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Posted on Sep 1, 2011 in Dear Diary, Weight Loss | 55 comments

Septembering My Resolve


How in tarnation is it already September? It really is true that you lose all concept of time once you’re out of school (milk it for all it’s worth, kids!)

Since it’s still not technically Autumn yet (I go by the solstices. Come on, September 23rd!) I’m not going to do the customary “Things I Love About Fall” post quite yet. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Fall! But even though things in DC have cooled down a touch as of late, it is still very much Summer. That pumpkin spice latte can wait a few more weeks.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

That being said, the realization that it is suddenly the last quarter of 2011 hit me pretty hard yesterday. Thanks to someone (::coughmysistercough::), I realized something mildly horrifying about my weight loss journey thus far. Yes, I have lost upwards of 60 pounds in the past year, which I consider to be a serious accomplishment (though I sometimes have to remind myself of that, especially in comparison to some of you other amazing people who have lost more and done it better than me, haha.) BUT! As Jenny so lovingly reminded me while we were chatting yesterday, in all of 2011, of which we are entering into the ninth month, I’ve lost less than 20 of those pounds. Urk.

January 2011 (~207 lbs) vs. August 2011 (189 lbs)

So I have come to this embarrassing revelation, and am now kind of having a meltdown about it.

Gretchen Swimsuit St Maarten BEFORE tankini.jpg
Thanks sis. (December 2008)

You all know that I’m no stranger to indulging. My motto is that life’s too short not to be able to eat french fries or cupcakes; a healthy, balanced life is not about deprivation. I’ve been saying for a while now that I’d rather it take me a year to lose twenty pounds if I am enjoying my life, than to lose it in 3 months while being miserable.


Well, that’s still true, but I think I’m finally exiting denial-ville about exactly how frequently and how much I’ve been indulging. Because pretty soon it’ll have been a year. And I will have lost 20 pounds. And, surprise, surprise, I’m not really thrilled about that.


I’m sure every single one of my family members is rolling their eyes at this post, since they’ve all been telling me this for a while, but just like when I started my weight loss journey, it all depended on me coming to terms with it on my own. I’m just difficult like that. But whaddya know? Here I finally am.

So, for about the bajillionth time this week, I’m strengthening my resolve. I’m going back to basics and back to what I know works. Keep an eye out for the return of Daily Eats posts that I’ve been majorly slacking on this past month. Calorie counting is a pain in the butt, but it’s making a comeback (losing weight isn’t easy, after all. We know this.) I know that I can’t expect to lose 35 pounds in 4 months like I did when I was obese, that’s just silly. But I can expect more of myself than this. Than losing the same pound over and over again. Than seeing the scale go down only to go back up again.

I still have a long way to go. Let’s do this.


  1. I hope your blog readers don’t look at me like a debbie-downer about your weight loss because 20 lbs is NOTHING to sniff at. It’s totally a fantastic accomplishment! You know that ultimately we are all here just to support you in whatever way that we can- so don’t think that I’m just being critical. You are doing amazing- seriously.

    • No, I know that it’s out of support and not criticism. I’m just still me so I have to be snarky about it. And post hilarious pictures of you in retribution. I need the kick in the pants every now and then, we know this.

  2. you can do it gretchen! take a deep breathe and don’t be afrad and remember, a mental breakdown never hurt anyone (i have them frequently, i feel they keep me on track). we’re all rooting for you. πŸ™‚

  3. Can I just say “me too” to this whole post? Because that’s pretty much all I have to say.

    Me. Freaking. Too.

    P.S. I hate calorie counting. But I still do it everyday. The day that I no longer have to weigh, measure and track my food will be the happiest day of my life.

  4. You are an inspiration, my friend…keep going….cheers from china!!!!!!!

  5. I think you look incredible and you have done something incredible. NEVER feel bad about losing JUST 60 pounds. That is a lot of weight and you went through SO much losing it. We always get hard on ourselves because we are stuck at a plateu,but please, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t let others beat you up about it. The last pounds are harder to lose, it’s science. Just stay doing what you are doing and remember to relax and live. Life is all about the experience.

    Just don’t let other people bog you down. You are doing this FOR YOU, remember? Not other people.

    And I’m done. Phew. Love you!

  6. I love the photo montage of your indulgences! Your face says what we are all feeling, “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme”
    I need to buckle down too! Too much indulging in ice cream, eating out, and spending money frivolously. Summer tends to loosen the reins a bit. Looking forward to your daily eats posts.

    • Yes, it was ALL the summer’s fault. Let’s go with that. πŸ˜‰

  7. Gretchen you are such an inspiration!

  8. You have to remember that you have lost 20 pounds this year, more than many other people have accomplished! You’re an inspiration and you show so much courage by sharing all of your fears on your blog. You should be proud of yourself for everything you’ve accomplished! You’re just experiencing a plateau in your weight loss, and you just need to stick it through and keep doing what you’re doing. It’s hard to do and you’ve been doing excellent, so just keep it up and you’ll get through it πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Kate! At least here’s hoping that my plat-woes (heh. get it?) eventually do come to a swift end. πŸ™‚

      • Im gonna be the other Kate to continue the love, because I already said, just yesterday, I totally want to be you! πŸ™‚

        I am so thankful to have the opportunity to follow your blog. You constantly remind me that it is ok to have a slip up, to keep pushing on….
        I have hit a wall and I kept trying to blame it on a new job, more coaching gigs, etc. And when it comes down to it, I just wasnt sticking to my plan. I wasnt making time for me and my health. Here is hoping we both get through the plateau!

  9. I’m with Ashley on the photo montag of indulgences! So awesome!

    And you got this Gretchen. Slow and steady wins the race right?

    • Food is so good.

      And haven’t you heard my new motto?

      Slow and steady definitely won’t win but at least will hopefully finish the race.

      I’m applying it to the 5 miler coming up in 3 1/2 (!!!!!!!) weeks.

  10. You have lost a lot of weight — ans 20 lbs in a year is amazing!!! Isn’t there that statistic that says most people gain 10 lbs each year or something like that?

    I know you know this already, but I truly believe the slower the weight comes off, the longer it stays off. Sure you could diet hard and lose the weight, but what happens after that? slow and steady wins the race!

    • The only statistic I know is the one that the trainers on our Caribbean cruise told us, which is that the average cruise-goer gains (brace yourself) between 7 and 14 pounds on a 7-day cruise. SEVEN TO FOURTEEN POUNDS IN 7 DAYS!

      Oh, America…

  11. You are awesome and I am totally in awe of your accomplishments thus far! WOOT!

    PS – Kudos to your sister. Tough love sucks, but sometimes it is totally needed!

    • I’m sure she hates me for telling the entire blogosphere that she gave me a mental breakdown, so she’ll be glad to hear this. Her support has been so key in me pushing through my own self-sabotage, I know that it all comes from a place of love and support. I’m working on being so defensive πŸ™‚

  12. I recently stumbled upon your blog and love it! Congrats on your weight loss! I’ve recently lost 20lbs but have realized that I haven’t lost any weight in the last few months, so I am going back to the basics as well. Good luck!

    • Thanks Jessica! Well it looks like we’re in this together then. πŸ™‚

  13. You can do it! I know that it’s tough when you realize that just because you’re not horrible about something (eating) your not great at it, you just moved from horrible to bad… that’s what happened with me and my spending! It took seeing someone make the same mistakes I used to make me realize that just because I was better than her, it didn’t mean I was good, in fact, it meant that I still had a lot further to go!
    Good luck with all of it and I can’t wait to see what you are eating every day! πŸ™‚

    • I guess it really is all about the perspective we get from others, although I try not to compare myself too much, since everyone’s journey is so different (and obviously fail at that, haha, since I’m, y’know, a woman.)

      • that’s right! You’re doing so well and progress is progress!! πŸ™‚

  14. You know, 20lbs during 2011 is GREAT, even if it’s not as much as you lost during the previous year. I’d look at it as a time for you body to adjust to your current habits & fitness level – and maybe relax/recuperate a bit – before you hit it hard again. You’ve done a fabulous job…don’t let a statistic (which is really what that 20lbs in 2011 is) make you feel like you’re no accomplishing enough.

    All that said, I’m with you – I’ve been plateaued for a looong time (um…10 months?) and still have 30lbs to go before I’m at my goal weight. I know it’s high time to get myself re-motivated and headed in the right direction again.

    • I know I shouldn’t look down on my 20 pounds, but I get caught in that comparison trap, y’know? Just another thing I continue to work on πŸ™‚

      • I think many of us get caught in the comparison trap – I know I do all the time too. I think it’ll be a constant item on my “work on this” list!

  15. Don’t be so hard on yourself! It took me 2 years, 2 months, and 9 days to lose LESS than you’ve lost already. The first pounds come off a lot quicker than the last ones, and you look very close to a healthy weight to me!

    • Thanks, friend. Your perspective is always so, so, so welcome (and needed!) <3

  16. It’s totally normal to reach those plateaus once your body drops the initial weight and gets to a healthier place. I had a plateau that lasted almost 2 years and then dropped an other 10 and I’m going on this plateau for pretty much all of 2011. It’s hard, and 20 lbs is awesome! I find the best thing is to go full force with it when the motivation is there and not beat myself up when it is lacking, because beating myself up won’t help it to return any faster. Trust that you are committed to this and it will always return and take advantage of the times like right now that your brain is telling you to go for it! You’ve got this!! :O)

    • I like that mentality: go with it hard while you’ve got the motivation and drive to do so, and don’t sweat it when you don’t. I guess that in my mind, I had this picture of doing the blog for a year and meeting all my goals, but that was hardly realistic! I have to learn to be better about not pressuring myself with timelines. I’m only 23, so what does it really matter how long it takes, as long as I get there eventually, right?

      • Totally! I’m 26 and I didn’t even get STARTED til I was 23, so you’re already ahead of me :O) I also like to tell myself “The day I think I’m ‘finished’ is the day I go right back to where I started.”

  17. I need to remind myself of my resolve too. I stopped calorie-counting for a while and that really does work for me. I do so much better when I track. And I am so so over losing the same pound over and over again.

    However, you are such an inspiration to me. 20 lbs in a year is nothing to sneeze at. You are awesome!

    • The one good thing I have learned from this is that I am able to maintain my weight when I stop calorie counting. But apparently, that’s it. I can’t lose weight if I’m not really tracking. Consider the lesson learned! It gives me hope for the future and the one day when I transition into maintenance for realsies.

  18. This is the first time I am commenting but I just wanted to congratulate you on all your accomplishments so far. I have also come to the realization that I need to get back on track. I really can’t believe it is September either. I really enjoy your daily eats posts so I am excited to see those come back. Keep up the great work. I look forward to your future posts. I also like the blog tips you give. As a newcomer to this stuff it is helpful. You should be so proud of yourself.

    PS. Your dogs rock

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Eric! I really appreciate it — and it is comforting to hear so many other people saying they need to make their own health recommitments too, so at least we’re not alone!

  19. Rooting for you, love! I am coming to a VERY similar realization myself (as evidenced by my tweet to you the other day!)

    I think you tend to fall into the same trap that I do when I’m losing weight. When the opportunity to indulge arises, you think about how much weight you’ve lost and how much healthier and..smaller you are now, so you’re like, YEAH! I can totally have this slice (or 3) of pizza because I’m “skinny” now.

    Too bad that plan doesn’t work when you do it all. the. time. Self-sabotage at its best.

    Doing it on your own time (and making these hugely important discoveries on your own! that’s how they stick!) is the best way to go, long term. And I TOTALLY agree, it is way way wayyyyy too early for pumpkin lattes! It was 90 degrees in Chicago this morning!


      Oh my gosh, it’s like you read my soul. I TOTALLY do that. Except I also tack on the thought process of being like “well, I’m supposed to love myself, and if I tell myself not to eat that because I still need to lose weight it means I hate myself so I should really eat it.”

      It’s official. I am crazy.

  20. I’m glad that your sister was able to give you the kick in the butt that you wanted/needed! Sometimes only sisters (or great friends) can do that. Good luck in the future! You can do it!

  21. Good! Healthy living and a healthy outlook are totally about moderation and enjoying indulgences, but the key word is occasionally. Glad to see you strengthening your resolve to tighten the meaning of the word “occasionally” a bit πŸ˜‰

    Also, regarding your treadmill post a couple days ago – girl, get off the treadmill and get OUTSIDE into this gorgeous weather! Even I can’t run more than 0.1 miles on the treadmill without hating my life, and I consider myself a runner! The nice thing about running is enjoying sunshine and having time to think (or chat with a friend), not staring at a screen and wishing the time away. And get back to Zumba, since you said you enjoy that! It’s all about finding what you like and working with it. After this race, if you still hate running – you don’t have to be a runner! Do what you do like (yoga, zumba, etc.) – exercise should be FUN and you time to yourself to destress and recharge. But before you decide you hate running – try to give outdoor running in nice weather a try πŸ™‚


  22. You can totally do this!

  23. You know what losing 20lbs is better than gaining 20lbs!!! Which is a pretty awesome accomplishment. Losing weight slowly is one of the best ways to make sure you keep it off.

    Have you thought about doing Weight Watchers? I know counting points+ is much easier than counting calories plus it’s more flexible and you get the same results. I typically go weigh in and stay for a meeting every Wednesday @ noon (I work nights) in Arlington. You can always try a free meeting and I’d be more than happy to have you join me πŸ™‚ Weight loss can be such a battle so be proud of those 20lbs!!

  24. I love reading your blog every morning with my coffee. It’s inspirational and funny!!
    Good luck – you have people rooting for you!!!

  25. Wow, this is like reading a page out of the journal of my life (if that existed lol). Definitely can relate to this post; but I’ll just mirror what everyone has been saying (and what you already know): that what you have accomplished is amazing!

    I only hope I can get there like you did….Anyway, I’ve never commented before but love your blog, it’s part of what I like to call my weight loss tool box. I definitely read your blog for inspiration when I’m not motivated or feeling like I can’t do it. So thank you!!

  26. I had a similar realization the other day. Since January of this year, I’ve lost 57 pounds…but since June, I’ve “only” lost 13.5. I know part of that is the fact that the closer I get to my goal weight, the harder and slower it will be…but I’ve also indulged more over the summer than I did those first six months and I need to get back into serious tracking. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers this whole time, but I think I might switch over to counting calories and get a HR monitor so I can track what I’m taking in AND burning better.

    I just CAN’T WAIT to feel like I’ve reached the place (weight) I want to stay and move into maintenance mode.

  27. Okay, now it’s my turn to say “Have you been following me around for basically all of this year???” I have been struggling in the exact same way. I’m not running as tight a ship as I did when I first started my weight loss journey, and I am also finding that it’s harder to put up a good weight loss number each week as you get smaller and smaller. What I used to do to net a 3 pound loss now only gets me a half pound loss, for example. It’s tough but it’s still good to get back on track! You’re inspiring me to do the same. Big hugs girl!

  28. 20 pounds is more than an accomplishment in itself! You should be proud of your hard work and keep it up! You’re doing it the healthy way, aka the right way πŸ™‚

  29. you can do it! Just take one day at a time! you can kick booty andyou already know that

  30. You have accomplished so much already. You should be so proud of yourself. I can’t lose weight because I’m not willing to sacrifice cupcakes or peanut butter cups. I think it’s awesome that you know what will work for you and upir ready to jump into it again. Keep up the good work. You look GREAT!!!!
    P.S. My sister has some pretty damaging phots of me as well. I’ve already threatened her life…

  31. Hi Gretchen. Just found your site via your guest post on Beth’s blog. Love it. I’ve bookmarked and will be back often.

  32. Just late catching up on posts, but I wanted to let you know, that out of the 89 pounds I lost it took almost a full year for the final 20 to come off. They are the slowest! So don’t lose FAITH. But you do have to keep it real about the indulgences. I know all too well says the lady who seriously should try and lose about 15 lbs right now (not at my skinniest, but still pretty skinny). Keep on truckin!!!!!!!!


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