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New year, new goals, and a FREE gym pass!

I don’t have anything against New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t usually make them for the same reason I don’t celebrate “Love Your Body Day.” Every day should be “Love Your Body Day” and every day is a new year. Every day is the fulcrum of your life story. However, I do need to rededicate myself to this whole health and fitness game and since my timing coincides with the start of a new year, I guess we can call this a New Year’s resolution. It worked out rather well three years ago, didn’t it?

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m slipping out of my groove and I know that I need to do something about it now or regain 50 pounds. The former sounds much more appealing than the latter. I have a lot of sympathy for people who regain weight, but I do not want to be one of them. So, here’s my plan of attack:

PastaQueen’s Not-So-Secret Plan of Attack

1) Write down my goals. I need to know where I’m going or else how will I know when I’ve gotten there?

2) Identify my problems. I did this in the last post.

3) Create strategies to overcome my problems. The word “strategy” makes me sound like I’m planning a military campaign, but boot camp makes you fit, right?

So, I already identified my problems. Let me lay out my goals and my strategies. Goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. A goal like “Eat better” is nice and all, but too vague to be of any use. How are you going to know if you are eating better? A better goal would be “Eat three fruits and vegetables a day.” This is something specific that you can do and is easy to see if you are accomplishing. I recently posted some non-weight goals for 2008 on the wall above my computer so I’m reminded every day of what I want to achieve. It’s all rather cheesy, but it tends to work so I’m just going to have to get over my lactose intolerance on this one.

My Health, Fitness and Body Goals for 2008

1) Run the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. I thought about setting a time goal for myself, but honestly I’d just like to finish this thing without injuring myself along the way.

2) Run a 5K at a 9:30 a mile pace. My fastest and only 5K time was at a 10:31 minute a mile pace. After I train for the half-marathon, I think I can get that fast.

3) Try at least one exercise class/sport I haven’t tried before. Variety is the spice of life.

4) Fit into size 10 jeans. When I was at my largest, I thought a size 10 would be a great size to end up at. Right now I’m wearing size 12 jeans.

5) Do not weigh-in over 186 pounds. I had to lose 186 pounds to weigh 186 pounds, half my weight. I want to stay on this side of half of me.

6) Lose the last 20 pounds. I keep flopping back and forth on this one. I did set 160 pounds as my goal weight and there are many reasons I’d like to get there. However, I don’t care that much about the scale anymore. I don’t want to gain any weight back, but I can name at least 5 other things that are more important in my life than losing 20 pounds. I know I write a weight-loss blog, but ultimately losing all this weight has allowed me to live my life, a life where I don’t care that much about weight loss. I care about my health and fitness and maintaining what I have lost, but losing any more weight…eh. The best reason I can think of to lose 20 pounds is because I’m going to be promoting a weight-loss memoir in 4 months, but that’s a pretty crappy reason to lose weight. It’s based entirely on other people’s expectations of me and that’s no way to live. I also think if I put a lot of pressure on myself to lose 20 pounds in 4 months, the stress would backfire on me and I’d end up binging. While I would not be unhappy to wake up tomorrow weighing 20 pounds less, it’s in my best interest not to get obsessed with that number and instead to focus on maintenance, health and fitness.

Okay, I’ve got some goals. What are my strategies?

PastaQueen’s Super Cool Strategies

1) Join a gym. The National Body Challenge from Discovery Health is offering an 8-week FREE pass to Bally Total Fitness. You have to sign up by January 11, 2008 to get the pass and it can only be used until March 2, 2008. No doubt Bally will also try to get you to sign up for a full membership and a personal trainer and shake you down for smoothie money once you’re in there, but I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve never joined a gym before, so I’d like to try out these spinning classes I’ve heard everyone talk about. Bally is only about 10 minutes away from my house and I think a change of scenery might help me get revved up about exercising. The thought of my treadmill in the bedroom isn’t really doing it for me right now. I would like to apologize in advance to all regular gym goers for being one of those annoying newbie January members who will be hogging your elliptical machine next week.

2) Index cards of inspiration. Oh man, the index cards make feel completely loony, but I’m going to try them anyway. My only real problem with eating right now is binging in the evenings. I’ve written reasons I want to lose weight on several index cards which I’ve set on my kitchen counter. The next time I want to go on a binge in the evening, I’m going to make myself read these stupid index cards and hopefully they will convince me to put down the fudge pop. I have no idea if they’ll work. I do know that part of the reason I’m eating too much in the evenings is because at that moment I care more about eating than I do about weight maintenance. The cards might help me rebalance my priorities at that moment. Part of losing weight is admitting that you don’t do it through strength of will alone. You have to acknowledge your weaknesses and make plans to circumvent them. And if they don’t work, at least my cat likes to play with them.

3) Do what worked before. Basically, I’m going to make myself start working out in the mornings again. I’m going to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and lean meats and less carbs. And I’ll keep on blogging about what’s happening. I know how to lose weight, I just need to actually do it.

Those are my goals and strategies for now. I’ll monitor my weight and see how things go. At the end of January I’ll do another evaluation and make any adjustments or set new goals and strategies if necessary. Sound like a plan?

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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hanlie • January 2, 2008 at 7:57 am

I love that line about knowing how to lose weight, but actually having to get down and do it. My resolve has been wavering slightly for the last hour or so, but you’ve just helped pull me back.

Today is the day that I do the right thing.

Thank you for always being such an inspiration. I normally just lurk, but today it feels as if you’ve spoken directly to me.


Melanie • January 2, 2008 at 8:31 am

Hey PQ, thank you for writing this post. I’m not a fan of resolutions at all, but I do see some validity in setting goals. I love your S.M.A.R.T. strategy for goal setting. As cheesey as it may be, your “index cards for inspiration” tip is great! I am a compulsive eater and often in that moment when I just HAVE TO HAVE that certain something, it would be good to have a gentle reminder nearby.

Good luck to you on your goals for 2008. You’ve come so far and you’ll no doubt continue your success, because you’re not willing to settle for the alternative.


Nancy • January 2, 2008 at 8:38 am

Bravo is running a marathon of season 2 Biggest Loser. DVR it and keep it on hand for motivation in an instant. That’s what I did! I wish you tons of luck, and look forward to reading your blog more in the new year!

PQ – If I had cable or a DVR I would get right one that :)


Lynn • January 2, 2008 at 8:52 am

Hi PQ – Of course the mother in me wants to give advice – you said something is missing in your previous post – okay, here goes – do you go to church? No, I’m not one of those born-again savers but I am a member of a Lutheran church filled with so many good and kind people – we have all kinds of groups and fun things we do (in addition to praying)- I’m sorry – I can’t help it – I just had to suggest it … gosh, I hope you’re not Jewish…


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • January 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

“Every day is the fulcrum of your life story.” Your quotation just became my gmail signature!


Joyce • January 2, 2008 at 10:15 am

Try spinning classes! They rock. I lost 60 lbs. doing them and now I teach a class once a week besides taking the class 3 other days. A class can burn up to 500 calories. But be prepared, your butt will hurt for a while but it is worth the pain.


weightlossguru • January 2, 2008 at 10:24 am

Hi again PQ,

I hope you won’t take this the wrong way but i’ve given you a free membership to my program. I’m sure you know as much as any other expert about weight loss and maintenance by now but just in case it might help… I couldn’t help myself :)

08 is gonna be Great!


jodi • January 2, 2008 at 10:42 am

i think joining a gym is a great idea – i’ve been a member of bally’s for over 10 years… i love their spin classes even though you will experience good instructors and bad instructors (meaning ones who play crappy music!)… the gym near me also has kickboxing, pilates, yoga, etc. so it’s worth trying out their 8-week pass… :o)


Candy • January 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

*HIGH FIVES* sounds like a good plan to me!! Hang in there PQ. Your routine will be easier in two weeks. Just make good choices.


Fatty • January 2, 2008 at 11:01 am

I was trying to talk my husband into getting a YMCA membership – and he complains that joining the gym is too expensive. Well guess what, heart surgery is WAY more expensive. And I think I would be more inclined to go work out – so I can prove to him that paying that monthly fee is worth it. Plus the classes are so much fun and that hour flys by a lot faster than it does at home on my treadmill.

Happy New Year.

PQ – I spend a lot of money on groceries because I’m buying lots of fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I justify it in the same way – it’s cheaper than the medical bills would be.


marc • January 2, 2008 at 11:20 am

good luck to all of us this 2008! :)


Gogo • January 2, 2008 at 11:31 am

I have total gym-phobia. I can’t tell you the number of gyms (“health clubs”) I’ve belonged to where I signed up and went maybe a handful of times (okay, once) but optimistically kept paying the monthly membership ad infinitum. I’m probably a member of 12 gyms as I type this.

If I can’t get over the gym hurdle, I should probably just go jogging in my neighborhood under the cover of nightfall or something. Because the inactivity is getting ridiculous over here. Hm. At any rate, best of luck with your gymming! Maybe it will inspire me to get the hell over myself.

“Fulcrum of my life story” comic = genius! Thanks for sharing that one :).


Bree • January 2, 2008 at 11:47 am

Hi, I wanted to comment but am unsure what to say exactly since I’m one of those who has regained the weight. I’m extremely disappointed in myself at this point. I’m an emotional eater and the winter gives me the blahs always, so maybe that’s part of your problem right now.

Also, I would imagine that with all the media attention you’re getting maybe the pressure is there to continue to lose, etc. I hope not. I think when you got your book deal I asked you about the pressure and you seemed to not be worried about it, but could that be part of it? Just thinking out loud really.

You’re just in a rut and I want for you to not end up where I’m at b/c friend it ain’t a good place! Depression really sucks.

I’m sure you’ll be just fine b/c you have a great plan to get back on track. Wanna trade places? I was into 12’s @ 160, now I’m bulging out of 16’s weighing in at around 193!!!

You’ll be just fine, though. Best wishes for 2008!

PQ – Heh, I’m not really getting all that much media attention. The paparazzi aren’t sitting outside my apartment anyway. As for book pressure, once I had gotten to a point where I could say I lost half my weight, I didn’t feel much pressure to lose more.


Lora Ramirez • January 2, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Happy New Year, PQ! Good for you and everyone else for setting new goals for 2008!


Mia • January 2, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Hey PQ,

Good post. I like all of your ideas. I wonder if you would benefit from keeping a private journal where you can write out your feelings without an audience? (You may already do that, though.) It might help you address why you want to binge.

Anyway, good luck. You’re doing a great job!



121 Free Weight Loss Tips • January 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm

What a great set of goals! As a graduate business major, I fully agree with you on the importance of goals being SMART (that’s just about the first thing that was drilled into us during business classes).

In terms of binge eating in the evening, one thing that has worked for me is to make my house a food-free zone. For example, at about 9 in the evening when I feel like going on a little binge, all I have in the fringe are fruits and vegetables – foods that I can happily binge on without gaining weight (within reasonable limits, of course).

In terms of index cards, one system I’ve tried is programming my cell phone to send me reminder messages every day at fixed time intervals. It actually worked – nothing stops you from eating better than your own cell phone telling you how fat you are!

On a side note, I just wanted to say how much I respect your weight loss progress. In my experience, very few people are capable of taking control of their life as much as you did. When I first stumbled upon your blog, never did I imagine that when you said “half of me”, you actually meant it!

All the best,



Donna B • January 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Since I spent most of my time off over the holidays reading through my mounds of “diet” books and plans, maybe this will help you. Dr Mehmet Oz, who appears regularly on Oprah has been saying (and writing in his book, “You on a Diet”) that people should not worry too much about the scale, but their waist measurement. For woman it should be under 32-1/2″. I too have a weight goal in mind, but with 80+ pounds to lose I am not sure if when I get closer to it, it will even be accurate. Charts out there are all so different. So as I also weight myself weekly, I am going to also take my waist measurement.

Liked the idea of journaling, so I started my own blog about my weight loss adventures. No plans of a book, but it is easier than handwriting in a journal and I feel accountable, even though no one reads it yet. Good luck PQ!


Laura N. • January 2, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Oh my gosh, it’s like you crawled inside my brain and wrote about me. I have the same issues, but haven’t taken the time to thoughtfully consider and write down what it’s gonna take to straighten myself out. Thanks for doing it for me. =) Keep us posted on how those index cards are working (even, let us know what you wrote on them?)… my evenings kill me and I need a way to get past the night binges. I’ve yet to find a successful strategy and will happily steal yours if it’s working. Hope you have a great week, Jennette.


Kyle • January 2, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I totally needed to read this post and the last. I need to do something about my goals too, really crack down!

I have been trying to lose that last 10 pounds since well, since I lose the first 50. and while trying to do so I gained and re-lost and re-gained and re-re-lost about a hundred times.

So if you decide that losing the last 20lbs isn’t on your goal list, I fully support you.


dietgirl • January 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Onya PQ! I like a good strategy and this one is bloody fab. Hope you enjoy the gym too!

Also wanted to say thanks for the interview, for some reason the little icons of our faces only appeared yesterday and just made me grin, classy stuff :)


BB • January 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Good thinking PQ! Joining a gym will not only provide a change of scenery but hopefully you will meet some new people. Maybe even an exercise buddy?


Sarah • January 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hey PQ,

You started out writing a weightloss blog. But something changed – you write a life blog. It is amazing to see how you have changed since you started this journey — it is much more than the pounds.


Narelle • January 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I love the way you have simply put out your goals for the year in realistic terms. I decided this year I was going to get back to the basics of weight loss – it has worked in the past so it should work again. Good luck and I can’t wait to read your book – any idea when it will be coming to the sunny shores of Australia??

PQ – Sorry, I don’t have any info on if/when it will come out down under.


KateG • January 2, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I think your goals are great and are very inspiring. Thanks especially for mentioning the weight loss challenge and free 8 weeks at Bally’s! I definitely want to do that. Like you, I’ve never tried a spinning class and I am curious. I am sure it will kick my butt… at least it will be good motivation though. A gym can be expensive, but the times I have belonged to one the money spent did guilt me into going at least twice a week.


Joanne • January 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Happy New Year PQ, you are very cool!

Keep on going. I’m inspired to go bounce on my mini-trampoline ow!


Dinah Soar • January 2, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Great plan to deal with your needs.

And the index cards are a good idea…I put a poster in my kitchen saying “today it tastes good, but tomorrow all you’ll be tasting is regret”…that reminder kept me from eating many times….and I had planned to put it on an index card and carry it in my purse and read it whenever I ate anything away from home…didn’t have to though…just the poster was poweful enough…the message sort of resonated through my head whenever I’d eat and I’d ask my self: is it worth it? It connected the eating pleasure of today to the regret I’d feel tomorrow and that was a reality check.

Also, about your last 20 pounds…Diet Girl did a guest post on that topic…it was very good…read it here:


One last thing…perhaps a strategy to help your evening bingeing….allow yourself specific snacks–limit your choices to three and allow only one of them per evening—and only during a specific time window in the evening…say from 7:30-8:30 pm…or whatever would work best for you. That eliminates any feelings of deprivation but boxes in the behavior…thereby limiting it to some degree.


Liz in Ohio • January 2, 2008 at 7:33 pm

“As for book pressure, once I had gotten to a point where I could say I lost half my weight, I didn’t feel much pressure to lose more”.~~~~~

It’s funny how goals can be obtained when we have something to shoot for.

My goal was to weigh less than 170 for my 20th HS reunion in October of 2006. I made it to 169. The week after the event I went back to my old habit. I’m now back to 184 as of December 31st. I recommitted to my weight loss regiment as of January 1st. I don’t want to lose it for an event anymore; I want to do it for health reasons. At 169 I felt good, looked good, and weighed less than I had weighed in approximately 13 years.

You have looked at yourself and re-examined your feelings. You have made a plan. No matter what the outcome, you have already succeeded by being an inspiration and by touching so many people.

You PQ, ROCK!!!


barbara • January 2, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Good game plan, PQ. In addition, you might want to consider one of those UV lights for the winter blahs. I was skeptical when this was first suggested to me, but I went ahead and purchased a GoLite (www.apollolight.com), and I really do think 20 minutes a day makes a noticeable difference. I am much less irritable, the same way I am during the months when the sun is out and I spend time outdoors. The thing I like about the GoLite is that it’s small — about the size of a CD case – not one of those giant lightboxes that sits on the floor or takes up an entire tabletop. The GoLite isn’t cheap, but I think it’s worth it.


NicoleW • January 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Sounds like a plan to me. And I’m impressed by how specific your goals are. My goal is pretty much “Quit screwing up,” which is a worthy goal but would probably benefit from being broken down into specifics…


v'ron • January 2, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Ah, I’m not the only one who needs to get her groove back! And I feel better that we both have a plan. I’m going the other direction — I’m doing this “agile” — reinventing my plan every time I hit a milestone. Still, a plan is a plan, and a goal without a plan is just a wish or something “successories” like that.


firewings • January 2, 2008 at 10:34 pm

I rather enjoy the SMART system; I may have to use that. I too tried to get on the Bally bandwagon after watching too much TLC, but sadly found out that the nearest Bally’s is four hours away.

Darn you powers that be!

I guess I’ll have to sign up for the ghetto gym downtown, complete with dingy walls, suspect smoothies, and a chipped statue of Venus in the 80’s jacuzzi.


MB • January 2, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Shake your grove thing, shake your grove thing, baby, show us how to do it now. Ok, I just realized you are probably not old enough to get that … nevermind ….

I always thought losing was the hard part but I’ve finally learned that maintenance is the key. I know I can’t start eating *everything* once I get into those size 10s, I still have to work out, eat healthy (90% of the time) and find other ways to stay motivated instead of focusing on what the scale says.

I love the goals and strategies and plan to make a list of my own (or copy yours – it would be so much easier now that you already typed them out).

I’m looking forward to seeing you, the amazing Pasta Queen, get her groove back and pass that key to me so I can keep the weight I plan to lose in 2008 off for good.

You have been such an inspiration to me. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the free gym membership and reach all the goals you set for yourself.


Chubby Chick • January 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Sounds like a GREAT plan!

And I SO appreciate these first two posts of 2008. Your frankness and honesty has been so inspirational. You didn’t have to open up and share everything with us… but you did. And by doing so, you have encouraged a lot of people… myself included. Thanks for that. :)


Manic Mommy • January 2, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Sounds like some good strategies.

Will you be going on a book tour when the book comes out… coming through Chicago?

PQ – I really don’t know at this point, but I’ll be sure to announce my plans on the blog whenever I have them!


Alex • January 3, 2008 at 4:11 am

Hi , A health trainer can assist you by discussing what you want to achieve from your efforts. Some people want to loose weight, some want to gain and some others want to build their muscles. There are specific exercise programs only a health trainer can give you correct training.


Karine • January 3, 2008 at 9:21 am

I think joining the gym will make a huge difference. You might get hooked, specially on the spinning classes. I LOVE them…though your butt is going to ache for a few days…well worth it. And who knows you might find a MALE workout buddy there, hehehehe. Enjoy!


kazari • January 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hi PQ!

You go girl! I’ve been reading your blog ever since you got a mention on Blogher somewhere… I love your sense of humour.

i just read your ‘problems’ post, and I think I have a possible solution: a dance class!

Before you roll around laughing (believe me, lot’s of people do when they watch ME dance), consider the following:

– you do it in the evening, in a toasty warm dance studio. (won’t be home eating)

– it’s very social (helps with the bored/lonely thing)

– you get a nice fun mix of strength/cardio/flexibility – which you control, depending on the class you choose.

– it helps you get the hang of the classes at the gym (you get used to people shouting choreography at you)


Katieo • January 4, 2008 at 12:05 am

I would like to apologize in advance to all regular gym goers for being one of those annoying newbie January members who will be hogging your elliptical machine next week.

Apology accepted. Ok no just kidding, I lost my gym membership a couple of weeks ago and am frequenting our mall and walking alongside most of our cities senior citizen population. (and no Bally’s near me. boo-hoo).

Spinning is the thing I miss the most. In my opinion, it’s the best workout for the amount of time you actually do it.


RG • January 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm

One thing I’d like to add to SMART, though, is that goals should be under your control. I can promise to stick to a certain eating and exercise regiment (well, I can almost promise that) but I can’t promise how my body will react. If you get hurt, if something happens in your personal life, then the Indy half may not happen – shouldn’t mean you have failed, especially if you still manage to run another marathon, some smaller races, or just run that same distance outside the race setting. All of those are more reasonably in your power.

And then there’s the “is weight loss really the best thing for my body at this point?” aspect. After having dropped my BMI to 23, my focus is on things like changing fat percentage and building muscle. I’m not sure that “do 50 chin-ups” is in my control either, though it is SMART, but I can say “work on chin-ups 3 times a week for 40 weeks or until I can do 50”. I may be projecting because one of my goals is to stop obsessing about the number on the scale and to love my body more.


RG • January 4, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Maybe you could trade in your fudge pop for this recipe protein-chocolate-popsicle:



Heather • January 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I have gone to Bally’s for 8 years. I now work there. They will try to get a full membership if you come in with the free 8 weeks, but it really is an awesome deal. Much better than I started with. :) If you are planning on going to a gym for more than the 8 weeks, probably worth it.


Braksgirl • January 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Did you see that now they’ve changed it from a free 8 week pass to a free 2 week pass?

Wonder why they did that…

PQ – Are you sure? I’m still seeing 8-week on mine, but of course I registered sooner.


Braksgirl • January 6, 2008 at 8:31 am

There’s a banner ad on my message board for the program and it used to say “Free 8 week Bally’s pass” now the 8 has changed to a 2. I didn’t sign up because we don’t have a Bally’s in my area. Just going by the banner ad. Maybe you get the 8 weeks if you registered by a certain time.


Braksgirl • January 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

Ok, I just looked and now the banner ad says 8 weeks again. Maybe I’m just crazy…or the other ad had a typo.


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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