Spring Cargos / Before & After

My spring cargos, last year …

From a size 10 to a size 2 - Before & After

My new spring cargos, this year …




From a size 10 to a size 2 - Before & After

Okay, first, I have to just say, doesn’t it just make these pictures so much funnier that the size 10 cargo pants had an elastic waist? *snort* But seriously, those pants were comfortable. If I could find them again this year, I’d buy another pair just like ’em- or two. I admit, I was slightly miffed I couldn’t find elastic-waist cargo pants this year, and had to settle for regular ‘ol button-up pants. I even checked eBay, oh yes I did, but I can see why no one is wanting to get rid of theirs.

Oh, and second, before I go any further, I always struggle with these posts because, one, I am totally not an expert on this subject, and two, I always hate to come across as, I don’t know, whatever. You know? “Whatever.” There you go.

But when I read your inspiring emails and comments about your weight loss journey that started because of my weight loss story… I think it makes it worth it.

Last week I got this email from Stacey:

I was one of those people who just thought this is my body type. When I saw how much you changed I thought oh it is possible, so I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me. If you don’t mind me asking how much weight overall have you lost and are you still eating the 1200 cal a day or have you been able to increase that once you got closer to or reached your goal? I’ve only lost 8lbs so far in about a month but seeing your results keeps me motivated.


Oh Stacey, I can totally relate. I know exactly what you mean when you said you felt like “this is my body type”. I never had a “bikini bod”- even as a teenager. I never wore a size 2 or 0 and I didn’t have a pair of “skinny jeans” from college to look back on and say “I wish I looked like that again” either. I don’t think I ever really considered myself to be fat- I was just always bigger than my friends. I thought that’s the way I was.

When I posted in November, my overall weight loss was 30 lbs, and since then I have maintained a steady 30-35 lb total weight loss. It definitely fluctuates throughout the month. After I reached my goal weight (30 lbs) I started eating anywhere from 1200-1500 calories a day. I like to mix it up, still eating 1200 some days, so that at least one day a week I can totally not count calories at all and not feel guilty. :) Plus I feel like mixing up the number of calories you eat keeps your body guessing and gives your metabolism a boost. Although if I were to be perfectly honest, most of my days are in the 1400-1500 range now. :)

And CONGRATS on your weight loss!! :) 8 lbs in one month is awesome. The fastest I ever lost was about 2 lbs a week- and that was right at the beginning, for the first few weeks. After about a month or so, it slowed to 1.5 lbs per week, then the rest came off at around 1 lb per week. So 8 lbs in 4-5 weeks sounds just right! :)


So anyway. Thanks for letting me ramble and share my story. But especially thanks for sharing your stories with me. I love reading them.

BTW, my best tip is still switching to water. It was the easiest way for me to cut out extra calories- I would much rather eat my calories than drink them! :)

Wait, milkshakes don’t count as a drink, right?

51 Responses
  1. Nami

    I was googling how to add a font to my blog posts (I started to work on some new design for my blog) and I found your tutorial – which I think is great, can’t wait tomorrow to give it a try, I’ll let you know how it works out – and I came accross your post about your weight loss. I need to loose 30lbs (gained since I got married)!!! I started running, and cut out almost all the soda (I am allowed only one sip/day). I did lose 5lbs, but it seems like I’m stuck… I guess I need to take things to a next level… Thanks for inspiring me!

  2. Deb Saaranen

    Hi there…just found your blog through Pinterest. I came looking for camera tips, and left with a ton of inspiration…both camera and diet wise!

    Thanks so much for sharing what you have done on your path to healthy weight loss…I’ve just signed up for SparkPeople wanting to do the same. I quit drinking diet soda (I was hooked!) two and a half years ago, and have felt great since…I’m thinking that ONLY WATER sounds even better!

    Thanks once again:


  3. Amie

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    Here it is almost February and I ‘thought’ I have been doing good on my (and everyone I know’s) New Year Resolution. Needless to say I’ve lost NOTHING! Now, I will admit I like my wine but what was wrong? After reading your blog I got some great idea’s and how to eat the calories my body needs threwout the day.
    Thank you for your blog and hope to check in again with a report of weight loss!

  4. Jennifer

    I am so thrilled to have found you, I only wish I had found you three weeks ago! I am doing the same plan as you and I arrived at it the exact same way as you. I can’t believe how similar our stories are! except that I have a lot more weight to lose! lol
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I truely believe there are other ‘real women’ out there that want a ‘real diet’ without a crazy extreme or expensive plan. You proved to me that I am on the right track and my ideas will work!

  5. geet

    Hi Amanda, Love to read your blogs and am so happy you managed to loose all that weight. I am now starting to do it but I just cant seem to continue till dinner. I always snack in between. How did you manage to do it by cooking everyday.

  6. Ronda

    Hi Amanda! I have been a fan of Fonts for Peas for a long, long time. Just recently, I found the recipe section of your blog… I think it was the crazy cookie/Oreo/brownie recipe that fish-hooked me. Yum! Anywho, THEN I found your weight loss posts. Thank you for all of the information! I have been trying to find a way to lose about 15 lbs (way harder than it sounds). This is it! It’s straight forward and doesn’t cost a dime. I bookmarked the calorie counting sites and made a plan. We’ll see how it goes! :)

  7. Kristie

    So glad you shared your weightloss story. Could you please do another post about it? How’s it going now, what have you changed, etc.

    I am 40 pounds heavier than I was two years ago – I had a baby, but he is now 1 1/2 years old so that excuse has officially expired. I think this 1200 calorie diet would work for my family, but I really need full meal recipes!

    I was hoping you would consider doing a review of the 400 Calorie Fix from Prevention magazine. It sounds like basically the diet you followed, and I would buy it myself and follow it religioiusly if it had your seal of approval.

    Thanks – for your website and for your inspiration.

  8. Donna Cosby

    My friend Jill lost 100 pounds. I love that you both did it the smart way. I totally found inspiration here.
    Thanks for this post. Love your site also.

    FYI Jill’s story is very cool.

  9. Alicia

    Great to see your story its really motivating since I´m starting my own journey. And am planning to get rid of at least 22 lbs. I had a baby 13 months ago and still have a long way to go.

    I´m looking for people to join me in this trip to get my body back!!

    Thanks for sharing your stroy!!!


  10. AshleyDavis

    Congratulations! So inspiring!

    I was going to suggest you doing a give-away of your size 10’s, haha! BUT, seriously, I regret getting rid of my “bigger” clothes when I got pregnant and during post-partum, so hold onto them just in case. :) Hope that doesn’t sound too awkward- and I’m not saying that you’re going to gain it back. Just in that transition time, comfy clothes are the best.

    Now I feel stupid for posting this. Oh well!

  11. Ashlee

    Okay, yep I’m jealous! You look so great! I’ve lost 30 pounds(went from size 14/16 to a 10 in jeans) but struggling to lose more! I’m stuck! But your story has inspired me to keep trying. I REALLY struggle around that wonderful time of the month when all I want to do is EAT!!! Any suggestions/advice on that???
    You inspire me!

  12. Tracy

    Amanda – thank you SO much for sharing your weight loss story with us. You look GREAT! I have really been struggling the last 3 years with my weight. I am also 5’3″ and currently weigh about 130 and want to lose another 15 lbs or so. I have lost a couple of inches and 10 pounds since January 4th – however, I can’t seem to keep it off. Some days are good and others aren’t. I’m always so confused on what and how to do it exactly and at a healthy rate. Did I miss how you did your workouts by chance (or did you work out)? I have a treadmill that I was running 3 miles a night on until I got sick with a severe sinus infection and it knocked me down for a while – now I’ve not had the energy to even get back on it. Also, did you keep a food journal and a calorie counter with you at all times to help you keep track of your calories during the day/night? Like one of the other posters asked – would you be willing to give us more insight to your daily meals, etc. so that we can see how to get started? And any other tips you might want to pass along would be great! I too switched to nothing but water as of January 4th and it was really hard at first but now there’s nothing to it. On occasion I do drink a glass of Sweet Tea from McDonalds though (I am, after all, a true Southerner) :o) – but no sodas, or anything else except for a 1/2 cup of coffee with Sugar Free creamer in the mornings. Thanks again for being such a great inspiration. I love your website and have been a lurker here for quite a while and plan to stick around. Have a great day! Big hugs, Trac~ :o)

  13. Leisha

    Great Job Amanda, you look great! I want to thank you for offering so many cute fun fonts and they are FREE!!! I shared you with my facebook friends so hopefully they’ll come on over. We are doing a cookbook with our church girls age 8-11 and your fonts are going to add so much fun style to our book. Thanks for sharing your talents. I love your blog. Leisha (:

  14. Sarah

    You look so great! You looked good before too! It is amazing how even 5 pounds makes you feel lighter. I had two girls pretty close together. I decided that after my second I had to lose my baby weight in order to feel good enough to take care of them. I only gained about 35 pounds with my second pregnancy. I gave birth to a 8 pound baby, and came from the hospital five pounds lighter. FIVE POUNDS?!?! It really didn’t make sense to me. I have been able to go back to my pre-pregnancy weight! It is so hard to diet and exercise, but it is SOOOO worth it!

  15. Larissa

    First off, congrats! I went back and read your weight loss story. You look great, what an awesome accomplishment.

    Second, my blog owes many of its little face-lifts to your blog. I have been addicted every since I found it.

    Now I am passing on the love and I am giving you a shout out on my Just Another Fabulous Blog Fridays. I would be just tickled if you came over and checked out my blog, especially since it would not be nearly as cute with out your help!

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  16. Jenn

    I love your weight loss story! I’m glad you’ve kept us updated with your continued success! Like many others, I had a baby and found myself stuck with more weight than I wanted. Everyone kept saying “just wait till your baby’s 9 months old and the rest of the baby weight just falls off!” Well guess what… it didn’t! My sweet little guy turned one in December and I was still looking at myself with that extra 12 lbs that I didn’t want. I found your story a few months back, thought about it for about a month and “prepared” my mind to calorie count, and last month I finally started. I could slap myself for waiting so long to start! Sparkpeople makes it SO easy! I love it. I’ve been on vacation and haven’t been counting (or weighing for that matter) this week, but so far I’ve lost 6 lbs! I haven’t even been doing a strict count yet, but already getting results and it is such a great motivation!
    Anyone else out there wondering if it would work for them, just do it!! It will work for you too! Good luck!
    (I just love your blog!! I’m an AL girl with a Boston baby as well!)

  17. Amanda


    I’m 5’6. I have heard that same thing about 10 lbs to a size! I really like this chart for setting a goal weight and also staying in a healthy weight range:

    BMI Calculator from

    Just enter your height/weight and scroll down to see the graph/chart.

    And don’t forget to come back and post about your success!!!! :D

  18. sarah b.

    WOW! I’m so glad you posted this! I hadn’t discovered your blog yet back when you originally posted about your weight loss success, so I had no idea. I can really relate to the “this is just my body” feeling… The smallest size I can remember wearing in high school was a 6. Ten years later, I’m a 12 (sometimes 14) and wondering what size I can manage healthily.

    Anyway, your story is an inspiration. I’m going to aim for 8. Starting fresh tomorrow! I hope I can post about my success on my blog sometime soon!

  19. Laurie Howard

    Amanda – very awesome that you went from size 10 to size 2 the healthy way! You are so inspiring! I see you lost a total of 30 pounds….how tall are you? Just wondering because you went down 4 sizes. Someone told me that for every 10 pounds you lose, you should go down a size. Have you ever heard that? I am 5 feet 9 inches tall and wear a size 12. I *really* want to be a size 8, so I need to go down 2 size…..I am guessing about 20 pounds. Now that I see you lost 30 pounds, maybe I can atleast get rid of 20!! HA!! You are an inspiration!!!

  20. Verenice

    Love your site! And this post is so inspiring! I like how you took all the guess work out of eating right! Gives me great ideas to try to slim down for the summer! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Emilia

    That is a great picture and you should feel proud of yourself. Brave girl!!! But it was so funny when I saw the first picture cause i wear size 10 and I was like ” Look she wear the same size pants I do” lololololo How tall are you? Now you need to send your cargos size 10 to me : )

  22. Brooke

    Congratulations on your weight loss!! Doesn’t it feel good? I am the (former!) couch potato married to an athlete, and it bugged the stew out of him that I never exercised. He would bug me and try to get me to work out, but I had to do it when I was ready to do it… and starting last November, I just was ready. I didn’t lose anything until after Christmas, but am proud to say that I’m down 14 lbs since the first of the year! My secret, like yours, is counting calories (first using LoseIt app on my iPhone, now currently using Livestrong) and Zumba class!! I had originally set a goal for 17 pounds, so I’m almost there!! I love that I am fitting into some of the pants I almost gave away!! Congratulations again, and keep up the good work!

  23. terri

    amanda! congrats on the size 10 all the way to a TWO! whoop! whoop! isnt it such a great feeling?!? i follow weightwatchers but this week has been a ‘challenge’…..i feel that there is always some yumminess being pushed my way. i know the secret to success is to not deprive yourself completely of anything. saturday is my “cheat” day….this day i allow myself to eat anything i want. i have steadily lost between 1-2 lbs a week.
    keep up the good work! you look amazing!

  24. Stacey

    I’m a star! My email made it into the blog! I love all the success stories everyone posted here. We can do it!!! Just thought I’d tell you all about another website that is free that I like as well called It has a lot of good health articles, logging food, exercise and even interfaces with an Iphone App that I have. The other cool thing is you can use is what they call “create a loop” and it goes on to google maps and lets say maps out your neighborhood path that you may walk at night and it will tell you the distance. I live in Chicago so the weather is just starting to break can’t wait to go for walks with my family and help the weight loss along.

    Again, thanks to Amanda and seeing results in front of us sounds like it is helping a lot of us. I someday hope to go from the 10 to 2 too. I never thought it was possible but Amanda has show me differently :)

  25. Cutie

    Hi Amanda,

    I have just started following
    You have amazing stuff and you are very talented. You are a great inspiration and I would really like to follow your articles…

    And nonetheless, your scrapbook room is awesome. Do you also teach scrapbooking ?

  26. Lisa G.

    OK you have inspired me! I just got on the scale and I thought I was 3lbs less…and I’ve been “watching” what I eat! right;) So I’m going to do it. I’ve done so many other “diets” but feel ripped off if I can’t eat one particular food….thanks for the inspiration…I’ll keep you posted!

  27. Laura

    I think you look great!! I have begun to count calories and so far have lost about 6 pounds. I have a total of 45-50 to lose. Right now it seems so undoable, but now it is possible(especially after seeing your results). I was curious of your height and weight before and after. Also would you be willing to do a post on foods/recipes you eat to help you stay in the 1200-1500 calorie range?

  28. Niki

    You certainly encouraged me. I’ve been doing 1200 cals since Jan 2nd and exercising everyday (treadmill, bike, etc). I’ve lost about 9 lbs to date. I lost slowely, but steadily. Then reached a plateau, which took 2 weeks to break. I got the flu for a week and kept the diet the same EXCEPT I had to drink white grape juice constantly (to get past the sinus drip) and didn’t exercise that week – but I maintained the same weight. Now I’m SLOWELY dropping again. I clipped my phone to my waistband the other day and my pants practically fell down!!!! My husband said I need new pants. Luckily there is a sale this weekend – can’t wait to go shopping even if I’m only 1 size down.

  29. D. Williams

    I love the pictures! You take simple and make it extraordinary!Please tell me what camera and equipment you use.

    Thank You.

  30. Sally

    What is your height? I think you looked so much healthier before. I admit I need to lose weight but I have never been a size 2. I was a size 6 when I got married and people called me too skinny and I’m only 5’3″. I did a weight loss study and the first thing they teach you is to become aware of what your eating. So you start out writing down everything you eat. That way you become aware of what your consuming. Then you count the calories and cut them back. I have 3 kids and I’m 37. Its not that easy to lose. I think you did great. I just think society expects women to be a certain way and we aren’t. I commend you on drinking water cause I have to have my tea. I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t even drink coffee. But I am debilitated without my tea. I don’t drink soda at all. I absolutely love your site and visit it often and have shared it with many friends and family members.

  31. Jacque

    SO awesome! My hubby has just lost 155 pounds and I am down 75 pounds. No matter if you have a little or a lot to lose it still takes work and your posts and tips are always so inspiring!!!

  32. mandy

    I just wanted to say you have truly inspired me. I also thought “this is just my body type”. Not that I was fat – just bigger than my friends. I got my husband to join me as I started the 1200 calories a day and we have both lost 2 lbs a week since we started! Yeah! Thank you!

  33. Stacy

    Hi Amanda. Congrats on your weight loss & your new size clothes. I just wanted to say that I too have found SparkPeople & LOVE it! I love being able to eat whatever I want, just have to use portion control to keep it within my calorie range. I started calorie counting Feb 2, 2010 and as of this morning’s weigh-in I have lost 15 lbs. As for exercise…well I was doing the 30-Day Shred as well, but then my knee started acting up (probably from all the lunges and squats Jillian makes us do). Then just as my knee was healing, I fell on the ice and hurt my tailbone. So that is still healing. Anyways, congrats again on your weight loss and thanks for giving me the inspiration to keep at my goal!

  34. Patricia W

    That’s all I can say to you right now!
    I had a baby last november and had gained 30 lbs! I was scared to get depressed about it because i had NO IDEA on how to loose weight until i read your post! I started my “1200 calories” diet on december 21,2009, and as of today i have lost —21.8 lbs—!!! I feel so much better and motivated about life. I was never overweight before…, but you just feel so hungry during pregnancy that sometimes you can’t just resist some junk food! And i’ll be honest, my husband’s family always have these big dinners on sundays and i have been able to fight against brownies and cakes screaming at me to eat them. It’ not easy if you are not really commited and determined to keep on your diet. When i started the diet, my husband told me “it takes 21 days to form a habit”. On my 22nd day of my diet i was pretty happy. But anyways, thank you so much! You can’t imagine how much you helped me posting about your weight loss! :)
    (p.s.: I am not breastfeeding my baby, so i am pretty sure this kind of diet is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding)

  35. Barb Boyack

    Hi Amanda, good for you..its a lot easier to lose the weight while you are still young..Up until 5 or 6 years ago I maintained my size 10 really well, then I got sick and now I need to lose 40+ lbs and I will tell you as you age its tougher. As of now I have lost nothing, but I have not gained anything..but I don’t want to maintain this at all.

    Not sure what I can do, but keep up the good work!

  36. Debbie

    Congratulations on maintaining your weight loss!!! and Thank you for sharing this with us and allowing us to read others successes and tips. Weight loss has always been a massive struggle for me.. but I find your and other readers’ story/ies, inspiring.. would you mind if I print your weight loss entry and post it on my noteboard for quick reminders/inspiration?
    Thanks for creating and maintaining a great site! I do look forward to new entries!

  37. Olivia

    Thanks for the motivation, I really need it :)

    I’ve just started my weight loss journey, and I lost 3lbs in one week. I thought that was really low… but to hear you say you lost a steady 1.5lbs a week is real encouragement that I am doing things right. Thank you!

  38. Stacey Halphen

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. It is exactly what I needed to hear, as I am 2 days into counting calories. I will keep you posted on my success, and I hope you continue to do the same!

  39. Jonna

    Hi Amanda,

    I’ve been a lurker for quite sometime now, and love your site.
    You amaze me will all your talent, and you’re the cutest thing ever!
    Thanks for inspiring me to accomplish all my projects and “wanna-dos”
    We do have something in common, we both like to Bake/Cook.
    My site is: Get Off Your Butt and BAKE!
    My secret to staying a size 2, is bake it…..then give it away!
    Thanks again….I visit often.

  40. Robyn

    You really are completely inspiring! The fact that you didn’t do any extreme, hard to maintain tactics to lose your weight, inspires all of us and let’s us know that we really can do it too :)

    Congrats to you!!!!! : ) And I love that email!

  41. Dorcas

    I love getting messages on my email that kevin and amanda updated their blog. I read your story and it reminds me of myself. I have 4 children and I never was able to get rid of the ” baby weight.” As each pregnancy came, I kept on gaining more. I thought to myself this is the way I am gonna be. After the 4th baby, I decided to “try”. It’s been 2 years that I have been able to maintain my weight. I lost a total of 45 pounds. Now I am maintaining it just like you with 1200-1500 calories a day.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  42. Becky

    All I can say is WOW… I am impressed (size 10 to a size 2)…Now I want to loose my winter weight gain so I can fit back into my cute summer shorts. Summer is around the corner. Hopefully next time I can post how much I’ve lost. Thanks for inspiring us all. :D

  43. Kendra

    I read about your weight loss story and decided to try 1200 calories too! I do biggest loser workouts and 1200 calories ans have lost 5lbs in 2 weeks! Thanks for the motivation!!!

Do you have a question or comment?

Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


Subscribe via Email: