Yelp’s Biggest Loser & New Beginnings

Wellps, Happy 2014, friendos!

I hope that your new years are starting off with a bang. Mine has already gotten off to a pretty stellar start, with a few minor (read: not really minor) exceptions. I’ll spare you the photo details for 2014’s first traumatic event, but it entailed my little pup Daxter getting into a dog fight with a much, much bigger dog and having to go to the emergency vet (for, yes, the 5th time in his not-even-4-year-old life). Thankfully, he’s okay, but since those of you who have been around for a while now know how much I looooove my dogs, you can imagine that it was not really a fun time for anybody involved.

The second big happening of the new year is a totally different kind of traumatic, but it does come with photos, so there’s that. See, you wise readers probably haven’t been ignorant of the fact that I’ve basically been ignoring the topic of my weight for the past, oh, I don’t know, year. Which, granted, is pretty sucky of me because this blog is LITERALLY about weight loss. (Okay, sure, it’s also about food and life and dogs and photos and stuff, but the title of the blog has the word “shrunk” in it, so let’s just face facts.)

I’ve been skirting the issue for the better part of a year, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I have re-gained a lot of the weight I had formerly lost. Almost all of it, in fact. And, honestly, finally admitting that out loud makes me want to crawl into a hole forever and ever and ever. I mean, sure, chalk it up to the new job, or being in a happy relationship, or just the fact that, despite all I’ve done to try and change my mindset, I still just love food too damn much — whatever the reasons, here I am again. And, whether it was because I was in denial, or I was too busy, or I just plain didn’t care, I haven’t done a thing about it. Until now.

happy relationship gut

I used to say that there was no “Aha!” moment that motivated me for my weight loss the first time around. There was no snide comment, no bad photo, nothing specific that finally pushed me into being able to turn my super unhealthy life around, things just finally got to be too much. Well, that’s not really how it happened this time. No, this time, it was more like the entire universe was screaming at me to get going again… while I was sticking my fingers in my ears and going “Lalalalalalalala,” hoping that it would all just go away.

But you can’t fight the universe, bro.

And so when my wonderful Yelp coworker Kimberly informed me that she would be participating in the 2014 Yelp’s Biggest Loser challenge, AND I got asked to participate in an upcoming Cupid 5K run, AND after leafing through all the photos of myself from recent Yelp events, I couldn’t find a single one that didn’t make me want to cry, I finally pulled my fingers out of my ears and my head out of my ass.

hohohorrible before photo

(Sidenote: I don’t really consider it a benefit of the job that I am professionally photographed at least once a month — NOBODY is attractive when they are caught mid-sentence whilst giving a speech. I just want to put that out there.)

Bottom line: Yes, I regained a lot of weight. Yes, it blows. But it’s a brand new year, right? And with the Biggest Loser challenge, the upcoming 5K, my new gym membership (thanks mom & dad!), and the support that I know I can count on from you on… I mean, hey, if I can do it once…

then and then

So, in the end, this long, wordy, loooong overdue post is basically here to say:

I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. Again.


  1. Katiesays:

    Girl, it happens! I finally reached my goal weight at WW last summer only to regain 15 pounds between then and now. It’s a constant battle. We’re all in in together. πŸ™‚

    • Gretchensays:

      Thanks, Katie! It always helps knowing that I’m definitely not alone in this… even if it was still hard to admit in the first place.

  2. IM WITH YA! Let’s doooooo it πŸ™‚

    • Gretchensays:

      Now THAT’s the kind of enthusiasm I need to hear! Er, read!

  3. You, me, and Jenny. Let’s do this weight loss thang. We got this!

  4. Shaunasays:

    Hey. I’m on try number three or four now. This time determined to work it. I joined a biggest loser challenge, too!

    Don’t be embarrassed. You’re human and you’re awesome and even awesome humans have to start back at square one sometimes.

    • Gretchensays:

      You’re the awesome one, Shauna! For whatever reason, I was definitely more scared to admit to it this time around… but I should have known that you guys would be amazing about it. We’re in it together!

  5. I’m right there with you. I lost 20 pounds back in 2012 with hard work and good eating habits. I let a crappy job situation get me down and the weight is back. My job situation is much better now so I no longer have an excuse. I’m looking forward to treading the familiar weight loss path and sharing the journey with you.

    • Gretchensays:

      Thanks so much, Nicole. We are DEFINITELY in it together.

  6. Jensays:

    You can do it!!

  7. I’m here for the ride! This is the year I’m gonna do a lot of things too – actually blog, take more photos, balance my work life with my personal life, get a personal life, run a 10k in less than an hour and gosh darn it, I’m gonna actually use my gym membership more than once a month and finally get a six pack!

    I always love reading your blog! And I know you can do this! And I can’t wait to read all about it!

  8. Moniquesays:

    With you, Gretchen! I need the motivation too – and your blog has really given me that in the past, so let’s do it together again!

  9. Ugh, I’m right there with you. Keep on keeping on! We can do it!

    • Gretchensays:

      Now that you’re back, let’s get together and eat salads and commiserate — plsthxbye. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  10. Laurensays:

    I’m with you–I lost 85 pounds in 2007 and slowly gained most of it back. Definitely happy relationship weight, combined with a back injury that meant I couldn’t work out and a food addiction. I’m in it to win it in 2014 though. So looking forward to reading about your journey. Let’s do this!

  11. My work is doing a Biggest Loser contest and I have been lazy! Something about January coming makes me want to kick it into gear and lose the weight I lost last spring again and then keep up the work instead of gaining and losing the same weight over and over πŸ™‚ We can do it!

  12. Now I feel bad for the dim sum! While incredibly delicious and I don’t regret it for a second I now resolve to invite you on active things. But not hiking haha. I want to lose a good 10-20 myself! Teamwork! We should run together. Orrrr come over for Just Dance parties. Continuous dance mode, yo.

  13. I’ve read your blog for a LONG time and know that you can definitely make a hella comeback! Can’t wait to read all about it. I too am in the process of my own 2nd time around weight loss. It happens to us all. Glad to have you back in the process with me! xoxo

  14. 2014 is going to be a good year! πŸ™‚ While I’m not happy that you had to write this particular post, I’m happy to have you back. So far I’ve been tracking all.the.calories, so I’m hoping that actually sticks this time.

  15. I’ve certainly been there. I mean, I’m sorta there now. In 2012, I regained 34 of the pounds I had lost in 2010-2011. In 2013, I only lost 10 of those. Of course, all of that is in addition to all the other times that I regained lost weight….

  16. I’ve missed you writing here, so whatever brings you back I say WOOHOO!

  17. First, I am glad your dog is going to be ok! Second, I can empathize with the weight gain.Over the course of 2011 & 2012 I lost about 55 lbs, just over halfway to my goal. In 2013, I regained about 30 of those pounds. Like you, I’m back on track this year! I look forward to sharing the journey with you this year!

  18. Andiesays:

    I’m so happy to hear you’re back – you can do this!!!

  19. Ellesays:

    Oh no – your poor pup! That must have been traumatic for you both. Well done on your new goal – sometimes life does get in the way, but you know you have a heap of support on your side. Go Gretchen!

  20. You’re going to do awesome!! I’m excited for you and can completely relate to what you’ve shared! Just know you’re not alone and that you can reach your goals!

  21. So happy that you’re back! I’ve so missed your weightloss journey & posts!! I totally understand your situation-I lost some weight & then gained it back during my second pregnancy. Now I’m going to lose it (and much much more!) and I’m READY.

    Any interest in running the Marine Corps Historic Half on May 18th? πŸ˜‰

    Let’s do this!

  22. Aw Gretchen, you can do this. I know what you’re going through too – you’re so not alone in what you’re feeling/thinking. But you’re a rock star and you’ve got this!

  23. I know you’re back for unawesome reasons, but I’m so happy that you’re back! YAY.

    And for what it’s worth, I have a feeling since everything else is “right” in your life now compared to where you were the first time you lost weight, it might just stick this time.

    You gained some weight while working on you. So what? You’re happier and mentally healthier, and now that that is out of the way, you can refocus on the physical. Before, your weight loss and fitness were built on a shaky foundation, but now, your foundation is strong!

    <3 <3 <3

    • Gretchensays:

      Thanks so much, lover. And, hey, it’s true! Job, man, general life situation… it’s all pretty rad. So here is most definitely hoping that your theory holds true! πŸ˜€

  24. Rebeccasays:

    I know it’s probably awful, but it’s actually somewhat comforting to see your post and all of the comments on it. It’s amazing how “so I’ve gained a couple pounds back, no big deal” so easily turns into “so I’ve gained all of it back…” I’ll definitely be joining you on the journey to try and get the weight back off!

  25. You can do it! Though I’d like to note, you forgot that in the past couple of years you’ve been spending your nights penning a fabulous trilogy and that has got to take a toll on the body. Also, I’m right there with you, it’s finally time to shed the weight I was trying to shed before I decided to get knocked up. If I don’t get into better shape I’ll never be able to catch up to my crazy never stops moving toddler. Cheers to a new year and a new us!

  26. Alexa Landrysays:

    You got this!

  27. I am in the same boat. It’s depressing (Especially since I hit a new weight high. *shudder*), but we deal and move on. It’s great that you’re owning it. It’s just what we have to do. Good luck! πŸ˜€

  28. Keonsays:

    Very well written! The good thing about losing weight is I think once you start to make some gains with your fitness and weight loss it encourages you to do more. Just got to get started long enough to make it a habit :-).

  29. Yep! Those happy relationship pounds are no joke!! You can do this, though!! You’ve got the tools and the know-how, now just put it together πŸ˜€ Think of all the cute dresses you could wear πŸ™‚

  30. Oh I totally feel you here. I was doing great until the holidays hit, and though I haven’t stepped on a scale yet, I know it’s not going to be pretty. But the thing is, I just feel like, “Okay, that happened. Let’s fix it.” I think coming up on 30 has finally given me the permission to not beat myself up over weight gain. I’m an awesome person. People love me and I LOVE myself. I’m not as thin as I was two months or two years ago. It’s really not the biggest deal ever. I will make it a priority again and try to change the patterns that led me to regain in the future. No biggie. I’m not a failure or anything. I’m just a normal person who has to fight a bit harder next time if I want to stay at a healthier weight.

    Also, on a related note to your post, my mini schnau was attacked by a much larger dog last year and it was the worst ever. She had to have a bunch of stitches and tubes inserted in her back for proper drainage. So I feel you there too!

    • Gretchensays:

      That’s exactly what happened with Daxter! He had a tube sticking out of his head for a few days and it was horrifying. Just having that out and his stitches removed already makes him look so, so much better. Still hard not to get emotional when I’m really looking at the bite marks though…

  31. You can do it, girl! Weight will always be a constant struggle in my life, I will always have to work at it. I’ll definitely follow along your journey! πŸ™‚

  32. Angelasays:

    I did the EXACT same thing when I got into a relationship that made me happy! Gained back 50 of the hard fought pounds. I wasn’t thrilled with myself but I decided that those pounds were ok with me because they showed outwardly how happy I was. So don’t beat yourself up about it. And I relost them all again so I know you can too πŸ™‚

  33. Go get it! I must point out that I think you look great at the weight you are currently at, but if you’re not happy and/or healthy, then that’s what matters. Good luck!

    PS Does your dog have a major case of Napoleon syndrome too? My 10-lb mini dachshund thinks he’s 200 lbs and was drop-kicked by a great dane earlier this year for being a little bitch.

  34. Carriesays:

    You can do it! Be kind to yourself in all the right ways! We’ll be cheering you on.

  35. Justinesays:

    I know exactly how you feel! I lost a ton of weight and then met the love of my life. So, I’m rocking the “happy relationship gut” as well. I’ve been slowly getting back on the wagon, but finding your blog made me realize that I’m not the only one who has struggled. And, I think you’re so brave to admit this to your audience! Looking forward to reading about what I’m sure will be a great 2014 for you!

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked