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F.C. Woman Gets Motivation, Support From Writing Weight Loss Blog

For Falls Church native Gretchen Powell, it took the watchful eyes of hundreds of readers to make the changes she’s been trying to make her whole life.

For Falls Church native Gretchen Powell, it took the watchful eyes of hundreds of readers to make the changes she’s been trying to make her whole life.

In August 2010, Powell launched “Honey I Shrunk the Gretchen,” a blog where she records all the triumphs and setbacks of her weight loss journey.

“Mostly my aim was accountability,” Powell said. “If I started a blog and told my whole family about it, I wouldn’t be able to slink out of my weight-loss goals, which is how all of my diets had ended in the past.”

Her first weigh-in, which can be found in the Progress Report section of her blog, reported her weight at 246 pounds. As of her last weigh-in, the 22-year-old human resources employee weighs 207 pounds, an almost 40-pound weight loss from her start date just months ago. She attributes much of her success to her blog.

“I don’t think I would have achieved the weight loss that I have without the blog, honestly,” Powell said. “I never had succeeded before, so I guess that’s testament enough. It’s completely integral to the whole process. It keeps me accountable, and it keeps me on track.”

Through comments on her blog, her readers provide the support to help Powell make her weight-loss dreams a reality.

“I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received and continue to receive despite not every weigh-in being a success, despite not every choice being the right one,” Powell said. “I feel like I’m not in this alone and feel like I can keep moving forward.”

Powell began by letting her family and friends know about her blog. Through promoting posts on Twitter and Facebook, as well as becoming part of the online community of bloggers throughout the world who track their diet and exercise decisions on their own blogs, her readership has expanded to 100 to 200 visitors a day.

While Powell has made considerable progress in terms of pounds lost, the project has led her to reconsider her health goals.

“In the beginning I had a number in mind, I had a goal weight in the back of my mind, but as the blog has gone on and as my relationship to fitness and food has evolved, I’m not really so dead-set on the number,” Powell said. “I want to find a place where I am healthy and able to maintain the lifestyles changes I’ve embraced thus far. I don’t want this whole experience to be about reaching a weight where I’m skinny enough.”

Powell considers herself about half way to her health goal and, with the finish line in sight, is considering the future of her blog.

“Assuming that one day I reach my weight-loss goals, I’d like it to evolve into more of a healthy living, lifestyle-maintenance type blog,” Powell said. “Hopefully I would like to think I could potentially help some person out there who is struggling to lose weight and get healthy on their own.”

As a dieter who has spent most of her life in Falls Church, Powell has had to become adept at handling the temptation of the City’s many dining establishments.

“Living here definitely poses a challenge because I love eating out and I love Falls Church restaurants,” Powell said. “There really are a lot of them and I have quite a few local favorites.” blog2

Facing these challenges, Powell says, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“I think that it’s good because for the most part, you have to be able to go eat out. It’s such an integral part of social interaction, so living here does in one sense help me make good choices.”

Some Falls Church offerings have helped the blogger stay on track to achieving her dieting goals, including sushi provided by her favorite restaurant, Koi Koi.

“I always think that sushi is a pretty good option if you’re going to go out to eat because it is quite balanced,” Powell said. “It has lots of protein, and fish is low in calories. Obviously there is a lot of rice, but it gets you full pretty quickly. Sushi is like my number one favorite food.”

While she does try to stick to salads and healthy offerings while dining at her favorite Falls Church establishments, she still makes allowances for some less-than-healthy favorites.

“This isn’t to say that I’m not going to get fried pickles from Mad Fox – it happens. I’m not depriving myself.”

“Honey I Shrunk the Gretchen” is located at honeyishrunkthegretchen.com.

 

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