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 Retrospectiveβ„’!

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. πŸ˜‰

Care to come along for the rest of the ride?


  1. We all have fat days where we just feel blah about ourselves. I think you did the smart thing to looking at the befores and remind yourself that you ARE working on it.

    I think you are amazing!

  2. Katesays:

    I have been feeling the same way lately. Time to bust out some older pictures 40 pounds ago…

    You look wonderful!!

  3. Your transformation is amazing and you have much to be proud of. I’m sorry you had a fat day. I was just telling a friend of mine that I was having an ugly day. I was rushed this morning, my hair is not looking good like I want it to and I am exhausted. Here’s to hoping my bad day gets better too!

  4. I feel that way too. It took me 3 months to lose the 10 pounds I gained over the holidays. And now my weight has totally stalled. And I have so much going on that I just have to be okay with that. I just have to find comfort in knowing that I have the ability to maintain my loss when my plate is really full. I’m looking at March and April as maintenance practice. I’m totally recommitting as of May 10. (A few days after the marathon.) Until then? I’m focusing on quality food. Listening to my hunger cues. Separating hunger from emotion. And respecting my body for willingly doing everything I ask it to do. I’m understanding that my metabolism is pretty confused right now.

    I don’t like it at all. It makes no sense to me that I’m not losing weight while training for a marathon. It is kinda embarrassing, really. I struggle with my body image a lot, and most recently it is because I don’t look like a marathoner. But I try really hard to back away and remind myself that that actually is something to be even more proud of. I’m challenging the expectations of what people imagine when they hear “marathoner.”

    I actually made a side-by-side before and now that I keep on my phone. That I can pull up as a reminder. I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m definitely not where I was. And that has to be enough for now.

    • Hey Krissie, I’m not a marathoner, but I’ve read many times that marathon training and weight loss don’t necessarily go together — since you have to fuel so much to carry you through the distance. So it may make more sense than you think. πŸ™‚ Good luck on your race, what an awesome accomplishment!

  5. Oh hai skinny girl!!!!!

  6. Jen Robinsonsays:

    I’m sorry you weren’t having a feel-good day but it IS good to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. If you still have somewhere you’d like to be one day then that’s fine too- remember that we’re all here to help! And yes, you’ve become more photogenic over the past couple years but i still say that you-two-years-ago still had less chins than i do in most of my photos nowadays!

  7. Rikkisays:

    You are not alone. There are so many of us ladies, and likely dudes out there sharing your struggles. Great for you for taking back control of yourself and remembering how far you have come and celebrating how great you are! Hang in there, this won’t be your last fat day… but you’ll overcome the next one too!

  8. Lara ZPsays:

    It happens to everyone unfortunately. Someone I know recently told me something, if you start every day by looking into the mirror and saying out loud “I’m beautiful, my body is beautiful” that eventually you will believe that you are because it takes, what, 28 days to start a habit? Honestly, I haven’t tried, I keep telling myself I will. Anyway, you have come a long way, you’ve certainly blossomed in both physical and emotional ways. xxxx

  9. Lisasays:

    Would love to come on your ride πŸ™‚ It is slow, we have our days and good for you to turn in it into a positive and help others along the way!

  10. “fat days” are tough but honestly, I think we need them to motivate us! I had a fat day a few weeks ago and I ended up buying Jillian Michaels Body Revolution because of my funk. I needed the kick in the pants and boy has Body Revolution been great!

    I hope you start to feel better.

  11. This was an amazing post! I think looking through old pictures is probably the best way to start feeling better about yourself.

  12. You’ve come SO FAR and I’m glad you were able to put things into perspective. We can be so hard on ourselves. Big kudos to you for digging yourself out of that hole and seeing the light πŸ˜‰

  13. You look amazing πŸ™‚ and have made so much progress!

    I had a “I’m feeling fat day” yesterday too! Maybe it was something in the air around here..

  14. Lorasays:

    Love the Team Peeta shirt-where did you buy it?

  15. I can only mirror what everyone else has said and even if we all tell you until we’re blue in the face that you’re beautiful at ANY size, none of it matters until YOU believe it, too. But one thing that I notice in all of these photos, big or small, you have an incredible smile and a beautiful, goofy spirit that seems totally infectious. I would love to know you in real life because you seem to optimistic and fun! No matter how much weight you lose (or gain), never lose that part of yourself!

  16. I think you already look great!

    I heard someone say recently, “I don’t workout and eat healthy because I hate my body, I do it because I love my body.” Good quote and something I’m using now on my fat days!

  17. Gretchen – you look amazing in your now photos, especially in that red dress. I was like holy cow!

  18. Damn, guuuurl! You have made REMARKABLE progress and yous lookin’ FIIINE! Seriously! You look so great and have come such a long way, you should be extremely proud of yourself!

    We all get into slumps where we don’t feel like pushing harder, but don’t want to full out quit. I always say, it’s great that you realize that and know something needs to be done; knowing is half the battle! Just keep maintaining till you’re ready to push it to the next level, you’ll get there!

  19. Aw girl, we all have those days. Trust me. But i really like how you are thinking here. It’s so easy to get sucked into those feelings of depression and self worth but you overcame them and again realized how much you’ve lost. It’s not easy to lose those last 20 pounds, trust me, I’m there right now. But remember, when you get down on yourself, remember just HOW MUCH you’ve lost so far and 20 pounds won’t seem as big a deal!

  20. hi ! just stumbled upon your blog and first of all, you take AMAZING pics (I’m obsessed with anyone who takes awesome pictures) and YOU are amazing! Everyone has fat days – even when you reach your goal weight you will for sureeeee have fat days, so keep that chin up πŸ™‚ you rock! I can’t wait to try out all of your recipes!

  21. Oh, GIRL–you are speaking my language!! We are rowing the same boat right now. It’s hard to not get down on myself, and entertain those “I could have been a size 6 a year ago if I had just friggin’ stayed on TRACK”…but slow and steady and learning maintenance along the way really is better. Or so they say. *wink wink* We’ll get there! Congrats on a half pound loss and not a gain over the last two weeks!

  22. Whenever I have a fat day (that is, in my “real” life when I’m not a giant pregnant woman like I am now) I like to try to kick that feeling by getting in a really good workout — then I can at least feel like I’m fighting against that discouragement about my body. Sometimes if working out isn’t feasible that day, I’ll read a fitness-oriented magazine or browse the activewear section at Target to feel motivated. (Or buy a new workout top. I can’t get enough C9, man.)

    Hang in there!

  23. Karensays:

    I just read an article about erasing negative self-talk with the janitor in your attic, by Joe Tye. It was really interesting. He talked about every time you hear the voice of negative self-talk, visualize it as mental graffiti and then imagine a janitor painting over it with positive and affirming words. I figure once I read the article about 30 times, I will remember to actually follow the advice. πŸ™‚ Good luck and it was a great idea to publish the before and after photos. I never tire of seeing people’s before/after photos. It’s very encouraging to me, who has a LONG way to go to look as good as you do. Take care!

  24. I am grateful at how open you are with your honest feelings. We all feel like this. We feel like we haven’t come far enough in the time we wanted to and that just sucks. We always need to remember that this journey is hard but we started it….and we’re still on it. I have a “body” folder of pictures, similar to what you have above, that helps me remember that I have come a long way and have a long way to go.

    You are awesome, intelligent and fun (even though I don’t know you for real :)…just remember that!

  25. kristen@livinlifeinlouiesays:

    Love the before/afters! you look amazing!!!

  26. Totally understand the “Fat feeling.” I experience that from time to time. I also understand the slow progress.

  27. Elainesays:

    You are amazing and yes we all have those days! But wow look at those pics and one thing I did notice that was no matter the weight you were at…. you have a huge smile on!!!

  28. Catherinesays:

    What I’m going to suggest might seem counter-intuitive, so let me preface it by saying that you look amazing, and you truly have come so far, and it’s awesome to celebrate that and be proud of yourself! Especially on “fat days,” I think it is so important to recognize those things.
    That being said, in terms of breaking through this maintenance phase, it might be helpful to spend more time focusing on your end goal (or your next, small goal!) Again, while you totally deserve to be proud of yourself and acknowledge how far you’ve come, I wonder if in some ways looking back makes you think, “I’ve done so much; I can just stay here for a while!” And while that would be perfectly fine, it’s not the goal you have in mind, you know? It might be helpful to do some forward thinking… just think how good those 10 pound increments feel… the next stop is the 170’s!! And then the 160’s! Try to imagine how amazing that’s going to feel!
    Again, I am in NO way trying to diminish what you’ve done… you HAVE made such incredible progress! I just want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize; it might help with your motivation!
    Keep it up, girl!!

    • No, you have a totally valid point. I think you really might be right. I do need to stop dwelling quite so much on my successes thus far — not to diminish them, but because doing so doesn’t help propel me forward! πŸ™‚

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