Over the summer, I began to figure out what "eating healthy" even meant. I spent the summer learning to balance meals with protein, veggies, fruits, and carbs. I learned what kinds of foods were good for me and ate less and less processed foods. Once the healthy foods were a regular part of my routine, I didn't have to think as much about making healthy and smart choices. My self-control was more focused on trying to avoid slipping into old habits. 

Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.


It’s hard to miss Kelly’s stunning weight loss transformation photos. She has them posted on the side of her blog - from nearly 200 pounds all the way down to 154 - and the difference from weigh-in to weigh-in is evident. But that’s not all Kelly has lost. She’s shed over 117 pounds total - and made some incredible changes along the way. With her no-holds-back style of writing, her blog is a must-read. But hurry - she’s only got 17 pounds to go before reaching her goal, and at the rate she’s going, she’ll be there very, very soon.

If you are always on the run and tackle the streets of New York City every day, searching for an everlasting balance between your work and yourself, including your health, this is the blog you need to stop and take a good look at. After diving into a greasy and unhealthy diet and declined every gym membership card that got in her way, Theodora, the creator of this blog, decided to change all of that. So, she went on a search for a happier and healthier life, through her process, she lost about 50 pounds, and discovered a way how to stay fit and healthy while being in the heart of NYC. She started running, took up those membership gym cards, and followed a nutritious meal plan, she finally got to her goal. Now, she is working her dream job, still running through the streets of the Big Apple, and making it all work because she is fitter and healthier than ever before!
Eating slowly will also help cinch your waist, too. Inhaling croissants while run-walking to work will do little to satiate you – not that you’ll do much digesting anyway, with all that cortisol flooding your system. Instead, by making time to eat and focusing on your food (that also means not scrolling through Instagram), you’ll wind up eating less and you’ll feel fuller for longer.
About: Tiffany’s blogging officially started in 2009, but it was kind of an off-and-on thing until 2013. Then, Tiffany really amped up her blogging efforts, much to the thrill of her followers. Tiffany’s blog is packed with healthy recipes, weight loss challenges and tips on how to find happiness — all from a girl who is extraordinarily relatable and “loves cheesy dance workout videos, dark chocolate, watching movies, with her husband, and riding my beach cruiser around the neighborhood like a kid.” Enough said.
If you’re thinking about starting a low-carb diet and interested to see how it can work for someone else, then look no further than Anne’s blog. If you look back at Anne’s “before” photos from 2009, you will hardly recognize the fit, healthy woman staring back at you from more recent photos. Anne’s blog has it all - from lab results, to comparisons of the anatomies of healthy versus overweight people, even low-carb recipes and foods. She believes in what she is doing, and she wants to help others do the same.
If you are seeking some extra boost for your activities, wanting to slim down a bit or even are struggling with big weight issues, you are either way at the right place. The creator of this blog is called Katie, and this is her story. In the year of 2009, she was considered an obese person. She had 253 pounds, and she was feeling miserable. So, while seeking a way out of her misery she decided to put all the effort and hard work and start running. Combined with an excellent dieting plan, within a period of 16 months she had lost 125 pounds and guess what – she did not feel miserable anymore! But, in order to achieve a kind of balance between her sweet tooth and the fear not to gain back the weight she had lost, she seriously turned to running. Doing her best to keep her weight as it is, she created this blog to be her journal after the period of struggling with weight issues.
Thank you so much, Lauren! Staying healthy is SO hard when you’re trying to prioritize and balance out the rest of life’s demands, but it thrills me to hear that your boyfriend likes my quinoa recipes! I got really lucky when I was testing out ways to eat quinoa. It’s one of the few health foods my husband will eat! Good luck to you and your boyfriend – keep me updated! 🙂

Jen grew up overweight and spent year after year jumping from one diet to the next and back again. Tired of being obese, Jen started her journey in August 2007 to not just diet, but actually change her lifestyle. She left the excuses behind, actually listened to what nutritionists said, began exercising and eating right - all while documenting it for the world to see online. Now, Jen has turned her success in health into success in business - turning her blog into a place where she not only shares her own daily ventures, but is host to other “prior fat girls” as they share their journey too.

Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. "Do what you like because it’s good for you," Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.


This is amazing. Absolutely amazing! My daughter is 15 months old and I’m struggling with about 25 pounds of extra-ness. How do/did you find the motivation?! I literally need a swift kick in the butt. We don’t sleep much either, as you said. I’m not happy with the way I look, but the exhaustion, as you know, plays a huge role in the lack of motivation. I would love to chat!
Hi Karen! I love Sparkpeople! I have been using there tracking tools for 4 years now and love it! It really helps you keep on track. I get ya about weight! I know I can’t eat like I used to too! It’s hard, but well worth the effort! Thank you for your kind words and don’t worry you lose those last ten pounds! I’m working on 10 pounds myself! Just think positive, be true to yourself and know you can do it!!!
#1 – Eat enough food!  Your body can’t function without it’s fuel!  You need a MINIMUM of 1200 calories a day for woman, but I personally recommend at least 1500, but you should consult your doctor for a better amount.  Just remember if you don’t eat enough, your body goes into starvation mode and will store everything as fat.  Also if you eat to much, you’ll gain!   Remember 1lbs is 3500 calories!   Your body burns calories when we do nothing so dont’ think you’ll gain 3500 calories if you eat that in a week.  Here’s more information about that.  It’s to hard for me to explain.  http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_BMR.php
Salads are the go-to diet food, you’re probably thinking. How could they possibly keep me from losing weight? The problem is with what you put on the salad. “Salad items like nuts, fruits, some dressings and extras like croutons and cran-raisins, can actually add an extra 300-400 calories to the meal,” says Angela Godwin, FNP-BC MSN, clinical instructor at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. “Instead, greens and proteins can make a salad more filling with less fat.” Also, steer clear of “lite” salad dressings that secretly have high sugar content. Look out for these other weight-loss mistakes nearly everyone makes.
Trim Portions. If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need. Pull out the measuring cups to get a handle on your usual portion sizes, and work on paring them down. Get instant portion control by using small bowls, plates, and cups, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. You won't feel deprived because the food will look plentiful on dainty dishware.
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