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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435 Responses
  1. Lark

    I read this inspiring article a decade ago, when you first shared your weightloss success story.
    Sadly, I tried again and again to lose weight eating 1200-1350 cals for years afterwards to no avail.(Not solely because of your story of course, I had many other reasons to try counting calories alone.)

    Now a decade later, DNA genetic testing FINALLY clued me in the whole problem.
    I have issues with PPAR and what’s called metabolic syndrome.

    I post this so that others coming across your story who still can’t lose weight can do so.

    I AM finally losing weight easily after decade of heartbreak.

    A gluten free Paleoish diet with foods high in PQQ—short for pyrroloquinoline quinone.

    1. Leslie

      Hi, just read your post at Kevin and What kind of genetic testing did you do to find that out about PPAR? I would like to be tested for that. Thanks for your post. I am sure others were helped! Leslie

  2. chitra selvam

    Hi Amanada

    Congradulations for your success. I am 60 year old woman and do exercise two hours a day and eat healthier and i am a vegetarian, I gained 25 pounds ten years ago i could nt lose single pound eventhough i worked very hard.i tried one meal a day still did not make any difference please le tme know how to lose weight

  3. Manu Arora

    Awsome article you got here !, love these food blogs for weight loss so much, been struggling with weight loss nearly all my life ,

  4. Alex

    Good for you!! Also thank you for taking the time to post this! You look great and it sounds like it was such a learning process so thanks for doing all the work!

  5. Barbara Quintin

    I have lost 140#. The last 55# I did Atkins. It was the easiest diet I have ever been on. I am going to start again in a few weeks. I want to lose 25 more.

  6. Beth

    GOOD FOR YOU..WELL DONE…just ONE question..  Do you have to eat packaged food forever or are you allowed to eat non gmo certified organic and still keep the weight off if yo stick to 1200 calories? Im thinking it wold be EVEN a HEALTHIER WAY TO LOOSE AND MAINTAIN..  yes?

  7. Tally

    Congrats on the weight loss. I did the exact same thing, 1200 calories a day, and developed a love for healthy choice steamers. I was a little heavier than you started out, and I lost a pound a day on average. To maintain for the long term, I simply do 1200 calories a day for 2 days per week now, and I haven’t gained back an ounce in the past 12 months. My total loss was 68 pounds in just over 3 months. It is so easy! I wish more people really understood just how simple and satisfying this can be. Thank you for finding a way to share it with more women

  8. Tammy

    Amanda! You look great. I’m trying to lose weight here again after my 3rd child. After my 2nd child I just ate until I was satisfied and NOT full and I lost like 15 lbs in 2 1/2 months. I like your idea better. Thanks for your inspiring words. HUGS!

  9. Shannon

    Hi Amanda, just wanted to say how helpful this post has been. I’ve lost 15 lbs since the beginning of the year and I am excited to lose another 15! I think of your words in this post every time it gets hard. So, thank you!!

  10. Melissa

    You look so great! :) Nicely done!

    I’ve always had trouble with anything super restrictive, so I know I could never follow things like Whole30 or 21 Day Fix. Weight Watchers has worked for me in the past, and now I just count calories with moderate exercise 3-5 days a week, and it really works. This way if I really really want a cookie, I can have that cookie and cut something else out staying within my calories. If I was on any kind of diet that told me I couldn’t have the things I loved at all, it would be an immediate fail to me. But I have found by counting calories knowing I CAN have the bad stuff in moderation, I don’t even really want it that much on a regular basis.

    My tough spots are vacations and holidays. Because I LOVE food. So when I think of going away I start planning what foods I’m going to indulge in…and boy do I indulge. :) I’m weak!

  11. Mia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’m a great cook and really couldn’t see buying meals to eat. Counting calories and being active was my goal but I didn’t know how to count calories when I cooked at home. Now I can use the apps and websites that you suggested.

    One of my tricks is to brush my teeth right after dinner. I find that I don’t like to eat after that because then my teeth will be unclean again! It actually works for me!

    Congrats to you! You look great! I need to take a “before” picture now!

  12. Suzie

    I am so psych to do this now!!! You are my twin when you talked about eating all your calories at night time , not moving during the day just everything. And look at you now. WOW!!! Great job Amanda keep it up. Suzie B from Bethlehem pa

  13. Stephanie

    I remembered this article and just came back to it to share with a friend. I was inspired by your weight loss journey and followed your regimen back in 2011. I lost 25+ pounds, and was so happy to lose the weight I needed to lose without going crazy with exercise. Thanks for posting this, it made a difference for me!

  14. Alison

    You look amazing!! And you’re skin is glowing in your “after” picture…definitely noticeable! Thanks for such a great blog…I’ve made a few of your recipes and have never been disappointed! Please don’t ever stop :)

  15. Michelle

    Hi Amanda: Recently stumbled upon your blog. So glad I did. I’m trying to lose 25 pounds. Have you been able to maintain your awesome loss and if so how? I’ve lost the same 10 pounds 1,000 times. You look wonderful. Love your blog. Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. Lin

    What a great, inspiring story! :) I am a carb counter – calories don’t work for me. I checked out and the recipe analyzer. Although it does break it down by calorie count, I was pleased to see the full nutrition facts include carb count. I’ve been looking for something like this! Now I just need to walk more. I’ve already started drinking more water. Thank you, again, for the inspiration!!!

  17. Kelly

    Amanda, you look fabulous! Congratulations! I have never bought or ate a frozen meal but I will be checking them out for sure. I love that you get to have your Cheerios each morning and that you are taking the vitamins:) I am a pharmacist and those b vitamins will really help boost your metabolism. You are such an inspiration, thanks for sharing.

  18. Kathy

    WOW, Amanda, this is so inspiring! I too have about 30 pounds to lose but just don’t know how to go about the eating part of it. I’ve purchased a Fitbit and have been walking/jogging faithfully 3-5 miles per day, but the weight is coming off very very slowly. I’m going to start your eating plan tomorrow morning! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  19. Karen

    You are so inspiring. I too think all these diet plans are just so expensive and I should be able to do this on my own without going to a meeting every week to pay someone else to weigh me. I’m pledging to give myself the next week to do just what you did with the 1200 calorie diet. I’m at my highest weight ever, almost 200lb. and so not happy about it. I liked your idea about using the frozen meals to help out. I definitely don’t always have the time to cook something healthy and then gravitate to fast food. Probably where the weight is coming from, hmmmm. I see this was a long time ago and I hope you’ve been able to maintain this way of living long term. You look beautiful. I want my beauty back too.

  20. Midwife Krysis

    I stumbled upon your site on January 7 of this year, by way of Pinterest (you probably had a white sofa or an airstream…ha!). Anyway, you completely inspired me. I have always been great to excellent with exercise but after my 20s it wouldn’t budge the scale at all. My weight was creeping up to late pregnancy status…yikes. So on January 8 I copied what you did. Only without the prepackaged meals, I just used the recipe analysis for foods we were already eating. SparkPeople kept me honest and my favorite part was you could see how many calories you had left per day. It got super easy to decide to eat a bunch of raw veggies as a snack in the afternoon rather than something high calorie and not have any left for dinner. Anyway, in 5 weeks I lost 16 pounds! And have kept it there since mid-February. I’m not as good at tracking now that I’m in a good spot. I could not believe how incredibly fast and easy it was. I run 3 miles 2-3 times a week and do a faux crossfit class and 25 minutes of bike riding 3 times a week. But I had been doing that for several years before with no weight loss and slow gain. Regardless, I think the simplicity of flat out calorie counting is the secret. I did NOT adjust my calories for my exercise, but I did not stress if I sometimes hit the high end of the range…although I did always aim for the low end. Yes, I was a bit hungry sometimes but after a couple of weeks, it felt better to go to bed not stuffed. The other thing it helped me realize was my big issue is that I ALWAYS eat seconds at dinner. So that 450 calorie healthy chili turns into 900 calories too fast. I am now inspired to go for “the last 10 pounds” which leaves me in sight of my college aerobics instructor weight (25 years ago). So I got serious again yesterday and we’ll see where I am by Christmas :)

  21. wanda chafin

    You look beautiful and God bless you for sharing . I know it will help me to have this info, and know that “what you put out you will get back.”..

  22. Adella Gonzalez

    You look fabulous Amanda! :) Congratulations on your successful weight loss! I have just begun my weight loss journey this year (or really last year). Reading your story is great inspiration. I would like to share with you how I am losing weight.

    Last year I started by getting a recumbent stationary bike. I would ride my bike 3x a week. I stuck with it all of 2013 and I am very proud of that. Although, I didn’t get the results I was really hoping for. Fortunately, in November I discovered DDP Yoga.

    I asked my boyfriend to get it for me for Xmas, and he did. I’ve been doing DDP Yoga for 2.5 months now and already lost a couple inches, I have no more back pains, I have more energy, and I can fit in my jeans again… (not my skinny jeans but that’s my next goal!) I actually look forward to working out…who knew that was possible?! Lol! :)

    Thank you for sharing your story. Seeing your before and after makes me feel excited about my future results! <3

  23. Maria

    Just read your story and am wondering one thing: Is there a reason you tracked your calories on instead of on Was there an advantage of using one over the other?

  24. Maureen

    Oh good for you for persevering with your goals. It is hard to get into the mind set and rhythm of change required to to achieve success and you managed it. You look wonderful in your photos! Thank you for sharing.

  25. tchris

    Hi there, just saw this post and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. And most importantly, the recipe analysis!!! I can’t tell you how that is going to be so helpful. I, too, hate having to look up the calories for Every. Single. Item. In. A. Recipe. Ugh! Thanks to you, we don’t have to do that. =) Congrats on your success! I hope to be as successful. =)

  26. Emily

    Hi Amanda, I am a new follower and fellow foodie. I am working on losing some extra weight that was gained during my pregnancy. I’ve literally tried everything over the last 4 years to try and lose it. I was a 4/6 before it and have resulted in now being a 10/12. Not that I hate it, I feel me on the inside, but not so much on the outside. I have a few problem areas around my midsection that I’d like to try and work on. Luckily, I stumbled upon this post. I have tried it for most of the week now and feel so much better about what I’m putting into my body because I have to watch and use the calorie counter. I did the first day like a regular day and asked the hubby to write down everything we ate that day, and at the end we put it in and were surprised at the amount of calories we were eating. My point here is more of a thank you for having the courage to finally share your story about your own personal battle with your weight. I do have a question as well. What are your favorite foods to eat for your dinners that you find are fitting to the amount of calories you allow yourself during dinner time? Thanks :) -Emily

  27. Orla

    Hey Amanda, I’m a follower of your blog for the past year so only saw this post now! I always thought you looked fab and love your home, fashion and lifestyle posts. I’m only 21 but one of my biggest fears is getting overweight and being unable to do anything about it! Thanks so much for sharing this, it was such a great post!! I try drinking a lot of water, and some fruit juice! And try to run at least 4 times a week just to keep fit but I have a major sweet tooth so it’s a battle! ;) Anyways, I just wanted to say WELL DONE! And you look amazing now, four years later! :) x

  28. Naw Su Myat Naing

    I’ve tried to reduce my weight thousand times.I failed and I feel depressed now.But now I feel encouraged again to reduce my weight again.I feel obesed since my childhood.Now my weight is 130pounds and my height is 4feet11. 5inches. So,I need to reduce my weight30pounds.I have a lot of encourage to reduce my weight by regular eating &exercises with healthy life style.Thank u.

  29. Karen

    I just recently discovered your blog, and this morning I read about your before/after weight loss. Just yesterday a friend and I were singing the ‘woe is me’ blues about our own weight gains. I just played around with the calorie counter site you referenced and I think it will be just what I need! The thought of counting calories was too frustrating to even think about for me – here’s to hoping that in a few months I can report my own success:)

  30. Tammy

    very inspiring! Thank you for the post. I’m encouraged to try it. (I’ve copied your post for all the helpful hints with meals, etc.)

  31. Shirley

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have followed your blog for the last couple of years and had not ever seen this post. I was looking up doing the couch to 5K and saw this post. I belong to a fitness group and was beginning to feel discouraged because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted, but had tried cutting back to 1200 calories for a couple of days and finally saw the scale move. Reading your story just reaffirmed what I saw for myself.

  32. Mollie

    Thanks for this post!
    Thank you for outlining the changes you made and for providing the resources. It’s a huge help!

  33. Daleena Barrera

    Hello Amanda,

    Browsing blogs on a gloomy Saturday afternoon and came across yours from Pinterest. One thing led to another and I read your weight loss story. My two take aways: How much you’ve lost and the Recipe Analysis from CalorieCount! I just tried it, threw in a few ingredients of things I mostly eat and it spit out not only a grade of each ingredient but an actual honest to goodness calorie count. I’ve always dreamt of a machine where you could just place your meal on it and it would give you a calorie count, then you could scrape off or add a little more based on a readout but don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. This is the next best thing. Thank you so much. All the best, Daleena.

  34. Debbie

    Hi Amanda,
    Thank you for your generous sharing. You are definitely an inspiration to me.
    I’m 62 yrs old and just have been hoping to loose weight but not really doing anything different.
    As if thinking about it would make the pounds melt away. :)
    I am going to try the counting calorie route. You gave some wonderful links to help with that.
    You look so healthy and the weight loss looks so great!
    I’ll let you know how it goes with me.
    Joyful day to you! Debbie

  35. Summer

    Amanda, I came to your site for blogging tips, but instead became totally inspired by your story. I have been struggling in this area and you have encouraged me. I feel like this is something I can do! I have tried so many things that require ridiculous diet regiments that I won’t even try to describe. Thank you so much for sharing. You are inspiring.

  36. Sheree

    Hi Amanda,

    I’m not sure how I found your blog..but I’m glad I did! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. My husband and I are starting something similar and this helps! Hope you are doing well and will check out some of your other stories. :)

    Best Wishes,

  37. Savita Pillai

    Good for you :) …
    I just started off on my diet. So far so good. Lost 1.5 lbs last week.
    Lets see how long I stick to it.

    Weird that I got here looking for some travel related info – well … !

  38. France

    Congrats on your weight loss :) Me too I lost 34 pounds since August. But I’m using Visalus and counting calories. It helps a lot to count calories.

  39. Claire

    I needed to find this today, happened upon your blog thanks to Jones Design Co., downloading fonts for my new laptop. Love your fonts but I needed to read this post! You reminded me that it doesn’t require any expensive meals and fancy equipment, just a little time and remembering to put yourself first.

    Happy New Year. Thanks again!

  40. Grisel Blanco

    Wow, you have motivated me to try losing weight your way!!! What an inspiring story!!! I used to be a size 2/4 and then a 4/6, but now I’m a 10/12 (just like you were). Reading your story made me feel hopeful that I, too, can do this. One of my problems is the exercise piece. I wish I had a companion to at least go out on walks with me. I plan on giving up juice and sticking to only water until it turns into a habit… I want to be a 4/6 again. Thanks for the links. I’m about to check each one out. I’m not a pill taker either, but I’ll look into getting those gummy multi-vitamins–that just may be easier and more fun for me, too! (: Oh, and you look GREAT!!!!! Big props and a huge CONGRATS for achieving such a great goal by making wiser choices!!!! (:

  41. Melissa

    Hi Amanda,
    Your story is so encouraging even now being 3 years later. I’m all in and going for this! Post #23 answered my exercise question but was just wondering about coffee? I’m a big coffee drinker. I do my own lattes at home and budgeted my milk calories as part of my breakfast and my sweetener is zero cal. do you think coffee will hurt me? other than that i usually drink water

  42. Paula

    I think someone swipped your full body picture for some hokey weightloss site. I saw it on Pinterest. I can’t find the link now but will keep an eye out for it.

  43. kathy

    Amanda- I wanted to let you know that a company is using your before and after picture on pinterest to promote their weight loss products. I have reported them to pinterest for spamming. They use several links like Wdlia1.blogspot, but they all lead back to http://www.fatlossfactor (fat loss factor by Dr. Charles Livingston).

  44. Liz

    Thanks for sharing your story, Amanda. You have inspired me to try again. I identify with your story because you really didn’t look overweight to begin with. I only want to lose about 10 pounds and I think I can follow your common-sense advice. Thanks for mentioning the “6-8 weeks before you started liking water” thing. I really don’t like drinking water, even though I know I should. And I think I would really like those vitamins too! Thanks again for putting yourself out there for others to learn from your experience!

  45. nicci

    Hi. i have been trying the same thing i just want to know did you loom at the cories and stopped when you reached yor daily limit or did you look at what yoh were eatkng. how havd you been doing since

  46. Wendy

    Amazing!! Great job. You look younger too. My husband and i did the couch to 5K and it has/is workinf for us. I’m glad you didn’t give though. I was a 10/12 and down to a 6/8 and hope to lose some more. I think the healthy choices in food helps SO much. We are trying to eat better. More salads, NO desserts except the once-a-month dinner on the grounds at church. But the less and less we eat sweets the less we really want them. It is easier to drink more water now. Sometimes if i’m having a particularly hard time drinking water, spicy gum (big red) helps the water go down. It gives the water flavor without the calories!!! Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  47. Amber

    Fantastic weight loss!

    I have just started the 1200 calorie diet about 5 weeks ago and am down 13 pounds! I am so happy with the results I have received through this diet so far and it’s great to see some great long-term results from this diet.

    Thanks so much for posting this blog! :)

  48. maryellen

    Gosh, I’m so happy to have stumbled across this post (via pinterest via another blogger posting about one of your desserts). I am in the same boat, with friends doing Nutrisystem. I thought, there’s got to be a better way. I knew that counting calories was key, and I knew that buying Lean Cuisine and WeightWatchers frozen meals was too. Thanks so much for posting your research for counting calories. And I agree about drinking water. Everything you say is common sense and obvious, but it helps to hear it and know that someone who’s done it and had success. Thanks and congratulations.

  49. Colleen M.

    First have I have to say THANK YOU for your blog in every way! I am starting to finally undertand my camera & how to take semi-pretty pictures & those fonts are all I use for EVERYTHING! Thank you for sharing your weight loss experiance with us. My husband and I have been on & off diets for 5 years now. We are starting Body For Life {again} but I am going to count calories as well & lets see just how far it gets me this time. I have a TON to loose, but my goal is just to be healthier. Have fun in Italy & can’t wait to see the pictures.

  50. danielle

    Thanks, I needed to read this. Your story is basically mine! I did the whole exercise (cardio, weights, etc.) EVERY DAY for months and did not lose a single ounce or inch. Argh! It was only when I limited my caloric intake did I see a difference. I’ve fallen off the wagon, but after reading this, I’m more motivated to get back to what worked. Thanks!! And it makes me happy knowing that I’m not the only one out there where simple exercise doesn’t make a significant difference. (P.S. I’m not saying it’s not great for our bodies, but it doesn’t affect everyone’s ‘shape’ the same way!)

  51. Peggy Whisenhunt

    thank you for your diet tips, I am starting tomorrow counting my calories because I cannot lose weight eating all those other plans. 5 years ago I was mis diagnosed as having diabetes and I ate a total diabetic count carb diet and lost 20 lbs in 3 month. Thank goodness after a second diagnosis, I did not have nor do I have it today.

  52. pooja

    hii i am pooja from india. i read your article congrats you did’s very hard or sometimes it looks impossible.but who changes it into in possible they are look like real hero. my story is same as you. i am really fred up from all of things.but when i saread your article .you gave me a little spark of light.
    please help!i never don,t know what should i eat or not? please contact me personally i need your help. plese contact me

  53. Lana

    You look SO amazing! Your lifestyle is quite similar like mine!!! I am (deaf) photographer and Boston terrier owner!

    Here’s a little twilight zone story. I was smoker for 25 years and heavy soda (pop) drinker since I was teen. I decided to quit smoking because I want healthy, lose some weight and wanted to quit soda so bad… it was impossible! In a few months later, my taste had been changed on soda completely, I had no idea why and a friend of mine said “because you were smoking and soda like they were bestfriend.” Hilarious but true! I am so happy for making me give it up, it worked! My gawd! I remembered I was trying to get used to drink the water everyday as a good habit was hard. Now, I drink it every single day, even crave for it, too! *laugh* I am so happy because I am smoke-free and soda-free for 5 years (March 9th!) Now the weight loss process is slow. I don’t eat at night, too. Only morning to dinner, that’s it. I pay attention to what I eat. *laugh* The worse part is I do have sweet tooth… chocolate! I have to cut it down, too. I’m working on it. Congrats to your weight loss and stick to healthy eat and drinking water! GOOD for you! Oh and my Boston Terrier, “Bo” adores/paw-waves at your two beautiful Miley and Howie!

    Have a gorgeous day!

  54. Mallory Fraizer

    Good for you! I too have lost 25 lbs by eating right and upping my activity a bit. It is tough to begin with, but it sounds like you feel like I do – a whole new person! I have just started reading your blog, but I love it so far and am glad you shared this experience with everyone. One thing I have found helps is to eat off of a smaller plate at dinner time, that way I feel like I am eating as much as my hubby, even when I am eating about a third.

  55. Felicia Stevens

    You look sooo good! I meant to comment awhile ago but now that I am on a weight loss journey I had to share how motivating your photo is! xoxo

  56. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet

    This is a great post Amanda. I know it’s been a few years, but I’m currently in your old “boat”. Needing to drop 30 lbs and feeling a bit stranded on how and where to start. I like the calorie counting idea and should definitely get back to doing that. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  57. The Better Baker

    Congrats to both of you! You both look fabulous! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share this losing journey – a ‘win win’ journey. =) I can SO relate to many things you talked about…especially feeling like no matter what I eat, I CAN’T lose weight, but I have a vacation
    coming up this summer and must do something to fit into my summer clothes. I bookmarked this page and will reread it often for motivation. Thanks for sharing all these great links too. Healthy Choice meals are on sale this week and I’m stocking up!!! Thanks and thanks again! I have always loved your website here.

  58. Donna Cohen

    Thanks, Amanda.
    Going through much of the same, we didn’t want to eat “out of a box” with our food allergies, it’s very limiting. (Egg yolk, molds, beef (and all beef product – except a limited amount of cheese) and msg) So, being a by scratch cook, these new programs out that have great recipe intake pages, I’ve been able to take all ingredients, add them to the data base, divide it by the number of servings – sticking to the number of servings!!! – and since the first of this year – less than three months – I’ve lost almost 10, my sweetie, almost 20 (yeah, I’m really happy for him – he he he) and we’re still eating my food. Just making better choices, being honest about what we’re actually eating. Next – giving up all tea (for me) and coffee (for him) – man, that’s going to be tough to do!!!

    Thanks for showing us your story – makes it easier to share ours! You look fabulous by the way!!


  59. Reena

    I have read your blog for awhile now but I just came across this post. It is very inspiring!! Thank you for sharing. I am going through my own weight loss journey. Thank you so much and I would love to read an update of how you are maintaining.

  60. Lisa

    THIS was just what I needed to continue on my own weight loss journey!
    Recently diagnosed with Fibro and Arthritis at 46, I am limited on the exercise end of weight loss. I have incorporated some Zumba classes into my week. But the eating tips you gave ? I think it is exactly what I was missing !
    Thank You !

  61. Stepfanie

    Thanks for the shoutout for SparkPeople. Would you mind editing the link to be, not .net? Congrats on the weight loss!

  62. Heather

    You might be saving me from diabetes! It runs in the family and I packed on a bunch of weight post-marriage+babies. Right before baby 2, I started 1200 calories and calorie counting and started losing but then found out I was pregnant. (Also began running, Couch Potato to 5K between babies which helped.)
    I just re-read your blog/story about 6 weeks ago and have lost right around 20 pounds so far with about 10-ish more to go.
    THANK YOU for sharing your journey and encouraging us/me to do the same.
    One quick question… I’ve noticed LOTS or recipes for desserts or just rich recipes. Do you still calorie count or are those “free meal” options?
    Your fan in Nor Cal

  63. Amelia

    Awesome! I bet you feel so much better and having your clothes fit like they should is such a bonus (or buying a new wardrobe is fun too!)
    My boyfriend and I have also lost weight by joining boot camp in the park (the gym is just not for me) and eating less, especially in the evening. Just protein and salad (and maybe popcorn with a movie). I also found that my meal sizes were the same as my boyfriends, who is much bigger than I am, so cutting back to a regular size portion helped.
    Good luck in your continued success!

  64. Joy

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, it has given me new confidence. I to have had trouble losing weight and considered using one of the many expensive boxed diets. If not for the cost I’m sure I would have. Congratulations to you and your husband on your success and thanks again for sharing. Can’t wait to try your technique.

  65. C

    After 2 babies and gaining so much weight I am feeling like I will never be at a healthy weight again. Your article makes it seem so easy. I have so much to lose but I feel like your ideas will get me started.

  66. Kaity P

    Thank you so much for the tips! I will be trying this! I am having the same issues you had, so maybe this can help me like it did for you!

  67. Sam

    You look wonderful! I’ve been trying to tell myself to get up and lose weight for a while, I’m only 21 and have a whole lot of life ahead of me but it won’t be worth it if I’m lazy and tired all the time. I’m going to go for it! Thanks for the inspiration and the links to the calorie counter site. According to the site, if I keep up with it I should be at my goal weight (-90lbs from what I am now) in a little over a year! Yay!

  68. Tina

    I just happened across this site while stumbling around on the net. This is also my first time ever posting on someones blog.
    This is some really good advice. All it takes is you wanting to change things for yourself. Once you get past the “I can’t do it” to the “I want to do it” it is easier to make healthier lifestyle choices.
    I had gallstones and had to go on a diet. Only greens, legumes, no fat, no spicy/acidic, only poultry/fish type of diet and I lost 20 lbs in 3 months. It’s amazing how fast the weight comes off when you give your body only what it needs. The walking helped too.
    Thanks for sharing your story and helping to inspire and encourage others that it can be done. :)

  69. kathie webb

    I loved reading your story! You have inspired me to try the 1200 and do it! I do have one question? Are you still doing 1200 per day, and are you still losing or has your body adjusted now?
    I love your page, your recipes, especially CupCakes!

  70. Jennifer

    Hi Amanada,
    I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but what you’ve said here sounds like it came straight from my brain and out through your fingers! I’m just wondering what you did when you went out to eat. I find when I’m socializing it becomes the most difficult because so much is centered around food and drink. Do you think a night out at a restaurant could be corrected by exercise the next day? Any tips would be helpful! Thanks!

  71. Jen

    This is SO inspirational. I found you on Pinterest by your cookie, oreo, brownie extravaganza and ran into this post. I am really glad you posted this. YOu never know who you are going to help! (like me!)
    Keep up the good work!!!
    PS I just noticed your copyright at the bottom of your page…Is your last name Bottoms??? My last name is Bottom!!! If so, crazy and cool! We should talk!

  72. Heather

    You inspire me. I lost all the baby weight after#2 then gained it back–ugh. Diet is your key. Thx for explaining–and what exercise are you doing now?

  73. Esther

    This is so great to know! Thanks a lot for posting. I never knew there was a recipe analyzer out there and all you have to do is copy and paste the recipe to know the calories per serving. It’s just amazing. I’m trying to lose weight too, and yes, counting calories is the only way to go. You look amazing, by the way: younger, happier, prettier. All I can say is, I want to be a size 6 too!

  74. Jess D.

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this post! I feel like I’m much like you and always thought that I couldn’t do it. I’ve wanted to make some changes for at least a year, but it’d last only a day or so. For some reason, this post inspired me to quit making excuses and go for it! Your suggestions are so practical, and with so many apps and websites to help you out – there’s no excuse for anyone! I just wanted to write and say thanks for posting your story. I’ve been at it for exactly a week today and have lost 3.4 pounds. Yay! Thanks again from the bottom of my heart! Also – you and your hubby look great. Way to go :)

  75. Jennifer

    So, I came over here because I am redoing my blog and needed a font…and now I am sitting here almost in tears and so unbelievably encouraged because of this. I just clicked on the little picture of this post on the sidebar because it caught my eye. I have gained almost 25 pounds in the last 8 months. I feel like a whale…and not like myself anymore. None of my clothes fit, I hate the new fat I have, and I especially don’t feel pretty anymore. It’s happy weight…I got married 8 months ago and hubby and I both have put on weight. I went from a 6/8…sometimes 10 to a 12 and now the 12 pants are starting to feel tight. I will not buy anymore “fat” clothes. I have been trying since the new year and feel so defeated. I am only going up and then I feel bad, give up, eat junk, and then try again. I just had to comment and tell you that you REALLY helped me today. This is just what I needed! I am bookmarking this page bc I might have to read it everyday for encouragement…but I know I can do this! Thank you!

  76. Jenn

    Thank you for your story and helpful tips. You remind me a little of me. Not super overweight, but could definitely drop a few pounds. I, too, have been trying out the Weight Watchers Smart Ones and love them. Delish and filling. I’m also signed up with SparkPeople and love their nutrition tracker. Just curious about what exercise you did along the way…how much time spent every day, what programs you used (ie did you get a dvd, go to the gym, go for a walk, etc)??? Again, thank you. I hope to follow in your footsteps. And congratulations!!!

  77. Christy

    Thanks for the inspiration! I am in a similar position as you WERE – about a size 8/10 and want to lose a bit of weight. I just signed up for sparkpeople and am checking out calorie count. I am curious, did you work out much? 1200 calories doesn’t seem like enough if you are moderately active. I try to work out three 1-hour workouts/week with weights and intense cardio. I agree about getting eating under control is crucial. Thanks again for the inspiration!


    PS I am curious about your starting and ending weight if you don’t mind sharing. If you do, I totally understand!

  78. Linda


    I just read your weight lose story and love it! My sister and I started doing the 1200 calorie a day before Christmas 2011 and I had lost about 8 pounds, which was totally great with no working out. Now that the holidays are over and the new year has started I am trying to get back to that 1200 calorie a day. I need to do this because I would like to go from a size 22 to a size 8. I will try to keep you posted on my progress but knowing that you did it so can I. Thanks for the motivation!

  79. saram

    What an inspiring story, thanks for sharing it! Could you post examples of some dinner menus? Thats where I always get stuck.

    Love your blog for all you share, thank you!

  80. Renée

    Thank you for sharing your weight loss story. I had the same problem exercising and running for several months with no results. As of January 1st I gave up soda and I have started to drink only water. I am going to try to be sure to eat throughout the day as well. I am also bad at not eating all day and then eating late right before bed. I hope I get as wonderful results as you do. Congratuations! If you wonder if you inspired anyone, you have inspired me. Thanks Amanda!

  81. nika

    hey! i am only 16 so i dont want to do anything of those food progrms but others say since im young i will be able to lose 30 pounds in two months with daily eexcercise and healthy eating habits i can do that but how do i keep myself motivated because after two weeks i start to give up and get impatient and will 30 pounds really make a big difference for me? i am 5’7 and weigh 165lbs. but i should be weighing 130lbs. and my bone structure is medium built so got any advie to stay motivated?

  82. Samantha Harughty

    Hi Amanda-
    I have your blog saved as one of my favorites. After looking back on your breakfasty casserole I made this week, I stumbled upon your weight loss story, you have truly inspired me. I would love to know some more things that you loved to eat. The one thing I hate about the frozen meals is trying to find the one that I might like b/c I know you have to go through 5 that you don’t….. Any other sample meal plans you have that worked for you would be great. I started today even ate at chilis for lunch just planned it all out within 1200 calories. I also put the Lose It app on my phone and tablet. Thanks so much for sharing!! My email is samanthaharughty(at)yahoo(dot)com
    Thanks again so much! You have no idea how much this means to me.

  83. Nickie

    Amanda, you look AMAZING! Keep up the great work!! I have lost 29 lbs since March and a total overall weight loss of 34 lbs. in about the past 1 1/2 years. The pictures of you remind me of ME. I was also a size 10/12 and am now a size 4/6 too. I did most of my weight loss with the help of Jillian Michael’s DVD’s which were WONDERFUL and also diet. The results are incredible, my energy level is high again and I feel great!!! Keep up the great work. I’m looking forward to losing approx. another 6 lbs. before I’m at my “ideal” weight. That is my goal for 2012.

  84. Melissa

    Thanks for sharing your story Amanda (both you and Kevin). It’s been inspirational and got me to realize I need to revamp my dieting and exercise because I have high blood pressure. I had been going pretty good but not seeing too much results but I realize now my evening and late night eating is probably what is doing it. Thanks to you I’m going to revamp it and get going for a healthier 2012. Look forward to more of your fantastic blog articles.

    Melissa K.

  85. Kristina Hathcock

    Can I just say I LOVE you!? I totally feel like it was me talking when you wrote this! I run in to the same problem with wanting to cook meals for my family but don’t want to spend a ton of time figuring out calorie amounts per serving and stuff… And I don’t want to eat gross Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers food… I am so exited that you posted this site about copying and pasting recipes into it and it figures it out for you!! How awesome! You have no idea how long I have searched for something that would do that!! Thanks so much! You are such a help and inspiration!!

  86. Tiffany LaCourse

    You are such an inspiration to me!! I am a size 14/15/16 right now (depends on the type of pants) and I am 5’6 weighing in at 181lbs. YIKES! I want to so bad lose about 30lbs and get to 155lbs. I did not know where to start —- that is until I found YOU!! I do have 1 question, did you do ANY exercises at all? Or just watched your calories? I am so proud of you! I am beginning my 30lbs weight loss January 1st! Wish me luck!

  87. Amber

    You Look amazing!!!! It was great to hear your story and the hurdles you had to overcome. I am currently a size 6/8 and would love to drop a size for my wedding (in 6 months). I have felt the same way though, I suppose everyone’s metabolism is a little different in what they need to do to drop pounds. Good inspiration! Thanks.

  88. Kristen

    I didn’t know you had been on this weight loss journey, Amanda. Thanks for sharing your tips and success. I’m a size 12 currently and would love to get down 30 pounds! Great tips and congrats!

  89. Kim

    You look great!!! I too started doing this at the advice of my aunt who has lost 40 lbs doing the exact same thing. I had a baby in October and have lost 29 lbs since my OB appointment right before I had her. This works great and I plan to stick to it!

  90. Amy H.

    Hi Amanda,
    First off CONGRATULATIONS! I have lost 103 lbs and have managed to keeep it off for three years. Every pound lost is a struggle and a victory all at the same time!

    I just wanted to share how funny I thought it was that I clicked on your before/after weightloss story that was right next to the recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar. The placement on the page struck me as amusing. The recipe loaded with sinful, fat inducing just-by-looking-at-it calories right next to the How I survived on 1200 calories a day and didn’t die link is humorous.

    Keep up the good work!

  91. Laurie Vorrath

    Hi Amanda,
    I was just checking out your Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie N Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar recipe and commenting to my husband at how skinny you are but yet you are always baking, eating, buying and photographing such sweet treats and I did not realize that you had a weight issue – good job on losing 30 pounds! How do you continue to keep the weight down??

  92. Christina Aronen

    What a really great story!! Thanks for sharing. I did enjoy reading about all the things you tried before. We are always looking for a “quick fix” and your information is quicker than all the packaged ones. It is something all your readers can do today :)

  93. Vicki Patton

    You look great! I was reading through your weight loss details and something stuck with me and reminded me of what my doctor said… 1. never ever skip breakfast. Eat anything and everything you want. 2. walk 30 minutes a day. 3. never eat supper. 4. IF IT TASTES SWEET DONT DRINK IT! YOUR BODY STILL THINKS IT’S SWEET EVEN IF IT IS DIET. I haven’t been willing to give up my sweet tea yet. :-(

  94. Danielle Lehman

    I LOVE this advice/plan because I too, do not want to spend the money on any of those diet deals! Question though, what was your exercise routine like?

  95. Kelly Vaught

    I’m so motivated for the first time in life! Your story is EXACTLY everything I’ve thought and/or experienced! I’m 44, 5 ft. 5″ and weigh 158 (almost to the 160). My mother always said, if you get over 140 lbs. you better watch out, it will rise fast after that. She was right. About a year ago, I was wearing a size 8, had no cellulite and looked decent. Now, I’m a size 12. Never, did I think this would happen to me. Why, I don’t know. I’m not special or anything. lol. Something about getting over 40, having two children and never exercising will finally catch up with you. This will be an enormous challenge as I’m addicted to coffee in the am and sweet tea all day. I’ll have maybe one glass of water all day. Thank you so kindly for taking the time to help me and people like me. I’m pumped and ready to start this challenge. If only you could know how awesome you and your story is! Thank you immensely.

  96. Kelli Goede

    I am so inspired and encouraged by your story! Did you exercise at all to lose the weight? I love to exercise and I was wondering if the 1200 calories took that into account, I was thinking of modifying it to 1400 a day to allow for the calories burned through exercise (usually running a few miles). You look awesome!

  97. Angela

    So glad I stumbled upon this blog and this entry! I had my second son nearly 10 months ago and started planning to get the weight off almost immediately. Did a 5k at 5 months postpartum and to date have lost around 25 lbs. To reach my goal, I have 35 to go. I’ve been disciplined with exercise but had fallen off the wagon with my calorie counting and thus the weight loss stopped. Reading this blog entry has given me the motivation to jump back on the wagon and finish this thing! My goal is to reach my wedding weight. I want to have before and after photos like yours!

  98. Alana

    Amanda – Wow!! You are inspiring!! Way to go on losing weight on your own. I love that you did it your own way – you’ve motivated me to try it! You look fabulous!

  99. lisa

    thanks for sharing- i have referred back to this post at least a dozen times in the last month. i lost 38 pounds about 5 years ago and have re-gained 14 since then. scary. so 3 weeks ago, i went back to the gym and back on restricted calories. and i’ve dropped 2 pounds. i’m on the right track now, and i appreciate the support this post has provided.

  100. Jaimie

    I’m so sorry if someone already asked this – there are over 300 comments so I couldn’t read through them all, but I only have 1 question – how were you not STARVING with only 1200 calories? That is my biggest obstacle with cutting calories – I feel so hungry. Did you experience this, and what did you do about it? I didn’t notice any snacks in your daily plan so I was just wondering. THANK YOU – because I am SO encouraged and inspired by your story!

  101. Jeff Blackwell

    Would you happen to have any before & after pictures of your husband? Not that I’m interested in him. Show me that and I’m sold and will give your program a try. I am about 50 pounds overweight and so are 60 million other americans. And you look great top to bottom!

  102. Donna

    Your story has really inspired me. Being disabled, it’s very difficult to do the “diet and exercising” in a normal manner. I also have many allergies to preservatives, but with a calculating program, I think I can do this! Both for myself and my husband. For sure it doesn’t come off just thinking about it!

    One big thing we will need to do, too, is stop parking that car in the garage at night when it’s full!! Great analogy!


  103. Rebekah

    I found your site searching for DSLR tips and stumbled across your weight loss journey. I’m sold! Started today! Thanks for the great resources.

  104. Rhonda

    I’ve been checking out your website for some time now and this is the first time I’ve read about your weight loss! I’ve recently lost weight, too and it’s been the same way you have. 1200 calories a day….exercise….and journaling everything. It works. I also decided to eat whatever I want. I just use portion control and my kitchen scale is a huge key to my success. :) I feel better than I have in a long time. I enjoy eating and I look forward to it each and every day. I think it helps when you are eating what you want & feel like you have no restrictions.
    Congrats to you, Amanda! You are such a talented person and I love your creativity and ideas!!!!
    Thanks a million!

  105. Sheila

    You look fabulous, dawling! Thanks for sharing your story – like you and so many others that have posted, I have spent the summer at the gym exercising 4x a week for not much gain at all. I lost 4 lb total, lost no inches. I am a bit more toned, but what I really wanted was the extra 20 lb GONE. The muffin top GONE. Looks like I will have to shoot for the calorie counting too!

  106. Kristy

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! This is JUST what I needed!! Seriously! My plan of action begins first thing tomorrow!!! Yaay!!

    And you look totally fabulous! :)

  107. Audra

    From an Auburn woman to another, War Eagle and congratulations! I am starting my 1200 calorie diet today. :) Wish me luck!

  108. Julia Hull

    THANK YOU for outlining how you lost weight. I can’t seem to exercise but this, THIS I can do! Seems so simple, how did I not think of this before? :) Thank you again.

  109. Karolynn

    I enjoyed reading your weight loss story! I have recently lost about 138lbs. I have about 10 more to shed and am really struggling it is going really slow. Perhaps I need to try something different. Like what you did. Thanks for sharing!

  110. Flor

    Hola Amanda, antes que nada quiero felicitarte a ti y tu esposo por tanta creatividad, y por compartirla, ya antes había visitado tu página pero no me había dado cuenta de estas entradas que es tu vida real, todo lo que aquí cuentas es para darse ánimo a toda aquellas que pasamos por la tortura del sobrepeso y cargar este por tantos años y no poder bajar, no porque uno no haya podido sino porque has hecho tantas dietas, la de la luna, la de las estaciones, la de la fruta, la de los licuados, en fin, ya me cansé de tanto escribir!!!! , y no bajar ni un gramo, pero me he animado a seguir estos tips que das y luego te cuento. Hasta pronto.

  111. Corinne from Toronto, Canada

    I just came across your blog via The Lettered Cottage. Reading your weight loss story is inspiring. I am 48, menopausing, and have about 50 lbs to lose. I was always slim until I hit 40. And the scale tells me I am 200 lbs at 5’7. OMG. I noticed I don’t want to be in pictures with my family. Eating clean, portion control as you described is the way to go and exercise too. Thanks again for the inspiration. I am going to use myfitnesspal to enter my brekkie right now!

  112. Anna Geffken

    I just read your story! thanks :) It’s encouraging to it can be done. I have about 15-25 pounds that I’m trying to loose. I’ve been longing to do it for a year but eat to maintain not loose. I’m gonna really take this to heart and try it :)

  113. Julie

    Well, you’ve heard it before, but I felt the need to say it again…

    This is awesome, the timing is perfect, I am inspired, I will try, I now have a plan, YOU look fantastic & I can’t wait to feel that way about myself too!

    Bless you! Thank you for sharing.

  114. Clarissa

    Wow! Omg! This is really inspiring. 1st off let me say…u look awesome. I have decided to take the challege starting today. Its funny because I’ve. Been wanting to try smartones, healthy choices etc to see if they really work……I looked up any success stories and I found urs. This is really truly inspiring. U give me hope!!! It wouldn’t hurt to try. Lol.

  115. Tahnaykay

    Congrats!! on your weight loss as I am too on this journey but had no clue and thanks because you have inspired me to try again ;o)

  116. Ieasha Akins

    Hey Amanda, I subscribe to your blog and absolutely love it! This is the first time I have had a chance to read your weight loss story and I am so glad that I did. First off, you look so healthy, so congratulations!!! I totally understood where you were coming from in the beginning of your weight loss journey; I moved down to the south and got married three years ago, and started baking, cooking (loving it too) and enjoying Southern food (I grew up with pretty strict diet due to religious beliefs and never had fried foods, didn’t eat pork, etc.). Of course I gained 40lbs of “happy” weight and I have been struggling to get it off for two years. I have tried so many diets with very little weight loss success. When I read your weight loss story, I thought, “I could do that” and I will. Thanks so much sharing your journey, it is great inspiration and has made me hopeful about losing my weight!!! I will keep you posted!

  117. Ron Watson

    The diet that works for me is Dr. Gott’s No Flour No Sugar Diet.Just drop the bread and dessert.You have to sacrifice something!…Lost weight like a house afire!

  118. Chic

    Hello Amanda! I am inspired by your story and I’ve just bookmarked this so I can refer to it everyday. I am 18 years old, aroung 5’0-5’1 and I weigh 140lbs/63 kilograms. My mom doesn’t have any clue about dieting. I hate veggies. I don’t exercise but I am committing myself to jog and run on weekdays starting tomorrow. I do have Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred, I only did 3 days then I got bored. And I don’t know the food I have to eat and their corresponding calories, portion sizes. I don’t know any of that stuff. What do you suggest? I’m Asian so I eat rice everyday but I hate veggies. I plan on eating cereal every breakfast, at lunch maybe another kind of cereal and a fruit and I don’t know what to eat for dinner. Do you have any ideas? I am just so lost. Please help me I wanna slim down like you!

  119. rani

    i can’t believe I just now found this post! I just started again on Sparkpeople. Had some knee surgery and a bout of pheumonia to fight! But this is very inspiring!!! Thanks for you blog!!! I love everything you share!

  120. Sharlene Frazier

    I am proof this method works for losing weight. I have lost 46 pounds by following your method but I did not know this blog existed until today. Healthy Choice is the only “TV” dinner I have found with more flavor than the I have eaten more vegetables than before the diet. The choice of vegetables do need to be watched for their calorie contents. Oatmeal is a good choice for breakfast as is boiled eggs.
    I am unable to exercise much due to bad knees but have still lost weight. Congratulations on your weight loss!

    1. rani

      glad to hear that even with bad knees, you were able to loose weight. I recently had knee surgery and became really sad over the fact that I can’t do the things I used to-but it’s encouraging to start again with some renewed spirit!

  121. Kia

    omg, you are such an inspiration! i love it! i felt like i was reading something about me! haha. it just seemed like everything you said was what i’ve always thought about tooo. thank you sooo much for sharing your story! i am definitely going to try this!
    (all my exclamation points are because i am sooo excited!) thanks again for sharing such an inspiring story! :DDDDDD

  122. Joy

    I am 50 years old, diabetic, and have been overweight since having my first baby at 23. I decided to have wieght-loss surgery. I saw the doctor and he put me on a 1000 calorie/low fat & carb diet and I have lost 55 lbs since July of 2010. I am down 4 sizes!! I try to do 20 minutes on an eliptical machine several times a week. I would like to lose 40 more. I have pretty much decided that I don’t need surgery and I can do this on my own. My insurance refuses to pay so I will save around $20,000. It really is as simple as cutting portions/calories and exercising. I was afraid I would go back to old habits but I will be off the diabetes meds soon and that is inspiration enough for me to stay the course. It is how to eat for life! I hope this inspires others. Great job Amanda and Kevin! Thanks for getting the TRUTH of losing weight out there to so many.

  123. Stacey

    My sister-in-law referred me to your blog and I absolutely love your posts. Congratulations on your weight loss. I really would like to lose 30-40 pounds and have not been successful at counting points. Your plans sounds very doable. I have one question – what type of things did you eat for supper? That’s my most challenging part.


  124. Jenn

    I am absolutly amazed and totally inspired. I have always thought that I was just like I am (size 14) and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I have tried diets here and there but nothing has stuck. Thank you for this post and the encouragement! You look absolutly fabulous. I hope I have before and after photos that are as great as yours!!!

  125. Carolyn

    WOWZER! Congratulations. Thanks for sharing this information. My husband and I have been wanting to get into a healthier lifestyle, and you have inspired me to get with it! I know it will be sooo worth it. And, I totally relate to the mentality that “it’s just the size I am,” etc.

    Thanks, again!

  126. Tonya Isbell

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I just love everything about your blog. I have been trying to lose weight and have successfully lost 22 pounds. I have been going back and forth between low carb and low calories. It’s working okay, but man I gained a few pounds over Christmas. I did so good through Thanksgiving, but Christmas did me in!!! *Sigh*

  127. Abby

    I’m 15 and I’m a size 10/12. I don’t feel that fat, but I don’t feel good either. In the past few months, I’ve been working the fat off real slowly; gradually cutting back calories & also gradually increasing exercise. Nothing drastic at all, and I’ve noticed my clothes are fitting more loosely now! I wore a size 12 dress to a wedding in October, and I just tried it on again today and it was practically falling down! I’m so proud of myself (and of course you) but I want it to come off faster now. Time to get strict..!

  128. Jessica Dudley

    I just came across your story and have been feeling really terrible about this last 30 lbs hanging on. I’ve lost a little over 20 lbs, but I’ve been stuck and unable to shed this last 20. I use too for logging my food and fitness. However, I’m always more on the 1500 calorie end of my “limit” and am having troubles during my WEAKends. Any suggestions on weekends?

  129. Brenda


    Well to start off,im 14 yrs. old and ive been wanting to loose weight and fast i weight like 80 kg and my weight is exactly 5’8
    do you think exercising is enough or should i do and try the 1,200 cal. p/day? what do u recommend? :D
    Brenda Lennox,CA

  130. Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet

    Thanks for the inspiration! I downloaded the SparkPeople app for my phone today and am doing your 1200 calorie plan.

  131. Caylie

    I found your blog about 2 weeks ago and I was just so inspired! I recently went to the doctor and got weighed, eek. I was heavier then I’ve ever been and just not happy with the way I look.

    After reading your weight loss story I decided it was time for a change, I started counting calories the next day! The first week I was going through some sugar withdrawls and felt hungry often. But I’m part way through week two and I feel great. The craziest part is that I went from 138 to 130 in less than 2 weeks, i was shocked!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  132. Jodi E.

    Hi Amanda,

    Today I was looking in the mirror and thinking some of me just has to go! When I turned on my computer this evening I was looking at a few references I had saved related to losing weight. I quickly gave up and started looking for fonts to use with my new Silhouette cutter. (another story all it’s own!). As I was looking on your site I thought I remembered that you wrote about losing some weight. I found the page, read it and am inspired to get going…Thanks for sharing!

    I got to be encouraged and find awesome fonts!!

    Have a great day,

  133. Ashley

    What kind of exercise routine did you have? Also, I totally fell in love with your Shabby Chic Dangly Ear ring display and tried it for myself. I posted pics on my blog. I just love it!! You can use the small chicken wire also which will allow for a lot more room. It won’t be as organized but, I think it would work well too. Loving your blog!!!

    Keep the great ideas coming!!

  134. Ashley

    I just happen to run up on your blog and I love it!! You are so talented and I love your ideas. This weight loss story is perfect for me because I too am trying to lose 30 pounds. I currently weigh 160 and want to get back to that 130 mark. I picked out a pair of miss me jeans that I want at a whopping $108. Once I lose the weight, that is my reward!! lol Nothing like a good pair of jeans to boost your motivation.

    Thanks for sharing so much with us!! I am definitely going to do the ear ring thing.


  135. kelley blake

    Seriously, so inspiring! I am on my way to losing weight by watching what I eat and exercising 3-4 times a week. It really does help to hear people tell their stories because sometimes I honestly feel like “Am I the only one here that has to work hard to lose weight?”. Thank you so much for sharing your story! You look FABULOUS!

  136. Kelsi @ Modern Mom, Redefined

    I LOVE this! It’s so hard to find someone to relate to and I can totally do that with your story. Thanks for posting how you did it…. I went out yesterday and bought a ton of lean cuisine meals at Target (they were having a special) I posted about it on my blog (and used your before/after pics) Check it out and let me know if that’s ok. OH, and thanks for the fonts! I have been obsessed with them for some time now… quite the talent!!

  137. Laura

    Hi, I just came across your blog. Congratulations on your weight loss.I have needed to lose about 30 pounds since my son has been born- He is almost 4!!!! How time flies by!! I have started my diet many times, but have given up because I hate to have to keep track with everything Im eating. I started a few days ago by purchasing a few healthy choice steamers. I really love them. I like that I can stick with my usual breakfast and then I know exactly what Im going to eat for lunch and dinner. I still have to cook seperate meals for my family, so its a little more expense weekly. But if that is what it takes to finally lose this weight, I dont mind. One question though, what are you doing to maintain the weight loss. Im so afraid that I will put forth all this effort, just to regain it. Any info would be great!! Thanks again.

  138. Ella

    Thank you for sharing your weight loss story. It really is inspiring when someone shares their story so truthfully with others. I’m going to try your tip of taking a multivitamin daily. That sounds like a great idea. By the way, you look absolutely lovely!

  139. Beth


    You have inspired me and I have to date lost 12 pounds in 5 weeks. I am feeling great and the 1200 calorie way of life style is really easy!! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me!! I love you blog and creative ideas!

  140. Camey

    I am so impressed. I am pregnant now with twins and so am not thinking of diet, but I have been trying to lose weight for years. I actually was small growing up and didn’t start gaining weight until about 20 or so. I was always so active, that I think when I got busy with school and life I took a nose dive, and could never get under 150. ANyhow, what I am wondering is did you really eat more than 1200 calories before this? I hardly eat, I work out, I stop drinking my favorite thing-juice, and instea of lose wight, I gain it! Anyhow, I saw your story and would be happy with a size 6…I am also a 10. I just would like to know more. Thanks!

  141. Sharon

    Wow, this is my 2nd comment in one day, lol. You truly look fab Amanda. About 9 months ago I decided I needed to do something about my weight. I had a LOT to lose and it seemed overwhelming. I had done every diet out there and lost weight before but always to gain it back again. I wanted this time to be different. I think something must have just clicked in me because finally at almost 45 years of age I have managed to lose 85 lbs in 9 months! I know this time it’s different and I truly feel that I will not gain it back again. I’ve never felt this way before.

    People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to lose the weight and, honestly, all I can say is that I’ve learned how to make good choices, eat balanced meals, and I’ve added some (not a lot) of exercise to my weekly routine mainly by walking the dog after dinner each night, parking my car further away from the entrances to malls, etc. and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. I work on the 2nd floor and when I started this 9 months ago I could barely make it up without keeling over but now it’s a breeze!

    Well, I just wanted to share in your enthusiasm and let people know that one can lose weight without having to spend a lot of money or join the diet program of the season, whatever it may be. Keep up the good work and I’ll do the same :)

  142. Christina

    Just thought I would let you know that I lost 10 lbs. by decluttering my home over a period of 3 weeks and I wrote a little blurb about it on my blog. You inspired me with reducing your caloric intake. I read that and thought, well~duh, so if I reduce my calories and I raise my energy level by staying in constant motion over a period of time, it just might work. I ate clean and ate 1 micro meal and kept my calories at @1300 a day if that and man if it didn’t work before my eyes. It’s amazing what 10 pounds can do. Now over time I am raising my calories a little bit at a time, because I know I can’t do this for a very long time. I plan on losing 40 lbs. and am off to a great start, but it was a mental mindset that if I don’t change than my weight will stay the same. Easy concept to get. So I went for it and wanted to thank-you for planting a seed in me. I put a link to your weight loss story into my tips to decluttering and losing weight in the process here: Thanks again, Christina

  143. shannon Konczal

    i have been following your blog on and off for a year and a half.I found you because i was redecorating my scrapbook room and googled “beautiful scrapbook rooms” and you came up. What attracted me to your lifes blog first was your photos i waned to learn what you were doing with the same camera i have, then i realized i love love love your decorating sceme in your home ( and this says alot because i have totally different taste, Im restoring a victorian after that i was drawn to the recipes and think after that i just fell in love with you and kevin, so ive been following all this time without one single comment but today i want to tell you that im so happy for you, you look amazing and im glad you realized it wasnt hard to have the body you want. i went through this trasformation a year ago and i think the hardest part was convincing yourself to just do it. Thank you for such a wonderful blog


  144. Kim

    Have to admit, I am a little jealous of the cargo pant size change. I have been doing WW for nine weeks and have lost 19 lbs. What I don’t understand is that when I started, I wore a size 10. 19 lbs later…still a size 10. Looser, yes. But still a 10. I am sticking with it, but I just wish my pant size would change with the scale.

  145. ceejay

    Amanda – you look AWESOME! i wish a story like that would one day emerge from my life. i’ve been big ever since i was a pre-teen and its getting worse now. i’ve always been the same weight give or take a few lbs. trainers, diets, exercise, slimfast, atkins, lemonade cleanses – argh.

    i guess it’s back to calorie counting – you’re inspiring me to not give up, thanks :)

  146. Lisa G.

    So inspiring!! You inspired me to for the first time ever in my life try a calorie lifestyle! I have lost 3lbs this week and am amazed because I’m happy with what I’m eating! yay! I love love love lean cuisine and wwatcher meals! Thanks for the inspiration! Your photo of your pant sizes…that’s what did it for me!

  147. Jennifer

    Thank you so much!!! You are an inspiration! Funny that I had found your site for the first time today and I started a “diet” today. Divine timing!!! Since having twins it has been difficult for me to loose weight and keep it off. Now I’m slowly putting more and more on. I just bought my first size 10 pants with tears in my eyes and I’m noticing that I don’t feel completely comfortable in my own skin anymore :( I have found so much disapointment in other “diet” failures but I’m just too stubborn to give up. I am definitely going to go with your 1200 calorie count…water only! I know I can do this. Thanks again and a BIG hug from me is coming your way! PSSSTTT…you look fabulous!!!

    Bright Blessings, Jennifer

  148. Bekah

    OMG this is what i’ve been lookin for!! since having a baby in June 09, i’ve been at a stand-still. I lost 30 lbs in the first 6 weeks after delivery but that was from breastfeeding and then i had to stop brstfdg. i did lose some more but now, i’m stuck… i DO NOT know how much i weigh now, and am scared to know, but i know i’m not happy. i was a size 4/6 prior to my infertility treatments 2 years ago and now, i’m in a 8/10 and I’M MISERABLE! When i was in my 2nd trimester, i had to cut to an 1800 calorie a day diet b/c my husband weighed 11 lbs at birth, we didnt’ want a big baby so my dr. gave us that solution and it was easy…i did well… SOO… i feel like this 1200 calorie a day thing i could soo do! w/ a now 9 month old, it’s tough to do a diet but watchin portions and counting calories i can do b/c it’s easy w/ the internet to find out even what’s in take-out! THANK YOU FOR THE POST RECENTLY (MARCH 16, 2010) B/C I’M SOO GOIN DO THIS and your before & after pics shock me! we are also goin on a cruise June 20-27th and Shelby will be a year and 8 days by then so I WANT to be known as “Wow, you have a baby?” and right now i don’t get that anymore…THANK U THANK U THANK U! i had to cancel our gym membrship b/c i cannot go when the classes i attended are offered now and plus by workin full time i wanna spend as much time w/ shelby after work as i can so i do walk in the evenings, when it’s pretty out, so this will soo help! WOW A SIZE 10 TO A 2?!! WOW… I SOO WANT THAT! I have always been small and wore a 0-2 from high school all through college and went up to a 4/6 after marriage and the infertility drugs RUINED all that and then post-preg lbs…well you get my drift…and life, and so on..excuse excuse.. but THANK U.. WOW… any other tips?? email me:
    ~God bless,

  149. Nancy Wyatt

    Amanda! Congrats!! I have been doing weight watchers since January and have lost 8lbs. For the last two weeks I have been feeling the urge to just give up but I try my best not to. This is definately inspiring! I have been a size 14/16 for years and at my smallest weight I wore an 8/10 but that was never for very long. In HS I think I was a 9 so I need to keep it up and try to get down to that size at the very least. You and Kevin have done an awesome job and again I have to say an inspiration! I’m going to keep at it so that maybe in 9months I can have a before/after photo on my blog! hugs from Texas!

  150. Emily Heizer Photography

    You know what’s really funny Amanda? You and I basically did the exact same diet, with the exact same result!

    Not only did I start out doing the couch to 5k program, and lost minimal weight while doing it (LOL)but I also learned to control my calories through lean cuisines and smart ones. No joke. And oh yeah the WW double fudge brownie ice cream? That’s my favorite too. (I also like the mint). Every single dessert snack you listed, I used to buy on a consistent basis. SERIOUSLY. I could have written this post myself- just about every word!

    Except I started at a size 18 and went to a 10/12 and dropped around 60 pounds. I have been maintaining for a year, but I really want to lose another 20 pounds so I can push myself into the “healthy” category according to the BMI. I”ve really been stuck on this point, especially since I’ve taken a hard income hit and can’t buy ready meals anymore because I can’t afford it financially. (That was a new one to me!)

    Do you mind me asking how tall you are? (So I can compare to myself… I have no idea how many sizes down 20 pounds will take me… if it would be alot or a little.) I am 5 foot 5 and a quarter… lol

    If you see this and leave a comment on my blog with the answer, that would be AWESOME!
    Thanks Amanda!

  151. Marilyn


    Thank you for your thoughts on dieting and exercise. Congrats on the weight loss. The pictures of you before and after are amazing. I know that I am about 4 months behind here posting on your blog, so I don’t know if you will see this or not. But I am going to give the site a try and the site too. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Marilyn in TN

  152. Kendra

    I love your blog and your story has really motivated me to lose weight too! I just had a baby and had kept some extra weight! :) thanks for the inspiration!

  153. mandy

    Congrats Amanda that is great! I have been wanting to lose weight and you just motivated me! Thank you! Random question though – why did you use sparkpeople and – as far as I could tell they basically do the same thing except caloriecounter has a few more really cool tools like the recipe thing! Was there a benefit? Just wondering – I know it sounds lazy but if I could just log in to one thing per day I would probably stick to it better:) Thanks!

  154. Ashley

    Thank you! You have given me hope with my wedding coming up! Also, Hungry Girl is an awesome website and cook book for low cal desserts, snacks, and meals!

  155. Dawn

    Congratulations Amanda! I’m new to your blog. I came across it in trying to learn to customize my own blog. I have found lots of useful information on your site. Thanks.

    I appreciate your willingness to share your story. It’s such a timely thing for me to be reading at this moment. I am looking to shed some extra pounds myself and all that you have said has just been confirmation of the simple to me.

    I too was contemplating NutriSystem and Weight Watchers, but the cost is just way to out there. Thank you for encouraging me in the realistic ways to accomplish my goal.

    Thanks again,

  156. Amanda

    Congrats! You look amazing!! This is now the only weight loss page I have in my bookmarks. Keeping things simple is what really works!

  157. Angela

    Hi Amanda,

    I am curious if there was a website you used for recipes for dinner? I’m a young newlywed and have not really started making “dinners” yet, but I would love to find some good healthy recipes. :)

  158. Amy Rehbein

    Hi! I just found your blog yesterday. I have been reading it today. I love it. I have been trying to loose…. (i say that loosely) 15 pounds…. since baby #3 came that was 2 years ago. I have never had a problem with my weight until this point in my life, So I feel very lucky. I was not really sure how to go about the whole thing. I have tried working out… never loose the weight like you said. U have inspired me to try the 1200 calories and water life style. I kinda knew that was my trouble I would not eat all day and then just pig out and eat way to much at supper and then snack at night. I also do not drink enough. I like coffee so I drink that in the morning. then only milk or something with dinner.
    So I am going to try your way… see what happens. Thanks!

  159. Kelly

    Congratulations! I too am on a weightloss journey…down 18.4 pounds so far. Have a ways to go, but feel so much better already.

    Love you blog. Thanks for sharing your story.


  160. Hot Mama Kelly from Austin

    Thanks so much for your post on this…As of this today, I’ve been tracking everything I’ve been eating and doing and I reduced my calories to 1550 total for each day (I just couldn’t do 1200 only!). Amd holy guacamole, Batman, it’s working! I’ve lost 3 pounds in a week and a half! My goal is 20 and I promised myself an all out pedi when I hit the ten pound mark. At this rate, I’ll get my pampering before I thought I could! Thank you thank you thank you!

  161. Becky Brinkerhoff

    That is truly amazing and I love the fact that you didn’t have to go to the Jenny Craigs of the world. You look fantastic and it truly gives me hope as I try and diet and lose some “Happy Fat” myself. I’m trying to be good and get some cardio and strength training in through my Wii Fitness program but still having a hard time with that food issue. I will try your approach and hopefully lose at least 20 if not more! Thanks for sharing!!

  162. Kristie Havyer

    very inspiring. I started counting my calories a week ago and I think I am down 2 pounds so far. I wont know for sure until tomorrow. You look awesome. Congratulations

  163. Kelly

    Hi, I came across your blog on another blog- Craftaholics Anonymous (She linked your blog for a font post). You look great and your storing is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing! I still am working on losing 30lbs from when I had my baby over a year ago. I am adding your blog to my list!:O) Happy New Year!!

  164. Jaslin

    Woah! I love how your calorie count turned out to be like! I must try that! It’s truly I post I won’t ever get tired reading again and again! Thanks so much! :D

  165. Kati POwell

    Oh my goodness!! I lost 40 lbs the same way and have been trying to explain to people everything you wrote and can’t! thank you, I posted a link to your story on my weight loss blog. good job!

  166. Leslie

    Wow! I am having a REALLY hard time getting and keeping the weight off (just turned 40 but don’t tell :>) I would LOVE to know some of the meal plans you used, like what you ate for breakfast, lunch, etc to give ideas. I have a hard time trying to think of different food choices. Just signed up for SPARK- very cool- thanks! Is your blog still available on SPARK. If so, how do I find it?

  167. Cori

    THANKS for you weight loss story! After my third child, it has been really hard for me to loose the weight. I’m going to try what you did and see how it works for me! Thanks again…

    By the way, I LOVE you website! Thanks for the beautiful fonts and tips on how to make a better BLOG.

  168. shannon hayward

    Wow! Great motivation! I keep starting and then feel like I have such a long way to go so I stop. Maybe I can do this after all…

  169. Aurora

    I honestly thought that I had the wrong website because you looked so different! And in a great way, I might add. ☺ Thank you for sharing all of your tips.
    Merry Christmas!

  170. Mommy Taylor

    Wow, thanks for sharing that inspiring story! I’ve been wanting to lose weight for YEARS! I keep telling myself that THIS is the year. I’ve had 2 kids so far and I really want more, but I’m afraid of gaining more weight without having lost all the weight from my previous pregnancies. I’m newly remarried and I think my new husband deserves to have a hot wife. (Of course, he loves me the way that I am…) I’m going to try this. Today I’m going out to buy the Healthy choice meals and the Lean Cuisines. I’m going to do this and I’m going to lose the 30 lbs that I’ve been wanting to lose. I’m in a size 10/12 right now and I can’t wait to be in a 4/6 again! If you can do it, so can I.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  171. Allison

    You lost weight just the same way I did! Isn’t it awesome?!! And it cost NUTHIN’! So easy and so fun and YES–you look AMAZING!

    You’re gorgeous girlfriend! Congrats!

  172. Jennie

    Wow!! What an inspiration you are to me!! I know EXACTLY what you mean about actually trying to do something that you will stick to!! I actually went and tried on jeans last night at the mall, and to my dissappointment I am not so skinny anymore!! :( (and I’m not just saying that!!) Before my boys I was a size 1, today I am a size 12!! :( I never thought I would see the day as I have ALWAYS been skinny and ate what I wanted. So I guess it’s catching up to me now. Your before and after pictures are seriously so inspiring…I am going to do this!! I want to blog about my weight loss success!! Thanks for sharing Amanda – CHEERS to all your hard work!! :)

  173. Anny Schomburg

    WOW, I thought when I logged on to your website that you had lost weight, and you HAD. Great job!!! You inspire me to do so too. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  174. Lorie

    wow! your weight loss story really inspired me a lot. Read everything and your before and after photo is a great example.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your story and your personal tips.

  175. Candice

    Congrats – that’s so great for you both! I find it just amazing that something as simple as counting calories is all it takes – forget all those expensive programs or fad diets! Earlier this year I counted mine too, and ate 500 less a day than was recommended plus exercised 4 times a week to burn 450 cals/workout. It’s simple math, 3500 calories = a pound. I lost 30 lbs.too, and now am gaining some back – but it’s for my first baby, so I’m ok with that :) Love your site – thanks so much for the inspiration and just overall cuteness!!

  176. Betsy

    Thank you sooo much for posting your weight loss story. You seriously motivated me to get a move on it. I need to loose about 30 pounds but have just about found every excuse to start a diet next month! :)
    Last Monday 12/7, after reading and pondering your blog, I dove in. In a week I have lost a little over 2 pounds. I just keep thinking “I can do this!” It really is not hard if you just have the proper motivation. You motivated me and I thank you for that.

    Betsy Mills
    mother of 4
    small business co owner

  177. Tia

    Kudos to you! You really do look fantastic. I have always been an active person, and was a size 2 when I got married. Two kids later (I gained 75 pounds with my first cutie) I am still struggling to lose the last 25 pounds. I run every day, and I couldn’t figure out why exactly I am not losing any more…and reading your post, it is all about portion control. I mean, my metabolism is not exactly what it used to be. Maybe one of these days I will let you know how it goes!

  178. Cheryl Ann

    Congratulations on a job well done! I have a lot of weight to lose, and have some of the same problems you had. I joined a gym in October and have been going four times a week with my husband. BUT not one pound of weight loss. I do have thyroid deficiency and take medication for it. My blood pressure went down, it was a little high, and now is is 122/67. We have almost eliminated late evening snacking to no avail. So obviously it is my calories, and I too tend to skip eating most of the day and I am starved at supper.

    I have a couple of questions for you. First, do you ONLY drink water? Never anything else? And second, do you reduce the size of the recipes you cook for two or do you make the whole thing and freeze it or what?

    And lastly, I have a recipe site you might like. You can enter in ANY recipe and it will give you a complete nutritional breakdown, you can reduce a recipe and it will give you the ingredients, and you can SAVE your favorite recipes. It is and it has LOTS of recipes!

    You DO look younger! You already looked young, but now you look better! Thanks so much for reminding me it is really important to look at your calories, especially since so many low carb or low fat diets insist you don’t need to count calories only carbs or fat. That way of thinking has permeated the diet world in spite of doctors trying to tell us it wasn’t the best way to diet. The best diet is one that is good for you and you can live with every single day of the rest of your life!

    Remember my favorite quote:

    “Keep doing what you’re doing and keep getting what you’ve got!”

    That can be looked at positively or negatively; both good for you and/or bad for you. But it is a simple truth.

    THANKS for an honest and deeply inspirational story of your journey!

  179. Rachel

    Thank you sooo much for posting your tips and weight lo9ss success! :D I recently started dieting (which I like to call my “health program for life” instead of dieting for encouragement and long term goals). I have thyroid disease, so now that I am on a pill to help control my thyroid, I have been able to lose weight! :) I lost 9 pounds, but then gained a few pounds around Thanksgiving week (not for over eating, but for eating foods with too many calories). I have been exercising like a maniac and I have seen soo much improvement in my health! :) It’s still discouraging for me some days since I’m at the beginning and all, but I keep going, knowing that it’s not just some weight loss thing for a couple of weeks, but the rest of my life. If I keep going, I WILL lose the weight. :) Anyway, your story was sooo encouraging to me! :D And your tips were great! :) Keep up the good work! You and your husband both! ;)

    ~Miss Rachel~

  180. Jessica

    I can’t believe that I missed this post, but I’m so glad that I noticed it today. I can’t tell you how much of an inspiration all of this is – every bit of it! I’ve tried “counting calories”, but thinking about it was as far as I got because I couldn’t help but think that it wouldn’t really help me lose weight. I’ve been wanting to get back to doing the 30 Day Shred, but it’s not always something that I have time for, since I’m so busy. It’ll be nice to hope on the counting calories wagon with more confidence…

  181. Lisa Marie

    Sparks Rocks I lost 29lbs on sparks its the best went from a 14 to a 7 at 5 foot 8 inches… love love love it… :) GREAT JOB… :)

  182. scrappinkay

    I just came upon your site. I totally need to lose 30lbs in two months. I have never had to diet, I have exercised off and on over the years. I have two kids and have the belly bulge and the layers of fat on top of that. I weight 150 and would like to weight 120 but 130 is probably more realistic. I have never weighed this much unless I was pregnant.

    My problem is that once I put it in my head that I need to lose weight, my head starts playing games big time with me and I want the food even more. I have an eliptical machine that don’t use very often, I can only be on it for about 15 minutes and my left foot falls asleep. I have tried all kinds of shoes, no shoes, house shoes and it’s always the same.

    I’d love some inspiration and guidance from you. Sweets and carbs are my weakness. I eat whole oatmeal every day for breakfast, 4 days out of 7 I have a half of PB sandwich for lunch. Snacking and sweets are my total downfall.

    You are so frickin cute, your complexion is beautiful, you just have such a glow about you.

    Thanks for sharing your story and for letting me tell mine.

  183. Dawn Farias

    Amanda – you are so sweet to share what you did. It’s nice to get a real person’s view of losing weight. For what it’s worth (and in my opinion, this is worth a lot): a single serving of Hershey’s Nuggets is exactly 200 calories. That’s four pieces!! And if you buy the variety bag that means you can have one of each style!

    Thanks, again. I’m just starting this week to watch my food and exercise more. I’ve cut out caffeine (more because I heard it helps with mood stabilization) and extra sugar. I drink diet drinks (Crystal Light) and am hoping to switch to only water next week. I’ll try to remember your 6-8 weeks experience. I’m eating regular meals with protein each time… OK – that’s enough. Again, thanks for sharing!

  184. Monica Sharpe

    I’ve been in the same boat for 6 months now, trying to lose your baby weight is so difficult. I’m officially starting this diet regimen today!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I already have all my lean cuisines/weight watcher meals, it’s time to get busy!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!

  185. Rebecca I.

    I just love hearing motivating success stories like this. I have struggled with my weight too & have made it a personal goal to not follow in the footsteps of my family members that are overweight. Keep up the good work & I also love your blog! If you are interested in my before & after, check out :) Thanks for sharing your story & keep us posted!

  186. Megan {Shabby Blogs}

    Well now it’s official. There really is nothing you can’t do. :) So awesome, Amanda! I totally thought you were gorgeous before though- just FYI. ;)

    PS. Totally fun getting to see the famous scarf in action!

  187. Ellen

    You look awesome! You have totally helped in inspiring me to “pay attention”-to what is going in my mouth & the calorie intake & remembering to eat as well!

  188. Julie

    Thank you for sharing your story. You sound an awful lot like me. There have been three-four times in the past few years I have wanted to lose weight (about 10-25) but would have been thrilled with 5! I would run 2-3 miles daily and watch what I ate and NOTHING. I decided I just was tis certain number on the scale my body liked. But now my weight is slowly creeping up, so I am willing to give your plan a try. I think it could really work because I know I eat more calories than that now! But I can be discliplned–I just give it up when I don’t see results. Wish me luck! You look so happy and great! GFY! :)

  189. May

    I don’t really have much time to exercise outside b/c I get home late everyday. I am thinking of getting one of those exercise programs for the Wii. You mentioned the Wii Fit and the Wii EA. I guess to burn calories I need one that has mostly cardio. I have seen these and the Wii Fit Plus as well as the Wii Fitness (I think that is the one that comes with a trainer). Anyway, which do you (or anyone elese that reads this) recommend for cardio? I need to lose about 40 lbs.


    PS. You look amazing :-)

  190. Megan

    Wow, I just have to say Thank You! So much of your story reminds me of myself. I have been doing the couch to 5k running plan for the last month and have seen 0 weight loss. I can’t stand restrictive diets and when I tried the plan where I counted points I became obsessed with the point value of every food. I love 2% milk (I was raised on it) and detest fat free. I have been struggling with my weight for about 6 years and *avoided* having pictures taken for the last year. I would consider myself at an ultimate low and my weight at an ultimate high. What you shared brought tears to my eyes because it sounded so familiar, but you have done it, and that brought me hope. I was beginning to feel so deflated. I didn’t think there would be a way out without spending lots of money. But I can see where you are coming from, and I can see myself doing the same thing. I am going to do it. I am going to try again. Thank You!

  191. Paula

    This is so inspiring – thank you for being so honest and real about it. I tried NutriSystem. I did lose weight but I also lost interest FAST. It was hard making a meal for myself, then a meal for my hubby, then another for my kids. I gotta give up the candy though – my weakness. Thanks for the inspiration and tips. You look amazing!!!

  192. Brittany

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    Like you, I participated in a rigorous exercise program, and did not lose weight. After becoming very frustrated and disappointed, I gave up.

    I have a lot to lose, and it is overwhelming.
    Having read how simple your modifications were, I am willing to give it another go. The links that you provided look like they will be fab tools as well.

    Thank you for being transparent about your weight loss.
    You looked beautiful before, but, now, you are radiant! Congratulations!

  193. Cheri Peoples

    Thanks for sharing-I’m working at getting the baby pounds off.

    I will be following your blog and hope you will come by for a visit.


  194. Andrea

    You look awesome. I love that you did this without subscribing to expensive weight loss programs. My husband and I are fed up with our weight and ready to do something about it. I’m going to use your photos as inspiration. While in the process, I know it will seem like I’ll never get there, but you did and I can too. Thanks for sharing!

  195. Tawnya

    I needed this post! I try to make it difficult by keeping track of to much information. I think I will give it a go of counting calories. I am not by a computer all day so I have a hard time tracking on the computer, did you find any good printable food diaries?

  196. Ginny

    Well congrats to you! I know you don’t want to hear that, but what an accomplishment.

    My main reason for commenting though, thanks for all the info. You gave a ton of great tips & it is really encouraging to read. Thanks again for the post!

  197. Laina

    Very inspirational, thank you for that. I have stuggles with weight gain ever since having kids and my youngest is now 7 almost 8! I have never done any real dieting, as I don’t really believe in them as I know what I put in my mouth needs to be more about a life plan. I have recently started to do exactly what you are doing. (just keeping my calories in check!) and going for walks and doing sit ups. Things are going well and I have lot 10 pounds. I was curious, just how long has it taken you to lose the 30? I feel too that I’m very much like you same, build with the same amount to lose. Just seeing how awesome you look with 30 less pounds, proves to me even more that the payoff is going to look great!:)

  198. Cuchi

    My Sister is fan of your Website and she email me your Loss Weight Story. Thank you very much for sharing it with all of us, I start the Nutrisystem Diet a week ago and i really hope to loss weight I only asking to lose 10 Lbs and i’ll be very happy, I hope i can get to my goal soon i will keep your ideas to inspire me.
    Thank you again. I hope to write you back soon letting you know that I lost 10 lbs.
    Thank you Nene for sending me this story.

  199. Gina

    Wow! That is so awesome. I knew you were looking skinnier. All I can think of now is 20 lbs in 11 weeks! If I went from my current size 12 to a 4/6 I’d think I died and gone to heaven. Just recently I managed to lose 10 lbs by only tracking my calories using a cool app that I got for my IPOD, I think it’s called Lose It. Unfortunately I stopped tracking and gained it all back in 3 months. You’ve inspired me. I’m going to go for it again.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  200. Lindsey

    i am so glad you posted this! i have a medical condition that makes me gain weight very fast and it happens randomly. My last gain was 55 lbs in 6 weeks. Your post made everything seem so simple! I have been reading and attempting diets a lot lately but I end up just getting frustrated. I’ve already started trying things your way. Thanks for the tips! And you look great!

  201. Lynsey

    I read this the other day but didn’t have time to comment! I have been thinking about rejoining Weight Watchers but don’t want to part with the $40/mo. Your plan sounds really similar–and FREE–so I am going to start that. You know, the day after Thanksgiving. :)

    Thank you!

    And you look great!

  202. Debi Kelley

    Wow, how awesome….and you do look terrific…. Think I may just have to try that. Thanks for sharing… I’m so glad I found this wedsite. It’s so interesting and fun.
    Thanks for all the work you do on it..

  203. Tina

    Stupdendous JOB!! Amazing, I love coming to your site to your cheery posts and reading great entries like this one :) I, too am an avid water drinker…I haven’t had a soda in about 8 years! I added coffee in the morning, but other than that, I drink only water. I need to do better about keeping meals in me during the day and I’ve thought about the couch to 5K program, but haven’t done it just yet :) Thanks for the inspiration, you look fabulous!

  204. Jenny

    Congratulations Amanda! Seriously – wow. Thank you so very much for detailed post and links. I’ve always wanted something like the recipe analyst at calorie count, but had no idea it actually existed. I’m a 10/12 now and I’ve been trying {I say that loosely} to lose this added marriage/baby weight for the past two year.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. My healthier eating starts today!

  205. Jenny

    Congratulations Amanda! Seriously – wow. Thank you so very much for detailed post and links. I’ve always wanted sometime like the recipe analyst at calorie count, but had no idea it actually existed. I’m a 10/12 now and I’ve been trying {I say that loosely} to lose this added marriage/baby weight for the past two year.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. My healthier eating starts today!

  206. Lorie

    Before and after pictures are always so inspirational. You looked great before, but I agree that you do look amazing now! And you look so healthy and fit. And like you are really enjoying the change!

  207. Beverly crockett

    What an inspiration! I really only have about 10 lbs to lose but I can certainly feel it! I have the desire until it comes time to do something. I really need to keep reminding myself how good you look! You should be so proud – you look wonderful!

  208. Hannah

    I gave up pop about two months ago (I mean, who wants the empty calories) and it’s been great! The first few weeks were hard (i. e., want a rootbeer float?) but since then, it’s been really awesome to have someone offer me soad, and I’ll say. “That’s okay, I don’t drink it.” ^^


  209. Ria C

    Wow, you’re amazing! I am so happy to see and read successful stories of people who lost weight and stuck to the practice. I wish I can do that too but we don’t have any Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem here in Dubai.

    Congratulations on your new and healthier self! Way to go!

  210. Stephanie

    Thank you for sharing your story!! I am having a hard time losing the weight I have put on since having kids. I was always slim and now I am overweight and it is so depressing. I used to love clothes, but now I dread getting dressed! You’ve really inspired me. The key to weight loss is simple and no frills!!! You look wonderful! Congratulations on your hard work! And thanks for your super cool fonts and backgrounds! Happy Thanksgiving!

  211. Emily

    I found your blog through Crystal’s blog (she’s an old friend of mine), and I have to tell you that you have inspired me to finally get going. I have been married for 8 years and have put on about 10 “happily married” pounds…. per year. Yuck. It’s easy to be discouraged and feel helpless, but your straightforward system was just what I needed to see. So thanks for putting it out there!

  212. Brook F

    The difference is amazing! Your skin does look better, and you look younger too! Not saying that you looked old before, you just look fresher and full of energy! This blog post was really helpful to me and I plan to start using your tips! Thanks for sharing!!

  213. Audrey Campbell

    Wow! You have definitely inspired me. I have packed on roughly 30 pounds since DH & I got engaged 6 years ago. I used to be a size 4 and am now a 10. I never thought it would be possible to wear such a small size again, but you have motivated me to try! Thanks for your story and your tips!

  214. Jenni K

    I thought you looked SUPER skinny in those pictures you posted about your new car. Congratulations! You look fabulous. This was a good reminder to me to be keeping track of what I eat.

  215. Rita

    Congratulations, you look absolutely beautiful! I have always that those frozen dinners would be an excellent way to lose weight and your proved my point.

    I need to do something and I might try this out. I don’t need to lose much weight, but I am so flabby compared to how I was in my 20’s… So thanks for the amazing tips!

  216. Jennie Larrsen

    YOU ROCK GIRL! great after photo! way to go!!! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION, AND i love that you did it all on your own! I feel so much inspiration from you. I am going to drink water all day NO’ Pepsi One!

  217. Suzanne

    I really appreciate that the before pic is just as nice a pic as the after pic. I mean, all those weight loss pill commercials make the person look manic depressive on the before pic and then all beautiful and well-dressed in the after!

  218. Tina Cockburn

    Wow. You look so amazing, and your story is so inspiring. I have at least 30lbs to lose and I love how easy this weight loss has been for you. Congrats to you both, and thank you for sharing this info with the rest of us!

  219. Kristin

    Amanda, I felt like I was reading my own story when I was reading yours. I was a size 10/12 and now I am a 4/6. I did it with portion control and exercise. A good tip is to eat on a smaller plate, it tricks your mind to think you are eating more than you actually are. Another thing that really helped me was Dr. Oz’s YOU ON A DIET. It is not your typical “diet” book. This book tells you how your body uses the food you eat, it helps you re-think your body and what you put in it.

  220. Suzie

    Hey girl!! Great job! I’m on the weight loss trek myself, haven’t said much to anyone either for fear of failure. It’s easier to not say anything than to risk everyone knowing nothing has changed.

    My regimen is a bit different. I’ve tried the WW thing several times and did well with it… but I just love food to much to write down everything all the time. I can’t stick with it.

    This time I’ve started with exercise three days a week while my little guys at preschool, lots of water, and chocolate. Yep, chocolate!

    I’ll explain… there’s a new healthy chocolate on the market now that is great. Chocolate itself is an appetite suppressant, but the way America prepares it it is fat laden and unhealthy for you, even most of what’s in the grocery store. Not only that, it offers amazing health benefits… see my blog for my mom’s story at

    Anyway… I’m feeling better, more energized and loving my new routines, and I get to eat a piece of chocolate 3 times a day. I’ve lost about 10 lbs in 8-9 weeks, but am gaining muscle (doing weight machines at the gym) and feeling more tone while I eat what I want.

    Hubby and I almost complained recently when we went to a buffet style meal because neither of us could eat what we’re used to … and I’m actually feeling like popcorn for dinner tonight, not really hungry- which is not the old me!

    Feel free to shoot me any questions if you want to know more… it’s great!

  221. Cara

    Wow, your story is so inspiring! I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out how I can lose the weight I’ve gained since high school, but there really aren’t any detailed plans out there that seem doable. Sharing your story was definitely worth it because it’s given me hope! Thank you so much, Amanda! You really have no idea how great it was to read about your weight-loss success & know that I can do it too. You should be very proud. :)

  222. Ashley

    Wow! So amazing! & Congratulations!
    You have no idea how happy I am that you posted this. About three years ago I started drinking just water, and I have had people tell me that I have lost a ton of weight, BUT recently I have noticed that I have gained weight. I’m not happy with it. I just don’t feel as good as I use too. I do have to say that I think most of it is because I quit exercising,(I finally did my first cardio/aerobics workout today since August! ahh!) and I have noticed that during the day, just as you said, I become to busy and eat like crazy at night! Thank you so much for this! I’m going to put it into practice! Hopefully in a few months I’ll have my before and after pics up!

  223. Jess

    Great work Amanda! I’ve been discovering very similar things lately. When it comes down to how to lose weight effectively, it really is soooo simplistic! I used sparkpeople too, and it was great! I also took up yoga, which was more just for lengthening and strengthening then weight loss, but it makes me feel great! I was told by a personal trainer once that your body can only handle a few hundred calories at a time, and the rest gets stored as fat. That really stuck with me. I used to be really bad about only eating lunch (only because I was too busy, not because I was trying to lose weight), but that lunch was a 1000+ calorie meal. I couldn’t understand why I was overweight. Then after having it explained to me in such a simple way, it made sense and it’s a very easy thing to understand and to follow in your daily life!

    One of my friends, who is somewhat of a “debbie downer” scoffed at me when I told her I was counting calories. She said I couldn’t just count calories forever. I nicely agreed with her, and said, “Yes, you’re right, but when you do it religiously at first, you educate yourself as to what’s okay to eat and what’s not, and just how much of it you should have, and you train your body to recognize when you’ve had enough”!

    Also, another small change I made, was that I used to always “save the best for last”. Such as, on chicken pot pie, the crust is my fave, so I would eat all the other stuff first, and then eat the crust and end up STUFFED! Uncomfortably stuffed! It’s made a difference. Now I eat the best parts first, so I don’t feel like I *have to* continue eating when I’m really not hungry anymore.

    All those little changes have made a big difference in my life! I’ve lost all but the last few 3-5 lbs that I’m working on, and that part is the toughest, but I know I’m doing the right things.

    Thanks for sharing your story! You look great!

    Jess — Jax, FL

  224. Melissa

    Hey, Amanda!
    Wow, you look so great! I know you have seen my blog before (b/c you’ve helped me with the header!), but did you know i have a weight loss blog, too? It’s It is SO hard & i have about 100+ to lose! :( I use sparkpeople also & it’s great! Both Sparkpeople & Calorie Count recommend between 1700 & 2100 calories for me, though (b/c of my weight) so i try to stick to 1800/1900 b/c i figure that’s a happy medium. However, i average about 1700 a day. Maybe this is too much?? B/c you’re doing 1200 & losing a lot more. (I’ve only lost 8 pounds & i’ve been doing this awhile now!) I’m sure 1200 is not enough for me simply b/c of my weight, but maybe they are wrong in recommending me that many? oh, i don’t know! what do you think?

  225. Sarah

    That’s so cool, Amanda! :) Good for you – – I just had our first baby…and wow, did that help “pack on the pounds!” :( I was always average and fit – and when I got married – THEN had a baby, EVERYTHING changed. Oiy…and I have NO idea how to diet, either! So, The Hubs and I are starting an excercise program together (TTapp) and making healthier food choices! :) We’ll see what happens…only 10 days into the workout and I’ve already lost 1.5 inches around the middle! Phew!

  226. Christy

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This came at just the right time! I have been trying to lose weight and getting nothing out of it but frustration. So I think that I am going to try it the “Amanda” way and maybe I will have “before and after” photos to share myself!!!!! ((I have quite the way to go though…..70lbs :( ))
    Thanks again!

  227. Lauren Elizabeth

    Hi again! I’ve got another thing…
    I’m a vegetarian, and as far as I know… There are very few things like that, that I would be able to eat. :(
    Your plan sounds wonderful, but… I don’t know how I would modify it. :(

  228. Kelly

    Lookin’ good! The last few pics I’ve seen, I’ve thought to myself that you were looking slimmer (I’m jealous! ;)). I’ve recently been noticing just how much “happily married fluff” I’ve put on since we were married in 2006 and I was just thinking today that I’ve got to do something but got overwhelmed when I started reading online. You could not have posted this at a better time. I feel more motivated now to actually start doing what my body and life deserves. Thanks for the tips and I hope I have some success. You really helped put it all in perspective for me. Thank you!

  229. Brooke

    Amanda…you look great!! Such an accomplishment! My mom just recently lost 100 pounds simply counting calories. It works! Thanks for sharing!

  230. Ashley

    That is so awesome! Anyone who has success with weight loss is awesome. I have been trying to lose 30 pounds for the last 8 months…but nothing has worked. I exercise at least 30 minutes (sometimes more) each day at the gym.


  231. Teresa

    Oh…and again I will tell you!
    I think everything you do is fabulous!
    Kevin is a LUCKY man!
    I added several of your buttons to my sidebar!

  232. Teresa

    First of all “thank you” for this detailed post! As soon as I began reading I popped up and got my notebook and pen to jot down all that you did!
    I think it’s fabulous that you put forth the effort to figure it all out on your own…and doesn’t it feel great to wake up each day and know that it’s in your control to maintain your fabulous new look!
    I don’t even know you and I kept thinking she looks so good…like you were refreshed and energetic! So I did see the difference!
    I know what you mean about the ‘marriage’ weight gain. Greg and I do love to eat together! This summer I spent at my parents farm…swimming…walking…everything…and watching what I ate big time! Felt like dynamite at the end of the summer! Then I get back to Seattle with Greg and begin eating all of these fabulous foods…now my tummy is bulging over my pants! Yuk!
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    I am a fitness finatic! Walk…run…lift weights! But I need to get my act together when it comes to my eating. And I adore the way you rewarded yourself with the one meal spluge a week! Yeah!
    Did you journal your daily food?
    What about salt?
    And how much exercize did you do weekly?
    Yep! Love those sour gummie daily vitamens…I have the Flintstones!
    Thanks for the detailed plan Amanda!
    Sounds great for the holidays!

  233. Kristen

    You look amazing Amanda. I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for several years now and have loved reading about all of your adventures. I too have tried countless times to lose weight but have had no success. I considered the NutriSystem and Jenni Craig programs, but like you, was unable to see the need. I’m not obese, but could definitely stand to lose a few pounds (I’m hoping around 20lbs). I’m so inspired by your story. You’ve given me hope that I CAN do it on my own with a few simple, but crucial changes. Thank you for the inspiration!

  234. Amy

    You are an inspiration! The one thing that keeps me from losing weight is my belief that I can’t do it. I love reading about your approach and your success… congratulations!

  235. Collette

    Amanda, Thanks so very much for posting your weight loss tips….and how you did it!! I’ve only been a subscriber for a few weeks, so I didn’t notice the weight loss, but I can say when I looked at your photos from your hike I noticed how much your skin glowed. Thanks again…………you’re an inspiration!!!!

  236. sarah goodwin

    Congrats! Losing weight is challenging-both mentally and physically but it can be done – so thanks for sharing your story to inspire others! I have a similar story- I lost over 50 lbs and have kept it off for 5 years now, expect this past year I gained 10 back that I am trying to lose and it’s much harder than the first time! I created my own plan too. I ate between 1200-1400 calories (no less than 1200 because that is super dangerous and also it made me feel terrible, headaches,no energy, etc if I ate less). 5 meals a day, three meals between 300-400 calories and 2 snacks around 100 in between meals so that I was eating every few hours. I did eat frozen meals but some had way too much sodium for me so I started eating lots of lean protein (veggie burgers & hotdogs, chicken, tuna, turkey burger) and unlimited fruits/veggies. I exercised 5-6 days weekly, cardio and strength training (yoga, running, pilates, taebo, jillian michaels shred, p90x, chalean extreme – I mix it up so I dont get bored). Lots of water and coffee :) and multivitamin. I had a cheat day or two a week so I didn’t feel deprived or left out when I went out to dinner with friends-but never overindulged and got back on track for the next week. Since losing the weight and because I am much more active I eat 1400-1600 calories daily. My recent weight gain of almost 10 lbs came from this summer when i was in study abroad program in the Caribbean where I was unable to exercise daily and ate everything they handed me! It was hard to keep good habits,but I will go back on the 1200-1400 calorie plan and increase my workouts to drop the extra lbs.
    Thanks again for sharing your story Amanda! I think it’s very important for people to know that they can lose weight and don’t have to have any fancy equipment or expensive diets.

  237. Megan

    I’ve been thinking about doing something too. I wanted to lose weight before I got pregnant and then especially now! I have cut back on the amount of soda I drink and am trying on other things – however, it is hard! I might try this and see what I can do. I just saw a recent pic of me and it upsets me to see me that way. So thanks for posting!!! And you look GREAT!

  238. Jacque Foster

    I have been thinking to myself that you and Kevin did look like you were smaller :)—- thanks for sharing the easy no big $$$$$ plan-

  239. Kymberly (aka Writermom1 @2peas)

    Glad I could help! It was my son (12) winning a two-month supply of Nutrasystem foods at a charity auction that led to my realization after years of wondering that there was “nothing to see here.”

    I’m so glad I could inspire you – and myself! (Down 23 pound so far – you blow me away!)

    I needed to see a doctor (you know that part we almost ALL gloss over in the “getting ready to lose weight” articles? Yeah, don’t do that. Go See Your Doctor!)

    I also needed to

    a) Eat Less
    b) Move more

    I know right? Who knew!

    I’m so glad you have had such lovely results. I’m still a work in progress and your sharing your success is inspiring!

  240. Becca

    Hey Amanda! You look fabulous! I totally noticed your weight loss over the past few months (from pictures that you’ve posted on facebook). Congrats on sticking with it, you’ve totally motivated me! I even sent this link to my mom and she loved it as well!

  241. Liz

    THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I love this post. I was worried when I started reading it was just going to be another boxed food ad. I am just starting the C25k program so I was a little sad to hear you didn’t see anything from that. But then I read you are on SparkPeople! I found the site last year and I love it. I watched what I ate and did exerice for 3 months last year and lost almost 15 lbs and then I fell back into my out routine (my best friend moved and she was my greatest motivator.) Just about a month ago I found my way back to the site and I’m already seeing results. I have a 1,300-1,700 range a day and while I use an elliptical I needed to mix it up so I started C25k this week.

    I keep saying I don’t want a diet, I want a lifestyle change. I need something I can use for the rest of my life. Just learning the calories of things or having general ideas will help me forever – I’ve learned what a real portion looks like. I can have a piece of cake and not feel like I’m cheating.

    Thank you SOOO much for the encouragement and great motivation. This post is great!!

  242. CHELSEY


  243. Denise

    Congrats! SparkPeople is a great site, eh? You look very fit–especially in your new clothes! I suppose it’s time for me to get serious. Being conscious of intake seems to be a big key–hundreds of calories sneak in without even noticing. Think of it this way–if your exercise level stays the same and you have an extra 200 calorie snack above and beyond what you need to maintain your weight, you’d put on about an extra 20 pounds a year. EEK!!!

  244. Ali

    What an inspiration girl! And thanks for the interesting info and facts too! I myself have put on a “couple” of happily-married/had a baby pounds so it is always encouraging when someone else succeeds losing those pounds – thanks for the jumpstart!

  245. Jennifer Hendricks

    You do look fantastic Amanda! Congratulations on your weight loss…and you will inspire so many people to take the next step!

  246. sambeaux

    Since i have been battling weight issues a good friend told me about your success. My hats off to you for getting your mind in gear and how you stuck to it and lost weight.. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 months ago and had to start watching what i eat and drink. Soft drinks was the hardest switching to diet instead of the real thing. Just doing that i did lose 10# however i seem to be at a plateau at 308.. Seriously, the only water i get right now is if i drink tea…. I am going to try to “just” drink water and i have to start walking of which its just hard to get motivated after work even though we have a treadmill sitting by the tv. Anyway, keep up the good work, your story has sparked inspiration for me…. May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  247. christy

    I just have to add in that I am always so inspired by your newsletters. It’s so funny that just after I decided to try changing my food habits, you posted this email with more tips! Thanks so much! You’re an inspiration to all of us. :)

  248. Niki

    I had to have a full hysterectomy at 30 and gained 30 pounds with in the 3 months following and have been slowly gaining more ever since. I’ve not been able to shed it, even after doing weight watchers for a full year (along with my husband, who lost 62 lbs!). I went into another well known weight loss center and they basically laughed in my face. Just because I’m not obese doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to try to lose weight. I’m only 5ft tall so 30 lbs sits heavier on me than on taller women. I went from a size 2 to a size 8/10. Everyone says I’m still slender – they think an 8/10 is still okay, but that’s a big jump for my frame and I feel very uncomfortable and unwell. I admit was a bit skinny to start with, so I’d be happy loosing just 15 lbs. I gave up sodas and juices a couple of years ago, gave up bread for the most part, and gave up sweets entirely. I drink only water and milk. I am required to drink a lot of milk because of early onset menopause (osteoperosis), and I *forced* myself to change to skim (yuck). Still, I am slowly gaining and not losing. My admittedly unsteady attempts at exercise (difficult schedule)hasn’t helped either. I just asked Santa for a Wii Fit and a stationary bike last night (wink,wink). Thanks for the websites and other suggestions. I am going to check into them!! I hope I can be just as successful as you!

  249. Kim Bell

    Way to go!! I did this myself about 4 years ago, lost 30 lbs., and the weight has stayed off. The water was the key for me! Congratulations!!

  250. Angel Johns

    Amanda- I just have to say that I am so inspired by your story and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been struggling with my weight for about 5 years now. I was a size 4 about 7 years ago and I am not pushing a size 14. I am so miserable with it and unable to get into all those *smaller* size clothes that are just staring me in the face when I walk into my closet. I am definitely going to try your method and see how it works for me. I don’t like going on **diets** either because depriving myself doesn’t work for me. I will definitely have to get back into Jillian’s 30 day shred because I felt so good when I did it. She is a maniac but she is good. I appreciate you sharing your success with me. I only hope that I can stick with and see good results.


  251. Wendi

    Awesome!! I appreciate your post–it has definitely motivated me to get off my ever-increasing tail and do something! Every Christmas at our big family get together, I tell myself that I’m going to be skinnier next year, but it never happens. Maybe if I start NOW I can be skinnier this Christmas!!

  252. Alison

    Thanks for sharing Amanda, I thought you’d lost weight when I saw the pictures of you with your new car. You look so healthy and happy. I’ve been looking for a website like Sparkpeople for ages, so I’m very grateful to you for showing the way. Losing weight isn’t rocket science, but getting motivated and focussed is very hard without the right tools. I’m also a great believer in eating moderately at home, and darn well enjoying yourself when you go out, but this only works if you don’t go out all the time LOL! Thanks also for all the other great things in your blog, I’ve been following for some time, just haven’t commented before now.

  253. Joni S.

    YAY Amanda!!! You Go Girl!!!

    Your Weight loss is absolutely wonderful!! I am so thrilled that you are so thrilled! I’ve fortunately never had a weight problem, except I can’t keep weight ON me…but many, many friends have had weight problems and I know how you feel. There is nothing worse than wanting so badly to change and not knowing how or it just not working out. That part is horrible BUT it sounds like you’re a pretty Sharp Cookie!! (Good thing you didn’t leave Kevin behind!!) I’m sure you feel loads better and Kevin too.

    You should take great pride in your accomplishments. It does NOT sound line bragging at all. You very well stated the facts and explained things so that anyone desiring to lose weight could read, take tips from and achieve themselves.

    Kudos to you!! YAY Amanda!! YAY Kevin!!

    (Your Cheering Crowd Here!!)



  254. Úrsula

    Congratulations Amanda! I also have been losting weight for the last year, but not too much, because the only thing I did was being carefully with sweets, butter and very fat or heavy dishes. The truth is that I didn’t count calories, but now I’m not loosing more weight so I think I’m going to start counting calories too. I also like doing “Pilates” I don’t know if it’s the american name for this sport. But If you know what I mean I recommend it to everybody because it’s not a hard sport, it’s so funny and very good for your back and neck. If you lost weight and if you have some more vitamines you will fell better, It’s true!! Anyway I’m very surprising, your husband has a gym at work!! Oh my god, here in Spain it seems imposible!! All the best for you Amanda.

  255. Liza G

    Hi Amanda! Well, I’ve been following your blog for over 6 years now and it’s funny – I never noticed your weight gain, but I recently started noticing how much weight you’ve lost! You look fantastic. I just started down my path to a healthier diet this week. My two older kids are getting married next year and I want to look good for the wedding. Not to mention all the cute clothes I can buy once I’ve lost the weight. I have 40 pounds to lose so wish me luck! Thanks for all the tips. Oh and in case you haven’t tried them yet – Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches are the best!!



  256. Amanda

    Hey Andrea! I drink just plain water, but Kevin prefers the 0 calorie flavored waters. :) He likes Aquafina and Fruit 2-0 the best (he doesn’t like the taste of the Dasani flavored waters because of the Splenda I think).


    Heather, here is a good tool to use to calculate the number of calories you should be eating per day:

    Calorie Target Calculator

    When it asks though, I would choose “sedentary”- even if you fall under one of the other categories. :)


    Elizabeth, I didn’t really come up with any new, “healthy” recipes… Just used portion control on all the favorite dishes I already knew and loved! :) I cut back on the oil and butter when I could, and tried using fat free and lower fat ingredients when I could. I wouldn’t sacrifice taste for lower calories, but like fat free cream cheese and sour cream work great, can’t tell the difference at all. Love the 2% shredded cheeses too. And I have mentioned these before in my recipe blog too, but I really like the Perfect Portions chicken- individually wrapped, 130 calorie chicken breasts. The only thing I normally don’t like to substitute is heavy cream with something like half and half or (shudder) milk (lol)- just gotta count the calories on that one. :) I’m also a big fan of soups- they are *very* filling and usually low calorie- here are my two top favs right now:

    Cheeseburger Soup
    Cheddar Chicken Chowder

    And like here’s how I would “modify” one of my existing recipes, like Red Beans and Rice

    First- skip the olive oil- just skip it all. :) Throw the sausage into a cold pan, then heat it up over medium heat- that’ll render plenty of fat from the sausage to use in place of the oil. It definitely won’t stick to the pan either. You can even drain off all the fat it renders to cut down even more, but I don’t. If you make the dish using 1 lb of sausage and 1 can of red beans, and divide that into 4 servings and serve each plate with 1/2 cup of cooked rice, (you can also skip the butter in the rice- I do) it’s about 575 calories. (Did ya get all that? lol). Not too bad- but you can also modify it- only use 1/2 lb of sausage and double the beans- use two cans. When split into 4 servings and served with 1/2 cup rice, it’s only about 475 calories. Even better! But! If you use 1/2 lb sausage and 1 can of beans, divide it into 4 servings and serve with 1/2 cup of rice… It’s only about 385 calories per serving! And very filling too.

    I used the Recipe Analysis tool at the site to figure all that up and play around with the numbers.

  257. Heather

    Wow! I had noticed that you looked great in your recent pictures, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Thanks for the inspirational post!

  258. Ashley

    I had wondered if you had been losing weight. You look great girl! I started Weight Watchers about 12 weeks ago and have lost about 13 pounds so far…I’ve decided that most “diet” programs don’t work. It all basically comes down to eating right and exercise. You gotta burn more calories than you consume. So excited for you and hope I can join you in “30 pound” loss!

  259. Tamara

    you look great! I had noticed over the last couple of weeks that you had shed some pounds…CONGRATS! It’s always so hard especially when all we see are “fad” diets and we don’t ever get told the information that makes them work. I had the same “duh” moment with a friend, she just counts calories and it really does work. I’ve used a site called Calorie King and it can help you out a lot! Thanks for sharing your story, it’s definately inspirational and encouraging!

  260. candace

    I ran across your blog by a google search for scrappy blogs and i am SO glad I did. This post is amazing and inspiring. YOUR HOUSE, OH EMM GEE. you have inspired me in more than weightloss! may God continue to bless you and keep bloggin’ WE LOVE IT!

  261. Heather

    This is only my second time to your blog and this post was EXACTLY what I needed today. I’ve never been a “skinny” girl but after being put on bedrest with my son, I gained several extra pounds. He is now 10 months old, and I have been wanting to lose this extra weight. I decided today that I wanted to take control and get back to my “normal” weight, but I didn’t want to have to do something that I knew I couldn’t stick with. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this! You have just given me the motivation I need to get on the right track. Maybe I WILL get to wear that bikini next summer when I go to California. lol

  262. Andrea

    Thank you so much for sharing this, you have no idea how much it inspires me to start. I also have put on about 20 pounds since I got married and I feel it every day. I can’t wait to start this and really see how it goes. I should take a before picture and after like you did to really see the difference. :) Thanks again!

  263. Collette

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! You made it seem very easy to do. I love that you said it did not cost anything, because I have tried gyms, weight watchers, and all the other weight loss places that cost a fortune!
    Your pictures are great! Congratulations and thanks for the encouragement! I can do it!

  264. Jaime

    You have NO idea what you just did for me by posting this! Maybe sounds stupid, but you are an answer to my prayers! I have done the “work my A-off” and haven’t lost anything either! It is incredibly difficult when that happens. I have felt at a dead end, don’t know where to turn spot for a long time. Having 4 kids and battling depression for 6 years has really, really packed on the pounds and created really bad habits! When I was reading this I was thinking “duh!! why didn’t I think of this??” I’ve tried those Smart Choice meals and they aren’t too bad. I never thought of doing a “program” with it. Thanks for all the wonderful links you added too. I didn’t know such things existed!! Thank you thank you for posting this. You really have no idea what you have done!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! Jaime:)

  265. Christina Beach

    Congratulations, Amanda!! You look amazing! I switched from processed foods to eating clean and it has made me feel beautiful inside and out. I’m a much happier and healthier person. My skin looks great. I tried it to lose a few pounds. I have lost the pounds but have gained so much more out of the whole lifestyle change! Congrats again!! Keep up the great work!!

  266. Beth Chiu

    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!

  267. Kelly Jo

    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.

  268. Southern Gal

    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.

  269. Barb Boyack

    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..

  270. Melody Steiner

    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,

  271. Jill Frakes

    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

  272. Barb in FL

    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!