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Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Dear Diary | 33 comments

Fat Day

I had a fat day yesterday.

Not the good kind of fat day, where you think of it that way because of all the delicious, indulgent, decadent, rich foods you ate. (I’ve had more than my fair share of those kinds of fat days too, naturally.) No, it was the kind of day where I felt fat. I know, I know, this is going to be one of those kinds of posts, and you’ll just have to bear with me. I can’t help it. For whatever reason, in spite of the fact that I ate pretty well, exercised, and had a wonderful evening catching up with my dear friend Sarah, I just felt fat.

We all have those days, I know. It’s just been tough for me as I struggle with the fact that I’ve basically lapsed into maintenance at this point, my weight loss is slow. Weight loss is a long play, I know. If you want to do it in a healthy, sustainable way, there really are no quick-fixes, no shortcuts. But I need to own up to the fact that I’m neither on nor off the weight loss wagon right now. It’s more like my leg is caught in a loop of rope and I’m dragging behind it. I keep declaring my intentions for ongoing progress. “Onward and downward!”, I say. But I’m not really doing much to follow through. Sure, I’m still watching what I eat (mostly), I’m actually exercising fairly regularly (shocking!), and I’m even counting the occasional day’s worth of calories still. But while I’m barely hitting half-pound losses every two weeks, all it’s really doing is keeping me from ballooning back up. And that might be fine, if I didn’t keep reminding myself that my original goal was — is — to reach 165 pounds, not 188.4 pounds.

So yesterday, I got down about it. And all my self-doubt crept back into my brain and started whittling away at the modicum of confidence that I’ve gained in this new body of mine. “Still fat,” it said to me. “You’re still overweight. You’re soft, squishy, and don’t even think about trying to cover it up with words like ‘curvy’ or ‘voluptuous’ or ‘big boned’. Fat, fatty, fat.”

So I broke down (just a little bit). And then I remembered that I might not be a size 6 yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t made progress. And if my own mind is warped enough to be telling me that I’m fat now, what was it trying to tell me back then? So I took to Facebook circa 2009 and reminded myself of exactly what it is that I’ve been fighting for (or is it against?) this whole time. Yep, that’s right folks. It’s time for another installment of Gretchen’s Weight Loss Photo Retrospective™!

The Befores

Oh yeah, we’re gettin’ fancy with the photo layouts up in hurr!

The Nows

Going Out: Then & Now

Christmas: Then & Now

Harry Potter Fanaticism: Then & Now

Okay, I do feel better. I’ve come a long way! And yes, for a while now my weight loss progress has… slowed, that much I do admit. But I know what I’m capable of when I’m focused, motivated, and on track. I need to reevaluate my current lifestyle a little bit to get myself back into progress-making mode: crack down, get back to my calorie-counting roots, etc. The bottom line is that I am going to get there, eventually. Progress is as progress does, you know? And I’m staying the course, continuing on this journey, cliche saying, cliche saying. 😉

Care to come along for the rest of the ride?

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Posted on Mar 8, 2012 in Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 18 comments

NSVs (Weigh-in)

NSV, in the weight-loss world, is an acronym that stands for “non-scale victory”. This is a term that I was not familiar with prior to starting this li’l ol’ blog here, but is something that I have come to appreciate more and more as my journey has gone on. See, in the beginning, it is ALL about the numbers. When you’re significantly overweight, and make an honest effort to start turning your health around, the weight starts to come off so quickly that it’s all you can do not to scream your losses from the rooftop (or in my case, proclaim them to the entire internet. Which is what I did do. Heh.) But as your progress slows, and it gets harder and harder to shed each full pound, you have to start looking to other things to validate your journey. And if you don’t have measures besides the scale to mark your progress (because yes, you ARE making progress!), it will break you. And believe, it is already all too easy to give up.

scale destroyer

My first NSVs all had to do with clothing. After all, aside from the digits on the scale, the number on the tag at the back of your jeans is probably the one that holds the most weight, right? (Pun intended.) Even when my weight loss for the month would only add up to a few pounds in total, I might have been able to jump down a dress size that month, or had to have my bra size remeasured. Of course, these kinds of number-centric victories have a shelf-life too. There are only so many sizes you can drop before things slow down, just like the scale does. So while I still thoroughly enjoy being able to pull items off the rack that don’t have an “X” on their size label, since getting down to a size 12/L, things haven’t really budged too much in that department (thankfully they haven’t gone in the other direction either though!). Still, it’s a (slightly bittersweet) victory in and of itself just to be able to bag up the clothing that no longer fits and haul it off to Goodwill!

donate clothing

So as someone who has only been able to validate my health progress by way of numbers, imagine my surprise to realize that I’m actually starting to put stock in non-numerical measures. Things that are actually more related to my — gasp! — fitness, than my weight or clothing size. Things like being able to walk up the three flights of stairs from the parking garage at work without gasping for air anymore. And being able to successfully complete a full cycle of 40-lb chest presses without dropping the barbell into my throat, or sets of walking lunges without falling over. And at the risk of sounding even more superficial than I normally do, I consider self-esteem boosters like catching a guy checking you out as definite NSVs. After all, the Gretchen of Old never used to get that kind of attention, so why not consider it a mark of weight loss success? Numbers are still important, of course. They are a literal measure of progress. But they are not the be-all and end-all of weight loss, and they are certainly not the sole determination of my success.

And with all of that said, let’s take a look at how I measured up (ha!) this week, shall we?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 190.1 lbs
This Weigh-in: 190.0 lbs
Difference: -0.1 lbs

See, now this is a perfect example of a weigh-in that I probably should be frustrated at. I mean, seriously? 0.1? Not even allowing me to (re)see a number that starts with a 1-8? Shockingly, I am not upset by this. I’m starting to learn that my body’s pattern is not to drop weight super consistently every single week, and now that I’ve accepted that, only the gains really get to me. I’m really starting to come around to the idea that maintaining for a week or two, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. My overall goal is still weight loss, after all, and after the past 60 — now 56 — pounds lost, I’ve really come around to that. Hopefully that doesn’t sound like justification or an excuse. I honestly don’t mean it that way! I’m just trying to keep that positive attitude going. After all, as I’ve been saying, it’s that negativity and single-minded focus on the numbers on the scale that led to my weight loss downfall over and over in past attempts. It’s only this time, when I’ve started trying to see beyond my actual weight, that I’ve been able to keep going (counter-intuitive, isn’t it?). Through months of plateaus, through more than my fair share of dips in motivation, through all my wishy-washy, ho-hum weigh-ins, I am still fighting the good fight — and am armed to the teeth with NSVs to help me out along the way. 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of NSV? Clothing-related? Fitness-related? Self-esteem-related?

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Posted on Dec 6, 2010 in Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 5 comments

Good Moments (Weigh-In #16)

Despite the misleading title of this post, it’s actually not such great news today people.

211.2 lbs.

So, a 1 lb gain from last week. I cannot say that I’m surprised; I was badnews bears this past week. Despite all my talk of turning it around, kicking myself into gear, etc, etc, I definitely didn’t actually act on those words. So while I’d like to blame my gain on my you-know-what starting yesterday (apologies for the TMI, hahahahahaha) I know I have no one to blame but myself. I engaged in a lot of bored and emotional eating, I didn’t work out at all (save for my 2 mile hike around the mall lugging shopping bags on each arm Friday, haha), and I didn’t count a single calorie. Bad, bad Gretchen.


I am not going to let this get me down. And I’m definitely not going to engage on old-Gretchen thinking of “well, I messed up, might as well give up.” So this alone is progress, my friends. I had some good moments this week too, so I’m going to focus on those.

Good Moment #1: I tried on (and fit! And purchased!) a pair of size 14 jeans. This is another size dropped from my initial starting size of 18, and is a real, tangible way of being able to tell how far I’ve come. I also have gone from a size XL to a size L in tops (at least in Old Navy sizing.)

Good Moment #2:I went through and set aside all of the clothing that no longer fits now that I have officially dropped another size. It’s kind of a massive pile… which may be a sign that I simply own too much clothing. But hey, evidence of success!

Good Moment #3:I had an awesome time singing on stage at Wolftrap with my church choir as part of the 2010 Holiday Singalong concert! I got to see Wolftrap from backstage and engage in a little holiday festiveness (my favorite kind of festiveness!)

This would be a good moment in and of itself, but my relevant moment comes from the fact that after the concert, I basically jogged from the stage door back to our car because it was so frigidly cold, and I didn’t get winded! I feel like this is a real marker of my fitness achievements so far, because I used to get out of breath just speedwalking for a few steps. Sad, I know, but true. Well, used to be true! 🙂

Good Moment #4: Well this moment hasn’t happened yet, but it’s scheduled for today! After work I’m meeting my beautiful friend and former-housemate Ali for a photo session to chronicle 35 pounds lost! She is super, duper talented (you guys should check out her website) and I haven’t seen her since I graduated from JMU so I’m extra excited! Hopefully I’ll get some good shots out of it – we’re still trying to figure out where to shoot because it’s been so disgustingly cold lately… trying to see if we can find an indoor place… ideas?

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have a fun update with photos of me looking oh-so-pretty soon, hehe. Also, I was playing with Ben’s fancyschmancy DSLR and taking photos of our Christmas decorations, so as soon as he gets those off the camera you’ll have a nice little tour of holiday cheer a la Gretchen.

Like I said, I’m trying to make today about something other than my 1 lb gain. I am starting off today right, I’ve already logged the carrot bread that I ate for breakfast, I have my mid-morning snack lined up, I brought lunch, and I’m looking forward to getting back to basics. And back to weight loss. And back to working towards that size 12. 🙂

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Posted on Sep 27, 2010 in Weigh Ins | 5 comments

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Weigh-in #7)

No, no, I’m not talking about the Clint Eastwood movie (which, sidenote, I’ve never seen.) I’m just trying to be clever in the title and format of this post. You know how I do, hahaha. Here we go! 😉

The Good:

It’s Monday, which means I weighed in this morning when I woke up. No use beating around the bush:

220.8 lbs!

So that brings me down 4 pounds this week!! Can you believe it? Guess that mile I ran on Wednesday went a lot farther than I thought (no pun intended, ahaha!) I actually didn’t think I’d have lost much this week, especially because I had pizza last night (!!) but it worked out, I guess!

So, that brings us to 25.2 total lbs lost to date, and surpasses my initial goal of losing 10% of my body weight! I’m only .8 pounds away from my other initial goal of 220. Progress!!

The Bad:

So despite this awesome news from my weigh-in, I can’t be completely, totally blissed out about it, because I feel like crap. I don’t even fully know what’s wrong with me, I just know that I feel awful – things keep bouncing between my head, stomach, throat, uterus (yes, it may be TMI, but hey, you know my weight, you can know about my TOM too, haha) and in general I just feel really sick.

So I stayed home from work today, but I know I need to go in because my boss is leaving for a conference tomorrow through the rest of the week. I’ll see how I feel in an hour or so and try to pull out a half-day. So yeah, a slight damper on my excitement, sigh.

The Ugly:

So there was an additional damper on my excitement from my weigh-in this morning. Apparently Daxter could sense that I was feeling sick, so my puppy got sympathy sick with me and threw up. Luckily I was able to grab him and bring him into the bathroom before he vomited all over my bedspread. Of course, once he got in there he moved from the easy-to-clean tile onto the floor mat, but whatever. Better than my comforter! He’s still been a little lethargic too, but then again, I have lazy dogs. So I’ll have to keep an eye on him but I’m sure he’ll be fine.

So this morning has been a little bit of a roller coaster for me. Hopefully I’ll be feeling in tip-top shape soon though so I can be as ecstatic as I should be about my loss for the week!

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