How Laborious (Weigh-in)

Happy Monday Tuesday, everyone! Wow! I am so amazed by the response that the Honey, I Shrunk the T-shirt Shop giveaway got! I was pretty much assuming you’d all think I was a huge d-bag for even presuming that you would want any blog swag, but it was my most popular giveaway yet! I guess it’s really true what they say: nobody can refuse a free shirt. Bahaha.

Okay, so without further adieu (and because I just spent an hour and a half driving 9 miles, FML) let’s get on to the good stuff. Drumroll, please!

Since the plug-in I use to pick a giveaway winner doesn’t show exactly which comment it pulled, here are all of Megan’s entries. See? Multiple entries, baby!

Congratulations, Megan! Email me at [email protected] and we’ll work out the details. For those of you who didn’t win this time, fret not. I’m sure another chance for you to win will be popping up in the not-too-distant future! And if you just can’t wait, don’t forget that you can, you know, buy stuff from the shop too. Just saying. 😉

The weekend was a lot of fun (hanging around, taro-flavored froyo, par-tay) and also a lot of not fun (errrr, me getting violently sick at 3 AM on Sunday and not even from drinking! What the heck!) but I didn’t really get any real pictures of any of it (who am I?!) So instead, you may enjoy these:

Womp...Womp.
Yaaaawn.Yummm.
Que?

Tiwed.Save me.

You are welcome. Eventually though, they did officially hit their limit as camera-fodder:

Stink Eye.
Whaddya want?

How rude.

Okay, okay, we’ll wrap this thing up now:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.0 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 187.8 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -1.2 lbs

I’M BACK BABY!!

Even WITH a holiday weekend, I managed to lose a pound. WHAT. UP. Guess this whole strengthening of my resolve thing really means something, eh? Or maybe it’s because I threw up everything I had eaten on Sunday that night… blech. Well, we’ll go with the former, haha.

Onward and downward! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! How did you celebrate your Labor Day?

Septembering My Resolve

Jeebus.

How in tarnation is it already September? It really is true that you lose all concept of time once you’re out of school (milk it for all it’s worth, kids!)

Since it’s still not technically Autumn yet (I go by the solstices. Come on, September 23rd!) I’m not going to do the customary “Things I Love About Fall” post quite yet. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Fall! But even though things in DC have cooled down a touch as of late, it is still very much Summer. That pumpkin spice latte can wait a few more weeks.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
source

That being said, the realization that it is suddenly the last quarter of 2011 hit me pretty hard yesterday. Thanks to someone (::coughmysistercough::), I realized something mildly horrifying about my weight loss journey thus far. Yes, I have lost upwards of 60 pounds in the past year, which I consider to be a serious accomplishment (though I sometimes have to remind myself of that, especially in comparison to some of you other amazing people who have lost more and done it better than me, haha.) BUT! As Jenny so lovingly reminded me while we were chatting yesterday, in all of 2011, of which we are entering into the ninth month, I’ve lost less than 20 of those pounds. Urk.

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January 2011 (~207 lbs) vs. August 2011 (189 lbs)

So I have come to this embarrassing revelation, and am now kind of having a meltdown about it.

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Thanks sis. (December 2008)

You all know that I’m no stranger to indulging. My motto is that life’s too short not to be able to eat french fries or cupcakes; a healthy, balanced life is not about deprivation. I’ve been saying for a while now that I’d rather it take me a year to lose twenty pounds if I am enjoying my life, than to lose it in 3 months while being miserable.

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Well, that’s still true, but I think I’m finally exiting denial-ville about exactly how frequently and how much I’ve been indulging. Because pretty soon it’ll have been a year. And I will have lost 20 pounds. And, surprise, surprise, I’m not really thrilled about that.

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Oops.

I’m sure every single one of my family members is rolling their eyes at this post, since they’ve all been telling me this for a while, but just like when I started my weight loss journey, it all depended on me coming to terms with it on my own. I’m just difficult like that. But whaddya know? Here I finally am.

So, for about the bajillionth time this week, I’m strengthening my resolve. I’m going back to basics and back to what I know works. Keep an eye out for the return of Daily Eats posts that I’ve been majorly slacking on this past month. Calorie counting is a pain in the butt, but it’s making a comeback (losing weight isn’t easy, after all. We know this.) I know that I can’t expect to lose 35 pounds in 4 months like I did when I was obese, that’s just silly. But I can expect more of myself than this. Than losing the same pound over and over again. Than seeing the scale go down only to go back up again.

I still have a long way to go. Let’s do this.

HLS 2011 – Part 2 (Weigh-in)

Advanced apologies that this is probably gonna be a long’un, friends. In case you missed Part 1 of this weekend of intense awesomeness, be sure to catch up here.

Picking up where we left off, Saturday morning kicked off bright and early at 5 AM with a group of us doing a 14 mile run around downtown Philadelphia.


Pic pilfered from Beth

I was not actually in that group, of course, but I just thought you might like to hear about it. Bahahahaha. Did I have you there for even a second? Instead I gave myself a workout by bolting straight up when Theodora‘s alarm clock went off at 4:30, and then by rolling over and going back to sleep, haha.

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Breakfast was a big cereal bar courtesy of Attune Foods, so I helped myself to a bowl of strawberry Uncle Sam’s with soy milk, a hard-boiled egg, and a big ol’ plate of fruit.

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Anne is an Attune Ambassador so she was definitely feeling the feast:

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A great way to start off the day! (They do still say it’s the most important meal, you know.)

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After foodage was consumed and opening remarks were, er, remarked upon, we tucked in for a full day of breakout sessions on various topics. So much information! The first session I attended was by editor of Daily Spark and Spark People (recipe sites many of you probably use daily!) Stepfanie Romine.

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It was entitled “Writing a Better Recipe” and it really got me thinking about the sad lack of well-structured recipes on this blog. Be on the lookout for some changes to my basically non-existant Recipes page!

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I also hit up the presentation on networking through blogging and social media in your area by Cynthia and my amazing roomies, Ashley and Theodora. We got many ideas from this for future DC blogger meetups, so my local peeps should stay tuned!

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By the time the morning sessions were over, people were HANGRY. Feeeeed us, we cried!

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So feed us they did.

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The conference served up a buffet of vegetarian sandwiches, salad, and this absolutelypositively delicious quinoa and chickpea salad that I must recreate.

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Nom. I loaded up my plate with some of everything but ended up not really partaking in much of the roasted veggie wrap or tofu sandwich as neither was too great, IMO. I went back for another half-o-caprese’wich instead because you know that cheese makes it aaaaall better, hehe.

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And I felt super fancy washing down my sammies with a Perrier. There really is just something about sparkling water that makes you classy all over.

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After lunch, Anne, Theodora and I really needed to stretch out legs. We thought we’d only go for a 15-minute walk around the hotel but ended up missing the entire keynote presentation — oops! It gave me flashbacks to our similar session-skipping adventure in Boulder back in June!

Ph-ph-ph-Philly!

Guess we just got wrapped in walking the street of Philly. Totes worth it.

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And anyway, we made it back just in time.

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Just in time for (early) happy hour, that is! What? It may have been 3:30 in Philly, but it was 5 o’clock somewhere!

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Shanna, a Delaware blogger, brought Kath a 4-pack of Dogfish Head beers (my fav!) and Kath generously shared with the whole table.

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We improvised a chilling method, and everyone got to have a taste.

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Cheers!

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Ashley and I were happy bears, obvi.

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Anne, Chase, me, Tina, Theodora, Katie, and Kath.

Best table ever. Just saying.

So you know, we were nice and socially lubricated for the piece de resistance of conference sessions: Blog monetization with the brilliant and beautiful Katy Widrick!

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So many nuggets of wisdom. So little time. Before I knew it — poof! The conference was wrapping up. Props must be given to Meghann for organizing pretty much the entire thing.

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But don’t worry, it wasn’t time to wrap up quite yet. A big group of us continued on the happy hour festivities into dinner and beyond after the official closing remarks. I didn’t lug my big camera out with me that night, but suffice it to say that good times were had. I’m sure you can catch up with the shenanigans on any number of other blogs.

Friday morning was spent on a nice 5K walk through Philly (I ran up the Rocky steps!)


Thanks for the pic, Meghann! Can you spot me?

Followed by an oatmeal bar sponsored by Quaker. I ate my face off, then used the added body weight I gained from eating approximately 1.4 million pounds of oatmeal to squish down my suitcase so I could fit my swag in it.

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Mission so not accomplished.

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Sadly, I had to lug my three separate bags o’ stuff through the train station and say goodbye to this fantastic weekend. And after cuddling with the pups (I did miss them, after all. Let’s all petition for a dog-friendly conference next year, yes?) and reading like 67 weekend recaps, I conked out. But like the good little blogger I try to be, it was business as usual when I woke up this morning:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.8 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.0 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -0.8 lbs

Shock! Shock and awe! I wasn’t expecting to lose anything, not even this wonderful glorified half-pound after this weekend. Sure, I ate healthy food, but for being at a health bloggers conference I really phoned it in fitness-wise (so what else is new?) I’ll take it!

Onward and downward, and so it goes. <3

Wedding Bells (Weigh-in)

Notice anything different around here? If you’re viewing this post in email or Reader, be sure to click through and check out the new header that the amazing Bailey Doehler has been working on so diligently for me! Bailey is absolutely fantastic to work with. And as a fellow weight-loser (haha!) Bailey really gets it, you know? Let me know what you think!

Love, love, love.

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This weekend was full of love. And, even more specifically, it was full of weddings!

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Well, a wedding and a handful of bachelorette parties. Hehe.

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No pictures of the latter, of course. But plenty of the former! The wedding was at the Vienna Botanical Gardens, which I’d never been to before. Who knew that such a gorgeous venue was so close by?

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Take your places!Purple flower eaters.
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Ahhh, I love weddings.

Let them eat (wedding) cake!

I don’t think that Beppe & David could have picked a more beautiful place, or a more perfect day (a not humid day in August? Unheard of!)

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Ahhh, how I love weddings. The details were all just perfect. And even though it was still obviously incredibly hot sitting outside during the ceremony, it was well worth it just to see the happiness of the bride shining through.

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It was really fun to have the whole family there, goofballs that they are:

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Even Ben was there in his professional role as the photographer. He’s so cool.

IMG_0646.jpgBe cool.

Added bonus is that it was just another excuse to get dressed up (you know I love a good excuse, hahaaaa!)

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And the food! What a spread it was. You usually think of wedding food as being pretty unpalatable but that was certainly not the case. There were passed appetizers and a whole fruit & cheese table. (Be still my heart!)

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We were served mixed green salads with mandarin oranges, craisins, and a raspberry vinaigrette as well:

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Before I destroyed the buffet with a giant plate of pretty much everything: mushroom ravioli, roast beef, roasted veggies, fingerling potatoes, and some chilean seabass that was, unfortunately, not worth the environmental guilt.

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As you can see, I failed to get a picture of it all because I was too busy demolishing my plate, but you can see a little ravioli and beef poking through from plate #2, hehe.

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Dinner was bookended with a mojito (the evening’s signature drink!) and a piece of neopolitan wedding cake:

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Super fun flavor, right? There was jam in between the layers!

Wedded bliss

Congratulations, Beppe & David!

And now for some (hopeful) celebrating of my own:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.9 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.8 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -0.1 lbs

Ooooooor not.

Maybe those extra mushroom ravioli weren’t such a good idea, eh? Ah well. What with the celebrating people nuptials and impending nuptials and the new job starting and the adjusting to a new schedule and everything else, I know I wasn’t paying as close attention to what I was eating as I should have. I mean, obviously. I haven’t posted even a single Daily Eats post yet this month (bad Gretchen!)

But, I press on! Sure, it’s a bummer, but my routine is just getting established and I just found out that there’s a free gym in my building at work and the Healthy Living Summit is this weekend so! I know that the motivation I’ve been lacking and the schedule I’ve needed to implement is right around the corner, and I’m not giving up. I persevere, and I know another loss is just around the corner.

Onward!

Seasons 52 (Weigh-in)

Happy Monday, friends! Today marks my official first day at my new job in the big citaaaay (as opposed to my previous cozy Northern Virginian gig) so think good thoughts for me! I’m admittedly nervous about starting a new job, but luckily I finished up my week of fake unemployment with a bang: going out to dinner for an early celebration of my 1-year blogiversary! (The actual annivesary of my blog is tomorrow! Eeee!) Naturally, this called for getting dolled up and forcing Steve to be my personal photographer:

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Oh, and some robot. Duh.

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How did we celebrate? Why, dinner with Steve and the fam at Seasons 52, of course!

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Seasons 52 is an expanding restaurant chain that serves upscale Americana grill food and every item on their menu is under 475 calories. I can verify that it was delicious, and it was verified by our waiter that they don’t ever cook with butter in the restaurant! A pretty good place to go to for my preemptive blogiversary celebration, eh?

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I started off the night with a coconut strawberry “skinny” martini, made with strawberry-infused vodka, coconut water, and agave.

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Just my kinda drink!

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Hehe.

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We got a ton of various appetizers for the table to share, too: tuna-avocado rolls, chipotle shrimp and garlic chicken flatbreads, and a goat cheese ravioli thing that my sister got – delish!

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And I also got an incredible arugula salad with goat cheese, pistachios (!!) and golden beets. Where can I find golden beets? I feel like I’ve never seen them in the grocery store but I looooove them.

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For my main entree, I got caramelized sea scallops with asparagus and pearl pasta. Yum-o.

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And dessert was the best part! Seasons 52 claims to have originated the “shot glass desserts” and I would believe it — they were delicious!

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They had a ton of flavors — red velvet cake, mocha macchiato, rocky road, blueberry cheesecake, and more! Mine?

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Key lime pie, of course! I got to sample everyone else’s too, but mine was definitely a winner. Just a small bite of dessert at the end of a (huge) great meal. Parfait!

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Thanks for dinner, Mom and Dad!

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It was a great night, with great company, and even helped me momentarily forget how nervous I am about starting my new job. It’s always so nice to get the whole family together (thanks for playing the role of family photographer, Dan!)

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Even if it was just for us to be photobombed by my boyfriend. Womp.

And now, alas, can’t let you all go without the stats for the day, can I?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.6 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.9 lbs
This Week’s Loss: +0.3 lbs

Hoo boy. Weeeeeell, I can’t really say I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t exactly do, uh, “well” over 4 days of furloughed laziness. But considering the pizza consumption and the, uh 2 times I exercised this past week, it’s actually not as bad as I was expecting. I know that probably sounds bad but… yeah. I mean, in spite of a gain, I am just SO thankful not to see 190-something back on the scale? I know, it’s a VERY small margin, and by the time I have had breakfast I’m sure I’ll have broken the barrier again. But, hey. It’s at least keeping me to my personal goal of never seeing 190 back on the scale again, and for now, I’ll take it. A new week, a new job, renewed motivation!

As their part of their blogiversary present to me, my parents gave me a “coupon” to cash in for a shopping extravaganza with my mom and sister! Amazing, right?? I feel that this is the motivation that will help me to push through these last 20 – 25 pounds. Because, regardless of how vain it sounds, I really, really, REALLY want to be able to spend my “coupon” on size 10 clothing. Plus there’s just that whole 5 miler thing coming up RAPIDLY at the end of September I’m supposed to be running (and yesterday morning’s lousy 1.2 miles with my sissypoo was a harsh reality check.) C’mon, Gretchen, you can do it!

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Bring. It. On.