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PastaQueen wants her groove back

I’ve been feeling out of my groove lately. It’s a lot of things. Things that I shall slap numbers in front of in a handy list format.

1) The winter. I should move to the equator where there are no seasons and I can sit outside and sweat all my weight off. The days here have gotten shorter and it’s so much harder to convince myself to work out in the morning when I can’t find my dumbbells without turning on a light switch. Dear Australians, please give me back the sun. I miss it. I miss going out on the trail too or taking my bike for a ride. Never mind that my back tire is flat and my bike is 13 years old and I need to pony up some cash for a new one before I can go riding. I just miss exercising outdoors. Which leads me to…

2) Workout burnout. I need to spice up my workout routine. I’m getting tired of the same old weights and Pilates and running regimen. I need something new, like when I tried TurboKick and tennis. However, those classes were both a bit of a drive away. I need to find something closer that I find interesting and isn’t too terribly expensive. I should really do that, oh yes I should, instead of just writing about it.

3) Life changes. No, not the change of life. I’m still kind of young for that. Back in November I started a contract job at a new work place. I go to lunch with co-workers now, so there’s a new eating schedule and new eating temptations. It’s also a shorter walk from the parking lot, though I still take the stairs to the top floor of a building. I walk around more during the day, but it’s in fancy shoes instead of sneakers, and OH MY GOD my bunions have been hurting. I’ve been handling all that rather well actually. I still haven’t purchased anything from the Starbucks on campus, I’ve gotten sushi and salads at the cafeteria, and I’ve turned down lots of cookies, but it’s still been an adjustment. In mid-January I start a full-time job elsewhere that I’m rather excited about, but yet again it will be a life change and who knows how many cookies they keep in the building? But I’ll get to wear sneakers, so at least my feet will be happy.

4) The holidays. The holidays haven’t been the cause of my problems, but they certainly didn’t help either. I don’t regret eating it up during those times, but it probably would have been better for my weight if Christmas was held in April this year.

5) Too much free time. Okay, that’s not something you typically complain about, but I had a week and a half off for the holidays and it’s been very bad for my eating. I need structure. I need to be away from the kitchen or else bad things end up in my mouth. I saw a news program recently that said people who retire need to find something to do or else they’ll go senile and die earlier. For some reason I always find the idea of hanging around doing nothing to be appealing, but in reality it just makes me go crazy.

6) The evenings. If we’re holding Christmas in April, we should also find a way to go straight from the afternoon to the night time, totally circumventing the evenings. I do fine during the work day, but when I come home I’ll eat too much because I’m bored or lonely or depressed.

All of this adds up to little progress in the weight loss department and a general malaise on my part. I think I’ve probably gained 5 pounds back, though it’s hard to tell since my weight fluctuates several pounds during the week naturally. I don’t want to regain any weight, but I’m finding it harder to stick to the healthy eating and exercise regimen that has gotten me this far. This weight loss thing, it is hard, eh? I don’t want to give up either. I’d just like to live in a universe where couch sitting was high cardio and ice cream was diet food. But I also think it’s important to cop to the fact that I’m starting to have problems right now. If I don’t catch it early I’m just going to gain back 20 more pounds. It could be far worse anyway. At least I still am exercising and eating reasonably well, if a little too much. All my clothes still fit. I just never appreciated how great my groove was until my wheels slid out of it.

I’m glad I’m running the Indianapolis mini-marathon in May and that I signed up for a training program, otherwise I might be facing serious trouble here. But I know I’m going to be running a lot in the next couple months and hopefully I’ll make some friends in my training program and hopefully the sun will come back from whatever hole it’s been hiding in and I will get my oom-pah back. I may be out of the groove, but the only way to get back in the groove is by wearing it down again.

Sometimes I get comments from people who think I have it all figured out or think I know the magical secrets of the universe or something. I’d just like to tell you that, no, that’s not true, you must be reading someone else’s blog. I am far from perfect. Sometimes I wish it was all over and done with, but I also know that’s a lie. You’re never really done. You don’t just get thin and stop. You have to keep earning a healthy body every day. Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. I’m sort of down right now, but at least I know it and I’m trying to get back up again. Hopefully picking myself up will increase my lower body strength.

I wanted to write all that down because in the flurry of everything that’s been going on in my life lately, I haven’t been as self-analytical as I have been in the past, which might be part of the reason I’m having problems. I haven’t had the time to write the in-depth blog entries that helped me work through so many of my issues in the past. I’ve been writing more to entertain my audience than for myself, which is probably bad for both of us. Blogging and thinking have a lot of overlap for me. A lot of times I’ll be figuring out things as I write an entry and realize, “Oh, that’s what’s going on, isn’t it?” I’m more out of touch with myself than I have been in the past and that’s going to start showing up in my body if I don’t do something about it.

I don’t think the problem is even so much the eating and exercise in itself. Lately I feel like there’s something missing from life. I’m not really sure what it is or how to fill it in exactly, but I know I need to figure it out. I need to become more involved in the community and be more social or take piano lessons or something. I need to find something in my life to direct my energies towards and the weight loss and exercise will fall in after that. I have to keep growing and learning. Someone emailed me last week and said “I have a lot of junk in my life to clean out and my weight is just one of them.” I think that’s so true. Once you clean out the junk in your life, many times the weight-loss and improved health will follow.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the specific plans I’ve made to get my groove back.I suppose it’s a new year’s resolution, though honestly the timing is just a coincidence.

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34 Comments

Cindy • January 1, 2008 at 9:14 am

Oh, PQ, how can you always be so spot on?! This entry is amazing! Lately, when I read your blog, I feel like I am falling further and further behind, because I am never sure of myself and I am always struggling to maintain my loss and finish this job. I hate that I will never be “cured” and it has really gotten to me this last few months. Then you come along with this entry and “normalize” my struggles a little bit. Thank you.

Thank you for the honesty and self-reflection and looking “deeper.” Thanks for not just entertaining us, but inspiring us. Laughing is good, too, of course! Moments of wisdom mixed in is better… and you have both to share in spades.

Happy New Year!

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jodi • January 1, 2008 at 9:57 am

great post today, i may have to link to it from mine later… i have always said that i am not perfect and that losing weight is a DAILY struggle… there will always be good days and bad days, weeks where you can’t seem to get out that rut, and times where you just want to say, “screw it, i’m done”… i have been there, you have been there, and so many other people have been there too… but like you said, picking yourself back up and moving forward is probably the best thing a person can do… not just just for health reasons, but for sticking to a goal and getting there no matter what… :o)

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K • January 1, 2008 at 10:38 am

I think this entry should go straight into your “best” category, because you write so wisely about this kind of thing…

Winter is a hard time to keep the momentum up. It just is! I’m sitting here looking out at the twilight (it’s 3.30pm) and wishing it would stop raining. Probably we have some kind of evolutionary imperative to hunker in our caves and not expend vital energy going out in the cold and wet, but it’s not terribly helpful right now.

And, yeah, the change in routine with new jobs DOES mess things up for a while. At least you now have some idea what’s happening next, and you haven’t got too long to wait around until it starts. So you’re not floating in limbo, and after all this time… you know what you’re doing. Not that it’s always easy to do.

You will get back on track. I will, too. Good luck with the spring-cleaning of the life junk, and happy new year!

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Linda • January 1, 2008 at 11:15 am

Don’t worry–the Aussies will give us the sun back, a minute or two at a time, and then in June we have to start giving it back to them. :)

It’s hard to keep on and persevere. I am keeping off my weight loss for 6 months and counting. The “rush” of the initial loss wears off, and you have to keep new goals and rewards in mind. Thinking of some will help. I’m trying to keep my new goals–to write a little every day–in mind, and work on them, and reward myself when I reach them. Good luck. We are pulling for you.

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Dinah soar • January 1, 2008 at 11:31 am

“Lately I feel like there’s something missing from life. I’m not really sure what it is or how to fill it in exactly, but I know I need to figure it out.”

Don’t want to get all religious on you, but when I was your age I discovered that empty spot was a God void. We are, I believe, spirits with a body and until we connect with the Supreme Spiritual Being, which I believe is God, there will be an empty place.

At any rate, I’ve discovered when I’ve been out of the groove and in the rut, that it too will pass. Persevering isn’t always easy, but it is doable…sometimes just waiting out the tedious stuff eventually yields a thing of beauty…we don’t know it at the time. So, wait in faith and hope of something wonderful coming your way very soon. Make the dream of what may be your sustaining beacon.

PQ – Actually, I with thinking more along the lines of a boyfriend.

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Kini • January 1, 2008 at 12:04 pm

You have expressed exactly how I have been feeling lately. Of course, some of the details are different (like, duh!, we’re different people!).

I love LOVE your statement that, “You have to keep earning a healthy body every day.” Well said. I have a feeling that most people do not get that and that once you get thin or healthy or what-have-you, that you are done and that’s it.

Good luck, sweetie!

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Kini • January 1, 2008 at 12:05 pm

PS… Have I told you? I LOVE your disclaimer at the bottom! (Part of why I keep coming back is your great wit mixed in with all the “serious” stuff!)

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Janice Bridge • January 1, 2008 at 12:50 pm

PQ – if depression continues to be a part of your problem consider monitoring your refined carb intake (anything that is based in white flour, white sugar, white rice or white pasta). I personally can hold depression at bay by limiting my ‘whites’.

And for the 6 pm to 10 pm munchies – I recommend ‘hand work’ – knitting, embroidery, beading, painting or sketching. If I keep my hands busy they don’t seem to carry as much food to my mouth.

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rayn • January 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Pasta queen – this is a first comment from me so hello! Thanks so much for putting yourself out there. Your goodness is known! It’s Jan 1 . . only 8 more weeks of Indy winter! I’ve lost 75 and I’m half way there. I’m gingerly coaxing myself towards new forms of ‘activity’

I rode my bike to work down the Monon on ‘Ride your bike to work day’ in May, kept it up when weather permitted and it was the the most fun I had all summer. (Rode it home too!) It’s a great way to fit in activity. If you ride with a friend it counts for social too :) Check craigs list for bikes. I have a hybrid and have never felt so carefree crusing along.

Not sure if you live in Indy proper but have you checked into classes from IndyParks? There are *free* aerobics and weight training at many of the locations. I got up the nerve to try a group class and I’m going to stick with it, ridiculous is not a new look for me. I secretly love it. For a reasonable cost there is Belly Dancing, Salsa and more.

Happy New Year!

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Donna • January 1, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Best gift I could have ever found was your BLOG. Spent the last two weeks reading all the “diet” books and plans I have collected over the years. But your blog spoke directly to me – all the trials and tribulations I have accumulated afer being heavy most of my life. Yea, there are a few pictures of me skinny, but only for a month or two and then it started going back on. Thanks for your blog – you’ll be seeing me post often as I continue my weight loss……for good this time!

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Skippy • January 1, 2008 at 2:46 pm

This thing that you’re missing…could it be…romance?

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Mary • January 1, 2008 at 2:46 pm

I like this post a lot. It is encouraging to find someone struggling with the same issues.

Have you ever tried to tango? I’m serious. People have been forming tango groups, so you don’t have to bring a partner. A woman I know goes with her best girl friend. She told me that she has gotten to know and dance with a lot of different men, and meet a lot of different women who became friends.

Just a thought.

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Sally Parrott Ashbrook • January 1, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I think it’s great that you’re admitting on your blog that you’re struggling–that you’re being real about it with your readers.

I felt a sense of serious malaise in early fall and decided to commit to doing one new activity a month. Just one. It’s big enough that it keeps me engaged in life and small enough that it’s manageable. I’m scheduled now until next December, and it’s wonderful because when I feel down or overwhelmed about work or whatever, I can think about the things I’ve tried and the things I’m scheduled to try, and it helps me feel the forward motion of my life. They aren’t all physically active things; about half of them are. So I’m not necessarily talking about physical activity, just about giving life meaning outside of work and family.

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marygrace • January 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm

i often start to feel kind of blah this time of year. i think a lot of it has to do with the weather, and i find it really difficult to motivate myself to run outside. over the last month or two, i was finding my exercise routine to also have gotten sort of boring and had noticed that i was gaining a small amount of weight.

i decided to join a gym and meet with a personal trainer. the gym is small and therefore rather inexpensive, and while i could only meet with the trainer once for free, it really shook up my workout routine. i was doing some weights exercises at home, but mostly cardio, and wasn’t thrilled with the way my body was looking. my trainer put me on three days of hardcore weights with a short cardio warmup in the beginning and then about 20 minutes of intense cardio in the end (i usually just use the treadmill.) she also suggested i do two days of long cardio, so i run for an hour.

i feel like this kind of routine is working for me. its making me feel stronger, and is providing some much-needed variety. plus, its a lot easier to motivate myself to run outside only twice a week than five days a week. maybe you should try visiting with a trainer to see if you could add some variety to your workouts?

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SP • January 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Hey, PQ! Thank you so much for owning up to the struggling — I appreciate the whole you, good and bad, succeeding and not always succeeding. Aren’t you glad you signed up for the half-marathon back when you were excited about your running? You’ve just reminded me of one of the important things about setting mid- and long-term goals; they can help carry us through the times when things don’t look so new and shiny and exciting.

It is also very very cool that your life is at a point where the weight thing is not all consuming and you can start asking yourself, “OK — what now?”. Lucky you!

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Chris H • January 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm

All the best for the New Year sweetie. I hope all your dreams and goals eventuate.

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america • January 1, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Oh, the agony of midwest winters! I am seriously feeling it as well. I will be over in your town next weekend for a visit and I had been hoping that the visit would lift my spirits. Sounds as if the sun isn’t any brighter 90 minutes west. OY!

Let’s vow to beat the midwest gloomy blues!

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chrissie • January 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I’m having the HARDEST time trying to get back into the groove of gym going. I have the time, it’s just impossible for me to get up the drive to go when it’s dark and freezing cold. And it’s dark outside both before I go to work (sun rise @ 7:40 right now) and it’s dark when I get off work (sun set @ 5:30) and it’s cold outside all the time – colder, of course, once the sun goes down.

Spring is coming though!

I think it’s interesting that you mention that you’ve stopped writing for yourself and write for the reader now. This is something that every serious blogger seems to go through. I can’t help but wonder if it also doesn’t have something to do with the fact that you just spent how long writing about yourself? It’s tough to be introspective when you’ve just spent a long time staring yourself bold faced in the mirror.

PQ – Yeah, that was a factor. I was also spending a lot of mental energy on my job situation lately, so coming home and writing treatises about my weight didn’t sound appealing or all that important.

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Fatty • January 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I agree about the evenings – lets just get rid of those entirely. Thank you for being willing to expose yourself in this way. I know I have the same issues / feelings. Thanks for not pretending or hiding the truth. When Im feeling weak, I come to this blog and look for some way to distract myself. It has helped in the past!!!

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starbird • January 1, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Like Janice Bridge above, I can’t help giving some advice. This is what picks me up when I’m down, which is often in this Oregon rain: journaling just for yourself. Based on your last few weeks of blogging, I’d suggest you start free-associating on the topic: “I’m angry because…” You might be surprised at what comes up.

My journaling, daily for several years, helped me solve most of my problems, including weight and fitness issues. When I threw out all the notebooks, several pounds worth, I felt much lighter and relieved of a huge burden.

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Karine • January 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Hey PQ! Happy new year. I actually went through this same feeling for the past 6 months. After a year and a half of focus, I just lost my groove and actually wondered at the time how you kept yours going all this time…so it’s very refreshing to see that you are human after all! Lol. The good news is that I’ve managed to pull out of this funk I was in, I can’t say that anything specific did it but I revisited where I came from, all that I’ve accomplished and reflected on the joy I’ve created in my life and decided I was gonna fight to maintain it and grow some more. I started doing what I did at the beginning, and I tell you it’s exactly as you said, you don’t realize how precious the groove is until you start losing it…you will get it back, this is now second nature to us…we’ve come to far to relent and when you do get it back, I know you’ll protect it even more..give yourself a pat in the back and know you will get back, we are all cheering for you. Much love

K.

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Skinny Guy • January 1, 2008 at 9:03 pm

“You have to keep earning a healthy body every day.”

Truer words were never spoken.

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Erin • January 1, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Add me to the list of people who were struck by the line, “You have to keep earning a healthy body every day.” I actually wrote an entry this morning about that, after I read your post. Thanks for the well-worded thought!

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Rh • January 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

How very nice that you have these illuminating introspections now, rather than 6 months or 30 pounds from now. Hang in and know that you have a large fan club behind you (no pun intended). Alexander Pope said “Not to go back is somewhat to advance. And people must walk, at least, before they dance.” Actually, I think he said “men,” not “people,” but he was a product of his time so I’ve taken the liberty of bringing him into this century. The point is, though, that you’re way beyond walking, so just hang in. :-)

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anji • January 1, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Ohhh, I was at that point several years ago when I first blogged back in like, 1995/1996. I used to be pretty popular (hehe) because I was honest to God, one of the first weight-loss bloggers (well, it wasn’t even called blogging then!) …. soon enough my writing ended up being for the readers and not so much myself and I started to falter and well… I had to stop. I firmly believe you should only really be blogging for yourself and if someone else gets something from it, then that’s just the gravy. Sometimes you need a break.

I have however, been at your place not too long ago. I was probably 24 or 25 at the time and was inbetween boyfriends. I did find doing the “finding God” thing helped but it sure doesn’t help with the lonely nights when you come home to an empty apartment with just your cat. I know ’cause I was that person! I firmly remember even my cat and I getting pissed off at each other ’cause we were in each others space and well… I was missing something too.

Now – the thing is, where do you find someone? I wish I could help you with that but – only you will be able to come up with something…. I wish you the best in your boyfriend hunt! Hehe… :)

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airlie • January 1, 2008 at 10:44 pm

great post and i can relate totally to all of those problems! too much time, the weather dictating exercise……….and you can definitely have the sun back because it is 43 over here today and that is too hot to do anything!

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Helen • January 1, 2008 at 11:35 pm

The evenings and too much free time get me too…but particularly The Evenings. Hang in fellow Hoosier…you are doing GREAT (I am at the same weight I was last year and you are much less…gooood for you!).

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Nancy Bea • January 1, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Thanks for being so honest and sharing some of the scary moments. We all have them and it helps immeasurably to know that others are also dealing with similar issues. Of course, the holiday season of non-stop eating in the cold and dark is not good for most anyone’s healthy living plans! You’ll be back in the groove before long, I’m sure. Hang in there! Have a wonderful new year!

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Kate • January 2, 2008 at 9:29 am

You know, structure is totally my thing too. Without it, my diet plans are a mess. When I have me schedule I do wonderful.

Also, I think it something we all go through, the lack of motivation thing. But getting that groove back is what makes the people successful in the long run. Just remember none of us gained our weight in a couple weeks! Get that groove back…I know you can do it!

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coraspartan • January 2, 2008 at 1:24 pm

PQ, amazing entry! I am going through the same thing myself, and I wholeheartedly agree with every single one of your six points listed. It is nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s struggling right now. I am soooo glad it’s Jan. 2nd, because I am forcing myself to get back into healthy eating again (including a food journal) and exercising regularly. The holidays blew both of those things out the window.

When you mentioned you feel like something is missing from your life, I immediately thought–boyfriend. You need to find yourself a man! Good luck and I hope you find the right guy for you.

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SAL • January 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Have you checked out cityoga in Indianapolis? It looks like a great place and yoga is great for getting centered. I always find that I binge less and eat better when I’m practicing.

Thanks for your wonderful website–Happy New Year!

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Kris • January 3, 2008 at 2:33 am

Hi PQ,

Good for you for getting a grip on things now. I regained half of what I lost and that’s crazy-making. Thanks goodness for a new year.

One thing that could be of help – at least it is for me is to retrain the brain. You might enjoy checking this book out from the library The Four Day Win by Martha Beck. Once you get past some of the snarly humor – which is fun to a point – she’s got some practical exercises for remapping the brain.

The mind may just be behind it all anyway. As least that’s what I’ve found. I can only go so far on will-power and effort and the joy of seeing the pounds dropping off and then kapow – whatever was swirling around in there to begin with makes a reappearance and those old thinking/feeling/behavior patterns that I learned so well really want to have their way again.

From reading your blog it looks like you’ve learned a lot about being a kinder and gentler friend to yourself and that’s so key. Just a few more changes internally and I’ll bet it becomes more a part of who we are on this journey.

I’m sending good wishes your way – to all of us working on changing our lifestyles inside and out.

Happy New Year!

Kris

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roselina • January 8, 2008 at 11:19 am

hey there, i just found an article, its about how emotion is associate with hunger. emotion such as boredom, depression, even happiness can trigger hunger. the article also provide steps to deal with it and keep losing weight. its an article from yahoo!health. here:

click here

good luck for you, thank you for being such an inpiration.

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Kendra • February 3, 2008 at 1:37 am

I’ve just discovered your blog about a month ago and I can tell it’s going to be a big help for me. You are also a good writer, I enjoy reading your posts. I’ve lost 15 pounds over the last six months (I was 176 and I am 5’3″). However, the winter is really messing with me too and I’ve regained a little. I am trying ever so hard not to get discouraged (I’d like to lose at least 10 more pounds). Thanks for writing this blog…I’m going to check it every day now to help me stay on track.

By the way–congrats on your huge accomplishment, and those accomplishments to come!

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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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