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What’s for lunch?

Last week I had cookie cake for lunch. I didn’t plan on having cookie cake for lunch, but when I walked into the office kitchen and saw the chocolate chip cookie covered in icing and sprinkled with mini M&M’s I thought, “I’m having cookie cake for lunch!” And so it was. I’m glad soup doesn’t have feelings or else my can of savory pot roast might have felt jilted.

I ate a smidge more than I would have if I was being watched, but I stopped before it was all gone and left plenty of sugar for my co-workers. Then I calculated how many calories I’d eaten and was glad I’d bought that bag of salad at the grocery store this week. It was barely past noon and I‘d already eaten all of lunch and half of dinner.

Later on there was carrot cake and fruit offered at a team meeting, but I turned it down and it wasn’t even a big deal. I didn’t even think about the cookie cake for the rest of the day, except to think how odd it was that I wasn’t even thinking about the cookie cake. Then I went home, ate my salad and some fruit and snacked on some celery and came in at my calorie goal for the day. It was bizarre because it was one of the rare cases when I was able to transpose theory to reality. In theory I can eat a treat if I back off the food for the rest of the day. In reality I usually get hungry later and eat more than I’d ever planned to. For some reason it worked out this time. Don’t know why, but it was nifty keen and I hope to do it again. I even lost weight this that week.

If someone had seen me eat all those cookies and lick the frosting off my fingertips, I probably would have been labeled as one of those bitches who can eat whatever the hell they want and still be thin. People who eat cookies for lunch don’t usually weigh under 200 pounds. Which makes me wonder, could it be that those bitches who eat whatever they want aren’t all blessed with miracle thin genes? Do they pay for their ice cream sundaes and Hershey bars by cutting back when people aren’t watching them eat? It’s possible. I just never thought I’d be one of them.

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barbara • December 10, 2007 at 7:40 am

Hi PQ,

This isn’t meant to be snarky, just a request for factual clarification: you say in this post that you lost weight this week, but unless I’m reading and/or remembering incorrectly, wasn’t this week’s weight (183, it says) higher than last week’s (180, I think)? I am more number-oriented than usual this time of year, given the challenges of the holidays. I guess I take some solace in the fact that I’m not the only one who goes up a bit between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Thanks.


PastaQueen • December 10, 2007 at 7:55 am

Oops. I wrote this about two weeks ago when I was down to 177 and it got pushed back because other entries came up. Anyway, you’re right, I did gain weight this week, but I didn’t the week I ate cookies. Go figure.


Meagan • December 10, 2007 at 9:21 am

Yum cookie cake.

Good on you for adjusting your eating to reflect your treat. That’s something I still don’t quite have the hang of yet.


Kelly • December 10, 2007 at 9:45 am

Yes, it’s true! We do pay for our indulgences. I’m a bona fide “skinny bitch” at a lean, toned 5’3″ and 108 lbs. But it’s not an accident that I’m thin and fit. I tell people that 90% of the time, I eat 100% “perfect” food–veggies, whole grains, lean proteins. And 10% of the time, I indulge a little. I’ve been known to pour more than a few chocolate chips straight from the bag into my mouth. Here and there I have ice cream for lunch. But I’m always in the weight room, always running and swimming, and mostly eating right. Try it everyone! It works!


chanda • December 10, 2007 at 9:45 am

That’s the paradigm shift Im hoping for. Right now, if I at the cookie cake for lunch ( and yes, I probably would), it would send me into a downward spiral that would end in a food coma around somewhere around midnight. Im incredibly impressed at the life changes you’ve made. I know they were hard won.


Poppy • December 10, 2007 at 9:46 am

You know, I’ve never even heard of a cookie cake. And somehow, I’m glad. ;)


Charity • December 10, 2007 at 10:25 am

After watching my normal-weight husband eat, I think that most healthy thinner people have a better internal gauge of “I’ve eaten enough, I will stop now” than I did. He’ll still treat himself, but he cuts back for a couple days or exercises more. Also when he does eat a lot, he seems to be fuller longer than I am. If he goes out and has a big lunch, he’ll either not have any dinner or just have something light. I’m still working on listening to my inner full meter.


Emily • December 10, 2007 at 10:36 am

I usually fail at the theory that I can over-indulge, but just eat less later, too. Good job!

I don’t know a single person that can eat what they want and not gain weight. (but most everyone I know is past the age of 25, too, and that does make a big difference) Most people I used to think could were like you said, would have the big mac and fries, but that would be all they ate all day.


EVA • December 10, 2007 at 10:46 am

i think my “inner full meter” is broken….or maybe they forgot to put in in the box…..i dont think i’ve ever had one :-( but i must say that there are people (even over 25) who can eat whatever and whenever they want and NOT BE FAT OR GAIN WEIGHT. my normal weight husband who does not work out is some how still normal weight and pretty muscular (for some one who does not lift weights) and i can testify that he eats a LOT. he can eat wendy’s everyday for lunch, eat clif bars like they are going out of style and have at least one hershey’s chocolate bar a day and a beer with a “sensible” dinner (and it’s only sensible because im the one that cooks it) and he still does not gain weight. and when we go to a restaurant it’s 2 cocktails, an appetizer, a full dinner and dessert….ooops…did this post turn into an angry rant…..good thing he’s such a sweetheart…or i might really hate him!


psychsarah • December 10, 2007 at 11:31 am

It’s odd when these moments happen eh? Last year around this time I was doing a ton of baking for gifts, and I had licked my fingers (just to taste the batter and make sure it was okay, of course!) so much that I actually forgot to eat dinner. This was truly a first in my life. I just got busy and had eaten enough (albeit not the most nutritious menu of various cookie doughs) that I didn’t feel hungry. It felt like a monumental victory in my battle to only eat when I am hungry! Good for you for not only putting the theory into practice, but also having the wherewithal to reflect on it!


Lynn • December 10, 2007 at 11:44 am

Yes, it’s true that those skinny bitches cut back on food when others aren’t looking. My friends from high school would have high-calorie sodas and treats from the vending machines for lunch (always sugary stuff) but they usually skipped breakfast and didn’t eat enough of anything else.

I was always the opposite; I ate foods that had more nutritional value but ate way too much of them. It seems like a lot of people I know who have a big sugartooth are actually not the fat ones. It’s us who love regular food too much.


MaryK • December 10, 2007 at 12:24 pm

PQ, I find it interesting that you seem to be able to eat just “some” sugary stuff, and then stop. For me, the sugary stuff is just plain addicting, and the more I eat the more I want. Do you have any issues like that?

PQ – Oh yeah. If it’s in the house, I usually eat it all pretty quickly. However, when I’m out in the world, I can eat a cookie or a Hershey’s kiss and walk away and I’m fine.


fancypance • December 10, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Hey there…I’m a new reader, stumbling here by way of a mutual facebook group.

Anyway, I’m enjoying the read so far. Especially when you say bitches. And ass, musn’t forget ass. :)


Lora Ramirez • December 10, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Maybe you’re depriving yourself and don’t even realize it? A piece of cake or a cookie once in a blue moon won’t hurt you. I just wouldn’t eat it for lunch! I’d rather have the savory pot roast instead! :)


n.b. • December 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm

A point in the comments stands out for me…I agree that it seems like in general people who crave sweet things are not as heavy as people who crave salty/fatty/savory things. Just a very non-scientific observation. Have there been any studies?


sheddingpounds • December 10, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Some people can eat whatever they want, I’ve witnessed such feats but I believe it’s rare. Anyway, great job in not over doing it.


Cathy • December 10, 2007 at 7:40 pm

I wouldn’t know from personal experience, but my daughter is one of those people that everyone thinks can eat whatever she wants and be thin. But the reality is, she is ever mindful of what she eats, she limits herself and does “trade offs”…while it appears she eat lots of food, the reality is that she doesn’t…and she never finishes food unless it really tastes good…unlike me who keeps eating yukky food, thinking it might taste better with each bite and finally thinking, why did I even eat that?


Sharon • December 10, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Do they pay for their ice cream sundaes and Hershey bars by cutting back when people aren’t watching them eat? I

Why “pay for”? Why not “balance out”?

Could be I read too much into your choice of words, but I think there’s an important step between between seeing punishment (“pay for”) and seeing simple math (X calories a day, Y calories went to the cake, Z calories remain).

PQ – “Pay for” as in purchase, like “I paid for the Xbox by saving 10 dollars a day.” You “buy” a high-calorie meal by “saving up” by eating lower calorie meals later. Not the punitive meaning of “pay.”


Weight Loss Tip • December 11, 2007 at 1:36 am

The skinny ones do cut back! They also stop eating when they’re hungry, don’t take seconds, watch portions, and all that stuff too. The key is to get to the point where you can treat yourself to cookie cake and stop. That’s the hard part!


Jenny • December 11, 2007 at 1:51 am



Jane • December 11, 2007 at 5:18 am

it is a sad truth that my friends who say they can eat what they want and never exercise but are still thin are those who are never still, walk everywhere, get “too busy to eat”, have small appetites, and stop at one bite of a cookie because they are “not hungry”. Calories in versus calories out, everytime… its just that it is easier for some people to do it without thinking about it


K • December 11, 2007 at 10:20 am

It’s true. The people who can eat whatever they want are, on the whole, the ones who only “want” sometimes.

My husband is naturally slender and I’m not, and our hunger systems do not work even remotely the same way. I have to have food at fairly regular intervals, or I’m sluggish and trail behind him looking pathetic.

We’re not talking constant refuelling or anything – but I can’t really decide “We’re too busy to get lunch, I’ll just wait until dinner.” He can. And if we had had a snack midmorning, he wouldn’t want lunch, but I would.

This is when he’s healthy. Recently, he’s been on antidepressants and they have messed up his hunger cues. Now he gets cravings for snacks between meals, and finds it really hard to fight off. (And he’s worried about gaining weight.)

I love him, so I don’t exactly feel schadenfreude, but… let’s just say that I’m ever more convinced that one’s hunger patterns have less to do with self-control than biochemistry, which is then reinforced by habit.


emily • December 11, 2007 at 11:18 am

Some thin people definitely balance the cookie-lunches with salad-lunches, but some don’t. my bestest friend in the whole world is 5’8″ and 118 pounds, and she eats whatever she wants. sometimes, whatever she wants is an ENORMOUS plate of pasta with alfredo sauce (think, 1200+ calories, plus dessert).

on the other hand, she does.not.eat. when she is not hungry, and doesn’t really snack. so it does balance out – but it’s not conscious for her, it’s just what her body naturally does (lucky girl!)

of course, some of the super-thin people you see eating GIANT amounts in public are eating disordered people who are binging. at my most underweight, i binged a couple times in public and got “omg i wish i could eat like that and be as skinny as you!” comments, which were AWFUL.


debbie • December 11, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I get what you’re saying, I really do. All that said, I have a weird, disturbing feeling about all of your food posts and cheats as of late. It feels like self-sabotage to me. I know this is not kind or welcome to point out, but I have been feeling it for several months and just had to say something. You’ve done so great, amazing really. Keep it up!

PQ – Actually, I wrote about self-sabotage back in October. You don’t read every single word I’ve ever typed?


jae • December 11, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Ah-hem, anyways, thanks PQ for entries like these that show that one CAN overcome the whole “Oh no, I blew my day! Now I’ll eat binge until I’m sick then I’ve blown my whole week, so now I’m just a failer, bla bla bla…” That I what I’m trying to learn right now, that one meal doesn’t make you or break you it’s the whole picture that makes the difference. Keep up the good work, PQ. ~j


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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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