If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between fitness | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 in Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 4 comments

Quick Update (Weigh-in)

Not a ton of time today (as has been the case every day this week), but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to pop my results up on the blog today. So here we go, quick like a bunny:

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 223.7
This Weigh-in: 222.2 lbs
Difference: -1.5 lbs

And the train just keeps on rolling! Huzzah! Let’s just hope that this isn’t some kind of weird streak of stress-related weight loss due to my crazy schedule right now, hahaha.

See you guys on the flip!

Read More

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 9 comments

Aerial Yoga

Alas, I fear I must now face the stark reality that I will never, ever be a Cirque du Soleil-style aerialist.


My coworker Kimberly and I went on a fitness adventure by trying out Aerial Yoga at Spark Yoga in Arlington.


As you can see, aerial yoga is yoga that utilizes aerial silks in all of the moves. The description on the website reads:

Ready to fly? Decompress your spine and your mind by practicing yoga from a hammock suspended above the ground. Classes may include inversions, upper body exercises, and adventurous tricks using aerial hammocks.

Now, I’m no yoga pro, but I’ve been to enough classes and done enough at-home DVDs to know my way around a sun salutation or two, and my understanding was that this “beginner’s” level aerial yoga class would actually make things a little easier because the silk helps to support your weight and whatnot.

Plus, hello! It just looked fun!


Weeeeell, as it turns out, my assumptions were both true and not true. But mostly not true. Sure, certain stretches were made simpler (and deeper!) by utilizing the silk. It was cool to do things like put your foot into the fabric while sitting on the ground (so it was kind of like up in a sling) and stretch, or putting the silk under your arms and falling leaning forward into a cobra pose. Plus, doing child’s pose while sitting in the “bucket” felt pretty fab.

But all the other stuff we were expected to do? Nottttt so much. As it turns out, putting a strip of fabric underneath your pelvic bone and downward-dogging on top of it actually kind of hurts. Not to mention the part where the instructor told us to then lift our legs off of the ground, so ALL OF OUR BODY WEIGHT was being balanced on our pelvic bone. And since I obviously have quite a bit of weight on me still, I couldn’t really do that (it REALLY hurt!), so then I started feeling pretty bad about myself when I saw all the other girls in the class suspended over the ground with ease.

I think the biggest problem with the class as a whole was that the instructor is so advanced in her aerial abilities (she was — is? — a professional aerialist and pole dancer) that I don’t think she considered giving out any modification suggestions. I mean, even when I did CrossFit and P90X and all that ridiculousness, there were always modifications for folks who weren’t as strong or as fit, and I didn’t get any of that at aerial yoga. And, hey, maybe it’s just that there aren’t really modifications possible with aerial yoga, but if that’s the case they should probably advertise that the class is for those who are already a little more advanced in yoga to begin with, right? I mean, throughout a large percentage of the class, I just kind of sat/dangled there not really knowing what to do (and feeling worse and worse about myself) while all the other girls got their Cirque du Soleil on. Womp womp.

Thankfully, the last 10 minutes of the class were somewhat redeeming. You end with savasana, but you do it inside the silk, so it’s basically like lying in a hammock/being wrapped up in a little cocoon. The instructor comes by and swings you gently back and forth, and you get to just lay there. Unfortunately, while I think the goal of savasana is to clear your mind and get into a good mental space, all I could do was fixate on how crappily I performed throughout the entire class. It was still nice and comfy though.

Anyway, as you can tell, aerial yoga really didn’t end up being for me, but I think a seasoned yogi or just folks who are lighter and more flexible might have a more enjoyable experience. And I guess for now, I’ll just stick to regular on-the-mat yoga whenever I need a fix. Blessedly, while I was whining to Kimberly after the class, she reassured me that she faced a lot of similar problems, so it does help to know that I wasn’t alone in my misery, haha.

Have you ever tried aerial yoga?

Read More

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.

Read More

Posted on Nov 25, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 7 comments

Thankful (Part 1)

Well, Happy Turkey Day, guys! I feel like this day has been such a whirlwind – it feels like it’s been 3 days worth of activities in one! As such, I‘ve decided to split Thanksgiving into two posts so that I don’t bore you to death on your holiday, hehe. So as I watch my favorite movie of all time, Singin’ in the Rain, I’m going to tell you about my First Great Accomplishment for today:

Running the SOME 5K!!!

That’s right y’all. I did it. I ran a 5K. I didn’t walk. I didn’t stop (save for one moment where I had to re-tie my shoelace, but I don’t think that counts.) I ran it. 3.12 miles. And I did it in just over 40 minutes total (I even sprinted the last tenth of a mile – ROAR!!!!)

Granted, I ran it slow. I think I ranged between a 12 1/2 and 13 1/2 minute pace the whole time. Maybe slower. The beginning was slow-going because there were so many people all crowded together, and it was slow at the turn-around too, where you started to head back toward the start/finish line. But hey, I did it. And I feel so accomplished. And now I have future goals available, to get a little bit faster, a little bit more graceful. It’s a really good feeling. 🙂

It was such a fun experience, participating in a race like that. There were 5000 people there! And people running in all manner of costumes and Thanksgiving apparel – it was a hoot!

If you had asked me if I ever thought I would be successfully running a 5K 3 months ago, I would have laughed in your face. This is such a milestone for me. And another thing to cross of the goals list!

I definitely want to do more races in the future. It was such an exhilarating experience, and having the support of my sister, her hubby, and Amanda with me helped me feel like I could go all the way! And I did!

After we came back from the race, I went to see Tangled with my family, which was soooo cute! I loved it (but honestly, what Disney movie don’t I love?) And with that, I’m going to cap this post here, since I actually have work tomorrow (SIGH!) Plus, between the race, the movie, and cooking Thanksgiving dinner (that’s what’s coming in Part 2!) I am POOPED! So completely, fully exhausted.

So goodnight, all! Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for how far I have come. In so many ways. 🙂

Read More

Posted on Nov 14, 2010 in Dear Diary, Working Out | 3 comments

Weekend Update

Sorry, I can guarantee that this won’t be as hilarious as the SNL version. I do crack myself up, but even I can admit that I’m no Seth Myers. 🙂 I figured I’d try to catch you up on the weekend hijinks anyway. Away we goooo!

Friday after work, I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up about my kidney stone, and then I spontaneously decided to get my hair cut. Instead of going to my usual hairdresser at Bubbles in Tysons (Aleese, I’m sorry! Forgive my traitorous haircutting ways!) I popped into the Hair Cuttery in Falls Church (walk-ins welcome, after all! Haha.) I’ll definitely be going back to Aleese next time, since the elderly Ukranian woman who ended up cutting my hair didn’t really know what I was asking for, but I mostly just wanted to get it cleaned up – I was looking a li’l scruffy, hehe. I wasn’t too thrilled with my experience there, but I think the cut turned out okay in the end! You be the judge:


Er, still before. I had a little too much fun.


I took the “After” picture awkwardly inside Chipotle so I was trying to be inconspicuous by not smiling, hahaha. Anyway, I think in the end it’s not too shabby. I think I’m going to grow my hair out a bit and get an A-line bob (reverse bob, concave bob, whatever you call it) next time so I can try my hand at being super trendy.

Friday night a whole bunch of my friends and I ventured out to the Tortoise & Hare bar in Crystal City to see my friend’s band Flow in the Dark. It was a lot of fun! I had a couple of drinks, which probably wasn’t great for my weekly caloric totals (not to mention the waffle fries I split with Taylor and Ben… oops.) but I did stick to shooters as opposed to full on drink-drinks so I think I saved myself a few unnecessary ones there… small victories, hahaha.

Me, Erin, and Taylor out for the night!

Steve and his friend Jordan even came down from Delawhere? for the show, and I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Doubleplusbonus? Lots of people told me that I looked noticeably thinner, which is always nice to hear. 😛 It was a good night, but I was POOPED by the end of it (I don’t have the stamina to go out after working an entire day – don’t know how you people do it!)

Saturday I lounged around for a while before heading over to my parents’ house to embark on my greatest training challenge yet: Attempting to run 2 miles outside. My fitness coach and sister extraordinaire was there right alongside me as we ran, jogged, and shuffled (but never walked!) through the super-dee-duper hilly terrain of Falls Church. Verdict?

2.15 total miles! I had a super slow pace, but I don’t care – I didn’t walk at all, and there were a LOT of hills. I feel so accomplished! I know that 2 miles isn’t THAT much, but it’s definitely the most that I’ve ever run at all, let alone outside. It makes me feel like maybe running this 5K isn’t totally unrealistic (it’s a flat course, so I hear that alone makes a huge difference, haha.)

I definitely feel a little sore today, but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it would be. And to boot, while we were running, I definitely felt like running the first mile was, well, easy. Who would have EVER thought that I would use the words “run a mile” and “easy” in the same sentence?! Three and a half months ago, this would have been a crazy pipe dream. I really feel like I’m making progress here, in more than just the numbers way.

Saturday night I went to a Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at my brother’s friend Lauren’s house. She and her husband John have an annual Thanksgiving potluck, and this year she was nice enough to invite me, too! It was a lot of fun, although I really wasn’t as good as I should have been. I tried to load up on salad and turkey first, but there was definitely some stuffing and mashed potatoes that slipped in there too. Sigh. I’m trying to view this whole week as a fitness victory, rather than a food victory though. I lost 4.6 pounds last week, so I was never counting on losing a lot, if anything, this week. I just wanted to get back on form, and ramp up my 5K training, which I think I’ve done. We’ll see how tomorrow’s weigh-in pans out, but in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 🙂

Alright, that about sums up the major points of the weekend, plan for the day is to do a whole lot of lounging. Hopping back on the treadmill tomorrow and continuing on training for the 5K, which is soooooooo close I’m starting to freak out just a little bit more. Weigh-in tomorrow!

Read More