I've moved to JenFul.com

So, about my weight

By the way, I’ve gained 35 pounds in the past year. Have a nice day, everybody!

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Oh, you want me to say something else about this? All right.

After spending most of 2008 in pain, I began to bottom out in September, eventually started yelling at my readers, and went on anti-depressants because life was a meaningless pit of shit with no drain. I also stopped exercising and started eating more, like those chocolate covered nuts from Fresh Market and the Dove ice cream pints with a solid layer of chocolate on top and an entire Papa John’s pizza and a box of breadsticks on Oscar night.

I didn’t mention any of this because 1) Duh, it sucks to talk about and 2) The times I did start to write about it I had to mention my headache and I wasn’t going to do that again, so I never hit “Publish.”

Regardless of your views on obesity and what a healthy weight is, gaining a pound a week for months on end is not a good thing unless you’re recovering from anorexia. I kept weighing in everyday and marked it on my calendar, as depressing as that was, but I was depressed anyway, so who could tell the difference? I would tell myself, “This really needs to stop,” but then my pain would say, “LOOK AT ME!!” and punch me in the face and I’d add another ice cream pint to the bill.

Thankfully, the medications have tuned down the pain level so it does not envelope my whole life anymore. I can drive past the Fresh Market, think of the vanilla chocolate covered crunch bin, and keep on driving without remorse. Which just shows it’s easier to deal with an addiction when you are not facing a trigger 24 hours a day. As a result, I’ve been maintaining my weight for the last few months and haven’t had to buy any new pants since December.

You are free to think what you want about all this. You can say it is proof that people cannot lose weight and keep it off. You can say it shows I am a human being and you like me even more because of it. You can say I got what I deserved for writing a blog and a book about weight loss and how happy I was. You can say you are proud that I am talking about it and you think I’m inspirational because of it. All I think it proves is that my head hurt and I needed the ice cream.

I know I should be horribly devastated by this, that I should be weeping that my weight starts with the number two, that I am such a horrible disappointment to everyone who called me an inspiration and blah, blah, blah, but really? Honestly? I’m fine. It is not the worst thing to happen to me. A chronic headache that would not go away for over a year is the worst thing that ever happened to me, and if someone said I had to gain another 20 pounds to make the headache go away completely I would say, “Hand me the Ho-Ho’s!”

You know all that stuff I said in my blog and my book about how my life had changed, but it wasn’t just because of my weight? The stuff I said about how it was doing things I was proud of and liking myself as a person? You know, all that bullshit thin people say when they’re not fat anymore? Well, what do you know? It’s true! I actually meant it! I am as full of myself as ever, but even more so because there’s more to be full of! I am flying off to Europe on two month’s notice even if I am up two jean sizes. I am running a blog and doing freelance design work on the side and earning book royalties like a real business woman. I am doing other stuff that I am proud of but can’t talk about on the blog because it’s private. Feel free to call me an arrogant narcissist in denial. I’ll call you back collect from Paris!

Kirstie Alley was on Oprah this week, and I tried very hard to avoid the show, but even though I don’t have cable I still saw a dozen ads for it and saw clips of it on of the nightly entertainment news magazines. Kirstie Alley is an American actress who got fat a few years ago, lost a lot of weight as the Jenny Craig spokeswoman, appeared in a bikini on Oprah, and then got fat again. She was on the show talking about all this and all I could think while watching the clips were, “I do not give a shit.” If Kirstie Alley wants to sit at home and eat nothing but Twinkies, more power to her. And if Kirstie Alley wants to set up a home gym in her dining room and pose on the cover of health magazines, more power to her. Neither situation makes her better or worse as a human being, it just means she’s making different life choices, and they’re her choices to make, so could everyone get over it already? It shouldn’t have to be “brave” to tell people that working out sucks and you like chocolate. It just makes you human. It shouldn’t be a story to be discussed on multiple news outlets, not when we could be talking about how cute the Obama’s new dog is.

All that said, Kirstie Alley seemed pissed that she hadn’t been taking care of herself, which brings up this question:

“But PQ, what about your health? Aren’t you concerned about your health?”

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Sorry, give me a minute to – ha, ha, ha! In the past year I’ve had two MRI’s, two CTs, and more blood tests than I can count. My blood pressure has been taken. My pulse has been counted. Literally dozens of medical professionals have examined me and all they can do is rave over how healthy I am. They say, “PastaQueen, you are a paradigm of good health!” and I tell them, “No, I’m not!” and then I go see another doctor and the cycle continues. So please, do not stare at your bedroom ceiling at night worried about my health.

That said, I am not 100% comfortable with my weight gain. I still get called to do book-related interviews from time to time and if I have to meet someone in person I worry if they will think I’m too fat to do a story about my book. No one has said anything to me, but I’m not sure if that’s because their mommas taught them manners or if they just look at the “before” photo like I do and think, “Yeah, she’s lost a lot of weight.” I’m still down 160 pounds, which is an entire person, which is another reason I’m not weeping into a spinach salad right now. It all depends on your perspective

Now that my headache is momentarily contained, I’ve been eating better and I’ve started walking during my lunch breaks. I’m getting back into it and I wouldn’t mind dropping 20 pounds. But…weight loss is not the most important thing in my life. It certainly was the most important thing in my life for the first two years when I was dropping dress sizes every few months. When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” Losing all the weight has made me confident and taught me to believe in myself and has allowed me to live my life in ways that I never could before, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m living my life. That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.

I still weigh every day. I’m still mindful of what I eat. I still think, “I need to exercise today” and sometimes I do. But even if I weren’t doing those things, I would still be me and like I said in my book, the fat PastaQueen was a funny, kind, person too. I am still me no matter how inflated or deflated my fat cells are and I’d hope you guys will remember that about yourselves too.

You can judge me as you will, fat or thin or somewhere in between. If I got to change one thing about my body I’d fix my headaches first, give myself normal feet second, and attend to the weight thing third, because it doesn’t bother me that much. I’m so tired of writing about my body, but I’ve written about my weight so much in this place I felt an obligation to put it out there. And hey, how cute is the Obama’s new dog?

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

Kim • May 4, 2009 at 9:08 am

excellent, excellent post.

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jen • May 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

..I’ll take the admiration route

I admired you before, and I admire you all the more now. I like how you seem to be keeping everything in perspective, and (again) admire your frankness.

I hope that you have a great time in Europe (and that the headache stays behind!)

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Charity • May 4, 2009 at 9:14 am

Frickin Right on Girl!

I gained 25 pounds over the holidays! Does it suck? Oh yeah! Will I get over it? Absolutely. Will I get rid of it again. Most likely.

Enjoy Europe!

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HugeMD • May 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

Girl, you have accomplished an awesome thing. Life is a journey. Weight loss and maintenance are processes. There are ups and downs in both. Chronic pain sucks and ice cream makes you feel better, at least for awhile–it’s the truth. Chronic pain makes you depressed, and depression makes you lay on the couch and watch “What Not to Wear” all day and night (OK, maybe that’s me, not you). Now that you’ve got the headache down to a dull roar, you don’t need the ice cream so much. You’re eating less of it and exercising when you have the energy. I say you’ve conquered another challenge in life, and you’re coming out the other side having done another awesome thing. You are a changed person. You haven’t gone all the way back to where you were. As sucky as it is, the headache and all of its consequences have been part of the process and you’re beating it, too. You’re still an inspiration! You’ve lost 160 freakin’ pounds!!

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parks • May 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

You’ve been through a lot, and achieved a lot, and don’t owe anyone an explanation.

My own weight is a range, and it goes up and down through everyday life. I try to remind myself of this and not make it into a moral failure when I am at the heavier end of my spectrum. And I try not to think that way about other people’s weight, too :)

Have a wonderful time in Paris!!!

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Tara • May 4, 2009 at 9:26 am

I still want to be Pasta Queen when I grow up….maybe more now than before.

Seriously though, your weight (loss) isn’t the reason I come here to read this blog. It might have been why I STARTED reading it, but now it’s because I think you are a genuinely funny person with a great writing style. Neither of those things is affected by the size of your ass.

Have fun in Europe!

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jamie • May 4, 2009 at 9:31 am

Bo rocks, as do you.

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sv • May 4, 2009 at 9:36 am

I’m sorry this is so hard for you. Enjoy your vacation, you will walk a thousand miles and maybe come back ready to walk some more. Maybe come back relaxed and relieved of some of your stress. Maybe come back in love with a Duke. Who knows, just have fun and come back.

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julia • May 4, 2009 at 9:38 am

What I think is… wow, PQ, I am glad your headache is better. Love your site, loved your book, have a great time in Paris!

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Jess • May 4, 2009 at 9:45 am

Wow – to have the strength to just put that out there, you’re amazing! I recently read your book and I just think you are so inspiring.

It takes so much more strength to say you’ve gained weight than to lose it – I just have so much respect and awe for you!

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cc • May 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

hear hear!

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Sarah • May 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

Ditto, sorta. :) Lost 120+lbs, but have spent the past year feeling tired & hungry all the time – in short, like CRAP, and battling what I suspect is a thyroid issue. Put on 15lbs, which at first made me want to cry a lot – but now, I just want to get healthy, whatever that means. If that means keeping on more lbs than I initially lost…well, I guess that’s what it means. The alternative is pretty lousy.

Life isn’t just about the numbers, which is what I keep trying to remind myself every day.

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Jeanne • May 4, 2009 at 10:14 am

Hey, you’re human! And that Bo is a cute dog. Thanks for sharing.

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Aline • May 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

You know, that stuff happens and you deal with it. That’s just how weight loss works. For most people it’s a life long story and you will always have times when you go up and then times when you go down in weight.

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Roxie • May 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

I’m glad to hear your pain has subsided somewhat. I’m thrilled that you are going to Europe. You are not your body. We are all so much more than the physical presentation.

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Jen • May 4, 2009 at 10:30 am

Bravo!! I admire you for meeting your original goals, but admire you even more for acknowledging that goals change with changing circumstances. I think you are on the right path, and the focus on your health is key. The weight is just a culturally-bound body image ideal– not an indicator of your ‘worth’ as a human. Do what you need to do to feel healthy and good about yourself– whatever the stupid scale says!

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allison linder • May 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

I feel your pain..I am there with you. We will both live and prosper.

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Rachel • May 4, 2009 at 10:36 am

I think you rock. You’re honest with your self which I think is a big part of the battle. Have a great time in Europe and we’re praying the headache doesn’t go with you.

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Mymsie • May 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

For you to not struggle with weight gain would be extremely un-usual, especially given your headache sitch. I applaud you for being honest. So much of weight issues revolves around shame. I’ve gained and lost 100s. But being able to talk about it and relate to others helps SO much!

Also, → “When I told people, ‘I want to be thin,’ what I was really saying was, ‘I want to lead the life I want to live.’” WELL SAID!

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tami • May 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

and now it’s summer and that damn ice cream calls my name! i’m with you on this.

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Kris • May 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

Headaches suck…

Funcky feet don’t matter…

And damn that dog is cute!!!

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Jen, a priorfatgirl • May 4, 2009 at 10:46 am

You continually find new ways to keep it real and motivate at the same time. Amazing PQ, amazing! This post is the reason why you have done so well, because you don’t fill your entries with a bunch of fluffy, nice to hear BS. LOVE IT!

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dg • May 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

Beautifully said PQ.

Well done for surviving that crazy year and coming out even stronger and fabulous.

:)

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That Pink Girl • May 4, 2009 at 10:56 am

PG, THANK YOU for your honesty about your feelings. You have accomplished a lot, a little weight gain can’t take that away. Posts like these are why we keep reading you! You go girl!

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Merry • May 4, 2009 at 10:56 am

You are free to think what you want about all this.

I only judge people on alternate Tuesdays. I’ll schedule you in for next week.

You don’t have cable? You mean there are two of us? Wow…

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Lori • May 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

As I am sure you have learned over the years, nothing that you do can’t be undone somehow.

I’m really glad that your headache is contained now in a manner you can deal with.

Thanks for being open and honest with your feelings.

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jancd • May 4, 2009 at 11:10 am

You are a cute girl and have inspired many people with your weight loss and book. I have enjoyed reading your blog for the most part and hope that one day your headaches will be gone forever. Throughout this journey, you have not ever seemed to be that happy. You seem to be searching for more. I hope you find it. He’s just waiting for you to acknowlege Him.

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Pauline • May 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

You inspire me… always. Great post!

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Barb Cooper • May 4, 2009 at 11:30 am

That dog is adorable.

And you’re pretty cute, too. I’m glad you LIKE yourself no matter what your weight. That should be the goal, right?

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Dee • May 4, 2009 at 11:31 am

:shrug:

Life happens. It is what it is. It doesn’t negate what you did. It doesn’t predict your future.

You inspired me with your self love. You don’t uninspire me because you ate ice cream.

I admire who you are because of who you are, not what you did, what you are doing or what you are going to do.

:shrug:

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Sara • May 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

I am thrilled that you are finding some respite from your headache–that’s very good news.

As to the weight gain, it is what it is. It’s not a unique story but it’s yours to tell or not. Part of making your story public is letting people take what they want to from it, and the idea of what you might ‘owe’ anyone in that regard is a specious argument. It’s fun to debate the point, but largely immaterial.

For my part, what I’m taking from your post is the idea that there are pints of ice cream out there that have a layer of chocolate on top of them–and I don’t know where they are. I accept the quest to find out, though…

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jennywenny • May 4, 2009 at 11:37 am

Good for you, you seem to look great so its probably just you and the number on the scale that know.

I lost some weight and gained some weight and I seem to have a range that I can stick at, I’d love to be thinner but it seems to involve so much work to maintain at my goal weight that I’ve pretty much given up for the moment…

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Rae • May 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

You rock I hope you know that. The fact that after going through everything & feeling how you have that you are still down 160lbs is amazing. We are all human we stumble occasionally & we get up & dust ourselves. I admire everything you have done with putting yourself out there. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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Jennifer • May 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

I guess it’s life. Whoever manages to lose weight and keep it off without ever gaining some back? If we got to a magical number and everything was fixed that would be one thing…but we’re still the same person with the same struggles, addicitons and dammit, love of food. Throw in some obstacles and challenges, and you gain some back.

I enjoyed Kirstie Alley and thought that she looked beautiful. Oprah too. So what if they aren’t the woman they were in their 30s, they still look good.

Have a kick ass time in Europe and eat some freaking chocolate crepes off of a street vendor for me in Paris. I’m so glad the headacheas have eased up enough to allow you to do this.

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K • May 4, 2009 at 11:40 am

Thank you for this post.

I continually struggle with my weight, but I also struggle with an anxiety disorder. Since I’ve been on an SSRI, I’ve gained 60 pounds. (Granted, poor diet and exercise have contributed to this.) But my mind is quiet again. I can read books again without stopping every paragraph to worry about something. I am successful at my job, and I have good friends. I owe a lot of this to the little pill I take every morning, the little pill that also keeps me shopping at Lane Bryant. It’s sort of a compromise.

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Fatty • May 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

Love the honest post. You are still my hero. Maybe even more so. Life happens, way to go with the flow and not freak.

So glad your head is feeling better. Enjoy your trip. You deserve it. You are indeed a success!

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Drina • May 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

Inspiring stories are great, but the thing I like most about this blog is its candor.

Kudos, Pasta Queen.

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Kyle • May 4, 2009 at 12:11 pm

EH. Whatever. You gained back 35 of 200, I gain back 10 of 50. He said, she said, tomato, tahmahtoe.

I’ve been gaining and losing and gaining and losing the same 10 pounds since I originally lost the weight. That’s just part of trying to maintain.

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Jen Hughes • May 4, 2009 at 12:22 pm

First off, it was awesome to finally meet you this weekend at Kristen’s.

Secondly, I still think you’re pretty kick ass.

Thirdly, I think it’s cool that you don’t seem to get caught up in the emotions of it all. I think that’s my downfall. I once lost over 100 pounds, only to gain it back (and about 60 more). It’s been a struggle for me to get back on the wagon now for almost 3 years.

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Becca • May 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I was just pretty impressed you managed to keep your shit in the face of all that you were dealing with. So you have a little extra padding, big whoop. Doesn’t change who you are or what you have to say :)

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Nancy • May 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Of course you are not a narcissist in denial. And good for you that you’ve made weight loss/maintenance third priority. It is, after all, your choice. But for those of us who have done the same yo-yo dieting for years, and who very well know the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, your words, I’m sorry to say, come off as bullshit. The fact that you will be spending time in Europe is wonderful, but I am left to wonder why you make your vacation announcements in a boastful way. I am also left to wonder why you feel the need to announce your accomplishments as if we need to be convinced that you are worthy of happiness. Who are you really trying to convince?

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RG • May 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm

One of the things that amazes me is how you manage to write posts like this, the admit you’re human but without being depressed about it or arrogant. There are comments I disagree with, like “it just means she’s making different life choices”. Yes they’re her choices but it’s not the equivalent of “should I wear the black suit or the blue one?”

And it sucks that people have (I assume) called you an arrogant narcissist. I find that this barb comes from people who aren’t achieving their own goals, especially in the area you’ve achieved and want to ascribe your success to “luck” instead of work.

What do I think of a 35-pound gain in the face of headaches? I think weight maintenance is hard, you did a lot better than 70% of people would, worse than some 10% others might have, and about the same as 20%. I made those stats up, but that’s my guess. My goal is to be in that 10% that can be in crazy-stress situations and still take care of my eating habits. I’m not there.

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Esmeralda • May 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Pretty damn cute.

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Rina • May 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

This is the best post. Ever.

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Debbi • May 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm

You so rock. YOU are not defined by how much body fat you carry. I love reading your blog. Thank you!

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SeaShore • May 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations on maintaining a 160 pound loss.

Have a good trip.

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DonnaLynn • May 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm

@Nancy -

I’m so freakin’ glad you’re not in my life.

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Prof. Sancho Panza • May 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm

*APPLAUSE*

Unless a person wants to drive him/herself insane, weight loss can’t be defined as Success vs. Failure with no other options in between and with Success defined by one Magic Number on the scale. Even if you’ve gained something back, you’re still down 160 lbs.!! Most people (including many of the people who’d say snarky things about you right now) will never do anything that difficult in their entire lives.

And life isn’t a fairy tale, either, where the hero/heroine emerges triumphant from his/her adventures and then Lives Happily Ever After without a cloud on the horizon forever and ever. We never get to a place in life where there’s no new setbacks to watch out for, and you’re brave to admit that here, even if people don’t want to hear it.

*MORE APPLAUSE*

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Nicky • May 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Bravo!

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AndrewE • May 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

You’re one of my heroes!

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joy • May 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm

You’re human, you’re honest, you’re healthy.. and I just wanna see you happy.

Always been an inspiring read. Whatever the scales have said.

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sue • May 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

THIS is why I read your blog. This post. Right here.

Especially this part:

“When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” ”

Thank you PQ. And have a BLAST in Europe!

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Elizabeth • May 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Oh, wow, Nancy sucks.

I personally think you’re the bomb diggity, no matter what size pants you’re wearing.

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Merry • May 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm

@DonnaLynn -

The fact that Nancy spent time leaving a comment is wonderful, but I am left to wonder why she made her comment in a such a boastful, nay verily downright rude way. I am also left to wonder why she felt the need to announce her opinions as if we need to be convinced that she is worthy of taken seriously. Who is she really trying to convince?

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tamson • May 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm

PQ – I love your book, your blog and this post. Had a bad bout of pain with fibroids last year and yes, sometimes, the only thing that helps when you’re in pain is ice cream (especially with a solid layer of chocolate – think I’ll go check the freezer section on the way home). You’re just so much healthier in the head about the weight gain than I am. Thanks for sharing this post, your perspective is refreshing.

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NewMe • May 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

I love you.

Have a great time in Europe. Wish I could go too. Take some French lessons before you go. It will be greatly appreciated, especially in small towns.

Yes, cute dog.

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Heather S • May 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Thank you for this post. Keep on keeping on. :)

The migraine meds do not help with the weight situation. I’m fighting that battle myself. It’s a hard road.

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Ashley • May 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm

The Obama’s dog is so incredibly cute I want to get one just like it.

My travel tip (not that you don’t already have a billion of these): Sometimes at European train stations, two trains will be on the same track parked behind each other. So, you can look on the departure board, get your track number, go to the right track, and STILL get on the wrong train, if you’re suppose to get on the second one and you get on the first one. Be sure to check the call list on the side of the actual car you are getting into to make sure the city you are going to is listed. Seems like everyone I know (myself included) ends up in the wrong country at some point thanks to the two trains on one track issue.

Have a fabulous, fabulous time!!!

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KateG • May 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I like you for you. And not your weight loss. I would rather read an interesting blog by a person who gained back some weight than a boring one by someone who maintained. Any day. In fact, I am pretty sure I like your blog more now than I did while it was weight-focused.

Have a great trip!!

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Kate • May 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I really, really like this post. (Not the part about your being in pain, the part about your being happy with your life and your body and your decisions despite gaining weight.) Especially this sentence: “All I think it proves is that my head hurt and I needed the ice cream.”

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Sarah • May 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

It seems like no matter where you’ve been in your weight loss journey, you’ve always kept a calm attitude about it. The reason you were finally able to lose the weight once and for all was the fact that you recognized it was a lifestyle change, not a diet.

With that said, I did actually watch the Kirstie Alley segment on Oprah the other day, and she was making comments that led me to believe she was never going to do anything else other than yo-yo diet. She promised Oprah that she would be losing the weight by November (or something like that), and Oprah was all, “Why are you telling me this? It’s none of anyone else’s business … stop telling everyone this and setting yourself up for failure.”

Anyway, point being, I think you’ve always recognized what it is you need to do, what it is you need to do FOR YOURSELF. And you’re right that getting rid of the headache should be top priority. I can barely do anything other than lie in bed when I have a terrible headache, so I can’t imagine how you’ve been able to function at all for the past 15 months.

Maybe the weight will come off once your head starts feeling better, maybe it won’t, but what will matter is that you’ll always have had your priorities straight.

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Judi • May 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Hey PQ, good attitude. ENJOY Paris it is awesome there. The bread alone is better than any in the world. All the food is wonderful in Paris and there are open markets and patisseries everywhere and you have to walk walk everywhere to get to them, so enjoy. Plus when in London, the food is awful, so that will help make up for it. Remember to say hi to the shop/store owners when entering places of business. Remember it’s cheaper to get euros from the ATM or use credit cards where you can.

Please try to write from Paris and send us some pics. Au revior PastaQueen!

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julie • May 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I think it’s brave of you to admit your weight gain. I can’t think of anything worse than a constant headache, I’m glad you got that contained, hopefully for good. I think you indeed learned a lot on your journey, and as far as the weight goes, you’ll lose it, or you won’t. You are still healthier than you were, and as long as you can move around (Paris!), enjoy your life, feel comfortable, don’t worry about it.

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Erin • May 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I will just tell you that I needed to read something like this to push me back over the hump. I’m awfully glad you were the author of it. I know we’ve talked about all this, but just the same, I’m proud of how you’ve handled everything that life has thrown you this year. You are an awesome lady, and I’m only sorry we’re not able to meet up on Sunday. :(

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Quix • May 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I was curious how things were going for you. I’m sorry your headache dampened your motivation during that horrible time, but it’s more than understandable. I love your attitude about it, though! If your doctors say you’re healthy and you feel good, then who cares what anyone else thinks? Lose it if you want, but on your own terms. Sounds like you’re in my boat. I’d LIKE to lose 15 more lbs, but it’s totally vanity weight. And after losing 115, it’s not the biggest deal to me anymore like it used to be. It’s not keeping me from walking up stairs or across a parking lot without breathing heavy – it just means I might fit into a smaller jean size.

I’m rambling, so I’ll stop now, but…I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

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Mary • May 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Very interesting post, first time reading your blog. I did find one thing strange, however. You say we shouldn’t care if Kirstie gains or loses weight, or eats Twinkies etc. But so many people visit your blog to hear about the same topics – weight loss (or in this case, gain) and maintenance.

Perhaps your readers find you more inspirational, which I think is reasonable. But I don’t find it so vastly different from watching a weight loss special on Oprah.

On a more happy note, I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. And as for Paris, I might be a little jealous.

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victoria • May 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I really like this post. You’re honest about your weight, you acknowledge that it is one of the (many) things that matters to you, and you refuse to be defined by it.

Good for you. (I do wish, however, that you hadn’t seen fit to inform us that there’s such a thing as pints of Dove ice cream with a solid layer of chocolate on top. I haven’t been tempted to buy ice cream [except for my dog] since about 1991. No, wait, I had it once in law school, about 1997. But other than that, ice cream is ordinarily just one of those things that I haven’t eaten in a long, long time, and have lost the taste for. But that description of the Dove product . . . . dang. I really wish I didn’t know about that.)

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Jessi • May 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I love reading your site – especially when you write posts like this one.

I went from 320 to 150 over about 6 years, without regaining anything and maintaining it for about 3 years. I had to exercise 2-3 hours a day, and stay under 1300 calories a day to maintain 150. HARD WORK!

Then a job change, two moves, partner’s unemployment, 4 contraceptive pill changes, illness, etc. I slowly creeped back to 195 where I’ve been for about 3 years and holding.

Since I was 160 in the 4th grade I franly don’t know what my idea weight is, and what I can expect out of my body after such a huge weight loss. I’ve heard the same story over and over from the folks who have been in our shoes.

I’ve read that studies now show that people who have been over 300 lbs and lost signficant weight can’t ever eat as many calories a day as someone who has never gone through that.

That sucks!

And, it seems to be what has happened to me. Like you, I’m in better health than I’ve ever been in my life. Hold tight onto that, and let the rest go.

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Lee • May 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm

OK, now I will read your book.

“I was a free [wo]man in Paris

I felt unfettered and alive

There was nobody calling me up for favors

And no one’s future to decide..”

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psychsarah • May 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm

“I want to lead the life I want to live” Hallelujah!! Keep on keeping on PQ! Have an absolute blast living that life in Europe!!

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Mom • May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm

@Nancy – The reality of the situation is that my wonderful multi-talented daughter has never boasted of her EXTENSIVE list of accomplishments!!!! She is as happy as the next person. I frequently enjoy her company and am much more qualified to make a more accurate statement on her state of happiness. I hope YOU find some happiness.

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Stamphere • May 4, 2009 at 7:02 pm

With that being said…….here’s a big frigging HUG sista!

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Sassy Molassy • May 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

I just want to say that I applaud you for being totally honest and open about your feelings and weight gain. I think it truly makes your blog more authentic and your readers feel like they understand you better. And, I think we can all identify with not being perfect and with things not always being what we might have hoped them to be. Thanks for sharing!

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mike • May 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

It is your life. choose your own paths – who gives a crap what others think. The sun goes down the sun comes up. the waves come in the waves go out. everyone has different cycles. cheers

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Mike Wilson • May 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Gurdgeiff said something funky (not that I generally pay much attention to him. But I’ll take wisdom from Ren & Stimpy if it’s there.)

You’ve gotta be careful when you’re trying to change yourself. First thing that happens is this whole web that makes up you starts trying to rebalance when you move one of the bits.

Far more often than not it creates all kinds of tension in other areas, some of which seem completely unrelated. And “almost inevitably” these pressures pull you right back to where you were.

The solution? Well yeah, unfortunately he doesn’t have much to say about that other than to do it a wee bit at a time and see what sticks and what else changes.

But you’re fighting everything when you try to “add diet and exercise.” It’s almost perfectly doomed to failure.

Looks like you’re in good shape about it. Rock on and the less worrying about it the better.

Of course I’ll take even money that not a damn bit of this is news.

Good on ya o/

(New reader)

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Leslie • May 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm

So you gained some back. You didn’t gain it all back or even a large amount. Big whoop. You are still healthier than you were and I hope the headache goes away for ever. You’re an inspiration and thank you for being honest.

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Emma • May 4, 2009 at 8:03 pm

PQ,

You. Are. Awesome. I think you know that though.

I’ve spent the past two years with a chronic health problem, all the time struggling with weight and depression, and I understand how sometimes all you can do is comfort yourself with trivial things (food? trashy magazines? Vampire romance novels? I have said too much…..) in the face of something so all encompassing and demeaning. When your life is distorted by illness, anything familiar, even familiar crutches or addictions, can help make things seem less….out of control.

I’m trying to move forward, and I just want to commend you for your honesty and obvious perspective-truly, there are more important things in life than the size of your ass.

Enjoy your trip, drink too much beer and eat too many crepes and just be decadent and outrageous. Have fun!

-Emma

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Ang • May 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I gained weight, too. I’m also tired of thinking about it. This made me feel a little better!

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Kimberly • May 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm

So what! You packed on a few pounds because you were in massive amounts of real, physical pain and you needed some ice cream to numb it. Been there. Done that!

I don’t know about anyone else, but you still are an inspiration to me. You are the reason (I know you think it doesn’t stem from you, but it really does) I have lost 117 pounds and counting. I’ve gone from busting out of a size 32 jeans (the biggest piece of clothing I’ve ever had to buy) to buying a size 20 jeans last week because all of my size 24s were too freaking big. I completely skipped over the size 22s. Without you, without your story I NEVER would have known it was possible to attempt such a grossly monumental task. I thought my only hope was weight loss surgery before I found your blog. In my darkest times when I thought I would die a super morbidly obese person (I’m just severely obese now) at a really young age, I kept the thought in the back of my mind “but PastaQueen did it”. It was always there – always giving me a glimmer of hope. You and your story have helped me. I want to know the whole story. It will help me if, and probably when, I put a few pounds back on. It will make me know that it isn’t the end of the world. I’m finding out that I am so much more than my body shape too.

In our team meeting today at work we were asked what inspires us, what motivates us and one of my co-workers spoke up and said that Kimberly inspires me. She told about my weight loss and how it inspired her to start going to the gym and eating right. Then it turned into a “how great is Kimberly” portion of the call where I had to tell my entire team exactly how much weight I’ve lost. It was a completey surreal moment for me.

So talk about your body. Talk about your weight. If for no other reason that me, or someone else who really, really needs it, will read it some day and think “but PastaQueen did it”! You really should know the value in that. It is tremendous!

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PastaQueen • May 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm

@victoria – The chocolate layer even has a fancy name: ganache.

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Butterfly • May 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Hi,

I lost 80 lbs, kept it off for almost five years, and got daily headaches for a long time. I started bingeing, and honestly, sometimes it really did help the pain. Whether the food actually helped, or me concentrating on the food helped, I don’t know. Whatever it was, it helped. I did eventually gain the weight back little by little, and I find myself struggling to diet again. I hope we both find our way.

- Butterfly

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PastaQueen • May 4, 2009 at 8:40 pm

@Emma – Ooh, which vampire romance novels?

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Becky • May 4, 2009 at 8:40 pm

It sounds like you have a very healthy attitude about it- life is full of ups and downs. You’re going to Europe- who cares about if you’ve gained or lost a few pounds, just have fun!

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MB • May 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm

The important part of this post is that you are not in constant excruciating pain every single day anymore (YAY) so if you had to regain a few pounds to get to that point it was totally worth it.

You have been an inspiration to me and so many others out there and regaining a few pounds is something we can all relate to. You are still an inspiration. Now you can show us how to stop regaining and get back to maintaining.

We all love your blog because you always keep it real and keep it honest. Keep up the good work.

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sarah • May 4, 2009 at 8:48 pm

You are god damn HUMAN and should not feel guilty about any of this!

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Bethama • May 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm

This is immensely frustrating, you know.

I’m trying and trying to find a picture of the new dog, but my Google-fu is failing me. What gives?!

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Candice • May 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

You ROCK! I wish I wrote this post… except I didn’t… and I don’t have a best-selling book or huge blog following. I just have 60 lbs of regained weight (still down 60 – so I guess I’d be “regained half of me”).

I can’t say everything I love about this post b/c I’d just repeat every word. I love absolutely everything you had to say. This post will help add to the broader understanding of what weight loss and maintenance involves.

You take care of you – whatever that means to YOU.

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PastaQueen • May 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm

@Bethama – Here you go!

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Stacy • May 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm

You rock.

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z. • May 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Hey Pasta Queen,

I’m so glad I found your blog way back when and I continue to be grateful. Like, 90 other people have already said this, but you are awesome and you write a damn good blog!

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Mich • May 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

1. To follow up on Victoria’s comment: I too was unaware of the existence of ganache-topped ice cream. However, I am delighted to find out that such wonders exist.

2. To follow up on Emma’s comment: if you don’t mind some violence with the romance, I’d suggest J.R. Ward’s Brotherhood series.

3. If any annoying person gives you a hard time over the weight gain, tell them to call you back once they’ve lost 160lbs.

4. Not crazy about the dog, but I’m Canadian, so I’ll content myself with criticizing the pets of Canadian politicians…

5. Have a great time in Europe! How about a “lick the produce” post from a French supermarket?

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Steph • May 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm

@Nancy – You suck. That is all.

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Nicole • May 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm

A very cute dog but the humor and stories are the reason I come back, not the weight loss (or gain). Enjoy your time in Paris. I hope we get to hear lots about it. Oh, and if you have a nice day and feel like doing something different there are two things I recommend: a visit to the Musee Rodin -an amazing building/garden and beautiful sculpture- and a walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg -the garden is interesting but the people watching superb- oh, and for a rainy day (once you have been to the Louvre and the Quai D’Orsay) try the Medieval Museum (aka Musee Cluny).

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Susan • May 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Hi, PQ — A headache for a year and you only gained back 35 lbs? You’re to be congratulated! I know it wasn’t easy to keep it to just that much. I had a similar situation to yours. I had just lost 25 lbs and was at a happy comfortable weight. Not thin, but I was happy. I’ve always had headaches. No problem. Until February 2007 when I got a REALLY REALLY bad headache that WOULD NOT GO AWAY. Twelve days later I went to dr. and actually let them give me a shot of something to help with pain, no idea what. I’m terrified of needles but I swear I would have let them cut my head off by then. Headache got better but I went on a daily maintenance drug. Headaches so much better, no more 12 day headaches. Long story short, I gain 35 pounds in about 5 months which even for me is just a tad quick. I can’t figure out what’ s going on. I’m dieting just to stop weight gain. And then someone brings to my attention that the second side effect for this medication is “extreme weight gain” The first was “fatigue.” AAAGGGGHHH! A year later I’m off medication and trying to convince myself to lose weight again. My headaches are under control (although like you I’m almost afraid to say that) and I can’t swear I wouldn’t have taken the medicine just to get them under control even if I had known about the weight gain. I really really sympathize with your situation and hope that you can get to a place where you actually have headache-free days! Best wishes for you health and trip to Paris!

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Amy • May 4, 2009 at 10:47 pm

I love how you put yourself out there. This was a great post.

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Cristina • May 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm

This is definitely one of my favourite Pasta Queen posts. You are stil an inspiration to me, part of it because you are so “human” and imperfect.

Thank you, Pasta Queen.

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Shannon • May 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm

You. Seriously. Rock!

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fc • May 5, 2009 at 12:11 am

you’re still my hero! ;)

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Carla • May 5, 2009 at 12:24 am

Love the post… and I’m curious. Do you write it for yourself, or your readers, or both (or neither)? I’ve been following this blog for a pretty long time now and think your writing is outstanding. I guess I’ve imagined that writing about “the journey” could be somewhat cathartic, (excuse the cliche), and I get that sometimes it must be a chore. But I kind of hate to think you report about weight stuff out of obligation. Anywho, just wondering. Have a fanTAStic trip!

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Emma • May 5, 2009 at 1:03 am

@PastaQueen – As an English major, admitting to this feels a smidge like peeing on Shakespeare, but hey: charlaine harris (the first three are good, the rest I read out of habit), kim harrison, marta acosta….hmmm, I guess I needed a lot of comfort reading this year:) The feminist in me refuses to read Twilight, although I’m sure I’d be sucked in like everyone else.

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Anna • May 5, 2009 at 1:19 am

You are managing a chronic health problem really well, only those who have been there know what a challenge it is to live like that. Your insight into it all is amazingly clear and you sound like you have your priorities right so fingers crossed things will just keep on improving for you!

Have a ball (and a chocolate eclair) in Paris!

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kathy • May 5, 2009 at 5:37 am

PQ – I too will be travelling in Europe at the same time as you. I need some good books to occupy me during the long hours on the plane – what have you got lined up? I only ask because I think we have similar tastes and I have nothing to read.

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Linda • May 5, 2009 at 7:20 am

I want to give you a big cyber-hug. You deserve it. You have done a tough thing (with the weight), managed to get through a tough thing (the chronic health issues), and seem to have your head on straight. Now go to Europe and enjoy yourself.

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Leia • May 5, 2009 at 7:37 am

Yes you gained weight but its not like you gained 200 pounds back! And most importantly you spent the last year working hard to find a solution that would lessen the pain you have been in. You still look amazing, I still read your book every time I need to re-focus on my weight loss and more than ever I appreciate the honesty you always bring to you blog.

Have fun in Europe!

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Lesley • May 5, 2009 at 7:48 am

It’s all been said but that was a truly excellent post. You just said it and every word hit home. Great writing and a great message.

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Wendy • May 5, 2009 at 8:01 am

Best post ever. Thank you for writing.

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Jules • May 5, 2009 at 8:20 am

I love all your posts. I usually check every evening to see what new and witty things you’ve posted. (Plus, I’m in Ohio so we’re almost neighbors!)I did originally start reading your posts to learn about your weight loss, and in the process, discovered how smart and hilarious you truly are. Everyone’s right, you ARE freakin’ amazing.

Enjoy your trip, be safe, have fun, we’ll all be awaiting your return!

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Katrina • May 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

@Judi – I’m guessing you may not have spent more than a short amount of time in London, or perhaps were just going to the wrong, possibly touristy places. The food in London is awesome, you just have to know where to go.

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Kimmi • May 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

@Emma – Vampire romances! Try the L.J. Smith Series the Vampire Diaries! (Kinda young but seriously Damon and Stefan are to be loved! Or anything by Amanda Ashley!

Sorry when it comes to the Vampy Boys I just can’t get enough!

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Tina • May 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

I gained 10lbs last year when dealing with 8 months of back pain, misdiagnoses and ultimately, surgery. I could say it’s because I wasn’t allowed to work out, but the reality is I could have focused on my diet and maintained (even lost) if it weren’t for the fact that I could barely move and it was a lot easier eating a bag of chip, followed by a pint of ice cream chaser than actually standing up to cook and bending down to load the dishwasher and dig veggies out of the produce drawer.

I consider that 10lb gain a success. Because, it could have been worse. I could have gained more or I could have gone WAY more nutty, neurotic, bitchy and depressed than I was. I’m lucky I’m feeling well again and people still talk to me.

Pain’s a bitch–especially when it’s chronic and these fancy pants doctors with years of medical school and practice under their belt don’t know what the hell they’re doing. Who are we to judge if you gain a few pounds?

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Amanda • May 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

Everything I wanted to say has already been said 100+ times, so I’ll throw in something unrelated:

OMG, Please get rid of the safecount pop-up ad!

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Dee • May 5, 2009 at 11:00 am

I gained about 28 lbs since September from just going off the pill, my workouts haven’t changed and neither have my eating habits. It’s awful feeling sliding back like that.

Hang in there.

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kate • May 5, 2009 at 11:01 am

So, I just want to let you know that I don’t give a crap about your weight. I mean, I started reading your blog because of the weight thing, but I kept reading it because you’re hilarious.

You’d still be hilarious if you gained 50 pounds or lost 50 pounds. So, as long as you keep blogging, I don’t care. Not that you were asking me, or anybody else, what we thought.

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KLCthe BookWorm • May 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

You don’t owe us anything about the numbers, but I think emphasizing how hard maintenance is while battling something else is important to talk about. Because there’s always going to be something else in life trying to derail you. As annoying as I think the new Weight Watchers commercials are, they do have a point with the little orange monster.

For you it was chronic pain; me, it was stress studying for the graduate exam. One box of Little Debbie snack cakes gone in one weekend, and I know the cat didn’t eat any of them. :D And no desire to exercise cause I needed to read, read, read; even though my back is tied up in knots from all the sitting.

Exam taken on Monday and the need to inhale chocolate disappeared with it. I don’t know if that counts as a trigger or not (probably does), but I also know I don’t feel guilty over falling off the wagon. I’ll start exercising again today, actually. And go grocery shopping so I have those things called fresh fruits and veggies in the house again.

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Becca • May 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm

What this says to me is that weight battle is FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING hard. hug

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Ane • May 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Jennette,

I totally get how dealing with pain and uncertainty can steal all your energy and leave you exhausted! Watching what you eat and getting enough exercise might not be what people focus on when they’re seriously worried about “serious stuff”. I know that from experience. This autumn/winter we’ve had lots of worries over our son, and some (weird) legal problems. My weight was the last thing on my mind, and I guess I had my share of comfort food. Now some of the problems are resolved, and I feel I can focus on my weight and health again.

I’m so glad your head is better! Have a great stay in London and Paris – fab cities both, though I’m partial to London. I’m not sure anyone mentioned it, but they have paintings in London too *wink*. AND London Museum is a great museum for London history, and it’s not too big. When I went they had a great exhibition about the fire(s), and for some reason the schoolchildren visiting the museum were just CUTE and wellbehaved (compared to some other museums where I got quite annoyed a couple of times). Have a fab time!

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Jess • May 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm

@Nancy – You really are a negative nancy. Geez – can’t you be happy for someone?

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Sheila • May 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I would have responded yesterday, but I had one of my fairly frequent blindingly bad sinus headaches. So I feel for you.

I lost 50 pounds, regained half of them, and my weight is once again slowly drifting downward. So I feel for you there, too.

CLICHE ALERT! Life is a journey, not a destination. The goal is progress, not perfection. Happiness is a decision. Life is what you make it. Keep on truckin’. We’re all in this together. END CLICHE ALERT!

You rock!

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Cathie • May 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm

You’re still my hero. I’ve been dieting since I was 12, and I swear this is the last time. When I started WW in the Fall, I carried your book in my tote bag for inspiration. Even after I finished reading it, just looking at the book or reading this blog inspires me. You have come so far – give yourself some slack. Life threw you a painful curveball, and you have handled it with intelligence & humour. I hope that your headache magically disappears in Paris!

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PurpleGirl • May 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

@Sara – I get mine at Kroger and Safeway … Dove brand ice cream. Yummmmm.

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PurpleGirl • May 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

@Nancy – Just because you’re thrown into agony by the “defeat” of being human doesn’t mean PQ is. Not everyone allows their lives to be controlled by a number on a scale or on a tag.

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PurpleGirl • May 5, 2009 at 4:28 pm

@Emma – I’ve often said you can judge how miserable I am with my life by how many Anita Blake books I’ve re-read recently. :)

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PurpleGirl • May 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

PQ, I think it’s great that you’re not wailing and gnashing your teeth. There’s so much more to life than the amount of space your body takes up; and if you feel good, if you’re happy, then anyone who dares to criticize can go take a long walk off a short pier. :)

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Ang • May 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm

All that ice cream and only 35 lbs! THAT is something to be proud of :)

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Deanna • May 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

You wrote a book, ran a half marathon, lost over 160 pounds, write a funny witty blog…and are freaking human!!! Everything happens for a reason!! I’m going on my 4th MRI of the brain this week, countless xrays, and a bunch of other invasive tests..it all sucks but we do it for a reason, and hopefully we’ll find out if we are sick or not but in the meantime, keep on keeping on!

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Kari • May 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I daresay that I think you did much better than most of us would have under the circumstances. Heck, most people who don’t have a headache who have lost a significant amount of weight gain at least a little of it back sometime soon after losing it. The weight battle *is* hard…every one of us still has that person inside of us who ate enough to gain that weight in the first place, even after we’ve changed our eating habits. If we did it once, we can do it again, very easily. I agree with those who’ve said you should be congratulated for doing so well in such trying circumstances. I’m glad you’re feeling better and hope you have a great time in Europe. :)

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Emma • May 5, 2009 at 7:43 pm

@PurpleGirl – HA! that’s hilarious, and I totally feel you. But really, when you’re stressed, who doesn’t want a sexy vampire brain vacation? :)

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Nina • May 5, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Love this post… thank you xx

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Sunnie • May 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm

OMG YOU ARE HUMAN! I’d rather read a human’s blog, than a cyborg’s. LOL :)

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PurpleGirl • May 5, 2009 at 8:28 pm

@Emma – Absolutely! Although I like mine with a touchy of murder mystery so I don’t feel so dumb and girly. :)

Er. Except I did read Twilight. And see it.

(hides in shame)

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KandJsmom • May 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

This is why you are such a success. Because YOU are a success. Not the number on the scale, not the number of blog followers, admirers, etc. Have a wonderful time in Europe and I think it is FABULOUS you have met the goals of your earlier list.

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kathy • May 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm

You have alluded to this before and I don’t think you were called on it, so I’m going to take the bait.

PQ and ? sitting in a tree

K.i.s.s.i.n.g.

First comes love, then comes, well, cohabitation?

I think PQ has a special someone and I would like some speculation there. Weight gain, bah. Yeah on the headache but I think there is a happy pasta partner out there someone keeping PQ happy. And good for her!

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Michelle • May 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I don’t care about your extra pounds, you don’t loose any credibility with me, I still think you’re beautiful and funny and I really like your attitude.

(Can I tell you you’re beautiful without it sounding like some sort of weird come on, I promise I don’t mean it that way.)

I hope you have the time of your life in Europe. . .

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Skye • May 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I spent my whole life thinking that if only I wasn’t fat, life would be perfect. I thought if I lost the weight, I’d magically have a great job, impressive friends, and awesome hair. Since becoming significantly less fat, I’ve discovered my life’s woes weren’t tied to my weight, but to my shocking lack of self worth. I was miserable every day because I thought I deserved to be. My weight wasn’t my only obstacle, but it was my primary excuse.

You and I are roughly the same age and have been going through this process for almost the same amount of time. While I haven’t written a book or booked a trip to Europe, I am getting a little closer every day to becoming the person I want to be. I still haven’t learned how to successfully wield a flat iron, but I am about to graduate from law school, which is something I never would have thought myself capable of just a few short years ago.

The point that I’m circling is this: eff your 35 pound gain. It’s not that big a deal. The really big deal is your trip to Europe and your lack of excruciating pain and the potential existence of this “Pasta Significant Other”. Good luck with all of that.

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Laura H. • May 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Your priorities sound totally reasonable and right to me. To borrow a phrase, don’t let the haters get you down. You’re doing what’s important and taking care of you.

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lorie • May 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm

About five years ago, I was up to 240 lbs. I lost 100 pounds and kept it off four years. Until this winter. The combination of a killer schedule change, an injury (from running the local half-marathon), four sinus infections in three months, and a general feeling of malaise and melancholy has put me back up another 15 pounds. My friends don’t understand why this freaks the hell out of me. They don’t get that in my mind, I’m another bowl of ice cream away from 240 again. I completely get it.

As someone who suffers chronic headaches (and have for all my life), I hope you get your pain figured out.

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patti • May 5, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I give you the Golden Ovary of the Month Award for putting it out there. That’s courage

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Jen • May 5, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I have only recently discovered your excellent blog, and I have to say that I really love this post! Although I have not been a chronic headache sufferer, I have struggled with severe allergies my whole life-to the point where I sometimes lose entire days to seasonal allergies. When you are not feeling well almost everyday it’s hard to be strong and comitted to weight loss every day-this is something I’m still trying to figure out.

And in the shadow of things like going to Europe-well, just go and have fun! Carpe diem! :)

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samiam0002 • May 5, 2009 at 11:36 pm

@Nancy -

The better question is who is Nacny trying to convince? Such a person clearly isn’t very happy no matter how much she weighs…If all she has in her life is her weight loss then she deserves our pity rather than our consternation.

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Lydia • May 6, 2009 at 12:05 am

I can’t imagine dealing with what you’ve had to put up with this past year with the constant pain. I know others who’ve battled a persistent headache. I don’t know if you watch “The Biggest Loser” — this week’s episode tracked the final few contestants’ progress at home. One of the key points mentioned by Jillian was “balance,” and as I face a maintenance situation in my near future (I hope), I will have to work through some of these issues, as well. I appreciate more than I can say your continuing willingness to be honest with your readers in telling us what it’s really like for you. It is helpful; thank you. But you don’t owe it to us, as has been pointed out several times already. But thanks.

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DonnaLynn • May 6, 2009 at 5:12 am

@Mom -

Go mom! As you can see by the many readers of this blog, we rather enjoy PQ’s company as well!

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Annette • May 6, 2009 at 7:09 am

Thank you. I have so much more to say. I feel like I am drowning in thoughts of weight loss/weight gain. So. Thank you. Well put.

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Ann • May 6, 2009 at 9:04 am

I feel for you PQ. I think it took a lot or you to put this out there. I wish you the very best.

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Sherrie • May 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

I have read your blog since day one…never commented before but here goes.

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!

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Mal • May 6, 2009 at 9:59 am

(If you even get this far in your reading…) I echo what people have said above that they choose to read your words because of this type of entry. No, we’re not all waiting for you to announce that you’ve gained weight, but we appreciate your ability to be real and honest about all aspects of this journey. I, for myself, am back from a 6-month hiatus caused by a cataclysmic surgery. I’m so proud of myself that I was able to maintain my (really high) weight that it’s a bit ridiculous. But, I did. And I am (back, I think).

Anyway — we love ya. I think you know that.

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Jen • May 6, 2009 at 10:57 am

Yes. Yes indeed.

I am in a similar boat – I too am up a-whatever-number of lbs but I AM DEPRESSED and have been trying to hide it/get over it for nearly 2 years.

Sometimes I needed the cake rather than beating on myself in other ways. I’ll take a flabby belly over self-flagalation any day :-)

Keep on rocking, we love ya whatever shape or size you are, and whatever your scales say.

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Shelley B • May 6, 2009 at 10:58 am

Jennette, you have been through hell and back with your headaches – whatever it took to get you through the pain was totally worth it. I’m just glad you are feeling better. The weight? I’d consider it a side affect of the headaches.

You just keep on taking care of yourself – I’m so glad you keep blogging – I love reading what you have to say!

Have fun in Europe and don’t forget to send us a postcard!

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sheila • May 6, 2009 at 10:59 am

@lorie – Wow someone else who is in my boat. I too weighed 240 and lost 100 lbs. I started 2-14-1994. It took 18 months to take off the weight. I keep between 137 and 146. I too freak out when I get to 140 and when It starts getting to 145 I really freak and people who have not been there do not understand how scary it is. The fear of gaining the weight back is always there. It has been about 14 years for my maintaince and every day is just as hard or harder than the day before. I would love to talk more to you.

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Lorie Rees • May 6, 2009 at 11:20 am

@sheila – I’d be happy to talk–it’s good to have someone who can relate! I was only able to get down to 140 and actually be able to maintain it. 145 was my “limit” and 150 was my “panic weight.” I’m now at 153 and beyond panic. It’s hard to be rational about it when you know how easy it was to get to 240 and how hard it was to get to 140. Feel free to contact me!

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MR • May 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Wow! This was really interesting for me to read. I’ve never been to your site before but since “the headache” was mentioned in the latest post I went back and read up on the backstory.

Your headache sounds a lot like my headache! Only I’ve had mine for, um, 9 years. And counting. Dear sweet jebus does it ever suck. I’ve definitely had fluctuations in weight due to pain, either from overeating to “forget” or just because I didn’t have the energy or will left to take care of myself, after taking care of My Headache.

I am finally learning how to manage my weight and my pain, but both of them will likely always be a struggle. I’m always interested to hear what treatments other people with similar conditions find helpful!

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BrightAngel • May 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I understand the regaining issue.

In my lifetime, I have lost 100 lbs down to normal weight and regained it three separate times.

This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to maintain my weight-loss and stay down at “normal” weight.

I’ve been here almost 3 1/2 years now,

and it’s very hard work every single day

to keep from eating way too much food.

However, I find it still worth the effort.

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Jennifer • May 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

So I’ve come to the conclusion that motivation is a huge asset when trying to loose weight.

There is this really cool application on the iPhone called WeightMirror. On your own photo, it will show what you can look like u to 50 Lbs lighter, instantly. It so easy to use, and after trying it out I would recommend it to everyone!

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TJ • May 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm

As inspiring as your story has been in helping me in my weight loss journey, your story about your chronic headaches and their effect on the rest of your life has been even more helpful.

I’ve been dealing with chronic back pain, and I’ve relied on food to get me through some of the depression and recovery. It has helped me so much to see that, really, it’s part of the process and it’s okay that I regained some of my weight. Thanks for sharing!

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Dom • May 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm

You bloody well rock madam! I am sure you’ve been inundated with offers, but if you want to see the seaside when you’re in England, I’m down in Brighton and would love to show you round.

Have a fabulous time in Europe.

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Cassandra • May 6, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Hola Pasta Queen.

I don’t judge you. I think you rock.

I have to loose about the same amount you do. And it is totally hard to give up the Papa Johns, and Milky Way Bars. I freakin love food man!

And you had a suck year. I think that it was a normal, sucky, fluctuation that was due to lots of suck, and shit, and headaches.

And I am happy for you that it is under control, both weight and headaches!

I am also so happy/jealous you are going to Europe! I have yet to go.

Send me a post card!?

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Chris • May 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm

“When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” …That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.”

Thank you so much for this. I am putting this on my wall and reading it every day so that I can do the same.

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vivi • May 7, 2009 at 6:04 am

I agree with Chris, the best part of the post is this:

When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.”

On the other hand, i think weight gain is acceptable for you now because you are happy with your life now and you don’t care. But it is something you should watch before you gain too much and start being unhappy again. Do you have a “maximum acceptable weight” goal? Changing the routine might help you with that, perhaps that trip to Europe gives you the energy to lose again those pounds. Not that you’ll feel depressed seeing people in Europe notably slimmer than in the US or anything, it is just the fact that a little change helps gain willpower.

Recently I lost 14 pounds following non-weight-related-major-surgery, from 154 to 140 (at 154 lbs and 5ft6 I was the fattest in the dorm where I lived in Germany). I had been trying to lose the extra weight for a long time and I ended up being ok with it. I wore the largest size in the normal stores, that was fine. After the surgery and the unexpected sudden loss, the new “me” found the energy to keep it at or below 140. That’s what I mean when I say that moving away from the routine might help open your eyes (if you want to) and get a new overview about (mostly everything but also) weight.

May be you come from Europe a totally different person. Who knows if your headache will just go away with the smell of french pastries?

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dearsuziegirl • May 7, 2009 at 8:27 am

I love you. For being that freaking honest.

I was feeling shitty this morning and looking for a blog to read that had as much snark as I do and I found you.

I’ll be reading.

(PS I admire your brutal honesty…it rocks)

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The Crazy Woman Inside Me • May 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

Loved this wonderful, heartfelt post. It must have been very difficult to write. Most of us have been there too, so you’re not alone. Of course, it’s so much harder if you’ve written a book about weight loss and you’re in the public eye and constantly being scrutinized. Like Kirstie & Oprah. I can’t even imagine. Just remember, your worth is not dependent on your weight. You’ll lose those pounds again when it’s the right time. Thanks for the inspiration and the honesty.

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Sam • May 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

You know, PQ, after being concerned with my weight for years, always wanting to get back to that 140 pound size 10 girl that I was my sophomore year of high school, I finally started to wonder, what would my stable weight be if I didn’t count calories or feel guilty about what i put in my mouth? 175 pounds? 200? 220? Would it be a weight that I’d be comfortable enough at to just fuck dieting and decide I’d rather just eat what I want and be a size 18?

I’ve come to see that this weight, for me is 185ish. This doesn’t mean that I’m eating whatever I want and binging every day, but it means that I eat when I’m hungry, and sometimes when I’m not. I eat sweets if I want to, but I also eat veggies and a somewhat well rounded dinner. If I go out to eat, I eat what I want, and sometimes I’m feeling a salad, sometimes I’m feeling a cheeseburger. And that’s okay!

At 5’1, 185 pounds puts me at a size 14 (I have sort of an athletic build, so I’m lucky to be at a 14 at my height) and yeah, I’d love to be that 10 that I was. But I’m also not about to be miserable trying to achieve that.

It sounds like you’re still pretty happy with your weight, and it’s your headache that is your main concern at this point, and that’s fine! Eat reasonably, don’t deprive yourself and focus on that headache. You said that you’ve been maintaining the gain for a while, and I’d guess that this is your stable weight when you’re being reasonable but not counting calories, like me. You still look great, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, certainly not ‘fat’.

Maybe once that headache’s gone, you’ll feel up to exercising, and take off 10 pounds and be happy. But don’t make yourself even more miserable dealing with weight and a headache.

I heart your blog, by the way. It’s super.

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JennC • May 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Hi PastaQueen! That is one thing (of many) I love about your book and your blog, that you didn’t try to be thin to become a different person, but rather, to be a happier version of yourself. I think too much emphasis is put on a magic number that is supposed to be the ideal weight, when size is an arbitrary measure of a person. The journey has helped you develop into the person you are today, not the number, and I’m grateful you share your journey with us.

I’m also extremely happy that you’re feeling better these days. I’m thrilled for you that you are going on your dream trip to Europe! And I’m pleasantly consoled that once again, you have triumped by being real and admitting the truth about your journey, without trying to justify it to the scale nazis.

Bravo PastaQueen! Another fab post!

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Rebecca • May 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I stumbled onto your blog late last year, when you were half-size and already suffering the headache for months. I kept reading because I enjoyed your style, then went back to the beginning because I think you’ve made an amazing journey.

You’ve done so much work to get healthy, and now you have a persistent headache. That just sucks so bad! Also, the painiversary came at a time when another friend got hit with health issues despite her previous heroic efforts. I was walking around angry for both of you.

Anyway, at this point, your weight is more “preference” than health-related necessary, IMHO. Enjoy your trip (so exciting) and keep on keepin’ on.

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Laura • May 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Gained weight or not, you are still my hero. Nothing more to add.

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Chrissy • May 7, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I just read your book in one sitting last night and yes most of the time I was lol’ing but…….the other part of the time I was amazed by how on target everything you wrote was from the FA peeps to the weddings and everything before, during, and after. I know you are going to HATE to hear this but I love that you are honest and admitted that you gained some weight back—I want to know that I will lose, and gain but still remain the same. I want to know that my life will not end if I lose the weight then gain some back. You rock!

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kat • May 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I just wanted to throw my “great post” onto the heap. I really enjoy your writing- no matter what the topic. I’m also very impressed that overall you’re happy with your life. Have a great time on your travels. One thing I do- is send postcards to yourself with a reminder of what you’re doing. It seems stupid while you’re doing it, but it’s cool when you’re home and get this great card from Paris hearing about the fun stuff you did.

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crockpot lady • May 9, 2009 at 11:27 am

How come I didn’t know that there was icecream with a thick layer of chocolate on top?

You are wonderful, Jennette. Absolutely wonderful in every single way. Have a ball in Europe in whatever shoes you choose to wear.

xoxo steph

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patti • May 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Perfect post!

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Beth • May 11, 2009 at 1:20 am

Thank you, PQ. This is why I like you; because you aren’t afraid to share your humanity.

Enjoy your trip to Europe, and may it be pain free!

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Dana • May 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I agree with pretty much everything you said in your post. Weight loss is tough and it’s a constant battle and the same society that looks down on people for being overweight is the same society that makes it almost impossible to live healthy. If you are trying to eat healthy most of the food is more expensive, eating out is almost impossible because of portion sizes and menu content and don’t even get me started about the quality of fast food “healthy” menu items. I say if you only gained back 35 lbs then that’s good because it could have been worse! I started a weight loss program 10 months ago and lost 85 lbs in about 6 months, then went off the program for almost 5 months and gained back 30 lbs. I realize that it’s something I’ll always have to think about and I commend you for being willing to share your experiences with the world. I LOVED your book and think you’re amazing! Have a wonderful trip to Europe and enjoy yourself while you’re there!

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Karen • May 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

I think the Obama dog is ADORABLE! And so are you! You look terrific in the pictures you have been posting from Europe! Hope you have a wonderful time!:)

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Sarah • May 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Oh my God, I LOVE this post! It’s awesome. And you are awesome. And I think I might have to buy your book!

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Kendra • June 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

“Feel free to call me an arrogant narcissist in denial. I’ll call you back collect from Paris!”

i’m still laughing at that. :)

I always enjoy coming back to read your blog. Thanks for the great virtual european tour also.

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Chavonne • June 7, 2009 at 11:10 am

I just finished your book about an hour ago. I loved it. Thank you for reading it.

I have 112 pounds to go and I can’t wait to read your blog as part of my motivation.

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Chavonne • June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

Oy. Thank you for WRITING it! :)

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Noelle • June 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Amen, sista!

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PastaPrincess • July 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I think you are the best!!!! I’m so happy that you get to go on vaca and that you are feeling happier and healthier!

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Leslie • July 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

@Nancy – It’s now July 2009, and I wonder if you are still so bee-aaah-tchy? PQ has incredible heart and HUMANITY to tell the truth. This would be amazing enough, but to tell it to her readership is just excellent, and very classy. Bet you’ve never been described with those adjectives! Bye now!

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coyote • August 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” Losing all the weight has made me confident and taught me to believe in myself and has allowed me to live my life in ways that I never could before, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m living my life. That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I am adding this to my list of excellent quotes.

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Pam • July 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I LOVE your honesty, and the absolutely positively most important thing is that the headaches have subsided somewhat. I know I’m responding to your post from over a year ago, but wanted to let you know I am so happy the pain isn’t quite as bad as it was! (Sure hope it doesn’t come back, I’ll find out soon, won’t I?)
Everybody has pointed out your quote: “When I told people, “I want to be thin,” what I was really saying was, “I want to lead the life I want to live.” …That has less to do with being fat or thin than most people think.” I think that is so true. The problem with being as fat as I was is that my overweight body kept me from living the life I wanted. Someone else talked about being at the weight you are meant to be, unfortunately for me, that was 325 lbs. And at 325 lbs. I was not comfortable doing, and simply could not do many things that I wanted to do. You have gained confidence with your weight loss (writing the blog and the book helped with that), and like you said once, even if you gain all the weight back, you are still the person that lost 190 lbs. Nobody can take that away from you, nor can they take away the confidence that the experience gave you.

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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.

Man looking into telescope

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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The Making of CHOCOLATE & VICODIN
Lick the Produce: Odd things I've put in my mouth
Half-Marathon: Less fun than it looks
European Vacation

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