Half Assed

I want you all to meet a really cool chick.

Jeanette Fulda, aka PastaQueen, author of Half-Assed, and incognito tech geek has accomplished one hell of a lot in her 27 years.

She stands in her fat pants on the cover of her book, showing her dramatic weight loss of half of herself. Check out her reccomendations if you want to follow in her footsteps and don't miss her video 'How to loose 192 pounds in 7 seconds;"

How to lose 192 pounds in 7 seconds from PastaQueen on Vimeo.

I had the pleasure to meet Jeanette during a blogger get together in Chicago a month or so back, and what struck me immediately about her is how laid back she was, and how comforting her expression was. Jeanette is one of those people that makes you feel comfortable, because she is so comfortable in her own skin.

What also cracked me up about Jeanette is that she had no intention to write a book, the publisher sought her out (damn, now that is raw talent).

Here's some insight on Jeanette's perspective of the world, now standing 5'9 and weighing her perfect size of 180 pounds;

MV: How are your relationships different now?

JF: I am more willing to engage people, make small talk, and try to make a connection with others than I was when I was fat. I used to feel uncomfortable in my body and didn't want people to see me, so I would avoid interacting with others unnecessarily. I'd avoid eye contact and didn't like talking to salesclerks when I was shopping. Otherwise, my relationships with old friends and family members are basically the same. I was somewhat concerned how my relationship might change with a friend of mine who is still obese, but we are still as close as ever. She's happy for me, even though she wishes she could lose weight too.

MV: So this is what we do to fat people in this country- shame them into hiding. Think about this the next time you socialize with an obese individual, why not go out of your way to let them know they are are not being judged in your presence.

MV: How has your personality changed?

JF: Like I said, I'm more outgoing. I used to be so shy I wondered if I had social anxiety disorder, but those people are afraid to go to the grocery store, which was a problem I obviously never had. As I became successful at losing weight I gained confidence in myself. With that success behind me, I became more willing to imagine myself successful in other things. The confidence I gained through weight loss bled into other areas of my life. I was more assertive when job hunting and imagined writing a book and living on my own.

MV: Why did you change your goal weight from 160 to 180?

I pulled the number 160 out of the air because it ended in a zero and it was at the high end of the BMI recommendations for my height. However, after I had maintained a weight of 180 for about a year, I decided that was the weight I was happiest at, even if it technically made me still overweight by the BMI system. It's the weight my body maintains when I am moderately active and eating well 90% of the time. To lose more weight I would have to make my life more uncomfortable than I'm willing to, either via going hungry or exercising more than I'd like to. I think I look good at 180 and my doctor says I'm in excellent health, so I didn't see any benefit to trying to lose more weight.

MV: Read that twice and absorb it for a moment. I am a huge believer that our bodies have a natural weight gauge, and you will basically stay within a 10 pound range as you maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The key here, I think is that Jeanette realized this, and just decided she was happy with herself, and most importantly blew off the damn BMI chart (FYI- According to the BMI chart, Michael Jordan is fat).

MV: What is the meanest thing anyone ever said to you or about you?

JF: I've gotten 3 or 4 blog comments that were rather harsh and I'd rather not repeat. People will be meaner online than they ever would be in real life because they are anonymous and know they won't be held accountable for their actions. That being said, 99.9% of my blog comments are kind, thoughtful and polite. I have to remind myself that comments aren't about me, they're about the person leaving the comment. Comments are shaped my our own experiences. If someone leaves a mean comment or accuses me of having a negative attribute, it usually reflects an insecurity they have about themselves.

MV: What is the most significant difference between being thin vs fat?

JF: The freedom of mobility is the biggest difference. When I was morbidly obese I became exhausted walking half a mile from a concert to the parking lot. I wasn't able to walk up 3 flights of stairs without pausing on each landing to catch my breath. I barely fit behind the steering wheel of my car, and my seatbelt wouldn't buckle in some of my friends' automobiles. I may have been big, but my world was small. There were serious limitations on where I could go and what I could do. Now I can walk miles with ease, and if I wanted to go kayaking or spelunking, I know I could.

MV: What has not changed about you?

JF: My sense of humor, my personality and my outlook on life have not changed. I've always been a rather positive person, and even at my fattest I thought I was pretty cool :) That probably makes me sound arrogant, but I don't think there's anything wrong with liking who you are.

MV: Who or what is the most significant influence in your life?

JF: This is a cliched answer, but it's true: my mom. She's helped shape me into the woman I am today and I owe her a lot for not screwing me up :) She never put me on a diet and never made me feel bad about my weight. She always made me feel loved and let me know I had someplace to come home to.

—————–

I sat down today to write about Jeanette, and started doing my homework, checking out her blog more in depth, reading exerpts from her book…..and what do I discover?

She is a frickin' rock star! Not only has she appeared live on CBS and NBC morning shows, with total poise and confidence, but she has beeninterviewed by an amazing list of journalists. It just shows how down to earth Jeanette is that she doesn't say a peep about her accomplishments.

I guess it's true – when you're good, you're good, no need to brag about it.

Enjoy your weekend,

-mamaV

                                                                                                                

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10 Responses to Half Assed

  1. Vanessa says:

    it’s interesting for me to read this, because there are a lot of similarities between her story and my own.
    in my case one of the problems may have been that i got overly concerned with the idea that losing weight was the only thing that made the difference between people treating me nicely vs. badly. it got under my skin in a way it doesn’t seem to have done with her, and i became acutely aware that if i were ever to gain weight people i would lose all the self confidence, all the improvements in my social life, and that my weight was the only thing people valued so therefore i couldn’t trust that people liked me for myself rather than just because i weighed less.
    for me that meant my weight became a bigger and bigger obsession and paradoxically i ended up losing all the good things i’d started to acheive in my life because of it.

  2. Heidi says:

    I like this. Thanks for posting it. An inspiration for me….the morbidly obese now….but hopefully not forever!

  3. Karen says:

    I’m an avid reader of Jennette’s blog — she is awesome and hilarious and she deserves all her success and more!

  4. Roni says:

    Hating people that are obese is wrong. but i admit that for long time I did, I’m not sure why, its just something that is easy to fall to, feels legitimize and so people do that…a lot. but now I’m totally against it. i’m smarter now, i think. and that girl sounds like very cool person
    bty – your site’s awesome!

  5. Karen says:

    Vanessa — I also lost a lot of weight about four years ago (not as much as Jennette, though) and although I’m still struggling to reach my goal weight, I am MUCH smaller than I had been, and I’m also more athletic than I’ve ever been in my life. I hear what you’re saying about the changes in how people treat you once you lose weight; it does, in a sense, make you mistrustful of people, especially people who never gave you the time of day when you were obese but suddenly seem to find you worthy of attention.
    But in another sense, speaking personally, there have been so many changes IN ME as a person since losing 80lbs, in how I relate to people and think and feel about myself that maybe these people aren’t so much reacting to my physical changes as they are to my emotional and mental ones? Maybe I give off different vibes now that I feel better about myself than I did before?
    Unlike Jennette, I did NOT always think I was pretty cool. I mean, I had plenty of close friends when I was at my heaviest (264lbs, 5’4″ tall) and they all liked me and thought I was funny, but I considered myself pretty socially unacceptable otherwise. I was painfully shy, painfully reserved. I never spoke up for myself or let myself get comfortable enough around most people to really be myself. Once I started losing weight and I saw myself change physically and saw that I was accomplishing something most people considered pretty difficult, I finally started to feel like I WAS an acceptable person after all. I KNOW that newfound confidence must have expressed itself in how I relate to other people. So while I do think some people might be reacting to me differently because I am thinner (and because I take better care of my physical self now too — better hair, I wear make up now, I’m more fashionable), I also think much of it might be because I’m a more socially open person.

  6. Melissa says:

    I met Jeanette briefly in Chicago (when I met MamaV! :) and she seemed awesome. I totally agree that your confidence levels change when you lose weight. It’s so weird how it works, but it does. I think there’s merit to when you look good, you feel good.
    I just watched a heart-breaking What Not to Wear episode last night and the woman was teensy tiny petite, but had been through a terribly divorce and had no self-confidence; going through life in frumpy clothes and (admittedly) big hair to hide herself. But once she had her make-over (and in her case, she could stand to gain weight, actually) she looked like a woman, not a little boy. She has curves in flattering clothes — and honestly, seeing her confidence levels shoot up — just in an episode — brought me to tears.
    Sometimes just taking care of ourselves can make a world of difference. Losing weight is one way, if we need to lose — but even how we carry ourselves matters.
    It’s just a shame we’re judged (in society) by the size of our thighs.

  7. Kyle says:

    I love PQ. I need not say any more.

  8. sannanina says:

    “The freedom of mobility is the biggest difference. When I was morbidly obese I became exhausted walking half a mile from a concert to the parking lot. I wasn’t able to walk up 3 flights of stairs without pausing on each landing to catch my breath.”
    I don’t question for one moment that this is how things were for Jeanette – but I think it is important to point out that this is not true for every fat person. I am anything but athletic, and I am currently in the worst shape I have been in in the last three years, but although I have a BMI of over 40 I still can easily walk half a mile, and walking up two or three flights of stairs without a break is usually not a big problem for me. In fact, about a year back I had no problem dancing for two hours in class, or doing an hour or more of cardio and I took a bike tour up a 3000 foot mountain. I did weigh about 30 pounds less at that point, but I still was very much “morbidly obese”.
    In addition, there are actually fat people who are far more athletic than I am – dancers, triathletes, and all kinds of other athletes. I mention this because fat people are often not believed when they say they engage in sports regularly. Worse, many fat people think they cannot become physically fit without losing weight. There can be many reasons why planned weight loss is not for everyone – but there are many ways to become more active (and have fun doing it) despite of not losing weight.

  9. souris says:

    No, Michael Jordan is not fat. (Well, at least not at the height of his athletic prowess…nowadays, he *is* kinda doughy) I realize that you were simply pointing out the fallacy of the BMI formula of determining a “healthy” weight. It is accurate to say that MJ is/was *overweight*. He was not “overfat” – man probably had under 10% body fat. So yes, for athletes, BMI is not an accurate measure of fitness. While it’s wonderful that Jeanette has a positive body image, the reality is that she is still overweight, and likely overfat, as indicated by the (admitedly imperfect) BMI formula.

  10. b says:

    wow! how inspirational.
    it’s so sad how people judge though. :(

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