My Weight Loss Story

Well, I should begin on the child hood years.  As a child I was not over weight.  I was pretty active as a child, my weight didn’t go up till I hit puberty.  I guess all that candy and soda caught up with me.  However when I hit about 15, the weight came back off, I was a cheerleader in the fall, and I played softball in the spring,and did a lot of other activities in between.  Then when I hit 18 I really started to work out.  I kind of got obsessed, I was working out to Carol Alt’s VCR tapes (remember VHS tapes?) and I got into the best shape ever.  I am 5’11 and made it to 135 lbs, not too shabby.  However, I didn’t eat that much and felt horribly guilty when I did eat.  Not good!  Honestly I don’t know what happened after that, to why I stopped working out that is.  I guess that’s when I hit age 20.  The discovery of pizza, beer, bars, guys and friends.
So at age 20 my weight started to climb, but I didn’t notice or care because I was having fun.  At about age 24, I still didn’t workout at all and just partied and enjoyed my time with my friends.  I had an asthma attack, and went to the Doctors and that is when he told me, if I keep going this route I would die! (Thanks Dr. Becker) Pretty abrupt, but it’s true.  I was hitting near 200lbs and heading down the road of disaster.  I don’t think I ever made it to 200lbs, but I came pretty close.  (That’s me with the brown hair and bag in the picture, gross huh?)

At that point, I stopped with the drinking and going to bars, but still didn’t exercise and I didn’t cut back on the eating.  I ended up going down to about 172lbs.  That seems to be where my weight stayed for years, and I excepted that.  If you punch in my height and weight, I was at the top of my average range.  People in my family made comments here and there but nothing to make me think differently.  I didn’t know I had a weight issue.  I remember my Grandmother saying to me  “your Mother at your age was skinny”.  I remember that hurt my feelings, but it still didn’t do anything.  I thought this is where I was suppose to stay.  I didn’t know how to lose weight. 

As my middle 30’s were here, I ate better, more home cooked meals, but again didn’t do any exercise.  I was tracking calories, but I wasn’t eating enough.  I didn’t know how many calories I needed in a day, I just thought I wasn’t suppose to eat.  At work the other day, I was cleaning my desk drawer out and came across papers that had my calorie intake for the day on it and it said I was eating 800, 900 and 1000 calories on a high day!  I was shocked, well no wonder I wasn’t losing any weight, I wasn’t eating enough.  You can’t go from eating way over 2000 calories a day to practically nothing.  But back then I didn’t care, I did that for a few months and gave up.  The scale didn’t move, so I figured again, this is the weight my body is comfortable with. (image of my calorie count from January 2009)

In the summer of 2009, I was stressed out with life!  So after dinner, every night, no matter what I went for a short walk around the block, and within 1 month I lost 10lbs.  My body must of went into shock with actually moving around.  That was the push I needed.  I was so excited to lose the weight that I actually started to watch what I ate.  I didn’t calorie count, I started out with portion control.  By November I dropped another 10lbs.  I was sitting around 150lbs.  That’s when I took notice of calories in food.  I was shocked to find out how many calories there were in my favorite foods.  I thought ordering a salad from Baja Fresh was a good idea!  Nope!  Having reduced fat desserts from Starbucks was ok,nope.  So I started to track calories on a website, my Virtual Trainer.  I was sticking to around 1200 calories a day, because that is what the magazines would tell me.

In January of 2010, I was home from work, and I was flipping through the On Demand channels and I saw a circuit training workout “Boost Your Metabolism” from Jillian Micheals.  I hadn’t a clue who she was, but I did the workout and I thought I was going to die!  I couldn’t walk for 3 days and I was sore as hell.  That’s when I knew I was out of shape and needed to up my exercise, because walking wasn’t enough anymore.  At that time I also started my Getting in Shape 2010 group on Facebook.  I needed a place to share healthy living, get support because I wasn’t getting that at home and to learn from others.

I would work out to On Demand/Exercise TV for months and months, and you know what, nothing happened.  My weight was hanging out at about 145 pounds.  I was frustrated  but I never gave up.   I was counting calories and exercising.  I felt great!  My asthma went away,after having it since I was a child, I sleep better, I have more energy and I had self-esteem!  But I still had a goal to meet, but wasn’t getting there.  I heard that losing those last 10lbs are the hardest!  It’s true!  Wondering why no weight loss?  What was I doing wrong?  I was on what you call a plateau for 8 months, yes 8 months!  Ridiculous!!!  

In August of 2010, one of my members of Getting in Shape 2010 group recommended I joined Sparks People.  I thought what the heck, since my virtual trainer was giving me issues.  Well I set up my profile, entered how much exercise I do a week, and what my goal was and guess what?  It calculated how many calories I needed to lose 1.5 lbs a week.  Don’t forget I was eating only 1200 calories a day.  Sparks told me I needed to eat 1550 at the low end and 1700 on the high end.  I was so happy, I could eat!!!!  It was like a new world opened up for me.

I tracked everything from fat, carbs and protein.  I was eating what I was suppose to and within 5 months, I dropped the remaining 10lbs.  I did it, I met my goal!  As of today, I am trying to maintain my weight, which in my opinion is harder then losing it.  I get so afraid of putting the weight back on, since it’s so easy to lose motivation.  Just because you meet your goal doesn’t mean you can go back to the way it was.  That’s when I decided I needed to make this my lifestyle.  I started reading up on healthy foods, different exercises, and I kept calculating my calories.  I was a true calorie counter, every bite I ate, I tracked it.  If I didn’t know the calories, I wouldn’t eat it.   I was having allot of fun.  I was exercising and maintaining my weight!  Then it happened.  Something was brought to my attention from my friends and family, I was obsessed they told me!  Obsessed with what?  Eating right and exercising?  It was the calorie counting!  People told me I’m not enjoying life if I calculate every bite.  Can I do this forever?  Well, maybe,I am pretty dedicated after all, but who wants to?  I have learned so much over the past couple of years, about eating, exercising and most importantly myself.  I have a lot of will power and I know how to be healthy, so I should be able to do this!!!!  

Well as of today, I have been exactly two weeks with not counting calories. I am taking a new approach to things, I am listening to my stomach!  Yes listening to my stomach!  It was hard the first week, and I did cheat a little, but I managed not to gain weight, kept up on exercise and ate mostly healthy.  I feel free!  It’s nice not to have to calculate every meal, every bite!  I know if I eat a piece of cake I won’t gain 10lbs over night!  Moderation is the key!  I now have the all around perfect healthy life style.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to my blog to make sure I stay on the right path!

Here are some tips from me that I learned through my journey:  Please note I am not a doctor or dietitian, just a regular person like you.  This is my own personal experience.

#1 – Eat enough food!  Your body can’t function without it’s fuel!  You need a MINIMUM of 1200 calories a day for woman, but I personally recommend at least 1500, but you should consult your doctor for a better amount.  Just remember if you don’t eat enough, your body goes into starvation mode and will store everything as fat.  Also if you eat to much, you’ll gain!   Remember 1lbs is 3500 calories!   Your body burns calories when we do nothing so dont’ think you’ll gain 3500 calories if you eat that in a week.  Here’s more information about that.  It’s to hard for me to explain.

#2 – Count your calories, at least for the first week or two.  You’d be amazed in what you think is healthy and is not.  I was drinking a skinny vanilla latte and a reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake for breakfast every day, and that was over 500 calories.  Not smart, not to mention I was hungry a short while after breakfast, which brings me to #3.

#3 – Eat breakfast!  As Mom always said it’s the most important meal of the day and it is.  Your body needs fuel to speed up your metabolism and to get you going.  I like to eat yogurt with fruit and granola, or oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, and sometimes eggs and pancakes.  I like to eat about 300 calories for breakfast.  Having full hearty meals, with protein, a pinch of fat and carbs will keep me filled for 3 or 4 hours.

#4 – Snacks!  Snacks are important to keep the metabolism flowing.  I eat a mid morning snack such as hummus and veggies, or a piece of fruit, hard boiled egg, granola or even yogurt. Just stay away from bad foods, like chocolate, fried stuff and nothing higher then 100 – 150 calories.

#5 – Read Labels!  If you choose processed foods to eat, read your labels, not everything is bad for you, but some stuff is.  I look at the calories, serving size, carbs, protein, fiber and sugar.  If it’s low on protein and fiber, I don’t get it.  If it’s high in fat and sodium I put it right back onto the shelf.  Be a smart consumer and read those labels.  If you can’t pronounce and ingrediant, it’s probably not good for you.  Don’t buy something because the package says low fat or no sugar added, that  doesn’t mean crap!  Sugar Alcohol is still sugar!!!   Not to mention if it’s low in fat, it’s high somewhere else, they need to add something to perserve and add flavor.

#6 – Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  If you do this, you can’t go wrong! 

#7 – Drink lots of water.  I have at least 8 glasses of water a day and if I workout, I drink more because I need to replenish my body because I sweat it out and sweating is good for you!!

#8 – Exercise!  I try to Cardio at least 30 minutes a day, if not more!  I do 30 minutes of cardio 6-7 days a week, even if it is a short walk.  I feel better when I do, and it gets me off my butt!  But try for at least 5 days a week if you can’t make 6 or 7.  But start off slow if your just beginning.

Strength Training is very important part of your workouts.  Try for 15 – 30 minutes of strength training.  Don’t be afraid of strength training.  You burn more calories all together.  You’ll tone your muscles and you get stronger.  I like that my arms are strong, that way I can carry more bags at the mall.  🙂  I like to do circuit training which is full body workouts. I only do them 3 times a week, every other day.  Never do strength training on back to back days, unless you work one muscle group at a time. Such as Monday Upper Body, Tuesday Lower Body, Wednesday Core, Thursday Upper Body, Friday Lower Body, you get the picture.

#9 – Make your own meals from scratch and plan ahead.  If you make your own meals, you know what your eating, you know what goes into a meal and you can control the sugar, fat and sodium.  This is a big one for me. I enjoy cooking, it’s like an art to me!  Plus I like to share my creations with my friends, family and you!

#10 – Don’t deprive yourself.  You don’t have to give up the foods you love, just have them in moderation, like once a week or everyday if you fit it into your weight loss program.  If you deprive yourself, you will most likely fail.

#11 – Most importantly, set a goal and try to achieve it!  Don’t give up, even if you mess up for a day or two.  Just get back on that horse and keep going.  Along that note, you need to reward yourself!  If you reach a mini goal, then treat yourself to a pair of jeans, or something you desire.  I bought clothes at every 5lbs loss.  A little crazy, but it worked and I felt great!!

#12 – I almost forgot!  Educate yourself and get support from friends and family.  Tell people what your goals are and be very proud of yourself!  Your doing a good thing for you and your family!

Well that’s it for me, I am sure I will have more and I’ll add it in this post when I do.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated when I do.  Oh and I’ll add pictures soon, so you can see my progress.


  1. I found your blog through one of your SparkPeople comments. For the past few weeks, I’ve been limiting my caloric intake and eating about 900 calories a day, like you had done in the past. I’m also really limiting my carbs and exercising for an hour a day. But then I read your bio and I see that you eat wonderful things like pancakes for breakfast, so now I’m inspired to allow myself to eat good foods! You have a great story and delicious looking recipes, thanks for sharing!

    • Your welcome! You should really follow what Sparks tells you how much to eat, for me its about 1500 – 1700 calories a day. Thats what helped me to lose weight, I wouldn’t of been able to do it without Sparks. Not eating hinders your weight lose efforts. It’s amazing that eating helps you lose weight. Shocking I know! If you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode and instead of burning calories it holds onto them. Enjoy food! I do as you can see. I eat healthy 80% of the time and eat not so healthy 20% of the time. If I eat bad, it’s a small portion, so I don’t go crazy not getting the foods I love, other wise this won’t work for me. This is my lifestyle now and I stopped counting calories, and I am still maintaining. I just need to exercise more, since I started this blog, I’ll admit I’ve slacked, but I do keep my weekly weigh ins. I’m glad you stopped by my site. You made me realize that I need to get back on track, because it’s easy to fall back into old habits!! Keep in contact! If you need any support, you can count on me!!

      • Soheila Ahli says

        What if you eat one meal then you feel yourself so full & you don’t want the second meal ?

        Is it must to eat even if you are not hungry?


  2. Congratulations on your weight loss!

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    Wow! What a transformation. See you soon

  4. Love your story. As someone who has struggled with weight since childhood I can relate. For me weight watchers was the solution. Love your great advice. Glad I found your blog.

    If you’re interested I’m having a Cooking Light Cookbook Giveaway this week 🙂

  5. I too am on a weight loss journey and have started a blog as well. I am on a quest to find and prepare low-calorie snacks. I hopped over here from another food blog. You have some really interesting and inspirational post here. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

      Your welcome! It’s nice having a blog because it keeps me accountable, weight loss journey can be hard, then maintaining I think is harder! I am going to head over and check out your blog!

      • I think another great thing about having a blog and being a part of the community of health blogs is how open people are with weight loss/gain. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and never had a lot of people to talk to because people around me weren’t going through it or felt ashamed to admit guilt over gaining a few pounds or that they secretly knew all the over exercise was actually a bad thing. It can be very isolating and reading other people’s journeys is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story!

        • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

          Hi Katie,

          I know what you mean bout struggling through weight loss/gain. My Husband is super skinny and my step-daughter is thin too and they don’t understand the issues of weight. For me, weight can come on pretty quick. I will always be one of those people that has to watch there weight, I just can’t eat anything and not gain weight. It’s a struggle. I drive my family crazy sometimes, when we go out I say no, can’t eat that, thats to fattening, no thanks I don’t need fries, ect… and than I have my Husband who says your fine, enjoy it, eat it. Than I do than I feel horribly guilty. Sometimes we have to know to let go that we are not all perfect. The main reason I started my blog was for support. If I opened up and put it out there, than I feel accountable for my actions and I wanted people to know they aren’t alone. Thanks for leaving a comment, today I was actually feeling kind of bad, but you made me feel better. Take care of yourself and please feel free to stop by anytime. – Jennifer

  6. Congrats on your transformation! You should feel very proud of yourself to have come so far and to have gotten to the point where you can listen to your stomach. Surprisingly, that simple communication with our body is something that so many of us have trained ourselves to not pay any attention to. After suffering with an eating disorder for about 15 years, I got to the point where I didn’t even know what it felt like to be hungry anymore! I had to really work to “hear” that signal. And you’re right, counting calories can be an obsession that can take over your life and your thoughts, so I think it’s awesome that you have cut back from that and are just listening to your wants and needs and not freaking out over a piece of cake.
    You’re awesome, and I’m proud of you!! Keep up the amazing work!

    • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It means alot to me. Sometimes this healthy living is hard, but so worth it in the end.

  7. I am so proud of you!!! This is a really inspirational story. Losing the weight *is* possible. I went through a lot of weight issues (both on the too low and too high end) in high school and my first year of college. I feel like I’ve finally got to a decent place, but I really need to watch what I eat more and exercise!! My walks to and from class (20 min each way) are good but definitely not enough. I have a few JM movies I should pull out though..after reading what you said about her metabolism one it reminded me of how hard they are.
    I think I digressed somewhere along the way….but in the end – great job!! I hope other people can be inspired by what you have experienced.

  8. I loved reading your weight loss history. I’ve been struggling since my childhood with my weight and I still continue to struggle with it. I also used sparks people back in the day and have recently began counting my points. I’ve been able to drop 10 pounds but I’ve been stuck for the past month. It’s been a frustrating journey but I continue to stay focused. I like the tips that you have shared. I truly believe in moderation. I don’t like giving up a certain food item. Thanks again for your tips! If you have anymore please share 🙂

  9. emi reiner says

    Thanks for sharing your very personal story. I know others who are in the same situation you were once in and they struggle, I see it. I wish they could read this and feel inspired. I’m inspired!

  10. Hi Jennifer, I found your blog via Eats Well With Others. What a great story! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog entries 🙂

  11. Hi!
    I found your blog through the Nutrition Blog Network and I feel like I’m reading the story of my own life. I have recently lost 45lbs but am KILLING myself over those last 10 lbs just like you were. I literally have felt like it was hopeless and that there is no way those pounds are coming off. I am also limited to 1200 calories a day but am going to try raising my daily calorie intake to see if that helps! Your story gave me so much hope that I can beat these last 10 lbs and your weight loss tips were fantastic!

    • I’m glad you found me! I never heard of Nutrition Blog Network. The last 10lbs are hard, but to be honest it’s even harder to keep it off. Personally I’m struggling with that now. If you working out I think 1200 calories isn’t enough calories. I would add a 100 more a day to see how you do with that. The body and weight is sucj a funny thing, you just have to try different things and see what works for you!! Great job on losing 45lbs! That is so awesome!! You should be so very proud of yourself. Stop by anytime and let me know how your progress is going!

  12. This is so inspiring! I’ve been stuck on that last 10-15 pounds for years.

    • Thanks Jen! When you get down to the last 10 – 15lbs., it’s so much harder to get it off. Sometimes I think when you can’t lose weight and your doing all the right things,it maybe because it’s your bodies way of tell you it’s at it’s happy weight. I just keep plugging away and see what happens. As a long as your exercising and eating right that all that counts because your doing something good for your body!

  13. Jen show can I get on the plan you used? I lost 43 lbs 2 yrs ago and I have gained half of it back. Please Help 🙁

    • I didn’t use a plan. I started with baby steps. I walked around the block everyday after dinner, and from there I started on portion control and then eating healthier. Right now, I try to work out 5 days a week with light walking on the weekends. It’s a lifestyle change. I have been able to pretty much stay the same weight after I lost weight. Eating is the key factor. What you see me post is what I eat. I try to have a variety of meals that are healthy and never boring. Check out my tip page, those are the rules I follow. Hey you lost 43lbs, meaning you can do it again. Really go slow, and start out with small steps. One month of walking around the block, then start measuring what you eat, then eat healthier. I don’t believe in giving up the foods I love I just eat smaller portions of it or have it as a treat once a week. For me bread is my favorite thing, so I have a hearty fat sandwich for dinner one night during the week, thats my treat! I wish you the best of luck, you know you can do it!!! I believe in you!!

  14. I love reading stories like yours. I’m on Weight watchers myself. It does become an obsession I guess, always thinking about what you’re going to eat and cook, but it works. Congratulations on sticking with it and thanks for sharing. It’s really good motivation for the rest of us! Jen

  15. Jennifer, I am a little different than you. I have always been a big girl and right now, I am near 200 pounds. I am about 5’3 and I’ve always had trouble losing weight. I’m actually very athletic. I love to play sports and I’m good at them, but I hate running. I also splurge a lot. it’s a bad habit of mine to snack when I’m bored. I’m a recent college student and eating healthy is difficult, not to mention exercise. since I live on the fourth floor, I try to take the stairs only. I’m pretty good about that. I have a slow metabolism and I have no sense of calorie counting. I’m desperate for help, but I need to concentrate on my studies. what advice can you give me?

    • Hi Isabella! Don’t be so hard on yourself. I found the main thing for me, is you have to want it. When I was in my 20’s I didn’t care so much, but as I got older (mid 30’s) my mind set changed. I recommend taking it in baby steps. Taking the stairs is the first step, that is perfect. Next time you go somewhere park further away. Need Starbucks? Walk there! Cut up some veggies and keep them near by when your bored. I have to do that or my hands go in the chip bag. I have a hard time because I have a super thin Husband who can eat anything and I can’t. Find some hummus that you like and dip veggies in it, or if your a chip person, buy some snack baggies and portion out your servings. Just take it slow and day by day. You can do it! Be positive and go slow!! Small changes now will be big ones in the future.

      Please note, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist, I am only speaking from my personal experience.

  16. I saw a post on pinterest for your pumpkin spice drink and started clicking around! Congratulations on your weight loss! I have just started working out regularly for the first time (just about) in my whole life. But what I’ve been learning slowly, even before I began the physical regimen, is how important it is to eat real food. Thanks to people around me who love food and their families health enough to really get informed about it, I’ve been seeing just how misinformed we are and how duped we can be by clever marketing that claims to be “healthy”. When I learned where skim milk comes from and how it’s made (and, for instance that it’s used to fatten pigs up) and that real dairy fats (in moderation) are linked to weight loss but “fat-free” items quite the opposite, I was stunned! Then I thought, of course! People were eating the real things long before heart disease and obesity ravaged our culture. When you start to learn about real nutrition instead of what we’ve been sold by industries, it can be a really great weight loss tool. And, I have to say thank you for using things like coconut milk in some of your recipes! I have a dairy intolerance and it’s nice to know that for the pumpkin spice recipe, at least, I wouldn’t have to tweak it myself!!! I look forward to reading more and trying some of your creations!

    • Hi Ashlee,

      Welcome to my blog! I do believe in trying to eat real food and I do try, key word is try to stay away from processed foods which I do most of the time. I didn’t know that about skim milk. I drink it, but not to much, just mainly in my morning coffee. It’s either that or coffeemate which is not healthy at all!! I just discovered coconut milk a few months ago and I love it!! It’s so creamy, and I try to incorporate it into my recipes. It may have more fat, but it’s a healthy fat that we all need!

      Glad you started to work out! It took me to my mid 30’s before I started to workout! Now I do it at least 5 times a week! You feel so much better about yourself and your doing something good!! I’m glad you have a family that supports your healthy eating! Sometimes it can be hard when they don’t!!! Keep up all the great work and keep educating yourself on a healthy lifestyle!

      Thank you again for stopping by, please stop by anytime!!

  17. All i can say is thank you thank you thank you!

    I’ve been so inspired by you, and reading this I might FINALLY be able to nip my calorie counting obsession in the bud. I’ve been counting my calories for every meal since about April of this year, and i have become, like you explained, obsessed. And i know it’s a problem, and i shouldn’t focus on that, but everytime i eat i just think of how many calories it is, and what I’ll have left over for my next meals. Reading your story really inspired me and starting today i’m going to start trying to NOT COUNT. I deleted the counting app off of my phone, and im giving it a go!

    So thank you ever so much, your story will hopefully help me out 🙂

    • Hi Kelly! Thank you so much! 🙂

      Calorie counting is going to be hard at first, but you can do it!! You know what you should and shouldn’t eat and the main thing is to listen to your body, when your hungry eat, when your not stop. I know it’s easier said then done!!! I’ll be honest, I’m on the calorie counting yo-yo! I stop counting, then I start back up. I’m off the counting right now, hopefully I can do it this time!!! Stop back and let me know how you are doing!!

      Have a wonderful weekend!!!


  18. These are fantastic tips, and now that I’m in my thirties, and have just recently started exercising again, I am finding it’s harder to lose weight than I thought. I think the whole “not eating enough” aspect is my problem! I am definitely going to give it a try! Good for you for taking the steps to make healthy changes in your life, and cheers to continued success!

  19. Thank you for sharing! Truly inspirational!

  20. Hi Jennifer,
    You have done very well!!!
    I am going to be 60 on Feb. 5th. I didn’t have a weight problem when I was young. I am 5’9″ and weigh 196 right now. I am build med. to large boned. I have lost some weight in the past, 15 to 20 lbs. But I go back to my normal eating always and feel so angry at myself. I eat when I am board or angry or stressed. I also have a fit husband and he is my food police, (not my idea). I have depression and really have a hard time in the winter. I have no energy to do anything. I have started to lose weight and do some excercise but always stop. I feel like a failure most of the time.
    I will not go buy clothes because I hate the way they look on me.!!! Help, do you have any ideas for me? I have never been on a blog before.

    • Don’t feel bad! Losing weight is hard! At least you have a Husband who is the food police! Mine tries forcing me to eat his fatty stuff and I have to restrain myself and say no, which is hard. The key is taking it step by step. I feel your pain! I tend to eat when I’m bored too and I am trying to break that habit! Just remember you are a strong woman and you can do it!!!! Start small! Go for a 10 minute walk, even march in place during commercials when watching tv, next thing you know you are getting in some exercise and maybe you can march for a whole show? Also, cut up some healthy veggies and grab those when you need to eat! Just think to yourself, you are doing this for you and you are worth it!!!

  21. Great inspiration for the rest of us Jennifer. Thanks for sharing all this info. xx

  22. Congratulations on your weight loss you have realy inspired me n great advice too

  23. wicked post, i recently lost quite a bit off weight in the same sort of way, your blog is very inspirational, i only have 10 pounds to go until i reach my goal weight 🙂

  24. Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation I needed to become laser focused to change. I followed a lifestyle challenge which pretty much is what you describe above. It does seem counter intuitive to eat more doesn’t it. Of course it’s what you eat more of that you need to watch 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your personal story Jennifer and once again congratulations on what you’ve achieved!! I love your blog name too btw 🙂

    • Hi Gary! Thank you for the nice comment, Sorry it took so long for me to reply. I understand about seeing pictures of yourself and it’s wonderful that it motivated you. For a lot of people it doesn’t. It didn’t for me for years. Until one day, I was digging in my drawer and I found a picture of me and I couldn’t believe my eyes! My family said it wasn’t me, well it was me! I recognize my shoes and handbag anywhere! I keep that picture on my fridge, and when the urge to eat hits, I look at it, breath and ask myself,am I really hungry?

      I want to say congratulations to you!!! It’s hard getting up at 5am to workout and you do it! That is fantastic!! Love that you changed your lifestyle, as you know I did the same thing. I feel so much better about myself and I imagine you do too! Thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s comments like yours that keeps me staying healthy!!

  25. Jennifer, you have given absolutely wonderful advice here. You get it! The only thing I would tell you is that while milk chocolate is not good for you, dark chocolate is (65% cacao or higher). The principles you outline are basically what I’ve been following, so I know what you say is accurate. The other thing I’ve learned is that one can have alcoholic beverages in moderation and still lose weight. I am certain that if you stick with the principles you’ve outlined, you will keep your weight off. Congratulations on a job well done!

    • I’m not a big milk chocolate fan, and I do love dark chocolate the best. I made different kind of chocolates and things for my family. My family and I eat so different, that I try to incorporates everyone’s taste buds. 🙂 Your right, moderation of anything and you can still lose weight. That took me a long time to learn that. It’s nice to know you can eat more than carrots and celery! Thank you so much Susan for the kind words!

  26. Hi thanks for shearing your nice story l will try n will follow it ……..:)

  27. Congratulations! I know that I can’t put off the working out and eating heathy foods. However, I just don’t know why I can’t sustain a diet.

    Anyway, all my best wishes for you.

  28. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  29. Hi! Thanks for the great advice and recipes! Do you have any advice on low calorie snacks or know where I could find that info?

  30. the perfect post for me to read today as I try to get back on track starting this week. I have a goal in mind but I’m not good with strict,regimented routines. I do better with smart/sensible/common sense choices – ie dont eat processed foods, portion control, stay away from fried/sugary foods etc. So glad I read this post, perfect motivation for a monday morning!

  31. Your story hits home, most likely with tons of people. We have found that cutting out fast food and processed, prepackaged stuff has made a huge difference. Just eat real food. That plus riding our bikes as much as possible has made watching our weight almost unnecessary.

  32. I have a hearty fat sandwich for dinner one night during the week, thats my treat! I wish you the best of luck, you know you can do it!!! I believe in you!!

  33. Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning Sparkpeople! Last week, I came across your website after visiting Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn and reading a woman’s recipe about pumpkin pie oatmeal. She listed your Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal recipe as a recommended recipe. I’ve been having a hard time taking off ten pounds–I’m in my forties and I can’t eat like I used to! I joined Sparkpeople a week ago and have been really liking it. I don’t feel so isolated, and the tracking tools are really great (and it’s free, too!). Thanks for introducing me to Sparkpeople, Jennifer!

    • Hi Karen! I love Sparkpeople! I have been using there tracking tools for 4 years now and love it! It really helps you keep on track. I get ya about weight! I know I can’t eat like I used to too! It’s hard, but well worth the effort! Thank you for your kind words and don’t worry you lose those last ten pounds! I’m working on 10 pounds myself! Just think positive, be true to yourself and know you can do it!!!

  34. Hello Jennifer,
    Thanks for sharing:-). I find myself in a difficult situation. I had a slip and fall accident back in 2009. My injury was misdiagnosed and the physical therapy made things worse. To the point were I cannot even do aqua therapy. I suffer with chronic pain and was always an energetic, healthy, exercise driven person. I used to weigh in at 102-105 lbs. Now due to inactivity I’m about 137lbs. I am so happy to have found your website. I need help, I am home all the time due to the fact that I cannot sit for long because of a coccyx injury. I am so unhappy with my weight gain. Do you have an encouraging word for me today? I’ve tried everything I know to do. My dr told me ” I’m stuck”. But I don’t want to give up. Looking forward to your reply.

  35. Jennifer,
    What a great article. Are you sure you weren’t writing about me? (LOL) But your 12 tips are fantastic. One of the biggest challenges I found was not starting a weight loss program, but sticking with it! Oh just this once I can have that donut or slice of cake, etc. One piece isn’t going to hurt right? Your article was not only very, very, helpful and informative, but also inspiring. Thank you for pointing out that you CAN achieve your goals! Thanks for a really great post, I enjoyed reading it!

  36. So excited to say that I have started cooking healthier meals from scratch and I am eating less and less processed junk every day and my family is slowly but surely following. My husband is a junk food junky and while I love the fact that he ‘loves me just the way you are’, sometimes I wish he would say, ‘lose some weight tubby’. No, not really. That would break my heart! I just need more motivation!!

    We just got a FREE treadmill though, and my goal is to walk at least 15 minutes a day (to start, I have a heart condition) and work my way up from there. And keep eating well. I don’t have a certain weight or size I want to get down to. That is just detrimental for me. I am changing my lifestyle. I want to get fit and healthy for the rest of my life and whatever size and weight that gets me to is just fine with me!

    I will be using your yummy recipes to get me there, though! And your encouraging words, too!! Thanks so much! You’re an inspiration!! 🙂 xo

    • Good for you Joanna! I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle too, sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always baby steps. Leading a healthy lifestyle is better than losing weight, that will come naturally and easily. I love that you don’t have a weight loss goal, because it’s really not about the weight it’s about feeling good and being healthy. I am so glad you stopped by my blog! Just remember you can do it and be proud of yourself!! You inspired me! Sometimes I need the motivation too and have a junk food Husband can be hard!!

  37. debbie perkins says

    love your site. very inspirational. hope i get email updates as i am still havent worked thru facebook yet.

  38. hey wow this is inspiring! im in my mid 20s and although have been slightly over weight here and there i usually stay within a BMI of 24-26. coming from a family that eats relatively healthy yet can eat what ever they want and still struggle to gain weight i am definitely the black sheep. i figured this was just my body since my parents have put me on diets since the age of 1 (doctors orders). This past February i decided to get fit for the summer after looking at a terrible photo of me on the beach and decided to count calories to see where i was going wrong. although i was eating my suggested calories a lot were bad (overdoing things with olive oil, cheese, salad dressing- all things i thought were good). so i recently decided to stick to a 80% clean plan, which is easy for me since i love my veggies. except cutting out oils and cheese made me realize i was slightly and mostly eating vegan 60-70% of the time. after losing 10 pounds i hit a plateau for a few months until i cut another 100 calories. as i am in health care i worry about enough nutrients, calcium, protein ect so i spoke to my doctor who told me to eat more! he sent me to both a dietitian and nutritionist who both told me not to worry as my BMI was now 22.8 and that calorie shouldn’t matter but i know theres something wrong. im not going to count calories for the rest of my life but i do believe it is important at beginning stages. im currently consuming 600 calories per day! i know its scary when i say it but its mostly raw veggies and im actually full but my energy level is still low so ive had to stop exercising as much. i now struggle to eat more without felling stuffed or bloated, did you have this issue too? was it hard to eat more and was it a gradual increasing of calories? and when you went from 900 to 1500+ did you gain weight initially with the added calories and then start losing or did you just start losing from where your current weight was?
    ps. officially signed up to SparkPeople after reading this 🙂

    • Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.

      I do want to tell you that I think it is great that you are on a weight loss journey and that you joined Sparks People. I have been with them for 5 years and I love it! It keeps me motivated! Your doing a great job and it is wonderful that you are eating clean and healthy, just remember that in life there are some not so great for you foods, but you should never deprive yourself. Everything in moderation, just be conscience of what your putting in your body!

      Thank you for the comment, if you ever need advice or support, just let me know! I am here for you!!

  39. Thanks for the tips. Really want to lose weight for the sake of being healthy and self confidence ♥

  40. Thank you for sharing your story and your advice! Very good advice! I don’t think you look gross above…I think you look happy. Never call yourself gross…its not a healthy thought. YOU are beautiful…your size doesn’t define you. I am soo proud of you though…taking such an interest in your health and habits and helping others, AND loosing weight and feeling better all around. What a beautiful thing!

  41. Nice article! 🙂 I complete agree that moderation is the key to remain fit. Eat and exercise. I can completely relate with your article as I am going through the same phase.. 🙂

  42. Hi Jennifer! I haven’t tried your recipes yet, but they look great! With the beginning of the new year, I am looking to make healthier choices, so I can hopefully lose and maintain the 15 pounds that have creeped up on me! Do you have a cookbook out? If not, I hope you will sometime in the near future!

  43. I feel happiness to read the content that you are posting.

  44. Wow I feel so liberated After reading this blog. I wasn’t a calorie counter at all but I used to starve myself towards the end of the day having the fear that I will gain cause the body doesn’t use much energy at the end of the day. so now I know that I have to eat and starving does the total opposite.

  45. Your story is amazing. Every fat person is not fat in childhood. The junk food and other oily food is reason for that. Our company provide the healthy food list and many type of instruction for fitness. Our organization provides the training as well as personal trainer. You can also join our member ship today.

  46. I can across your blog on pinterest and read your story and really related to it! Great work!!! I don’t know if you know anything about Beachbody or what a coach is but you would make an excellent one and I think you would lovery the many different home workouts it has to offer!!

  47. great article, was in need of a weight loss diet tips and encotrei your blog, very beautiful and informative reading had other article, I saved in my favorites, thanks

  48. Hi Jennifer, your story is a huge inspiration!

    I like the fact that you say you weren’t eating enough. This is where most people get a misunderstanding about losing weight is they think they should eat as little as possible!

    I also like the part when you said you stopped counting calories and “listened to your stomach”. I’m a big believer in listening to your intuition and following your “gut feeling” (pun intended ha ha) is a nice way to lose weight naturally.


  49. Sasha Cohen says

    Thank you for this advice! This is a great blog post. I have been struggling with personal issues that has affected my weight for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. I have been following her twitter for updates and advice due to following her advice I was able to sort through the personal issues and get on track with my weight loss.

  50. Thank you for providing such a great weight loss blog..this is what many people fail to understand what is important and what is not.. but this seems to be a great mind changer..i have a website that tells about preparing healthy meals on a budget.. Healthy Meals To Lose Weight On A Budget

  51. Very informative. I’m just now starting out on my weight loss journey, and have started a weight loss blog of my own. My entire family are overweight and it is a struggle dealing with them as I try to change my habits. Even harder because being around them in an environment where eating bad is easy to get away with makes me fall back. I am finding each time I go back home I end up binging.

  52. Thank you for all of your valuable information. You have helped me so much you don’t eaven know!!!!!!

  53. I really like your point about “Eating Breakfast” – It is the most important meal of the day which unfortunately some people give a miss.

  54. I really enjoy doing “Eating Breakfast” – it is the most important meal of the day that sadly some people miss.

  55. 8 month plateau.. I know exactly how that feels! So glad you kept on going, it was so worth it, you’re looking great!

  56. Your story was and will be inspiring to countless others and ALL of the advice that you give is great and makes perfect sense indeed. I too needed to lose weight, 100 lbs in all honesty and am getting there but you are right mate, the plateau stage is soooooooooooooo annoying!

  57. Hey!
    Thank you for sharing valuable blog. I have always been lazy to work out or put some effort to lose weight. But the story you just shared is really inspiring. Now will begin my weight loss journey and eventually share my experience will everyone out there.
      

  58. congratulations for the awesome story!

  59. Inspiring story! I have been working with a coach who has personally helped me and she has also gone through the same journey as you! It would be great if you had a chance to check her out ( )and what new ways she is helping others with their body image.

  60. I found a great story by Peanutbutter and Peppers, which definitely got me thinking and it is really inspiring for us.

  61. Inspiring!


    Courtney Bentley ||

  62. Hey
    Thank you for sharing your story.You are an inspiration to so many out there.Those who get disappointed easily should stay motivated.I will definitely follow your steps.

  63. raisefrequency1 says

    I think listening to our stomach is a great approach. In other words, being in tune with our bodies. Strength training is great.
    Thank you for sharing your experience of weight loss

  64. This article is being very motivating for me, thank you very much for the great content

  65. I was looking for something to motivate myself and I found your content, thank you very much for motivating me.

  66. Thank you for sharing! After losing weight, you look Smart too!

  67. Good article and incentive for those who want to lose weight.

  68. Awesome you did a great job.

  69. I think listening to our stomach is a great approach. In other words, being in tune with our bodies. Strength training is great. Thanks!

  70. Really inspired! Many many thanks for sharing with us.

    Reed Cooper

  71. You inspire me a lot, congratulations for the awesome story!

  72. Interesting blog about Weight Loss. Thank you so much for posting and sharing your Personal story. Looking forward for more great posts.

  73. Nice to read your weight loss story. Thanks for sharing the blog it’s is really motivational.

  74. Patty Davis says

    I found you through your recipe 3 ingredient tortellini with the spinach/cheese tortellini. Because of a serious back injury that effects my walking and exercise my husband bought me an above ground pool and have list over 110 pounds. I need to loose at least 50 more so I am thrilled I have found your site for healthier eating. Thank you

  75. Thanks for your story. It motivates me to continue to lose weight. I will apply your tips to my training process.

  76. Hi Jennifer! I just spent about an hour looking over your blog and I love it. I especially love your weight loss story. It’s very motivational and informative. I just opened a Yogurtland in Brentwood a few days ago. Our grand opening is July 8th and I would love it if you came. Yes there are a ton of toppings that are not the best health choice, but we also have a lot of fresh fruit and other toppings that make frozen yogurt a good dessert choice for those that are trying to keep it healthy but also have a sweet tooth. Let me know if you would like to come on the 8th and please feel free to bring friends or family! Hope to meet you soon!

    -Raina Currington

  77. I liked it! Thanks for share wity us =)

  78. Thank you for all of your valuable information. You have helped me so much you don’t eaven know!!!!!!

  79. Dr. Ashishbhanot says

    It is a nice post on weight loss.
    best weight loss specialist doctor

  80. Generally, you might work out every day, follow a strict and severe diet and still not lose your weight. The basic question in this case is how this is possible. The answer to this question can come in various forms. The first one is that you might be a comfort eater. Comfort eaters are the ones who keep on eating to overcome any sort of sadness or loneliness or in short to cope up with life. Hypnosisis an effective tool for permanent weigh loss.

  81. Loved this article, thanks alot for sharing this!

  82. It is great to find articles like yours. For the last 6 months I have been exercising and eating healthier thanks to a great nutritionist and an amazing hypnotist http://www.tryhypnosisnow.comin New York. The first month I lost 12 lbs, probably because my body was used to such unhealthy food. Thereafter I have lost an average of 6 lbs per month. I am very close to my goal weight and my next test will be to see how I maintain my healthy weight. Wish me luck!

  83. hello jennifer.
    Well done Jennifer. Inspirational. I also know from personal experience how hard it is to lose weight. It takes discipline to push through no matter what you’re feeling. For me it was getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning (Mon – Fri) to exercise but when I saw some photos of me while my wife and I were on holiday, that was all the motivation , that I need.. very fantastic

    thank alot jeniifer

    -idha Yuli-

  84. know How much walking to lose weight! walking is always good for health so Losing weight is not so difficult with proper guidance and discipline with Eboggler and know Best way to lose weight fast.

  85. I Love your blog – always inspiring and informative,looking forward to read more articles from this blog.

    Weight Loss Diet Reviews

  86. Thanks for sharing your personal story. i lost 67lbs in 3 months. I feel very free and fit now.

  87. Well done Jennifer. Inspirational weight loss story. I have just started my own journey and need to lose 50lbs. I will sure to try some of your recipes. Well done once more, Gavin

  88. Edgar Ramirez says


    There needs to be more people like you. I know too many people that give up soon after starting their quest to weight loss. What they do not seem to understand is that their expectations are being negatively influenced by the media promoting it. What I mean is, a number of the weight loss companies always show a male or a female with shredded bodies that imply that the customer will look the same way over night. The truth is, like Tony Horton said in his original P90X, “Rome was not built in a day and neither was your body”. People need to understand that true change will take weeks, months, and even years. A few years ago, I followed the original P90X program and was able to lose 25 pounds. I felt amazing, however, soon after I stopped the program, the weight came right back. In my personal situation, I may have lost the weigh too fast. I was eating small meals, but always seemed to feel hungry. I was depriving myself of what I liked, therefore when I stopped, all of my old eating habits came back. Your new technique is great and I hope more people read you post to inspire a healthier life style, thereby, helping to minimize the U.S. obesity problem. Thank you

  89. Your weight loss story is soo interesting. I also lost some wieght 4 years ago with UN diet , but as u said it was much harder to maintain this weight then loosing it. Now I need to start again some diet and I found this Keto diet. I think its interesting , but anyway wish me luck.. 🙂 And if someone is interested in KETO diet I found this amazing guide that can be helpful to u too. U can check it out on this link :

  90. Great story!

  91. Thank you for the information it is very valuable and this is the one that made you successful

  92. Love it very inspirational. Just keep it up what you are doing it will benefit you in a long run.

  93. Congratulations on the excellent story, it’s inspiring.

  94. Well done Jennifer. Inspirational weight loss story. The recipes are fantastic for anyone who would like to lose weight surely!

  95. Unbelievable! You inspire me a lot, congratulations for the awesome story!

  96. Such an inspirational story, Jennifer! The ones in the comments section too. I see that there are so many people are still struggling in dealing with weight management. So I have something for you guys. It’s red tea. Red tea reduces stress, aids in weight management because it burns fat passively, cleanses the body, and control cravings so you’ll get rid of the unnecessary calories. If you’re interested, I recommend this one: 🙂

  97. Awesome Blog! Thanks for sharing..

  98. Great story and really wonderful tips you have share with us. Thanks.

  99. damn it!!!
    Reading your story seems like it’s me. I suffer from these same problems

  100. I loved your article. Inspired me. I’m still fighting with the scales. When I put on a pair of jeans and I need to lie down on the bed to close the zipper, I get so bad.

  101. I got a lot of nicknames at school because I was fat. I’ve done it myself. I almost got sick and came back all over again. Thanks for sharing your story.

  102. Your story is an inspiration. Want, will, desire and decision to lose weight. I lost 30 kg.

  103. Congratulations! I did my weight loss program in San francisco with Ezcare Medical Clinic, check them out

  104. What to eat to lose weight is a sticky subject because there are so many diets on the market right now. You must use a diet that helps you eat the best food, and you need a diet that is tailored to your body. Someone who plans to lose weight must have a diet that fits into their exercise routine, and they must be willing to eat things that they might not have eaten before.

  105. Hello Jennifer! I’m Brazilian and I loved your blog. Very inspiring your story. It motivated me to lose weight, thank you very much.

  106. I’m Brazilian and I loved your blog. Very inspiring your story. It motivated me to lose weight, thank you very much.

  107. Hi, thank you for sharing this article. That was awesome. This article help me a lot. I’ve bookmarked this site 🙂

  108. Another weight loss story can be a big plus motivation to plus size people to be more motivate in losing some weight. This is not solely to avoid the judgement of other people but it is to avoid some severe diseases that may hit us once we don’t manage to change our lifestyle to a healthy one.

  109. love this post! awesome job! thanks for the share.

  110. I was more than happy to discover this site.

  111. Wooooww Thnak you !!!

  112. beautiful story of overcoming, I loved your text.

  113. Hi ! That’s a very inspiring story. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned. I especially agree with Tip #5 Read Labels. When going for any kind of “packed” food, we should avoid high sugar, artificial sweeteners, high sodium and low fiber foods. Thanks

  114. Amazing!! Thank you for sharing you history! Helped me a lot.

  115. Wow, superb from you! Glad that i found your site today. I’ll bookmark your website and come back soon. Btw, how do i get more information about this? vien danke!

  116. wow, that’s very inspiring. i think i must suggest this page to my friend

  117. Thanks very much for sharing with me. I feel and new awakening to be able too make my life changes happen! Peace and Love

  118. This story is very inspiring, thanks for sharing..

  119. This is a nice blog on weight loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  120. This is a nice blog on weight loss. Thank you for sharing this topic and I’ll be thankful to you for give me this opportunity to give my views on this .Keep writing.

  121. I am so obsessed with food but every time I look in the mirror it makes me feel so disappointed on myself. I did want lose weight but can’t help to eat and eat more food, I already use all kinds of method on diet like keto, vegetarian, vegan etc. but it won’t work because of my eagerness to eat foods. So, I began to research what can help me on losing my weight and to lose appetite and I saw this A report from The American Journal of Medicine explains that regular marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and smaller waist circumference. Cbd and thc are also new to me and I don’t even smoke. Alternatively, they’ve also found new ways to infuse cannabis on food and beverages. If this is true I can’t find any solid conclusive evidence that speaks to its efficacy. Any personal experience or testimonial would be highly appreciated. Thanks

  122. Tinakimberly says

    I am on my own weight- loss journey . I have been debating on purchasing a product that i came across here
    I wanted to know if anyone has tried it or has heard of it. I want to know if it is legit before i go wasting my time or money on this product! Honest opinions please and thanks

  123. The results are really incredibles,I have combined this tips with that method and the results are really good

  124. Como Fazer Sabonete Artesanal says

    This is real a great story, thanks for inspiring me to lose weight!

  125. Thank you for sharing this great information.


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