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My skin: Still loose, but I have lots of high quality product

Sometimes I feel like a Magic 8 ball because readers ask me a lot of questions. (At least they don’t shake me for the answers.) I don’t mind answering, but by far, the most popular question is, "How is your skin?" (In second place is, "How did you start running?" and a close third is "How do you stay motivated?") I’ve written entries to address all of these questions to save everybody some time, but recently I’ve received a couple follow-up questions on the skin entry. People want to know if my skin has tightened up any over the past year. The answer? I don’t think so.

It’s hard to be completely certain since a change like that would be subtle. I don’t think I look any older than I did a year ago. And a year ago I didn’t think I looked any older than the year before. However, I do keep aging and 20 years from now I’m sure I’ll look older than I do today. The skin however, is still somewhat loose, particularly under my arms, in my thighs, on my butt, and around my tummy. It doesn’t restrict my movement. I don’t have any rashes. But if I ever burn my forearm on the stove, I’ll have plenty of material for skin grafts. I know most of you would like to hear that the skin has tightened up like a Shrinky Dink, but my epidermis does not have the same properties as that space-age plastic. The skin doesn’t bother me, but I won’t be running in shorts any time soon, no matter how hot it gets.

On the bright side, I evidently have a great complexion that I have failed to appreciate for the majority of my life. Recently at least 4 or 5 people have commented on my great skin independently of each other at different events, so I’m starting to think, "Hey, it’s possible that I have great skin." The hermit lifestyle really pays off. No sun exposure! All those years of never wearing makeup probably didn’t hurt either. The sad thing is, I don’t care much about my complexion. My skin would be much more appreciated on someone who actually notices these things. Too bad I can’t sell off the extra square foot of flesh that I’ve got lying around.

I got several compliments on my hair in the last post too. Thanks, y’all. I am not used to all these “You are pretty” comments. It is bizarre. The hairstylist barely did anything to it either (and I have a witness who will testify as such), so I am comfortable taking all the credit for my lovely locks.

I'm laughing because I just cursed on national TV

(I just now noticed I’m wearing green while sitting on a green couch, as if I’m trying to blend into the upholstery. Oops!)

Kate wanted to know what products I use. My secret is…conditioner. Dove conditioner if you want specifics, which I use because I like their ad campaigns. Um, yeah, I don’t use many products. My hair just…does that. In 5th grade two girls asked me, “Who does your hair?” and I told them “My mom,” because she was the one trimming my locks with scissors in the kitchen. They asked me again a couple other times during the year, but it was only a decade later that I realized they thought I had a perm.

However, it took me even more than that decade before I learned how to fight the frizz, as this picture from high school proves:

If the fat didn't make me unpopular, the frizz, braces and glasses surely did.

If you have curly hair, I highly recommend the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. It taught me how to avoid frizz by shampooing only once a week. Wait! I promise I don’t smell bad! I rinse my hair more often than that, but shampoo dries out curly hair, so I only use it once a week. I also use conditioner. Other than that, I use a round brush and a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment to style. I also wind up the top layers of my hair and clip them on top to dry the bottom hair first, and then unclip them to dry the upper layers of my hair. Those are my secrets. Do with them what you will.

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Lyn • August 5, 2008 at 8:43 am

You’re such a pretty girl, and I when I saw the video in your last post I thought the stylist did your hair really nice! Now I know it’s just naturally pretty.

Its so true what you said about not living your life whilst waiting to be a thin person, I have done that all of my life. I weigh 78 kgs which most tell me isn’t that heavy (I am about 1.64m)but I guess its in my head.


Oliveira • August 5, 2008 at 8:55 am

I think you look gorgeous on that first picture. :) Also, you somehow look younger than on the second one!


Annette • August 5, 2008 at 9:12 am

Wow I needed to hear your story today. I have to lose about 80lbs and to me that is about what you had to lose for yourself. I’ve been exercising everyday on the treadmill and doing situps every night it’s been 2 weeks and I’ve lost NOTHING. I cut out my sugar, snacks, bad eating habits and still nothing. How do I keep on going? I heard you online in your interview say 1 to 2 pounds a week is great and I haven’t done that yet at all!

I applude you for keeping it up.


Deb • August 5, 2008 at 9:16 am

Hope you know you look absolutely fetching in the picture in front of Jamba Juice. And you may have lost weight, but not your fun personality and winning writing. Enjoy every moment. It’s good for us all!


Danielle • August 5, 2008 at 9:23 am

Good job on the CBS show!

Hey…you’re a “Curly Girl” too!

Ever go to naturallycurly dot com?

I learned lots of culry-haired tips there as well.


Aimee • August 5, 2008 at 10:12 am

I hate it when people ask me what I do to keep my hair so pretty then get all grossed out when I tell them I wash it every other day at the most. Hey, you asked and I told you. You didn’t think it was gross when you were saying how pretty my hair is.

You’ve clearly mastered the frizzies and your complexion does look great. It’s like a real life revenge of the nerds – “haha you mocked my paleness during high school but now you look like an old handbag whil my skin is still lovely and creamy.”


BoggyWoggy • August 5, 2008 at 10:17 am

Just watched your clip at the start up of my Internet Explorer account (it’s a long story). What a coincidence! I’m just starting my journey and have been riding my mountain bike in the mountains around our city again, after a multi-year step-away. My children are late-teens (one is leaving for college in 2 weeks) and I have free time, mentally and physically, again! So, I stood in front of a full-length mirror and began stating a mantra: “Do something now.”

I say it each morning, drink some coffee, have a small bowl of blueberries in my vanilla yogurt, and hop on my bike. I’m inspired by your humbleness.


Jaime • August 5, 2008 at 10:18 am

i also have curly hair. my advice…the shorter the better!!! my hair is a bit shorter than yours. but its awesome. people think i spend time stylin it..when in reality i use a 2 in one shampoo/conditioner, and i put moose (that isnt how you spell that is it…the hair stuff not the animal) and i let it air dry.


deanna • August 5, 2008 at 10:35 am

You look gorgeous, green is so your color and LOVE those collarbones!!! I have to get to the video of the TV appearance, I was on vaca. So…after 37 freaking years of dealing with my very curly hair the answer is not to wash every day? I am a moron because I have heard that before but never really took it to heart for curly hair. I have tried DevaCurl shampoos and products too, they work well but than realized that my hair was becoming dependant on it- weird eh? Long story short – I use Dove too, and VO5 – cheap and works great. Now, I’ll concentrate on not shampooing every day and see how that works. So now… we can add hair care professional to your long list of accomplishments!! Thanks for the info!


Pamela R • August 5, 2008 at 10:38 am

What I wouldn’t give for hair like that! As for the skin, I hear you on that one. I live in Florida but you won’t catch me in anything shorter than capri pants…can you say shar pei thighs? And what’s with the wrinkled knees, I never knew I had fat knees??


JEM • August 5, 2008 at 11:27 am

You do have glowy skin!

I really appreciate the honestly about loose skin.

If I only washed my hair once a week, I wouldn’t have any friends. I have really oily hair though. :-)


Lyn • August 5, 2008 at 11:38 am

I am a curly girl too! I know people freak when you tell them you shampoo once a week but that’s what I do, as well, and my curly (long) hair is everyone’s envy. I rinse it every day and use a bit of Suave conditioner in it. It stays fresh and clean and soft and NOT FRIZZY. Wonderful.

You look great!


Red • August 5, 2008 at 11:42 am

I also am a curly girl. The unfortunate part about this is my maleness.

I gave up on long hair quite a while ago.


Kelly • August 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Huh, maybe shampooing less frequently is the answer to my problems. When I was little I had curly hair, but as I grew up it became this odd half-curly/half-straight pain in the behind. Which means I round brush it and use smoothing serum to get it straight, but if there’s a smidge of humidity in the air it frizzes and I get little curls around my face. Since I swim almost every day, I use swimmer’s shampoo, but maybe just a bit of swimmer’s conditioner will do enough to get the chlorine out and not make my hair frizzy. Thanks for the tip, now that I’ve babbled on.

By the way, your skin really does look very nice!


scone • August 5, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Snap! I have the Curly Girl book too, it does help. And you do look fab, the hair, the skin– and green suits you very well.


Karen Malloy • August 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

You really did look good when I saw you on television. You were glowing, and you just looked happy! LOL I wrote the glowing part before, and now I just read the other comments. I guess I am not the only one who noticed that.


K • August 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

It’s funny when internet worlds intersect! I know lots of Curly Girls from a long-hair community…

I do think your hair is very nice. I always wanted mine to curl, but it doesn’t agree.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • August 5, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I was the first person in my family in a couple of generations to have really curly hair, so no one taught me how to care for it, either. I used a brush on my hair (horror of horrors!) until 8th or 9th grade, when I wised up to the wide-toothed comb thing. I don’t even comb it now, except for with my fingers. I never wanted straight hair, like some curly-haired people do; it’s great how low-maintenance the curls are, really.

One of my college roommates (who had hair even curlier than mine, and who also had to learn how to care for it on her own) and I got brushes and brushed our hair out to its full, white-girl-‘fro, middle-school volume one day when we were about 20. Then one of our other roommates took pictures. They’re hysterical. I should try to find those photos.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • August 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Oh, and my breasts are certainly a lot closer to my belly button since I’ve lost weight. I can’t say I am overjoyed about that, but that’s what good bras are for, and I’ll take the weight loss over perky boobs any day. (Life really is all about trade-offs, after all, when you get down to it.) And my husband doesn’t seem to mind ha ha, so I guess it’s alright.

(Sorry in advance for the search hits this comment might give you.)


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • August 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm

‘An old handbag’–ha ha ha ha ha.


Kayla • August 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Oy, the skin question! I have about 60 pounds to lose – I think I will let the burn unit in my city know after I lose the weight I can be on call to donate skin at a moments notice!



Shelly • August 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Curly Girl is the best book ever…I too have the curl. I am down to shampooing about once a month, but I made a “dry shampoo” for days I start to feel a little oily. People freak out when I tell them I almost never shampoo…but I condition everyday (with dove as well!)

You look great and I covet your complection!


Helen • August 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm



maggieapril • August 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Excellent interview.

Thanks for the skin update. I know it seems like a weird thing to be interested in (although I’m obviously not the only one), but I’m facing the same issue myself. I just wrote a post on this topic which is scheduled to publish tomorrow. (Holy Batwings, Robin!)

Sorry you didn’t get a chance to lick Rick Springfield. When I was a teenager my General Hospital addicted girlfriends and I thought he was the cat’s MEOW!


Marshmallow • August 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Oh man, my natural hair is beyond curly, it’s thick, frizzy Afro styles – I just chuck money at it and get permanent straightening treatment every 6 months! (I used to do the shampoo once a week thing too, but that was mainly because my hair was so thick that it took a week to dry o_0)

YOU on the other hand, are a complete cutie with your luscious curls! :-D


Heather • August 5, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Would you ever have guessed 5 years ago you’d be dispensing beauty advice? Rock on! You look great!


PastaQueen • August 5, 2008 at 10:53 pm

@deanna Now I’m not only inspiring people to lose weight, I’m inspiring them to stop shampooing. My list of accomplishments grows!


Heather • August 5, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I just found your blog through a friend who interns at Seal Press. I wanted to say that I think you’re a pretty great lady and kudos to you on the weight loss, and doing it healthy. Rock on.


Ang • August 5, 2008 at 11:16 pm

I read your book this summer and really enjoyed it as I was working on living a healthier lifestyle. My hair has gotten curlier and curlier the older I get, and I’m not sure what to do with it. On really humid days it looks like some type of shrub! I think I have been overwashing it. Thank you for the book and the styling tip!


Linda Sherman • August 5, 2008 at 11:30 pm

We met on Stephanie Quilao (Skinny Jeans) July 23rd post about BlogHer agreeing that there should be sessions about single women at BlogHer.

Glad I stopped over here. Nice work. Interesting about curly hair. Both my sister and I have curly hair. I usually wash my hair every other day but when I am at our place in Kauai, I swim every day so I really have to wash my hair every day. In that case, I’ve found it works to use a treatment pack type conditioner every day.

When I was younger, straight hair was in but now I love having curly hair. I’ve finally found a guy who knows how to cut it such that it naturally dries into the style I want.


Chellie • August 6, 2008 at 12:07 am

I didn’t lose as much as you, but I get asked the same question. I even posted pics of the skin for people to see. For me, I think being prenant with twins stretched that skin more than anything. If it doesn’t bother you, that’s fantastic! I on the other hand had an issue with it so I had it removed. Being a fewllow curly haired girl, I’ll have to check out that book!


Sarah • August 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Wow, gotta check out that book. I’m thinking with light blonge (and oily) hair that I would probably be scaring my classmates if I didn’t wash my hair everyday. It just looks nasty otherwise. So jealous!


Gwendolyn • August 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I fought my curly hair for 30 years. Mom would even brush it when I was young, causing a fro. omg.

I finally came to terms with my hair when I turned 30. I let it be long and I didn’t do too much with it and it turned out okay. Conditioner and brushing my hair while in the shower were my secrets.

I finally loved my hair, then PCOS caused most of it to fall out.

I now miss it terribly and would gladly take a bad hair day from my past over a balding frizzy headed day in my present.

Luckily the head and shoulders I’m using doesn’t dry it out and helps make the top appear fuller.


Sara • August 8, 2008 at 12:41 am

You might as well get used to the fact that you’re a pretty little thing. It is what it is.

The whole ‘loose skin’ issue and the fear it strikes in the hearts and minds of dieters everywhere has never made any sense to me.

The flying squirrel like wings under my arms and the pockets of loose skin that are appearing on my shrinking bod aren’t particularly attractive, I grant you. But that same skin wasn’t exactly fetching all stretched tight with fat either.

Pick the ugly you can live with, I say.


sinead • August 9, 2008 at 1:40 am

so here’s a tidbit for folks who lose that much weight. In CA land of sun you can get your insurance to pay for skin tucks after losing that much weight. They are mandated to do so after disease (and obesity is counted as disease here – I am counted as morbidly obese and hopefully over next year will get that bmi down to well you’re not the skinnest but now you’re in healthy range) So just a fyi for the califoria readers on your blog or maybe you could move here. We’d like that – we love your blog, you’re in tech so easy to get a job here and then they would get rid of the excess skin too.


larisa • August 23, 2008 at 3:18 am

Hey,I love your blog. I think you are a very real person.I know you said you don’t really care about your saggy skin. But I still have a piece of advice for you. One of my friends is a beautician from Romania. She said once she had gone to the workshop of some woman from Africa on wrinkle reducing massage. She demonstrated it on a woman with a very saggy stomach skin. So after the massage the skin looked much better! There are a lot of specialists in the States who that kind of massage or may be similar. May be you should try it. It can’t hurt that’s for sure. Cheers


jamie • September 23, 2008 at 1:24 pm

ok. i really like your blog and it gives me hope that some day i too will find the normal sized person inside of me, but girl, your hair is so not reaching its ull potetential. step away from the blowdryer. i know its convenient and dries the hair quickly but you are doing yourself no favors. since i have always been too fat to follow the latest fashion trends, i have made it my mission in life to have enviable hair and as a result spent thousands(i havent really addded it up but im sure im close) trying every hair product for curly hair under the sun. my absolute best recommendation for you would have to be freeman beauty surfs up curl enhancing spray. its easy to use, just spray on damp hair and work through with your fingers then leave it. LEAVE IT. dont touch it, dont scrunch it, for godsakes dont blowdry it. it will work if you have the patience to let it dry on its own. it wont leave your hair crunchy it will be nice and soft and bouncy and wonderfully wavy. since i am Canadian i get it at london drugs so i have no idea where to get it in the states but you can oder it on line. oh, did i mention that it is cheap? so anyways i know i sound like some pushy salesman, and i dont mean to, but trust me youll like it.


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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