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Required Reading

I’m putting together a list of my best entries to point first-time visitors to. I’ll probably put them in a box in the sidebar, but I might put them on their own page. Either way, I thought I’d ask my regular readers, which entries should I list as required reading? If an entry stuck out in your mind, comment with its topic or title below. You don’t need to include links to the entries (though if you want to I ain’t stopping you). I’ll probably only list between 10-20 entries, so don’t be heartbroken if yours doesn’t get listed. This will just be a primer for new visitors. Everyone is still free to read the archives if they wish.

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

Janet • May 27, 2007 at 7:51 pm

“fear means the bad thing hasn’t happened yet”

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Brigitte • May 27, 2007 at 9:19 pm

When do I graduate?

that is my favorite. Thanks.

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MIchelle • May 27, 2007 at 9:58 pm

YAY! I’m gad you are doing this! I just found your website and wanna read it all .. but.. listing some of your best would be a great start!! Great job, btw! michelle

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kim • May 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm

In which I mention unmentionables. Body Changes. Less Junk in the Trunk.

Can’t wait to see which ones you pick. Looking forward to reading them again. Just rereading a few was fun. Have you noticed your hip bones like you noticed your collarbones? I really miss mine.

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Janice Bridge • May 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm

There are two that have to do with your relationship with Lane Bryant that are priceless

The one that declares that if you are too small to buy clothing at Lane Bryant you are not FAT

and

The one where the children are running about sprinkling spangles on all of the outfits

Great posts

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emily • May 28, 2007 at 12:41 am

I love this one enough to have just spent 10 minutes googling for it:

https://www.pastaqueen.com/halfofme/archives/2006/10/talking_about_d.html

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Melissa • May 28, 2007 at 9:49 am

There are so many! I love the entry where you lick the spoon after putting out wet cat food (omg – ick) but the vagina muffins entry comes in a close second.

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Melissa • May 28, 2007 at 9:54 am

Now that I think about it, Motivation Schmotivation is probably the most relevant and thought provoking post I’ve read. I am just starting out on my journey, and those are exactly the words that I needed to hear.

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Sara • May 28, 2007 at 10:43 am

I just found your blog recently and read through all the archives. The ones that stood out to me most were “do we choose to be fat” and “things no one told me about losing weight”. Also agree with the previous commenter that “Motivation Schmotivation” is a really good one.

Anyway, love the blog, and congrats to you on all your success!!!

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Mark • May 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

Almost forget, one of your all-time classics, Water Weight:

http://calorielab.com/news/2005/12/18/what-is-water-weight/

;-)

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Mark • May 28, 2007 at 11:54 am

I see you’re cutting off comments after three weeks. Is that a good idea? I find that some older posts take on a life of their own and become mini-support groups or discussion forums. Commenters add more and more “user contributed content,” and the posts go up and up in the Google rankings. We have a couple dozen of these that bring in significant traffic (and contribute a lot to site revenue).

If you’re having spam problems, there are software plug-ins that just work, no effort or maintenance at all. On WordPress, for instance, Spam Karma 2 is great. I’m sure there must be a MT equivalent. And any captcha system will also do.

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Penelope's Web • May 28, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I’d like to echo Mark’s comment – if it’s possible to block the spam, would you reconsider allowing comments after 3 weeks? What you write resonates with a lot of people, including people who’ve found your entries more than 3 weeks later.

Ugh. And I had a Memorable Memorial Day experience, today. I was picking up some items at a Mini-Mart: a loaf of whole wheat bread, two 2-litre Diet Cokes, and Tastycake pies. A passing guy – a TOTAL STRANGER – said, “Those are fattening! Don’t buy those!” – followed by, “You’re too skinny!”

Now, I will admit that instead of buying 2 pies, I stacked up 4 pies, after that. It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Maybe I had a carful of kids! Or basketball players! Maybe it was the second time I’d bought them in the last 7 years (that part is true, but irrelevant, really)! What business was it of his? And how the heck did it compute with his last statement??? And believe me, it’s not as if he was some specimen of eternal manly beauty, either.

The next time the food police come after me, I’ll have something to say that they’ll remember.

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PastaQueen • May 28, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Mark and Penelope – The only old entry I can recall having any significant activity was the post about Bra Shopping and my difficulty finding a bra with a large band size and a small cup size. Other than that, most of the legitimate comments came within a week of an entry appearing. Occasionally someone going through the archives would leave a comment, but not that frequently.

Movable Type does have a spam plugin called SpamLookup that comes installed with the software. It catches most of the stuff, but I would still get several e-mails a day for comments that needed to be approved that slipped through the filter no matter how many custom filters I applied. It was getting way annoying. When I finally emptied my junk comment section a couple weeks ago there were 30,000 comments. It was crazy. In the past week I’ve only gotten 2 e-mails about comments needing to be approved when I used to get at least 20-something.

As for captchas, I find those really annoying. I have incorrectly entered the code into so many blogs that I visit that I am now convinced I am actually a cyborg.

So basically, I see your point and it’s completely valid, but in my mind the benefits of cutting off comments after 3 weeks still outweighs the benefits of keeping them open.

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bitchwhoblogs • May 28, 2007 at 2:21 pm

I like “A Matter of Scale” it introduces a starting place and your wonderful sense of optimism and humor…

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Megan • May 28, 2007 at 2:37 pm

I like “Livin in the Fridge”- For some reason that entry really motivates me! I wish I had the strength to model my fridge after yours!

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Peter • May 28, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Here are my picks for the “Half of Me” Top Twenty:

  1. “Inaccurate Self-Image”
  2. “Desensitizing”
  3. “I Have Bones!”
  4. “Willpower Is Overrated”
  5. “Cooking Confession”
  6. “Exercise Amnesia”
  7. “Filters”
  8. “Skinny Person Inside”
  9. “Disbelief”
  10. “Magic Powers”
  11. “Trail Mix”
  12. “Journey to the Past”
  13. “There’s Nothing to Eat”
  14. “Do We Choose to Be Fat?”
  15. “Things No One Told Me About Weight Loss”
  16. “The Great Outdoors”
  17. “Adventures in the Produce Section”
  18. “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry”
  19. “Stop the Conveyor Belt”
  20. “Motivation Schmotivation”

But there are a lot of other posts I really like. For example, these would be five of the nearest misses from the top twenty:

  1. “Long Time Gone”
  2. “The Missing”
  3. “Big Fat Liars”
  4. “Calorie Confusion”
  5. “Livin’ in the Fridge”

But the archives are really full of gems. I can’t wait to buy your book, or even see your preliminary chapter outline! It’s going to become an instant classic. (Especially if you use “Half of Me”–one of the very best titles in the blogosphere–for the book’s title, too.)

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Heather • May 28, 2007 at 8:40 pm

There’s been so many…

but just recently, that motivation one… totally needs to be there

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yo • May 28, 2007 at 9:11 pm

I like Me vs. Future Me.

The most awesome thing about your blog is reviewing your entries from being a 370 plus person to “now.” It’s so interesting to read the archives and realize you have achieved this thing you wanted so badly.

So rarely does one get such a unique perspective on transformation like this. Honestly, I love weight loss blogs, but to be frank, most of them are either written by really bright funny people who never manage to lose any weight (ie, “hello i am fat” before the author’s surgery, which was simply “I went to the gym for three weeks and then ohmygodchocolateandredwine attack!!” over and over again), or, are written by someone vapid but successful-at-weight-loss who is like “HERE’S ME AND DEAR HUBBY AT SIX FLAGS, SUMMER 2003 – ME MINUS 180LBS!!! I DO WATP AND DRINK CRYSTAL LIGHT!!!111!” The latter gives absolutely no insight into their internal thoughts, struggles and the process of changing. The former gets depressing after a while.

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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 at JennetteFulda.com.

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 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.

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

"What distinguishes us one from another is our dreams and what we do to make them come about." - Joseph Epstein

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