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Weight: 185 – Pounds left to lose: 25

There is a 60% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in Louisville today and thus a 100% chance of me not going to the Derby. I’ll save the mint juleps for a dryer year. I wouldn’t want to upstage the Queen anyway.

I cornered my scale in the front closet this week and gave it a little talking to. “You know Mr. Scale, I don’t appreciate your attitude lately. If you want a raise, stop raising the numbers on your shiny face when I weigh-in. Otherwise those AA batteries would be better used running my remote control. Mmm kay?” The intimidation seems to have worked since I’m back down a pound.

When I’m scared I bully my electronic equipment. I was scared because on one Saturday I weighed in at 182 and nine days later I was at 187. Five pounds in nine days is a cruel and unusual weight gain, which is banned by the Constitution, right? I could sue my ass for a civil rights violation if necessary. I know I did not gain five pounds of fat, but something wonky was going on. There was no good explanation either. No birthday bashes where I ate a tray of cupcakes. No food was missing from the fridge, so I wasn’t sleep-eating. I was just gain, gain, gaining and it was not fun.

I’ve been lucky enough not to have any significant gains during the past two and a quarter years of weight loss. This was my first real confrontation with the possibility that I could gain back weight. So, like the level-headed, sensible woman I am – I had a 20 second freak-out. “Oh my God! My body has revolted! Even if I eat only baby spinach salads and cottage cheese and run 50 miles everyday I’m going to gain back a bazillion pounds! I am a freak of nature who has defied the law of physics that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. I can now create energy out of anti-matter from another dimension and I’m storing it as fat. When I die they will use my cellular material to build a perpetual energy machine, which will be good for the world, but bad for me because I will die fatter than I ever was before! Aaah! Aaah! Aaah!…..Aaaaaah!”

Fear made me temporarily kooky. But fear is also a good thing. Fear means the bad thing hasn’t happened yet. If you’re scared of falling off the cliff it means you haven’t fallen off the cliff yet. After the first surge of adrenaline passed through my system, the more informed parts of my brain overrode the primitive reptile part of my brain to tell me, “You are not so special that you can defy physics. You cannot fly. You cannot make chocolate out of your leg hair. You cannot create fat out of nothing. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. If you adjust your eating and exercise, you can knock off these last pounds. You are not doomed to gain back weight unless you decide to.” And that was that. I decided I am not going to gain back the weight. Choice made.

So that was a relief. Good to know I’m not going to get fat again. I may not always understand everything my body does, but I do control what I feed it and how much I move it around. As long as I control those two things, I can lose weight if I want to badly enough and I’m willing to live the lifestyle it requires, no matter what my metabolism or genes say. Hell, Erin just found out she really does have a thyroid problem, just like most fat girls secretly wish for, and she lost the weight anyway. Screw destiny and fatalism and refined carbohydrates too. Onward and downward! Grrrr!

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Cindy • May 5, 2007 at 11:32 am

Thank you for this post!!! This was just what I needed to hear and be reminded of. I live in fear of regaining—I don’t think i’d survive. Looking at it your way helps. “Fear is good—it means the bad thing hasn’t happened yet.” Wow! That changes everything, really. And the idea that I CAN control whether I regain or not…hmmm… I sometimes think that the last year and a half’s success at losing is due to magic pixie dust. I don’t know WHY it has worked this time and never before. But maybe I can keep this up for the rest of my life. I have those little freak-outs, too (but mine are more frequent and last longer than 20 seconds!). It was nice to hear that you, the QUEEN, also have moments of angst. It helps the rest of us not feel like such “losers.” Instead, we are LOSERS!!! The good kind… Thanks, PastaQueen! You are the greatest…



PastaQueen • May 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Cindy – I’ve been reading a book called “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence” by Gavin De Becker. I can’t remember if the fear quote is actually from the book, but my thinking about fear has definitley been shaped by it. The book has some interesting ideas about fear and intuition and listening to yourself. They don’t really have anything directly to do with weight loss, but these days I can always find a way to hook anything to weight loss :)


Kelli • May 5, 2007 at 1:00 pm

“You cannot make chocolate out of your leg hair.”

I want that to be my superhero power.



d • May 5, 2007 at 1:03 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head, PQ. GFreat post.

Everyone I know who’s kept off significant weight had “the gift of fear.”

You have to be hypervigilant about weight gain, and remember that it’s you who’s in control of your own body.

Acknowledging the reality – that one has had a serious weight problem in his or her life at one points, and that it’s a challenge to prevent relapse – is the route to success.


Sarah • May 5, 2007 at 3:18 pm

You crack me up! I have those same fears every once in a while after a particularly bad day of eating. When I step on the scale for my weigh-in I’m almost certain it’s going to show 301 again (my very start weight)even though I know one day really isn’t going to pack back on that much weight.

Crazy isn’t it?


Chris H • May 5, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Here here and too bloody right! I wish I’d gotten scared 15 kilos ago, must have over ridden those nasty feelings somehow! Back on track though, and determined to get all the balances right for ever… and live my life slim and healthy. I can’t wait till you get to goal!!! You will have earned it big time chick. Glad you probably won’t be upstaging the Queen … poor dear doesn’t need ANY competition.


Kimberly • May 5, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Chocolate out of leg hair. Good grief.

You have officially made a fan out of me. Would having a blog stalker help at all? ‘Cause I’m there for you if you could use one. =P

Love the issues you addressed in this post, because I think most of us, if not all, face them.


also • May 5, 2007 at 9:00 pm

also, i think positive reinforcement is really important. like, you have to do and experience the things that your new thinness lets you experience.

Even simple things, like walking through a mall or bookstore, or meeting a friend for coffee, takes on new joy with a new body on your hands.

While fear is useful, you don’t want to associate your body and body image and stuff with anxiety and dread and stress.

You’re only 26 once. And now you’re pretty much thin. Enjoy it.


starbird • May 5, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Tried to comment on Erin’s blog, but couldn’t figure out how. I do want to address her hypothyroid condition. I had one, too. I took synthetic thyroid medicine. Bad news.

My first effort to control it on my own worked: iodine! That’s it. First I painted my inner arm with tincture of iodine, but I found it hard to calibrate and often got jittery. It did cure my depression and tiredness, however. My weight wasn’t bad at that time — two kids in elementary school and myself in college took care of that!

Later, I found kelp tablets. The little ones work really well, because you can increase or decrease until you get the right amount of energy. If I forget to replace my kelp tablets I begin to slow down in about three days, but don’t remember I’ve stopped taking them. I just wonder why I feel depressed, until I suddenly DO remember.

Anyway, I hope Erin and other hypothyroid people read this and try it before they go on medicine that could mess them up. I have a girl friend who never listens to me and boy, is she messed up now.

You can always move to the medicine if the kelp tablets don’t work. Look for results in about a week or two. I’ve never gotten jittery on kelp tablets, and still consume the same amount of coffee. Oh, also, too much coffee can cause breast pain and kelp tablets can relieve that pain as well. I haven’t tried actually eating kelp, but that might work, too.

Sorry for the long post – this was really important for my well-being and I want to share it.


Heather • May 6, 2007 at 5:17 am

Water, I bet!

I don’t pay too much attention to the little kooks of my scale because I regularly gain and lost 5 lb with no association to anything… and once a month, I’m 8 lb heavier according to the scale. I have a body fat scale, and know when it’s something kooky not to be paid any attention to because my body weight and water is listed as higher even as my body fat is listed as lower. I also weigh myself every day so I can average and not be fooled by a random increase.


BrightAngel • May 6, 2007 at 10:37 am

Great Comments. I frequently go through the same mental process…however, not as creatively.

At similiar times I strongly suspect the “rules of physics” must be theoretical..like another “Big Bang” theory….with results based on inadequate research. I hadn’t considered the possibility that the “rules of physics” are right, but I am a special case who can create energy from anti-matter and store it as fat.

Good one.


PJ • May 6, 2007 at 11:08 am

Mmmm, chocolate. Oh, that wasn’t the point, was it? I guess it’s good to be shaken up a little bit, right? Then your scale, after it’s threatening, can get back to the work of showing decreasing numbers. You honestly crack me up, and I’m so grateful for your honesty. Keep it up!


Cindy • May 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm

This is just what I needed to hear. I have had the five pound scale episode in the past week or so, and I had the same reaction. I like what you wrote about fear. And physics. I am doing what I need to do. And the scale is going back down. Thanks!!!!


Lose Weight With Me • May 6, 2007 at 8:51 pm

I love the point you make about fear, PQ. Another great post.



Erin • May 7, 2007 at 5:24 pm

PQ, I heart you. You kick ass.

And starbird, thank you for your two-cents re: my condition. I’m sticking with what my doctor recommends for me but I’ll make sure to make a note of what you’ve said.


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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