Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Half-Assed Review

Even though Jennette Fulda a/k/a Pasta Queen was rushing off to New York for her appearance on the Today Show she managed to find the time to personally autograph and ship my order of her weight-loss memoir (thanks PQ). I immediately put down the book I had been reading and devoured her memoir in a couple of days (good thing it had zero fat and zero calories).

We all know what an incredible writer she is from her blog and her book does not disappoint. She didn't cut and paste blog entries and call it a book. Jennette's story is not the typical fat girl gets thin book. Her family never pressured her to lose weight and she didn't feel much abuse by society for being obese. She doesn't preach about what diet she used although she did start out with the basic principles of the South Beach Diet after she saw her brother lose weight using that method. You will not find any meal plans or grueling work out schedules here. She ate more healthy foods (vegetables, fruits and proteins) and less white stuff (white bread, sugar, and processed foods) and spent lots of time on her treadmill. She knows that what worked for her won't necessarily be what works for you or me.

Jennette didn't spend a lifetime buying in to all the crazy fad diets, she didn't play the yo-yo game so she hadn't really screwed with her metabolism as much as the constant dieters out there. Her diet was not something she was going to go off when she hit some magic number. She knew she had to find a way of eating she could live with for the rest of her life, she didn't want to try some crazy tapeworm diet and feel stupid. She would rather stay fat than lose weight and regain it all on some fad diet and be fat and stupid.

Jennette had set backs and moments where she slipped up and had one too many pieces of (stolen) cake or too much chocolate but she didn't use it as an excuse to give up and let those moments throw her into a state of despair and hopelessness. She just got back to her routine and knew it was just a set back and she would have to re-lose those few pounds gained from those slip ups.

She talked about how being overweight was like being in debt. Instead of owing money, she owed calories. At the start she calculated that she was 742,000 calories overdrawn. She knew she wasn't going to erase that caloric debt overnight and just started focusing on making healthy food choices and moving her body instead of snuggling on the couch with her cat, Officer Krupke.

Jennette would often talk herself into getting on the treadmill or on the trail for a walk and had those familiar arguments with herself. After a particular bad eating day she forced herself to get out on the walking trail. She didn't want to do it and started telling herself she didn't have to do it, she could turn around but she knew there was no turning back. If she turned back she was screwed, it was not an option. She stated "If I looked back, I'd turn into a pillar of salt and somebody's dog would lick me up and poop me out." Pure literary genius.

Her weight loss didn't happen overnight and she certainly struggled at times but she finally got to a point where she felt really good about herself even though she may not be considered "thin" in this crazy world where you can never be too rich or too thin. She is aware of all the statistics of weight loss and how hard it is to keep it off. She stated that she "accepted the fact that my body needs constant care and attention. I haven't been cured of obesity, I'm just in remission. There is no fat vaccine. I have realistic goals and won't be heartbroken if I never wear a size 4 dress."

Her life is very different than it was at 372 pounds and she is taking advantage of all the wonderful things she is able to do now. She can RUN now and recently finished a half marathon, she can cook healthy foods and eat cake and cookies now and then and doesn't beat herself up about it. That's just part of life.

PQ knows that she needs to take care of her body and knows she is not perfect. Her life isn't sprinkled with fairy dust and all sunshine and roses now that she is thin. She still has problems and frustrations but they can no longer be blamed on obesity. I think we all use our fat as an excuse for why we are not doing the things we want to do in life. I don't want to spoil the ending but she doesn't ride off into the sunset to live a perfect life although she can now live it without all the aches and pains that go along with being twice her size.

She hasn't reached her "goal" weight and she is ok with that. She may never get to that number she set but she doesn't think about that as much as working to increase her running time. She thinks like an athlete now. She has been able to stop focusing so much on the numbers on the scale and start living her life as an active healthy (formerly fat) girl.

Jennette has achieved something so many of us want to accomplish but says is doesn't make her any more special or amazing than anyone else. She says there are times she feels a need to apologize for being so happy, to say she's sorry to all people who want to be thin but are stuck being fat. Her life isn't perfect now just because she can fit her whole body in one side of her fat pants.

Way to go PQ!
This blog seems to have turned into the Pasta Queen fan club lately but I find her story very inspiring and wanted to share it with you. I will now be returning to my regularly scheduled program and can't wait to get to that place where I feel comfortable in my body and have my own success story to tell.


  1. I found this blog a couple of weeks ago through a link from another blog, which was a link through PQ's blog, which I found on Amazon when I was looking for another book 2 months ago. Half-Assed was a recommended new title on this page..get all that? ~whew~
    Anyway, I along with you am a HUGE fan of PQ's blog and book. When I found the blog I became OBSESSED, spending every waking moment reading her archives. What a remarkable young woman who has lead an incredible journey with humor, grace and style. I am in absolute awe of her, and am inspired by her in ways I can't put into words.

  2. Boilergrad1993: Glad you found your way here.

    I did the same thing when I found PQ's blog ... I read all the archives and would check her site everyday for new posts (until I learned how to use a feeder).

    If you are looking for books, you should check out the Shelfari site. It is pretty cool.

    Hope to see you again soon.

  3. thanks for commenting on my blog and giving me some initial encouragement. i've begun to update again and would love to stay in touch

  4. I might have to check out that book. It's always to hear someone else's story.

  5. Hi,

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  6. I am a brand new blogger and have just started my diet / weight loss journey, and I am just as inspired by PastaQueen's story ... even more interesting to find it written about on other blogger's blogs!

    Best wishes,


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