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My four year fativersary and a warning about scammers

It was exactly 4 years ago today that I stepped on a scale and then stepped on a treadmill and finally stepped into a new phase of my life. Happy fativersary to me!

I started out at 372 pounds, a number I would rather possess in foreign currency than write down on my weight chart. After over two and half years of work, I hit a low of 170.8 pounds (partially induced by stress I dared not blog about). That weight was a bit too low for me, since I still like to eat a donut now and then. Instead, I maintained a weight of 180 pounds for a good while, was happy with my size, and bopped happily down nature trails and treadmills as I trained for a half marathon and promoted my book.

Then after almost a year of unrelenting chronic pain, I entered another phase of my life which involved depression and compulsive eating, gaining back about 25 pounds. And quite frankly my dear, I didn’t give a damn, because I was so foregone.

Lately, I have stabilized both mentally and physically. I haven’t gained any more weight in the past few months and my secret, late-night dates with the freezer department at Marsh have become infrequent. I am hopeful that as I continue to pursue medical treatment, I will regain the health and energy necessary to work off that weight and enter yet another phase of my life.

That’s the story so far. It keeps going. I lose weight. I gain a bit back. I lose it again. That’s life. That’s my body. It takes time and work and a sense of perspective.

It does not involve acai berries or colon cleanses, which I only mention because along with the new year there has been a rise in scammers wishing to take advantage of people who have made resolutions to lose weight. Steve from Weight Loss Weapons has made a master list of sites that are pretending to be blogs but are in fact fronts created to sell you sham products so their owners can make big profits. Don’t be fooled!

One of these sites tried to place an ad on my site earlier this week, but it seemed fishy to me so I rejected them. (Yes, I sometimes turn down ads. It’s not just a line in my advertising policy.) These sites are pretending to be run by regular people who are telling their life stories (like I do here on this blog), but they’re fake. They want you to trust them because they act like they are part of our community, but they are just twisting that sense of social connection for their own means. It’s kind of disgusting, even grosser than the idea of a colon cleanse. I was hesitant to link to the list of sites because I don’t want anyone clicking on the links and buying the products, but I think it’s better to warn people about the fraud than pretend it’s not out there.

To all of you looking to celebrate your own fativersary, good luck! All we have is time and each other. Skip the acai berries and invest in yourself instead. You won’t regret it.

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56 Comments

Martha • January 15, 2009 at 9:43 am

You definately have something to celebrate.

Congratulations, I wish you many more happy, healthy, pain free Fativersaries!

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debby • January 15, 2009 at 9:52 am

Happy Fativersary, PQ! Love that word, and I just love you more for struggling with your weight and being honest about it and sharing your insights with us.

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amy jo • January 15, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hey, I’ve been reading for awhile. Even commented with witty comments once or twice. But my name isn’t memorable, I doubt you recognize me… but that is irrelevent.

I was at Barnes and Noble last night and they had a table set up with weight loss books – 3 on different little pedestals. What do I see to the left? Your book!

Yeah, not so surprising to you at this point, but to me, I was blown away. Cuz you seem like a pretty normal person (who has done something awesome, granted, but still relatively normal and relatable). And your book is on display at freaking Barnes and Noble. I feel like you are a rock star.

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tessler • January 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

Congratulations on the fativersary! I have a couple of those myself. :)

Re: fake sites – Amen, and amen. Everyone is looking for the “magic pill” or “magic potion” this time of year, and it’s sad how easily people can be taken in by promises of a quick fix to their weight issues. :( Hey, if it were that easy, then everyone would be the perfect weight, right? Right.

I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog even though this is my first time commenting. Thank you for putting yourself “out there” like this. I personally appreciate it very much.

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Quix • January 15, 2009 at 10:27 am

Happy fativersary! It’s cliche, yes, but I passed my 2 year on January 1st, I guess resolutions DO stick sometimes. It’s hard to remember being 265 lbs, but I do know it sure feels better being 159! =) Cheers to a good, long life of our heftier days becoming a distant memory.

I hate scammers (and spammers) too. Seriously, go die in a fire. Please?

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Sheila • January 15, 2009 at 10:50 am

You go, girl.

I lost 50 pounds, regained 25, and am on the way back down again.

During Christmas week of 2006, I gained 10 pounds. During Christmas week of 2007, I gained 9 pounds. During Christmas week of 2008, I gained 8 pounds.

Small improvements do count; after all, a large improvement is just a set of small improvements.

Here’s to two steps forward, one step back. Progress, in other words.

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Ken • January 15, 2009 at 11:04 am

Great job on the 4 year anniversary. I think your blog and your realities are an inspiration to be true to ourselves and I respect your honesty about the issues and problems that you have had.

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Nina • January 15, 2009 at 11:06 am

4 years? I think that’s around the same time I lost my first 50lbs. Funny thing is, I don’t remember suffering about it at all! Not like I do now, when I have to turn down a doughnut or other free food at the office, yanno?

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deanna • January 15, 2009 at 11:23 am

Holy Canoli!!!!!! 4 years – fantastic!!! That’s incredible, good for you – it’s certainly a day to celebrate! And I loved your last paragraph, well said.

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Karen • January 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

Happy Fativersary! Now that you mention it, I recently had my own 5-year Fativersary on Dec. 21st.

In terms of the weight loss scams… I pretty much consider ANY product that claims to be an effortless miracle cure for obesity a scam and anyone who peddles these products to be scam artists. The only permanent “cure” is to change one’s eating and exercise habits, and that requires effort (most good things in life take effort).

What sucks though is that these scam artists are masquerading as weight loss bloggers, as parts of the weight loss community. If you do a search online for weight loss information, oftentimes the ONLY reliable info comes from blogs, so the fact that the scammers have infiltrated that realm is really disheartening.

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Jen, a priorfatgirl • January 15, 2009 at 11:44 am

Happy fativersary! Are you dizzy? I couldn’t get your skinny butt to stop spinning there for a minute, had to refresh the page to allow for the before and after amazement to be fully loaded! This whole journey is never ended, huh? If we aren’t working on physicial transformations, there is mental or financial. And just when we went through what we think is all of them, we start back at the beginning. Oh well, such goes life. Better to blog and share then hold it all inside!

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CC • January 15, 2009 at 11:47 am

brilliant! four years! congratulations. and it is heartening to hear that your time in the medical world is calming things down a little and leaves you with space to work on the things you want to. and i am with you on the need for a tardis!

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Peggasus • January 15, 2009 at 11:50 am

Ha, those weight loss scams are pretty funny, especially the ‘colon cleanse’ ones. Last year (TMI alert) I had my Very First Colonoscopy, and had to do the medically-required one for the procedure. Basically, you drink some stuff, and take ex-lax, and DON’T GET TO EAT FOR TWO DAYS. I lost seven pounds. Of course, when you begin to eat normally after all that (Thank God), it immediately comes right back. Also, you have to be in the immediate vicinity of a toilet at all times. Why anyone would do that voluntarily is beyond me. Thankfully, I don’t have to do it again for ten years.

Oh, and congrats!

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FatFighterTV • January 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Happy Fativersary to you, PQ! You rock.

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Lyn • January 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Wow! That’s awesome that Steve made that list and I am so glad you put it out there. A lot of people are naive and would buy into these scams. Great job, PQ :) And happy fativersary!

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Lyn • January 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Oh and p.s….

a lot of these scammers will leave comments on blogs (I get several each week) pretending to be “one of us” (a blogger or reader) and saying “this might help you” with a link to a scam site. I hate that! I delete them all. So readers..beware of spamming commenters, too!

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victoria • January 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Happy Fativersary! I’m just a few weeks shy of a similar anniversary. It’s brave of you to share your own with the interweb like this. And thank you for the frequent updates!

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Michele • January 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Congratulations! And, thanks for the info on the scammers. I think it’s terrible that folks try to take advantage of others. :-(

I’ve lost over 100 pounds, too. It’s a great feeling – but a lot of hard work! ;-)

*smiles*

Michele

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CLOUDY • January 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

yay! Congrats! & Thanks for the insightful post. I hope this time next year I am celebrating my fativersary! I did not order the Acai berry, but I must have filled out something because they called me about 1000 times a day. Evil.

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Kelly • January 15, 2009 at 1:21 pm

You’re proving that people who lose weight CAN keep it off for more than a few months or year. Fluctuation is normal of course, so cheers to you for proving the medical naysayers wrong!

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scfrogprincess • January 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Congratulations on your Fativersary! You looked great in your Colorado trip photo! I hope you get to feeling better soon!

The hubby and I are enjoying your book and will probably finish it this weekend. We will be resting after some his and her dental surgery tomorrow.

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shelley • January 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Happy Fativersary! I hope to have one of my own someday. Thanks for sharing all that it took, and still takes!

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jesse • January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Happy fativersary, PQ! I must say I am still so so ridiculously curious about these mysterious things you won’t blog about. I have this total backstory I’ve guessed at and I always wonder if it’s true! Oh well. We all have to have some privacy from the internets. I think the mysterious stress that shall not be blogged just makes your blog more interesting to me.

Anyway. Keep rocking!

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Beth Moore • January 15, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Happy Fattiversary! I am a relatively new reader to your blog and just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your candor. I’m doing the yo-yo-yo thing lately and trying to find some motivation and your blog has been that for me lately.

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Ann • January 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Congrats PQ!

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Kari • January 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Congratulations on you fativersary! :) Though I haven’t lost the huge amount you have, my own start to losing weight and getting to one in the healthy BMI range was Jan. 30, 2007, so I’m coming up on 2 years myself it looks like.

The Acai berries and the colon cleanses drive me crazy. I saw a woman today in Meijer as I looked for band-aids, standing in front of the hoodia and Dexatrim and other “wonder pills,” looking perplexed. I wanted to say, “Please, if you really want to lose weight, go to the opposite corner of the store — this is not the place to find it.” (The opposite corner being the produce section.) But I didn’t. Everyone wants a quick fix. When people find out I lost 40 pounds, the first thing they ask is, “What did you use?” as if there was some magic pill I took. When I tell them I counted calories and exercised, they go, “Huh, I guess the old fashioned way really does work.” Yeah, it does…and I really wish we could get rid of all of those irritating commercials on TV and radio (and even on the talk channels on Sirius/XM!) trying to get us to rid ourselves of 20 pounds of excess waste trapped on the colon walls like spackel or paste. :P

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Leslie • January 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Happy fativersary! You rock.

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Shirls • January 15, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Your damn right, never once have I regretted the investment in myself :0)

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Helen • January 15, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Happy happy Jennette! I am so glad to read that things are leveling a bit for you. Here’s to many more celebrations.

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nolafwug • January 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm

OMG dude!

“They say it’s your fattiversary! It’s my fattiversary too yeah!”

I’ve lost 100 pounds in the past year. Your blog was so important to me, especially when I was getting started. You left a road map that was so sane and down-to-earth, healthy and happy. Sometimes when I was out walking and later running I would plan Thank-You emails to you in my head for once I reached my goal.

Well, I got to goal 2 months ago but haven’t written that email yet. But upon reading this post I felt so warm & fuzzy that I had to chime in. Congratulations to you for blazing the trail! Machete in hand. You are a rock star to me and always will be. I totally heart you, PQ.

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Calidaho • January 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Congrats! You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing the downs (or ups on the scale). I am on a “gained back a bit” stretch and have felt defeated but I have to get back up and keep going. You are a testament to that.

And, don’t you think Oprah (or at least her company) would be bothered that the sites are citing her as well as Dr. Oz? I have seen little ads like that on Facebook. It is so mean to cash in on people who would do anything to lose weight…and why not try acai even if it won’t work and you are better off putting that cash into a gym membership or a new pair of athletic shoes?

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Mrs Lard • January 15, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Congratulations on your fativersary.

Couldn’t agree with you more; investment in ourselves is the only way forward.

I wish you so much luck with sorting out your hideous chronic pain. That really sucks (the pain) and what incredible fortitude you’ve shown by more than carrying on, in spite of the pain.

I hope 2009 gives you the pain-free answer and solution you deserve.

Thank you for continuing to blog.

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Ginny • January 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm

@Kari – Those commercials make me laugh every time. Like spackle or paste! HA!

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Heathe • January 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Happy Anniversary!

I just turned 41, and look at you, so insightful and inspiring and you haven’t even turned 30 yet.

You are such an inspiration, and I admire you for putting everything out there for the world to see. Thanks for doing that, because it really helps. Two people, one of whom has lost over 50 pounds, recommended your site, and it’s well worth it. You are one amazing girl, and I bet your family is so proud of what you are doing to help others.

Thank you!

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Sledge • January 15, 2009 at 9:32 pm

PQ-

Major congrats…..you should be so proud.

How odd that today is the day I started my weight loss blog! I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to blogging but I want to give it a whirl! I weighed 300.6 pounds this am. I started at well over 400 lbs a year ago but have gained back 30 in the past three months so I am starting back AGAIN today.

I am calling my blog (on blogger) On the Edge because that is where I am….I am either going lose a hundred pounds or gain a 100 back……..I am on the edge and pushing myself to the “enlightened” side or towards LIFE and lose the damn weight.

Thank you for sharing both your successess and struggles. You are real which makes it so much better.

Again, congratulations!

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Steve@weightlossweapons.com • January 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Congrats PQ on your incredible success and happy fativersary. You are a real inspiration to all of us.

Thanks for linking to the list, the more people that know about these scammers the better.

I don’t actually link to the sites themselves so people would have to copy and paste the URL to get to the scam sites. Believe me, I don’t want to help these people by linking to them :)

@Calidaho On Oprah’s website they say they are aware of these kinds of sites and are taking appropriate legal actions to stop them.

Steve

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Bethama • January 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Congratulations on your success!! You look absolutely amazing in all of your pictures, and your honesty is a refreshing change of pace. Your blog remains one of the few that I’ll check for all updates (as opposed to “only if the subject line interests me), and no matter what you write about, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll follow!

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Mara • January 16, 2009 at 8:48 am

You have a lot to be proud of congrats to you. I only hope one day I can have a post like this one. I hope you find relief soon I cannot imagine the pain you are in. You inspire us all.

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Rebecca of FatFitnessFood • January 16, 2009 at 10:28 am

Happy Fativersary! I actually only found your site today! I guess I am about 4 years late. Well better late than never!

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Kimberly • January 16, 2009 at 11:04 am

Happy Fativersary! I just can’t say it enough. Your story is what kept me going when I thought I could never do this thing myself. I hit the -88 pound mark today and I don’t think I ever would have been able to know I could do that if it weren’t for you and your blog.

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metro15 • January 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

Congrats! Wow, you have done so well, it’s truly inspirational. Oh and thanks for the scam blog warning. I stumbled across one of those the other day. Thankfully, they don’t put much effort into the quality of the blog, so if you are a skeptic (like me) you should be able to see right through it.

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Liz • January 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

Jennette, thank you so much for being so honest about the good the stuff and the bad. It really, really helps. This site is like a life boat for me right now.

I hope you are findig relief from your headaches

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julie • January 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Happy fativersary!

I think it’s gross how the scammers prey on the New Years Resolution dieters, who have not yet found their way. The only thing I buy towards weight loss is a gym membership, sports bras, and a yoga mat.

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Karina • January 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Congratulations, and I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I reallyl enjoy your blog.

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MizFit • January 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm

it amazes me how, in the time youve lost and maintained, I have a dear friend who has gone up and down and up and down my close to 100 pounds.

life is too short for that.

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Rebecca Hoover • January 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

So I read your blog, and then I went and got scammed. What a dope. And it wasn’t that I was looking for a quick fix (I lost my weight the hard way too). I’ve been having some, ahem, digestive issues that have been driving me crazy so I saw FREE SAMPLE and thought, what the hell? Um, read the fine print after. I tried canceling immediately but the woman from the company said I would have to call back on Monday. So I’ll be crossing my fingers and toes that this doesn’t turn into a big issue for me. I’m not usually a complete idiot, just sometimes :P.

So everyone out there. LISTEN to PQ, the all wise one.

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Kelly • January 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Jennette:

Off subject. I was thinking more about your post about the headaches that won’t go away and then I thought about the time that these chronic headaches started, after major weight loss. I was listening to a podcast on Jimmy Moore’s site about the dangers of aspartame and just how deadly it is which got me thinking about artificial sweeteners and the side effects.

I know you’re not into comments full of advice but question: During weight loss and even now, have you/do you consume a lot of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and splenda in diet pop, diet flavored water, sugar-free gum, foods, etc? If you want to listen to the podcast about aspartame, it’s on Jimmy Moore’s podcast list but would you be open to cutting all sugars and fake sugars for a whole week, maybe two (due to detoxing from the stuff) to see if the headaches subside? One whole month sugar and fake sugar free would be an even better “experiment” just to make sure that’s not the cause plus I bet you drop some easy weight as well since there’s proof that even fake sweets cause weight gain.

Anyway, if you choose to ignore this or pass, that’s definitely your choice but I really have “women’s intuition” on this because the headaches came on into your weight loss and I’ve read some posts where you talk about diet pop.

Would you be up for a little experiment?

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Karen Scott • January 16, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Happy Fativersary! I really enjoy your blog and you are an inspiration exactly because of two steps forward one step back.

As an aside I live in a very small town, we all know each other, or know of each other, or are related to each other. It’s a rule. Well one of the Acai Berry “blogs” lists the owner as from my town. Riiiiight, never heard of her, she doesn’t live here, trust me.

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Carol • January 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Happy fativersary! I loved your book and love your blog!

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Charlene Collins • January 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

Happy Fativersary to you and happy inspiration for the rest of us. The only other blog I’ve ever commented on belongs to a good friend of mine and I feel like I’m peaking out of my house into a whole wide world out there by posting. I find your site, your story and your book (which I’m almost done reading) so inspirational in their honesty and down to earthiness.

What is prompting me to finally post to more than a friend’s blog is your comment about depression and compulsive eating. It struck a familiar cord with me. I’ve always had food as a friend and comforting source but about six years ago I went through my own depression and gained about 40 lbs in one year. I got through it though. Time does heal a lot of things but we have to do our part too. Your constant quest for self awareness, your willingness to seek help, your creative way of expressing yourself. All these things will help get you to the other side of the moon. That time in my life is behind me. I’ve lost the weight. Gained a little. Am on a quest to lose again. That’s life. That’s me. But that time in my life was very dark and very real and I sense it all over again when someone refers to their own dark period. Just know that emotions pass. Events pass. We have ourselves. And that’s the saving grace (even if sometimes it’s the burden too).

Your story is a really cool one. That you share it with the world is a gift to us. Thank you!

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K • January 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Happy fativersary, and I hope 2009 is going to be a very good year. And that your head behaves itself.

And I think publicising the scam list is a public service.

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Linda • January 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Congratulations on all you’ve done–your blog, weight loss, book, all of it. What a momentous trip losing the weight took you on!

OMG. I never thought about remembering my fativersary until you mentioned it. (Is it a holiday? Can I stay home from work?) It’s coming up Wednesday–4 years. It took 2 1/2 years to lose the weight and now I’m holding steady. It’s so good to see an honest, non-defeatist blog out there to inspire the rest of us. Thank you.

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Lori • January 17, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Congratulations! You have really achieved something that most folks who lose weight cannot, and that is really something to be proud of!

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Mary Meps • January 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I had seen your name around and came to check you out as MizFit advises. Congrats on your healthiness and on the book! Cool.

I’m a year behind you. I started this three years ago and about halved myself.

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alisha • January 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I JUST RECENTLY BOUGHT A COPY OF YOUR BOOK. I LOVED IT!! IT IS SO DELIGHTFUL, AND HONEST. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND YOU HAVE INSPIRED ME TO TRY REALLY HARD TO DO BETTER. I FINISHED THE BOOK AND PASSED IT ALONG TODAY TO MY MOTHER AND I AM SENDING ONE TO A FRIEND OF MINE. YOU LOOK GREAT. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE CHECKED OUT THIS BLOG. I WILL BE CHECKING IT OFTEN NOW, I THINK YOU HAVE DONE SUCH A WONDERFUL JOB GETTING YOURSELF HEALTHY!! I HOPE I CAN DO THE SAME.

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Becca • January 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Hey Jennette,

I haven’t commented in a while although I have faithfully checked in from time to time to giggle at your always fresh hilarity and to feel sympathetic about your crappy headache.

On February 7 I will celebrate my fativersary (although since I had lap band surgery to help get rid of my fat – our community calls this a “bandiversary”). Goodbye 75 lbs of chub and good riddance to you.

Thanks for the warning about accai berries. The new fake blog marketing tactic is a sneeky one.

Stay warm,

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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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