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Happy Fifth Fativersary!

Cupcakes. Lick the screen if you must.

I had completely forgotten this until I read DietGirl’s blog this morning, but today is my five-year fativersary! It was five years ago today that I started my big fat weight loss attempt. DietGirl and I have the same weight loss anniversary, which would seem weird if not for the millions of people who start losing weight in January.

So, it’s five years later and I’ve maintained 75% of my highest weight loss. I’m working on making that percentage higher, but for now, I’ll take it! Woot! Some people think the five-year mark is a statistically significant indicator of your likelihood to keep the weight off. A quick Google search couldn’t find any articles that stated this, so it might just be folk wisdom or a total figment of my imagination.

All I know if that there was a guy who commented on the blog about two or three years ago saying he wouldn’t buy my book until I’d kept the weight off for five years. I only remember this because the guy was a douchebag about it. I truly appreciate the support of everyone who’s bought my book, but the decision is totally yours and isn’t something you need to extort out of me. I tried to find the comment, but after fifteen minutes of combing through search results I gave up. All I remember is that the comment was phrased as if I would only be worthy of having him purchase my book if I stayed skinny (or in my case, less fat). As I said before, I am very thankful to everyone who has purchased my book. But I think whatever happens to my weight in the future is somewhat irrelevant in regards to my memoir, which is the story of what it was like to lose a lot of weight, which will remain as true now and in the future regardless of whether I lose 100 pounds or gain 100 pounds. So if you want to buy it, thanks! And if you don’t, well, ok. Just don’t be a douchebag about it, all right?

By the way, did I say I was grateful? I am grateful!

With that in mind, happy fativersary and farewell to those 150 pounds gone!

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48 Comments

Jo • January 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

I would just like to go on the record as having bought your book, read your book and very much enjoyed it. I have kept the book because I am sure that one day I will reread it. My enjoyment of your book is not based on whether or not you maintained your weightloss. I enjoyed the book because you are an awesome writer which I doubt will change whether you maintain your weightloss or not. Although I have never suffered from headaches, I expect that I will buy your next book also…just because I enjoy your writing style. Good luck on working towards your current goals, whatever they may be!

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That Kind of Girl • January 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

Happy fativersary! Congrats! (Although, for the sake of your health, I do hope you don’t lose another 100 pounds — that couldn’t be healthy!)

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JEM • January 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

Forget the douchebags in this world!!

You are a success, congrats on a milestone!

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Tara • January 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

Congratulations on your five year fattiversary. You are a pretty incredible person and I admire you a lot. In fact, if it weren’t for your blog, I don’t know if I would even have attempted to lose weight. I used to think it wasn’t possible to “diet” your way out of the 300′s and become healthy. You proved me wrong and helped give me the push I needed.

So thanks!

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Shelley B • January 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

Happy Fativersary, Jennette! I own and have read your book, douchebags be damned!

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Melina • January 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

Congratulations on having the guts and persistence to do what you’ve done! 5 years is a huge deal. (Isn’t it how long you have to go without cancer to be considered cured?)

Remember the Marshmallow study, which was a well-documented study done years ago on preschoolers?They were left alone with a marshmallow, after being told that if they wanted to eat it, fine. If they didn’t eat, though, when the grownup came up, they would get two marshmallows. The study showed that years later, the children who were able to wait for the long-term reward, tended to be far more successful in life than the ones who ate the marshmallow immediately.

So, kudos to you and much respect, for not eating the marshmallow, literally and figuratively. That’s why so many read your blogs and book. You’re human, not perfect, but you’re the real deal.

(Plus, you help refute the 95% statistic that paralyzes so many of us.)

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Kimmi • January 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

Happy fativersary! I bought your book ages ago and whoever that guy was well whatever his problem was who’s laughing now? HaHa! But seriously what is great about your book isn’t the weight loss, it’s the experience, it’s the way that you learned to take better care of yourself. I’d have bought it even if you’d only lost ten pounds! However given that you lost way more than that and still maintain a healthy lifestyle in spite of all the stuff that life has thrown at you the past year, I’d just have to say that you are a rockstar!!!

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Elizabeth • January 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Ignore him. I would have bought your book if my best friend hadn’t sent it to me as a gift! I LOVED it. You made me laugh and cry in the same book (not an easy feat). So, celebrate the positive… forget the negative. If I remembered every negative comment I’d ever gotten, I’d hang myself.

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becky • January 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Congrats on the 5 year mark! Such a great accomplishment! Also, glad to hear you are feeling a bit better!

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ChrissyS • January 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Wow – 5 years already? Omw. Happy weightaversary. But there is something just wrong about the cupcake photo used. haha.

I think of you often and all the ‘big’ changes you & your body experienced. (as I continue on my journey.)

Congrats, and 75% is wonderful. I should go spin u round and look at your incredible transformation pictures to mark this special day. Amazing!

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N.R. • January 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Happy “Fativersary!” Or should I say, “Fit-aversary,” given all that you’ve done over the past five years. I know that the past year has been rough, but you should be very proud of your accomplishments and for inspiring us with your damn good blog.

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Aimee • January 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Congrats on your remarkable journey!

Here’s to another 5 years!!!

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Leslie • January 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I bought your book after reading through every single entry of your archive just this past June after I “found” you. I knew the big story but wanted to read more of your excellent writing voice.

This weightloss journey in real life is not a linear process – there are ebbs, flow, ups and downs. You played a key role in me getting my own ass on track, and in starting to blog about it. And you remind of my kids with the use of the term “douchebag”. It’s just about as descriptive as calling someone (male, that is) a dick! Love it!

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Samantha • January 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Happy fativersary!

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Linda • January 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Congratulations and happy fativersity! I loved your book, and have found you an inspiration. I recently began with the Beck Diet book after reading you refer to it – I think it can definitely help me put things all together, so thanks for that as well. Give yourself credit for all you’ve accomplished!

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner • January 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Congrats on the 5 years! That is so awesome!

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Emily • January 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Good job! You have done great!

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Bekkah • January 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

It’s my fat-iversary too – thanks for the reminder! Two years and 50 pounds for me. Your book & blog have both changed the way I look at weight loss, living a healthy life, etc. and I KNOW I could not have kept it off with out your insights. You are an amazing person!

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • January 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Holy shit is all I can, why? Because I managed to lose 53 pounds in two years, which I feel is significant, and am loving all sorts of changes, but 150 pounds, I can’t even imagine what you went through, how you felt and all the stuff inbetween. Congrats on your 5 year Fativersay!!! I think it’s awesome!!

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victoria • January 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm

YAY! Happy birthday! And congratulations.

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Laura Pugh • January 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Jennette- Happy Fativersary! 5 years is awesome. I hope some day to have a fativersary, but until then…

I found your book several months ago and loved it. I recommend it whenever there is an opportunity. You were inspiring in the book and continue to be so through your blog. Thanks!

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shauna/dg • January 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Happy anniversary and I love your perspective on the whole memoir thing. I am going to remember that every time I worry I’ll be lynched for eating a cupcake. Rock on PQ… it has been a pleasure reading you :)

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Melissa • January 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I also bought your book when it first came out and LOVED it. I’ve kept it to re-read again. (I have a short memory so it’s fun to do this as I totally forget what happens!)

Happy 5 years!!

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MB • January 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Happy 5th Fativersary to you. I didn’t realize you were so much younger than Dietgirl. Your blog was one of the very first I started reading when you had way more weight to lose that I did/do. It has taken me a while to get on the right road but I hope to following in your footsteps and be a member of the half-assed club. It doesn’t matter to me how much you may have regained, I’m inspired by your commitment to lose weight and your mad writing skills. I will cherish my autographed copy of your book and think the idiot who made that rude comment doesn’t know what he’s missing.

HAPPY FATIVERSARY!!

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liz • January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

happy fativersary! congratulations. i hope to celebrate my first fativersary next november :)

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G.G. • January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Congratulations–quite a milestone!

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Quix • January 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Congrats!!! Can you even remember what it felt like? I’m about 3 years from when I really started project: deporkify, and it almost doesn’t seem real that I was that big. Ever. In my brain, I remember that things hurt or things were hard, but I can’t physically *feel* it anymore. Hopefully never again, right?

I’ll be honest, I haven’t bought your book yet *blush*, I’m broke right now (sigh…), but I have made a New Years Resolution to read more and your book is firmly on my list to pick up!

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Amy • January 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Happy fativersary! I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be able to declare one of my own.

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me • January 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

well, J, have been reading your blog since back in 2006, AND i bought your book, so this is not playa-hatin’, BUT:

I distinctly recall back in 07 you did a post about how you couldn’t fathom ever regaining an ounce, and i remember a lot of posters (including me) were like “GIRL IT IS NOT THAT EASY!!”

And you were like “I just don’t see it. I can’t imagine having worked this hard, and knowing exactly what i should and shouldn’t be eating, and actually gaining weight back.”

and we were all like “GURL!! we ALL SAY THAT! PRIDE GOETH!”

You’re a couple years younger than me, and I remember being kind of jealous at your success, and not getting how come you never suffered any setbacks.

anyway, this is not an “I told you so” — clearly not since you’ve maintained a massive 75% loss for three years, but it.. IS so hard to keep off weight.

So many times my weight has crept back up. I wish i could understand what … happens .. to make that happen.

I don’t know.

Of course, i know that if I eat anything I want, whenever I want, I will gain weight. Particularly if i don’t exercise.

But for some reason there is this bizarre drive to eat. It’s a lot like a drug.

It’s like smoking. Why the F does anyone smoke? Cause it makes you feel good. Same thing with sugar/starchy/yummy foods, I guess.

Why would someone let alcohol destroy their life? Cause it makes them feel good.

Same with too many calories. It feels GOOD to eat anything you want, whenever you want it.

Sucks. :)

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Cathy • January 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Happy Fifth Fativersary! *confetti*

Having bought and read your book I can attest that the douchebag is simply just missing out. His loss.

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katy • January 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

NEver knew that Fativersary was a word! Now I know! Happy Fativersary!

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leah • January 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Yay for you! Douchebags be damned. Those of us with chronic pain issues have too much to worry about anyway – douchebags don’t make the top 100. :)

Cheers! BTW, if you haven’t checked out ChronicBabe.com, I totally recommend it! NO ADVICE here (unless you want it) but lots of help and support – I love the community of young(ish) people who “get” what life is like with chronic crap going on.

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Julie Big Girl Bombshell • January 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Happy Fativersary!

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AndrewE • January 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

Bought your book, read your book, loved your book. Will buy the next one!

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Tina • January 16, 2010 at 7:57 am

Congratulations on your Fativersary!

I am not (I hope) a douchebag and I did read your book hoping to laugh my ass off. Unfortunately, my ass is still here, albeit a little bit smaller.

Here’s to hoping you have many more years of weight loss and maintenance and a life free of douchebags. (I’m sorry to break it to you though… it’s a little easier to drop weight than to drop jackasses.)

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Lesley • January 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

5 years is a serious milestone so well done!! 150lbs of lard you are not carrying around with you – it’s amazing when you think about it.

Well done again.

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Susan • January 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Hey, you’re totally right about the five year mark increasingly the likelihood that you’ll keep the weight off forever – they say so somewhere on the website of that research institute that tracks people who are maintaining a loss (I know you’ve participated before, but I can’t think of their name, and man, googling “weight loss research” is not helpful!)

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DebraSY • January 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Happy Fativersary. If you count from the first day of “This is it . . . today I start for real,” then I’m well past my seventh (August 23rd), and am maintaining 83% of highest weight lost. If you start the clock from reaching rock-bottom weight, I’ve had six. They (the “experts”) are always a bit fuzzy about when the clock starts. I think that’s to “pad” the happy results. But I don’t think that serves us. I think honesty helps us understand and confront the task at hand.

And, honestly speaking, statistically, we really are doing okay.

I hang on to that. It is difficult. But think about it, even the vaunted NWCR defines success as maintaining a 10 percent loss from all-time high weight for one year (and then they say only 20 percent can make that weak benchmark). Even if you regain every ounce, you’re in the NWCR’s winner’s circle, and you’re maintaining, what? I’m unclear on your math here, but I’m calculating your maintain in the 31 – 38 percent range at 5 years. You’re kicking butt! You’re even kicking my butt, as I’m maintaining a 27% loss at seven.

Statistically, at five years, only 3.9 percent of WW Life Members are at or below the Weight Watchers-set goal weight (not necessarily their own, which may be more ambitious). That’s according to a study sponsored by Weight Watchers itself. For many of these people, too, the WW goal was only a small loss — in the 10 pound range. In the same study, at five years, nearly 30% weighed more than before they’d started the program. Onlly 19% were maintaining a 10 percent loss — which, actually, is impressive compared to NWCR prognostications, which says that 19% would be good anytime after the one-year benchmark.

Statistically, you (and I) are kicking butt.

And it’s damned hard.

For me it isn’t the eating. I’m cool with eating well and eating sparcer than most people. For me, it’s the exercise. The only difference between us former fat people and the naturally trim gym rats is that we don’t ever get a vacation from exercise. They do exercise as hard as we do, but they can go away for a week, or more. Sometimes a month, or more. They come back — “Oh, I’m gonna hurt tomorrow.” And they’re right. They do. But they are also renewed and re-invogorated. And they haven’t suffered any weight consequences. Or if they have, the weight comes right back off for them, since they aren’t at the bottom of their weight range and their body isn’t fighting to return to its “potential.” We, on the other hand, dare to vacation from exercise for a week, and the weight consequences are real and long-term. It doesn’t “come right off” as the naive people will try to tell us.

I’m sorry about that Bozo above who felt it necessary to point out a regrettable remark you made in 2007. I’m sure I said some regrettable things when I was in a Honeymoon phase too. I hope I don’t have some Bozo point them out to me.

Gosh. I didn’t start this post to be depressing. I guess all I wanted to do was to affirm that I have my ups and downs about this whole process, as do you. I hope you forgive me for getting, er, dark.

Let me leave on a slightly brighter note: You have beaten the odds, girlie. Even creeping up some, you’re beating them. And so have I (she says loudly, trying to convince herself). We’re okay, and when spring rolls around and our exercise choices broaden, we may even experience a little limerent surge and fall into a honeymoon fog with this weight maintenance journey, once again, if just for a bit.

I can hang on for that.

You can too.

Congrats.

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Alecia • January 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I actually remember that comment from reading your archives! What a tool. Maybe I shall re-read your book in a statement of anti-douchebaggery. I STILL put your book cover out anytime I am in the book store! Go Girl!

Ooh Wow just noticed the captcha…Filthy Spammers

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Kathy • January 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Hi,

I am hoping you lose the weight you want but did I just read in a twitter that you skipped lunch because you are following some diet book? If you follow a diet, you will not keep your weight off. You will lose, but then you will gain it back. So, eat 5 times a day, smaller meals, nutritious meals, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satiated, and exercise. I know it has been said before, but this is the only way. I truly believe this. I only need to lose 30 pounds but it seems like 100! I know what I am saying is hard, but what you did was hard too. You can do it. Good luck.

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Pam Brown • January 17, 2010 at 8:05 am

This is a fantastic milestone.

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Anonymous Fat Girl • January 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

Happy fat anniversary girl! You’ve come a long way and you deserve to celebrate.

I did buy your book and I’m glad I did. There aren’t many memoirs out there like yours (if any at all). You’ve been there. You’ve lived it. And now you will become a great story on how to maintain, even if you gain some back. I have no doubt you’ll do just fine.

And, thanks for the book. It got me going on my journey. It was just enough to give me that push – knowing that someone else did it and I can too.

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1940sExperiment • January 17, 2010 at 11:33 am

What an achievement – you should be very proud of yourself for

a) Achieving what you set out to do

b) Blogging about it and sharing your experiences along the way. People wishing to lose weight are notorious for NEEDING inspiration from others – you certainly have given that in abundance

c) Making people laugh their arses OFF- literally!

Well done Jenette!

Carolyn xx

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lulu • January 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I didn’t find your blog until a year in, but it quickly became a favourite. And I loved the book too. Only once have you shocked me to the core, and no it wasn’t the anatomically-correct baked goods, it was the heinous plot to get Officer Krupke transferred.

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Sarah • January 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Congratulations!

But I am confused and this may make me a douchebag. But is it five years ago you started the weight loss process? Or it’s been five years since you’ve been maintaining. Hate to be a stickler… but two very different things.

Either way… still a rare and wonderful accomplishment!

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Sarah • January 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Also… as for this line “Some people think the five-year mark is a statistically significant indicator of your likelihood to keep the weight off.” I looked into this late last year when I hit five years of maintenance. (I guess my fativersary would technically be 10 years ago at the start of 2000 but losing is not the same as maintaining, imho, so I go with the date I hit the weight that I have been able to sustain. /blogress)

What I found is that the five year mark is often used with cancer patients. Especially breast cancer, doctors are want to say your are “cured” because the likelihood of it reoccurring after five years is nill. But like you I was unable to find any concrete studies that show you will be able to keep it off if you hit the five year mark either. I don’t need a study to tell me however that I have changed my life for good. I’m sure you don’t either!

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Meg • January 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Weird coincidence, I just *finished* reading your book yesterday ^_^ I’ve been reading the blog for a couple years, but finally got my hands on a copy of your book this Christmas. Congratulations on keeping it off for 5 years! May the next 5 find you enjoying your continued good health!

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VivaZoya • January 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Hey Jennette, Congrats! You have accomplished a lot!

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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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