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Scenes from the biergarten

Last Thursday I forgot I’d lost 200 pounds.

More accurately, I ran into someone from college and I forgot that the last time he saw me I weighed twice as much as he does. I was at the local biergarten for an annual alumni association mixer, catching up with my old friend and I totally forgot I looked like a different person than I did four years ago. It was probably shocking for him to see my much skinnier self traipsing amongst the picnic tables, even though he’s read my blog and knew I’d lost weight. I don’t know if I would have said something about it if I had remembered, but it’s weird that the thought didn’t even cross my mind.

I used to wish I would run into old friends, teachers, or mailmen so I could show off my weight loss to them. I fantasized about shocking people I had known and seeing their surprise at my transformation. Now, I don’t really care, and as I said in my last entry, the gasps kind of piss me off. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal anymore. I suppose this is a sign that I’ve fully integrated my weight loss into my identity. It doesn’t even seem worth mentioning anymore.

——

The alumni association gave me a free drink ticket, which was worth at least six or seven bucks. I headed to the bar to redeem it and asked the bartender for something light. He recommended a draft and I asked, “Is that light?”

“It’s light in color,” he replied.

“Is it light in calories?” I asked. I don’t drink much so I didn’t know. I don’t have anything against alcohol, but if I’m going to spend extra calories on something, I’d prefer it was chocolate instead beer. If they come up with chocolate flavored beer (and they probably have), my dilemma would be over.

“Eh,” he shrugged. “Honey, I don’t think you need to worry,” he said. And that statement alone was enough to make me smile and start thinking about stopping at the Dairy Queen afterwards to eat two dipped cones and a Brownie Earthquake, all because some random guy implied I was skinny. It was nice to be complimented, but it was a weird to realize that the opinions of others can still have a big impact on me, especially when I consider myself to be more self-confident and thick-skinned than ever before.

Later, I told my younger brother about the encounter with pride, and he said, “Yeah, he probably just said that to get a tip.”

“Noooo!” I replied. “He said it because I am svelte and sexy and super-beautiful! Not because he was trying to get one dollar bills out of my wallet!” But I knew that my brother was probably right, and even if the bartender did think I was cute, he also knew saying so would increase the contents of his tip jar. However, I am a doofus who never remembers to tip bartenders and I didn’t even pay for that beer myself, so his plan failed.

If he’d provided me with some chocolate beer, it might have been another story.

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

Cindy • July 28, 2008 at 8:21 am

Great post, as usual. You made me smile and you made me think—two of the reasons I read your blog.

Question: Did your friend treat you any differently because of your weight loss? This is the part that is hardest for me—being treated differently because I look different than I did. It is worse with friends (as in it has a bigger impact on how I feel about it) but it is also how I am treated in general, now, when out in public.

I exist.

I am visible.

People smile at me on occasion. I am from New England so this is really saying something!

It is still unsettling and it still bothers me that it happens and that I think about it. Unlike you, I haven’t yet incorporated my “new” body into my image of myself— I wonder if I ever will?

Thanks for the post!

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still reading • July 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

I love this post!…years ago I was seeing a therapist and totally forgot to tell her weight had been an issue for me! so, it does happen! You will forget, and it is the most freeing thing! unfortunately for me, I forgot so much that some of my lost weight has been found! I am in the starting phase of dealing with it, and there is comfort in knowing the territory, I WILL lose it again!

by the by, I don’t think the bartender wanted to get a bigger tip, I think he was just saying you don’t need to worry about calories cause you are slim, sexy and totally hot!

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MizFit • July 28, 2008 at 9:08 am

man you have achieved on ALL LEVELS what so many strive to.

almost LESS the loss than the insuring you’ll never regain as a result of the full mental integration.

Miz.

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Nicole Bledsoe • July 28, 2008 at 9:20 am

Great post. I can relate i had a customer tell me the other day as he sat down at my desk. He said Don’t ever get fat! As he was out of breath. It made me chuckle as it was less than 2 yrs ago I was in the 200 range. I told him done been there done that. Then that got us to talking about how I lost the weight. It is great to have people think of you as skinny, when for so long we have been on the other end of the compliment scale. I still have to look around when people refer to me as skinny to make sure they are talking about me. Accept all the compliments dished out lord knows we have probably had our fair share of insults even if they were under breath or out of hearing range. The scale is just being tipped in the other direction and will even out. Thanks for your inspiring words of wisdom.

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PastaQueen • July 28, 2008 at 9:40 am

I don’t think he treated me any differently. I hadn’t seen him for years, so it was mostly just catching up and questions about what it’s like to be on national TV.

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Jill • July 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

The very sweet sixteen year old cashier asked to see my ID as I was buying some beer for my husband’s birthday party. I’m 37. There’s not a chance in hell that I look under 21, but he said they have to do it “just in case”. Totally made my day.

I’m not sure what this has to do with your post but it made me think of that.

Oh yeah, just take the compliment for what it’s worth – I’m sure the ‘tender said that because you ARE super-beautiful, just like the freckle faced kid thought I was 20 years old!! That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.

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Kyle • July 28, 2008 at 10:41 am

Nah, he did think you were the ultimate hotness. People NEVER do things motivated by money (in my special Kyle dreamworld, at least).

By the way, this gives you yet another reason to come visit me down here. There’s a great Chilean beer called Volcanes del Sur, which comes in cinnamon, cherry and chocolate flavors. It’s delish!

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Pamela R • July 28, 2008 at 10:56 am

If someone gave me chocolate beer I’d give them more than a tip. LOLROF

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Red • July 28, 2008 at 11:22 am

Maybe I’ve forgotten that I lost 200 lbs.

/me checks…

dammit.

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debby • July 28, 2008 at 11:27 am

I still tell doctors that I have lost weight, usually as a way of saying ‘exercise and good health are REALLY important to me. But there are some days now that this is just who I am, and I really like that feeling. Its really only been very recently that I’ve experienced this, and it has made me much more confident that this is really going to last, that it won’t all disappear one day (like in the movie Awakenings.)

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Quix • July 28, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I’m still losing, and concentrating on it, so I haven’t really forgotten about it yet. :) I can’t wait to get to that point. Right now, I’m getting a kick out of being all inspirational to people and getting them to the gym and thinking about what they’re eating. But eventually, I think I’d like to just be fit little me running around flexing my muscles like a dork, not having to shout “I lost 100 lbs, see anyone can do it”.

I always think how fun it will be to see people I haven’t seen for a while, and it is at first, but then it’s a little tiresome – like I have to make sure I eat enough at gatherings so people don’t think I’m doing anything unhealthy to lose weight. And it’s always frustrating to hear people say “I wish I could lose weight like that” and then dive nosefirst into the chocolate pie. I only do that because I’ve eaten well all week and plan to go for a run the next day. But then again, people are only ready when they are ready. I whined and cried for YEARS about being too heavy before I could actually bring myself to do something about it. Then one day, something snapped, and it was on like donkey kong.

Just wanted to comment and say you look beautiful and radiant in your pictures lately, so that bartender might not have just been blowing smoke at ya. :)

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Amy • July 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm

This has nothing to do with the bartender thinking you’re skinny, but I wanted to tell you I’m in the middle of your book and love it. I’m a writer (I write magazine articles) and a gym rat who has a few extra pounds (okay 20) to lose after having three kids. You inspire me. Congratulations on your success both in losing weight and publishing your book. I dig your no-nonsense approach. Rock on!

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anonymous boxer • July 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Or, maybe he was honestly flirting with you!

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The Baroness • July 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Well, there is a possibility that he was saying it to get a tip, BUT…Do you really think that he would’ve said the same thing when you were at your starting weight? Regardless of how you look at it, it’s a compliment.

I have spent several years of my life making a personal transformation also, and now at the end of the road, it feels a little funny. I can relate to how you feel trying to take a complement seriously, without considering the context. For instance, I was passing a street vendor recently and he said, “Come on, you get the pretty girl discount!” I had to put all of the “oh, he just wants me to buy something” thoughts aside and just take it as a complement. You should do the same. Maybe even complement yourself now and again.

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Andrew is getting fit • July 28, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Wow! You really have gotten used to your new identity. I still get a thrill from meeting people who haven’t seen me for ages. :)

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Ash • July 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Good morning,

Your post made me smile a lot… I am looking forward to being told “honey, I don’t think YOU need to worry about eating that double choc dipped Memphis Meltdown Magnum”….

Love your blog…

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Colin • July 28, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Nice! I got carded recently, too, and I’ve looked over 30 since I was 18, so that was a real shocker.

BTW, divorce works the same way: it’s all you are for a while, then you reach a point where you don’t think of it or mention it anymore, and just shrug it of mentally when you do. Hooray for the passage of time, huh?

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Carol • July 28, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Michelob Ultra has only 95 calories, and it comes in Lime Cactus and Pomegranite Rasberry flavors.

I think it’s pretty good.

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Catherine • July 28, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I’m working as a cocktail waitres while finishing up school.

While I do go out of my way to complement people and be chatty (the best way to get tips is to strike up a conversation and be friendly), I never say anything I don’t mean. I don’t tell a girl her hair is cute when it’s hideous. Definately don’t feel nieve for taking the guys complement at face value.

Also my fav light drinks are club soda, lime and vodka, and diet soda and rum. Light beer is also a good choice. Since I’m a college student alot of times I’ll just get a club soda with a slice of lime and tell people there’s booze in it. And red and white wine is allowed on South Beach.

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MamaMia • July 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

OMG ~ I love you guys!! Jennette ~ you are a queen indeed!! I just finished the book, and just checking out the site ~ I have a lot of catching up to do. I’m a fat firl in process. Constant process.

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K • July 29, 2008 at 5:51 am

Heh. I’m not sure the chocolate beer would live up to expectations. My husband and his brother are real-ale enthusisasts, and when the brother’s visiting, they often try out something new. They go into raptures as they analyse: “This one’s got a bit of caramel in it, and… banana.” Many times now, they’ve made it sound so tasty that I ask for a sip.

And it all just tastes like beer to me. Yeasty and yuck. I can’t drink beer.

I have to say that if I didn’t know, I’d assume you’d always been slim, so I’d go with your theory and not listen to your brother.

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baghead • July 29, 2008 at 8:45 am

I love the healthy balanced approach you are taking. 200 pounds is amazing. Perhaps the way we are treated is the best feedback sometimes. I know I’m a reverse anorexic when it comes to my own feedback. I can look in a mirror and see a svelt handsome guy, when I am really mobidly obese.

Now I’m much more in tune with feeling good than I am with hitting numbers. Did you have an idealized vision of what you would look like when you lost your weight?

Look at an idealized version of my before and after here.

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EG • July 29, 2008 at 9:35 am

Repeat after me:

“Vanilla Stoli & Diet, please.”

I know you were at a biergarten, but it’s a good choice.

And there is chocolate beer. NOT light in calories, but pretty tasty. If I could remember what it’s called. Somebody’s Chocolate Stout.

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Merry • July 29, 2008 at 10:12 am

I’d say the guy was definitely flirting :)

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Susan Jackson • July 29, 2008 at 1:07 pm

I can’t wait till the day comes when I forget I’ve lost tons of weight. But think, eat, and act like a skinny person.

BTW, I’ve heard champagne is actually the lowest calorie (per serving) alcoholic drink. Plus, it makes you look fancy.

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K • July 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

There’s a Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout – might that have been it?

As I said, I’m married to someone who knows this stuff. (My own knowledge is purely theoretical!)

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DEEDLYNN • July 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I just wanted to say, I don’t believe he was just saying it for the tip. I think if he thought you had weight to lose, he would have sincerely told you…hey we have Michelob Ultra Light or something. I think it’s because you are looking great.

BTW…I just got your book and I’m really enjoying it.

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Jenni • July 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

PQ, it’s good news that you are reacting differently to your loss.

You are losing it because it’s not something you fear any longer. That’s how you know you made it.

the next goal you will conquer is going to be one that scares the crap out of you… just like the thought of failure when you began to lose the weight. That’s how you know what your next goal is… is scares you, but is something you want. Life is a constant lesson.

Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing your journey with us. Cant wait to see what the next chapter holds.

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K and J's mom • July 29, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Hey- New here and am reading your book. L-O-V-E it. I have 59 pounds to lose and you have inspired me to get off my fat arse and JUST DO IT ALREADY! I even posted it on my blog and have told everyone in my “support system” just to make it more real for me. Not for them to hold me accountable, but for ME to be accountable to myself. I’m reading your past blogs to catch up. Thank you for blogging.

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suburbanhen • July 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

Not only is there chocolate flavoured beer in the world, but there is a whole other world of flavoured CIDERS out there. Once you’ve found them there is NO TURNING BACK. Frankly, give me something that tastes amazing and gets me drunk over chocolate any day…

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KNH • July 31, 2008 at 9:04 am

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout! Delicious and truly chocolate-y. Not through chocolate itself, but roasted malts. Delicious!

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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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