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Posted on Jan 28, 2013 in Food, Weight Loss | 41 comments

The Last Hurrah

Well folks, I’ve come to a decision.


Okay, fine, if you want to get technical, it’s a decision I’ve made about a trillion times in my life thus far. But that DOES NOT INVALIDATE IT THIS TIME AROUND OKAY?!

I’m listening.

Yep, I’m forrealsies getting back on the weight loss wagon. Cue the groans. I know, I say it a lot. And while I have been doing okay since my post-holiday weigh-in announcement–cooking at home more, making conscientious choices, balancing my plate–I haven’t REALLY sunk back into things, not fully. But that’s all about to change.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a “works best under pressure” kind of gal. Give me generic, non-time specific things to aim for, and I’ll procrastinate for pretty much ever. But give me a deadline? A finite time, an actual goal, a finish line to cross? And I’m so down the rest of the world seems up. Which is why in the past, my weight loss has been most successful when peppered with milestones and goals to hit and surpass. These could be any number of things–something as literal as a 5K race I need to train for, or a little looser. And my next deadline is definitely one of the latter, but it’s a goal that I intend to reach nonetheless.

On May 11th of this year, my big brother is getting married. And because his fiancee is awesome and has excellent taste in friends, I am one of the bridesmaids. On MLK day, we went shopping for our bridesmaid dresses and I found one that I actually think is pretty awesome. It’s flattering, it’s comfortable, and it ACTUALLY has re-wearability potential. Now, I obviously love my brother. We’re pretty close, even as far as siblings go–we live together (own our house together, actually), and we do it without wanting to kill each other on a daily basis (most of the time). And on his wedding day, I want to look as good as possible standing up there next to my future sister-in-law, so that I’m not feeling self-conscious or out of place or awkward about my body. So that I feel nothing but pride and love and admiration (and, sure, a little bit jealous) for the happy couple. So, I did something that you’re totally not supposed to do. I ordered my dress a size too small.

Now, TECHNICALLY, the dress fits. But it doesn’t, uh, fit… good. (The term “back fat” comes to mind.) And in order to make it fit without pinching or pulling or being generally unattractive in the arm/underarm/upperback area (it’s strapless), I know I should drop about 10 libbies. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, especially not for something that’s 4 months away. Not that tough of a goal to hit, in the grand weight loss scheme of things. But we all know my body doesn’t quite lose weight the way it used to (I guess that’s a good thing though, when you really think about it), and at least this IS a goal. Something concrete to really strive for. And obviously if I end up losing more than that, then great! But I think that 10 pounds is a really good goal for me. It’s attainable and not impossible. It’s finite. It’s definite. And it’s NECESSARY.

So here we are. Starting anew (again). But I know what I have to do this time, and even though I don’t always LIKE the sharing and the accountability and the giving other people license to call me out (I mean, to be fair, who DOES like that?), I AM GOING TO DO IT. And do it right. With the three c-words that have come to be more evil to me than the ACTUAL c-word: calorie counting, cardio, and carb-watching.

Oh, my precious carbs…

Now, the timing of this revelation and remotivation actually came quite fortuitously (or not-fortuitously, depending on your feelings on “last hurrahs”) because I had already made plans with my friends Lara and Sabrina to have a huge baking party at my house this weekend. Full scale, with cupcakes and me getting to try out the new donut pan I got for Christmas and everything. Heh, oops.


But as I said, it worked out quite fortuitously because it definitely gave me the ability to feel like I was going out (of maintenance mode) with a bang. You know, it put a real finality to the maintenance/I-still-say-I’m-trying-to-lose-weight-but-really-I’m-not phase that I’ve been in for the past… year. Made it feel, I dunno, a little more momentous. Which I honestly think will help with my transition back into the thick of things (soon to be the thin of things. Get it? Eh? Ehhhhhh??).


So I made baked apple cinnamon donuts (I’ve decided that the recipe needs some serious tweaking before I can really post it on here, but for those of you who are looking for one, I was making modifications to this Tasty Kitchen recipe) and enjoyed every last delicious morsel of my sugar rush.


And Sabrina made chocolate-banana cupcakes…


… that had TWO delicious layers because she all fancy.



And Lara? Well, she made something out of this cookbook:



So at least I wasn’t the only one stuffing my piehole.


Now, you know when I say that this was my “last hurrah,” I don’t really mean that I’m never going to be able to eat cupcakes… or donuts… or dog treats (FINE I TRIED ONE OKAY?!) every again. You know that I am actually pretty against any kind of deprivation-style diet, preferring to plant myself squarely in the realm of moderation (like, you can eat any fracking thing you want, just as long as you keep track of your portions) instead. So I won’t be cutting anything out of my life completely, but I will be monitoring things more carefully. And I’m not going to be able to bake with reckless abandon, or go through my day snacking on this and that, or being like, oh, just let me pop into the fridge to see–oh hey, that looks good!

So you’d all better hope I enjoyed this donut. Well, okay, it’s pretty obvious that I did.

So here we go. I’m launching myself straight into the wild blue yonder… of weight loss… or something… and propelling straight towards that finish line I can just baaaarely see lingering on the horizon. May 11th, 10+ pounds. Allons-y!

(Now, if only I could dream up the same kind of deadline to propel me towards actually getting my crap together with regard to writing book 2, eh?)


  1. I’m new to your blog, and I’m loving it! I am also on the weight loss train- let’s do this!

    • Thanks Christina!!

  2. Yaaay! I commend your call to action and I think I will join you. 🙂 huzzah!

  3. So first I thought my favorite word in this post was “libbies” and then you said “allons-y”…. I seriously think you are a slightly older version of me.

    But that’s AWESOME about the goal. I totally understand. If I have a set goal I’ll actually accomplish it and I kind of like the challenge. Rather than just “I’m going to lose weight…. after this cookie” type thing.”

    • We are so clearly the same person. I love it.

  4. Long time reader, first time commenter here. I also am in a wedding on May 11th, and I also am recommitting today to drop a few pounds to feel awesome in my dress! You can do this!

    • Woot! Solidarity — we’re in this together!!

  5. Everyone hits bumps on their path to their goals. If it takes a little re-motivation and re-commitment to get there then great! No eye-rolls coming from me.

    I’m in the same boat really. I committed to getting my waist size down but recently it’s fallen to the wayside in favour of Christmas and baking and birthdays and all the delicious things that aren’t making my waist any smaller.

    I am re-committing to this and have actually started calorie-counting(!) to get me there. I’m considering daily eats posts but I don’t know if I want to bore my readers.

    • I know what you mean about daily eats posts. On the one hand, I do find it helpful, but on the other, actually posting the and calorie information pictures every day got very tiring when I was doing it regularly, and I think was counterproductive to my overall calorie monitoring. And it always seems like there are people who love getting to see Daily Eats posts, and people who haaaate it. So, still not sure on whether I’ll be reinstating that, maybe on a once a week basis or something?

  6. Thank you for posting this Gretchen, I love your blog! I am so glad you are not about deprivation, it doesn’t work. I hate the word diet, I hate down talking my body and I hate waiting to be a certain size before saying a loud YES to life…however, I also hate not feeling absolutely fabulous so I’m working out, wearing my pedometer, drinking my smoothies and loving my new bob-hairstyle. Life is good and being able to read your blog is part of what makes it so good, so thank you!!

  7. I’ve been tracking during the week again. And on the weekends I’ve been working with this motto: I’m only going to eat if I’m truly hungry.

    I had a HUGE realization that if actually stuck to that motto always, I would certainly weight much less. You wouldn’t believe what I’ve picked up and put back down again on the weekends since Jan 1 when I started that.

  8. YAY! GOOD FOR YOU! No groaning-definitely!
    I know a lot of people don’t like motivators like that but it sure works for me and I hope it does for you too! Can’t wait to see your progress, lady!

  9. I just used my new donut pan this weekend too! I made Janetha’s dark chocolate donuts. Soooo good. 🙂

  10. Gretchen, just know that I’m here for you if you ever, EVER, need someone to eat the rest of the donuts. I’ll be there to stuff my face 🙂 I really want your tweaked recipe for that matter, they look awesome.

  11. Gretchen, have you ever tried Weight Watchers? I know, I know! When I say Weight Watchers, people generally run away screaming or roll their eyes as hard as possible at me. But, hear me out.

    I looooove Weight Watchers. Back in 2007 after my live-in boyfriend of two years had finished moving all of his stuff out, I looked at myself in the mirror and was like, “Ok, it’s time!” I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting, and the rest (and 70 pounds) is history.

    Yeah, it’s cheesy. But you don’t have to do the meetings anymore! It’s all online! I love it, because you eat whatever. you. want. It’s all about control and portions, and you don’t ever, ever feel deprived. It motivates you to work out (more food)! You can eat french fries if you want to (as long as they fit in your points)! I love the points system. It doesn’t even take calories into account anymore…it’s all about the ratio of carbs, protein, fat and fiber, which to me proves it actually works — we all know you’re going to eat things that have high protein/fat/fiber in addition to carb content, right!?

    Anyway, that’s my spiel. Obviously everyone does what is best for them, and that’s what it’s all about, but I can’t even tell you how awesome WW has been to me. Like I said, it’s 6 years going strong now and while I haven’t followed it the WHOLE time, now that I know the system (I don’t pay for it anymore), I can go back to it any time I want to lose a few pounds, and it ALWAYS works.

    Something to think about!!

    • You know, it’s funny, your timing is pretty impeccable. I’ve been seeing so many posts on FB and Twitter about WW meals and whatnot, since obviously I’m sure January is their biggest month of the year for new joiners, and it has gotten me thinking about it. I guess I’m just hesitant cause I’ve always prided myself on being able to lose weight “on my own” and all that stuff… which is stupid, I know. I’ll definitely look into it more — I really am SO tired of calorie counting, if this would mean an easier way to track and calculate things, it might be worth it for that alone!

      I have’t decided one way or the other yet, but I really, really appreciate getting to hear your perspective. I know tons of people that WW has been absolutely amazing for!

      • Gretchen, for what it’s worth, I encourage you to try WW as well. For all of 2012, I was pretty much stuck at a weight just about 15-20 lbs above goal. Just stuck. I was not doing well with calorie counting. I saw a blog post about doing WW for cheap using a $2 app on my phone. Best $2 I’ve spent in a long time!! It’s called the Pts Plus Diary on Android (probably the same on iPhone). It has literally everything you need (figures out your PP daily goal, has a tracker, food database, calculator, etc.) With WW I have been losing over 1 lb/week steadily. After being stuck at a plateau for so long, I am thrilled. Counting PP is a lot more (dare I say) fun than calorie counting. The 49 weekly PP make it easy to splurge occasionally but help me to reign it in so I’m not splurging every night. The 0 PP fruits & veggies are a great motivator for making healthy choices. It has really been working for me, even without paying them big bucks. Of course, if you like the idea of meetings and paying keeps you accountable, there is nothing wrong with that! I am just super cheap. 🙂

        Regardless what you do to get there, I’ll be cheering you on! Can’t wait to see this hot dress!

  12. It’s probably wrong, but what I really want to know is: How was the dog treat? Because it actually looks pretty tasty.

    • Haha!! It was actually not bad. They’re just kinda boring tasting, since there’s no extra sugar or anything in them. But they’re all human-grade ingredients: oats, peanut butter, honey, so perfectly safe to consume!

      • That sounds about like what I would have expected. They look…oaty. But I like oaty!

        Good luck with your efforts!

  13. I’m right there with you, friend!! My own wedding is just 8 days after your brother’s and so I’m in high-gear as well. I had my first dress fitting this weekend, and oh my goodness. LOL That was a kick in the pants.

    Good luck, lady! You can do it!

  14. Way to go girl! I hopped back on the wagon on January 6th and haven’t looked back since. I’ve lost 13 pounds! It was not easy to get back into it, but I am so glad I did. We can do this together!

  15. While you are on the weight loss wagon I bet you could experiment with some healthy versions of your baking favorites?! Learn some substitutions so you can still get your sweet tooth on!

    • That’s definitely part of my plan!! I already have an hankering to tinker with a meringue recipe my friend sent me — 10 calorie cookies FTW! 🙂

  16. I will be here along for the ride with you! My plan is to lose a lb a week before my bday (in july) long goal, but I just take it one day at a time!

  17. Gretchen, have you thought about getting (back) into CrossFit? 10 lb could be your one month goal.

  18. You can do it, Gretchen!! 🙂

  19. 10 pounds in 4 months is realistic! I have a bad habit of getting on the wagon and wanting to lose weight right away. I started again in September, with the caveat that I’m only allowed to weigh myself on the first of every month, and I just have to eat real food. It’s sloooow (I’m averaging 3 pounds per month), but it’s sustainable, and I’m not finding it at all difficult. I think that 2-4 pounds per month is actually the perfect rate for long-term weight loss. You can do it!

  20. I think that is a solid, realistic goal! Good luck (not that you’ll need it)…

    I totally would’ve tried the dog treats too lol!

  21. I’m back on the wagon too – also because of a bridesmaid dress. I have until September and I just keep thinking “dammit this time I WILL do this.” Allons-y indeed!!

  22. Well you just made me realize that my first half marathon ever is in three months exactly… I’m with you!!!

  23. Oh my gosh. I just found your website (Thank Cassie @ back to her roots) but you had me giggling up a storm. So thanks! Also, you have a new regular blog reader.

    Related note, I resolved all of LAST NIGHT that I wanted to lose 17 pounds by my birthday (May 8). So I’m with you!

    • Awesome, Leesa! We’re definitely in this together. Let’s do it!! 😀

  24. Good luck with your weight loss goal!! You can totally do it. 🙂

  25. A great incentive and a very realistic goal! You can do it!

  26. I’m so excited to follow your journey! I am trying to lose weight for my wedding in June, so I feel ya!
    And please get started on book 2 soon…I can’ t wait to continue the story!

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you! And don’t worry, I’m already working on book 2… just trying to get the motivation to blast full speed ahead so I can get it out as soon as possible! 😀

  27. I am soooo beyond with you! I call it “getting into the next decade”. I will be so much more comfortable being 8 lbs lighter and I know it’s not difficult. And then I will feel better being another 10 lbs lighter. But it’s hard to stay focused when the scale takes forever to budge. Good luck to you and me both!

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