Friday, January 23, 2009

The Secret (and a giveaway)

How would you like to fit into your old "fat pants" like that? I know I would... I am saving my old 26's for just such an occasion. How about you? Do you wish you could shrink to half your size? Jennette Fulda doesn't have to wish anymore... she started at 372 pounds and lost 186 pounds! Wanna know the secret? Read on...

Jennette is the author of Half-Assed, a Weight Loss Memoir, but you might know her as "PastaQueen," who has been chronicling her weight loss on her blog since 2003. This week I got the chance to read Jennette's book and to ask her a few questions. First, here are the questions and her answers... followed by The Secret. (All quotes are from her Half Assed book. And I mean that in the nicest way.)

Lyn: On page 71, you talk about the mechanics of losing weight: "I was regulating my diet of food for the day, but I would never be able to stop without gaining back the weight." Are you still regulating your food in the same way? Do you ever feel like it's a burden?

Jennette: I stay aware of what I'm eating and always try to make the best choices. Sometimes if I'm particularly stressed, sad or alone I might grab a chocolate bar, but as long as I'm eating healthy 80-90% of the time I feel like I'm doing well. There are some days it certainly feels like a burden. I'll find myself sitting on the couch thinking about food, wishing I could stop thinking about food and wonder why my brain works this way. I've accepted that this is just the way I am and this is the problem I have to deal with in life. At least I'm not a crack whore :)

Lyn: Yeah, thank God for that (heh). Actually, thinking about food all the time is pretty common, IMO. Here's another common issue: a lot of people who lose weight have a hard time reconciling the person they are in their head with the person they are in the mirror. On page 102, you ponder, "How long would I have to eat well and exercise before I was no longer pretending to be a healthy, thin person and was actually considered one by myself and others?" Do you think your perception of yourself now matches the perception other people have of you?

Jennette: I think my self-image and other's people perception of my size are pretty close. If anything, I feel thinner than most people would at my size because I was once morbidly obese. I'm still a bit chubby, but I'm thinner than I've been for the majority of my adult life, so I'm pretty happy with my weight. I have no aspirations to be a size 0, 2, 4, or even 6.

Lyn: Oh I hear you there. No size 0's in my future, either! Having met you at the Quaker event, let me just say you look great! Another question: in your book, you mentioned that you've developed a love of cooking. Care to share a favorite recipe with us?

Jennette: I found an Angel Meringue Dessert recently that is rather tasty and low-calorie. I'll probably make it at the next big family gathering so my diabetic cousin has a dessert to eat. It requires parchment paper which I had to buy from the store because, seriously, when do I ever use parchment paper? I think this is from one of the South Beach Diet cookbooks, but I'm not sure.

Angel Meringue Dessert

5 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons finely ground walnuts
1 cup low-fat whipped topping
Fresh strawberries, sliced, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 275ยบ F.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the cream of tartar and then the Splenda, 2 Tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until shiny peaks form. Fold in the walnuts.

Form the mixture into a 7” circle on the parchment paper.

Bake for 1 hour, or until light golden. Turn off the oven and let the meringue cool with the door open. Remove from the parchment and store in an airtight container or place on a serving plate. Top with the whipped topping and garnish with the strawberries and mint.

Lyn: That sounds lovely! I'll be right over to sample it! But first, one more question. On page 213, you say, "Now that I was basically thin, I'd have to start looking for a new goal. I could be so much more than the girl who lost all that weight. Now that I'd lost the weight, I could do anything." What is something you've accomplished that you're proud of? What kinds of things do you have in mind for the future?

Jennette: After the book came out I got a new, higher-paying, day job with better benefits. I'd stayed at my old job far too long because I was scared to make a change and I wasn't sure if there was anything out there that was better. Losing weight gave me confidence in my ability to make changes in my life and helped me land my latest gig.

As for the future, I hope to travel abroad before my 30th birthday, though that will depend on my financial circumstances. If you buy my book, consider it a contribution to PastaQueen's travel fund :)

Wonderful! Thanks, Jennette! And now I am going to share...

The Secret.

Everyone wants to know: how did she do it? What's The Secret to losing weight? How do you stay motivated? Where do you get the willpower to accomplish such a task? Thankfully, all is revealed in Jennette's book. As a matter of fact, there is a whole chapter entitled, "The Secret." And I am going to share it with you. Are you ready? Here it comes:

"There is no secret."

That's what she says in her book. But the fact is, that THAT is The Secret. If you can get your mind around this one, you'll get it. The light bulb will go on. It will click. And you can change your life, if you so choose. This is hands down my favorite chapter in the book. It sums up what I've been trying to say on this blog all along. It doesn't take a special pill, a magic potion, an expensive diet plan or a case of diet shakes to lose weight. It doesn't even hinge on your motivation or your willpower. It's just making choices every day that lead you closer to your goal rather than farther away from it. As Jennette says in her book:

"Willpower's overrated... Willpower was good for getting me to speed up my grocery cart as I passed the Oreos strategically placed next to the milk section. It was good for making me avoid eye contact with the Girl Scouts selling cookies outside the grocery store. But using willpower as the energy source for a long-term weight-loss plan was like trying to power an aircraft carrier with a hamster running in a wheel."

Word.

And on being questioned as to how she stayed motivated:

"I should have just told her to screw motivation. If I waited for motivation to do the dishes, I'd have plates stacked on my counter so high that I couldn't open the microwave. ... I was never motivated to do my dishes. Yet I turned on the faucet and poured out some dish soap anyway. It wasn't because I wanted to have fun with bubbles; it was because I had to. I couldn't bring myself to eat off paper plates."

Advice? "People waited for motivation to find them, but they needed to go out and find motivation. ... You just have to do it, even though you don't want to."

She's so right.

If you'd like to read more, you can enter to win a copy of Half-Assed by leaving a comment on this post telling me one good thing you are going to DO today, whether you feel like it or not. Contest is open to folks in the USA and Canada. I'll pick a random winner on Wednesday the 28th. Good luck!

And if you'd like to buy yourself a copy of Half-Assed, it's pretty cheap over at Amazon right now, and you can use their "look inside" feature to read several pages online.

To keep following Jennette on her virtual tour head on over to Lynn's Weigh tomorrow, January 24th.

I'll be posting recipes this weekend! Low fat cornbread and Crispy Roasted Chickpeas, for your culinary pleasure. Have a great weekend!!


60 comments:

Shelley said...

Loved Jennette's book - great review!

Crispy chick peas? Sounds right up my alley...can't wait for the recipe!

Janene said...

Hi Lyn~
My name is Janene and I have been following your blog for quite some time now!
I so enjoy reading feelings of someone else that mirrors mine!
Keep up the fantastic work!
You inspire me to lose the other person who lives within me!

Holly said...

Tonight I'm going to order steamed veggies & brown rice when we have Chinese food with friends tonight. If I fill 3/4 of my plates with veggies and rice, that 1/4 I fill with crab rangoons won't be so bad.. Moderation is the key (at least that's what I keep telling myself)

justjuliebean said...

I'd like to read her book, I have a feeling I agree with most of what she says. Today I will go to the gym if I can get home in time, and I will eat dinner (leftovers) at home, though I'd rather eat out, or at least not leftovers. Saving money and calories both.

POD said...

Read her book when it first came out. Great story -- of course it's similar to mine. hahah

bbubblyb said...

I'm going to take a walk when I get home.

Kate Olesak said...

I'm de-lurking for this one. Great blog, Lyn. I read it first thing every morning to keep me inspired.

Today, whether I want to or not, I'm going to work out when I get home from work. I over slept this morning and didn't have time to do it then.

wakati said...

I'm heading to Outback tonight to celebrate a friend's birthday. No bread for me and I'm going to journal the rest of my food before I get there.

Jeanne said...

I'm thinking SMALL today...that's my goal.

I read somewhere that it all starts with a SMALL step...leave one small thing on your plate at the end of a meal, park a little futher away, take the stairs, do that little extra chore just to get in the activity.

It helps me to look at things in a SMALL way sometimes...otherwise I get overwhelmed. So those towels I was going to get my daughter to take upstairs and put away? I'm going to go and do that myself...

Right now....

((hugs))
Jeanne

Hilary said...

Something I plan to do today (actually I already did it), was go walk on the treadmill for at least 10 min. That's my 5 day/week goal is to move more for at least 10 min. Even though I didn't feel like doing this today, I did AND I actually went ahead and walked for 30 min total!

Joan said...

I too already did what I didn't want to do today. I lifted weights for 45 minutes and then walked on the treadmill for 25. I have followed Pasta Queen for quite a while, so would love to read her book.

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Open to Canada? WOOT!!!

I actually don't want this book for myself, but for a girlfriend of mine. She struggles with motivation and willpower in the worst way, and she just isn't getting it when I tell her that there is no secret. Maybe reading it from PastaQueen (whom I love to follow) would do it for her.

Linz said...

I love your blog and PQ's! You both motivate me so much.

Today, I'm going to hop on the exercise bike and ride through TWO episodes of Arrested Development, no matter how much I'd rather sit on the couch and watch them with a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

~TMcGee~ said...

Today, I am going to like myself. I figure if a few folks around me like me for me, then I might as well jump on that train. :-)

Teale said...

I have been wanting to read this, but my local library doesn't have it! One thing I'm going to do today is to clean the house when I get home and work off some calories by dancing to some music while cleaning! Much better than sitting on my butt in a dirty house!

Lady Downsize! said...

I can relate to the being scared to leave the job. One day. The good thing I am doing today is cooking a healthy dinner at home instead of going through the drive-thru. And that is huge! in my world the past while. Gotta stop being lazy and go get crazy in the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed her book. Her sense of humor shows through, and it's very honest. I was one who preordered it as soon as it was up for preordering, after reading The Pasta Queen's HALF OF ME for a while. She's a cool blogger and she's done an amazing transformation.

I think whoever wins the book will heartily enjoy it.

the Princess

Graized said...

I am behind on my water intake today, so before I go to bed in like 7-8 hours, I am going to have picked up the slack and made it all the way to my daily goal of 1-1.5 gallons.

I've got about 75 or so ounces to go...

new*me said...

yep, there is no secret :).......love that.......so true! The dessert sounds yummy!

One good thing I will do for myself today......get my weight training video in. I don't really feel like doing it...but I will....I promise!

farmwife said...

Great post! I'd love to read her whole book; it sounds like she's figured it out.

Yep, I already did one thing I didn't want to do today -- I worked out for 60 minutes to my Biggest Loser dvd.

I'm going to do another tonight - because I ate a handful of chocolate raisins today. I'm going to have salad for dinner.

Lee said...

I'm going to get on the treadmill for 45 minutes right after I post this comment.

Lisa said...

Today I will get up and shower even though I feel awful and am running a fever. I know showering will make me feel a litte better until the medicine kicks in. I am not sure my body will survive any exercise today, we will see after the shower.

lisa323_85@msn.com

moonduster said...

Great review! I completely agree about willpower and motivation.

Barb said...

plan my meals for next week & do my daily 3 miles on the treadmill.

mzbarbara@hotmail.com

exfatgirl said...

What good thing am I going to do? Instead of eating the candy bar I'm craving, I'm going to savor a cup of sugar-free chocolate pudding. 60 calories!!

Lucrecia said...

Great review - I think you missed your calling!

I'm going to exercise today, even though its Friday and my head thinks that means go home and do nothing day!

Laurens_Closet said...

I just had all of my hair cut off (see my blog!!!) and I'm going for a run!

Now gimme that book!!! ; )

Amy
www.rebuildingamy.blogspot.com

Marjie said...

I have been following her blog. Very impressive.
I have lost 86 pounds so far still a work in progress.
I love reading your blog. Great writing, fun to read.

eyeslikesugar said...

The day is almost over, but one good thing I did today was make an appointment to sign up for classes in college. It's exciting because it's a second chance for me as I never cared much for academia in the past, but now I really, really enjoy it!

I'd love to win this book as I follow her blog, and would enjoy the book so much. :)

Meghan/Blatant Animal-Related Idiocy said...

I am going to get through my first Friday night in...forever...without snacking or eating crap I don't really need or want!

I had a mushroom sandwich and a veggie salad with water for dinner, and I had a good breakfast and lunch as well. I will not mess that up!

Beanie said...

What I did today was actually leave my house and get warmed by the sun for once!!! That vitamin D sure did feel good!!!

Melanie said...

I'm pretty new to reading your blog and am enjoying it. I'd love to win a copy fo this book. Today I did 100 ab crunches and 20 push-ups. I didn't really want to, but I did. :)

Ria said...

Great review, Lyn! I'd love to win the book . . . what I did today that I didn't want to do was actually cook dinner (salmon, butternut squash & zucchini) instead of ordering takeout!

BTW, I thought of your post re Reubens recently when I tried a recipe for baked Reuben egg rolls. They were really good, and reasonably healthy . . . in case you're curious, here is the link. http://biz319.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/my-mouth-is-doing-a-happy-dance/

Dawn said...

Since I'm almost ready for bed, instead of telling you something I will do today, I'll tell you something I did do today. I was very tempted to get food from a restaurant for lunch because I was working across the street from one and I could smell the food and it smelled so good. Instead I came home and ate a turkey burger. It was really good.

Tanya said...

Well... the day is pretty much over here... but I DID go grocery shopping and other than a package of arrowroot cookies for the baby I didn't buy any convenience foods.

And I AM heading to bed early tonight.

Rodeogirl said...

Hey it's me Rodeogirl, throwin in my hat for free stuff. Free stuff!! :)

Lets see one thing I am doing today is cleaning my kitchen. I love having a clean kitchen but don't like the cleaning part so much.

Having a clean kitchen makes it easier to cook and cooking usually involves more whole foods. Stuff that is easy (granola bars and Triscuits with laughing cow cheese) are fine for snacks or travel foods but anything that encourages cooking is good for me.

Christie said...

I'm writing down what I eat as a tool to be mindful. And I'm committed to exercise. I'm finding that hard core exercise every day doesn't work -- it hurts too much. But I can alternate intense days with less intense walking. Thanks for this GREAT post!

Dl Weight said...

I loved this book! What an inspiration! Great review!

Stephanie said...

I know, I know! Motivation will not strike me; just do it! Okay. I will move for at least 30 minutes tomorrow morning before work. Happy? :) Thanks for always inspiring with your honesty and insight. I think I might have to invest in these books you've been reviewing. Have a happy Saturday!

jen.y. said...

i'll go to the gym =(

katie m said...

I've been wanting to read Jeanette's book! Today, one good thing that I will do for me is: run! I have been slacking the past few weeks, and I need to nip the anti-exercise mojo in the bud.

momyshaver said...

I will have to read this book-the interview has my curiousity going! Today I will do many things I feel like avoiding.. 45 minutes of cardio, homeschooling 5 children (I enjoy hs-ing but it is the end of the week and I am tired).. breastfeeding my 1 yr old while she kicks my face and grabs my nose.. laundry..picking up the slack that my disabled husband just cant do.. must I go on?? Thanks for the dose of inspiration and reality. I think I will keep following this blog. ;)

wendy said...

I'm going to exercise on the treadmill today for at least 1 hour.

Lexie said...

Today I'm going to get OFF of my computer, which I've been sitting at for over an hour, and go for a walk, since the weather is great today!

"4 oz" said...

I'm cooking dinner for my girlfriends tonight. I know we are going to have some dessert, so instead of making a side of Basmati rice - I chopped up veggies that I will serve with dinner. Even though I wanted rice!

clickmom said...

It's Saturday night and the good thing I am about to do is that I am going to go to bed early so I can get to the gym in the morning, mount the elliptical and burn myself some serious calories.

juxtaposed said...

This was a good entry to read today because although the day is over, I had already planned this morning to eat my fruits and veggies and get a nice salad from panera for dinner on my break at work. And I did!

Tamzin said...

Today...I chose to get out of bed(for a second time), put down my book, get dressed and go to the gym. I didn't want to, but I did.

And...it was pretty darn good.

:)

My name is Diana. said...

Just found your blog today! Hmm...I'm just starting the weight loss journey, today is my preparation day so, the one good thing I will do today is plan out my week of food and get to the grocery store!

Jtammy said...

One good thing I have doe today: I've cooked some for the week ahead, so that I have no excuse when I come home late and tired.

Love your blog and pastaqueen's as well!

Janine said...

Hi I'm Janine, just found your blog and bookmarked it! One thing I will do today is MEASURE what I'm eating! I never measure and I think that will be really helpful in losing more weight!! Love your stories and congrats on the weight loss!!

Mel said...

I'd love to read her book... and if I don't win.. I may have to just scrounge some money and buy it!

Tonight I am going to cook a big pot of soup for my lunches this week..

'if you fail to plan.. you plan to fail'

word

Juice said...

I'm going to stop eating now, that's what I'm going to do. Would love to win this book. Thanks!

tsslug said...

We have a library of sorts at our Weight Loss Clubhouse.
This book would be cool to win.
God bless our troops.

tsslug7@yahoo.com

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Lyn,

I’ve been following your blog for months now and I must say that I’ve really enjoyed it. Your struggles are real and you always come away from every mistake with a lesson learned.

Since 2006, I have lost over 60 pounds – starting at 203 and I’m currently at 137 at 5’2” and you, and PastaQueen, are absolutely right. Motivation will give you a burst at the beginning, but you really can’t rely on it. I find, however, that will power has been very important to me just because of how often I’m offered junk food. People are getting over it now, though, and they’ve all but stopped asking me if I want *insert junk here* but it took a while.

As for doing something good today, I will go home and finish my exercising since I only got 10 minutes in this morning and I’ve spent most of the day working on finishing up my new Virtual Assistant site in order to launch by February 1st.

DL Weight said...

I am going to finish one full rebounding DVD today.

Love your blog!

Lin said...

Hi Lyn,
Two things I did today that I didn't want to do. I returned via air from a long weekend in Florida, (ok, make that 3 things I didn't want to do!) On the plane, the lady next to me pulled out a nice sandwich. I resisted the urge to buy a snack and ate the banana I had brought with me.
When I got home tonite, I unpacked my bag and did my laundry.
Love your blog! Lin

WonderLori said...

Today, no matter what, I'm going to
|get some exercise!!!

Bannod said...

Am I too late to enter?