Hi, Hello, Hola, Ciao, Bonjour, Hey ya'll!
My name's Gretchen Hoechner (pronounced HECK-NER, in KY!) I started this blog a few years ago as a place to share my love for everything 'health and fitness,' which has now evolved to include everything 'wellness' related. I know you're probably rolling your eyes thinking, "What's the difference between the two?" For me, quite a lot! (more on that later) I've been super slow in posting because well..I have a gillion ideas but always think, "oh, I'll blog about it later" and then later never comes. So - I'm making myself sit still and type! My hope is that you gain information + inspo + motivation + confidence in yourself and your health after reading my posts. I get a lot of questions about ME (not just food), which makes me feel oh so loved! So, I thought I'd share some random facts about me in an effort to help you get to know me better. I'm basically an open book, but some of these things you may not already know about me. If you have more questions, please feel free to comment below and I'll do my best to answer! :)
- I used to be terrified of public speaking! I would get so nervous that my face would turn bright red and I'd sometimes start sweating uncontrollably. Thankfully, with lots of practice, I've actually become really fond of public speaking and speak at least 5-10 times throughout the year to audiences of up to 500+ sharing my story of recovery and educating about eating disorders. I've come a long way, but still have a lot to learn. I'd LOVE to do a Ted talk some day, that's definitely on the bucket list!
- I've always been an athlete. I think I came out of the womb kicking a soccer ball! I was always super competitive in literally everything! From rainy day Battleship games with my family to P.E. class and wanting to beat ALL of the boys in every race/game/match/etc. I usually can pick up sports pretty quickly, however - my hand-eye coordination isn't the best. My most loved sport was soccer (left-defender) but I swam year-round, gymnastics, dance, tennis, track (actually made it to State every year in HS for the 4x400 relay). My parents thankfully encouraged me to participate in as many sports as possible, and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity. It's truly given me so much will-power, self-belief, grit and confidence in myself. Some of the most influencial people in my life were my coaches.
- We've had mini-schnauzers all my life - literally haven't gone more than 6 months without having one in our family. Token, Abby, Roxie, and now Margot! Miss Margot is truly such a LIGHT. I've never met such a loving and in-tune dog. She is so sensitive the people's energy and wants to love on literally everyone until she runs out of love. She has no limits! And she is extremely fast! Probably the most athletic pooch we've ever had! Roxie was my girl. We had her when I was age 15-28, so most of my life! She would go on runs with me when I was staying in shape for sports, she had such an outgoing (alpha) personality! When I came home from college/first real job, she would smile so big for hours! It was so funny! She made such a positive impact on everyone's life! (depsite her really LOUD bark that my mom tried to quiet by cutting her vocal chords but they just grew back stronger!)
- The women in my family are really incredible. I have a really awesome legacy of women that came before me who really paved the way. My grandmother married a professional golfer in the 30's and modeled hats. Her husband passed away suddenly and she was widowed with two children. She ended up working odd jobs in order to make ends meet (she even worked in Oak Ridge, TN keeping secrets about the Atom bomb!) She decided to start her own framing business out of her home and ended up moving into a shop downtown Bowling Green, KY and expanded it to include antiques, interiors, gifts, etc. My mom has taken it over and has kept the business running succesfully for the past 60+ years! Work ethic + ownership + responsibility were values that were instilled in me as a kid and have helped me in every job I've ever had.
- I'm such a homebody and always prefer staying in over going out. 'Living my best life' is camped out on the couch in a comfy sweatshirt and slippers, eating a delish chocolate treat, wearing a face mask, and watching something funny on Apple TV. (I'm always open to Netflix suggestions!)
- I'm a huge nerd! I really love to learn. I'm super open to other people's opinions and perspectives and always intrigued by different cultures. (I'd love to travel more in order to experience them first hand) I used to read the American Girls books out loud to my mom on long car rides. I love history and always love a good story about strong women. I'm always looking for new things to learn (not just wellness related) and spend a lot of my free time listening to podcasts + audiobooks + etc.
- Most of you know I have a twin bro. He's pretty dang cool. (not just b/c he's my twin!) I'm Baby A - one full minute older! We grew up playing with each other non-stop. My mom would have to pull us a part. Then around age 9, we started hanging out with our friends. I was into sports, he was into working outside. He started stripping tobacco and driving a truck on farms at age 12! He is NOT afraid of hard work. In fact, he started his own lawn care + landscape company when we were 13 years old. He now has a really successful business (15 years going strong!) and is well-known in my hometown. He's a business man, through and through. (And literally could teach any Dave Ramsey class!) We really didn't hang out much in our teens and twenties but now he's teaching me about business and I'm teaching him about marketing.
- I really love the hippie + bohemian lifestyle. I marvel at the people that can literally sell everything they own and hit the road for months living out of thier van/RV. I think that's how we really all should live. No schedules, no deadlines, no pressure, just BE. Experience all that life has to offer and help people along the way. I'm down! (I may try it out someday)
- I was a brunnette for about 6 months in college. I hated it! It was horrid. I've always been blonde so the brown and blonde mixture came out this mousey-brown color that really washed me out. Everyone was like, ummm..yeah, I like you as a blonde! Same, people. Same.
- I was always a pretty healthy eater (mainly because I knew I felt better when I ate healthier) but I also grew up in the 90's so ya know, everything came in a box of some kind! My favorite foods as a kid were Snack Well's Devil's Food Cookie Cakes, Baked Lay's, Mini Muffins, Kellogg's strawberry cereal, ranch rice cakes, cinnamon rolls, muffins of any kind (I would eat the top off and leave the rest for the next person! haha, so rude!)
- I have always been horrible at math. I somehow only needed to take the entry-level math in college and changed my major 3 times so I didn't have to take an advanced class! (that's not the only reason but it definitely contributed)
- As a kid, I always pictured myself in a job where I wore a suit and carried a briefcase (I think because I saw pictures of my mom doing this in the 80's). That evolved during my teenage years and I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. I went to school for graphic design for 3 years and got to my advanced Photoshop class, looked around the room, and realized I would be fetching coffee for my boss and not designing ads if I continued. So, I switching my major to focus on branding and sales. I ended up graduating with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. (basically a bunch of random advertising/marketing/sales classes hodge-podged together!) Who really cares what degree people have anyway, right?!
- I got my first job out of college before actually graduating. I was OLD when I graduated college! I took the long route, ya'll. So by my senior year, I was so over it. I ended up going to a Sales competition with one of my professors and had interviews on the spot for a few sales companies. One of them landed and I was offered a job selling custom suits in Charlotte, NC. I ended up having 9 more hours to finish and completing them online during my first 6 months in Charlotte and also working in full-time commission sales. (not recommended)
- I truly believe everything in life happens for a reason. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Everyone is in this boat together and we're all doing the best we can with what we've got! Once I realized this, I started to see the beauty and grace in my daily life. Plus, I know how short life really is, so why not live it to the fullest! No regrets.
- I was born and raised in Kentucky. (pronounced CAN-TUCK-EE) I swear I'm not a red-neck or hick by any means but I have witnessed my fair share of jacked-up trucks with monster truck tires and big exhaust pipes and can understand southern folks who sound like they're chewing on cow curd! I know how to target and skeet shoot and could hold my own in a country line dance competition! I grew up listening to Garth Brooks, George Strait, Faith Hill, etc. and now live in Nashville, TN so, I haven't steered too far away from my roots! And no...Kentucky isn't just a bunch of toothless people wearing overalls without shoes on. It's a beautiful state, you should definitely visit!
Alright, ya'll! That's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of more random things to add to the list just for laughs. I hope this helped you get a better idea of who I am. This whole 'social media' thing is tough. We feel like we know people we follow but we really don't. We just see the 'highlight reel' and never really get to know someone's real life struggles and things they're gone through. If you ever feel like you don't really know who I am. Please know, you can ask me anything! I'm willing to share in hopes that you don't feel alone and who knows, we may actually become friends IRL. Thanks for reading!