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About Me

Hi there! Welcome to Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!


My name is Gretchen (duh!), and I’m 26, half-Chinese, obsessed with polka dots, and living in Northern Virginia — the little city of Falls Church, VA to be exact. Overweight for most of my life, I’m on a journey to lose weight and redefine my previously toxic relationship with food. I started this blog on August 9th, 2010 at 246 pounds. Despite a history with binge eating and other disordered food issues, I successfully lost 60 pounds. I maintained my loss for a couple of years before unfortunately backsliding… and I now find myself having regained almost all the weight I worked so hard to get rid of. I’m back on track, however, and recommitted to taking control of my weight, my health, and my body once again!

The Dreaded Befores

Making progress!

A little about me: I graduated in 2009 from James Madison University (go Dukes!) and currently live and work in Northern Virginia — which is, in my totally and completely unbiased opinion, the best area ever. In December 2012, I published my first novel!

Terra Cover

My full-time job is working for Yelp as the Northern Virginia Community Manager, and, yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds. I also write a monthly column for the Falls Church News-Press. I change my hair color, um, a lot. I am weirdly close to my family, and I have a wonderful boyfriend named Sean who is also half-Asian like me, and that’s really the main reason I like him. (Kidding, kidding!)

I am a lover of good food, time spent with friends, and am moderately (okay, very) obsessed with all things Harry Potter, as well as my two miniature schnauzers: Harry & Daxter. Expect to hear about the two of them, um, a lot.


Whether this is your first, fiftieth, or five-hundredth time here, thank you so much for taking the time to check out my little corner of the blogosphere! If you like what you see (read?) be sure to subscribe to my posts and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest (and, naturally, the greatest) updates!

  • Read about my lifelong struggles with weight and my decision to start this blog.
  • Find out more about my history with binge eating and depression.
  • Check in on my progress so far and see a few of my “before” & “now” photos!
  • Read my personal tips for losing weight the healthy way in my Weight Loss 101 series.
  • Looking to get to know me better? Take a peek at my Q & A page.
  • And be sure to check out the rest of my top posts too!

  • 186 lbs back in 2011 — I will get there again!

    Please note that I am not a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or medical doctor. Everything written on this blog has come from my own personal experience. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email me at gretchen@honeyishrunkthegretchen.com. Thanks!


    1. I’m so proud of you girl – you can do this! xo

    2. great blog! and I bet you’ll be surprised by how you’ll learn to love (and crave!) exercise! Just try to find something YOU enjoy!

    3. We can take the dogs for walks more! And then when they are tired and can’t walk we will have to carry them, thus further contributing to the burn!

    4. Hi came across your blog and wanted to commend you on putting yourself out there. I am a 25 year old woman who recently lost a lot of weight(starting weight was 273 lbs and I am also 5 foot 9). Having lost 120 lbs I can tell you that if you stick with it you will be able to do it! Stay strong and keep motivated!!

    5. Hi Gretchen – I found your blog from Anne P’s website, and i can TOTALLY relate to you. I didn’t start my journey until I was 24 (i’m 26 now) but how I wish I had started at age 22! Try to make the changes slowly so you can stick with them, and good luck to you!!

    6. You can do it!!!!
      Seriously. There’s no easy way – there’s no secret. Just healthy food most of the time with some treats thrown in there to keep you sane and get your body movin’. I’ve personally kept off 40 pounds for 3 years and my boyfriend has kept off 70ish pounds for almost a year now. I post delicious recipes I make at home – so if you get in a food rut, check them out.

    7. I found your blog through Anne P’s, and I just wanted to tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS!! You are off to such a great start from what I can see and you will continue to learn each day. Go you!! πŸ™‚

    8. I am so proud of you! Thank you for sharing your story. Can’t wait to see you in January! hugs!!!

    9. I found you blog through KathEats. πŸ™‚ (I’ve been reading all of these blogs to get motivated to be healthier)

      I looked at this and smiled so big!!! Do you go to JMU? Your pics sure made it seem that way, I saw the quad. I GO TO JMU TOO! I’m a senior.

      Good luck with all of your goals!

      • Hi Bridgette! You have a good eye for the Quad — I graduated from JMU in 2009 actually – a proud SCOM major. πŸ™‚ Glad you came across the blog, it’s always great to hear from a fellow Duke!

    10. You are so gorgeous! I swear, in the last 2 pics you look like a model!! You can do this! πŸ˜€

    11. Hi! I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blog! I’m a fellow JMU Duke and photographer(sometimes lol). I found your blog off of your Flickr and from Amanda’s blog! =] Good luck with your dieting and healthly living…your pictures of food make me hungry! =]

      • Thanks Tiffany! Go Dukes! πŸ˜‰

        • So your blog really makes me want to exercise…also any chance you could adopt me and cook for me? I love to eat but I’m not much of a cook and the pictures of your food always look so delicious!

    12. Your journey is so inspiring! I can’t wait to follow along with your transformation. You are glowing in your pictures, this blog will be such a shining light for people who share in your struggle. You go girl!

      • Thank you so much, Kelsey! I just checked out Happy Yolks – your blog is absolutely gorgeous! Maybe one day I’ll be able to take food pictures like you. πŸ™‚

    13. I just found your blog and want to say congrats on the weightloss! that is truly fantastic!

      • Thank you! Here’s hoping it keeps going πŸ˜‰

    14. Hello! I came across your blog through Healthy Living Blogs and it looks great and I can’t wait to read more! What awesome progress you’ve made! Way to go! Losing weight has always been a struggle for me, so I’m focusing my energy on being healthy and loving myself instead of focusing only on weight loss. It’s all a process! Feel free to stop by my blog sometime! πŸ™‚

    15. I just read your guest post on http://www.fannetasticfood.com/. I love your story and look forward to reading more on your blog. Congratulations! That is such a tremendous accomplishment. I am truly inspired by other people’s weight loss journeys as they help me stay motivated on my own. All the best to you.

    16. Hello. I just want to say congrats on your weight loss. I came across you blog and love it. Can wait to read more.

      • Thanks Denisse! So happy you stumbled upon me. πŸ™‚

    17. Hi Gretchen! I’m a friend of Ali Williamson’s and saw the link for your blog in hers. (Also a JMU alum! Go Dukes!) Congratulations on your success so far! You look amazing. I cannot wait to try your caprese salad bake and to follow the rest of your story. Best wishes!!

    18. You look wonderful and are very inspiring. I need to lose 60 pounds and feel if you can do it than I should be able to too.

      • You SO can do it! That’s pretty much my motto these days: If I can do it, ANYONE can.

    19. Love your story and your about me page is great! Looking forward to reading more!

    20. I think you’re stunning! And it makes me super happy that you’re in NOVA and that you know Chloe Wilson. Some of us NOVA bloggers are planning a meet-up (towards the end of summer) and I hope you’ll be able to come! πŸ™‚

      • Gosh, thanks so much Colleen! And yes, I would lovelovelove to hear about the meetup! Keep me posted! πŸ™‚

    21. Hi Gretchen! Wow your story is so incredibly inspiring and you look amazing! I also went to JMU, small world! πŸ™‚ So glad I found your blog through the Realistic Nutritionist, new follower! Best of luck in your continued journey! xoxo

      • Thanks Kelly! I just recently stumbled upon your blog the exact same way, and love it! Always awesome to meet another fellow JMU-er. Go Dukes! πŸ˜€

    22. I stumbled upon your blog and think it’s adorable- keep up the great work! I graduated in May and moved back home to the DC area and it’s fun reading local blogs πŸ™‚ It would be fun to have a local bloggers meet-up!

      • Absolutely — we’re planning on one for next month. I’ll be sure to add you to the email list, kay?

    23. Hey Gretchen – first off….what a great blog! Wow, your story is really inspiring. You mentioned that you run – do you have any upcoming races your working towards (apologies if you blogged about this recently – I’ll read some posts to catch up)!

      I found your blog from Janetha’s HLS recap – looks like you ladies had such a wonderful time!

      • Thanks, Jayme!! I think that with me “running” is a very LOOSE term, but yes, right now I’m training for the Navy 5 Miler at the end of September. 5 miles is a lot for me so here’s hoping it goes well…!

    24. Hello! Just found your blog from Beth’s! I’m also a NoVA resident and work for a government contractor though not in HR. I went to Virginia Tech but I always passed JMU on 81 πŸ™‚ Your story is very inspirational and I’m excited to read more about your journey. And can hopefully learn a few things!!

      • Thanks so much, Sarah! Sounds like we have a lot in common. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to check your blog out too!

    25. I just found your blog. It’s so nice to find another DC blogger. I just wanted to say congrats on your journey so far. You are truly an inspiration for what hardwork and dedication can achieve.

      • Thank you! So glad to meet another DC blogger as well. And omgggg your wedding! You’re new, so you probably aren’t aware of how obsessed with weddings I am, buttttt… well, I’ll leave it at the fact that I am currently devouring your posts. πŸ˜€

    26. Oh my god. Is that a sushi onesie? a) Where did you get it!?! b) Can we be best friends?

      Love your blog, you’re awesome πŸ™‚

    27. Hi, I just found your blog. I like it so far πŸ™‚

      I wonder why Gretchen is quite a common name (as far as I can tell from the media) in the United States but I don’t know of any German person called Gretchen. Well, apart from the one of Goethes “Faust”. Kind of fits that you have Schnauzers too πŸ˜€

      • Thank you! Haha, that is definitely an interesting thought. And the funniest part is that I’m not at all German myself! I was named after my grandmother, and I think my father’s side of the family is originally from Wales… but maybe it is in my blood somewhere! πŸ™‚

    28. Hi there, I found your blog through google (i was looking for bloggers in the DC area). You have a great blog!!! and congrats on the weight loss journey it’s so inspiring to read stories like yours =)

      Your newest follower

    29. hey girl! i just stumbled across your blog. i’m originally from northern, va too!(annandale!) and now i’m living in richmond, trying to get ahold of my weight and bring it down to where i’m comfortable with myself!!! hopefully i cant find some things out through your blog!

    30. Hi girl! I just linked to your blog from Tina’s at Carrots n Cake. You are really inspiring and congrats on your weight loss! I’m adding you to my blog roll and I can’t wait to read some more posts! πŸ™‚

    31. Just found your blog (from a post on Daily Garnish, I think …) Way to go! I live in Richmond, Virginia. πŸ™‚

    32. You are such an inspiration! I love your site!
      Are you going to Fitbloggin this year? I was thinking about going, but I wasn’t sure what to expect!

      • Thanks so much Chelsea! I’m definitely thinking about it. Haven’t committed yet, but it’s so close by I don’t think I’ll be able to stay away!!

        • Thanks to you and another blogger I have lost 10 pounds!!!! And inspired me to start my own site. I hope you continue doing this you guys help me out so much.

    33. Hello! Wow, the before and after pictures are quite a transformation! GOOD FOR YOU! Hope you keep going to achieve your goals πŸ™‚

    34. that last photo, awesome! wait, they’re all awesome! Gretchen, you’re more than pretty on the outside – you’re beautiful inside and out! life is a process, we’re all a work in progress. just keep on and remember to be gentle with yourself, you deserve the best!!

    35. I came across your blog on Pinterest while pinning fitness inspiration. Couldn’t resist checking out your blog (after all we do share the same first name) and found your story inspiring. I too have struggled with my weight. I weighed 269 lbs at my heaviest and have since lost 139 lbs through healthy eating and a new found love for running. Thank you for sharing your journey!!

    36. I just found your blog and girl, you look amazing!! I’m so impressed by your story, your sense of humor and your adorable faces. You’ve earned a spot on my google reader, keep the greatness coming. I’m 23 and I’ve been trying to lose ~15 lbs for like 6 years,, it’s pathetic haha. I know what I need to do and I eat healthy foods, I’m just naturally rebellious and I can’t stand being told what/how much to eat (even if I’m the one dictating it!). But I’m going to keep reading your blog to give me a kick in the pants πŸ™‚

    37. I found your blog through another healthy living blogger (I can’t remember who it was now) who posted your first Crossfit experience. After reading that post, I kept reading to get to know the girl behind the blog. Good for you for putting your journey out there and providing guidance for others going through the same thing. Great blog!

    38. Hi Gretchen, I just stumbled on your blog and have to comment that I love your first picture! I’m a CU Boulder grad (you are jumping in front of the campus/flatirons, right– I’m not going crazy?)(and I’m actually currently living in the DC area)and love seeing the flatirons randomly and am enjoying browsing your blog πŸ™‚

      • Hi Maura! That is indeed the flatirons, you’re not crazy at all! I love that you’re in the area — thanks for checking in! πŸ˜€

    39. Gretchen, I can’t believe you’re only 24! You are SO poised, talented, and impressive. Good luck with all your endeavors! xoxo

    40. Fellow JMU Duke here (Grad school!) and Harry Potter lover! So thrilled I found your blog! Keep up the good work girl! Can’t wait to follow along on your journey. Congrats on completing that 15K by the way- that is awesome!

      • Thanks Carol! πŸ˜€

        GO DUKES!

    41. Hello there! I am super excited to have stumbled onto your blog! PLUS we both live in NOVA and you are the first NOVA blog I have read through, yippie. Congrats on everything you have accomplished so far! It makes my little 15 lb weight loss goal seem so small now!

    42. I love you. Congrats on all your progress and being awesome.

    43. Love your blog and congrats on your success!! I am struggling with the same shiz!! Time to become healthy πŸ™‚

    44. I’m certain that you’ve achieved your goal by now! Keep inspiring people who find it too hard to cope up with their battle against excess weight. This is really a great blog. Thank you for your thoughts and experiences.

    45. Hi Gretchen

      This is the first time I stumbled across your blog and let me tell you that I am absolutely loving it! I love your style of writing and your personality really shines through!

      I am going to read lots more of your posts. Awesome that you work for Yelp! I am part of the Yelp! Elite in Sydney Australia and I love Yelp!

      Anyway good luck with your fitness journey and talk soon



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