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So, this weight loss stuff is hard, eh?

I bought muesli at Trader Joe’s because it sounded exotic and foreign, like Vegemite or Weetabix. Then I brought it home and realized muesli is essentially granola’s cousin, only with more cornflakes and dried blueberries and possibly crystal meth. (I’m not sure what those little round things were.) There are certain foods I should not be allowed to buy and muesli can now be added to that list.

Lately, that list has become my grocery list. I was doing really well for a week and then, holy shit, I found myself plowing through the fridge at 11 o’clock at night, stirring peanut butter into ricotta cheese just because I wanted to eat SOMETHING. The next day I gave a coworker a ride home and was relieved I hadn’t left any embarrassing music in the CD player, but was less happy that the Krispy Kreme bag from breakfast was lying on the passenger’s side floor. I felt like I’d left a used syringe on the top of the trash, me, the poster girl for weight loss (literally, I have posters) who drank 400 calories of chocolate milk for lunch last week.

Some days I’ve been doing really well and some days it’s been so out of control I’ve felt like there must be something very, very, wrong with my brain. Like, perhaps my never-ending headache has screwed up my brain chemicals in ways I don’t understand and led me down a spiral of compulsive overeating. I’ve been hesitant to blog about this because the book changed things. I didn’t want it to, but it did. It’s a lot harder to be honest about my struggles when I’ve got a book out there with me standing in one leg of my fat pants on the cover.

How might it affect publicity if I admit that I’ve gained 10 pounds? I don’t know. Maybe somebody thinking about doing a story about my book will come here, read this and decide I am not worthy of their air-time and I’ll miss a big sales opportunity. I like to be honest about my struggles, but the simple message of a success story seems like a much easier sell than the complex “I’ve lost a lot of weight but still constantly struggle and will probably always be fucked up around food” story that is the reality.

It’s terribly ironic that at least 5 of those pounds are due to the stress of promoting a weight-loss memoir. The rest I refer to as my “mi-gain,” the weight I’ve gained due to my never-ending headache. But I figure, screw it, I’m not perfect and you’ll all be far less disappointed if I don’t pretend I am. I’m probably being far too hard on myself anyway. I’m nowhere near morbidly obese again, and I could go run a 5K after I finish writing this blog entry, which is more than a lot of skinny people can do. However, I’ve got to stop eating like I have been or else those things will cease to be true. And I REFUSE to buy new pants. I WILL NOT GO BACK TO LANE BRYANT. That bitch is dead to me.

So, Saturday was another fresh start, a day for healthy eating and definitely not donuts. It is disgustingly optimistic of me to say this, but I truly believe you can always start over tomorrow. Even if you eat a half-gallon of ice cream and a loaf of banana bread on Friday night, you can start fresh on Saturday. It is never too late to lose weight. Of course, I tried to be healthy by trying this new muesli-meth mix, but found myself craving it in the evening, so I reached for my desk drawer to indulge my other compulsive habit instead – gum chewing – only to discover – OH MY GOD! I was out of gum! I cannot remember a nanosecond in the past two years that I have been without gum. Ever since my dentist told me chewing gum with Xylitol would help prevent tooth decay, I’ve used it as an excuse to have breath so minty fresh that it would rival a Scope spokesman. (And no, I don’t think the gum chewing is causing the headache, so shut up.)

No gum. Crazy mad cravings. I ate too much muesli. I felt bad. “It’s OK,” I said. “You can make it up tomorrow,” I said, even though I haven’t been doing that lately. “I’ll buy some salad tomorrow and then…OH MY GOD! IT IS NOT OK! It is every letter in the alphabet except O and K! Your pants are tight. Your clothes feel uncomfortable. And you’re speaking at a blogging convention in a month in front of a couple hundred of people! You cannot gain any more weight! This. Must. End!”

So I went for a walk.

Thankfully, it was June 21, the longest day of the year and I think the sun set at midnight. I was able to walk almost 3 miles, and though I don’t have a calorie counter handy I think it worked off the extra muesli, which is now stored in the trunk of my car. (I was going to throw it out, but it is just too good to trash, oh sweet poison.) I don’t want to develop some anal habit where I am compelled to exercise off every extra calorie I eat, but I’m so glad I went for that walk. It made me feel a little bit more in control of my life, and my illness has made me feel anything but in control. It also does good things to my brain chemicals, making me feel a bit happier and less binge-tastic.

And it was a beautiful day. There was mist rising from the sidewalk as the sun evaporated puddles from the recent summer storm. Young couples were holding hands. Old couples were holding hands. Disaffected goth teens were smoking by the canal and I’m sure if I’d taken a photo they would all laugh at what they were wearing and how cool they thought they were in 10 years. I felt like I was part of my community and it reminded me of how much I just like walking. I’ve been doing a lot of running lately, but walking is perfectly good exercise too. You don’t burn as much energy as fast, but it’s calming in a different way and it’s less painful. I think I’m going to try to do more walking, maybe around town at lunch, and definitely AWAY from the food in my kitchen.

I know some women (and men) have spent their whole lives gaining and losing 10 pounds, but it’s something I’ve only been doing for the past year. Before then I just kept gaining 10 pounds and gaining 10 pounds and gaining 10 pounds and oh, lookie there, I weighed almost 400 pounds. It definitely requires a different mindset than the one I had when I blasted off 200 pounds at once. I’ll probably write more about that in detail later, but these past 6 months or so have definitely been the hardest for me. I haven’t been as hardcore about health and fitness. There’s been slippage, slowly, slowly, slowly, eating out more, not exercising quite as much and IT MUST STOP. So, I’m going to be stricter, probably do phase 1 of South Beach again, and there will be lots of walking, because there will NOT be new pants.

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

Sarah • June 23, 2008 at 8:14 am

Welcome to maintenance. I know what you mean about gaining and losing those same 10 pounds. As I get further and further away from the weightloss phase of my life change I look back wistfully at how easy that was. It keeping it off that is the struggle. I know that many reading this will be like, what, losing weight isn’t easy. But it is compared to life after a significant loss. I think there is another book in that.

You will have good days and bad days. I still struggle but all my hard work has paid off in little ways. I may still eat the whole thing of Trader Joes English Toffee. But I am not doing it every day. Like once a year and I am okay with that. And my regular food habits have changed as well, portions are way down and I am making smarter choices. That is what really counts. The mental stuff– it takes time and more hard work. But you’ll get there. We all do if we want it bad enough.

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Xenia • June 23, 2008 at 8:19 am

I feel your pain. I’ve been experiencing huge ups and downs with healthy eating lately. I think I need to just re-focus on my goals again. Taking a walk sounds like a good way to do that.

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mary jo stromberg • June 23, 2008 at 8:28 am

It is a bitter truth that when you reach your goal weight you are not suddenly smarter and in controlof your life! I finally am coming to grips with the fact that I will battle the urge to eat things I know I shouldn’t for the REST of my life- and somehow that has made me feel better. I have good days when I am so proud of myself and bad days where I feel like a loser (and not in the weight department)but my Google 15 graph is showing a more steady line – right around my goal….and I’ll take that. If it were easy we would all look like keira knightley.

Thank you for being SO HONEST!

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JourneyGirl • June 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

Thank you for writing this. I myself have had a really bad couple of days. I’m beginning to wonder if this is the beginning of the end of my new healthy lifestyle. I recently lost 45 lbs. but have started to act like my old self again. This will no doubt put me back to where I was six months ago. I really admire your determination to not let this be it for you and to slip back to your old life. I am going to try and get in the same mindset. I’m starting to believe that allowing yourself to think that you may regain the weight is the first step in letting it happen. Stay strong and keep up the good work.

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Kristen Harrison • June 23, 2008 at 8:38 am

Thank you for writing this. I am struggling to lose weight. I have 80+ pounds to lose and it feels so hard. I would love to hear more about how from your perspective losing the weight is easier. That might be the encouragement I need. I’ve tried so long and so many ways to lose the weight and although I am determined to make something work, it just seems like it will never work. And we would all like to believe that once we DO lose the weight, it will be easy to keep it off. It’s a good, honest thing to admit that it’s hard, it stays hard, but you are fighting.

Thank you!

-k

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Em • June 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

Oh my goodness…I’ve been a subscriber of your RSS feed for a few weeks now but I don’t even know your name, but this post is by FAR the most encouraging. I know that it’s odd to be encouraged and heartened by another’s failure, but it’s because I’d lost 60 pounds recently and have gained 20 of it back, and I struggle with it every day and eat compulsively in secret, because I am so ashamed to admit that I’ve gained it back and that it’s not easier and that the ugly coping habits of eating are really not easy to shake when one must eat every day.

Whew! Run-on alert! But really, thank you so much for being candid about this stuff and reminding everyone that it’s not, “ta-da, I’m thin and I’m a SUCCESS story!” but a constant, daily PROCESS of calibration, negotiation, and monitoring. This may sound daunting, but I think at the end of the day it is SO WORTHWHILE, that I think we keep fighting. Thank you thank you thank you for keeping it real. We’ll keep fighting!

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Jill • June 23, 2008 at 8:58 am

PQ, I puffy heart you. It’s totally okay to admit you are struggling, because I think we can all relate to that. You’re human, and like most of us, you’ll always hear the crystal-meth muesli calling your name from the trunk of the car. Old You would have dove in head first to the muesli-meth, but Jennette 2.0 went for a walk! That’s a step forward. As long as you are doing something that moves you forward everyday, you are headed in the right direction.

And the beauty of SouthBeach is that you CAN start over fresh.

You are going to be fine, headache and all!

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PastaQueen • June 23, 2008 at 8:58 am

“I’m starting to believe that allowing yourself to think that you may regain the weight is the first step in letting it happen.”

Word on that. Your thoughts become your actions.

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Wendy • June 23, 2008 at 9:28 am

Here’s something I didn’t confess on my own blog. I ate my own body weight in pizza on Saturday night and chugged it down with an excess of alcohol. I didn’t confess it on my own blog because so far that has been the story of my success and I didn’t want to go there with any hint of failure, real or perceived. But in tonight’s entry you won’t find any comment about my weight, be it a loss or a gain, because I don’t want to draw attention to what I did.

What I’m clumsily saying is your honesty humbles me. And how the hell can you even eat meusli – I think the headache has messed with your tastebuds lady!

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Hannah • June 23, 2008 at 9:32 am

PQ, you are fantastic for being so honest about your ups and downs. Straightforward “success stories” are too easy. When you think about what you have been through in the last 6 months, a paltry 10 pound weight gain doesn’t seem too serious. And remember, a couple of weeks ago you ran a half-marathon! If you aren’t fit then not many people are.

By the way, I’m from Oz, and I love the idea that muesli and vegemite are exotic. Heh heh.

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Lori • June 23, 2008 at 9:37 am

“I WILL NOT GO BACK TO LANE BRYANT. That bitch is dead to me.”

I absolutely LOVE this line and can’t wait til the day when I can say it myself.

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debby • June 23, 2008 at 9:38 am

PQ, Thank you SOOO much for being honest and sharing this. If you had tried to pretend everything was perfect and you were on easy street, it would have made so many of us that are having the same struggle feel like failures. I lost 100 pounds starting 3 1/2 years ago, and have slowly regained 10, and have had all the same thoughts. Right now, I think I am finally on the downward trend again, I think mostly thanks to all my bloggy friends, and the accountability and encouragement they are providing.

And what you said about starting over the next day is one of the proven facts about long term weight maintainers.

I totally relate to your gum incident. I have run out and keep forgetting to get more, and I am not too proud to beg gum from complete strangers!

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Cindy • June 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

Jeannette, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. I’m in the middle of my own weight loss journey (over 100 pounds and counting), and I know how hard it is. I also suffer from migraines. They can have a lot of different triggers, including certain kinds of foods. Mine were triggered by my grinding my teeth at night and clenching my jaw throughout the day — a nightguard, realignment of my bite, and some physical therapy took care of most of it, and when I do get them now, Imitrex takes care of the rest (usually). I hope you’ve been to a neurologist to rule out anything really awful, but you might also ask your dentist for ideas on your next trip.

As for maintenance … well, I think 10 pounds up and down is pretty normal, and the important thing is not that you ate a doughnut but that, as you say, the next day you eat yogurt and salads instead. There’s never going to be a time when the urge to eat poorly goes away forever. We just have to be vigilant. And you’ve got a lot of people rooting for you! So keep your chin up, and keep up the good work.

Cindy

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victoria • June 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

I just had dinner the other night with a friend of mine from college. She was bulimic in high school. She’s now a 43 year old doctor, and mother of three boys, and you’d think she’d be over food, wouldn’t you? You’d think she’d have bigger fish to fry? Well, sort of. She no longer binges and purges. But she still struggles. “Not eating the crap the drug companies bring to the office is a daily challenge,” she said. She still does weight watchers every week — even though she is a normal weight and by no means needs to lose even one single pound — because the compulsion to take a dive into a pile of brownies is always with her.

As it is with me. I will not berate myself for the fact that I will always have this compulsion. It’s not a moral issue. It’s just part of me, like my blue eyes and tendency to get sunburned easily. I will always have to carry sunblock and a hat with me, and I will always have to be careful around food.

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deanna • June 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

I sooo appreciate your honesty. Thank you. That’s why I keep coming back to read, because you are real and you keep it real. And that helps ME so much!!! Keep on keeping on!!!

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G.G. • June 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

I think being honest with yourself is probably the most important step you can take. Next, is recognizing that you’re probably always going to have issues with food, and you’re going to have to be careful, forever–not perfect, but careful. Lastly, it’s important to not panic about it, and make your fears about regaining turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I don’t know from maintenance, because I haven’t done it successfully–but I do think I know why I failed in the past (I lost 80 pounds and regained it within a year). I thought that I didn’t have the same problems with food; I fooled myself into thinking I wasn’t regaining; and when I realized I was regaining, I panicked and despaired. Not a good combination of factors.

Besides, it’s better to be honest about your struggles, than to try to show the world a perfect face and regain the weight due the stress it causes you.

Hang in there! We’re all rooting for you!

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liz • June 23, 2008 at 10:15 am

For me, when all else fails (or when I fail!), I always turn back to Phase 1. It gets me right back on track.

Good luck!!!!

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anon • June 23, 2008 at 10:20 am

As someone who lost A LOT of weight almost ten years ago, I can tell you that, yes, those ten poounds you currently battle are the hardest. And I don’t say this to be discouraging, but in a way it’s always hard, you always have to be diligent, you will still find yourself slipping toward old habits in times of stress and gaining some weight…but the good news is that you have learned much on your journey, and you’ve redefined your life (you’re an athlete now!), and you not go back to the old you. Sometimes you will resent how you will always have to be diligent, but for the most part you will accept it and embrace this new life (I think you already have!). And you’ll go through periods during which it seems SO HARD to stay on track, not comfort eat, not ditch exercise, etc., but then they will be balanced out by periods in which you are totally focused and on track and it all seems so effortless. Hang in there, kid. I hope your migraines and migains go away soon!!!!!!!!!

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Angi • June 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

Oh PastaQueen, I know you HATE unsolicited advice worse than anything, but PLEASE read this. I bought your book and read it this weekend, after I had been reading your blog for a little while and found out you, like me, were the sufferer of the never-ending headache. While I was reading your book, on nearly every page, I found myself saying, “Don’t eat/drink that, it’s aggravating your headache!” Mine lasted three years before I discovered that mine was caused by, among other things, aspartame (exacerbated by Tylenol rebound). PLEASE switch to diet soda sweetened with Splenda! I finally made the connection that while I was dieting, I didn’t have a headache, and while I was on the wagon, my head was splitting. The major difference was the aspartame. If you let this headache go on and on, you’ll end up doing what I did and gain most of your weight back because the only thing that makes your head feel better is lying in bed or eating. Plus you’ll just be miserable. PLEASE TAKE MY ANNOYING, UNSOLICITED ADVICE. I lost a lot of weight on South Beach, but the aged cheese, nuts, processed meats and fermented products like cottage cheese and yogurt, which were a big part of the diet, were also causing my headache. See the National Headache Foundation’s low-tyramine diet. www dot headaches dot org. You can do South Beach without those major aggravators. You have proven to everyone here that you are a strong, strong person to lose all that weight the hard way, and if you can do that, you can definitely beat that sh*tty headache! You can do it! I think about you and your headache a lot, and I just want to give you a hug because I know how miserable it is firsthand! And I KNOW you can beat it AND keep the weight off like I did. Being on SBD has you eating/drinking so many aggravators, but it’s possible to substitute with other things and still stay on the diet and keep your weight off. We’re all so proud of you and we want you to be healthy and pain-free. You deserve it!!

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Kris • June 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

Don’t worry about constantly struggling right now- that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? I don’t know if you saw Carnie Wilson on Tyra’s show, but I totally respected Tyra (for once) for telling Carnie that she is a poster child for trying to lose the weight AGAIN. I highly doubt you’ll gain 100 pounds, let alone 50, but I don’t think anyone will lose any respect for you for gaining back some poundage. Seriously.

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Jen • June 23, 2008 at 10:54 am

I really, really appreciate your honesty. If we were all honest with ourselves I think we’d all admit that we probably have issues around food and that losing weight and keeping it off is never going to be easy, no matter how much we wish it was. I’ve had very limited success in that department, but I’m trying…

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Chris • June 23, 2008 at 11:18 am

Hang in there! I think going back on Phase I for a bit is a great idea, not just for the lower calories, but because getting away from ANY starchy carbs should help with those unreasonable cravings. I would have never called myself a “carb addict”, because given the choice, I’d eat meatloaf before ice cream any day. (How’s that for whacked? I even had a dream about meatloaf last night–no joke!) But I’m amazed at how much LESS I think about food in general when I really cut back on carbs…even whole grain ones. I lost about 40 pounds last summer, and about 25 of them have found me again, all because I got lazy about the carbs. (they’re so cheap when you’re on a tight budget! And when you’re stressed out, it’s much easier to grab a bowl of cereal than to grill a chicken breast!) But, thanks so much for writing this….you’re not alone, and I really needed to hear what you’ve had to say today. I think a lot of us did….it’s never too late to stop the weight gain train! Onward and downward!

PS…I’m a displaced Hoosier, myself. Please hug the ground for me. I miss my home state!

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gknee • June 23, 2008 at 11:25 am

I completely relate to everything you said. Your public honesty amazes and inspires me. It must be very difficult to be a poster child to your own success. Love the Lane Bryant comment. I just recently cut up my LB charge card. Ironically- I liked shopping there. People were so happy in that store (probably because they found something that fit for once!)

Here’s my unsolicited advice- try OA. It took me 30 years of WW, Atkins, Body for Life, Zone, South Beach, etc to finally go to the best kept free secret. I am a food addict just like you describe in your post. I found my people in OA and they have really helped me a lot. I’m just sayin’ …….

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Red • June 23, 2008 at 11:26 am

When you’re losing weight, you have momentum and excitement. You know exactly what it feels like to lose 3 pounds and you’re stoked to see another three go away.

With maintenance it seems like you go between status quo and disappointment, which made it hard for me to keep the weight off.

In my case, I gained most of it back, and now I wonder why I never tried to stop the slide until I was within 20 pounds of my old weight.

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Karen • June 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

Well, I’m back on track to lose that 30-40 lbs I’ve been see-sawing with most of my adult life. What works the best is keeping up with calories taken in. I read that women take their goal weight and multiply it by 10 (12 for men) that is the number of calories required for that weight. So if you stick to that most of the time you’ll eventually reach your goal. Not fast, but effective.

I gain the weight back when I stop paying attention to how much I’m taking in. It isn’t rocket science and I don’t eliminate anything – I just keep up with about how many calories in the food I eat.

I do think we get tired of being ever vigilant. I don’t worry if I do “bad” one day or two – you can definitely get back on track.

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Joanne • June 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

Liz and Chris have the right idea. I’m much less likely to obsess over starchy foods after a few days without them. Counterintuitive, but true. Beware the dreaded carb creep!

Hope your headache and cravings are both gone before long…

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Caffeinated • June 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

I have to echo some of the comments here – THANK YOU so much for this honest blog post. I can only imagine how hard it is, like you say, because you’re promoting your book and showing yourself on the cover standing in half of your fat pants, etc. But this is SO MUCH MORE important – this is real life. And letting us see that and support you through it is what this is all about, and you are AWESOME! You motivate the CRAP out of me! I have a lot of weight to lose – 100 lbs. – but reading your book and reading your blog helps me feel like I can do it. And that is a really big thing – bigger than your fat pants, sister! Believe in your ability to BE YOUR OWN CHANGE. :-) You are RIGHTEOUS!

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Carla B • June 23, 2008 at 11:47 am

“I truly believe you can always start over tomorrow.” PQ, I think this is the real ‘secret’ to your success. The all-or-nothing trap kills more than its fair share of potential triumphs. I can read the frustration and maybe a little fear underneath your post, and I am here to say that I believe you will achieve your dreams. You don’t have to be anyone’s poster child, darlin’. Just be a hero to yourself. :)

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Rah • June 23, 2008 at 11:52 am

Thank you for your honesty and integrity. That’s what keeps us coming back. Hang in there–you will find your pathway through all this. You are creating new behaviors to replace a whole lifetime of negative ones. I teach child development, and students are always surprised to hear that you sometimes have to introduce a new food to a toddler 100 times before it “takes.” In the same sense, your new behaviors are going to take a lot of repetition before they become second nature. In the meantime, you are awesome!

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Amy • June 23, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I know Officer K probably doesn’t like to go for a stroll, but if you happen to be a dog person (or think you want to be one), you might consider volunteering to walk dogs at a shelter. You get the warm fuzzies of helping a caged pup get some exercise WHILE burning calories!

I know when I’ve committed to a volunteer thingy, even just a couple times a month, it makes me GO and we all know just getting there (gym, Monon, whatever) is a large part of the battle. I have to trick myself into exercise sometimes. Our pup’s sheer excitement when we get the leash out is pretty compelling.

Anyway, I am with you on not buying bigger pants! That’s one of the more compelling things getting me to the gym too.

Hey, if Nicole and I get off our rears again and do more Sat a.m. gym times, maybe we can loop you in!

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radiosilents • June 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

This is definitely the real test of your muster, and I know you have it in you to keep going! I agree with so much that has been said here. I think the main thing is that you are confronting your feelings and your actions. And to post about it here on your blog is a very powerful tool. It’s wonderful that you share not only the good times (of which there have been plenty — focus on that if you can), but also the tough times.

The only way you are going to be buying new pants is if they are the next size down, my dear. We’re all here pulling for you!

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Zombie Mom • June 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I so feel your struggle. I have only lost 70 – well, OK, its more like 65 pounds right now and just recently put the four pounds on after consulting with a nutritionist (long story) and utterly panicked. Her assurances that the weight gain was temporary did nothing to assuage my worries – it was 3-5lb increments that got me over 220… I have been struggling for months with losing and gaining the same five pounds – months and months and months.. but then I think at least its the same five pounds and not the seventy… hang in there

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Elyse • June 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

I think a key difference for me this time around (3rd time trying to maintain a significant (over 75 lb weight loss)) is the Internet support. Just reading about everyone’s struggles daily, helps to focus on what I need to do and not just let the weight come back on mindlessly. Of course, I enjoy exercising this time around as well (but after 38 years as a couch potato, I still don’t think my body believes I am serious about this exercise stuff!) – Thanks for sharing Jeanette…..

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jenny • June 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

boy oh boy. Thanks for saying so honestly what *all* dieters dread and experience. I lost 35lbs two years ago, then last winter the waitbands got tighter. Less exercise, more snacking and before you can blink – those cute pants are now hanging in the back of the closet. This morning I was going to exercise and eat a small breakfast…but hubby cooked bacon and there was a slice of that yummy toast. damn – guess it’s tomorrow AGAIN.

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Laura • June 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

PQ, I’ve felt like this for the past 3 years, over which I’ve been steadily gaining back the 100 lbs I lost. Now I’m at 332 – my highest weight ever – and I feel like I’m coming out of that depressive fog that had me chucking it all for treats and laziness. I had a re-up on Saturday too – walking 10 miles. Man it felt so good! And I just want to keep feeling like that!

Bee-tee-dubs, that fat free blueberry muesli of which you write? Is heaven! I knew if I had it everyday in unmanaged doses, I would go nuts with it. Instead, I keep it in my desk with some fiber one, then mix about 1/4 cup of it in to amp up the F1 noodles. You know? That way I didn’t go nuts with it. And it’s a decent afternoon snack, too. But I know, “in moderation” with that stuff is nigh impossible!

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Chrissy • June 23, 2008 at 2:03 pm

You know, your honesty is what makes me read your blog. No one wants to read about diluted perfection; we all struggle with a box of Krispy Kremes once in a while! Keep on movin chick!

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AnnaB • June 23, 2008 at 2:06 pm

I’m absolutely horrified by this line, and I think it smacks of fear and disgust of anyone above a size 12. Huh. Funny, that.

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Andrew is getting fit • June 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I find when I start nibbling again I start my food journal up and record it all. Then I have a look and think aargh! That normally gets me back on track.

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QueenB • June 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Honey. Have you stopped to REWARD yourself for all the hard work you’ve done? Like taking a fabulous trip or weekend at the spa? After you reach such a huge goal, it’s super important to step back, take a break and ENJOY your new self. It can sorta be a let down when you have “nothing” left to strive for. I mean, maybe you’re being an exercise/diet slacker because you’re simply sick of it and because now that you’ve done your marathon, what is there to do? That’s totally normal. The thing that sucks is that even though you have this new, thin, body, it still operates like a calorie sponge. Which is SHIT..I know! So, while it’s about maintenance and recognizing that a diet made of milkshakes ain’t gonna take your headache away OR help ya run a 5K, maybe allowing yourself to have one free food day will help. Then you can look forward to treating yourself and I find that when I do this, I’m more selective because it’s only one day. And while I could eat fried chicken, pizza and a hot fudge sundae all in one day, I know I’d feel physically ill. So, instead, I remind myself of a couple things: a) today is not the last time i’ll ever be able to eat and b) i know what “x” tastes like, cuz i’ve had it before.

All in all, just remember, that being honest with yourself…pitfalls and all…is going to be the key to your continued success. You have the tools, you know how your body responds. Now just keep loving yourself enough to stay on track. And ahem…let me just say that THAT really is the hardest part.

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Sarah • June 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Did you really eat peanut butter with ricotta cheese? If so, how was it? I like ricotta cheese, and I LOVE peanut butter, so I’m definitely intrigued.

Hang in there. You’ll be fine (as you already know).

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Tangerine • June 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm

I thought the same thing.

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PastaQueen • June 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

It was pretty good. I mixed it with some Splenda so it was sweeter.

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PastaQueen • June 23, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Read this post and thou shalt understand: Breaking up with Lane Bryant. It was actually going to be the title of my book for awhile.

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Helen • June 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm

“There’s been slippage, slowly, slowly, slowly,… and IT MUST STOP.”

My goodness you have just described the last 6 months of my life. Back in January I was within 10 lbs. of my goal weight – now it’s more like 20. It doesn’t even matter to me that the weight I gained is because my thyroid decided to freak out again. The fact is that I gained it. And now I keep finding myself saying that I need to start over tomorrow because I have overeaten once again, using the excuse that my thyroid isn’t working anyway SO WHY EVEN BOTHER. There is this stuff that is put in transmissions to stop slippage, hesitation and rough shifting. I wish someone would make something like that I could drink and magically be back on track.

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debi • June 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I can’t imagine the stress of having a book out there, chronicling your success, and then living in fear of gaining it back. Make no mistake, you are so much healthier now than you were when you started this journey. And you are a success even if you’re a few pounds heavier than you want to be. But dieting certainly messes with your head, and that’s a long process to work through. And remember, who we are is not determined by a number we see on the scale. Please keep sharing. I think it’s way better to get those words out instead of letting them bounce around in your head taking up valuable mental energy. Hang in there :)

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Mary Jean • June 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Have you considered that some of the meds you are taking for your headaches could be causing you to overeat? I had to take steroids for a serious infection and I almost ate the dog I was so hungry. Other meds have done that to me also. Just something to think about!

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Rina • June 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm

You are incredible. You WILL do it. No new pants.

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Katie • June 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Positive change is almost never linear. Your story is inspiring to me because you struggle but still manage to find your way. I’d probably stop reading your blog if you claimed to be perfect. Perfection is obnoxious.

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erin • June 23, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I think everyone else that posted summed it up- but you are a total rock star, and I appreciate that you are honest about your continuing struggles. Thanks for telling your story- good and bad.

Good luck with the headaches, I can’t begin to imagine what that is like.

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Befreckled • June 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Would you let us know if the headache goes away when/if you phase 1 it again? My hub and I have found that we get nasty headaches with any refined carbs after just 6 months on South Beach. I’m curious if that’s just one of those psychosomatic things, or if your body really does change it’s chemistry on a lower/whole carb diet.

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asithi • June 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm

“I WILL NOT GO BACK TO LANE BRYANT. That bitch is dead to me.”

I love this line too. A friend of mine got a gift certificate to Lane Bryant once and to this day when she tells the story, it is with a snarl on her face.

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asithi • June 23, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Me too. When I am keep track of what I eat, I do well. But when I stopped counting calories, it is almost as if calories are mysteriously pumped into my body. So in order for me to maintain my weight, I need to count my calories. But I just get so sick of it sometimes.

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Jackie • June 23, 2008 at 6:08 pm

PastaQueen, Have you tried Weetabix? I love it and was so happy to see it at TJ’s. It is delicious and satisfying with warm skim milk. I don’t add any honey or sugar as it already sweet (but not overly sweet). I am British and it is a very popular breakfast cereal back in the UK.

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kikimonster • June 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm

“That bitch is dead to me.” She is to me as well. When I was shopping for a suit a few weeks ago, I found myself between a 14 and 16 and my friend suggested we go to LB. Um, no. I will NEVER buy another article of clothing from there. I don’t care if that means I walk out of the mall with nothing (which, luckily for me, it didn’t mean that day) but seriously. NO.

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John • June 23, 2008 at 7:01 pm

It can be hard to stick to something, especially when life keeps throwing things at you-but keep pluncking away at it-it is persistence that pays off in the end.

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VerseFameBeauty • June 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I, for one, would MUCH rather hear about your struggles and how damn hard it is than ‘omigod I lost half my weight and now life is perfect I have zero cravings and lose weight like a machine’. You’re human. That is awesome.

I get headaches from extensive gum chewing. I know, I know, shut up; but I’m just sayin’.

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barbara • June 23, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Hey PQ,

I know that feeling of being out of control — it’s very anxiety-producing. I wonder whether, after all the weight loss and blogging and jogging and book writing and book touring and god knows what else… whether you’re just totally SICK OF ALL THE HARD WORK and one of the easiest ways to relax is to EAT. Or maybe, after all these successes, you are still feeling like SOMETHING IS MISSING — and that’s a painful feeling. Or maybe you’ve just forgotten the pain and low self-esteem of hating yourself – because you actually like yourself now – and in a strange way, that kills the motivation to keep on keepin’ on. I don’t know. I do wonder whether it might be useful to see if your insurance covers some sessions with a professional (aka shrink) who can help you talk it out and sort it out and maybe uncover whether there’s anything going on besides, it’s just fun to eat. Just a thought. After the few years you have been through, it would not be surprising if you just needed a little TLC, ya know?

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Boilergrad1993 • June 23, 2008 at 10:49 pm

I agree VerseFameBeauty. If PQ came here preaching about how easy it’s been and how perfect her life is now, I would have stopped reading a long time ago. PQ, I’m sure it’s just a rough patch and hope you make it through without having to lock anything else in your trunk. I can only imagine how scary and nerve wracking maintenance can be. I bet is much more scary than losing the weight to begin with.

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Christine in AZ • June 23, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I, too am up 12lbs since February. I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. You’ve inspired me over the past 2 years….I’m down 70lbs and now I will get back on the wagon…I’m right there with you…gum & all….n I even joined a fitness Boot Camp which is kicking my ass…so good times…

Good luck!

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BB • June 23, 2008 at 11:49 pm

I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago, but also find it refreshingly honest & funny. I hear maintenance is hard. I just hope to get there some day. I’m back to my same 5 lb loss (yeah!) with another 45 to go! I think what someone wrote above is so true. I will always have a struggle (ping pong match in my head) on how to eat right. Your thoughts become things…think thin!

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starbird • June 24, 2008 at 12:55 am

This may seem trivial compared to all the inspiring posts above, but you can make your own authentic, Swiss muesli as Dr. Bircher devised it, but with no sugar at all. And you don’t have to roast or bake it or mix it with oil, the way granola is made.

I’ve been eating my own version EVERY morning for 40 years. Well, I’ve skipped a few mornings in favor of eggs or whole wheat sourdough (my own homemade sourdough) from flour and water, pancakes.

Get quick-cooking Quaker oats or any other quick-cooking, but good-tasting oats. I make either one serving or many, depending on what food I have on hand. Grind fresh hazelnuts and/or walnuts and almonds and flax seeds and dump on top of the oats in the bowl. Chop cored, UNpeeled apple; orange; berries and/or any other fresh, unsweetened fruit. I stopped putting raisins in, but they’re really good and very authentic. Top with milk and plain yogurt. Stir. Let sit – if you can. I usually eat it right away, but it’s much better if you wait a few hours. If you make a big bowl, you can eat it for days. Also, you are not hungry for hours after you eat a bowl of this.

Proportions for one serving are:

Start with 1/3 or 1/2 cup oats. I used to have 1/2 cup, but found I couldn’t maintain my weight where I wanted it. Use about 3 of each kind of nut and 1 tblspn of flaxseed and about 1/4 to 1/2 apple and a few slices of banana, for example, on the fruit. The apple is the only required fruit. A tblspn or two of yogurt and enough milk to get to the right juicy consistency. Raisins are delicious, but I found they just don’t have the nutritious content this dish needs.

Sorry for the long post, but I was sorry to see muesli turned into a forbidden snack. I have had the boxed stuff and it’s not nearly as good as my recipe, IMHO.

Good luck, PQ. It’s true – we’re all rooting for you!

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Kim • June 24, 2008 at 5:22 am

Keeping the weight off is really, really tough. I lost 40 lbs and have gained 15 of it back. I’ve had to ask myself “what worked for me when I was losing?” and go back to doing that…for me 4 things:

1) attending my WW meetings again

2) drinking water

3) keeping track of everything i eat (so easy to just not bother)

4) drink my water

It is a life-long battle!

PS…The gum chewing comment really makes me wonder if your headaches are not TMJ related. Seriously…check it out.

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Lora • June 24, 2008 at 7:09 am

“Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon your reason and judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.” – Kalil Gibran

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Marla • June 24, 2008 at 7:45 am

I’m sorry you’re struggling but I’m glad you’re sharing it. I don’t like (or believe) WL stories that pretend it’s easy or “just” a matter of this or that. WL is extremely difficult, and it doesn’t do anyone a favor by pretending otherwise. I don’t think you’re going to lose any readers when you’re in a difficult period, what we like about you is the honesty and realism. You have a lot of people rooting for you; maybe there’s a resource here that can help you–you’re not alone in this!

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Julia • June 24, 2008 at 9:54 am

Maintenance is THE most difficult part of the whole weight loss journey thing. Please don’t feel that you need to be perfect, but be very careful to reel it in now before it’s gets out of control.

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eva • June 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

i really admire youre determination. trust me. none of us want to read about how easy it was for you to lose weight. we want to read those things that we feel every day but dont have the courage to write down…let alone send them off into blog land. keep it up sister!

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K • June 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

I think you have my husband’s palate – the comment about ice cream and banana bread could well have come out of my mouth! (I also have to buy the muesli with nuts so that he won’t be tempted to eat it.)

I’m glad you posted about this, because it is so easy to get to that stage – even without the pressure of having gone public about your weightloss. Clearly there are a lot of voices in the comments (including me) who know what it’s like. Good luck with getting back on track.

But I wouldn’t bother with Weetabix – it’s like eating the doormat!

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K • June 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

I think you have my husband’s palate – the comment about ice cream and banana bread could well have come out of my mouth! (I also have to buy the muesli with nuts so that he won’t be tempted to eat it.)

I’m glad you posted about this, because it is so easy to get to that stage – even without the pressure of having gone public about your weightloss. Clearly there are a lot of voices in the comments (including me) who know what it’s like. Good luck with getting back on track.

But I wouldn’t bother with Weetabix – it’s like eating the doormat! (Although my husband likes them, so…)

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K • June 24, 2008 at 10:40 am

(eh?)

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Elizabeth • June 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

I totally agree.

That is all.

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Christina • June 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

I am struggling with the last 10 pounds, too. For me, a big part of it is something that you have mentioned before – I feel pretty good at this weight, and it just doesn’t seem as important to keep losing. When it is hard to eat right or get the gym, it’s easier to rationalize my laziness. I try to tell myself that these last 10 pounds are for vanity, not health, and that I should eat the pizza and love myself and be done with it. But I always regret the pizza and I never regret a run.

As others have said, I’m most successful when I treat the last 10 pounds as being as important as the first 10.

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PastaQueen • June 24, 2008 at 11:13 am

If my headache goes away, I will drop confetti from the ceiling. You will not miss it.

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Joyce • June 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

This is why maintaining a weight loss is harder than any other sort of sobriety. You have to eat; therefore, you have to struggle with what to eat, and how much, and whether to try to do compensatory exercise afterwards, every day for the rest of your life. I understand why people have gastric bypass surgery–it gives you a physiological advantage in that your body is altered so that you can’t eat the way you used to. But I also believe that advantage comes at a very high price.

I believe that decades of eating whatever/whenever etch deep pathways of conditioned response in the body and the brain, and it takes constant effort of will, also over years, to etch different pathways. Now you’re doing it without the endorphin rush of achieving a smaller waist size and with the added stress of having announced your success very publicly. These are situations I doubt you’ve encountered before. So of course your mind and body are screaming for the old comfort. And of course fighting it is incredibly hard. I daresay nothing else feels quite right.

I admire your honesty and determination, and I wish you all success.

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Kate • June 24, 2008 at 11:56 am

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONESTY! I’d rather have one paragraph of truth than a book of lies. I’m looking forward to maintenance but I know it will contain just as many challenges as weight loss itself. No matter how far you’ve come, you can never forget about your relationship with food, exercise and your body. It will always be there, no matter how little you pay attention to it. You can forget about it, but it will never forget about you.

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Karen • June 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

the thing that helps me the most is to be vigilant about what I bring into the house. Yes, I can eat 3 bowls of honey nut cheerios which is awful, but a lot less awful than 3 bowls of ice cream – which I have done.

My mother was a heavy smoker and I always told her that if she wouldn’t buy them she couldn’t smoke them. She wouldn’t listen until after her bypass, but it worked like a charm when she did it.

Temptation is too strong if you have something delicious in the house.

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anonymous boxer • June 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I started taking Cinnamon in pill form and was shocked to find my body regulate and calm down…. reducing carb overloading/etc. Weird.

You’ve been on a very amazing journey with yourself for the past two years… relax/breathe.

You will be OK.

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SuzyQ • June 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Didn’t you have a post on what are you going to do with the rest of your life? I wonder if you are struggling with that transition from being all about the weight loss to what’s next. God knows being a poster girl is a tough pose to maintain. It would drive me right to the donut shop too. At least you know that person!

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Sassy • June 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I guess this just goes to show that the whole weight loss/eating healthy thing is tough. It’s a lifestyle change and not something we can just get over and be done with. It’s a constant topic of thought and focus, even if we stray from it now and then.

I know I struggle to balance my love for sugar/baked goods with my efforts to eat mostly healthy, organic food and exercise a lot.

Thank you for sharing all your great insights and experiences with us!

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Sonya • June 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm

(((((PQ))))) You’re NORMAL! You’re really NORMAL! What a relief! *smile*

I can only imagine doing HALF the things you’ve done in the past year, not to mention doing it as gracefully and with as much humor has you have. You truly are very special, very strong and an amazing woman. Pat yourself on the back and keep on truckin’ like you are. It’s all about balance – finding it and keeping it is an elusive walk sometimes, but you know it well. You’re gonna be just fine.

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Dinah Soar • June 24, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Have been in your shoes, more than once (although my maximum loss was 50 pounds)…I think you should read Intuitive Eating if you haven’t already.

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Emily • June 24, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I lost over 100 pounds about five years ago and have regained almost 50 of it. I can attest to the fact that it is MUCH EASIER to lose 100 pounds than to lose those last 10 or to maintain that goal weight.

I think that when you’re significantly overweight you have so much to gain (no pun intended) by losing weight that you stay motivated. You see those pounds flying off the scale and the rewards are immediate and gratifying. When you get close to goal weight you tell yourself that you look and feel pretty good and therefore you can afford a few of those Krispy Kremes. A few becomes a lot and the vicious cycle is repeated.

My only advice would be to acknowledge that you are slipping after 10 pounds, not 50, and get back on track as soon as possible. I’m right there with you.

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Tracy • June 24, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Pastaqueen, your weight loss is awesome.

Re: the headaches….Have you ever tried Migrelief or Migrelieve? I see it spelled differently in different places. I swear by it and no, I don’t sell the stuff. I just happened across it after moving to a city that gave me horrible migraine headaches. Seriously. I moved for a job and the whole first week, I had a headache every day. I think it is from the barometric pressure that settles here in the valley. Anyway, the headaches are not 100% gone but the frequency and severity is WAAAY down. I mean, like, rather than 3-4 headaches a week, more like 2-3 a month. You can read up on it in several places on the intarwebs (amazon.com has it and user reviews).

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Kate • June 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm

I am maintaining a large weight loss myself so I know how hard it is. I had a baby a month ago and now I have baby weight to lose, plus exhaustion and raging hormones, not a good combination. As someone who recently ate my baby’s weight in chocolate chips, I completely emphasize with your recent struggle, we just need to shake it off and keep on keepin’ on!

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Laura • June 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

I just finished your book over the week-end and want you to know how much I enjoyed it and how much I admire you. I think everyone who has read your most recent post can relate to exactly what you are going through and how you feel. I truly believe your body does not like this weight loss and is communicating to your brain to eat, eat , eat!! Having said that, I also believe your book and your blog will be very instrumental in your keeping the weight off. However, it will always be a struggle. Hang in there . I’ll be checking your blog to see how you’re doing.

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Madra • June 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Thank you so much.

I’ve read all of your blogs. I’ve been reading through it all, but this one entry that made me say, “she gets me.”

5 years ago I lost 120 pounds, got too thin, maintained by the skin of my teeth, then slowly let myself creep up to 50 pounds overweight again.

After 8 months of careful eating and exercise, two weeks ago I made it back down to a reasonable goal.

I swear, this time I’ll learn more. The big lesson I’m living by now is – never be too proud to start over.

Blessings to you. Your honesty is inspiring to me.

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s • June 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

hi pq.

i am glad you are resolving to hang in there, sans new pants!

and yes, muesli is crack. as is that sweetened kashi stuff (for me, anyway. akjs;lj;adljsghfhgh.)

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Kate • June 24, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Hey there!

I just wanted to let you know I’m super excited you’re coming to my town’s Barnes and Noble this Saturday!

I can’t wait to meet you, and don’t be too hard on yourself! You’ll always have your ups and downs, but look at what you’ve done already! I’ve yo yo’d a couple of times throughout life, and you’re right, you can always start over.

See ya this weekend! :)

Kate

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Heather • June 25, 2008 at 12:47 am

If only I had enough money to indulge my love of online shopping instead of digging through the fridge for something to snack on! Here’s to our skinny pants! May THEY never die!

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Lyn • June 25, 2008 at 12:53 am

You’re gonna be okay, PQ. You have it in you. It’s always a fight, I think, but we have to put on the brakes at some point just because we love ourselves.

You’ll feel better without the junk. A couple days eating clean always does wonders for my outlook and drives off the cravings.

Thanks for being an inspiration.

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Lesley • June 25, 2008 at 3:39 am

I’m there too. There’s a lot of us big losers who’ve since gained a bit out there. We all need to buckly down, remember why we and how we lost the weight in the first place and get ourselves re-focussed. We can all do it and I have absolute confidence in you.

Muesli is fab….much nicer than granola but I know what you mean about going mad on it. You need to measure out a sensible cup and then make sure you use that every measure every time or otherwise your portions gradually get bigger and bigger and you start adding ever more exotic and calorific extras!! I have been adding a dollop of stewed rhubarb while it’s in season over here. Gorgeous.

Lesley xx

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vivi • June 25, 2008 at 4:51 am

I’m glad you’ve decided to stop the gain. Just one thing: be very careful with muesli. It has a lot of calories, way too much. I used to have it like normal cereals when I moved here to Germany (muesli is typical german) and I started gaining weight… then I discovered why. A spoonful of muesli is the only sensible amount. Here they eat it with plain yoghurt (125 ml). Be careful!

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Carolina Girl • June 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm

“I WILL NOT GO BACK TO LANE BRYANT. That bitch is dead to me.”

Truer words have never been spoken!

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K. • June 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Gosh you just told my story-80 lbs lost, can’t seem to remain focus on the last 30 to go…been up and down the same 2 lbs and have picked up 10lbs in the past few months. I am just not as focused and I don’t know how to go back to what i was a few months back, so dedicated so focused…what’s up with this? I am beginning to think it is something in the universe cause everyone of my weight loss friends seems to be experiencing this same phenomenon…K.

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Sue B • June 25, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Sometimes I don’t even wait until tomorrow or Monday to start over. I begin fresh the moment I become conscious and take a walk, like you did, or visualize the next healthy meal…unless, of course, it’s midnight and I’ve fallen face first in a bowl of chips then…it’s tomorrow.

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jenn9899 • June 26, 2008 at 11:11 am

All hail PQ for being REAL, HONEST, & HUMAN! There is this pervasive thought that once you reach your goal, you are cured! Don’t I wish! Take it from one who did not re-start and ended up regaining 50lbs – DON’T BUY ANYTHING BIGGER. It only aids in the downward spiral.

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mal • June 26, 2008 at 5:25 pm

As you’re well aware, those who are avid devotees of your blog (and your book, your words, your successes, your general amazingness, etc.) do not flock here because you are perfect. We flock here because you are human and unapologetic about it.

I have no maintenance advice — only mental health advice. Make sure to go easy on yourself and stay “on target” more than you’re off. Give yourself permission to bobble and enjoy the journey, man.

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BrightAngel • June 26, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Maintenance is hard but simple.

No magic to it.

Put simply, it is gaining and losing the same few lbs over and over and over and over into infinity.

Even after 2 1/2 years of maintaining a 100+ lb loss,

I often feel like those starving men in that research experiment who continually thought of food etc. My body still really wants to gain back the weight, but I have hope that with lots of time at this weight, eventually my body will understand it is supposed to stay at this weight.

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Laura N • June 26, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Holy cow, I think I’m comment #100.

Loved the honesty in this post, Jennette. Had to laugh at your “It’s not the gum causing my headache, so shut up” because that’s just what I thought when you wrote how much you chewed gum. =) Thought it but would never say it. I’m not that much of a wanker (at least, I hope I’m not).

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chidame • June 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I’ve been wondering when you would get to this point.

Fwiw, running intervals will burn off your fat AND improve your speed in running.

Welcome to the realities of maintenance.

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DebtDieter • June 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Vegemite, Weetbix, exotic? *lol* Too funny. As an Aussie it’s a constant source of amusement to see people from other countries try to come to grips with Vegemite, unless they’re from the UK or New Zealand, where they already have their own versions of it.

I’ve only just discovered your blog and I’m loving it!

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wantontraveler • July 1, 2008 at 4:36 am

Welcome to being THIN! 20 years ago I entered the “maintainance years”. Now you must make decisions the same way as “skinny people”. Everyday we make the same choices. Do I eat that? Do I NOT? Do I exercise? Do I sit on the couch? As long as you make your goal and keep making the right choices, you’ll be fine. Sound simple? So did your advice to “eat less, move more”, right? It is simple. . . in fact, it’s basically the same thing. Living on “a diet” for the rest of your life stinks, but it’s the only way for me not to gain back the 80 pounds I lost.

Congrats on your success thus far. Another great motivator is age. It REALLY doesn’t get any easier as you get older. But, there were two overweight girls in my class of 360, and I was one of them. At my 20th reunion, there were many overweight woman, but I WAS NOT one of them. I would imagine your 10 year is coming up. GO! It will be a great motivator I wish I would have had half the support (and a book deal to boot!) through my struggle. Keep up the good work, and the honest blogging!

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Ellie • July 1, 2008 at 10:52 am

I know it’s hard, what with the book and all, to confide in us how you’re struggling. But I wanted to de-lurk and let you know that I find these sorts of posts so valuable and motivating. They really help me. Seeing how you deal with day to day cravings now that you’ve obtained (or at least approached) your ideal weight is very motivating. I know that sounds odd, but it really is. I think because you didn’t cross some finish line and convert into one of “them” a skinny “no I’m just not ever hungry”, “I don’t even like dessert” person who never ever thinks about food. Being that person and thinking like them is so unimaginable to me.

I think maintaining your weight once you’ve reached it is actually in some ways harder than getting there because there’s not 200 pounds and Lane Bryant to constantly remind you. The struggle isn’t as big, it’s in tiny micro decsions that add up. There are whole new strategies that need to be learned to cope with these day to day habits. (Some days I feel like I just missed 4 years of health ed or something in school and all the skinny people got an “A” in that class.) So, please, don’t feel bad that you’re struggling with sharing your thought process on it as well it’s actually helping me (and a bunch of others) to see your strategies and thought process on it. It’s like your the advanced scout for us trying out new terrain.

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Bailey • July 15, 2008 at 11:31 am

It’s totally normal to fluctuate up and down with weight loss… as long as you don’t ever let it discourage you completely. Here’s some simple tips for “hanging in there”, if you’d like to check them out:

http://www.diet.com/tip/4-STEPS-HOW-TO-AVOID-WEIGHT-RELAPSES.html

Good luck to you!

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