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Just the facts ma’am

My hostel friend Adrienne, who writes Baby Toolkit, has tagged me with a meme. That’s my “hostel” friend, meaning I met her at the youth hostel during the BlogHer conference, not my “hostile” friend. I don’t think I could be friends with a hostile person whether I met them at a hostel or not. Here’s the rules:

Meme Rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts

2) List 8 random facts about yourself

3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them

4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

I’ve spilled my guts on this blog so much I sometimes feel like I need my own biohazard waste bin to clean it all up. But here are eight health and weight-loss related things about me that you probably did not already know.

1) I don’t care if artificial sweeteners kill me, I’m eating them anyway

I know some people don’t like to use aspartame, sucralose, saccharin or any of those sweet, sweet, chemicals that end in –ol (sorbitol, xylitol, malitol, etc.) because they are concerned about having three-headed babies or growing a sixth finger. I don’t care. I will be the guinea pig who drinks diet soda every day for 30 years so we can determine if all those modified molecules actually cause cancer. You’ve got to die of something. If it’s going to be death by artificial sweetener, so be it.

2) I watched TV constantly as a child, but now, not so much

I was a complete TV addict as a kid and through high school. In 4th grade we had to track our watching habits and I think I watched at least 30 hours a week, more than almost anyone else. I honestly didn’t think I could live without cable, but once money got tight in college and the credit card debt started piling up, I canceled my Comcast subscription and surprisingly I did not miss it that much. I still love TV. The best stuff on TV is better than it has ever been before. I carefully select the shows I watch, just like I am picky about what I eat. Of course, we also didn’t have the Internet back then, so maybe I’m just spending time reading blogs now that I would have previously spent watching The CW.

3) I was thrilled the day I learned I could order pizza online

I used to have severe phone anxiety. For several years in middle school I didn’t answer the phone at all. I hated a required journalism class in college because I had to call up strangers and ask them questions. I would get nervous and fret and stare at the phone for at least 20 minutes before getting up the nerve to make the call. Even now, I still prefer to e-mail strangers, but I can answer the phone and can call people without throwing up first. I always hated ordering pizza though because I was scared to call the pizza place and go through the ordering process. (Yes, I know this is bizarre and weird, but as I said yesterday we all have our own personal weirdness going on.) In college I was searching the Papa John’s website for the phone number of the closest store and discovered I could bypass the stressful “talking to strangers” process completely by ordering online, thus making it easier to eat an entire box of cheese sticks than ever before. It was awesome.

4) I licked the frosting off the cake

I wrote an entry last year about an episode of Desperate Housewives where a fat girl at a birthday party was accused of licking the frosting off of a birthday cake, even though a thin person had done it. I bemoaned how horrible it was that stereotypes like these persisted, that the fat people of the world were not necessarily out to lick the frosting off of your birthday cakes. Except, I totally did that. I don’t remember whose cake it was, either my own birthday cake or a cake at some family function, but I remember I once stuck my finger into the gooey puffs where the frosting met the cardboard bottom of the box and licked that buttercreamy goodness up. It was awesome.

5) I am not a weight-loss role model 100% of the time

The same week I so effortlessly avoided eating the apple pie at work I also went home and ate two bowls of oatmeal and a batch of sweet potato muffins. As I was pouring the water into that second bowl of cinnamon and sugar and dried oats, I thought to myself, “This is not behavior becoming of a weight-loss success story.” And I stuck it in the microwave anyway and it was really good. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyway. I don’t always mention this stuff because this isn’t a food diary and I don’t feel a need for “forgiveness” or “confession” that much anymore when I overeat. I ate too much. I shouldn’t have done that. Oh, well. I’ll try not to do that tomorrow. But I’m not perfect, people, and it feels a bit odd when people congratulate me for having such control over my eating these days when it’s only true maybe 95% of the time.

6) I don’t think Spanx are all that uncomfortable

Spanx are a body-contouring undergarment that help smooth out your body and make you look thinner. I always hear about how uncomfortable they are, like a modern-day corset, but when I wore a pair I felt fine. Maybe I needed a smaller size to completely cut off my circulation and turn my thighs blue?

7) I still have some photos of fatter versions of myself around the house and it doesn’t bother me

I do have some no-good, horrible, fat photos that never fail to make me cringe. These are not on display. However, I also have some fat photos where I am neatly groomed, well attired, smiling and with my family. These are on display. Ironically, I have far less shame for my morbidly obese self now that I am no longer morbidly obese. However, if we were ever to take a more recent family photo I would probably replace them since they would be more up-to-date and I do enjoy looking thin in my photos.

8) I am one of the Nursing Online Education Database’s Top 100 Health and Wellness Blogs

Okay, this is not so much a fact as a way to thank the NOED for linking to me and to point out a list of 100 health and wellness blogs. It’s an annotated list too, which means it must have taken forever to put together. I was recently putting together some footnotes and it was a horrible, draining, tedious process that made me glad I am no longer in school. However, the list is a good place to start if you are looking for more health resources online.

I’m not going to tag anyone because I am a daring rule-breaker, but if you want to run with these, go for it. And if you just want to run, period, go for that too! Just remember to stretch first.

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hopefulloser • October 5, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Holy crow, your #1 is exactly how I feel. So many people get annoyed by the fact that I am not even worried by the stuff and worse yet, that I love the way it taste. YAY A.S.!

Come to think of it, I forgot to tag people when I did this too.


Cassie • October 5, 2007 at 1:07 pm

I’m with you on #1 too. I can’t tell the difference, taste-wise, and all the stuff about how they’re zomg going to kill me just sounds like so much tinfoil-hatted paranoia to me. :p


Christian Faith • October 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

I love that you don’t tag people. I think that is just as bad as walking into someones home and telling them to share their life with you.

Also,being good 95% of the time is excellent in my opinion. That small 5% is a good amount to be “bad” and have an extra oatmeal or whatever. It was the being good 5% of the time and bad the other 95% that made you (and me!) fat. I so hope I can come around and thing more like you when it comes to eating. Everything is so black and white and it is my downfall in losing this weight.

By the way. I hate that sizeappeal banner on your blog. I feel like I am looking at porn whenever I comment. Her breast are daring you to look. Nothing wrong with cute tops but that middle photo looks like nothing is on her top!


adrienne • October 5, 2007 at 3:05 pm

What a great list! And I fully support your no-tagging approach. I’m very ambivalent on tagging myself. One of the benefits is you get to see interesting writers talk about grab bag topics, but it is like an unsuspecting job assignment, so I very much appreciate your good spirits in playing along.

#2- I too LOVE tv, but don’t have cable (we must be two of the only households in the state without it). I’ve always attributed my affection for tv to the fact it was completely restricted in my childhood home. You now make me wonder if it’s a genetic predisposition. (As I totally believe a LOVE for food is…)

#4- Me too; no regrets whatsoever.

#8- Congratulations! It sounds like a great resource. I’m geek enough to LOVE things with annotation.


Jenny • October 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm

I got nothing to add other than… I heart your hard work and your writing. I hope you have a great weekend.


Paul • October 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

> I always hated ordering pizza though because I was scared to call the pizza place and go through the ordering process.

I suffer from the same disorder, so you are definitely not alone here. It made me feel a bit less weird to read about your phone anxiety, particularly in regards to pizza ordering. We’re probably just both weird in reality though ;).

I’m very well practiced at subtly passing off necessary calls to strangers to anyone nearby, usually my wife, to whom I’m eternally grateful for putting up with my weirdness.


Lanae • October 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

I feel you on the phone anxiety! I hate the phone.


K • October 5, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Yup, with you on the phone. I am SO much more articulate in writing. I have totally conquered my phone phobia when I’m at work, but not at home; it’s as though I feel justified in bothering people when I’m speaking on behalf of a corporation or official body, but awkward when it’s just me, a member of the public.

I am actually more than somewhat reassured that you are not a weight-loss angel all the time, because you have lost the weight anyway, and that gives hope to the rest of us, no?


thisonetime • October 5, 2007 at 7:52 pm

I hate the phone. I feel you there. Online pizza ordering (hell, the entire automated phone system) is like heaven to me. I would never speak to people ever if I didn’t have to.


Cindy • October 6, 2007 at 7:51 am

Hi PQ,

This was an interesting post, and shows the very many different routes to this weight loss thing, but also some of the similarities…

Like the artificial sweetners, for example. I went from eating every kind of junk food known to man (in huge quantities—McD’s 7-8 times a week…!), to trying to live the “good” life of whole foods, fresh and organic (as much as possible and affordable). So I get a diet coke only if I am eating out and I don’t like the idea of water. Otherwise, at home it is water or milk, period. If I eat something sweet, it is real (organic) sugar, or maple syrup, or honey. I buy plain yogurt and sweeten it myself, thus controlling how much. The idea of eating fast food is revolting to me now, even though I still get the urge to do it every once in a while (luckily, I can usually talk myself out of it because I always regret it if I binge…it truly is disgusting!). And that leads me to the weight loss role model—Boy, do I fail that one! When I started this journey, I decided that cheating was going to be a huge part of my game plan, and it still is. In fact, I am cheating too much lately, which is a little scary (because then it doesn’t feel like cheating any more…). But that is another story… As far as being a role model for others—I am not interested (and don’t think it would work, either). I don’t mean that I am not interested in helping others. I just mean that I don’t think i can, really. This thing is a private battle, as far as I am concerned. I can’t have pressure (and positive feedback is pressure!) or i start to unravel. So I’ve had to do this and ignore what everyone else thinks, good or bad. It has been the only way for me. That’s why I don’t think I can be a role model for someone else… and if I started worrying about what it would mean to someone else if I ate this or that, I’d drive myself crazy in a flash. I want to be able to go to the Cheesecake Factory with a clear conscience!

The pictures of myself—that one hit a nerve. I hate pictures of myself, I always have. But now, it is down right freaky. I saw a picture of myself a while back and didn’t know it was me. When I realized it, I freaked and couldn’t look at it. I know…I need help. But it is what it is… Now, the pictures of me as I was before are somewhat comforting to me. I look as I expect to look. I look like me. The face I see in the mirror now scares me because I really don’t know her yet.

And the TV one…that was familiar, too. I almost never turn mine on any more—I mean for weeks and weeks at a time. The trouble is, it isn’t just TV. I have trouble reading for pleasure, too, and I used to read avidly. I just don’t have the attention span for that kind of relaxing any more. It is like I can’t let my guard down. If I relax, maybe I’ll fall back on old habits. Maybe it was all a dream and if I don’t hold on tight to this, I’ll lose it. Again, I know. I need help. Knowing it and being able to do anything about it are two different things…

So thanks for your list. It gave me many things to think about. Maybe I’ll try my own list…


Diana the Scale Junkie • October 6, 2007 at 9:57 am

I missed the frosting episode of Housewives. Yes I was once the fat girl who got accused of licking the frosting when really my skinny cousin was the guilty frosting licker. I still remember my punishment…NO CAKE! As I cried she taunted me with her cake and everyone laughed. I suppose this might help explain why I ate frosting from a can so many times! But on the artificial sweetener note, someone told me they now have cake mix and frosting made with Splenda…I probably didn’t need to know that…EVER!


BrightAngel • October 6, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I also go with your number 1.

I do not think I’d be 109 lbs today instead of 190 lbs without Splenda ….I could problably live without Sweet n Low or Equal, and I’ve traded most of that for Splenda.

Interestingly (to me) I thought about that issue recently. I said, what if?

What if there was HARD evidence that there was a 50% probability that Splenda caused heart disease or cancer.

Would that make me give it up?

My answer was no….I’d just take my chances with death.

Then I said, What about 50% probability it causes Alzehimers?

Then my answer was..In that case, THEN I’d give it up.

I Took care of my mother with that one, and I find it a far worse fate than early death.

Having a really healthy body in old age isn’t always that great.


ann • October 6, 2007 at 8:28 pm

OMG – loved this list! I was always a MAJOR frosting licker. I remember once, when I was a kid, right before my birthday I got into the treats and ate the frosting off of an entire box of cupcakes. Afterwards, there were these sad little nude cupcakes staring at me, and I knew I would never get away with it. So I secretly threw away the box, and pleaded innocence.

Licking the frosting off the mixers was definitely my favorite part of baking, growing up. (About now…no comment. Lol).


Kary • October 7, 2007 at 12:42 am

They will have to pry the Canfield’s Diet Cherry Chocolate Fudge soda from my faintly luminous six fingered hand. If they ever pull it off the market I can see myself in some dark alley making furtive deals with shady characters.


LisaC • October 8, 2007 at 1:42 am

I can empathise with the phone anxiety.

I have worked in call centres and still have phone anxiety (although I was very good a the job it was a very happy day when I quit). I come across to people as a very outgoing (even loud) person. I loooooovvvvvveeee email!


melinda • October 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm

I honestly thought I was the only person in the world who has phone anxiety. I even avoid calling family half the time. Nice to know I’m not as crazy as I thought!


home fitness • October 12, 2007 at 2:39 pm

I too get a lot of people telling me not to drink diet pop but I will probably drink them my whole life. The thing I do is limit the amount I drink and things workout for themselves.


Karen • May 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm

My mother eats TONS of artificial sweeteners and has for as long as I can remember (and I’m 44 so it’s been at least 38 or so years).

On the other hand, if I have one cup of Crystal Lite Pink Lemonade (I know, yum) I get vertigo. Suck.


Magz • September 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I totally agree w/ your artificial sweetener love. People are constantly telling me to stop eating it as they once heard or read about studies blah blah … I don’t care if I die from it, I’ll die from food boredom if I can’t eat it….

I can also relate to your phone fear. I avoid calling strangers at all costs. To get over it, I applied for a customer service position, and have to call people up all the time. I don’t mind it at work, however, I still avoid it at home. I get my boyfriend to call, or I’ll email before calling a stranger. It sux! I also hate answering the door for strangers too. I must sound like this anti-social basket case – no not quite yet.


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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