I’m going to answer some readers’ questions today. They’ve been sitting in my inbox, making me feel guilty every time I check my e-mail, taking up precious kilobytes of memory. No more! If you asked me a question and the answer isn’t here, feel free to e-mail me again at halfofme at pastaqueen dot com so I can ignore you for a couple weeks and then write another guilt post.
1) Melissa asks “Can you give us an example of your daily menu?”
Several people have asked me this and I don’t feel comfortable posting that information. I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor. I don’t want to program other people’s menus. I think people need to figure out what works for themselves. Everyone has different dietary needs depending on their gender and current size and activities. I ate a lot more food when I was morbidly obese than I do now because my body simply needed more energy to run.
Everyone has different tastes too. As we discovered in my entry about the produce section many of you would trade your first born children for a sweet potato cooked in brown sugar. However some of you just weren’t into them at all and would prefer to hold out for a good offer on your offspring from a troupe of wandering gypsies.
I think you have to work your eating habits into your daily routine. If you work late hours, you probably can’t make dinner every night like I do. If you have to take clients out to dinner or go on social engagements with friends a lot, you’re going to have to figure out how to eat out without pigging out. Currently I’m making an effort to get more protein into my diet since I’m trying to build muscle, but if you’re not weight-lifting you don’t necessarily need to do that.
I think people put a bit too much emphasis on food when it comes to weight loss. It’s important to eat healthy, but it’s equally important to figure out tricks to make yourself eat healthy and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, you’re not going to stick with it. I wouldn’t want anyone to try eating exactly what I’m eating, have it not suit their tastes and then give up on weight loss forever thinking it’s impossible.
I don’t have a problem posting recipes I like, but this really isn’t a food blog, nor do I have a desire to make it one, so those posts are few and far between.
2) Cris asks “Have you ever felt trepidation or fear involving people’s reaction(s)to your thin body?”
Not really. If you are asking about people who knew me when I was fat, most of them witnessed the transformation as it happened or at least saw me every couple of months, so they are in awe but not taken completely unawares. I get congratulated a lot, but that’s not something I fear. It’s happened enough that I’ve learned to just say “Thanks!” and smile. When you think about it, many of our conversations in life are scripted like that. Someone says “How are you doing?” in the hallway and I say “Pretty good,” even if I wish I was still in bed drooling on my pillowcase.
I did recently run into an old college professor at a lecture event at my old school and was worried he wouldn’t recognize me. I don’t think he did either until I said my name. But that was mostly fun because it’s enjoyable to shock people and I didn’t even have to flash my tits to do it, which honestly are only shocking in their smallness. I also got to tell him that besides losing ton of weight I also had a book deal based on my blog. After this I thought to myself, “I have got to be making this shit up. I sound like a total liar. The past two years of my life have been an intense fever dream occurring in a diabetic coma after I finally ate too much frosting straight out of the jar.”
If you are talking about meeting new people, I am still feeling my way around social interactions where people are not repulsed by or pitying me. I was eating Cajun food at a restaurant with my brother a few weeks ago and I think a guy across the room was making eyes at me, but I kind of freaked out and wasn’t sure if I was imagining things, so I chowed down on my gumbo instead. I’m sure it will take time to adjust to the new way people treat me, but I feel pretty confident about myself in general and know I’ll figure things out. Mostly it’s just nice that people are nice to me, except for jerks in traffic who cannot use their turn signals.
I know we give other people a lot of crap about not being nice to us when we were morbidly obese, but I have to admit I am not immune to judging people on their looks. I have become a lot more aware of the fact that I’m doing it, but I still assign traits to someone because they’re bald or short or hairy or can’t be bothered to comb their hair or brush their teeth. I try to be open-minded and remind myself that I was not lazy when I was fat, so someone is not necessarily a serial killer because they have creepy eyes and arched eyebrows. However, I think part of the human brain will always be wired to judge people on their looks. I just work around it as best as I can. I cut people some slack if they do the same, but that doesn’t give them a free pass to be “looks”-ists either.
3) summer asks “I’ve never seen you do a ‘what is up with these jealous-ass heifers in my life’ post — have you experienced weird moments of jealousy?”
Not really. I have started to sympathize with priests and nuns though, because I’ve become a walking shame machine. People keep telling me they feel bad that they can’t lose 10 or 20 pounds. I’m sure the clergy can’t even buy a pack of cigarettes at the mini-mart without making the check-out clerk feel guilty for any sins they’ve committed. I’m now the go-to girl for dieting sins. I don’t know if I should empathize with these people and tell them the last 10 pounds are the hardest or if I should just pat them on the head and say “Oh, that’s too bad” or if they want me to give them tips. I’m certainly not going to gain weight again just to make them feel better. On the positive side, I know some people have said they’ve started exercising or dieting again because of my results, so there seems to be value in setting a good example.
As far as my friends go, I emphasize quality over quantity. None of them have tried to sabotage me with curly fries or milkshakes. I do have one friend who is probably as overweight as I was near the beginning. I was concerned about how my weight loss would change our friendship, but she has been very cool and supportive and goes out of her way to make sure we eat at healthy places, which is why she is my best friend to begin with. So if anyone is jealous of my achievements, they’ve been kind of enough to repress their feelings, burying them deep until someday they erupt in a fury at an unexpected moment, like at a driver who does not use their turn signal.