Deja Vu All Over Again (Weigh-in)


That’s the number that I found myself face to face with (well, more like face to ground, since I was standing on a scale at that time) back in August, 2010. That is the number that caused my breath to catch in my lungs, the tears to well up in my eyes, and reality to hit me square in the chest. It’s the number that, nearly three and a half years ago, made my life literally come to a halt.

And thank God it did.

Because the life I was living at the time? Just having broken up with my first serious long-term boyfriend (for the first time… but that entire ordeal is, of course, another story)? Fresh out of one job that I absolutely hated, but into another one that was as boring as the last one had been horrible? A couch potato so lazy that I made other sedentary people look like marathoners? The not-so-proud owner of a myriad of serious food issues? That life was not so good.

So, it took me until I reached my highest (known) weight of 246 pounds for me to wake up and finally say, “Enough.” You know the story: I asked my brother to help me create a website, I posted my weight on the internet to humiliate myself keep myself accountable, and I actually — miraculously — started to turn things around.

Slowly but surely, the pounds started to come off and I started to grow up (a little, at least… I think), and one day I found myself 60 pounds lighter than when I started. But I still had the boyfriend issues (shockingly, it turns out, he wasn’t “The One” by a looooongshot), and I still had the boring job, and every day was still a struggle for me not to fall back into my old habits. I had to keep fighting not to backslide.

So when I did finally start to focus on those other, not as stellar parts of my life, it should come as no surprise to you all that I did start to backslide. It was just a little at first. A few extra pounds crept on, and I noticed but I told myself it wasn’t a big deal. Five extra pounds on a frame like mine? Nobody’ll even notice. Except… five eventually turned into ten. And ten turned into fifteen. And before I knew it…

I was almost right back to where I started.

Don’t get me wrong, some amazing things happened while those pounds were silently becoming part of my life again. I found an amazing new guy, I got my dream job, discovered how awesome it is to have unnatural colored hair, and, dude, I wrote a freaking book. But I had stopped making my health a priority — I’d stopped really caring at all. With everything else suddenly vying for my attention instead, the fight for my health just stopped seeming important.

Of course, all of those things are not an excuse for letting myself go, and I promise, I’m really not trying to make excuses at all. What happened happened, and now I’m back here, with my focus once again trained on my health. But, as my very wise and beautiful friend Cassie pointed out in her comment on my weight gain admittance post, maybe since now all those other things ARE right this time, juuuust maybe the fitness and the weight loss and, most importantly, the health stuff will stick around for the long run.

It took a lot of courage for me to post my weight on the internet three and a half years ago. I was terrified to do it. But, I gotta tell you, maybe it’s because hindsight is 20/20 (just like my vision is now, BOOM! Actually, j/k, my vision is 20/15 now. DOUBLE BOOM!), but it feels 80,000 times more mortifying to admitting my weight this time around.

Maybe it’s because I know I have coworkers reading now, or because there are more people reading in general, or maybe (most likely) it has something to do with the whole “I already failed once” thing… but I’m not going to dive too deeply into that now. This post is already heavy enough. The point is, even in my initial admittance post, I was too scared to admit my weight. I used a couple of vague statements to give a little perspective about how much I had regained, but I didn’t use any actual numbers. And, c’mon, you have to admit that was crappy of me, right?! I mean, I’m the girl that posts her weight on the internet so that God and her mother and all of her high school frenemies can see exactly how much she weighs, every week. I’m the girl that wants to help tear down the idea that a number can own anybody. And yet, I’m a girl who was scared of a frakking number?! Boourns.

Well, since you were all way too nice to call me out for that, I’ll do it myself: Gretchen, that was total BS. Own up to your number, and then take it DOWN. Literally. So, here we go. And, let me just say, that while some might consider this to be a sliiiight cop-out, since I waited until my first actual weigh-in (and thus, loss) to post my digits… Well, at least I’m still doing it.

Deep breaths, Gretchen. Deep breaths…

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
This Weigh-in: 233.4 lbs
Difference: -3.2 lbs

Yes, I gained back all but ten — just TEN — of the pounds I fought tooth and nail to lose. I regained FIFTY pounds. And I absolutely hate that I did. I won’t lie, it’s really, really hard not to hate myself for it. But as much as I wish I could time-travel back to every bad food decision and just straight up slap each hoagie, burrito, and pizza slice out of my hands, I can’t. All I can do is move forward, and hopefully downward, as I continue on this journey.

But hey, at least losing 3.2 pounds isn’t too terrible of a way to start, right?


  1. As someone that doesn’t tell her weight to anyone and who has gained back 40 pounds in the last few years this post really hit home. I have also decided to do something about it and your posts are an inspiration. Thanks lady!

  2. Katsays:

    Well done. Not just for loosing 3.2lbs but for admitting where you were at and for moving in a better direction. I lost 20lbs last year, I know I have gained back at least some of the weight. Probably closer to all in a about a fifth the time it took me to loose it. Very scared to step on the scales but I can do it!! I’ll be moving in a better direction with you!

  3. STAY STRONG! U’ve done it once u can def do it again 🙂 now u r familiar with the tools and mentality it takes AND u have bigger # of people who support u and want to cheer for u the entire way.

  4. Tiffanysays:

    You got this!!

  5. Christinasays:

    Hi, Gretchen! I’m in the same boat as you right now. I was 150 in July after losing 25 pounds, and now I’m hovering around 180. I’ve gained and lost the same 30 pounds for probably 7 years now – 30 pounds might not seem like a lot, but I’ve had serious food issues myself and I could gain most of that weight in as little as a few weeks. I took the new year as a sign it was time to make some big changes. I had some great talks with a friend who has recovered from an eating disorder. She made me realize that you shouldn’t rely on the scale, as it’s an inaccurate representation of who you are overall as a person. Before, I was weighing myself every day, sometimes more than once a day, and I know seeing ANY weight gain (especially water weight gain) contributed to my issues. I’m still trying to lose weight, but I’m less concerned about the number on the scale and more about feeling better – finding exercise I enjoy and sticking with it, not getting winded going on fairly short walks, not feeling tired all. the. time., not feeling miserable from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, and fitting into my closet full of clothes again. It’s definitely discouraging knowing that I’ve lost a lot of endurance (I had some great PR’s last summer!), but I know that feeling bad about it isn’t going to help anything, and I’ll get back to the point I was at before. I’ll definitely be following along on your journey; I’ll be right there along with you!

  6. Girl, I am with you. Just this morning I was trying on jeans that I could not button. THninking of the 30lbs that I have gained in the last 5 years. I starting working with with a trainer 5 years ago Monday for 10 months and lost 25lbs. Now I’m back up and then some. I’ve been so depressed about work, weight and winter that the last 15 came on like gang busters! I decided this morning/last night that I’ve got to get back to healthy. So I think I’m going to blog about it too. I’m way scared to share with the world, but hey, if you can, I can right?

    Let’s do it sausage sister! Milk shots all around!

  7. Fleursays:

    Hi Gretchen, I’ve been following your blog for a long time now, so I’ve gotten to watch most of your journey. I, too, lost a lot of weight (60 pounds) and have gained all but five of it back. It’s mortifying to admit about the weight gain, I get that. I think that some part of us expects that people will see the weight gain and assume that we haven’t progressed at all. And that simply isn’t true. The size of our bodies has almost nothing to do with where we are in our lives. I can tell that over the years you have developed new, healthier perspectives about yourself as a person. You are being true to yourself in your relationships and your work. You are kinder to yourself, and more positive in general. All of that is progress, my friend. I know that for me, I wouldn’t want to go back to my smaller body, if it meant that I would have to give up all that I have learned in the last few years. I am grateful for where I am now, extra fat and all! Let’s keep moving forward, and leave the past where it belongs!

    • Gretchensays:

      Thank you so, so much, for this comment, Fleur! It really means a lot to me to hear you say that. I agree — let’s move forward!

  8. Good luck with everything xoxo

  9. Emilysays:

    Hi Gretchen!!! I am a big fan of your blog (AND of you!) and just wanted to chime in on what all these other lovely commenters have said. We can all relate…to the fighting hard and backsliding and inevitable guilt/self-loathing that tends to creep in when that happens. Don’t let it get you down! You can totally do it, and we are all here to support you on your journey, and provide kind words and inspiration – just like you have done for so many of your readers!

  10. Stefaniesays:

    Go you! It’s so easy for those pounds to creep up on us when we’re not looking. 3 lbs in a weeks is AWESOME! At this rate, you’ll be down 30lbs by the end of March! Eyes on the prize, Powell!

  11. Onward and downward. You can do this – we believe in you!

  12. Girl, you got this. I admire your bravery for facing your fears and putting yourself out there! I can’t wait to follow your journey, you can do it!

  13. brittneysays:

    Thank you for being so brave and honest! I really admire you and am excited to read along as you lose weight and gain strength. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and I hope you realize how inspirational your honesty is. And 3.2 pounds IS something! Good luck!

  14. Marceysays:

    Hi Gretchen, I’ve been following your blog for awhile now. I can so relate to what you are going through. I’m in the 220’s, gained & lost countless times, so frustrating. I’ve decided to focus on becoming more healthy, on how I feel, how my body moves. I look forward to your honest sincere posts because then I don’t feel so alone with this weight struggle. I feel like I’m doing this journey with you. Thanks for being inspirational!

  15. Jensays:

    It’s a great start- good for you 🙂 you can do this!!

  16. #teamGretchen!

  17. Heathersays:

    Gretchen – I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and really enjoy your voice. I just wanted to let you know how much I can relate to this post. I am struggling to lose the 50 of the 60 lbs I lost a few years ago. Since then, I went through a hard breakup (divorce) and subsequent realignment of my life. I’m happier now than I ever have been, but for that whole fitting into my favorite jeans thing…So, you’re not alone. Thank you for putting yourself out there and letting me know I’m not alone, either.

  18. Congrats on a great start! I only discovered your blog a few months ago, so this is my first time following along on your weight-loss journey. That means I have no “aww, man, she regained it and has to do it again!” baggage (and really, that would be pretty douche-y of anyone that did feel that way!). But I am extra fresh to this whole thing and can’t wait to cheer you on!

  19. Evansays:

    Thanks for posting and sharing… I’ve lost and regained the same 40lbs about 4 times in the last 5 years and I’m working now to continue my loss past the 40lbs. It’s a struggle for sure! Thanks for the inspiration you provide. You can do it 🙂

  20. Big respect for you because you have just done one of the hardest things by admitting that you didn’t achieve what you wanted and that you are almost having to restart from scratch. Owning up and taking responsibility to an audience is almost as hard as losing the weight itself. Fingers crossed that things work out for you this time round and I am sure that your audience will be there cheering you on the whole way.

  21. I know exactly hiw you feel. I was just looking at pictures if myself from a couple of years ago and I look so great. However, since then I have gained all my weight back. It is very disappointing. I’m also trying to get back on track.

  22. Thank you for sharing! You and I have a lot in common with our weight loss struggles. I am right here fighting with you and this post was very inspiring to me. Winter is the hardest time for me to get active as I suffer from seasonal depression but I believe that I can lose the weight and I believe that you can too!

  23. 3.2lbs is AMAZING!!!!! try not to look back in the past (easier said than done!) but move forward and today is DAY 1!!!

  24. Your weight loss of 3.2 pounds is a great start. But, the really important this is to start at all. Regaining is disappointing (believe me, I’ve lived it). But, the important thing is to start again wherever you are.

  25. Jensays:

    Long time reader, first time commenter hear. Gretchen, you’re brave. Posting your weight takes amazing courage. But please don’t think that by gaining weight back that you’ve failed. You may only be 10 pounds lighter than you were 3.5 years ago when you started, but you’re an extremely different person than you were. I too had regained my weight loss (70 pounds) and I’m happy to say I’ve lost all the weight again. You CAN do this.

  26. You are brave for admitting you are human and a woman who is still working on herself. I don’t know how much you realize that a lot of us that are going through the same thing really appreciate you telling us about your journey. I had a rough 2013 where I gained back close to 20lbs. and I am ready to focus on my health but also dealing with the emotional eating hardcore right now. I appreciate you being honest and continuing to let us in on your story.

  27. You’ve got real guts for posting this, and I love you for it. GO TEAM GRETCHEN!

  28. Heathersays:

    I’m really happy to see you back on here. I was reading your blog all the time back in 2011 and 2012 when I was in the midst of losing weight. I have also gained quite a bit back since then (25 pounds or so) and am ready to start over again. So to piggy-back on your weigh-in post: 194.

  29. I, too, didn’t think a thing about 5 pounds per year. Then one day, I noticed I looked so round and that 5 pounds had morphed into 80. I’ve have a couple of false starts that were stopped due to medical reasons, but this time it sticks! I look forward to following your journey! Great first loss to record!

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