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A history of cake

I have a lot of photos of myself sitting in front of cake. I noticed this when I dug out my mother’s photos albums and boxes of unsorted prints looking for a good “before” photo earlier this year. “No wonder I was so fat. I was always eating cake!” I thought. Then I realized that, no, I wasn’t always eating cake. We just always took pictures of me on my birthday, at which we always ate cake.

These pictures do provide a good timeline of how I’ve aged over the years, and what my taste in pastries was at the time. So today, I give you a history of cake.


Age: 10

Wearing a corduroy jumper made by mother. I was currently obsessed with headbands. Looks like we got out the fancy metal plates for the occasion! I love how my hands are encircling the cake, as if to say, “Mine, all mine!”


Age: 14

Wearing my marching band T-shirt and about to devour a Tazmanian Devil cake.


Age: 15

Wearing one of those long t-shirts we used to tie in a knot on the side, or if you were feeling fancy you’d use a plastic t-shirt tie. No, it wasn’t in fashion at the time :) Thank goodness it’s dark so you can’t see quite how frizzy my hair is.


Age: 16

Wearing one of the four plaid shirts I lived in at the time, even though grunge was on its way out. If I pre-dated these photos I could pretend I was trendy.


Age: 23

Wearing a Lane Bryant top, which was quite comfy but depressingly a size 24/26.


Age: 24

Down one gallbladder, but still able to digest high-fat ice cream cake. Weight, 372 pounds.


Age: 25

Finally decreasing in size, down to 260 pounds. Cake is noticeably smaller.


Age: 26

200 pounds! No longer obese. Let’s celebrate with cake!


Age: 27

At my lowest weight, 175 pounds. Am I smiling because of my size or because of the Oreo Blizzard cake? (Definitely because of the cake.)

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Tish • October 27, 2008 at 8:03 am

Great photo history! I’d vote for that first cake which you so wisely protected with your encircling arms. I like that you still celebrate with cake, but have obviously learned how to do it and still maintain your new lifestyle.


gina at la Matriarch • October 27, 2008 at 8:46 am

My favorite is the first one because it’s dripping with chocolate.

Chocolate + cake = happiness


Inny • October 27, 2008 at 8:55 am

Your hair also changes,it looks better and better on each photo


Xenia • October 27, 2008 at 8:56 am

Great, great post! I’m sure I could create a similar post, but instead it would be entitled The History of Christmas Dessert.


Charlie Hills • October 27, 2008 at 8:56 am

I love your journey through cake!

I came across a photo of me on my 12th or 13th party (it was hard to count the candles) of me greedily sitting in front of my own cake. Except I never had ‘cake’ for my birthday. It was always cheesecake.


April • October 27, 2008 at 9:26 am

Great photos. I’m now hungry for cake at 8:25 am. Thanks so much for that. :-)


debby • October 27, 2008 at 9:41 am

That was fun. I think you have a mom that loves you very much.

I have a question. How did you get those older pictures onto the computer?


Ken • October 27, 2008 at 9:50 am

Love that hair when you were 15… it screams 80’s


Marla • October 27, 2008 at 10:07 am

I like the Age 26 cake, because it’s like a white quonset hut with blue drippings – so symbolic. (huh?)


PastaQueen • October 27, 2008 at 10:14 am

@debby – I used a scanner to scan them.


PastaQueen • October 27, 2008 at 10:14 am

@Ken – Yeah, too bad it was the 90’s :)


Mom • October 27, 2008 at 10:41 am

Someone did not mention that today is her birthday. We did celebrate with cupcakes this past weekend. Sorry I did not think to take a picture. We will just have to go back and reenact the cafe hopping. Happy Birthday!!!!! I love you dearly, Mom


Sarah • October 27, 2008 at 10:41 am

Gimme some cake! Love the history in those photos! Having just turned 32 I ended up having two cakes. One on my birthday, where the twin sis got us a tiny 6 inch round carrot cake. Then, a couple days later with my mother, who always wants to make sure that we have cake for our birthday after she skipped a year when I was losing. By accident instead of getting the 8 in round she ended up with a 12 inch round. Half of it sat in my fridge until I could unload it on the place I volunteer. Where it mostly went…. but I will admit to finishing it off, well the frosting anyways, that’s always the best part imho. It’s only once a year that I allow my self that sugary lard goodness. Sigh. Time to start counting down again.


Lilbet • October 27, 2008 at 10:46 am

OMG, the comment about the plastic t-shirt tie thingie, hilarious!

Thanks for the laugh.

I love birthday cake. I love it. Definitely worth the butt busting workout it takes before and after!


Beth • October 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNETTE! Go out and celebrate because you look fabulous (but you were always adorable to us).


JEM • October 27, 2008 at 11:22 am

Happy Happy Birthday Jennette! Loved this posting, seeing the changes over the years is very cool. Hope you enjoyed your day!


Shelley Bowman • October 27, 2008 at 11:24 am

Happy Birthday!!! Great post; loved seeing you grow up (literally) and then grow down (figuratively)!


Shelley Bowman • October 27, 2008 at 11:28 am

Happy Birthday!!! Great post; loved seeing you grow up (literally) and then grow down (figuratively)!


Jackie • October 27, 2008 at 11:56 am

Happy Birthday Jennette! You have a lot to be proud of.


maggie • October 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Is it your birthday?? Happy birthday!!! Yay cake.


Quix • October 27, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Happy birthday! =) I loved the picture timeline of cake and yeah, now I want some cake too!


Amy • October 27, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Ohhh, 80s glasses. I had some of those. :-) I have this absolutely traumatic picture of myself in the first grade, circa 1984 with those big ol’ glasses and… wait for it… a mullet. Yep. My mom insists to this day that it was a shag. Lie-telling.

Anyway, happy birthday! You look amazing!


victoria • October 27, 2008 at 1:25 pm

What a great post! Thank you.


mara • October 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Great post! You have come a long way.


Lyn • October 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I just wanted to tell you something. When I started looking through those photos I got tears in my eyes. Maybe because I am so used to seeing pictures of you now (skinny) and even though I had seen the before pics on your site, seeing the progression in years and the weight on you, it made it so much more real. Because that could be my life too, and so many other people’s, sitting in front of the cake weighing 278 pounds (+) year after year, but then you shrank. What a reminder of what you have done for yourself. It really gives me hope that I, too, can complete this weight loss journey and not have to have the giant face (and body) anymore.

Thanks, and Happy Birthday.


Tish • October 27, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Happy Birthday, Jennette! Thanks for the heads up ‘Mom!’


Violachick • October 27, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Hope you have the best birthday yet, PQ! All hail the (Pasta) Queen!

:) Jackie


tina • October 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm

You are freaking hilarious. It’s weird but in the photo with the Lane Bryant top on, you look like you but someone just filled you up with air.


jkd • October 27, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Isn’t it nice to know you’re one of those people who gets better looking with age? I feel sorry for people who reach their peak of beauty at 18 or something.


Kalyn • October 27, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Great post! And dahling, you look fabulous!


Nik@Night • October 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Happy Birthday!!! Love the review in cake! Mmmmm oreos… You and your cakes rock!


Marste • October 27, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Happy Birthday!!!!


Rebecca Hoover • October 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Happy Bday, you are so brave and confident. All my “before” pics are in a bin, hidden deep in the closet. And while my boyfriend knows that I used to be HUGE, he’s only seen like one pic. I hate all those old pics of me! Even my daughter, who has been with me through it all, can’t believe I used to be so big. Ugh.

You look very lovely.

And thanks to the fashion Gods that gigantic glasses are not the rage anymore(or was it just my poor fashion sense?), I have some fantastic photos of my face drowning in enormous, pink frames.


Nicole • October 27, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Loved it -the cakes and the fashion history. Also loved seeing the transition from kid to young woman. Very easy to spot.

On a different front, have your read http://everydayyogini.com/index.php/the-path-of-healing/ she talks about living with chronic pain. I thought of you.


LisaNewton • October 27, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Great pictures…………Plus, I too, love the hair. In fact, your 15 year pictures has similar qualities to my hair…………….:)


earthmamma • October 27, 2008 at 6:50 pm

so its my birthday tomorrow….

we should have celebrated together.

a couple of days ago i went to a ‘raw food’ class. i tasted the yummiest cheesecake EVER!! all raw!! all natural. nothing nothing even remotely unhealthy. soo….i will be making it today to be all chilled for consumption tomorrow. cant wait!!

i loved your photos by the way…keep them coming!!


Kari • October 27, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Happy birthday! This was a cool post. Interesting way to chronicle one’s life…in birthday cake. I just absolutely *had* to have a cupcake from Adrienne & Co today so I guess I was subconsciously celebrating your birthday. ;)


Calidaho • October 27, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I LOVE the glasses over the years.


PastaQueen • October 27, 2008 at 7:32 pm

@Mom – I thought about mentioning it, but I didn’t want to fish for birthday wishes, so I left it out.


Ang • October 27, 2008 at 7:39 pm

This was fun to read. I wish I had thought to take a similar picture of my son every year. I like the Fall leaves tablecloth in a couple of the pictures! I hope you have a fantastic birthday!


sarah • October 27, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Who doesn’t love cake? Yum.


nolafwug • October 27, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Happy Birthday!

I had one of my favorite cakes yesterday – Great Wall of Chocolate at P.F. Chang’s. The server didn’t bring out individual plates so we all just dug in. The people to cake ratio was perfect. I didn’t feel like I had to rush to make sure I got enough. Also it’s nice not to go by portion size on occasion and just eat as much as you want – especially with cake!


Rachel • October 27, 2008 at 9:24 pm

We have the same birthday!

Happy Birthday!! I have three cakes in my fridge right now. One form my coworkers, one form my mom and one from my friends. They’re driving me bananas!!! Think the food bank will take 3 half eaten cakes? :(


skaakiko • October 27, 2008 at 11:35 pm

My mother once took a pic of me at a birthday party with one of those lovely hyper color t-shirts. The ones that changed colors when you touched them. Tragic fashion…


Christie • October 28, 2008 at 1:00 am

To quote the great Homer (Simpson, that is)… “Mmmmmmmmm. Cake.”

Happy mildly belated Birthday, Jennette


Boilergrad93 • October 28, 2008 at 7:07 am

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!! Hope you had a wonderful day. BTW, last night I finished reading your book…for the SECOND time!!


Sabs • October 28, 2008 at 7:20 am

WOW, your transformation is quite amazing.

Hope you had a lovely b’day!


Hide Those Cookies • October 28, 2008 at 9:46 am

Wow! A cake chronology–SWEET! (Quite literally!) Your time line reminds me of one of those Gestalt pictures where you can see two different things: some days I would look at it and feel inspired by your progress, but today I’m just excited by the prospect of birthday cake (sad).

Rock on, sister sledge!


Liz Remus • October 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

You look amazing and younger at 27 than you did in previous years. Happy Birthday!!


K • October 28, 2008 at 11:40 am

Happy birthday!

I’m wallowing in nostalgia myself, because the 90s were also my teenage years and I’m recalling my own vast T-shirts and grungy shirts as I look at your photos. (I’m a year older than you.) And I think we ALL wore the headbands in 1990.

I have to say that although your haircut does improve, I think you look nice in the earlier photos too. The age 16 one is sweet. And you were clearly always a nice and interesting person.


Joy • October 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm

What a neat way to remember your weightloss struggles and just growing up. We all have those pictures in front of our birthday cakes. How very interesting to look at them all together! You have come such a long and way and should be immensely proud of yourself. There’s nothing better than cake to tell a story! Yum!


Mindy • October 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Happy Birthday! Yesterday was my birthday too and I remembered on Sunday that I wanted to post a happy birthday to you. However, I spent my birthday in the dentist’s chair for six hours of fun and pain. Sort of wiped out any plans I had to celebrate later.

Hope your day was a good one!


bunnah • October 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm

You look so different between ages 26 and 27. I guess it could be the hair and no glasses and more weight loss, but I’m not sure. I feel like you look *older,* but I really can’t explain how. This is a great post!

I hope your headache (BOTH the first and second layers!) are getting at least manageable, although I really hope they go away soon.


Tara • October 28, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Happy Birthday. MMM Cake. It is always funny to look back at old pics and see how you have changed. Things we thought were so cool in th 90’s are so funny these days. I am guilty of wearing sturrup stretch pants. Yikes I know! I hope you had a great birthday:)


Kathi • October 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Happy Birthday yesterday!

I hope it was a great day, great post. Thanks to Mom for giving us the fyi.


Linda • October 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Happy Birthday PQ!!! What a wonderful gift you’ve given yourself, as is evidenced by your latest birthday pic. You look mahvelous!


Bella • October 28, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Even before I read the comments and your mom said it was your birthday, I used my powers of deduction and realized it.


This history is quite a record. Wonderful post.


Chrissy S • October 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Hey, since you didn’t want to fish for a wish, I will refrain…

But I do want to say how cute the age 10 photo is. And of *course* you were hanging on to your cake, looks like (your bro?) is totally ready to move in on the cake as soon as the photo is taken. ha.

Thanks for this little journey back, it was a lot of fun. Neat to see some photos we haven’t seen before.

What a lovely story with the last frame lookin’ so good!


Amy • October 28, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Yummm….cake! It’s definitely a weakness of mine. But it has to have buttercream icing. None of that whipped stuff.


Madison (FollowMyWeigh) • October 29, 2008 at 1:13 am

you must be really tall. and you carried 200ls REALLY well. you look like a 120lb girl on your age 26 photo!


Amanda • October 29, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Wow they are a great collection of cake photos! You are looking so well PQ!


Haystacks • October 31, 2008 at 3:36 am

“200 pounds! No longer obese. Let’s celebrate with cake!”

Is my new favorite quote


kathy • October 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Hi, I finished reading your book and enjoyed it very much. I log onto your blog periodically and laugh out loud. Happy Birthday and keep up the great lifestyle.


moonduster • November 2, 2008 at 5:46 pm

What a great way to show the progression of your weight gain and losses! (By the way, you look fantastic!)


Jodi G • November 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Holy Macaroni, Batman! That pic of you at age 15 was me! I had to double take! We could have been twins “back then”. Well, only if you were 15 in 1982…


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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