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Posted on Oct 12, 2011 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 67 comments

A Lofty Goal (Weigh-in)

So let’s talk goals.

I’ll be honest with you and admit that I’ve never been a very goal-oriented person. I guess I’m just not ambitious enough when it comes down to it – I don’t have that truly competitive spirit that drives me. That forces me to finish what I start. That’s not to say that I don’t HAVE goals, of course. I make promises to myself, and I try to aim in the right direction.

On Target

It’s just never really mattered all that much to me whether I land exactly on target.

And the goals I’ve been setting for myself lately? They haven’t been what I would call revolutionary.

I told myself that I would go grocery shopping today, so I did. Goal!


I told myself that I needed to cook a healthy dinner, so I did. Goal!


And I told myself that for these two consecutive wedding-filled weekends, complete with buffets and cake and probably a few too many vodka sodas, that I wasn’t going to worry about losing weight. That I simply needed to maintain.

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 186.2 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 186.0 lbs
This Week’s Change: -0.2 lbs


“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
“It’s the thought that counts.”
“A for effort!”

I’ve never really thought of my aversion to “real” goal-setting as a bad thing. The way I’ve always seen it, the world is simply made up of different kinds of people: some are driven by always needing to be harder, better, faster, stronger. And then there are those of us who are okay with 2nd-through-last place. I’ve always known that I am one of the latter. And I’ve always been okay with that.


After all, it’s gotten me this far — through the past 60 lbs, a few 5Ks and even a 5 miler!

I did it!Jump Shot Fail

The thing is… I’m starting to think that maybe I’m using it as a bit of a crutch. Another excuse, another justification. The whole “I am the way that I am!” schtick only goes so far, and we already know that my activity level goes from wimpy to non-existant if I don’t have something I should be (but probably am not) training for. While there’s really no denying the fact that yes, I am the way that I am, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still strive. That I shouldn’t reach. That I should settle only for goals I know that I’ll meet.

I think I’m realizing why I generally set the bar low. Yes, it is a great feeling when you’re able to cross something off, when you can say you’ve achieved yet another thing you wanted to achieve. But it is absolutely terrifying when you think that you can’t. I’m proud of the goals I’ve been able to meet thus far, but c’mon. How am I supposed to inspire anybody if the loftiest goal on my list right now is “cook dinner”?

All I know is, I’m tired of settling. I want to strive, I want to reach. I want to try, even if I fail.

9.3 miles.
December 3rd.

Here we go.


  1. I approve wholeheartedly. But this becomes a serious challenge to yourself! You really need to train up for THIS one! Anytime you want company on a weekend walk/run, let me know!!

    • Hahaha, yeah, somehow I don’t think I’ll get away with my normal plan of conveniently “forgetting” that I have a race this time. I will be taking you up on that!

  2. As a wise and wonderful woman once told me – “You’ve got this.”

  3. GOOD FOR YOU! This is an amazing challenge to yourself and I know you can do it!!

  4. You’ve totally got this run… I firmly believe that once you put it out there, you’ll meet the goal… run, walk, crawl… but I bet you will run it like a champ! I too, am a super non-competitive person and I find that I am surrounded by super competitive people in all arenas of my life. I wish I had as much self-acceptance about my non-competitive nature as you do, but I’m still working on that. It’s tough work to accept who you are. I don’t think a competitive nature and the attainment of goals are necessarily synonymous, though. I find that I am most comfortable and most satisfied when I set goals that are a bit lofty, but without crazy conditions in which I have to meet the goals. For example, I ran my first half-marathon last spring, and I worked my ass off for it… literally. My goal originally was to complete a half marathon. Of course, a casual friend (actually one of my husbands female classmates) decided to run the half marathon as well (her first one too) and she wanted to do it in 2 hours flat… and suddenly I found myself telling myself that I should do it in 2:15 and that would make me happy….as opposed to the original goal of just finishing (an amazing, awesome achievement itself!) Race day, I ran and completed the half marathon, but the course was unexpectedly hilly and it took me 2:32 to finish. I was so proud of finishing, but at the same time disappointed because I felt that I had to be competitive and at least get that 2:15 finish. In retrospect, months later, as I am preparing for my 2nd half marathon next month, I am realizing the difference and importance of achieving a big goal, but not necessarily putting stiff conditions on it. So, friend, you’ve already got this race, it’s yours… go out and do it, run, walk, crawl…. the real prize is crossing the finish line, not what time you cross the finish line… at least for me! : )

    • I agree with you on the whole not setting too many parameters for goals. I don’t even want to consider time or anything like that with something like this… holy craaaap it’s NINE MILES!!!! I just want to knock Quitter Gretchen to the side and actually finish. Oy.

  5. I was going to say I’d try and do a 5k with you…BUUUUT that’s where I would max out. Heh. Let me know if you sign up for a bacon run (or even better, a Scrapple Run)!

    • There’s still the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving!

      • There also an Alexandria 5 miler turkey trot…lol! good job gretchen, you can do it!!

  6. Way to raise the bar Gretchen! You can do it! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the motivation and the reminder that some of us need a swift kick in the pants to get where we need to be. I have set my goal to finish a 5K when you finish your 15K. I have to start somewhere right? πŸ™‚

  7. You can do nine miles! You’re more than halfway there already.

    I want so badly to do that hot chocolate run! There’s one in chicago, but my sister (who lives there) is coming back to Windsor that weekend. Such a bummer. Maybe next year?

  8. Way to go! I did the 5K version of that race last year when it was a Chicago-only race and it was a LOT of fun!

  9. Oh awesome! I MIGHT run that one too, it looks like fun (and yumminess at the end- bonus!). You have lots of time, and signing up is the first big hurdle to get over. Good luck!!!

  10. Yeah!!! I went back and forth on whether to register for that race…I wanted to challenge myself, but was also really scared of the distance and failing and quitting. But, I finally just decided to bite the bullet, so I signed up a couple of weeks ago. I’m still nervous, but I just decided to follow a training plan and take it one run at a time. We’re going to rock it! Good luck!

    • At the very least you’re a few weeks braver than me! I can do this, I can do this… I’m just going to keep repeating that over and over in my head until I believe it, hahaha.

  11. Ahhh I’m so excited you signed up for that race!! I’m 95% sure I’m going to do it. Let’s organize something before/after. Yay!

    • Definitely! As long as you don’t mind waiting around for me to finish, hahaha. πŸ˜‰

        • I’m doing the 5k version with some of my friends- it would be so fun to see (and meet) all of you!! Gretchen- I know you can do this. πŸ™‚ Actually, I’m positive!

          • Ooh, yay! Can’t wait to meet you there!

        • I know, it really is steep. But the jacket we get looks awesome! And CHOCOLATE. Dooooo it!

  12. are you SERIOUS??? wow, Gretchen, you just blow me away! that is just awesome! I really hope you will have enough motivation to train for it, as you sure will need it!
    And I think cooking healthy dinner is a great goal, one that you should maintain!
    We shall always see the positive in the things πŸ™‚ Like you didnΒ΄t gain any weight and stuff like that.

  13. i am sooooooooooo proud of you! i’m running that one, too! our first race together!!! πŸ™‚

  14. GET IT, GIRL!!!

  15. Congrats on pushing yourself Gretchen!!!!

  16. Awesome job pushing yourself! πŸ˜€ Sometimes even just 1 goal gives us a reminder of why we are doing something on tough days. And it always feels great knowing you have accomplished something you never thought possible! Heck – you might even have fun doing it, too πŸ˜‰ Aim high! GO for GOLD! And when you complete your 15K you will be so happy of all of your work/efforts you put forth that will also help you with your weight loss goals, too. πŸ˜‰

  17. I am totally getting your line of thinking. Over the years I’ve realized that I need “goals” to keep reaching to do more and not be satisfied with the status quo. I’m excited for your run! You are going to do wonderful and this is going to be just the kick in the bootay you needed.

  18. 15K!! That’s an awesome challenge and goal!! And you are inspiring others…just so you know. πŸ˜‰

  19. Congrats on upping the goal!!

    I considered for half a second doing the 5k but ultimately realized that I a) hate running and b) hate running in the cold and c) love chocolate, but even c) wasn’t enough to overcome (b). hehehe!.

    gotta do what works for you! great job girly!

  20. So everyone I know is doing this run at either the 5k or 15k. I have not run since…um…
    Reasons to sign up:
    1) There is chocolate at the end.
    2) It’s the day before my birthday and I will be 32. What?!
    3) Everyone I know and some who I really like will be there.
    4) There is chocolate at the end.
    5) Ghiridelli chocolate.

    Ok. I guess I need to start running.

    Oh also – you go ahead with your bad azz self! You can do it!

    • Also, did I mention there is chocolate? πŸ˜€

      You definitely should sign up!

  21. Yay Gretchen! I’m so excited for you! You’re going to do such a good job. And if you ever want someone to keep you company on training runs, let me know!

    • Well, the term “good job” may have to be reassessed, but I’m getting kind of excited for it. I might call you in on that training run help!

  22. Hey Gretchen! I love reading your blog! I will also be doing the Hot Chocolate Run here in Dallas in February. I’ve thought about the 15k….just so I can eat more chocolate afterwards haha. I hope you’re doing well, although it seems as you are from your blog πŸ˜‰ Good luck!

    • Thanks Sarah! Oooh, how exciting! And yes, the being able to eat more chocolate part is pretty motivating… hahaha πŸ˜€

  23. YESSS! Way to go Gretchen! I decided to run a half marathon in March, just this morning πŸ˜› We got this!

    • Great minds think alike crazy? πŸ˜€

  24. Go get it, Gretchen!

  25. Good luck! I always find signing up for races is a great motivator. You’ll feel so great when you finish (and can eat lots of chocolate)!

    • I am obviously certifiable at this point. You can dribble chocolate fondue into my mouth after I pass out on the finish line, k? πŸ˜€

  26. I do like to set myself goals but I usually don’t set myself a deadline. I am not sure what that makes me. I just try not to beat myself up if I don’t reach a goal by date X but having a goal makes it so much easier to achieve anything. I actually just blogged about goals on my blog, here: http://nosugarcoating.net/2011/10/on-setting-goals/
    Good luck with training for your 15k, that is such an impressive distance. Right now I am training to run a 10k (but I haven’t actually signed up for one).

  27. wahoo!!! way to set the bar high! you can do it!

  28. Greetings Gretchen,

    You’ve done it again; made me come out of the cave that apparently I live in and post to your site. (It really is awesome). WOW! Hot Chocolate 15K?!? Oh hell yeah! You can soooo do this!

    So here’s the deal… I had plans to run the “Jingle all the way” 8K on the 11th, but having read your post – I just changed my goal. Yup – you just made this happen. Hot Chocolate 15K – BRING IT. πŸ™‚

    Wishing you all the best as you continue to set and achieve your goals…
    See you at National Harbour!

    • AWESOME!! See you at the finish line! (Just, you know, avert your eyes when I throw up and/or pass out, hahahaha.)

  29. i’m really proud of you for challenging yourself- just work your way up by running each weekend and before you know it- you’ll have the distance! πŸ™‚

  30. Oh yay! If I didn’t have 17 things going on that weekend, I’d totally come down for that. Lame.

    Also, you say Daft Punk, I say Kanye.

    • Hold on, Theodora. Imma let you finish but… Daft Punk is the only version of that song I will recognize. πŸ˜‰

  31. Atta girl! Way to set that bar!! πŸ˜€ Oooo now I’m tempted to sign up tooooooo! It’s hard to keep that running going in the winter, I need a goal!

    Did your sis tell you I said hi at the army 10 miler? I was all like, I know you from Gretchen’s blog! I was about 3 nerdy giggles away from asking for her autograph! pahahaha πŸ™‚

    • She did! I was super excited. Also super proud of you for running it after the wedding AND the wedding after-party. You are a goddess.

  32. Goals are scary things. I’ve been avoiding setting any for myself for months, especially concerning weight loss. I’ve had injuries and life and boyfriends to blame for everything.

    Until my friend suggested we run a half marathon.

    Um… WHAT? I’m not even a runner in a distance idea of it, I’ve never even done a 5k… but… it’s in February. That’s months to train. I don’t have to run it quickly, I just have to finish.

    So I started training. I lied to myself and whined and suddenly, I realized I’d run two miles, and only walked a bit of it, by forcing myself to count the steps in my head in (tortuously) slow counts of ten, walk for forty, run for ten…

    If I can run a half marathon, you can do a 15k. And kick it’s ass. Goals are made to be reached, and exceeded. If you keep giving up on them, then you end up unhappy. We’re not goal-leaving people, you and I, Gretchen. We’re goal’s-ass-kicking people. πŸ™‚

  33. awww Gretchen youre gonna do great, look at all you have done already. I have no doubt you ll be AWESOME GIRL!

    • Yay! I’ll be singing happy birthday in between desperate, labored breaths πŸ˜€

  34. We all know you are doing this for the hot chocolate. Let’s be real.

  35. The Chicago Hot Chocolate Race is on November 5, and I’m doing the 15K this year (did 5 last year.) It is such a great race, and the folks who run it are amazing. You can do this! Find a training plan and stick with it, and just remember that when you cross the finish line, there are only two things left to do: 1) Stop for a photo. 2) EAT CHOCOLATE!


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