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Giving thanks for restraint

I was going to make some pumpkin bread to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I copied the recipe down by hand from my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook which is baptized in shortening splatters. I was looking forward to ridding myself of the four pounds of pumpkin puree in my freezer. Last week I even checked to make sure I had enough flour in the cupboard.

Then last night I looked at my dirty dishes in the sink and I didn’t want to wash them. And I thought about driving to the grocery on Thanksgiving Eve to buy shortening and shuddered. But mostly I knew that if I baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, I would eat half a loaf of pumpkin bread before Thursday morning. I would tell myself not to. I’d believe that I could restrain myself. But who am I kidding? If I bake a loaf of pumpkin bread I’m going to eat half of it in a day. That’s just who I am.

So I put away the recipe and stuffed the thawed pumpkin back in the freezer. I’m glad I made that choice. I’m glad I realized that even though I planned to bake pumpkin bread days in advance and borrowed my mother’s bread pans that it wasn’t too late to turn back.

I wish I could make pumpkin bread and not eat it, like making an ash tray out of clay even though I don’t smoke. It’s fun to create something. See! I made this! Isn’t it puh-rty? Doesn’t it smell good? And why aren’t you using my lopsided ash tray? I may not smoke, but I inhale pumpkin bread.

You have to know who you are. Then you have to deal with it. Sometimes this means you don’t get to make pumpkin bread. But I will eat what I want to today (in reasonable portions). Then I am going to run. A lot. Because that’s who I am.


Since it is the day to give thanks, thank you! Thanks to all my lovely readers! I love that you know what a cherimoya is even when I don’t. I also love writing so much that I would probably be rambling on this here blog even if no one was reading, but I do love that there are people out there reading. Have a happy holiday!

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Katharine • November 22, 2007 at 8:23 am

And we thank you, PQ, for inspiring us all and being funny while you do it.


Carol • November 22, 2007 at 8:55 am

This year I’m giving thanks for power – the power to make those decisions for my greater good, the power to say, “No, I won’t eat that now, maybe sometime, but not now!” After losing 70 lbs. (so far), I have found that empowerment tastes so much better than pumpkin bread! I am thankful too for the enjoyment and encouragement I get from this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, PastaQueen!


Rachel • November 22, 2007 at 9:30 am

Happy Thanksgiving PQ….I’m Thankful for you and your constant honesty. Its great that you keep it real.

It’s also great to know that I’m not the only one who is tempted by PUMPKIN….it is EVIL. Of course it’s not really….but pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins…well you see where i’m going….. ;)

Have a Great day and enjoy whatever you eat!


Gillian • November 22, 2007 at 10:08 am

Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it – hope you have a great Thanksgiving. But please, throw out the pumpkin! If you’ve defrosted something, and haven’t cooked it, it’s really not safe to freeze it again.

Actually, looking round on the internet it seems some people disagree with that – but I don’t think it’s wise.

Sorry to be boring! Just worried you’ll get food poisoning, and that’s not fun!


MB • November 22, 2007 at 10:42 am

Mmmmm … pumpkin bread. I don’t think I could trust myself to make it without eating it.

It is great to hear that you will be going for a run “because that is who you are.” You are such an inspiration – you are able to recognize your weakness for pumpkin and do what you need to do about it.

Happy (Pumpkin Bread Free) Thanksgiving!


psychsarah • November 22, 2007 at 10:47 am

Although I’m Canadian, and we were thankful last month, I’m inspired by you daily, so I wanted to say thank you for continuing to share your great insights and humour with all of us! Happy Thanksgiving!


Anne-Marie • November 22, 2007 at 10:52 am

Happy Thanksgiving. BTW, you can make some healthy low cal soup with all that pumpkin puree.


Israel • November 22, 2007 at 11:11 am

i’ve been struggling with this all month. I cant wait for today to be over. happy thanks giving.


Alexandra • November 22, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know exactly what you mean. My great weakness is baked goods and am always tempted to bake yet I know that if I do,I’ll end up over-eating them and feel horrible about myself. So, I just go down to a nice bakery and have a reasonable serving of whatever and all is good in the world.


Cindy • November 22, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Hi PQ,

I am giving thanks for the restraint I’ve had this past two years. I’ve lost my “mojo” and I worry every day that I will go so far over the edge that I will re-gain everything. Days like today set the tone for major binging, especially with all the social stresses that go along with holidays. I will not do well today (I’ve already overdone it and we haven’t had the main meal yet!). But, thanks to your post, I am remembering to give thanks for what I HAVE been able to do, which should help me stay focused on what is possible, if only I just try hard enough. Focus on the positive…and take a long, long walk! Thanks, PQ!


Jules • November 22, 2007 at 12:42 pm

I too am Canadian – so was thankful then and still thank you for your fabulous writing and inspiring progress! I just saw Supersize me on tv and was thinking about how you are one of the ones who didn’t opt for WLS (not that I’m saying it isn’t appropriate for some), and how yours is an amazing healthy, slow but steady journey. Thanks PQ!


TOWR • November 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! Congrats on exercising constraint.


Katieo • November 22, 2007 at 4:50 pm

What a great post. I’m just about to leave for Thanksgiving dinner at my Sis-in-laws and I am SO glad I popped in here to read this. I’ll be running too!


BrightAngel • November 22, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Happy Thanksgiving.

I frequently make pumpkin bread from low-cal recipes with whole wheat or other whole grain flour using mostly Splenda and very little fat. I have come across several of those recipes in various cookbooks. So far all of them have been delicious.

When the bread is done, even before it fully cools, I cut it into 16 pieces…they are quite small, but have around 100 to 120 calories each. I put one slice on a little saucer for me to eat when the job is done. Next I individualy wrap ALL of the other slices in some sort of baggie or plastic wrap, and put those individual slices in a plastic freezer bag, and into the freezer for later consumption.

I then eat my one slice. It works quite well. I make and store various breads and small low-sugar, low-fat muffins, as well as a brownie made with 3 kinds of chocolate and tofu…suprisingly good. That way I have healthy, low-cal treats in my freezer that taste better than any 100 calorie package I could purchase. I take them out, one at a time, on a day when I have calorie room. I don’t share them with anyone. They are mine.

One of the ways that keeps me from eating more than one at a time, is I have a Pact with myself that I am faithful to. If I get out of control with a food…meaning eat more than what I’ve allotted for myself…., all of the rest of that same recipe must be instantly trashed, destroyed, garbaged in such a manner that all the goodness is destroyed forever without the chance of any of it going into my mouth during the process.

It works.


Rah • November 23, 2007 at 11:09 am

PQ, add my voice to those who are thankful for your contributions to our journey, AND for your strength in the face of pumpkin bread.

Having grown up in the South, my struggle was with cornbread stuffing. Until this year, I have never had a Thanksgiving without it. I can this moment taste its savory sageness. But I went through the same sort of process and decide to forego it this year. What finally cinched it for me was the knowledge that, as days passed, if I mourned too deeply or felt I couldn’t draw another breath without it, I could actually make in on an ordinary day.

Have fun running, and while you are warming up, twist around and pat yourself on the back. :-)


Elizabeth • November 23, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I make a pumpkin quick bread using applesauce instead of the oil called for in the recipe – it turns out really well. And this year, I discovered (accidentally) that you could make the pumpkin bread without eggs and it wouldn’t affect the flavor, it just didn’t rise as much in the oven.


Mia • November 23, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Ha, that’s funny we had similar posts for Thanksgiving. While I don’t like pumpkin pie very much, I do like pumpkin bread quite a bit. Anyway, I totally understand your decision!


Lisa • November 23, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Part of the fun of going to Thanksgiving at someone else’s house is bringing the unhealthy food you love and leaving at the someone else’s house all but the one portion you eat during dinner-. You get to eat the food and you get to manage even the possibility of munching on it later, as well. It’s like bringing food to the office, except you don’t have to walk past Aunt Mindy’s kitchen every time you pee for the next week.


Melanie • November 25, 2007 at 8:28 am

I’ve been reading your blog archives for about a month now (I’m almost caught up!) and you’ve totally convinced me that SBD is the plan for me (I kinda like that rhyme!) I have put myself through a lot to lose weight and nothing has seemed as “right” as the SBD. I’m still reading the book and learning the guidelines, but ready to start phase 1. So I guess I just wanted to say thank you for keeping your archives up, because I’m learning from you. BTW, I commend you wholeheartedly for your sheer strength to reject the pumpkin temptation. I’m not sure I would have had the same resolve! High to you!


Melanie • November 25, 2007 at 8:31 am

That was meant to read “High-five to you!” :)


littlem • December 2, 2007 at 11:45 pm

Happy Holidays! I am late to congratulate you for your restraint this seasons because i was fighting the battle that SOMEONE ELSE had made pumpkin bread and left it in the house refrigerator.

I have been organic low-carbing (and doing Pilates! Yaaay! Although, ouuchh!!) with some good results. However, it is rarely a Midwestern (especially Indiana) holiday season without punkin bread, or punkin pie, or sweet potatoe pie, or some devilish variant.

I have therefore moved to New York and started making exotic pumpkin soup, experimenting with savory spice variants.

Awesome food, good rep for bringing good food to holiday parties, less guilt. Whatever works.

Rock on. So impressed with what you’re doing and have done.


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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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