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Posted on May 15, 2014 in Dear Diary, Weight Loss | 19 comments

The Missing Ingredient

So, as evidenced by the increasing infrequency of my posting, I guess you can probably imagine that work has gotten muy loco once again, and this poor, neglected blog is suffering the consequences. Well, there is good news and bad news that comes out of this fact, the bad news being that, of course, my posting has gone out the window… as have my *ahem* weigh-ins. (Oops.)

BUT. The good news is that the thing that I’m working on is a flippin’ huge, rocktastic, amaaaaahzing party that Y-O-U are invited to attend!

Yelp Gets Lucky

Yelp Gets Lucky is taking place on Friday, June 13th from 8 – 10 PM (or 7 PM if you’re part of the Yelp Elite Squad) and it’s going to be a seriously good time. We’re talking tons of noms, draaaaanks, and entertainment, all courtesy of amazing local businesses!

Best of all? It’s 100% TOTALLY COMPLETELY FREE to attend! All you gotta do is RSVP on Yelp. That’s it. For serious. So local readers, you have no excuse not to come out and play, okay?!

Aaaaanyway, now that that shameless plug is out of the way, let’s get back to me making pitiful excuses for why I haven’t been blogging. I mean, wait. What?

Okay, so here’s the real deal. (Buckle in, this is gonna be a long ride, folks.) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and where I’m going with it. You know, thinking about where I was in my life when I wrote that first post three and half years ago, and where I am now. Thinking about the goals I’ve achieved, the ones that I’ve failed at, the ones that I first achieved and THEN failed at maintaining afterwards… and how with the onset of this dream job and so many things in my life falling into place, maintaining this blog has lately felt more like a burden than a joy.

I know, I know, that sounds bad, and maybe it actually reads harsher than I really mean it to, but, hmm. How do I say it… I guess I’ve been kind of tiptoeing around the fact that I’m just not as passionate about blogging as I used to be. And I’ve been blaming it on being busy or being distracted or whatever, but I think we all know that it’s not really about not having the time to do it.

I mean, here’s the story of this blog in a nutshell: I was fat and unhappy, so I lost a buncha weight. And it was awesome! Aaaand then I gained a whole bunch of weight back. And that was not so awesome (especially to admit… publicly… on the interwebs) but, unlike before, I was fat and happy. Not happy about being fat, but you know what I mean. But, hey, I write a weight loss blog. So I knew that eventually I needed to own up to regaining the weight, and that I also needed to re-lose it. I had it in my mind that if I did it once, I could do it again just as long as I did all the same things I did the first time around. So that’s what I set out to do.

And sure, it worked for a while, because just paying attention to myself and what I was eating again was enough to help me shed those first 10, 15 pounds again. But then… I dunno. My drive just kinda — poof! — disappeared. And I couldn’t really figure out why. After all, I was doing all the same things I did the first time. Counting my calories, exercising (well, kinda…), cleaning my diet back up. And it was working! I was losing weight again. And yet… something was still missing.

I just haven’t been able to muster up the same enthusiasm towards my weight loss that I had the first time around. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken so many steps backwards that the fact that I’m finally moving forward again isn’t really a big deal. Because I’m still so far from where I once was. So, you know, celebrating a loss that I had already lost but subsequently regained doesn’t really seem like an appropriate thing to celebrate anymore. There’s too much guilt and shame involved now.

Beyond that, though, I think part of the reason why doing all the same things and following the same path doesn’t feel quite right anymore is because while all those things might be the same, I’m not. I’m pretty damn different now than I was three and a half years ago (um, thank GOODNESS, right?). Pretty much everything in my life has changed since then — my job (VIVA LA YELP!), my relationship (I think I’ll keep him), even my family (hello, Auntie Gretchen!). In fact, the only thing that hasn’t really changed is this pervasive obsession I continue to have with losing weight and, while we’re being honest I’ll just say it, being thin.

Let’s just face facts: While I talked a LOT about how, really, this blog is about getting healthy, and, really, it’s about working through my food issues, and, really, it’s about loving myself, you wanna know what it’s REALLY been about? Losing weight. I mean, it’s right there in the title. And I feel like in having that focus right from the start, I was always in the mindset that there was something about me that needed to change. That needed to be fixed. And that one basic thought right there, despite all my best efforts and a lot of denial, led the way for a lifetime of doubt and self-loathing to settle in under every victorious blog post, every one of my successes.

I mean, heck, even when I did lose 60 pounds and felt happy and whole and looked rockin’ in tapered denim, I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to continue to “fix” myself, to lose more, to be skinnier… and I’m pretty sure that lack of contentment is probably a key factor in why I started to regain weight in the first place.

IMG_8199.jpg IMG_9111.jpg

So yes, I obviously would love to get back to that place, that weight, how I felt at that time. But I don’t want to get there by spouting positivity on this blog but secretly wishing I could chop off the rolls on my stomach in private. The truth of the matter is that I’ve spent far too much of my life punishing myself for my body, being mad at myself for lacking the self-control to be thin, hatefully comparing myself to other women.

Now, let’s just hit the “pause” button for a hot sec, because I want to clarify that this post is in no way a declaration that I’m going to stop blogging. I’m obviously waaaaay too egomaniacal to ever do that. Please. But I am starting to reevaluate what it is that I’m looking to get out of this and put into this blog. Because I don’t think my real goal is just to lose weight any more. Or, at least, I don’t think I want it to be.

Maybe I’m finally getting to a place where I truly do want to work towards being able to fully accept and love my body as-is. No improvements needed. And I promise, I’m not trying to use this as an excuse to be lazy and eat whatever I want and be unhealthy. This is all about trying to implement a shift in my perspective, and I think it’s time for me to take a break from this total fixation I have on my weight, my size, and my body in general. Or at least, to TRY to take a break from it.

And you know, while I’m working on the full mental overhaul that I’m sure will be required to get me to see things just a little differently (I tell ya, the media industry really has done a number on me), I’ll continue to eat healthily (for the most part, as I do now) and go to the gym (for the occasional part, at least) and we’ll see where that gets me for the next little while.

Aaaaand since this post has LONG since passed the “eyes glazing over” stage right into TL;DR territory, I’ll go ahead and stop myself here. Let’s see how this attempt at a shiny new perspective goes, shall we?

19 Comments

  1. YES. I think this is so incredibly important. My own eating issues were kind of opposite of yours (I dealt with anorexia and ED-NOS in my late teens and 20s) and changing my mindset was the key to moving past them. Loving and accepting yourself AS YOU ARE is so, so fundamental to living a happy life. Seriously, it’s key. I am 34 now and I see so much of my younger self in so many of your posts, so I want to tell you as someone on the other side of it that this is absolutely important work and something you should be doing. You will become your true self through this work. You will be even happier.

    Also, I feel like when I declared to myself that I was going to be happy and content with myself and my body even if it took the rest of my life and I was the only woman in America who felt that way (it’s countercultural), it actually took way less time to reach that contentment than I expected. It was like putting that goal out there really helped me to reach it. Perhaps that will be true for you too.

  2. registered!

  3. I loved all your gifs in this! for a while there it seemed like everyone was using all the gifs, all the time, but these were great! Have you considered re-naming/branding your blog? I feel like you are such a rockstar, don’t let the “weight loss” origins of your blog hold you back! Do what you want!

    • I have been considering it more and more lately, for sure! I’ll happily take suggestions for new blog titles, hehe ;)

  4. I’m in this same place right now. I’ve re-gained about 20 lbs of the 70 that I lost, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to lose anymore. But I really want to focus on loving my body right now — but at the same time, I want to lose those 20 lbs! It’s really hard….

  5. I’m right there with you Gretchen! I too am working on adjusting my self-perspective/ contentment with myself. Darn tootin’ I’ll have a chocolate bar if I want one but I also will exercise when I want to because it makes me feel GOOD about MYSELF!

  6. I can get behind you 100% — you can love your body as is AND still be healthy. In fact, I don’t think anybody needs to be thin to be healthy. I think that’s a load of horse shit that has been ingrained in our brains. Yes, eating poorly and sitting on your butt can make you fat, but that’s not how everybody got fat, and it’s terrible to over-generalize and lump all the fat people into one big lazy unhealthy category.

    I think you’re talking about balance and loving yourself, and those are two very healthy things.

    Also, I’m with you about losing your passion for blogging (and on being egomaniacal). A few weeks back I wrote a similar post about direction, and I still don’t know what I’m doing with my blog. Actually, I got an idea for a novel I want to write, so I’m basically using my blog as a writing exercise (you know, the whole write more to become a better writer sort of thing).

    Anyway, just wanted to comment and show some support!

    PS I’m getting purple hair. ;)

    • Oh, and one more thing: I think you look good now. I know the feeling of wanting to secretly chop off your fat rolls (or muffin top in my case), and to finally move past that feeling is the best thing in the world. Hope you get there someday too.

    • Thanks lover, I really appreciate the support. And omgggg can’t WAIT to see your luscious colored locks!

  7. Amen, girl! I think you hit the nail on the head talking about being “healthy” versus “skinny”. Healthy doesn’t look the same on everyone, and it shouldn’t. Your body knows where it wants to be if you treat it right. I, too, dabbled in Bulimia, then managed to end the purging, but not the bingeing – so I gained A LOT of weight. Now I’m trying to change my lifestyle into a healthy one and focus on the goal of being healthy, but necessarily skinny (because my body isn’t built that way).

    Anywho – I RSVP’d to the party, but it seems like not everyone gets in? What’s the deal?

    • Hey Sarah!

      Awesome that you RSVP’d, can’t wait to see you there! We have to keep the guestlist RSVP-only in case we end up hitting the max capacity of the venue, as well as to be able to email out instructions and whatnot to folks. But don’t worry, you RSVP’d nice and early so you won’t have any issues — if you have any friends or family that you want to come, make sure they RSVP too! And keep an eye out for a confirmation email from me to come in a bit with additional info! :)

  8. I’m good with this. I want to hear more about your hair, the nitty gritty of the yelp industry, your favorite cosmetics and what you movies/books/music you are listening to these days anyway :)

  9. Are we the same person? Why are we not besties? :)
    Thank you for this post, Gretchen. Ive spent my entire life binge eating, not eating, over exercising, not exercising, and Im tired of it. I want to just be happy and right now, I am. I may not be thin, but I am strong and i prove that to myself in crossfit every day!
    I would certianly hate to see your blog go, so just like Mitra stated above, I totally want to hear more about Yelp, your favorite things, books, etc. Kepp on rocking!

  10. I really enjoy the fact that you are sharing encouraging information.
    I read comments from different posting from you and people what ask you for suggestions on getting started.
    Well getting a healthier body first starts with the inner man and a plan. I like how one nutritionist said you have to take away 7 foods and replace them with 7 healthier foods. It didn’t take a day to create poor eating habits so it won’t take a day to do the opposite.
    Some of the things I replaced in my personal diet was breakfast. I used to eat a small meal, now I enjoy a healthy protein drink. I used to drink coffee and sodas ALOT but now I drink greens.
    So change is definitely going to be different for everyone, my encouragement is to start and make it a challenge.

    weight loss

  11. The title of your site and your weight loss journey, may be what brought people here, but that’s not why we stay or continue to read. Even though they have been infrequent, you can feel the change in attitude about your life come through. I’d much rather hear about how happy you are with your job, or dogs, or your family & friends rather than read about you being down on your weight or self. Stay happy and thank you for letting total strangers in on your life (you doing the rangar run got me into running for weight loss/maintenance, as we are about the same size).

  12. The only thing you need to fix is your attitude about yourself and that is probably the hardest thing of all.

    This phrase pretty much hits the nail on the head: “I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to continue to “fix” myself, to lose more, to be skinnier… and I’m pretty sure that lack of contentment is probably a key factor in why I started to regain weight in the first place.” . . . and the fact that you’re recognizing your need not to fix your body but fix how you view yourself is super important to helping you develop body acceptance.

    I want to tell you to take up yoga, or try weightlifting, or meditation, or any of the things that have helped me to perceive myself without judgment regardless of how my pants fit but it’s a very personal thing and something that you’ll need to discover on your own.

    Feeling the need to constantly fix yourself sucks. It really does. I hope that you’re able to work through this.

  13. Hello lovely lady,
    1. I totally want to come to your Yelp event, because it will be super awesome fun time, but my flight back from Denver lands at 10 pm that Friday.
    2. http://www.honeyiamthegretchen.com

    Rachel

  14. Don’t get discouraged. You did great; your blog has been helpful to many people. And the end of the day your health is more important than just the weight.

  15. Gretchen, I think your blog is great. Thanks for the inspiration to tart my own weight loss blog. I hope my successes will be comparable to yours!

    fromcaketokale.wordpress.com

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