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Weighing in on October

It’s that time of the month again. No, not that time of the month. It’s the time when I review how this whole exercising and eating healthy thing has been going for the last 31 days.


I thought my scale might be stuck this month because I kept weighing in at exactly 176.6 for seven days. Usually the scale messes with me by modulating up and down erratically. Obviously it knows I’m on to it and has decided to mess with me by being eerily consistent. I was at around 177 this morning, which is down about three pounds since last month. Geez, this calorie counting thing seems to be working. Who’d have thought? Besides anyone who’s ever dieted. Ever. Except for me.


I took it easy on my Achilles tendon for three weeks after I injured it by running five miles on Sundays like a crazy person. I used the elliptical machine in my apartment’s hot, sweaty, fitness room instead and felt really weird spending 22 minutes operating a machine that essentially does nothing. They should at least hook it up to a turbine so I can power the air conditioner while I ellipticize. I suppose I should get used to it though since winter is coming and even if I wanted to exercise outdoors in the cold it will be too dark before and after work to do that. I am back to running now, doing easy two-mile runs every other day. Heh! I just used the words “easy” and “two-mile runs” in a sentence together. When did I become the kind of person who could do that and actually mean it?

I tried a yoga class in my office building during lunch. It was…interesting. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t think it’s my thing. It did make me much more aware of how I carry my body. For the rest of the day I was like a puppet master yanking my own strings, reminding myself to sit up straight. The human body has a lot of muscles and I think 90% of my are set to slouch.

I also bought a new weight-training DVD (Cathe’s Muscle Max). I’ve been doing the same upper body weight routine (Cathe’s Pyramid Upper & Pyramid Lower Body) for seven months now. That’s bad of me. Your muscles get used to the routine and are not challenged like they are when you switch your routine frequently. I may exercise six days a week, but I am still a lazy person at heart and I didn’t want to learn a new routine. However, I discovered I can do half-assed push-ups now! Sure, I’m using my knees and I only go halfway down, but it beats my old technique of reenacting that bridge collapse in Minnesota. I also learned that if you haven’t been doing any lower body workouts DO NOT immediately attempt 24 lunges and squats. Or you can if you own a walking cane and don’t live on the second floor. I’ve been shuffling around like an 80-year-old woman because I can barely walk up and down the stairs. My quadriceps are shredded like mozzarella cheese.


I’ve also been experimenting with cheat meals this month. I decided my Hallmark visit was one big cheat day full of cookies and lemon squares and M&Ms. Strangely, I was so distracted by everything I did that day that I hardly thought about food at all even though my eating was on a different schedule. It was nice not thinking about meal planning since I think about it so much the rest of the time.

Then I followed it up with a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard cake on my birthday last Saturday.

I ate half this cake. In less than 24 hours. And I don’t regret it. But it was strange falling asleep at 10:00 after the sugar crash.

The odd thing about being at a weight in between my goal (160) and a weight where I feel comfortable (180) is that when I’m given the choice between losing a pound this week or eating half a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard cake, some times I’m going to go with the Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard cake. I have absolutely no guilt about it at all, which in many ways is far more fabulous than how unbelievably delicious that blend of soft serve vanilla ice cream, crisp chocolate wafers, and creamy white filling tasted. Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing is more fabulous than an Oreo Blizzard cake. I recently wrote that even if ice cream didn’t make you fat I’d still eat healthy most of the time. I now think that’s total bullshit because if I could get away with eating this all the time, I totally would. OhMyGodItWasSoGoodAndI’dTotallyDoItAgain!

Looking at that birthday photo and at the photos from my Hallmark trip, I am still amazed at how thin I look. And eating half an ice cream cake did not make 196 pounds instantly reappear. 196 ice cream cakes would though, so now I’m going to figure out how to cook this pumpkin I bought. If I get to use my scary, big, slasher knife it should be more fun than trick-or-treating.

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Zanitta • November 2, 2007 at 8:50 am

Happy (belated) Birthday! That cake looks amazing. I’m so glad I’ve lived in countries where Dairy Queen wasn;t an option, else I’d be having far more trouble than usual. You can put the pumpkin in a tray of hot water and bake it, though personally I like to chop it up and make a stew with carrots, onions, lentils, canned tomatoes and lots of different spices.


Katey B • November 2, 2007 at 9:04 am

Wow. You really are half of you! Impressive at both:) Always a champion:)


Mymsie • November 2, 2007 at 9:20 am

You look fantastic!


Nina • November 2, 2007 at 9:27 am

Ohhh cake.. how I miss you…


AKS • November 2, 2007 at 10:05 am

You’ll be talking about easy 5-mile runs soon.

Don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds and toast them!


diana the scale junkie • November 2, 2007 at 10:06 am

You’ve found the magical balance between life and health! WTG! You look fantastic!


kar_kar • November 2, 2007 at 10:20 am

Happy belated birthday, and congratulations on losing more weight! You look fantastic!

I wanted to say please don’t give up on yoga until you actually try it at a yoga studio. It’s a completely different experience than yoga in an office building or at a gym.


hanlie • November 2, 2007 at 10:55 am

You look fabulous, as does the cake! Happy birthday! I wish you a wonderful year, being thin, healthy, fit and published! What more could a girl ask for?


Laura • November 2, 2007 at 12:09 pm

You do look great and happy birthday! It is a very lovely thing to realize that a little (or big) treat isn’t going to put all the weight back on. Frankly, I think it does a body good to freak it out once in a while with a big ole meal of junk. I know I’ve had decent losses after having an occasional really bad eating weekend. It’s like my body says, “Ah, okay, she’s not starving. Look! It’s cake and ice cream. All is right with the world.”


Jen • November 2, 2007 at 12:39 pm


Secondly, thank you thank you for writing a post about how you can lose weight and still enjoy things like birthday cake- I am SO TIRED of all the blog posts this week “confessing” that they ate ONE fun-sized candy bar. Puh-lease! I don’t ever want to be at a weight in which I can not have some candy for Halloween (or a some cake for my birthday). So thank you for demonstrating that it is all about moderation and that there doesn’t have to be guilt. Life is too short for that nonsense.

You look fabulous- hope this year is one of your best yet!


Jenny • November 2, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Sometimes, you just gotta go for the cake and have faith that your body will understand.


Holly • November 2, 2007 at 1:45 pm

You are awesome! The perfect picture of balanced living and listening to your body!

Happy Beautiful birthday.


spacedcowgirl • November 2, 2007 at 1:51 pm

As always I feel compelled to disclaim this in that I am one of the most screwed-up eaters around and by no means do I have weight loss “figured out” (I have lost 85 lbs. on Weight Watchers but am still on the way down, or perhaps just about done, we’ll see).

That being said, I decided back at the start that I would have 5 days per year (planned in advance) where I wouldn’t track my points at all. Don’t get me wrong, there are many, many other days where I go over my points but the way I’m doing it right now, I still have to write everything down on those days so I know the total damage. So on Easter, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve I eat whatever I want. I still try not to stuff myself to the point of being uncomfortable (no eating a huge slice of pie just to eat it even though I am already full and don’t even really want it… I still want to care for myself on the “free” days and not hurt myself by making myself overstuffed or sick), but I don’t total the points up in my head and generally don’t worry. It’s not special occasions that got me where I was anyway. I mean, if every day becomes a special occasion then that’s different. But for myself I see no reason for a moment’s guilt or concern over having cake on your birthday or a nice big scoop of gravy on Thanksgiving. Well, or any other day either but it makes me particularly sad when people beat themselves up over what they eat on special-occasion celebrations.

I don’t mention this for PQ’s “benefit” because clearly she has a long-term strategy and way of eating that works great for her. But I thought maybe there are others like me who do something similar.


Michelle • November 2, 2007 at 2:12 pm

You look so good!! I know you “hear” this all the time, but your blog is awesome. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there for all to read. (o;


Les~ • November 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Belated birthday greetings! I had a small piece of dark chocolate orange creme cake at our Halloween potluck luncheon here at the office. Usually my willpower will hold up pretty good — but dark chocolate and orange together are my FAVORITE flavors!!

Your b-day cooked looked awesome too!


v'ron • November 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm

THis discussion is exactly what I need to learn to do better: enjoy, guilt free a treat, but realize that a treat is just that. Not a daily thing, not a lifestyle, but a special exception to celebrate a special time and to have fun with it.

I think that’s the problem with us Americans in general. We don’t know when to stop — and that goes for either direction, fit OR fat.


Mia • November 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm

It’s ok to eat cake and other fattening foods sometimes, especially on special days like your birthday. I’m especially impressed that you don’t feel guilty afterwards. I need to work on that!

Happy Birthday, PQ!


kathyj333 • November 2, 2007 at 3:15 pm

You always make me laugh.


dietgirl • November 2, 2007 at 3:17 pm

rock n roll… sounds like a great month all round :) and that CAKE, i could just dive into the screen with my mouth wide open!


MB • November 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm


YUMMMM … that cake looks so good. I love ice cream cake.

Congrats on the loss. I hope your legs feel better soon.

P.S. My apologies to Jen for being one of those people who was posting about (not) eating those fun-sized Halloween candies. I know I could allow myself to eat one but I know I wouldn’t stop at just one. It is better for me (right now) to steer clear of them until I learn to control my behavior.


Kyle • November 2, 2007 at 7:44 pm

You are REALLY pretty! Forgive me for not noticing before, I guess I’m used to focusing on how thin you look and not what a great smile you have.

“it beats my old technique of reenacting that bridge collapse in Minnesota.”

Btw, I’m still chuckling about that line. Lines like that are the reason I keep coming back for more PQ!


Zentient • November 2, 2007 at 8:28 pm

One of the hallmarks of your success is your ability to cut through black and white thinking to a wisdom that will continue to serve you well. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!


Kalyn • November 2, 2007 at 10:32 pm

You look great, and happy birthday. I think your attitude towards diet “cheating” is a very healthy one. My readers would probably be shocked if they knew how often I cheat, but the point is, I always go back to my South Beach way of eating.

You are inspiring me because I’ve been seriously delinquent about exercising lately and it’s starting to show. (Damn day job, no time for anything!)


jae • November 2, 2007 at 11:31 pm

Happy belated Birthday! That cake looks yummy, I’m glad you ate your half without that nasty guilt. You look tinier and tinier every time you post a pic!! :) ~j


ieatpaintchips72 • November 3, 2007 at 4:00 am

Hi. I found this web site that helps people count calories and chart their exercise. It’s called http://www.thedailyplate.com. It’s been going really well for me since I started 2 weeks ago. I know a lot of people who are having weight issues read your sight. Do you think you could let people know about? Thanks. Have a good day.



Cindy • November 3, 2007 at 6:44 am

Hi PQ,

Happy Birthday! I fully embrace the cheating mentality—it is what has made this weight loss thing possible. Lately, however, I have been cheating too much, so it doesn’t feel like cheating, but the way to be (and that is dangerous for me!). I have to get back to seeing cheats as cheats—and balancing when they can happen. Thanks for keeping the conversation going… and thanks for the laughs along the way! Bridge collapse…you crack me up!


lauren • November 3, 2007 at 7:28 am

kind of wish I’d read your blog before I went to the gym and did 24 squats. oh well, we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Happy belated birthday.


Alex • November 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm

I have spent the last week reading your blog from start to finish. I posted in my blog today and linked it to yours. I am very motivated by your journey. I picked up the South Beach book at the library last week and have read it cover to cover. I own several of the other books your mention and all of Dana Carpentars cookbooks…I just need to stop thinking and reading so much and DOING more about my weight. Your a very smart, funny, beautiful person and I enjoyed your writing very much!


Lisa • November 3, 2007 at 3:41 pm

“I suppose I should get used to it though since winter is coming and even if I wanted to exercise outdoors in the cold it will be too dark before and after work to do that.”

Reflective gear. Lights. Things that blink. I’d suggest starting with a reflective vest and maybe something blinky as well if your local drivers don’t expect pedestrians/runners.

Try roadrunnersports.com or your local gear shop.

Happy birthday!

PQ – I was thinking more about being attacked in the night, but thanks for the suggestions!


psychsarah • November 3, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Happy birthday to you!! Congrats on being in such a great place with the food thing. As always, you’re an inspiration to me. I’m just getting back on track after a serious backslide for the past few months (and 15 pounds to show for it-doh!) I hope I can feel as you good as you do by the time my birthday rolls around in April-it’s the big 30, and I would like to feel the healthiest of my life by that point. Birthdays are such a great time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and you certainly have accomplished alot!


Lora • November 4, 2007 at 6:21 am

Happy Birthday! Now you know you can have your cake and eat it too!

With me, the weekends are the worst. Even though I do go to the gym on Sundays, it doesn’t make up for the fact I binged on Saturday night.

However, I think about what I used to eat a year ago and I cringe. I think about what I used to weigh and I cringe. I went through my winter and summer clothes yesterday afternoon and got rid of 2/3 of them because they were too big and then I smiled and ordered a pizza.


Mindy • November 4, 2007 at 6:46 am

You look fantastic Pasta Queen!

My birthday was last Saturday too! I really haven’t known anyone who shared my birthday!

I enjoy reading your blog so much!


Amanda • November 4, 2007 at 2:58 pm

I’ve also done the 24 lunges and squats out of the clear blue sky thing. It was really embarrassing the next day at work when everyone kept asking me what was wrong with me. Of course, I should have been smart enough to figure out I shouldn’t have worn heels.

Happy Belated Birthday


myskinnyfiles • November 4, 2007 at 8:26 pm

You’re right….DQ icecream cakes are absolutely the best. :-)

Happy belated birthday! :-)


Elastic Waist • November 5, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Congrats on your major fitness levels (easy 2 milers!) despite an injury. Did you read Weet’s post about do-gooder exercise?


Maria • November 5, 2007 at 10:22 pm

I have you bookmarked with the note “LITS” .. are you a member of LITS? I decided to come and visit and WoW. You say all the stuff I’m not brave enough to say yet I’m blog. Like eating half of the cake.

I have lost 10 kilograms since June..and I did it without exercise and I had cheat meals. I lost weight because I was doing the right thing most of the time.

But I’m off track.. I’ve been dancing around 10kg since August..and I need to propel myself forward. I love my weekly WW meetings but I feel like I’m letting the team down now..as I ‘hover’ each week.. gain, lose, gain, lose..gain, gain, lose, lose.

I KNOW I can do this. I’m a screwed up eater too and I know I can still lose weight being a screwed up eater.. with the goal to make small real changes.. and take care of myself. But one thing at a time!

Your blog is fantastic.

PQ – I don’t know what LITS is, so I’m probably not a member. Glad you like the blog though!


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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.

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