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Crap, I got fat again

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There is a box of clothes on my closet floor labeled, “Fat clothes (in case of emergency)” which is slightly less full than it was two weeks ago. Sound the sirens and alert the diet police because this is most definitely an emergency.

I stepped on the scale two weeks ago and a scary number appeared in the window, like a gremlin peering in. Aaah! It wasn’t so much a surprise as an inevitability, considering that I’d stopped exercising for three weeks are started eating whatever the hell I wanted. Oh, the cashiers at Kroger could tell some tales! Let it be known that I have discovered the secret to weight gain: eat more, move less.

I was sick of exercising. I was sick of eating salad. I was sick of seeing everyone eat donuts at meetings while I was eating carrot sticks. I resented how much time exercise took, leaving no time to work on my blog redesign. And most of all I was bored. Bored with Pilates. Bored with running. Bored with lifting weights. Bored, bored, bored. I’d done it all before and it had lost its mystery, just like my new kitten is fascinated every time I flush the toilet, but my seven-year-old cat is so over the wonders of indoor plumbing that he can’t be bothered to roll his eyes in boredom. All I could think was, “Running? Again? Seriously?”

And beyond all that, I started not to care. My book promotions were basically over, so I didn’t have to worry about looking like a bean bag chair on television. I’m happy with my body when I weigh about 180 pounds, so I didn’t feel a need to lose any more weight. So I went to BlogHer and I ate a lot of cookies. And I went to New York and I ate a lot of ice cream. And I went to the state fair and I ate a lot of deep-fried everything. And then I came home and sat in front of the computer, burning very few calories by typing.

I saw the weight slowly creeping up on the scale and in the fit of my clothes, but I didn’t say anything on the blog because then I would be expected to do something about it, which would have greatly interfered with my plan to eat a pint of ice cream in the Fresh Market parking lot after a stressful day at work. I still didn’t care all that much, even though my pants were one size larger and my face was a little rounder.

Then my pants got really tight and I had to move up two sizes larger than my skinniest size. I stepped on the scale and saw scarier and scarier numbers. Then I was lying in bed and heard my heartbeat as I rested my ear against the pillow. I counted and noticed that it was beating over 60 beats per minute. This above all things pissed me off, more than the pants and more than the scale. My resting heart rate had previously been a rather freakish 40-45 beats per minutes, which is very low and typical only in athletes. When I would visit the doctor’s office, the nurses always commented on my low pulse. It made me proud because it was proof that I was in shape. I was an athlete. But now my heart was beating faster, which meant it wasn’t quite as strong because I hadn’t been exercising it.

And suddenly all that apathy I’d been swimming in got sucked out with the tide and I started to care again. A LOT. Because while I expect my weight to fluctuate slightly up and down for the rest of my life, ultimately there has to be a line. This is the line. I promised not to buy new pants, and I’ve stuck to that promise, though via a loophole since I’m wearing old, larger pants instead of buying new ones. I can’t get any fatter. It’s rather amazing how quickly I gained back weight. It happened at a rate of over a pound a week, as if I was an actress preparing to play Bridget Jones. I didn’t even do it on purpose.

For the past two weeks I’ve been getting my ass back in gear again, working on ways to lose this weight I’ve gained. I’m not going to say how much because I’m sick of weighing in each month. I will say it’s between 10-20 pounds and I am going to mention that it happened. I’ve always thought it was bullshit when people stopped blogging when they gained weight. It happens to everyone. It’s why weight maintenance is so hard. There’s no sense in not talking about it. I’m not ashamed that I like to eat donuts. Granted, I tend to wait until I’m back on the straight and narrow before I mention any gains, but oh well, I ain’t perfect. That’s why this is a blog and not a 24/7 objective window into my life.

I’ll talk about everything I’ve been doing to lose weight again in my next entry. But now I should go shower because I’m all sweaty from running.

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

Chris • September 23, 2008 at 10:32 am

THANK YOU for being honest! I have lost and then regained 30+ pounds THREE times now. Am sitting near the top still of the last 30 pound regain and am struggling to get it off. It just seems so much harder this time but, really, it shouldn’t be. I put a public challenge to myself on my blog at the beginning of September and will have to report a total failure at the end of the month. Sigh. Somehow I trained for my first marathon (coming up on 10/5), fully realizing that the training was NO excuse to eat and avoided the carb loading and still managed to avoid losing a single pound. It is so frustrating!

But, I am still inspired by coming here and reading about how you do it and all your perspectives on this weight loss journey.

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john • September 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

Thanks for being honest with us and more importantly, yourself. I’ve been in an upward swing to my weight that I unfortunetly have mostly kept updated in a big graph on my blog, which looks terrible and makes me regret decisions I’ve made – but I just keep plugging away in the hopes that I’ll learn the secret.

I will say it’s a hell of a lot easier to blog on a weight loss blog when you are having success!

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Lynn • September 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your honesty is truly appreciated. Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones that struggle with things like re-gaining and it is nice to know that we really are not the only ones! I guess I have had a small case of the “re-gains” in the tune of about 10-15 pounds. I just don’t seem to be able to find the motivation to address it seriously.

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Amy S. • September 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

Now that you aren’t one of the small time bloggers like the rest of us, it is hard for us to remember that you are human. Its weird that you seem like “one of those people,” someone who got famous and whose life has changed entirely.

Anyway, thanks for sharing because it makes it seem so much more real to those of us who are struggling. It proves that maintenance isn’t an easy thing. We cannot get to that certain level and then quit, which is hard for me to remember most days.

Thank you again for your honesty on this post.

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Alexia • September 23, 2008 at 10:59 am

In the past, I’ve struggled for maintenance. Unlike you, I just lived in denial until I gained 100 pounds. Glad you didn’t do that. Not for us, not because you are a famous person now, but for you. I will be here reading so I can learn from this new phase of your discovery. Yea, you!

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gknee • September 23, 2008 at 10:59 am

Been there did that !

It becomes like looking for the magic switch that turns off the bad behavior and on the good. where is that switch? Knowledge is not enough either– which is sooo frustrating.

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Kyle • September 23, 2008 at 11:03 am

Like all the other commenters I’ve been there and done that too. I’ve regained 10-20 pounds twice and relost and right now I’m working on a third time (a regain of 4 kilos, so ummm, about 8 pounds I think?). I’ve already lost 1 kilos so that’s good. But it’s so hard to get back into weight loss mode after weight maintenance mode has gotten so comfortable…and that’s the problem right that. weight maintenance mode got too comfortable for me again!

It’s all part of your journey. You’d be totally abnormal if you lost 180 pounds and then never once regained a single pound of that or even a bunch of pounds of that. Happens to everyone, but I’m glad you talked about it!

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jodi • September 23, 2008 at 11:03 am

“And most of all I was bored. Bored with Pilates. Bored with running. Bored with lifting weights. Bored, bored, bored. I’d done it all before and it had lost its mystery…”

amen to that! i can totally relate and i, too, am trying to pick myself up again… it’s amazing how once you reach an ideal weight (which can be different than goal weight), the tendancy to slack, stop, or take a break is THAT much easier… i wish i knew why but it’s fact of life and we all need to find our way thru it… for you, i’m sure the whole book thing was the climax to your journey (maybe not, just assuming) and now you’re sort of like, “okay, now what”… that’s what i would be saying anyway…

thanks for being honest, for being human and admitting that yes, it happens to everyone… :o)

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Danielle • September 23, 2008 at 11:07 am

Yes, it’s the dirty little secret of weight loss, isn’t it?

Losing weight is definitely difficult, but you have the excitement of feeling better, buying new, smaller clothes, and the admiration of friends (and jealousy of enemies?) to keep you going.

The hardest part of the whole thing is maintaining the weight loss, once the novelty has worn off.

The trick is variety, in food and exercise, but that’s easier said than done. Keep up the good work, Pasta Queen. You’re obviously an inspiration to many.

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crazylady • September 23, 2008 at 11:11 am

Well done you for owning up! That’s a hard, hard thing to do. You’ll get back on track eventually just keep working at it.

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Jody • September 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

Thank you so much for being so honest about this. Maintenance for me has been so much harder for me then losing the original weight was. When I was losing it was exciting and fun, but maintenance… not so much fun.

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PastaQueen • September 23, 2008 at 11:17 am

@Alexia – Okay, y’all, I’m not famous. Seriously. Thanks for the flattery, but I’m only famous among dozens.

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Kqteaze • September 23, 2008 at 11:20 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the honesty of your blog and I appreciate so much that you continue to share your battles with the rest of us.

I’ve lost 40 lbs since joining WWs 5 months ago (with another 60 or so to go) and the last month I have been losing and regaining the same 2 lbs; I can’t seem to get past this hump. I don’t know where my ambition went, I don’t know where my motivation went and I have been feeling more and more like a lost cause.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that this post hit home today and I’m thankful that you put it out there.

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Inny • September 23, 2008 at 11:21 am

It doesn’t matter if you’ve gained 20 pounds, it doesn’t matter if you’ve gained 50 or even a 100. You’re still my role model, because you didn’t give it up completely. You got up from that chair and took action. Good luck!

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Jennywenny • September 23, 2008 at 11:39 am

Oh dear, well I’m in the same boat as you, in my tight trousers, trying not to admit that I’ve put on a few pounds more. Hopefully I’ll manage to turn the ship around again and try to eat what I need instead of what I think I want…

Good luck!

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Just_Kelly • September 23, 2008 at 11:41 am

Thank you for opening up and sharing your struggles with us. It’s nice to hear the reality of lifestyle change: that maintaining it is hard. It helps people like me in the process of losing keep perspective that this is an ongoing battle.

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gadgetgirl • September 23, 2008 at 11:45 am

Bless you for posting this. I also am just barely squeezing into my “fat” pants after managing to gain 10 pounds in just over a month. It took me 3 months to get them off last spring after doing the exact same thing last summer. I’m so tired of the battle too. Like you, I’ve lost a lot of weight previously – at my highest I was 304 lbs. At my ideal weight, 172 lbs. And now I’m back at 194 lbs after spending the summer at 184 lbs. Makes me cringe to type that.

I hope to find inspiration and motivation from your blog so that I can get back on track too.

Thank you for being real.

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tutugirl1345 • September 23, 2008 at 11:50 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. I stopped working out three weeks ago because I was sick for two weeks and then was traveling for a week. I felt so bummed when I squatted down over the weekend and heard my jeans rip!

Its nice to hear that I’m not the only one who has not just occasional, but sometimes big lapses. You’ve inspired me to go back to the gym and work harder tonight!

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Katharine • September 23, 2008 at 11:53 am

You know why we all love you? Not because you lost loads of pounds. Not because you’re thin. We love you because you’re honest, and you’re funny while doing it. You’re real. Thank you for that!

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Susan • September 23, 2008 at 11:53 am

I’m still a ways from reaching my weight goal, but I often think about how when I do, I’ll be in a lifelong “remission” from my chronic obesity. Sort of like alcoholics who stop drinking are “recovering.”

Once you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, you’re always at a high risk of gaining it back. It’s way too easy to do, and awfully hard to avoid. The key is to pay attention to your weight, especially when it starts creeping up. Clearly, you’ve done that. The other key is doing something to reverse the gaining trend before you’re overweight/obese again. And you’re doing that, too.

So congrats on getting real with yourself and back to where you want to be. Even in “remission,” you remain an inspiration!

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Aimee • September 23, 2008 at 11:56 am

Thank you for this post! I’m going through the exact same thing right now. I got bored with eating healthy and my exercise routine which was only exacerbated by three back to back meetings. I can pass up a cookie when I have to pay for it, but free cookies on a plate surrounded by people scarfing them down. No one has that kind of willpower, except a select few naturally skinny people with super-natural self-control – freaks! Good luck!

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G.G. • September 23, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Honesty is good. I think honesty is the one factor that will keep an 18 pound gain from turning in to an 180 pound gain.

It happens fast, doesn’t it!

I’m going through the same thing myself. One tool I have this time are blog archives from people like Dietgirl. I’ve been re-reading her book over the last week–it just helps me to see the continual nature of the struggle–easier at some times, harder at others–but absolutely worth it.

I’m rooting for you to turn it around! For what it’s worth, I’m going to be right there with you!

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Tina • September 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm

That sucks and I’m sorry. I’ve been avoiding the gym for 5 months now (after losing 60 lbs with 60 more to go) thanks to a serious back injury that requires surgery. So, during that time, I expected that I wouldn’t lose any weight. I was simply hoping to maintain. But somehow, I got it stuck in my head that if I wasn’t working out, I didn’t need to eat healthy. And somehow I decided that even though I couldn’t lift weights, elliptical at record breaking speeds or attend spin class, I couldn’t walk or swim. Stupid. But the stupidity didn’t hit me until I gained 10 lbs. There’s something about a double digit that works as well as a slap in the face. So, now I’m working on losing those 10lbs again so I can be back at my fighting weight in time for surgery next week. Good luck to you… You’ve already had such success, but it’s never easy.

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JD • September 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for sharing I know just what you mean! Bored. We are pulling for you pastaqueen, to get back on track and give away those fat pants!

Thanks for sharing, and for sharing how you are going to get around and/or through this. New music? Plan a vacation? Massage for having a good week?

I got a dog, and having to walk her is helping me get out there. The donut-free meetings can get tedious. The thing is, the donuts aren’t that great anyway, and they don’t last long enough to even be worth it.

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EG • September 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Thanks for your honesty! I was just getting to feel good about myself and my drive to lose weight (I’m not at maintenance), because I know how to do this and I’ve done it before. And yet for the past month or so I’ve gained some and stalled out. And I’m in my fattest pants, so there’s nowhere to do. Then you feel shitty about yourself, then it gets worse. And I don’t believe any of that “self-sabotage” stuff, it’s just laziness. And a love for food. :)

Why is it so easy to gain and so hard to lose?

Hey, anyone here done Couch to 5K?

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Karenbee • September 23, 2008 at 12:55 pm

PQ, we’re all routing for you!

In reading your book, and this post, I am struck by how you can get yourself to actually DO the work, get off the couch. This is a rare quality, in my experience. How do you do that? My own efforts are so stop-and-start. Can you put your finger on what makes you turn your switch from off to on?

Thanks for this post; it will help me in my own struggle.

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Wendy • September 23, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Hey well done on having the courage to a] keep getting on the scales in the face of a steady gain, and b] admit to it on the WWW! Gains are so hard to deal with, sustained gains even more so.

I declared a new start along with the Autumn Equinox yesterday, and am feeling great today for being 100% on track. This is a great time for a fresh start!

Go PastaQueen!

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Stacie • September 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Wait, are you telling me donuts are bad for me? And that I shouldn’t be eating the one that’s sitting right in front of me? Oh PQ, you’re so wise.

We all struggle, that’s what makes us human. You’ve inspired me to own up to my weekend of crap food. I’m off to blog…

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Helen • September 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm

My dreams are shattered… PQ is human – NOT! Good grief girly we all know that maintenance is harder than losing and definitely way harder than gaining. A pound a week? I can quintuple that during a week’s vacation. I think you’ve realized the trick: draw a line in the sand. In the meantime you’ve only made us love you more for your unabashed honesty (and I love you personally for being willing to show your lovely runner’s feet on a scale!).

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SBN • September 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Dear Pasta Queen:

I recently discovered your blog and read your book a few weeks ago. You are a fabulous, witty writer and you inspired me to get back on track after losing and gaining 50 pounds twice! I realized that my weight struggles came down to one major personal flaw which I could not find you discussing in either your blog or your book. But you stated it today and that is why I am writing you. And, that is this business of “not caring”. When I am in the process of losing weight, my resolve is so strong that nothing can crack it. But, then something happens and I don’t care. I give up. I truly don’t know why this is, but I think it has to do with my sense of self-worth, as if I don’t care enough about myself to hold it together. I know that it could be tiredness of the effort of eating right and exercising, but why is it that when I do care, nothing can make me not stick to my plan. And, I am not talking about maintenance. I have never gotten there. I would be grateful if you would write about this issue of “not caring” and address why you think it happens, what does it mean, and how do we keep caring for the long haul? Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, and I’m rooting for you, and for us all!

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Pamela • September 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Jennette, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve pretty much been in the same place you have for the past several weeks. In fact, I actually gained 8 pounds in a single week. I also think that for me a major part of it is that I got bored and tired of restricting myself since no one else around me ever seemed to. But we can both do it and have already proved to ourselves that we can! You’re going to do great! Thank you for posting this!

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MizFit • September 23, 2008 at 1:59 pm

maintaining is hard.

very.

thank goodness your normal.

wanna come to TEXAS?

you can motivate me to cross train and Ill motivate you to…do something!

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Megan • September 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this. It is EXACTLY what I needed today. I’m am in the same boat.

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Shawna • September 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Maintenance is definitely a tough skill to master. I often get to the point with exercise that I suffer from burnout. I needed to learn how to recognize the signs of burnout approaching and switch gears. I also trained for a half marathon, but I was totally burned out on running after it was over. And when I am feeling burned out on training, I let myself stop doing whatever is burning me out. In those times, I just make sure that I am out with my dog walking for two to four miles every day, and that I’m playing dance dance revolution a few times a week. Neither feels like exercise to me, so it’s easy to keep up. It’s enough to allow me to easily maintain my fitness level (which is honestly a lot more important to me than my weight). And then eventually, I get the exercise itch back, and off I am again.

I would highly recommend finding something that is exercise but doesn’t feel like it to you. I swear it’s the key to maintaining weight loss.

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Rhonda • September 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Echoing all the other comments. Kudos on your honesty.

“Not caring” — that’s more lethal than all the donuts in the world. Congratulations on pulling yourself out of that pit.

Loved your response to earlier posts — “famous to dozens”. One of the many reasons we LOVE reading your blog.

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K • September 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm

I think I just wrote this. Except with chocolate biscuits instead of doughnuts.

One thing – I wonder if the drying-up of blog posts that comes with a gain isn’t always deliberate avoidance? I’ve just had (eek) a two-month break, and both that and my slacking off from weight loss were because I was very busy. And exhausted, quite frankly.

I’m looking forward to the days when I’ll be less busy, and I have more mental energy for this kind of thing. They will come.

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Deb • September 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Pasta Queen (or should I say Former PQ?),

Thank you for your revealing honesty. It will/has helped many so much. I know it’s going to help me now that I am in a maintenance phase. It’s already taken away some of my anxiety about it.

Mostly, though, I want to say I believe in you. And I hope you believe in yourself. You have proven you can “do it” and I know you can and will again, in whatever ways you choose, on your own timetable, in humble nakedness in front of your adoring fans on the WWW.

In solidarity (as opposed to jiggly-butt-arity?), Deb

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Diana • September 23, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I’m glad to hear you’re human, but sorry about the weight gain. I think we’ve all been there and it’s a really scary place to be. You know the routine, now you just have to stick with it. And for someone that has done so well in the past, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for you. :)

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Jenn • September 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm

This- this is why I read your blog. Because you don’t just share the wins and the triumphs- you also tell it like it is and how to get through the hard parts too.

AND you don’t do it with a whiney “woe-is-me” pity party either, you just share the facts. THANK YOU for that- really it is so refreshing and inspiring. The world needs to know that skinny people who have lost weight still like donuts and ice cream and they still eat them sometimes!

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Zeb • September 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I like the fact that you’re honest about the fact that you gained the weight.

I’ve been reading too many blogs where the writers seem so perfect… it’s as if they never make a mistake, never put a foot wrong. Always have things under control. I wondered for a while if there was something wrong with me… so thankyou… it is good to know that I’m not the ONLY one who struggles from time to time :)

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster. Still on the weight loss journey myself (have so far lost 57.4 pounds, and have another 52.8 to go) and looking forward to getting a hold of your book to have a read :)

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gknee • September 23, 2008 at 4:29 pm

@EG – I did. It worked for me. Download the podcasts- no annoying timing.

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PastaQueen • September 23, 2008 at 4:35 pm

@Rhonda – That’s actually the Mighty Girl slogan. http://mightygirl.com/ I thought it was funny and true.

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Benita • September 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Back to the “real life,” eh? At least you woke up to it rather than stay in denial. Good luck, and have fun…I mean it. :)

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Deanna • September 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I so get it, and thanks for sharing. I’ve gained and lost millions of pounds, but that’s why we read your blog, because you are honest, open, oh and funny and witty too!! And help us all the time, perfection is overated, and awareness is the first step…

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Deanna • September 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Can I be anymore cliche’?

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lisa • September 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I think you’re awesome! I read your book in one sitting while sitting outside one Sunday afternoon, hating the way my life and my body were shaping up, and looking for inspiration.

What I love about you is your down-to-earth honesty, your sense of humor, and your never give up attitude. People can relate to you because you’re not all “I lost all this weight, I saw the light, and being thin is easy, the end!” I think all of us readers are on this journey with you, and I’ll be faithfully reading and cheering you on!

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Lori • September 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I haven’t visited in a while and was catching up today. I was really motivated by your post. I’m trying to get a 15 pound re-gain off at the moment.

I really related to you boredom with your workout routine. That is exactly how I am feeling and for the first time in my life I don’t care if I exercise. It is awful. I work in the field so I feel like a bad role model as well. Nothing is appealing anymore even though I know I will benefit. Gotta get motivated again soon.

Thanks for sharing your post.

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JEM • September 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I guess you never really arrive, its a fight till the end. Thanks for sharing.

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nolafwug • September 23, 2008 at 5:30 pm

@EG – I did Couch to 5K and it was great! I just printed out their chart and followed that. That was in April and I’m still upping the ante each week in a similar fashion – adding more miles and now speed work as well. Couch to 5K was a great foundation and kept me from doing too much too fast and hurting myself or giving up. At first, I couldn’t even run a block!

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anji • September 23, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I *love* the censored. hehe, being a graphics diva is great, isn’t it??

Maybe you can train the new kitty to go on runs with you? That’d be neat!

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Mattie • September 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Nice redesign, btw.

Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone will be shredding your book just because you’re human for crying out loud.

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Esmeralda • September 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I think I love you more when you’re not perfect. It makes you human, and it means I feel less bad about my own fluctuations.

You are indeed the queen of not pasta, but rather, of awesomeness

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Amy • September 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I always say if you do it, you gotta own it. Thanks for owning up. And congrats on getting yourself back on the path. I just may follow you…

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Lis • September 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Hi Pastaqueen

Thanks for your honesty. Coming from someone who has been trying to lose weight for 5 months now and hasn’t seen a pound budge, I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. Perfectionism is a huge road block for me and knowing that successful people can relapse without losing everything means a lot to me:)

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justrun • September 23, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Thank you for talking about this. And thank you for saying that gaining can be a normal part of maintenance. Because I’ve just gone from maintaining to gaining to getting my ass in gear again and it’s ridiculously hard to not feel guilty about that.

So here’s to losing and being just as excited about it as ever, even if we’re not and have to fake it.

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Boilergrad1993 • September 23, 2008 at 7:18 pm

PQ,

Good for you!!!

Today’s the first day I’ve been on the treadmill in over 2 weeks. I was on vacation for a week and well, I just didn’t want to get on it last week. I ate like crap (not all the time), I felt like crap and I didn’t give a crap. And you know what? When I got on that treadmill today it was one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t feel one iota of guilt about not exercising or eating right. I’ve decided every couple of months or so I’m going to take ‘vacation’ at least from exercise. I think that’s the key from getting ‘burnt out’.

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Kari • September 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm

I think anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight falls into that trap at least once–of being bored and not caring. I did the same thing last year and gained 10 lbs that I am still struggling to get off a year later. I think the re-gain and the struggle to get it back off is what solidifies the desire to truly commit for a lifetime and a lifestyle change, at least for me. I don’t ever want to have to spend a year working on those stupid 10 pounds again.

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Rebecca • September 23, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Thank you for your accountability. It is so important. You can do this!

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Carolina Girl • September 23, 2008 at 8:44 pm

In case you didn’t already know this…you rock :) I needed to hear this today.

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Mal • September 23, 2008 at 9:07 pm

No one is surprised at the outpouring of comments and support on this entry. You are a rock star, no matter how you’re performing on any particular day. We all relate to your frustrations, boredom, and panic. It’s your refreshing and honest take on things that keeps us coming back. You’ll weather this storm, just as you did the rest of them. I am particularly interested in reading about maintenance — a phase of life I hope to someday experience.

Hang in there. Major good vibes flowing your way.

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Sue • September 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

It’s important for me to see how tenuous weight loss really can be, and I thank you so much for your honesty.

You’re a smart cookie (no calories in this compliment) and

I’m happy you’re back on track. Literally. You go, girl!

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Sara • September 23, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I’ve been so sad to see my favorite bloggers disappear when they begin to gain weight. One thing that keeps me moving toward my own weight loss goals is the idea that I refuse to fade quietly away into the night. The longest, most difficult battle ironically begins just when the world believes the war has been won.

I believe that there’s no cure for obesity, only the constant, vigilant maintenance of the condition–and that’s a life long process.

Too bad Hallmark doesn’t make a line of “good job not being as fat as you used to be!” cards–affirmation during maintenance in equal measure to that we receive on the way there would be just as deserved.

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Mary Kay • September 23, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Your honesty about gaining some weight is perhaps more inspirational to me than your losing the weight. Thank you for the courage you displayed.

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cindy • September 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Hi PQ,

You are the QUEEN! This post is so important for everyone, but especially for people who have lost large amounts of weight and also struggle with the re-gain. Any re-gain, even a pound or two, can feel like the big terror that looms over us permanently ~ the likelihood that we could re-gain it all. I have been struggling for months with what has turned into a 20 pound re-gain, after having lost 130 pounds. It feels terrible. It feels like a failure of the greatest magnitude. I feel HUGE. So why doesn’t yours sound so bad to me?! Why can I forgive you and condemn myself?

I have been working at losing the “new” weight since Labor Day, my “New Year.” It is very, very slow ~ much slower than the first time I lost the weight. But I think I am on the right track again, mostly. I am glad to hear that you are feeling like you’ve found your “zone” again, too. And I am grateful that you are willing to share this conversation with us. It helps. It really helps…

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s • September 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm

hey pq! hang in there. it sounds like you are back on track. this post really helped me put in perspective the craptasticness i’ve been feeling about my own weight loss. i lose 0.4, gain a lb, repeat over and over, until it goes down slowly. but it’s all part of the process, i guess.

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Ang • September 23, 2008 at 9:28 pm

I’m impressed that you weighed yourself and changed course before it went very far. When I know that I have been out of control, I avoid the scale. I guess I must think that weight gain isn’t real until I see the number. Good luck on your renewed effort!

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PastaQueen • September 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

@Sara – Actually, I think they do make those cards. It’s part of the journey series. Or at least, they congratulate you on weight loss.

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Eileen • September 23, 2008 at 9:47 pm

When I first started reading your blog, you were well on your way in your weight loss journey and were hovering near what turned out to be your goal weight (180). I thought were were an exceptional young woman: a gifted witty writer and someone with the perseverance to lose a tremendous amount of weight sensibly (diet and exercise) but in the past year as you began to reap your recognition awards, I said to myself, “She’s losing it”. And I didn’t mean weight and I didn’t want it to happen to you.

An extraordinay thing about you was that, although you were a great deal overweight, you had never before seriously dieted. What you are experiencing now, as I think the other comments bear out, is the all too common reaction to weight loss: weight gain. I am old enough to be your mother and have spent my entire adulthood caught in this cycle. I don’t want that for you and I hope you prove yourself extraordinary once again.

When you declared yourself finished dieting at 179 because you had “maintained” that weight for one year, your readers knew that you had maintained that weight while trying (maybe not too hard) to lose another 20 pounds. I put it out there to people who have maintained a weight loss for a period of years: Is that how you do it? Do you never go out of diet mode?

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Kari • September 23, 2008 at 9:58 pm

@Eileen – To me, there is no such thing as “diet mode.” It’s all “healthy lifestyle mode.” Sometimes I fall out of that mode, but it is never in my best interest to do so. It’s impossible to maintain a weight loss for a long term basis if you allow yourself to fall back into old habits or view your healthy lifestyle as a “diet” that you will one day go off of.

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Ann • September 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I have been reading your blog for a couple of months and have read your book. I love the way you write and I loved your book. Thank you for being honest, we all know you can do it! You go!

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Kalyn • September 23, 2008 at 10:22 pm

I can relate completely about the boredom. And sometimes it feels to me like it’s endless. Since I lost the 42 pounds that led to me starting my blog, I’ve gained and lost the same 10 pounds at least 20 times! Most of the time I am able to stay within 5 pounds of my low weight, but a few times I’ve gone up 10+ pounds and felt that yikes feeling. You will lose it again, I know that. And congratulations on your honesty about something that it’s very hard to be completely honest about.

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Heidi • September 23, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Hi, Jennette. Sorry if someone already said some of this, but I didn’t have time to read all 71 comments.

You have done amazingly well. It seems to me that the key is that you made a plan for how you were going to realize it happened and then you acknowledged to yourself (and, in your case, all of us!) that it happened. Now you’ll work on getting back on track.

I’m not sure, because I don’t remember ever being a normal weight, but I think even a lot of “thin” people gain 10 or 20 pounds sometimes. I’m guessing the difference is that they do what you’re doing right now. Seems to me that discovering how to deal with this situation is just the next part of the process of being a thin person and, given what you’ve done already, there’s no doubt you’ll figure it out!!

Hang in there!!

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Zandria • September 23, 2008 at 11:04 pm

It’s a hard thing to admit when we’ve been slacking on the healthy eating/exercise front, but as I can see from the comments you’ve already received, people tend to appreciate honesty. I know “honest posts” are the hardest ones for me to write, but ultimately they’re the ones I end up liking the most because of the response I receive from them.

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lila • September 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm

thanks so much for this post. I’ve been wondering lately what was going on because everything has been so not about food or weight or body stuff. I was in an inpatient treatment center for an eating disorder for a while and in group therapy, whenever we talked about something else, we were called on for “deflecting.” I don’t know if that’s what’s been happening with you, or if you’ve just been over it for a while… But whatever it is, I’m so happy to see this post. It makes me feel safe reading this blog again.

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Molly • September 24, 2008 at 6:56 am

Thank you so much for posting this. For the last month, I have been reading your book and motivating myself to lose weight. I have been feeling like such a giant asshole for not being able to do it successfully so far. You are an inspiration when you diet and when you don’t. Thank you.

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kris • September 24, 2008 at 7:38 am

I have to echo the previous seventy something comments giving kudos to you and drawing the proverbial line.

however, I do have to say that this post struck a nerve with me. I go from uber-motivated to not caring almost on a weekly basis. Like you said, I get tired of all that it entails. the weighing, the measuring, the counting, the exercising. and it occurred to me that even after you are successful with weight loss (which I haven’t been yet) there is no magic formula that keeps it off. damn.

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PastaQueen • September 24, 2008 at 8:58 am

@lila – I’m sort of of confused by your comment. I announced at the beginning of the month that I was going to write about other stuff besides weight loss. You can read the post here.

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Rochelle • September 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

@Molly – Double that for me!

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Rochelle • September 24, 2008 at 1:30 pm

PQ, I lurk and I lurk, but I haven’t said it once – BRAVO! Thanks for being so brave and for putting it out there for the rest of us.

I lost it all and then I gained it all back and then some – The hardest thing about weight loss is maintaining it. For the longest time, the idea of “maintenance” is so far away, that when you get there, you forget it’s supposed to be for the rest of your life. And it doesn’t seem fair that some of us can remain the same weight for years at a time! I don’t think I’ve ever been the same weight – the same size clothes -for an entire year!

Anyway – what I mean to say is – You’re the best!

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Andrew is getting fit • September 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm

PQ: Once more you are my hero.

Thanks for the honesty. It’s made me reflect on what’s been happening on my journey.

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Casey • September 24, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog, but its excellent. How refreshingly honest- love it!

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MB • September 25, 2008 at 7:56 am

PQ: I’m so happy you wrote this post. Obviously, I am not happy that you put on a few pounds and are struggling a bit to get back into weight-loss mode but these are the things I desperately need to learn how to do.

I know how hard it is to lose weight and how much harder it is to keep it off. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out the “keeping it off” part yet.

When your reward for all the hard work is seeing a lower number on the scale and your reward for maintenance is seeing the same number on the scale it can be hard to stay motivated and keep doing the same thing … work out, eat right, work out, eat right, etc.

I know I would start on that slippery slope thinking I could have a little ice cream here and a little more bread and pasta there and then *BAM* I was back in the fat pants. The worst part was I had given away all my fat pants because I was so sure I would never be wearing them again. It was really depressing having to buy fat clothes again. I have faith your fat pants will be going back in that box soon.

If you need a little extra motivation … there is a great book out there called Half-Assed! :)

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Susan • September 25, 2008 at 10:23 am

@EG – I cannot recommend couch 2 5k enough. It’s an amazing experience! I had never run in my life and couldn’t run for more than 1 minute when I started c25k back in April! I finished the program in July and have been running for 30 minutes 2 to 3 times a week ever since. I am working on getting faster now and I have every intention to continue running. It’s done amazing things for not just my body, but also my mind. I hope you give it a try!

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asithi • September 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

Lately, I have the same problem, except it was a combination of boredom and returning back pain (from my accident). So I took a month off of working out and just walk for 45 minutes in the evening with my husband. Low impact and more of a pleasure to talk with my husband than a exercise. But I am slowly getting back to weight lifting (well, I started last night) and it felt great. Sometimes you just need to take a break from it all, but the key is to know when it is time to return to the game.

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veganlicious • September 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm

@Eileen – Yup, you got it. Whatever you did to lose weight, you have to keep doing forever if you want to stay at that weight. What you did to keep yourself overweight will put you back at that weight, and probably more, even if you lose weight somewhere in there. That’s why there’s no point in doing something you can’t maintain, more or less.

So, for me, I noticed oil (not fat in general, but refined fat) makes me gain weight quickly and isn’t that satiating. So I literally never cook with it, and have gotten used to that. I did cook with it for awhile, in small amounts, but then I noticed it made my weight creep back up. So there was really no point in consuming it at all, unless I wanted my weight to yo-yo along with my consumption. And that’s been 5, 6 years? What works for everyone is different, but what works has to be sustainable.

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cheeri0 • September 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I’m at the start of a hundred pound weight loss journey. I am down 23 pounds since July of 2008, and checking in here at Pasta Queen has given me hope that it really IS possible to lose weight the “old fashioned” way.

A good friend of mine and I read and discuss your blog in our long distance phone calls. I commented the other day that I would like to find another blog from a person who is “still in the struggle” to lose weight.

In the last several days I had been really busy with work and have skipped the gym three days in a row. I’ve eaten out at restaurants twice, which just doesn’t work for me when I’m on a diet. I read your post last night and got my car keys and went to the gym one hour to spare before they closed.

Thank you for being honest.

Cheeri0

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Helen • September 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I’ve been blogging the past few weeks about a regain too…why is it that summer seems to bring on the lbs.? I’m back on the wagon and glad to see you up here too. ;-)

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paj • September 25, 2008 at 9:54 pm

i am so totally ready to get back on the ball after reading this. you’re right. it sucks.

but it’s like eating spicy food, you hate and love the feeling at the same time.

thanks soooooooooooo much.

~paj

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lila • September 26, 2008 at 1:56 am

@PastaQueen – I definitely read that post when you wrote it. I was mostly curious. I’m just reflecting on my own experience of ED recovery. As I said, when I did recovery, the therapists were always very direct about always keeping thoughts on food and bodies. Your experience of course is different.

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KK • September 26, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your weight loss journey. Good luck with getting back on track and finding a new routine that works for you!

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J • September 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm

That’s what you get for getting cocky.

You wanted to pretend that you had all the answers, that you held the key to weight loss. You wanted to pretend that you didn’t have to try anymore or blog about weight loss anymore. You thought you were “cured” of fatness and that you’d never be the girl in the before pictures again.

Well… you’re wrong. And you oughta start getting real with yourself. You are not invincible.

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PastaQueen • September 28, 2008 at 4:38 pm

@J – Ginna (I know you left your comment as J, but your name is actually Ginna),

I would be more likely to take advice about getting “real” with myself from someone who leaves their real email and name on their comments. Please don’t try to hide behind a fake email and name. If you want “realness” from someone, you need to start by being real with them first.

Please also read the last chapter of my book.

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J • September 28, 2008 at 6:59 pm

@PastaQueen – My name is not Ginna. And I read your book. I actually bought it on Amazon (you’re welcome). Unlike most of your readers, I came across your book first – then your blog. I liked your book. And then I started reading your blog and seeing you on television and my opinion totally changed. You have a bad attitude and a big ego. Not attractive.

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ginna • September 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Hi Everybody,

I’m the ‘real’ Ginna, and I did NOT write that post. I don’t know what kind of glitch in the system caused Jeanette to think that I did, but I didn’t write it, nor do I agree with it. I fully support PQ’s efforts and more active lifestyle.

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PastaQueen • September 29, 2008 at 9:04 am

@ginna – Hmmm, okay, Ginna. Sorry for the mix up. For some reason one of your comments came from the same source as J. Do you have an evil twin who likes to post on blogs?

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Mrs darling • October 1, 2008 at 9:43 am

Oooooo sounds like J is jealous of PQ’s success. ‘Twould be interesting indeed to know what J tips the scale at! Whatever weight J is at J is not happy at that weight or J would not say such mean things.

PQ, you’re inspirational as always! You go girl!! I adore you.

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Dawn • October 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm

I’ve not posted here before but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. I get a lot out of it. I’ve often wonder how things will go after I lose all the weight I want to. I know this is for life and not just a time period. Of course it’s hard to imagine myself 5 yrs from now. I think this is kind of like your AA for weight lose, something you’ll need to do for the rest of your life. I love that you share so much with everyone. Thanks for being so honest.

Oh I just have to mention your foot picture I can’t get out of my head lol. I have a black toenail too and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Thanks for clearing that up lol.

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janb • October 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Oh.

I am right with you, only my slide has been longer and worse. I am up from 162 to over 200. Specifically, this morning 210.

I am recommitting, but part of me is frantically afraid that I am just never going to be able to do it again.

Is this just going to be my whole life?

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Jessi • October 9, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I went from 350 to 147 (taking about 6 years to do it) and then I got a boyfriend….which led to taking the pill.

Bet you know what comes next…

In less than a year I gained back 30 lbs, while still eating healthy and exercising at least an hour every day. I can’t tell you how defeated this made me feel. It was enough to cause me to stop trying, and now I’m back to 195 (holding steady for the last 1.5 years). It was those 20 “I don’t care” pounds that got me to wake up and start caring again. Now I’m proud that I’ve kept steady and haven’t gone up more.

Once you’ve lost that much weight, people are watching like crazy for you to gain it back. I think sometimes they are HOPING you will!!

To tell you truth though, since I did lose that much weight, I looked kinda like a deflated balloon at 147 lbs. It would have been a nice “number” but because I had so much saggy skin, I didn’t look that good. At 195 I’m a bit more filled out, and the saggy skin doesn’t seem so noticeable. Plastic surgery and diets aren’t for me, I’ve decided.

Frankly, my boyfriend finds me sexier now then when I was as low as 147, and I get many more compliments from people about how healthy and strong I look.

Weird. Weird. Wierd.

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Calidaho • October 24, 2008 at 3:30 am

Thank goodness I found this blog (thanks to a link from CheapHealthyGood). I lost 80 lbs which was actually almost 100lbs from my heaviest recorded weight and gained 30 back. I have finally gotten back on track and stopped the lbs from creeping back on but now it is taking forever to get the pounds to leave. I had to buy a pair of larger jeans tonight for our trip this weekend because I gave all my fat clothes to charity. ALL of them. I even forgot to save my fat pants to have a party in. It has been really depressing but you have given me hope. It took a year to lose the 80, 4 months to gain the 30.

My knee is acting up so I am taking a running break (funny how 30 extra pounds makes running harder on the body). And the therapy I went to helped me with my emotional eating issues. I have to look at this as a lifelong pursuit and to not get frustrated and quit. You took it slow, gained some back and took it back off. Thanks for being here and sharing your story…now I gotta go buy your book!

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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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