November 18, 2009

My Weight Loss Story { Before & After Photos }

Some of you have noticed (and thank you so much for your sweet comments! :)) that Kevin and I have lost some weight recently…

I have been putting off writing this post because I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging or fishing for compliments… But I wanted to share my story, because before all this, I really wanted to lose weight and I just didn’t think I could do it. But now that I know I can and know how to do it, if sharing how I did it helps just one person, it’ll totally make it worth putting it all out there! :)

I had been wanting to lose some weight recently- these past couple of years I put on a few “happily married” pounds! :) But I just honestly had no clue how to really lose weight.

I had always heard platitudes of simply “Diet and exercise!” – but it just seemed so overwhelming without the details, especially since I’d never done it before!

See, I tried dieting, but I really wasn’t good at anything too restrictive. I hated feeling like I was depriving myself. I knew I wouldn’t stick with something like that. Two years ago, I really got serious. I did the Couch to 5K program. I went from completely sedentary to walking and then eventually running a 5K 3-4 days a week. I cut back my calories (although apparently not enough, because I didn’t really know how much to cut) and cut back on sweets, too. I was really, really good for the full program- 8 weeks.

And I didn’t lose a single pound.

I didn’t lose any inches either, for what it’s worth.

After that, I pretty much gave up. I figured if I couldn’t lose weight by “diet and exercise!” – then I felt like I just couldn’t do it on my own!

Recently I was talking with a couple of my friends and they were having success with Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig type diets- the kind where they send you the food. Both of them saw results on the scale the very first week! And I would read updates on their blogs and they were consistently losing weight every week.

After my previous experience of trying it on my own and not losing a single pound- even after 8 weeks, I really thought the only way I could lose weight was through a program that sent you food.

I wasn’t quite ready to do something like that though. Mostly because they were so expensive! I didn’t want to spend that kind of money. But also because I had Kevin to think about- I didn’t want to leave him to fend for himself while I was dieting, but I also didn’t want to cook dinner for him and not be able to eat it either! :) And also I was a little worried about the taste- and could I really eat boxed food only for that long?? And how would I survive in the “real world” with real food? Would I really learn anything?

Then someone said something about the Nutrisystem diet that really stuck with me.

She said the Nutrisystem diet was a “1200 calories per day diet. Nothing more to see here.Nothing more to see here – that really stuck with me. I don’t know, did I really think the boxed diet foods they sent you were super specially formulated to help you lose weight?? :laugh: Or something?? lol. I’m not sure. :)

About this time the new Healthy Choice commercials (with Julia Louis Dreyfus) were airing *all the time*. So I thought, hey, if I really wanted to give one of these type diets a try, I could do it myself with Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine foods, etc. Just to see if it would really work. This is something I can do- I could try it for one week. I can keep track of my calories. I didn’t know if I had the discipline to count/track my calories, but having the frozen meals would help and it would only be for a week. I can do this. It will be worth it if actually works!

So the first week, here’s what I did…

Breakfast – 200 calories – I had my regular cereal that I always ate for breakfast, Oat Cluster Cheerios Crunch. (Won’t be giving that up any time soon! ;)) But this time I used a measuring scoop for the cereal and milk (3/4 cup of cereal and 3/4 cup 2% milk) so I knew exactly how many calories I was getting.

Lunch – 300-400 calories – For lunch I would have a frozen “diet” meal, like Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, or Smart Ones. There were a ton of Smart Ones meals that I really liked! :) I also really like the Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Pizza. Or sometimes I would just have another bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit. If it was one of those days. ;)

Dinner – 400-600 calories – Dinner would be harder, I thought. I still wanted to be able to cook dinner for us at night- but what a PAIN it would be to figure out the calories in every single ingredient I used, add them all up, divide it by the number of servings the dish made, BLAH! I would never have the patience to do all that!! But then I found a tool called Recipe Analysis at All I had to do was copy and paste my recipe into the site, put in the number of servings it makes and it calculates everything! It told me exactly how many calories were in a serving- and having to put in the number of servings helped me know how much to put on my plate!

Dessert/Snacks – 200 calories – I often had extra calories left over for dessert or an afternoon snack. There are a whole range of *delicious* single-serving sized desserts and treats out there that I had *no* clue about!! :) I hate to even call these desserts “low calorie” or “diet” because they do *not* taste that way. At all. They are delicious. My absolutely favorite? Weight Watcher’s Fudge Brownie Ice Cream. Oh my- It comes in a single serving 6oz cup- and it is *extremely* decadent and filling. And guess what. Only 140 calories. Oh yeah. Other favorites are Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwiches (BIG sandwich for only 140 calories), Weight Watcher’s Giant Latte Bars (huge ice cream bar, tastes better than anything at Starbucks, and only 90 calories), and Weight Watcher’s Giant Cookies & Cream Bar (kinda like a Nestle Crunch Bar, 140 calories). And best of all, I could find it all at my regular grocery store (Kroger or Publix).

So now I could pretty easily figure out exactly how many calories I was eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts/snacks.

For a week I stuck to the whole 1200 calories a day thing. I tracked my calories on so I wouldn’t lose count during the day.

At the end of the first week I had lost 2.2 lbs.

I had *never* seen results like that before with anything else I’d tried. Seeing those results on the scale at the end of the week was enough encouragement for me to stick with it!

After 11 weeks, I had lost 20 lbs. And to date, I have lost a total 30 pounds.

I went from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6.

It’s been about 5.5 months since I started- Kevin joined in about 9 weeks ago and eats 1500-1600 calories a day. He’s lost 23 lbs so far! :) It’s really nice to have a calorie counting partner, and I’m so proud of the healthy choices he’s making- he’s started running at the gym at work during his lunch hour and ordering vegetables as side items instead of fries when he eats lunch at the cafeteria.

Some other things I did that I think helped make a difference?

The first, and probably most important thing- I switched to drinking only water. Since June 1st, I have had nothing to drink but water. Honestly, this was probably the hardest thing I did. I mean really, does anyone really ENJOY drinking tons of water?? I know I didn’t. It took probably 6-8 weeks before I didn’t reach over for my glass of water and wish it was something else! But now I can honestly say that I don’t miss it at all- and I actually crave water now! I feel healthier now that I’m drinking more water, and I have gotten several compliments on my skin lately- I didn’t really put two and two together until someone mentioned that it might be because of all the water I’m drinking now. But maybe so!

Another thing- and I don’t think this has anything to do with my weight loss, but it certainly has made me feel tons better- I started taking a multi-vitamin. Now I absolutely hate, hate, hate taking pills. Especially those giant horse pills they call multi-vitamins. And especially every day! Won’t do it. So what’s a girl to do? I found One-A-Day Vita Craves! :) They’re like fruit snacks!! Now the name is deceiving because you actually get to eat 2 of them a day (yes, I said *get* :)). And I have to say… They’re delicious! :blush: They taste like the sweet, chewy fruit snacks of my youth. :) My favorite is the sour gummies. I just keep the bottle on the table and take them after dinner so I don’t forget. But I wouldn’t forget because I actually really look forward to taking them every day! lol! It’s like a little sour fruit snack! lol! And I can definitely tell- they have made a huge difference. Everyone has noticed how much more *energy* I have now!

And one other thing I changed- and this one my doctor got on me about doing- I started eating *more* during the day and *less* at night. I used to be really bad about getting busy during the day and forgetting to eat- and then eating all my calories at night. “Running on empty all day, then filling the tank up before putting it in the garage at night” as my doctor put it. It was hard at first because I am usually not hungry *at all* first thing in the morning. But now I try to balance my calories throughout the day and not eat anything within 4 hours of going to bed- and I’ve noticed that now I am hungry first thing in the morning and it’s easier to get more calories in during the day now! :)

What’s been so great about doing it this way is that it’s something I can do myself- and anyone can do it. And it’s FREE! :) It doesn’t cost a thing. And I still get to eat all the foods I enjoy. We spent a week at the beach this summer and I ate what I wanted. It was indulgent and delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The difference this time was that the “free for all” eating ended when I got home- and the next day I was right back on track. I am counting calories, but I’m still happy and able to enjoy myself without feeling deprived. I give myself one “cheat” meal a week- if Kevin and I want to go out to a new restaurant, or have dinner with friends, or have company over and make all those ridiculously sinful desserts you’ve been seeing me post about… :) It’s okay- I don’t stress out about it, or worry about the calories. All those things I’ve posted, I’ve been able have! It’s definitely not an every day or even an every week thing- but after counting calories and not cheating all week, it’s okay (and even good!) to give yourself a little reward. ;)

Now here are the obligatory before & after pics. ;)


25 lbs weight loss before and after pictures


30 lb weight loss Before and After pics - Face

If you have any questions about what I did, please don’t hesitate to ask- I’d love to help in any way I can. :)

Edited to Add: Check out comments #23 and #117 for some of my answers to your questions! :)

Thanks so much for looking!

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See More Posts About: My Weight Loss Story


Natalie November 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Darn girl…you are looking so good! :)
Ive lost a total of 45 lbs just by making better food choices got another 45 before I get all excited…but good job!!! You look so happy too!!!


jen@odbt November 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Wow! You look amazing. I am so inspired that you did this. I definitely need to get on a program and this seems easy enough. Can I start after the holidays? ;)


Despina November 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Congratulations! You look really good! It’s impressive, you are so beautiful, you “shinε”, you look fab!
I wish I could do it too…
Last year I read a book by Zoe Harcombe, it’s called “Why Do You Overeat? When all you want is to be slim”. The writer says that sugar is our No 1 enemy, we are actually addicted to it. And she also says that counting calories is wrong. You can take a look at her site if you want:
I’m pretty confused, I don’t know what to do… I don’t feel ready to follow a strict diet. But, in order to make the first step, I gave up sweets until xmas. Though decision to make!


Gabi November 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

You look amazing, Amanda!! congrats! :)


EmilyE November 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm

What an awesome accomplishment! Way to go, you look great. I just want to thank you for your tutorials. I have been able to personalize my blog thanks to your help. PS my sister graduated from Auburn and now teaches in Phenix City AL…War Eagle!


Katie November 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I’ve been a follower of your blog for a while now, but this is my first time commenting! You look great! That is something I could easily do when I am done with my 2nd baby! Thanks for the inspiration!


Dorothy November 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Wow Amanda, that’s amazing! Congratulations :) This might inspire me to start counting those calories, ’cause I could sure stand to lose 30+ pounds!


TeresaZ November 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Congratulations! You look fabulous (and I’m sure the outside glow is just a reflection of how you feel on the inside). You’re an inspiration!

Followed you from a friend’s blog and am glad I found you! Thanks for your help, tips, and freebies. You have a lovely family (including your little “kiddos”). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


emilyjpaterson November 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I appreciate you posting this! It really does make it sound more simple. And I did notice you losing weight, but I didn’t want to comment in case it came across as offensive as though you needed to lose any weight at all.

You look beautiful – before and after. Lots of tips for me to take home too :)


snarflemarfle November 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm

WOW! Congratulations to you! I really need to lose a few pounds (30 would be great!) but I always seem to sabotage myself. I really need to just throw out everything that I don’t really need (like the fully frosted animal cookies in the cabinet). I want to lose weight, but apparently I don’t *want* it enough! Thanks for the inspiration!!


Rebecca November 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Amanda, thank you for such a detailed description of what has made you successful! This is so do-able. And I have exactly 30 pounds to lose, as well! You look awesome. Such an inspiration :)


courtney b November 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

good for you!!!! you look amazing!!!


Laura November 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Wow you look awesome! Great Job what an accomplishment!!!


Janet November 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Congratulations, what a great story! This is the way I want to lose weight! Just eating regular food, in moderation and exercising! Good for you! You should feel as proud as you look!!!


Kim November 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Amanda, you look AMAZING! Congratulations to you on the sweet success brought on by all of your hard work. You are an inspiration. :)


Erin November 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Are you still exercising as well or are all 30 pounds just from the 1200 calorie diet?

You look FABULOUS.


Heather November 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm

you go girl! I really want to lose weight too! I appreciate the tips. I can definitely use them! Thanks for sharing. You look amazing!!!!


Monica November 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Just want to say You look GREAT! Keep it up!


Terri November 18, 2009 at 4:51 pm

I am also a long time reader. You and I have exchanged a few emails back and forth. (about the rag quilts!) This is REALLY motivating to me because you and I are built very similarly and I also have been struggling for a few years. I am ready to print your blog entry and hang it on my fridge. Can I ask you ONE question though? What are your thoughts on exercise? Did you exercise at all? Just curious.

Thanks for sharing your story. You look amazing!


Ronda Simpson November 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

WOW!! Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is very inspiring and encouraging! I did notice from your photos that you had lost, and you look GREAT!!! Huge congrats to you!


theresa November 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Congrats! You look amazing, as always! :)
Thank you for posting a do-able diet that anyone can understand, and that doesn’t involve meetings, dues or food delivered to your door!


Jennifer U November 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Amanda – I was one of those Jenny Craig girls. I lost 50 lbs in 2007 and promptly got pregnant with twins! I’ve gained a *lot* of weight since they were born and I’ve recently been thinking about going back to Jenny Craig. However, I just could not justify the expense. Your plan sounds absolutely doable and a great alternative to Jenny Craig.

One thing I did learn while on the Jenny plan was to use vegetables when you need a snack. My favorite snack was carrots, celery and salsa!

You’ve inspired me. Thank you!


Amanda November 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Hey Terri! :)

I did not really follow a regimented exercise program- I do have the dogs, so I take them outside to play, or go for walks and hikes- and I also have a stationary bike that I like to ride while watching TV. I also think Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD is awesome! She will kick your fanny! :) We also have Wii Fit (love the yoga and hula hoop game!) and and Wii EA Active.. But I do credit the weight loss more to my diet changes rather than the exercise- cause I had been doing that all along! :)


April Driggers August 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I’ve had three of my doctors tell me the key to weight loss is NOT exercise but reduced calories. My ob-gyn even went so far as to say, you can spend an hour on the elliptical machine and burn enough calories to make up for a single serving bag of chips. (we both just chuckled) and he said it is all about calorie reduction!

Good for you! I will say that I did the Jenny Craig thing and it works… and I saved my menus and I’m about to embark on a 25 pound weight loss now on my own basically doing exactly what you’re doing. :) Wish me luck! You look fantastic, by the way! :)

Brandi November 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Good for you Amanda! You look incredible ;)


Lea November 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Way to go Amanda! So enjoyed this blog. I could use to loose about 5 pounds and think your suggestion is about the best I’ve heard of. Blessings to you this Thanksgiving season!


Cindy Davis November 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Way to go! You look great and you have inspired me. I am a VERY busy “stay-at-home” (never at home) mom to three kids and an extremely busy husband. I have gradually put on quite a bit of weight over the last few years. I have had a terrible time trying to lose it. I was going to a gym and working really hard, but losing very little. I am going to try what you did. I need something that I can fit into my very crazy, busy life. What a blessing that you sent this out! Thanks so much for sharing. Love your blog!!!!


Emmy November 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

So so good for you! You truly look great. Good for you for sticking with it.


Adela Webb November 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm

First off, I want to say congratulations! I think this is truly amazing! I am very glad you shared this. There was a lot that I actually learned from this blog post. You look truly amazing! I am fortunately thin, but unfortunately not that healthy. This has inspired me to talk to my hubby as well and become more of a healthier couple :) Thanks for sharing hon! I look forward to many more posts!


Cheryl November 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Thank you for the inspiration! I know it is all about diet and exercise but sometimes when those cravings hit, it is hard to remember. Until they invent that “magic pill” we just have to use some common sense. Thank you again – keep it up! (or should I say off) :)


Barb November 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss (Kevin too). Losing weight is a hard thing to do!


Alyssa November 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm

WOW! Great job! Way to go, you have inspired me to get motivated and get healthy!!! It just goes to show you don’t have to be on a “program” to lose the weight! Thanks!


Lori H. November 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Mandy, you look awesome! You have inspired me!


Laura November 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Awesome job! I think I might give it a go after the holidays :)


Olive Tree November 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

WOW! Congratulations! I’m naturally a “skinny mini” but you’ve motivated me to drink more water for my skin (sometimes being a teenager is awful). Thanks, Amanda… your blog never fails to amaze!


Terri November 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Amanda, you are awesome! I’m starting tomorrow. I may (MAY!) even take a before photo. If I could even get down 5 lbs by Christmas, I would be thrilled! Thanks for the inspiration Sister!


Jamie H November 18, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Impressive! I’m working on a few challenges with some blogger friends of mine. I’ve lost 6 lbs in the last 8 weeks! I’ve gone back to my doctor prescribed glucose regulation diet to help with my hypoglycemia and I’ve started to exercise. It’s amazing how much better I feel just by eating the way I’m suppose to and by exercising!
Water intake…still working on that one. Heard it makes a HUGE difference though!


Melissa November 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm

That is great Amanda. I bet you crave the water now (that is what happened to me). I did Weight Watchers and went from an 18 to a 2 (was a 0 when I started dating my husband…guess that was a shocker for him — hee hee). Kept it off for over 7 years… I recently gained 15-20 lbs. back — sign — but, will get back on it soon… don’t want to go back!!! Thanks for sharing


Nancy November 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Amanda – you look wonderful. I’ve recently lost 8 lbs but kind of stopped when things got busy with the kids. I’ve been trying to get going again. Thanks for the inspiration.


Tamara Bennett November 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Wow! You look fabulous! A 4/6! That’s amazing! I’m a 12/14 now and I would love to be a 6/8. That’s what I was about 10 years ago (in high school). I’ve done W.Watchers, and its really easy to follow but hard if you aren’t going to the meetings. I may try to get back into that. It makes counting calories so much easier. Thanks for the motivation! Keep up the great work!



michelle November 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm

You really do look great. I am a lurker who
Had to come out of lurking to say congrats!!


Lisa J. November 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Hey Amanda! I think this might JUST be the *kick in the butt* that I needed! I have looked at the same number on the scale for the last two years and thought, “you know, I really need to get on a diet”. I think I just need to start paying attention to what I am doing and this made it so simple! I think it is something we all know – but just needed someone to remind us that it can be done! I have to admit when I started reading the post I was thinking, “oh sure, what’d she have to lose 5 pounds?” I was surprised you even HAD 30 pounds to lose, but you look GREAT! You look so happy and healthy. I have some special days coming up early next year, and I have time to get on this before those arrive! (and I have 30 pounds to lose – twice!)

Thanks again for your AMAZING blog, I think we ALL feel like we know you and you are a great friend! We just LOVE you and all the creative spirit and energy you share with all of us!

Thanks for being awesome!

Lisa J.


Kate February 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Lisa put this so well! Amanda, you make it seem like we’re all dear chums chatting in your living room! Such a gracious hostess, even from afar.

Shirley Larsen November 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

You look great! Congrats!! You looked wonderful before, too!!


rachel in Cali. November 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Girl… you have inspired me!!
Thank you!!


Brandi November 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Amanda you have done a great job! You look fantastic! :o)


laura b. November 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Oh my goodness you are looking fabulous!!! This is so awesome and I really think I’m going to give it a go when hubby deploys after the holidays! Hopefully he will come home to a svelte new wife!! Thank you for sharing this amazing and inspiring story!!


Lauren Elizabeth November 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Well, I have to say first off that this is incredibly inspirational.
Thank you for sharing this with us!
Second, though… I have always drank only water (well, here and there maybe some chocolate soy milk or apple juice) but since I was little, I’ve always craved water. Growing up, I remember my friends HATING me because I NEVER broke out haha. :)
I really do appreciate you sharing this with us. :)
I can’t quite do anything like this at the moment, as I’m 28 weeks pregnant, but I intend to after my little man is born.
I hope to hear you post more about your journey? :)
Thanks again,


Candice S. November 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Amanada, I must say….you really amaze me. You always seem to make sense, you’re so methodical in a very simple and practical way! I lost my job a year or so ago (and I am still unemployed! UGH! HELP!) and in that time, I have gained the 30 pounds that you lost. It’s crazy! I have NEVER EVER EVER had a problem with weight. I, too, was a size 4/6 and now I am in a 10/12. I find myself uncomfortable in many ways… going from being tiny to being “bigger” affects so many things. What I would like to comment on is the “Before and After” shots of your face!!!! Wow! You’re a beautiful girl no matter what, but let me tell you, losing the 30 pounds has made you look a lot younger (and you looked young before!!)!

You always, always offer me inspiration and today you’ve offered me information that is priceless and very doable! I see all the cute skinny clothes in my closet and I just cringe everytime I have to grab the “bigger” stuff. I have been depressed, I have isolated myself, and as I said, I physically feel uncomfortable.

Now, if anyone were to see me, they’d say “OH you don’t need to lose 1 pound!” But I am 5’9″ and I can hide it very well….

Anyway, thank you so much, I feel inspired and I actually got a little teary-eyed thinking about how I’ve let so many things “go” since I lost my job. It’s like I lost myself…me….I don’t even know who I am anymore, but I am determined to “find” my way back to “Me.”

Thank you, girl!


creole wisdom November 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I was going to write you a little e-mail to tell you that you look fantastic, but I didn’t want to be awkward, you know?

Thanks for all your great tips.

I think everyone is different. For me, it’s been learning to cut back from being out of control in college: you know, eating pizza at 2am.

I try to work out 3 times a week and don’t eat after 8pm. That has helped.

But I might take some of your tips into action- thanks for the links, too.



Tracy November 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Thank you for sharing!! That is very inspiring! You look great, feel great, and it’s not because of anything you had to go out and buy that is the latest fad on weight loss. I do wonder though, what did you drink before switching over to water entirely? I drink a lot of water but I can’t imagine going without coffee! (gasp!)


Courtney November 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your weight loss. It is so hard to do it on you own, but your specifics really create a light at the end of the tunnel.

I may just get off my butt ;) Thanks again! Oh, and CONGRATS!


Emily B. November 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I am totally inspired! Absolutely AMAZING!! You look fantastic. I started something similar to this but I let it slip by. I stuck with it for about a week and a half and then just went back to my normal routine. I know I don’t need to lose a ton of weight but you know how it is to feel good about yourself, especially when you are shopping for size 4/6 pants!! That’s my goal.

Thank you for this. I am going to the store after work and I am buying those VitaCraves! Thank you & Congratulations!!!

Emily :o)


1LuvnMama November 18, 2009 at 6:05 pm

U look amazing! You do realize that weight is something you don’t talk about especially with women! HE, HE! It’s great that you decided to lose the weight but also get fit and healthy too! Let me tell you, just wait till the ‘kids’ come! For some, the weight is harder to lose and for others it’s not that hard.

I can give you my secret for weight loss . . . breastfeeding! Oh, and when the second child comes along, see if you have time to eat for yourself! Plus, running after them too! I know it’s not the best diet, but it works for me! Congrats on your JOURNEY!


Danielle November 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm

You go, girly! And Kevin, too! You look amazing!


Glenda Johnson November 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Oh my goodness! Wow! You look awesome…way to go. Thanks for the inspiration. I just joined WW a few weeks ago and trying to keep up with what I’m eating. Congratulations!!


Andrea November 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Wow…you really motivated me! One question though, regarding your water intake…is it just straight-up water or do you mix it with Crystal Light or something? I love my Diet Coke, but I am trying to switch to water…what worked for you in this area?



christina November 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

congrats!! you look great!!


Becky November 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Congrats to both of you on your weight loss. I was thinking in your last pics that you both had lost weight but didn’t want to ask. Thanks so much for your tips. You can never get too many tips on weight loss. I had lost 50 lbs a few years ago but it’s been creeping back on me little by little and now I’ve gained 25 lbs back so I really need to get on the ball again and get serious about losing not only for my figure but for my health. So any tips you want to share would be great. Thanks again and Congrats :D


Lillian November 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

WOW! What a great, inspiring post! You not only look YOUNGER, but you look radiant! I have been trying off and on too, but with three kids to feed, it’s often hard to do. I have cut out fast food for the past three months (yay!) and cut WAY back on diet soda. That alone has helped, I think! I may have to try getting pre-made foods to try to help. We also eat a llot of fresh raw fruits and veg, and steamed when possible. I’ll print out your article for motivation! Thanks for sahring!


Kristi November 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm

First I want to say Congratulations!! I thought you looked just fine before, but now you look like an even better version of yourself! It’s amazing how much different one’s face looks after losing weight too, that’s where I first noticed it when looking at your pictures.

Second, this is my first post on your site and I really wanted to say thank you for posting how you have lost the weight. I’m just starting my own personal weight loss journey after being really unhappy about how I look, and the “diet and exercise” mantra has not been working very well for me either. This is something that I think will be much easier for me to stick to, and it’s so great to know from someone’s personal experience that it really does work!! You’ve really inspired me to get going on this plan and I am anxious to see how it works for me.

So thank you again for generously sharing your success story, and you deserve to brag about it!! :)


Randa Pospisil November 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Congrats to you and your hubby! Your posting this will definitely motivate many people, I’m sure! If people will stop looking for the “magic pill” and just make healthier choices their body will thank them for it! Choosing water over chemical-laden diet sodas was one of the best things you did. Just remember to not rely on prepackaged food as you trek on! Lots of processed ingredients. Your body knows how to utilize fresh fruits/veggies/etc. (Sorry, the nurse in me took over my post!! :) Best wishes on maintaining your health!


Cathy November 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Just had my SEVENTH child 5 weeks ago and have about 25 pounds I’d like to shed. Thanks for the inspiration!!!


Denise November 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Way to go Amanda! You look fabulous!


Hilda D Tovar November 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I have your original problem. I exercise at the gym then go to water aerobics. I feel better after exercising but no change in weight. Your method is worth a try. I’m starting after grocery shopping tomorrow. I will send you results. Congratulations on your success. You look and feel great.


Elizabeth November 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I wish you would post some new recipes that helped you lose the weight! (Ones that include amount of calories?) I LOVE the recipes you have on your site, but they aren’t exactly diet-friendly! :) It would be very helpful


TenGone November 18, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Congrats on your weight loss! Very inspiring :)


debbie wyler November 18, 2009 at 6:50 pm

congratulations and thanks for sharing all those awesome tools and ideas! i was just trying to figure out an easier way to figure out the calories for some of my recipes. can’t wait to check out the calorie count website. :)


Melissa November 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Way to go Amanda! You look GORGEOUS!


Jessica R. November 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Congrats on your weight loss!! I know the feeling that comes with seeing results on the scale. I have gained alot of my weight back simply bc of no motivation. I think this blog was just what I needed! Thank you!! And keep up the great work!!! You look amazing!!


Joy November 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

You look wonderful… and you are such an inspiration thank you so much.


Kathleen November 18, 2009 at 7:04 pm

WOOHOO, Amanda, that is awesome!! When I saw the original “new car” post, I thought, “huh, she’s lookin skinny” and wow, look at those before and after photos! Very cool. I’m sure it feels good both to look better AND to FEEL better! Congrats and thanks for sharing your story!


Barb :-) November 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

You both look great! Congrats on your hard work and results. Thanks for sharing your tips- I’m sure it will help lots of people!


Barb :-) November 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

P.S. You also look much YOUNGER!!!!!


sonya November 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Thank you for posting this!! Years ago this is exactly what I had done, people didn’t believe that I didn’t eat that much yet was so overweight… til my dr. told me the same thing yours did and it made absolute sense. I also gave up everything to drink except water… i lost about 70 pounds in 2 months doing the exact same thing you did. However people would say “oh it’s stress and the divorce”

then I got re-married. Then I got lazy and sloppy… and well gained it all back.

Your post gave me the push I needed!! I have to get this weight off, I have to. And this time FOR GOOD!! All along I knew what to do, and happy to see someone else had the same results……..

back to it starting tomorrow. THANK YOU AGAIN for the inspiration and motivation.


Ann November 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Wow! You look fabulous! Congrats on all your hard work.



Audra November 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Way to go! I am so impressed with people who have the dedication to make it work, Thanks for sharing your story. (PS I still think you looked good before!)


Pippa November 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm

This is a fabulous post Amanda. I have really enjoyed reading it. Not at all preachy like some weightloss stories can be :) I am feeling inspired to make some changes – I have 10 years of happily married, 2 kids and love to eat my own cooking weight to shift LOL. Thanks for sharing :)


Shelby November 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Congratulations Amanda! :) Great Job! I love the Vita Craves too – but at Wal-Mart they have generic ones that are much cheaper and taste even yummier so just in case you want to try those out…I think that they taste better than regular gummi bears! ;-) I love the Viactiv chews too.


Cheryl Newton November 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

You look beautiful! Congrats! Now I want to be you even more when I grow up, even though I’m older than you.


Pati November 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Hey You look great! I noticed, esp in the last post with your family pics that both you and Kevin were looking thinner! The good and bad of publishing self pics! I think your exercise played a role too. It doesn’t need to be regimented, that could get boring and hard to maintain. All the fun, active stuff you did/do keeps you moving and burning off the reserves.

I exercise in spurts so my weight and size fluctuates throughout the year. I eat “mostly” healthy, I think, tho I’m not big on counting calories. My Hubby isn’t into sweets so that was a big adjustment when I got married, I had to wean myself off of having dessert every night. Like others have said, that sugar is my downfall. I switched from cake/brownies/ice cream to fruit juice after dinner, to top off the meal and fulfill my sweet tooth. I go for the 100% juice and only a cup versus the decadent dessert or candy bar. Some people have wine, the “grown up fruit juice” (whatever!). I have lost some weight, but I still have the spare inches and little to no energy/strength. I need to find some fun, active things to do to keep ME motivated. Today I’m being wimpy, it’s -10 out and I just want to hibernate! Reading your post has inspired me. Thanks for sharing!


Jessica November 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Congrats! You look great!


Candace November 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I am wondering if you have ever been a 4/6 before this diet? I completely commend you for your weight loss and I am 100 % jealous. I just think that a lot of women see things like this and wish they could be a size 4 or 2 or whatever. What I love about what you’ve done, is you’re just being healthy…yeah, you’ve lost weight, but being healthy should really be everyone’s goal–not being skinny. So…back to my original question–is this the first time you’ve been a size 4/6 or is it a new weight for you all together?


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm

You look GREAT!!! I thought you looked GREAT when you were a size 12/14. I know how hard the diet thing is. I had gastric bypass 21 months ago and have lost a total of 80 lbs. I feel so good!!!
Great job and keep up the good work!!!


Katie November 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Congrats! You look fantastic!


Leslie November 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Super inspiring! Thanks for sharing!


Christine November 18, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Congratulations you look fabulous!!!!

Wow Amanda thanks for sharing I am so excited now that I just started to go on a”portion control diet”. I have 2 boys that I cook for and too felt guilty not being able to keeping cooking which I love. Can you post that sight you talked about where you enter your recipe to get the right portion I could truly use this (so cool!!).

I even decided to get a treadmill for myself, i am truly determined to lose the weight and be healthier in the next couple of months.

Thank you for the wonderful information and insight on all the delicious thing out there to eat especially deserts which I love!



Jennifer November 18, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Congrats Girl!! I definitly have put on the newlywed pounds and need to loose, this is definitly a motivation!!!


lori November 18, 2009 at 8:28 pm

thank you for sharing your story! you are truley an inspiration!! you look terrific!


Christine November 18, 2009 at 8:33 pm

You look great!!! I recently had to lose weight for health reasons and I am on my last 10 pounds! I lost 35 so far! I know how great it feels to lose weight and how good you feel about yourself! thanks for blogging about how easy it can be if you just set your mind to it! and for all the great ideas to help with the diet! You inspire me to continue!! Congrads!


Erin Snapp November 18, 2009 at 8:41 pm

You look AWESOME and SO inspiring!!!
Hopefully Corey and I can do the same this year.
We followed the same type program a few years ago, but after his accident we put all of our weight back on.
But are trying to get back there again.
GREAT job, you look AMAZING!!!


Kelli Hobbs November 18, 2009 at 8:47 pm

You just inspired me! My mom and I have been trying desperately to lose weight. We did the gym thing for a year and we were watching what we ate…and we started losing weight but it was getting expensive. I have been on a rollercoaster this paste couple months trying to figure out how to lose weight. I am going to use your little secrets (thank you soooooo much) and see what happens. I am forwarding this on to my mom so she can read your blog too.


Heather November 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm

I, too, wanted to throw my “Congrats” out there! That is really awesome. I have just started working out (that part I can manage), but it is the eating that gets me! I like how you gave ideas on how to keep track of calories. My question is how did you come up with the 1200 calories a day? Is that the recommended amount for your age? Again, congratulations! You look awesome!


Barb in FL November 18, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Ya know Amanda, I kept thinking that something was different about you and just couldn’t pin point it, was it the makeup, clothes, is she loosing weight, I dunno I just could put my finger on it, but knew you looked great! Good for you girl, it isn’t easy to loose weight or to talk about it. Measuring portions is a real eye opener and changing to drinking water is a big plus, and activity weather walking or the gym are very beneficial! Congratulations….you look fantastic!


Jill Frakes November 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm

AMAZING is all I can say…you always look beautiful…CONGRATS…. I so enjoy you thoughtful emails and look so forward to getting them from you……You have inspired me….hopefully walking our new boston pup Averee will give me the motivation I need to get walking too…..Hugs to you


Melody Steiner November 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Thanks so much for posting this blog! I have always been underweight, but this last year things have started to stick. I’m still only about 8lbs from where I would like to be, but I have a terrible diet and I know I will just continue to get heavier if I don’t change something quick. I also have little energy which isn’t good when you have 3 kids 6years old and younger. Anyways I was really encouraged by your blog and am excited to start getting healthy myself!

Take care,


Barb Boyack November 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Amanda, you look wonderful..I have about 50 lbs to lose..I didnt gain it all at once, and won’t lose it fast, but I saved the websites you gave and after this trip we are taking to IL in a couple days, I am going to DO IT. My husband could stand to lose at least 20 lb…I know I can do it..will keep you posted..


Whitney November 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Nice job Amanda! You look great!


Southern Gal November 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I used to be able to keep weight off and lose 10 pounds at the drop of the hat. That was before I had babies and turned 40! My husband really needs to lose weight and I have almost given up ever losing any weight and keeping it off again. (I’m a Lifetime WW member, too! About 30 lbs. over my goal weight now.)

Anyway, thank you for doing this. It helps to see how others do it now that it’s not so easy for me. I did the exercise and not lose any weight thing, too. But guess what? Today I started drinking water intentionally. I determined that was all I would drink. Then I come here and see you did that, too. And that it’s possible to start to LIKE it.

Thanks again for the encouragement. You go, girl! You look great.


TwoHeartsTogether November 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Good goin’ girl! You look great!


Kelly Jo November 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Amanda- that is absolutely fantastic and totally inspiring! You look amazing and you and Kevin both should be proud! It’s just shocking for me to see the before and afters because I thought that you looked great in your “befores” and then I saw the afters- WOW. The transformation is amazing. Thank you for taking the time to share your story.


Beth Chiu November 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Amanda, I’m really proud of you. You and your husband supporting each other is awesome and if you decide to have kids down the road, you can help them to learn healthy eating habits. BTW – you didn’t need any extra energy – jeez! I already wondered how you have time to do all that you do!


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