• 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.

    BEFORE

    December 2003

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    August 2003

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    AFTER

    July 2008

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    July 2010

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    April 2011

    June 2012

    October 2012 

    August 2013

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    July 2015 – How I lost the baby weight in 4 months

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    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!

    { 30 comments… read them below or add one }

    Isabella July 21, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Congratulations Tina!!!!
    Really Happy & Excited to see your Transformation. :)
    ANd Also Thanks for the Awesome Tips.

    Reply

    RealTawk July 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats! You look amazing. Truely Inspirational.
    When you see transformations like this, it really motivates people to do the same.

    Cheers.

    Reply

    Brittney July 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I just found your blog today and I’m so happy I did! I’ve been on my own weight loss journey for almost 2 years and have lost 60 pounds all naturally. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

    Reply

    Cynthia July 25, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your lifestyle and nutritional transformation. Very inspiring!

    Reply

    Linda @ TheFitty August 4, 2015 at 2:50 am

    I like this new page you got going on here. I’m on vacation and blew my physique. This post is quite reassuring that I can totally get back to where I was and need not stress or panic!

    Reply

    Mike August 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Tina, I’m a big fan of you, I am following your post for a while , but recently I got sick, but now I’m OK. I came across your site today and I found your result today is great. I like it. I wish I can get half where you reach. I will definitely do the same and follow all your tip. wish me the best. Thank you for showing us this amazing results.

    Reply

    weight loss for women August 13, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Amazing post. It is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your amazing tips with us.

    Reply

    Shawna August 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Yay for you!! Thanks for sharing – helps give me motivation :)

    Reply

    Lynn M August 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Like you (and others commenting here), I’ve been on that long journey of weight loss for 4 years (1 in maintenance). Turns out I also had a thyroid disorder (nice of them to find that AFTER the struggle huh? LOL). But working harder only taught me that I can do anything and can take those steps again if needed. Thanks for much for sharing, I know that on my own journey I read and read to find inspiration and your story will do that for so many! Cute little one too, Dad definitely impacted some genetics there! :-) Adorable!

    Reply

    Eli August 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Wow you are looking really strong. What’s that salad you are holding?

    Reply

    chhiwat August 24, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks for all the good ideas

    Reply

    Sara Binde August 25, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Fantastic transformation! Well done. I too lost a significant amount of weight. It all comes down to eating right.

    Reply

    Ian Scofield September 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Congrats! I am trying to lose weight too!

    Reply

    Lucy September 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Congrats! I fantastic transformation. It all comes down to eating right.

    Reply

    Lisa Wilkerson September 13, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Great story! It’s so inspiring to see such awesome transformations. Thinking positively has a lot to do with it, too.

    Reply

    Krystin Hensley September 23, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Congratulations! Absolutely terrific transformation. And inspiring stuff though.And You are looking Great …

    Reply

    Martina McKeough October 8, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Great inspirational story to show when you put your mind to something you can achieve so much

    Reply

    Somi October 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Hello, I just found your website while searching for weight loss blogs to follow. I just wanted to say you’ve been a great source of inspiration. Thank you.

    Reply

    KrissyGarcia @ drop5plusenergy October 26, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you for the tips. Looking forward to your newer post as well.

    Reply

    Lastofsept October 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    You look amazing. I want to congratulate you on your changed lifestyle. Weight loss is not just about exercising and eating less for a period of time. To lose weight and to maintain the ideal weight, one has to make it a lifestyle. YOur weight loss tips are helpful. Thank you.

    Reply

    Carlos October 31, 2015 at 2:33 am

    HI , I really got a pretty good feeling by reading your blog that how you have maintained your fitness and got a pretty decent body throughout your life, You really have inspired me to give a look to my health and make it a priority.

    Reply

    Surya November 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Thats so inspiring… and even I lost some weight recently…

    Reply

    Ben Menton November 21, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Really great transformation! I am in awe!

    Reply

    Alison January 11, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Well done, that is a fantastic transformation. I appreciate the really good tips and think they will certainly help me stay focused.

    Reply

    John Carry January 13, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Everyone should exercise besides dieting to loss weight.

    Reply

    arya January 14, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    good post

    Reply

    John Carry January 18, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Inspiring tips , helpful for building healthy eating habits.

    Reply

    Shaun P January 20, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Great one! inspirational story for all of us.

    Reply

    Ralph E January 23, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Awesome transformation! We can learn a lot from people like you.

    Reply

    Stefanies Mithus February 12, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Congratulations. I must say its a great transformation. People should get motivated by seeing this. You have done a great job. People like you are an inspiration for many people.

    There are many people who are fat but does not perform any task to reduce their weight though they want to reduce their excessive body fat but fail to do so. Thanks for sharing this. I can share with my friends who are following several weight loss plans to reduce their weight.

    Reply

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