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My Story

So. *deep breath* here we go.

Hey, Arnold!
February 2012

Like a lot of stories you might read or hear about those of us who have carried around, er, more than our fair share of junk in our trunks, I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. Or at least, when I didn’t think I was overweight. I have always been trying to diet, trying to lose weight, trying to get smaller. Thinner. Beautiful. After all, thin IS beauty, right? Struggling with the self-image issues that most teenage girls go through, I turned to emotional eating as a way to make myself feel better. Talk about your backwards thinking, huh? It took starting this blog for me to fully realize that there’s a better way, that being healthy is far more beautiful than being skinny at any cost.

I stepped on the scale on August 9th, 2010 and read the biggest number I had ever seen to date: 246 pounds. In tears, I asked my brother to help me set up Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! as a way to document my journey, and provide accountability for my lifestyle change. I resolved to tell as many people about it so that I couldn’t slink out of my commitment this time. I was going to take the over-the-top personality that I had developed as a result of my insecurities and put my (hopeful) successes and (probable) failures out there in writing for the whole wide world web to see.

Creeping up on 250 lbs, 2009 was a particularly bad year.

After countless fad diets, endless quick-fix attempts, andΒ running through a myriad of eating disorders as well as depression, I finally decided I needed to change, not just physically but mentally. My whole outlook when it came to my body, my health, and my life needed an overhaul. While I can’t lie and say that it wasn’t still at least a little bit about being thin and beautiful, deep down I knew that this was about something, a-hem, “bigger” than that. (Bazinga!)

When I began this blog, I had a specific number in mind for my weight loss goals. I plucked the arbitrary weight of 165 pounds out of the air, and made that my goal. After a little time and a lot of learning, however, I realized that the number isn’t as important as my overall health and happiness. I roughly know what the healthy weight range for my height should be (I’m 5’9″), and so I still strive to lose around 80 pounds from my starting weight in order to meet that, and from there I plan on finding my true “happy weight”. But wherever I end up poundage-wise, at least I know I’ll have gotten there the right way.

I have defined my entire life by constantly trying to change myself for all the wrong reasons. Granted, at 24 years old, that life is still in its arguably early stages, but still! No time like the present, amiright? In the Fall of 2011, I had lost 60 pounds thanks to the support of my family, friends, and, of course, YOU! Over the holidays that followed I unfortunately put quite a few of them back on, but I’m back to that place again and am finally ready to finish out this thing.

Thank you for sharing in this journey. Whether you’re here to help inspire me (believe me, I need it!), or if you’re looking to be inspired yourself, I hope you find something here worth staying for. I know it’s likely that my weight and my relationship with food will be a struggle for the rest of my life. But I also know that this time, thanks in large part to your support, I can finally cross that finish line.

Day 267 - Complete

October 2011: Down 60 pounds!

Thanks for coming along for the ride! I hope I don’t disappoint. πŸ™‚


  1. I really love your blog! I am in the beginning stages of losing weight (13 lbs down fro 223! Around 40 more to go!) and your blog has really helped me realize this is possible. Thank you! I look forward to more posts!

  2. Hey Grethen!

    We didn’t have a chance to officially meet last night but your blog is great! Glad that I found my way here and hopefully we will catch up at the next DC Blogger meet up!

  3. So fun meeting you! Can’t wait to follow your journey and of course come visit you all in DC πŸ™‚

    • My couch is always open… and I can promise super cute dogs! πŸ˜€

  4. I think realizing that it is a lifelong journey is a huge part to it all, unfortunately for those of us that struggle with weight it is a lifelong process, no quick fix!! Keep up the great work!!

    • Thanks Liz! Knowing really is half the battle, don’t you think (Thanks, GI Joe!)

  5. How\’s it goin friend
    Websites like this give me hope.
    I have been obese my whole life.
    I know i can get rid of it. Just gotta do it!!

  6. HI GRETCHEN! First off, your blog is absolutely fantastic! I have really enjoyed reading different posts this evening….you are truly an inspiration! I’ve just started blogging (and losing weight) and I hope we can be blog friends! YAYAY.
    Hope you have an awesome night and holiday weekend πŸ™‚

    • Pshhhh girrrrrl. You “hope” we can be blog friends? I’m pretty sure you’re not going to have a choice. πŸ˜‰

      I’m so flattered that you like and are inspired by li’l ol’ me! Have an awesome weekend — I hope that we see (er, read?) MUCH more of each other! πŸ˜€

  7. Gretchen! I have been following your blog now for just about a month and have found it truly inspirational and motivational! I myself started my blog in a very similar situation to yours; stepping on the scale and saying enough is enough! I recently turned 24 and know it is time for a change and voe this time I am “not just saying it’

    I look forward to your posts each and every day and they help me to build and evolve my blog as well! In just the short time in the healthy living blogging community I can tell it is close knit and I hope to join that inner circle and to be as successful as all the ladies out there!

    Keep up the great work and continue to inspire us all πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Terran! Sorry I didn’t respond to you before. If you ever have any questions about my weight loss or my blog/blogging process, or whatever, please don’t ever hesitate to ask!! πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Gretchen…

    I LOVE your blog. You are beautiful and congrats on your success. I have just scratched the surface reading your blog and I am wondering if you followed a program (e.g. weight watchers) or just did this on your own? Your vivacious personality comes through my computer and makes me want to start up with my own program (been putting it off for months.. ok years). Also, my son is whasian (1st time hearing this term-im loving it). He is 4 and he needs a healthy mama. Looking forward to diving into your blog and reading more…

    Thx! Jennifer

    • Hi Jenny!

      Thank you so, so much. I haven’t followed any official program, just kind of figured one out for myself based loosely on calorie counting and clean(ish) eating. I detail some of it under my “Weight Loss 101” tab up at the top if you’re interested! I’m so proud of you for making this positive step for you and your son (he must be SO cute. Then again, I’m kind of biased, hehehe.)

  9. Greetings Gretchen!
    What started out today as a quest to find photos of this past Sunday’s Navy 5 miler led me to your blog and site.

    WOW. I’m so impressed. I’m not normally the kind of guy who would post, write, blog, whatever, (I don’t even do Facebook…lol), but reading your story was/IS truly inspiring! Super proud of you, your goals, and what you’ve accomplished so far. Keep at it!!!

    All the Best,

    • Thanks so much for coming out into the blogosphere to comment, CJ! The 5 miler this weekend was definitely a big accomplishment for me, the mostly-former-but-still-sometimes couch potato, hahaha. Here’s to the next milestone…! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi! I just love reading your blog, it’s so inspiring and funny… I stumbled upon it on Calorie Count and since then I read it all the time πŸ™‚
    I am also going through my own weight-loss-thang!
    Well thanks and keep it up ^_^

  11. Hey I just found your blog and you are totally awesome πŸ™‚

    About 4 years ago I decided to make a change too. I lost 30lbs πŸ™‚

    Keep up the hard work!

  12. Gretchen! You’re awesome! You’re weight loss story is so inspiring πŸ™‚ P.S. I live in Reston, work in Falls Church, and have a schnauzer mix…I mean, come on, instant friends, right?!

    • Um, SCHYEAH, instant friends!! What company do you work for over here? Thanks for the kind words, Maria!

  13. Woot! I’ve lost ~27 pounds since Fall 2011 (another 40-ish to go) and BELIEVE ME, I hear you. Congrats on your fabulous journey so far. I love the photos, the attitude, and the recipes. I’ll be back!

  14. Hi Gretchen,

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now… I stumbled across it in a blind Google search for weight-loss information and success stories. I just went through, from start to finish, and read ALL your posts, and I just have to say, CONGRATS!! You are doing an awesome job, and you just seem like the coolest person! I am just starting my journey. I have about 100lbs to lose, and you provide me with motivation every day. I look forward to reading your posts each morning. Thanks for being so transparent, and for using your story to allow others to have their own.

    • Oh gosh, thank you so much for your kind words, Jennifer. You can totally do it! πŸ™‚

  15. Gretchen: I just found you via Sarah’s posts about Reach the Beach. I’m always, always open to reading new Healthy Living Blogs, and something about yours just speaks to me. Your story is eerily similar to mine. Like you, I never remember a time when I wasn’t overweight or didn’t think I was overweight. Like you, I stepped on the scale one day (217 lbs) and resolved to make a change. Unlike you, I kept it to myself for a long time, but eventually resolved to make my story known. I still experience some shame about the girl I “used” to be, and I’m really trying to overcome that. I love how far I’ve come, and I love my new(ish, it’s been 3 years since this journey started!) commitment to health. I’m glad I found you! Looking forward to becoming a regular reader πŸ™‚

    P.S. Your dogs are PRECIOUS!

  16. Awesome progress and change in you, Gretchen! Keep it up!!
    I’m doing the same, working hard to reach my goal. πŸ™‚

  17. Oh Gretchen!!! I looove reading stories like yours! You are amazing girl!! Keep it up!!

  18. Hey Gretchen!! Keep up the good work! I lost all my weight summer 2011 and its all back ! Thankfully i am not feeling dejected or depressed! I moved around a lil n then gave up because of “My new work schedule” but…. Your post has inspired me! I have to loose around 30 pounds… but thats ok, looking at your progress i think i would be able to loose at least half of it by this year end πŸ˜‰

  19. Grethen – How refreshing it is to read such honest accounts. I feel like the blog world tends to gloss over the issue of eating disorders and the relationship between food and oneself. It is so important for the dialogue to be there and you are an integral part of it. Keep up the amazing work and know that I’m rooting for you πŸ™‚

    • And now I feel like a tool for spelling your name wrong. Sorry!!!

  20. I like how your name stayed the same even after you changed your physique! πŸ˜›

  21. Gretchen! Just found your blog from Oatmeal After Spinning – have loved reading about you and all of your accomplishments – your journey is very real to me. I also love it because you’re ‘local’ to me, so I am really looking forward to following your journey and reading about your stops along the way!

    • Thank you, Wendy!!

  22. You are such an inspiration! I heard your story on Heather’s Half Size Me podcast and that brought me to your blog. How tall are you? Our stats are very similar and I am 5’10 and I don’t think I look as great as you. You’ve inspired me to work harder!!!

  23. Hey Gretchen – I just read your ‘My Story’ and it sounds so much like ‘My Story’ (Bazinga!)… The bit that struck me the most was how you said “…it’s likely that my weight and my relationship with food will be a struggle for the rest of my life…” because that’s exactly what I thought all the way through high school, university and beyond until I discovered The 10 Principles. I would LOVE it if you checked out my site because The 10 Principles truly changed my life and has made food, eating and weight a complete NON-ISSUE (for about 13 years so far) and I NEVER thought it would ever be (and even people close to me – who I trusted – told me it would be a life-long struggle which really depressed me). All the information is free so I’m just trying to reach as many people as possible: http://www.the10principles.com THANK YOU!! Kelly

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