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.

Family Fourth

Hi everybody! I know that today I’ve already reported on hitting up the farmer’s market and going to Wolf Trap with Jennifer and Amanda, respectively, but I’m back to pick up where I left off and shove more self-indulgent pictures of my life in your face. You are welcome. 🙂

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Sunday afternoon centered around a family trip to the dog park!

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What with my sister’s new puppy down to visit, we decided it was time to introduce him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly ideal considering it was about a billion degrees outside, and Oreo seemed a little intimidated by all the wide open space at first.

Shady Pup

He spent the first 15 minutes parked under the same tree until Jenny had to physically carry him over to the rest of us, haha!

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He warmed up to the experience in no time though:

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And it wasn’t long ’til he was officially part of the pack:

Order of the Pack

While we were there by ourselves for a chunk of our visit, we did have some fun visitors come by to play.

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I can’t imagine how hot it was for Harry’s water buddy under all that fur!

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When this biker came up to the gate, I thought he was just riding by to check out the dogs. I had no idea he had a tiny Yorkie hidden in his bicycle basket! If only Daxter were a few inches shorter… sigh. 😉

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It really was unbearably hot though. The dogs kept going back and forth between playing and poopin’ out. At least they were nice and tired by the time we got home!

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A really fun way to kill an hour or so in the afternoon though, and it certainly worked up our appetites for our big backyard cookout! Grilling was performed in between thunderstorms, hehe.

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There was SO much food – steak, hot dogs (cooked flat-top style, mmm!), grilled veggies, pork, and corn! Fruit & cupcakes for dessert, too, hehe. Oh, and I discovered the most amazing way of grilling corn! I gotta remember to share it with you all soon – you will die of blissful deliciousness.

Hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! We celebrated the actual Fourth today with more family hanging out and attending a cookout at Amanda‘s, and I prepared my fantabulous Mango Guacamole (which was a hit!) Recipe is coming tomorrow, don’t worry, along with what is sure to be a catastrophic weigh-in after all the holiday eating, hehe. Worth it!

Boulder or Bust!

Howdy howdy, folks! Happy Thursday! Except, it’s really like Happy Friday for me (YAYYYYYYYYY!) because bright & early tomorrow I’m boarding a plane bound for Denver, CO! Why? For the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference taking place in Boulder, of course! I am very excited to be attending my second blogging conference, and am sure that I’ll be coming back with even more inspiration and passion for this li’l ol’ blog of mine (lucky you, eh? Hahaha.)

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I’ll be rooming with Casey, and am really looking forward to meeting more people, as well as reuniting with some of my Fitbloggin’ pals! I just have to make sure I pack my bag much more mindfully, since I don’t have the luxury of driving back with all my swaaaag this time, hahaha.

Since I’ve been doing so much traveling lately , I have to admit that the condition of my room has been, uh, less than stellar. After all, what’s the point of unpacking a suitcase if you’ll just be packing it back up the next weekend, right? This week I did finally hit the breaking point of my slovenly living though, and it was time to finally do something about the warzone-room flashbacks I was having. I even ended up scrubbing my bathroom from top to bottom! And bonus? I got supah sweaty cleaning up, so I’m totally counting it as my workout for the day. 😉

AVERT YOUR EYES!

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Atrocious, I know. But! Have faith, my friends! It wasn’t long before all of that became all of this:

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And the suitcase HAD to stay out, since I’m doing that whole traveling thing again starting tomorrow. But at least it’s not buried under a pile of dirty clothes anymore. Progress, right?

The bro and I took the pups over to the ‘rents for family dinner (another money-saving tip, in case you missed yesterday’s Weight Loss 101 installment!)

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I think my mama would be very pleased with my productive afternoon.

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Total resemblence, right? Hahahahahaha.

Who else is going to the conference in Boulder this weekend? Shout out! And for those of you who aren’t going to be there, what are your tips for staying healthy while traveling? I think it’s pretty obvious that if I continue spending as much time away from home as I have been, I need to start implementing some much better practices. This weekend I’m specifically traveling to a conference that centers around health & fitness, so I’m hoping the damage won’t be too bad, but still! Can’t hurt to have some tips/tricks to pull out of my pocket!

Grillin’ like a Villain

Well, it should really be more like “Grillin’ like a family of well-behaved, helpful Anglo-Saxons” but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Bahahaha. As I indicated in yesterday’s post, last night grill night at the Casa de Powell! The pups and I joined my ‘rents, siblings, and the rest of our extended family that are in town for a nice homestyle grill-fest. It was a lot of fun, and I even got to work in a much healthier version of potato salad than we probably would have consumed otherwise (although unfortunately, I didn’t get to pull out a greek yogurt substitution this time around.)

So, you know, a picture’s worth a thousand words, yada yada, hehe:

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Lots of socializing, wine-drinking (not by me though, sad), and amusing puppy playing occurred:

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Notice how much dirtier Daxter’s mouth is in that last picture compared to the first, haha.

And the spread! There was so much food — this is the first time I’ve had STEAK in quite a while, and you know what? It was delicious. But hopefully it doesn’t cause me any, ah-hem, issues later on.

I am super excited for lunch today ’cause it’ll be a nice little rerun with some extra potato salad and chicken that I snuck out, hehe. Also, check out this ridiculously seedy lemon I used for the potato salad:

Seedy.

Have you ever seen so many seeds in one lemon before? Ridonk!

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I do love me some corn…

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As evidenced by the aftermath, haha:

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And after dinner was over, the fam cozied up with some ice cream and strawbs to reminisce and laugh at us younger cousins’ expense via home movies:

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I cannot lie: I was a really cute baby. I’m a teenyweeny one year old in that last picture (on the left, beside Jenny’s big head. BAHAHA.) 😀

So, as you can clearly see, it was a great evening! I love grill food because it always makes it really feel like SUMMER (as do the 34729348920834 mosquitos that have finally come out of hiding. Bleh.) The night was definitely the lift I needed after a not-so-great day. I’m a little ashamed to say that I really let yesterday’s weigh-in get me down, guys. I even had to fight some pretty strong urges to binge my feelings away with a basketfull of McChicken sandwiches. But fight I did, and I didn’t let myself fall back into that trap, for which I am very proud of myself.

I really appreciate your honest and helpful comments and now that I’m in higher spirits I will tell you right now that I am done phoning it in. No more excuses, because I know that nobody is at fault for me not losing weight other than myself (despite how much I love to blame others, haha.) I am going to take all of your tips to heart, and try out a few new things with regard to exercising this week. You are (hopefully) going to see some real changes occurring soon — and not just physical ones! Time for me to grow up, (wo)man up, and get ‘r done.

What are your favorite foods to grill? After tonight’s fairly traditional fare, I have a strong urge to try out crazy things like grilled watermelon and throwing poblano peppers on the grill and stuff. Old-fashioned stuff like corn, chicken, and steak is fine and dandy, but we all know by know that I’m really quite the experimenter (and it usually works! You should have seen the looks I got from my aunts after telling them about how I’m going to be putting green apple chunks in the potato salad, but they loved it!) I’m curious to hear if you have any secret grilling weapons you’re willing to share!

Reunion (Weigh-in)

In case you didn’t hear the news, I actually posted both days this past weekend! Be sure to catch up on my homemade sushi making skillz (them skillz be mad!)

As for the rest of the weekend, it was great (but felt short because it was so busy!) Aside from sushi-making when I was visiting my sister, we also managed to go for… a run!

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Look how big this shirt is looking on me now!
For a comparison on how it used to look on me not that long ago, refer to this post.

Granted it was a short run, and perhaps for me it was more of a walk/run, but I did run and that’s what’s important. We even dragged the dogs along with us, and made ’em thoroughly pooped. A tired pup is a happy pup!

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And then we headed back to the FC to spend some time with our relatives, as this week there’s a mini Powell-family reunion going on this week! Two of my uncles & aunts, and two of my cousins are in town to see the sights and be patriotic in Our Nation’s Capital and whatnot, hahaha.

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So to kick things off, we had all intended on going to the Peking Gourmet Inn for dinner, where they serve the best Peking duck everrrr. Only, we didn’t take into account the ridiculous, death-thunderstorms that riddled the area, which evidently knocked out power all over town (luckily our power only flickered a bit.) But it was wiped out at the restaurant! So that ended up being a no-go, and I was sad.

But then I was happy, as a contingency plan was quickly formed and we went to Sweet Rice for Thai instead.

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So all’s well that ends well, but I do still wish I could have gotten some peking duck in mah bellah. Ah well, another time. Tonight the fam’s grilling out, so that should be really fun! Grilling always feels like summer (you know, because the 80% humidity doesn’t feel enough like summer… hahaha.)

Okay, last thing before I let you leave… it’s (finally) weigh-in time! The last time I weighed in was Memorial Day, and I was riding high off of that successful 2 lb loss. Then I made the executive decision to take a week off to try to normalize after my weekend of gluttony in NYC. So, here’s hoping that things did indeed normalize, and I won’t be too disappointed…!

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 193.2 lbs
This Weigh-in: 194.0 lbs
This Week’s Loss: +.8 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 52 lbs.

*cry*

Well, okay, I’m not really crying. But is ain’t fabulous news, let’s be honest. I guess this sufficiently answers the question “did I gain weight in NYC?“. huh? Especially since I was really quite good this past week. I am SUPER glad I didn’t weigh-in last Monday now! Hahahaha.

But! I persevere. I got some REAL exercise in over the weekend, and I plan on continuing that as well as being extra good with my eats (as is always the goal.) Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll be a loser again! 😉

What is your opinion on lowering my caloric intake for a little while? Do you think it would impact my metabolism in a positive way if I restricted myself to a 1,200 or 1,300 calorie/day diet instead of 1,500 – 1,600 like I currently aim for?

I don’t want to risk slowing my metabolism down in a bad way, but I don’t feel that my current caloric deficit is proving to be enough to keep losing weight… but then again I know that I need to be exercising harder and obviously that would impact things as well. Just curious about your thoughts!