read blogs like PQ’s to see that people who have been so successful still have the same struggles as me, but we are living with it, and succeeding one day at a time.

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Jean from NY • April 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for responding Debby. I didn’t set out to loose weight last summer. I had decided to go off avandia since there were some reports out with medical concerns about the drug and wanted to give metformin another try. My feet were so swollen from the avandia edema that it was sometimes impossible to close the velcro straps on my sneakers. I had been pretty successful keeping my A1C level around 6.5 for the past 8 years, but my weight kept creeping up and up.

Once I switched drugs, the edema went away and I lost the associated water weight.After about 4-6 weeks I finally got brave enough to get on the scale and realized I must have weighed over 450lbs when I had the edema. Since I have no idea what my highest weight was, I decided to use 450 as my “official” starting point.

My A1c is running around 5.6 these days and I’m pleased about that. I just wish that getting more excercise was easier. It is a little easier to move around now, but I still get tired after only a few minutes. Still, I’m making progress and I’m enjoying the journey. I’m not doing this for anyone but me.

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debby • April 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Good deal, Jean! I am a nurse, and I don’t even know what those A1 etc. numbers mean. But my dad, who’s 81, also lost weight as a side effect of one of his meds, and now he feels so good, he’s working hard at keeping it off. But of course he has some pretty significant permanent disabilities from being diabetic for so long. I mostly wanted to encourage you on your exercise. I was so out of shape, and had some hip and knee problems, that I would shuffle downhill for about half a block, and then limp home. I started telling myself that if I would just go to the next tree, I could eat a little more. And now I can walk 6 miles every day, if I choose to. It’s just a miracle. Do you have a support group? I didn’t want the accountability, but think it really helped me.

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AvidReader2008 • April 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Just found this website and I find your writing to be very inspirational. I am going to look for your book. Thanks for sharing your fantastic journey.

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Jean from NY • April 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm

What I really need is a walking buddy….

A1C measures glycolated hemoglobin — the percentage of glucose your red blood cells have taken up over the last few months. Its an indication of longer term control.

Amercian Diabetic Association says for diabetics a reading under 7 indicates good control. Many physicians feel that a reading under 6 is a better goal. To compare, a reading of around 4.5 -5.2, depending on the lab, is the value a non diabetic would get.

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Natalie • April 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I’m wishing I journaled more of my feelings when I was successful in the weight loss. Last fall I did great & lost some weight, now in the spring I want to give up, and I’m thinking, how did I do it? Why can’t I do it now? What was the magic key that kept me on track? I journaled & blogged a little. Maybe I’ll go back to what I do have & search for clues. The cynic in me is thinking I was only successful because it was somewhat new (by “it” I mean sticking to an eating plan). Now that it’s old & tiresome, I need to find different strategies.

But I, with all the commenters, give another shout out to the great insight that Hello! It was hard then, it wasn’t easy, for sure & I shouldn’t expect it to be now. True, true.

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Nikki • April 20, 2008 at 9:21 am

Your entry spoke to me. I’m recently 87.5 pounds down from 252 and I have the same issues as you. I beat myself up all the time over those extra slices of cake or big heaping seconds at dinner. I wish I could be more dedicated like I was before but what you said is true. I’ve been keeping an online journal at 3fatchicks for almost four years now and it’s great to look back. Maybe we think when we are fatter we have an excuse to eat extra m&ms but when we are fit and healthy we don’t need that garbage in our life and feel guilt by it when we eat them. Who knows? Anyway, I really enjoyed this entry. Thanks.

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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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