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The noodles and the damage done

I got back from Boston last night and I’d like to thank those of you who know where I live for not taking that opportunity to rob me blind. I don’t have anything valuable anyway, except for my wit, which I carry with me always.

I hopped on the scale this morning fully prepared for a 2-5 pound weight gain. Actually, that’s a lie, I never hop on my scale. I think repeatedly hopping on a scale would probably break it. I stepped on my scale until it went BEEP, BEEP to indicate it was done judging me, as apposed to most people who just silently judge me, and I hesitantly peaked at the number between my toes:


My lowest weight yet.

Evidently my body has an even stranger sense of humor than I do. I have several complex theories on how this might have happened, involving dehydration, walking all over town, eating three big meals instead of smaller meals with snacking, and of course my menstrual cycle. Always got to throw in my menstrual cycle. Those kooky ovaries, you never know what they’ll throw at you next!

I have no idea how many calories I consumed, but they were calories from all over the world. In the past four days I’ve eaten Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Japanese and Korean food, all without getting my passport stamped. While eating out was fun, I started to miss my home-cooked eating lifestyle. It seems you can’t order a meal without someone throwing rice or bread or pasta or more bread on it. I order a salad and they still have to throw a piece of garlic toast on there!

Mostly this annoys me because I’m still learning to fight the urge to clear my plate. I tell myself “PastaQueen, just because they put food in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it.” Then it’s devour, scarf, gobble, where did that piece of garlic toast go? Oh yeah, I put it in my stomach for safe keeping. I think I’m going to have to start throwing food I don’t want on my companions’ plates or at other patrons who are yapping on their phones too loudly.

I was impressed with my future sister-in-law’s ability to eat only part of her meal. She’s shorter and thinner than me, so it figures she wouldn’t need to eat the huge servings restaurants pile in front of you. I also noticed she eats slower, which probably helps her determine when she’s full more accurately since it takes a couple minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that. If I were to issue some suggestions for revisions to the human body, instantaneous stomach capacity readings would be one of them, along with removal of the gall bladder (stupid, useless organ) and maybe a third arm. I felt weird noticing her eating habits since it seems like the sort of thing someone who is diet-obsessed or has an eating disorder would notice, neither of which I desire to be. But since monitoring my food intake has become such a routine part of my life I can’t help but view other people’s eating habits through that same filter.

While we did do a lot of walking, I do more on my trail walks than we did any day between T-stops and Duck Tours. I felt very in-shape. I even outlasted my thinner high-school friend who showed me around Cambridge. I can go for miles, baby! My mom said she did more walking this week than she had all month, which personally I think is a good thing. I hope she keeps it up.

The hallway in my brother’s apartment complex leading to the elevator is covered in mirrors. Mirrors on the left, mirrors at the end, there’s even a mirror on the ceiling of the elevator. Perhaps this is some sort of vampire detection system. (But what are they doing to protect us from the werewolves, hmm?) The nice thing about it was that I got to check out my image whenever we were coming or going and each time I’d think, “Damn, I look good.” It’s great not being disgusted by your image! I highly recommend it.

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Janice Bridge • September 25, 2006 at 3:15 pm

Welcome back PQ – and Congratulations!!! Yes – definitely – all of the above. . . . keeping active, walking, eating more slowly, enjoying the food and ambiance – all contributed to a very healthy weekend!

Having just been directed to your blog on Friday, I took time this weekend to read your entries from beginning to end. . .and was anxiously awaiting your return. Glad it was successful!

Notice to all new comers – I highly recommend reading the blog in order (with or without comments) OUTSTANDING experience


Vickie • September 25, 2006 at 3:43 pm

There is a whole philosophy involving eating 3 times a day instead of 5-6 smaller meals that involves the release of insulin by the body. I have done both at different times. I am currently on the 3 + 1 snack, each about 5 1/2 hours apart.


lulu • September 25, 2006 at 3:48 pm

Congratulations PQ! I have also found that a change in routine seems to cause a metabolism surge. I still haven’t managed to find a way to view your progress pics, but judging by my sister who is 200 pounds and 5 feet 10 you must be looking pretty fabulous. Enjoy life, every minute of it!


caroline • September 25, 2006 at 5:35 pm

Hooray!!!!! That’s got to feel good. I agree with you about the mirrors – they’re great when you KNOW you’re hot! Glad you’re back.


Patty (angelfish24 on blogger) • September 25, 2006 at 6:06 pm

Good for you that the scale is going down even after a vacation. Mine won’t do that, stupid thing, think I’ll throw it out! ha ha Know what you mean by looking at others eating habits. I was doing the same thing last weekend when I was out to lunch with others. First, I noticed what they ate, how much and how fast or slow. I agree with you, i think it’s because we’re monitoring our own food intake. I’ve always notice that my mom will never finish her food at restaurants and of course, she’s thin! But she’s very active too. Good to hear you are doing well. Have a great week.


kalmia • September 25, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Welcome back, and congratulations on the “undamage done” and especially on your happiness with your body. You deserve every unpound of it!

One of Seth Roberts’ observations when he experimented with losing weight was that tasting new flavours and eating different new foods has an effect on appetite and metabolism that results in weight loss. I tried his Shangri-La Diet for a while, but couldn’t keep stomaching that oil (yuck). However, eating new foods is easier, and it does work. The same is true for exercise. Our bodies seem to get efficient when we eat and exercise the same way all the time. Perhaps that explains your weight loss in spite of your perception that you ate a lot. Or maybe it was just the cumulative effect of the last month of hard effort you’ve put in.

I always notice what and how people eat, too. Not only that, but I even notice when people around me are noticing others’ food habits. :-) I know what you mean that it feels kind of neurotic and obsessive.


dax • September 25, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Amazing–that is awesome.

As a fan of your blog, just want to make two suggestions.

1.) Don’t worry about being “diet-obsessed.” There is this weird new shame among women where they aren’t supposed to obsess over calories, portion control, as it might smack of an “eating disorder.” Throw those thoughts out the window. Being “obsessed” is what got you to lose all that weight, and it’s what will keep it off. there is nothing unhealthy about that.

2.) Have you thought about hiring a personal trainer for 10 sessions? They might teach you how to REALLY kick up the burn a notch.


Greta • September 25, 2006 at 11:28 pm

Congratulations on doing so well while you were on vacation!! YAHOO!!!!!


Debbi • September 26, 2006 at 9:07 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about being obsessed, either. It is Job One at Chez Shrinking Knitter. There’s plenty of time for balance later.

So good to hear what a wonderful weekend it was for you. And your reaction to the mirrors? That’s just awesome. I looked at all our wedding reception photos yesterday for the first time, and mostly felt the same way. I still have a long way to go, but I wasn’t horrified at how they turned out. That’s real progress!


Morphidae • September 26, 2006 at 1:24 pm

Well, being food obsessed IS part of an eating disorder. I just started up in a Binge Eating Disorder program. Part of the program was eating a meal together. After we talked about it and discussed how conscious most of us were about what everyone else was eating in comparison to what we were eating.

P.S. PastaQueen, I adore your website and your sense of humor. In fact, you have the only website on my blogroll!


lookk • September 26, 2006 at 9:55 pm

Look, if having an “eating disorder” lets someone stay at a healthy weight for a long period of time, I’m all for eating disorders.

In my experience, “eating disordered” is the first insult thrown at people who manage to lose extra weight, or manage to incorporate a healthy eating plan into their lives, by jealous friends.


curlz • September 27, 2006 at 6:17 am

Wow I’m so jealous, we don’t have any vampire protection devices in any elevators I’ve ever been in. But we do tend to have heaps of garlic in our food…so maybe we balance it out…. Actually I don’t think there are many Vampires in Australia, because the daytime is so so awesome, that no one would be able to not see it.

As for looking in the mirror, I can do that. It’s the windows I hate. I wish I knew why???

Anyways I love your site. It’s great!


Morphidae • September 27, 2006 at 6:53 am

PastaQueen, contrary to lookk’s response, I wasn’t saying you were eating disordered. I was reflecting on my own current experience in an eating disorder program. I apologize if I wasn’t clear. I think you are doing a fabulous job.


hopefulloser • September 27, 2006 at 10:53 am

Hey P.Q.,

Awesome job on the weight loss! Changes in eating habits would often result in a loss (when I was actually losing).

You were spot on with your most recent comment on my site.



KC • September 27, 2006 at 1:43 pm



Susan • October 1, 2006 at 6:02 pm

Look, if having an “eating disorder” lets someone stay at a healthy weight for a long period of time, I’m all for eating disorders.

In my experience, “eating disordered” is the first insult thrown at people who manage to lose extra weight, or manage to incorporate a healthy eating plan into their lives, by jealous friends.

I totally agree! I literally count every calorie every day and expect to be doing it for the rest of my life. Since I’ve lost weight and maintained (three years now), I’ve lost count of all the snide remarks from “friends”. One even told me I needed an intervention!


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 at JennetteFulda.com.

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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 JennetteFulda.com 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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