• Weight Loss

    I love food and I love eating. But, I don’t love dieting. Although I have always been a mostly healthy eater, I’m not one to turn down a piece of birthday cake or a glass of wine during cocktail hour. But indulging a little too much and a little too often resulted in a slow gain of 25 pounds by my early 20s.

    When I was younger, I’d managed to maintain my weight of 130 pounds by being active. I belonged to the dance team and played intramural sports, so it wasn’t difficult for me to motivate myself to exercise. After college, I started a desk job, and with that came long hours, pizza lunches, and plenty of happy hours. I continued to exercise almost every day, but it wasn’t enough—and my weight climbed to 153 pounds, which was too much for my 5-foot-4-inch frame.

    My Tipping Point

    I wasn’t happy at my heaviest, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in 2004 put things in perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a “bad” photo of me. I was so depressed that I threw most of them away.

    Soon after the ski trip, I left my desk job to pursue graduate school and took a part-time job working at the front desk of an upscale health club. One of the perks was a free membership, which was the motivation I needed to take control of my weight. I started exercising at the health club most mornings, taking Body Pump and spinning classes on a regular basis. Finding workout buddies helped too. I made some new friends who were avid runners and I began training for and participating in road races with them.

    Even though I was burning plenty of calories through exercise, I knew my eating habits were preventing me from losing weight. I wasn’t eating unhealthy foods—I stuck with salads, turkey sandwiches, and stir-fry dishes—I was just eating too much of everything. I started tracking my daily calories online at fitday.com. Counting calories really helped me understand my overblown portion sizes and just how many calories I was consuming.

    A New Life

    Almost a year and a half later, in the summer of 2006, I finally reached my goal weight of 130 pounds. My weight loss didn’t happen overnight—in fact it took a pretty long time—but that was because I wasn’t “dieting.” Through trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me, I made lifestyle changes, which have stuck with me to today. For example, I almost always have oatmeal with nut butter and a piece of fruit for breakfast. It helps set a healthy tone for my whole day, plus it keeps me full until lunchtime.

    Now I’m committed to maintaining my weight without missing out on any fun, like birthday celebrations or nights out with friends, which is the main philosophy behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Hopefully, my tips and tricks are helpful to you and you’ll share some of your own secrets and successes with me too.


    December 2003


    August 2003



    July 2008


    July 2010


    April 2011

    June 2012

    October 2012 

    August 2013


    What Worked for Me: My Weight Loss Tips

    Make an appointment to exercise

    Every Sunday I jot down my exercise goals on my Google calendar. Sometimes last-minute plans get in the way, but I generally stick to my schedule once I’ve put it in ink.

    Count calories—at least in the beginning

    I didn’t realize just how many calories I was consuming, so tracking what I ate helped keep me aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I don’t count calories anymore, but I track what I eat (and when I exercise) on my blog, which keeps me accountable.

    Eat fresh fruit with breakfast

    It’s such a small thing to do, but it sets a healthy tone for my whole day. Plus, fruit is low in calories and good for you!

    Reduce portion sizes

    This might seem like a “duh” tip, but just eating less of my usual servings helped me lose weight.

    Read a lot of health and fitness magazines

    These types of magazines are constant motivation and keep healthy eating and fitness interesting, especially when I really don’t want to get on the elliptical! Plus, I get tons of a great ideas for meals and workouts from them.

    Meal plan

    Every Sunday I sit down and plan a week’s worth of meals. I almost always make my own lunch, which means I have more control over how many calories are in my meal. I’m also able to save money by making sure I use up all of my fresh produce.

    Keep truckin’

    Maintaining my weight is all about balance. If I overindulge at a weekend barbecue or mindlessly munch throughout the afternoon, I don’t throw in the towel. I make sure my next meal is healthy and move on.

    Want Even More Motivation?

    Check out these posts!

    How I Beat My Sugar Addiction

    How I Get Myself Back on Track

    Tricks to Avoid Emotional Eating

    How to Lose Weight with a Busy Schedule

    Sunday Style: How I Set Myself Up for a Healthy Week

    My Meal Planning Process

    Q & A: Starting a New Diet and Cravings

    Healthy, Travel-friendly Snack and Lunch Ideas

    Tips to Curb Late Night Snacking

    How to Gain Support While Losing Weight

    5 Tips for Goal-Setting Success

    My Thoughts on Carbohydrates

    Protein Powders I Love

    I also write a weekly column for the weight loss blog on Health.com, so be sure to check out more of my posts there!

    { 286 comments… read them below or add one }

    Brittany b October 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Wow! Congratulations on your weight loss. I am working towards having the same success soon. It is a never ending process and a lot of work but it seems worth it in the end.


    Jennifer Graves October 16, 2014 at 11:28 am



    Ashton October 29, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Congratulations on your weight loss success! I recently have had some success as well. I am on a journey to lose 100 pounds in 6 months. Before I started this challenge I weighed in at 335lbs and I currently weigh 313 after 1 month of dieting and exercise. I have lost 22 pounds I am so proud of myself and love the motivation from our weight loss community. I have been tracking my journey on my blog and giving tips on how I’ve been accomplishing my goal and things that I failed at to help others. It’s good to see others doing this as well. It’s very inspiring keep posting!


    galibrm November 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Good writing & really helpful. I must share this with my frindzzzzz……..


    Cat November 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I was 111kgs and 33 kgs but it stopped there. I still have around 20kgs to reach my goal. Any advice?


    Joanna November 26, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Wow, you are inspiring;) I too have foud that keeping a log every day on what I eat and how many calories I consume has really opened my eyes to how much or how little I was eating.Also, portion control is key and I don’t feel nearly as much deprived like I use to eating dessert and junk food.I have about 40-50lbs to loose I plan on reaching my goal by my Birthday next year:D I’m glad that I came across your blog:) all the recipes look soo good and made with whole foods:O Hopefully, they taste as good as they look in the picture;) Lol im sure they do.I gotta get back to eating whole foods and exercising:) Im not one to exercise but I need it not only if I want to brave enough to go swim suit shopping next year! But for overall better physical health for next year and onward!


    Janelle November 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Amazing weight loss story and progress! You could be on the cover of Oxygen, you look incredible! Great tips and thanks for providing inspiration as usual!


    Itumeleng December 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Wow! You are truly an inspiration to a lot of people. I also hope to achieve such amazing results in the next year. I also started a blog to help me learn more about losing weight and staying healthy. Congratulations.


    Anastasia Volkov December 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Cool!! I’ve also achieved good results. In one year I’ve lost over 20 pounds :3


    Jenan December 26, 2014 at 1:09 am

    thank you for the inspiration :) I am starting the long road of getting healthy, I want to lose the weight that I have recently put on.


    Eric Gomez January 7, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Thank you so much, awesome article, in line with the kind of writing. I will be looking forward to more good stuff, i highly recommend this.


    Sandra January 7, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    This is a really good blog, I was almost at the peak of giving up because it is indeed a challenge. But you gave me hope, and inspired me to continue my journey!


    rosie January 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    That is such great progress! I find that there are a few pitfalls for people when they want to lose weight. One of them is that they just dont see immediate results and give up –
    so I suggest to my clients that they rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how they feel before they start. What their mood is like, how they sleep and how much energy they have. Then every week they can see a different in their numbers perhaps which can keep them motivated enough until they start seeing results on the scales :)


    Richard @ Premier Physicians January 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I love your story! I think the key lesson from your story is that losing weight isn’t just about dieting, it’s about making those lifestyle changes that make you healthier overall. Great story!


    Erin M January 21, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Congratulations! You look amazing!! I really liked your tips, they were really practical and can be easily incorporated into your everyday routine. I also really like eating, so I can relate… :)


    Sarah January 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    These tips are great! I think it’s important for people to realize that losing weight is a lifestyle choice, and it helps to get excited about making change and achieving results!


    Erica January 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Your blog is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Last year I knew I was gaining weight but I was alright with it because I felt healthy and happy. I was eating semi healthy and working out on a regular basis. On January 1st I did a polar plunge and saw the photos and got a wake up call about what was going on with my body. Diet is an area I’ve always struggled with, I work in the beer industry so I tend to drink a lot and eat out a lot. I’m trying to focus more on counting calories, improve my food options and add more weight lifting to my workouts. It’s encouraging to see that it’s a slow process but it will work and it will get easier. You look incredible and I’m hoping with enough time I’ll get there as well!


    Natalie Cleary January 26, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Wow what an incredible story! I know exactly what it is like to over indulge at events and out with friends. I hope to be as fit and beautiful looking when I reach my target. Thank you for even more inspiration!


    Brittany H February 2, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I love your blog! It has helped me so much in this new year to have a healthier more fit lifestyle. I was wondering if you take any daily vitamins?


    Tina February 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Yep, I take a multivitamin! 😄


    Naomi Teeter March 3, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Great advice! I lost 125+ pounds and maintained it for the last 5 1/2 years by doing a similar routine… no fruit for breakfast… but the other principles are good. Congrats on your successes!


    Colin Stone March 4, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Good to see someone promoting sensible ways to be healthy. I try to do that on my site too. You definitely seem to have done well judging by your photos. Well done. I am in the middle of my weight loss doing the same sort of thing. It is sites like this that keep me motivated so thank you.

    All the best, Colin


    Cristie @ Nutrizon Organics March 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Truly inspiring Tina! So happy to come across your blog. It takes a great deal of persistence and determination to achieve such results. You have a nice style of communication, too.


    Lincy Meeuwsen March 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Wow! Superb. your July 2008 to onward pics are really amazing. what a 100% Progress. Really you are so lucky. Now a days i am also trying so much tips and tricks but after reading your blog i am now only applying your tips and tricks so i will get my ideal body shape same as you : ) I hope


    Jess March 16, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Congrats on your weight loss!


    Nancy March 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Great Article! I would like to add a quick comment. I like the way you explained your experience very cool. There is also another thing that can make the weight loss process discouraging. When people start to compare their body and personal progress they are seeing with that of others….they lose their battle when they take their eyes off of the main goal to lose weight. Then we all can start to compare and feeling bad about the results seen unable get the body to like someone’s else. Be your own encourager! Quick story: 3 years ago I was 144 pounds (5′ ft 2′) and now I have a 13 month old and I have lost 20 pounds. I did follow specific steps that were not too exhausting or complicated. One thing I will say is that I was focused and persistent….everyday I would encourage/tell myself that I am going to lose weight. Even when I was pregnant, there were many people that would tell me their experience and that I would gain a lot of weight but I decided not to focus on what they said. By the end of the pregnancy I only gained 20 pounds and my baby was 8 Ib 2 oz. To add one last thing I lost 13 pounds after the 1st week of giving birth. Again, I encourage all to find what can work for them the best and finally be your own motivator!


    Yisa March 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Thank you so much, awesome article, love to read it. I will be looking forward to more good stuff, Congrats on your weight loss!


    Michelle April 6, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Hi Tina, I really got inspired after reading your story. I am currently overweight and my friends are making fun of me. In some point, their jokes are not funny anymore and I get offended. So to end this, I plan on losing weight…seriously! Then, I found your blog that provides tips, which I think could help me with my journey. I will surely follow your weight loss tips on this post and I will update you. Keep up the good work and more power to you!


    Ralph April 10, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Hello Tina, While reading your I found some very informative information losing weight. It reminded of years past when I put on so much that got out of breath sitting on bed and bending over to tie my shoes. This shook me so bad I changed my ways and lost weight. But now in my later years I find myself over weight again. After reading your article has inspire me to it again. thanks for the motivation I needed.


    Amanda Greenthumb April 10, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Love these tips, and the pictures. I love reading your blog, it is so inspiring. Thanks for helping so many women get closer to their goals :)


    April Ann April 16, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Love your story!very inspiring! I love reading blogs, search about various things and share it to other people. In relation to weight loss, I recently read one book entitled Keys to Massive Breakthrough by James Robor. I was able to read first two chapters which I got for free online (it says launching is April 23 so I will be able to read full book) and it discussed different breakthroughs like finances, emotional, and a lot about health and weightloss. Hope this somehow helps. :)


    anoushe May 2, 2015 at 8:23 am

    hi tina,

    you are a big inspiration of mine when it comes to eating mindfully, working out and being an amazing mom and wife! I have been wanting to ask you something related to crossfit for quite a while as it has been bugging me lately. I have wanted to start crossfit but keep getting nervous about it when I hear how you build too much upper body strength and end up with big thighs, and how the fast execution of the exercises could be harmful to your body. what is your take on this? I am currently trying to lean out my thighs which is why I have been cautious to start. you have an impeccable body, but you also do a lot of running, which is something I personally don’t enjoy, but does that balance out your leg muscles?

    I hope you find time to respond and wish you a beautiful weekend!


    Tina May 2, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I think it’s difficult for most women to get big and bulky like that, unless you are working out a ton (like the professional athletes) or taking some sort of supplements/steroids to get larger/stronger. Personally, I got SMALLER doing CrossFit, and I actually went down a size or two in my jeans! Hope this helps!! :)


    anoushe May 2, 2015 at 8:52 am


    wow thank you so much for your fast reply! you’re truly the best :)
    Ok cool that is just about the motivation I needed! I kept on looking though “crossfit women” pictures and the bulk kind of discouraged me – but you are right – I would never work out as much as they do so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about!
    Thank you again :)


    Lara May 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Congratulations! And a very nice and inspirational article.


    Robert May 7, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Wow what a Post you have made!!. Lengthy but worth to read till end. whole post is great but i like tips you have mentioned like “Make an appointment to exercise” ,”Read a lot of health and fitness magazines” etc .. You are completely transformed by the way .


    Robbie May 11, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Congratulations on your weight loss!


    Lee May 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Wow I love your story, so inspirational and something I am turning my focus to for sure. I love how you have broken it down to be so simple because it really is it is just a mindset and that is what I really need to remember again. Self disapline like you mentioned one you planned it you made it your business not to let any excuses get in the way. I have just started a businesses (untappedlifestyle.com) which is based in the personal development industry and it has really assisted me with my mindset and given me such great tools on how to be committed and follow through on a goal. The great thing is I have left my full time job to do it full time so I now have more time to exercise and prepare healthy food a snacks. When I had a full time job we were right next door to a cafe and it was always so tempting to just duck next door and get something yummy, even though I knew I would feel terrible after it… Thank you for your inspiration and I look forward to being successful like you while remembering to keep it simple.


    Jane May 21, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Wow, you look amazing! Where can I get tickets to that gun show? 😉


    Chad May 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Wholly crap awesome job.


    Jackie May 26, 2015 at 1:42 am

    HI My name is Jackie. I have struggled my whole life with my weight (19 years). I really want you to check out my blog and give me pointers, your body is amazing! I would kill to have your body..anyway thanks!


    Jane May 30, 2015 at 8:45 am

    waooh…this is amazing,I just hope it works for me too.


    Gedi June 2, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Wow! Great tips! Thank you so much.


    Dave @ Weight Loss Bro’s June 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    This is an awesome post. The same thing happened to us. We were stuck in the 9-5 IT jobs and the weight was packing on more and more. We feel it’s the life style changes that make the biggest impact on one’s personal health and weight loss goals. I love how you made honest simple changes that anyone can use and follow – and they will really notice once they actually start.


    Jennifer M June 5, 2015 at 6:49 am

    It’s not my very first time to visit this blog; I’m visiting this daily and acquire superb info from here day by day.


    Jim June 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for the tips!


    Timothy Rutledge June 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Wow! All put together in an easy to follow format–you look GREAT!


    Prince June 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    You are a role model dear.


    Coby @ Skinny Fiber Health June 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Congrats on your weight loss! It really takes time and dedication in order to get it perfected and it looks like you just stuck with it and kept on going!


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