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The past psycho cookie monster

Mmmm, cookies...

I looked up my old post about LASIK surgery recently so I could give the link to a friend who’s considering the procedure. I’m not sure what word best describes the feeling I get when reading old posts, but it’s similar to the feeling I get when looking at old yearbook photos. It’s some combination of surprised/awkward/insightful/nostalgic. Surprawkinosalgic? Take note, Merriam-Webster, the first usage of that word started here!

I haven’t read through the entire blog since I wrote Half-Assed, and I don’t have any plans (or the time) to do so any time soon. Yet it’s surprawkinosalgic to see how my writing tone and approach have evolved over the years, and even more surprawkinosalgic to see how I myself have changed .

This section jumped out at me from the LASIK post, which I wrote before the bit about a laser burning out my eyeballs:

It was a pretty fun waiting room to be in since everyone was there by choice and was going to experience an improvement in the quality of their life. It wasn’t like other hospital waiting rooms where people tensely clasp Styrofoam cups of coffee waiting to learn if their loved ones will be okay. They had china coffee cups here. And cookies. I admit, I had a cookie, which I justified with the fact that I had to go home and take a five hour nap after the procedure. That cookie was lunch. And sooooo yummy. Good to know some of my cash was going towards quality bakery products.

I read this and immediately thought, “Wow, I used to be kinda’ psycho about cookies, didn’t I?” Today I would just eat the cookie and not have a Hamlet-esque debate about whether to eat the cookie or not to eat the cookie. And I certainly wouldn’t feel the need to justify eating the cookie to my blog readers. It’s a cookie. Get over it, Past-PastaQueen!

Of course, one could argue this change in my cookie-eating policies has led to my fat for FitBloggin’ dilemma. You’re probably right, Mr. Hypothetical Arguer Man. Now go away. Nobody likes you. This might be an example of how shifts in mental attitude affect weight loss and weight maintenance, but I can’t say I regret my more laidback attitude. I have often wondered if someone who’s lost a ton of weight has to become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life.

That there might be the “problem,” so to speak, which has led me to regain some weight (along with that whole constant chronic pain thing). I’m not a total psycho cookie monster anymore. When I wrote the LASIK entry, weight-loss was my biggest hobby. I wrote about it all the time. I thought a lot about preparing meals and planning my exercise routine. I read lots of weight-loss blogs. These days, I still think about exercise and meal planning and all that, but not with the intensity that I used to. And perhaps more importantly, I don’t miss it. That might be the reason I haven’t been bothered to work hard enough to get back down to my lowest weight again. I’m not miserable enough. Life is fine. Given the choice between going through life as a thinner person who is psycho about cookies and being a fatter person who isn’t, I think I’d go with the fat person. Actually, I’m sure I’d go with the fat person because, hey, I own a mirror. I also don’t care if people care if I care or not, which probably speaks more about my growth as a human being than it does to anything weight-loss related.

Whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you, but I’m ok living life like that today. As long as I’m not eating a box of Lofthouse crack cookies every night, I think treats are fine, especially when you’re about to undergo a procedure that has a teeny, tiny possibility of blinding you for life. Life’s too short to freak out about cookies. I think Cookie Monster would agree.

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18 Comments

Jennifer@ knackfornutrition • May 9, 2011 at 8:46 am

Best of luck with your surgery. That is very scary.

I think you hit the nail on the head with what you wrote about not being miserable enough. I think that is why my weight loss has slowed too. I am just not unhappy enough to be hungry all the time. I want to enjoy good food without guilt and obsession.

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Debbi • May 9, 2011 at 9:26 am

I heart you, Jennette. I hope I can make peace with my body, as you most certainly have, before I die. And since I’m approaching my 60th birthday this month – and am probably already in the last third of my life – I don’t have much time left!

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Carrie • May 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

Sounds like my attitude. I know if I cut way back on the eating I would lose some weight, but eh. I don’t want to. Pure and simple. I would love to exercise but my baby freaks out at the gym daycare and my allergies prohibit much outside time right now. Excuses, excuses. But eh. Not caring much.

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Cari • May 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

I know what you mean about the nostalgia. I recently read through some of my old blog posts. I don’t mind reading the ones from a few years ago – actually, they made me excited that I experienced and did so much – but the ones from college made me sick. Ugh, I wouldn’t have wanted to be around me back then!

I did really like reading your LASIK story, old or not. I had it in 2008. It was fun to compare!

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Bright Angel aka Phyllis Collins • May 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

Chiming in here with my own experience of 156 lb loss, About 80 net lb from WLS, and 10 years later, another 75 lbs from calorie restriction and computer food journaling…now into my 6th year of maintaining at or near my goalweight. ******”Must one become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life.” ***** I’ve learned that keeping it off requires eating far less than one’s formerly fat body wants…which requires enormous conscious effort….FOREVER. We will never become naturally thin. My 5/9/11 blog article at DietHobby discusses this issue. AND this is the Theme of my site. I remember when you termed it “living in crazy town”….I have discovered that a reduced obese person has to take up permanent residency there, in order to keep ALL the lost weight from an inevitable, eventual return.

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Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy • May 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

I feel the same way. I don’t want to go through my entire life not enjoying foods that I love! I’d much rather be a little chubby and enjoy my food!

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Sophie • May 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Occasionally I reread your earliest blog entries. Compared to where you started, you are still in awesome shape! I love your blog. I never tire of reading your food, fitness, and health posts. The upside, if you reverted to total psycho cookie monster status, would be more frequent food and fitness entries. But I’m glad you feel less angst about food.

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Leigh • May 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Bright Angel is correct. Losing weight and keeping weight off require such a huge mental shift, it’s sometimes very difficult to do. Like the book says, buy the shoes, eat the cookie. What the heck.

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HopefulandFree • May 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I’ve decided that losing more weight would put me at risk for brain dysfunction. BMI stats are a load of socially-constructed, institutionalized oppression, which in many becomes internalized oppression. For life. There are no health benefits that would result from moving from slightly “overweight” into the so-called “healthy” zone, at least none that override my mental health.

I’m still a bit obsessed with fudge, though, as almost anyone who knows me will attest. There are worse obsessions.

Thanks for these reassuring peeks at your own ongoing transformation. Self-acceptance is seldom applauded in our current culture of OMG I MUST GET CONTROL OVER ALL MY ACTIONS/THOUGHTS/FEELINGS AND BECOME THE BEST I CAN BE!!!! Ugh. That kind of attitude nearly wiped the floor with me. No more.

Your approach sounds sane and sustainable. :)

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kazari • May 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

tee hee!
I got cookie monster pyjamas for mother’s day, and i’ve been singing this song ever since : )

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Lauren • May 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I am glad you are able to accept yourself the way you are. However I don’t see much difference to that PastaQueen and the one today. You still love sweets and rave about them quite often.

Also, I don’t think your post was “psycho”. You were dieting at the time, on a supposed low-carb (low-refined sugar?) diet, so the cookie was something unique. That would be like dropping me in the middle of a desert, then saying I’m psycho about water when I compose a verse about the first drop I’ve had in a week. It’s all relative.

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Mama_Dee • May 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

@Lauren – I agree with you!

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Jen • May 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I actually went back and read that because I’m having some troubles with my eyes and can’t wear my contacts, and I’m remembering everything I hate about wearing glasses. I’m glad to hear that someone with 20/400 vision and astigmatism could get this done, because that’s about where I am.

Sometime I’d love to hear an update — did you have any long-term consequences that you don’t like? Or are you still happy with it?

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Sarah • May 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I have often wondered if someone who’s lost a ton of weight has to become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life.

I say no. You do not have to become a fanatic. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to me. I want to just live. I think the first few years of maintenance you live in crazy town but I was actively looking to pack up and move out! I find myself driving by currently since I am pregnant…. and as I peek out the window I think- yeah I don’t really want to live there again. It is possible, but it takes a while to move on…

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Meg • May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

It’s an interesting question, the one about maintaining weight loss. I guess the real question is, are you maintaining your health? Can you still do the activities (ie, run, ride a bike, swim) that you want to? Then 5 lbs don’t matter. Have the cookie.

I get the same feeling when reading my old journal entries, this kinda wish to go back and talk to my old self and be like, trust me, you’ll get through this, The world is a bigger place than the box you’re putting yourself in.

Guess it’s a good thing, because it means we’ve grown, right?

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Courteney • May 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I’m learning that treats aren’t so bad, even cookies its all about moderation. And its hard when you’ve been working on losing and keeping former weight off and as a former obese person myself I understand how hard it can be to get out of the old mindset, but its never over. All that matters is that we remember what we are working toward and keep moving. Speaking of moving, I start running again tomorrow after being a way from it for weeks, ouch! This is gonna hurt!

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RG • May 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

I have the reverse response as the majority of commenters, that I do think that weight creep matters, that you’re too young to be this fat, that it’s a health issue. BUT, I’m basing that answer on my family and my genetic history which is really, f-ing bad. I don’t think that being able to swim, bike, walk at 20-something means you’re “in good shape” health-wise; I can do all those things, better than I could 20 years ago, and I know that my body is carrying excess weight on those knees and hips and back. The flip side is, that losing weight is a different story than maintaining (more leeway for junk foods) and that you are NEVER going back to your teenage, mindless eating ways. You’ve had a rough couple of years, but you know what healthy eating looks like and you can latch into it when you’re ready. It’s not about the one gourmet cookie at the doctor’s office, it is about the box of mass produced junk that goes home with you. jmo.

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RG • May 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

PS – I found this post/ comments quite helpful in helping me understand WHY my fat siblings don’t take control of their weight. It’s not that they can’t, but it’s just not a priority; there is some food addiction involved, a certain mindless eating. But it’s also not seeing the long-term problems. My brother, whose weight is at his highest, a “low” BMI of 35, is 44yo and was diagnosed with diabetes last year and this year with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which has left him struggling to breathe properly. So, he’s started yet another medication, but to me this is sirens blaring, an emergency. He has two young kids. Yet today I watched as Mom put junk food in front of him when he stopped by for half an hour to help me fix her computer, and he ate it. Maybe it’s the only junk food he’s eaten all week, maybe it is the nice cookie at the doctor’s, but I didn’t see even a glimmer of debating whether there’s something healthier or if he can wait until he gets home for dinner. Half an hour, and I would bet that he inhaled 500 calories as a pre-dinner snack.

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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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