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Posted on Jun 13, 2011 in Food, Weigh Ins | 39 comments

Reunion (Weigh-in)

In case you didn’t hear the news, I actually posted both days this past weekend! Be sure to catch up on my homemade sushi making skillz (them skillz be mad!)

As for the rest of the weekend, it was great (but felt short because it was so busy!) Aside from sushi-making when I was visiting my sister, we also managed to go for… a run!

Look how big this shirt is looking on me now!
For a comparison on how it used to look on me not that long ago, refer to this post.

Granted it was a short run, and perhaps for me it was more of a walk/run, but I did run and that’s what’s important. We even dragged the dogs along with us, and made ’em thoroughly pooped. A tired pup is a happy pup!


And then we headed back to the FC to spend some time with our relatives, as this week there’s a mini Powell-family reunion going on this week! Two of my uncles & aunts, and two of my cousins are in town to see the sights and be patriotic in Our Nation’s Capital and whatnot, hahaha.


So to kick things off, we had all intended on going to the Peking Gourmet Inn for dinner, where they serve the best Peking duck everrrr. Only, we didn’t take into account the ridiculous, death-thunderstorms that riddled the area, which evidently knocked out power all over town (luckily our power only flickered a bit.) But it was wiped out at the restaurant! So that ended up being a no-go, and I was sad.

But then I was happy, as a contingency plan was quickly formed and we went to Sweet Rice for Thai instead.



So all’s well that ends well, but I do still wish I could have gotten some peking duck in mah bellah. Ah well, another time. Tonight the fam’s grilling out, so that should be really fun! Grilling always feels like summer (you know, because the 80% humidity doesn’t feel enough like summer… hahaha.)

Okay, last thing before I let you leave… it’s (finally) weigh-in time! The last time I weighed in was Memorial Day, and I was riding high off of that successful 2 lb loss. Then I made the executive decision to take a week off to try to normalize after my weekend of gluttony in NYC. So, here’s hoping that things did indeed normalize, and I won’t be too disappointed…!

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 193.2 lbs
This Weigh-in: 194.0 lbs
This Weekโ€™s Loss: +.8 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 52 lbs.


Well, okay, I’m not really crying. But is ain’t fabulous news, let’s be honest. I guess this sufficiently answers the question “did I gain weight in NYC?“. huh? Especially since I was really quite good this past week. I am SUPER glad I didn’t weigh-in last Monday now! Hahahaha.

But! I persevere. I got some REAL exercise in over the weekend, and I plan on continuing that as well as being extra good with my eats (as is always the goal.) Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll be a loser again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What is your opinion on lowering my caloric intake for a little while? Do you think it would impact my metabolism in a positive way if I restricted myself to a 1,200 or 1,300 calorie/day diet instead of 1,500 – 1,600 like I currently aim for?

I don’t want to risk slowing my metabolism down in a bad way, but I don’t feel that my current caloric deficit is proving to be enough to keep losing weight… but then again I know that I need to be exercising harder and obviously that would impact things as well. Just curious about your thoughts!


  1. I don’t think you should lower your calories. I know that I’d be really hungry at 1200-1300 calories. I think trying to up the exercise is a much better idea. I think it’s also important to note that sometimes the scale doesn’t move or it goes up a tiny bit but that doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped losing weight. Weight loss is always such an up down thing, as long as it’s generally moving down, I think you’re good. Hope that helps!

  2. I definitely think that stepping up the exercise is the key. Also- while I don’t think you should lower your calorie allotment, just make sure you’re really counting diligently the calories you are consuming. It’s SO easy to eat an extra 200-300 calories and then your totally adequate 1500-1800 calories turns into 1800-2000.
    Don’t fret, good attitude to just get back on the horse and keep on trucking (am i mixing mataphors there?)

    • Very true, very true. I just sometimes get so lazy about actually looking up and trying to figure out the measurements of everything I eat… even though that’s what I tell other people who are trying to start calorie counting to do! Sigh. Do as I say, not as I do, friends…

  3. I don’t think you should lower your calorie count — only because I think 1200-1300 is so low. But I’m not a health professional of any kind so I have no clue!

  4. If you’ve been really good with your excercise, isn’t it possible that your 0.8 pound gain is muscle mass instead of fat?
    I think it would be very possible since muscle is heavier than fat. So I say don’t lower your caloric intake. The number on the scale will not always be directly related to the weight you want to lose, but does count the weight you want to gain (muscle).
    Hope that makes sense!

    • Unfortunately I don’t think that this is the case. I haven’t been doing a lot of strength training specifically, so I doubt I’ve really gained much muscle mass. Even though I would love to be able to cite this as the reason for my gain! Hahaha

  5. I’m loving your site! I think Jen makes a great point about just being diligent with the counting. Those few extra calories can really add up. You have been doing such a wonderful job! Keep up the great work.

    • Thanks so much, Erin! I do get kind of lazy about exact calorie counting and tend to “guestimate” some days, which I know is probably leading to some kind of denial-led underestimating, haha.

      • I used to count calories to the T using LoseIt! on my iPhone. It really helped and got me to a point where I can consistently eat the right amount without having to track every calorie. I would enter the food right away and I tried to be very honest about my portion sizes. 3 ounces of steak is very very tiny and most portions are double or triple that!

  6. My advice would be to remind yourself that eating healthy should be the norm/your lifestyle vs. “being good”, you know? Also, even if you are “good” all week, if you go balls to the wall every weekend you can’t still expect to lose weight… I really wouldn’t recommend lowering calories to 1200 or 1300 though – it will just leave you too hungry and more apt to binge later. I’d just try to keep your eating a bit more normal over the weekends so that you aren’t always trying to make up for it during the week. Just try to remember this is a lifestyle, not a diet – there’s no need to go to extremely low calorie ranges – just try to keep things a bit more stable, and step up the exercise ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I second everything you said, Anne!

    • I do still use that kind of language a lot, don’t I? “I’ve been good,” “I was bad”, etc. I don’t even think about it! I think it’s just ingrained in my subconscious to still think of food and my eating habits in “good” vs. “bad” ways. Just another thing to tackle in my constant effort to evolve my relationship with food! And you’re right, I do tend to be far less thoughtful about my eating on the weekends (as evidenced by the fact that before last weekend I never even posted my daily eats — out of shame, perhaps? Haha)

  7. Don’t lower calories but definitely up the exercise. Also make the most of your calories- when I need to get back on track I cut out bread, rice, and cut back on meat and focus on greens, veggies, and fruit.

    Trader Joes broccoli slaw with extra veggies and stir fry sauce makes for an awesome dish no rice or meat needed. I make mine spicy by adding jalapeรฑo and sriricha plus fresh basil. I also stay away from dairy and usealmond milk and Daiya for cheese.

    • That broccoli slaw stir fry recipe sounds awesome. Do you actually stir fry the slaw, do you just add the sauce to it?

      • Yup, I heat it up in a lightly oiled wok. I toss in the slaw first plus 2-3 tablespoons of TJ’s General Tso’s or Annie Chens Shitaake Mushroom stir fry sauce. I add in sliced red onion, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, etc plus the jalapeno. At the end I add the sriricha and basil and bean sprouts if available.

        Prep takes 5 minutes to cut the veggies and another 5-7 to stir fry (I like it to stay crunchy not soft).


  8. I’m not a nutrition professional either, but I agree with everyone else. When I was personal training, I remember doing an eval with a woman and thinking, there’s no way she’s eating enough. I had her add in some more healthy snacks throughout the day and she dropped 5lbs in a few weeks. I’d also recommend adding in some strength training because our bodies adapt to steady state cardio so quickly. Running is a workout, but the reason people can run marathons is because our bodies adapt to the distance and can always go farther. Build some muscle and you’ll be burning more calories at rest. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hmmm, you know, what you said makes sense. When I was SERIOUSLY overweight, everyone always told me “cardio, cardio, cardio!” because that’s how you blast fat. So even to this day, that’s all I’ve really ever concentrated on. Maybe the key to moving forward really is balancing it with some serious strength training.

  9. I agree with everyone, in that, you shouldn’t lower your calories that much…especially if you’re aiming to step up your exercise routine. I’m not a nutrition professional either, but I’ve lost a lot of weight by shaking up my exercise routines. I adore Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred, and if you haven’t tried it, it would be a GREAT way to confuse your muscles and metabolism. It’s a short workout, but I think it might push you forward in a major way. It definitely did for me when I first tried it over a year ago. =)

    • Agree! I love JM – my favorite is Yoga Meltdown but 30 day shred is amazing and for days when you can go longer, try Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (45-50 minute workout). Yoga Meltdown is about 30 minutes with the cooldown and 30 day Shred with warmup/workout/cooldown is about the same.

      • Hmm, I might have to look into getting a couple more of her workouts in that case. As I mentioned in a previous post/comments section, I really need to accumulate a variety of at-home workouts that span different amounts of time, so when I have to cram in 20-30 minutes I can do that, but when I have more time and don’t feel like going outside I can also get in something more serious.

    • I do like JM’s 30 Day Shred. I have it! I just haven’t broken it out in a while. Good idea to get back on that horse, because there is also a lot of variety in that particular workout so it does keep me from getting bored. I hear muscle confusion is the way to go, too, so hopefully that’ll work in my favor too!

  10. Do you think you would be able to sustain so few daily calories for an extended period of time. It might end up being detrimental because you’ll just feel deprived.

    I agree with Casey. Time to GET JACKED Gretchen! Weight training and the added muscle that comes with it will be a major metabolism booster.

    • Hahahahaha, “Time to get jacked” will so become my mantra now. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Nooo!! Don’t reduce your calories! You already seem to eat so little that if you restrict yourself even more, it’s going to be 100x harder to lose weight and enjoy it. I think you should definitely up your daily workouts. Try going to the gym and using their different machines, or try the run/walk method for 45 minutes. If you workout more, then you can enjoy more foods : )

    • I really do need to get back in the habit of going to the actual, physical gym. There’s a free one in my building at work so I really have no excuse!

  12. A slight gain, but you are doing such an amazing job!!!! So proud of you!

  13. I’m not sure reducing calories is the right way to handle this situation. I agree with those who have suggested upping your exercise and I think, if it’s possible, you should look into a trainer. I work with one and I can see a distinct difference since I have been doing so. Just a thought.

    • Hmm, now there’s an idea. I can imagine that having a trainer would do wonders for me (more of the whole “accountability” that is the entire reason I started this blog!) but it’s hard for me to justify spending so much money on one, too. It might be another one of those things that I need to suck up though — how much do you spend on having a personal trainer, can I ask?

      • I spend 60$ a week but also, are you a member of a gym? Maybe some organized classes or they have trainers who may work with you for less because you’re a gym member?

        Grant kicks my butt weekly and gives me a training plan I do at the gym on my own one other day each week, in addition to the half marathon training I’ve been doing – I’m not very good at cross training so it helps me there as well.

  14. hey awesome job on the weigh in! I know it wwent up, but after being on vaca, I usually gain a lot more than that!

    For the calorie ?: I usually go around 1500-1600 when I work out. If I dont I try to eat less. Just remember if you work out, your body needs those calories and if you dont give them, your body might go into starvation mode. (im not a pro or anything, just info I have gained over the years)

    • Yeah, that’s my fear too. I think based on what everyone has been saying I won’t try to reduce my calories too much, but I will just try to be much more diligent about really calculating things correctly and not doing as much “guestimating” as I have been.

      • AHH guestimating. Ive done that before. Then I calculate it, and its never good haha

  15. Healthy weight loss is about half to 2 pounds a week….so even though you might be frustratetd if you take an average of your last month, you’re definitely within a healthy range. Just looking quickly, I’d agree lowering your calories is not the answer, less guesstimating definitely and when in doubt, increase your protein. Shake up your exercise first, as much as you can, and then go from there! You are doing great!

  16. I’m not a health professional either, but I have to agree that 1200 calories (or that ballpark) is way too low. I would be mindluck of BLT (bites, licks, tastes) and maybe think of writing up a tentative “workout plan” for the week at the beginning for each day, because then accomplishing the things on your planwill boost your motivation. For example my “plan” this week looks like:
    Su: Short outside run
    M: Full body strength training, 3 mile walk
    Tu: Treadmill run
    W: Bike 10 miles
    Th: Full Body Strength, 3 mile walk
    F: Outside run or REST.
    Sa: Yoga at Lululemon

    I purposely make it vague so I have tons of wiggle room & I don’t mind switching things around or substituting in rest days if I’m in the mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I like workout plans too. For example, right now I’m focused on hitting mileage goals (12-14 miles this week) and at least 2 sessions of yoga. How I meet the 12 miles is flexible – 3 4 mile runs, 4 3 mile runs, etc.

      I know you have a goal of 20 minutes of activity a day but perhaps you can focus on specific activities or a goal calorie burn – 20 minutes of running is going to create a larger deficit than 20 minutes of walking.

      I struggle all the time so please don’t get too down by this. We all do the 1 step forward 2 steps back shuffle at some point in this journey – we just have to focus on the fact that we will take in more forward steps in the long run!

  17. Hi Gretchen! I’ve been following your blog for several months now and I think you are adorable and am inspired by your dedication and honesty with your readers and yourself. I noticed you said that you were guessing at your caloric intake sometimes so I thought I would suggest the MyFitnessPal app (if you have a smartphone) or myfitnesspal.com if you want a little help with the calorie counting. I just started using it and it’s really helpful!

    Keep on working. We are all cheering for you!

  18. Sorry this is a really delayed comment (just going through your archives!), but I think it might be a good idea to weigh in on a different day. Mondays are right after the weekend which is usually when people (me, you, everyone!) relax and a few extra treats/meals out can sneak their way in. I find that if I weigh in later in the week (I’m a Thursday girl), not only is it a more accurate representation of my good eating/exercise habits from the week, but it also sets the tone for my weekend. If I have a loss, I want to keep that momentum going throughout the weekend, and, if I have a gain, it’s fresh in my mind when the chips and guac come out at the Saturday BBQ. Just a thought…

    • Thanks for your insight! I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately, so your comment is not late — it’s timely! The weekends are definitely where I struggle with my restraint (I can have a rockin’ week but still go balls-to-the-wall on the weekend. Yikes.) so I definitely appreciate it! Of course, I post this after I’ve weighed myself this morning… haha


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