Putting My Mom on a Diet: Week 8 Meal Plan and Weigh-In

Putting My Mom on a Diet: Meal Plan Week 8 #weightloss #motivation  | AndieMitchell.com

If you’re new to the series, I’m putting my mom on a diet (because she asked me to, and I’ve lost 135 pounds myself (naturally). So here’s what you need to know: Part 1, here is the plan I designed for her, and here are her weekly updates: week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7week 8week 9week 10week 11week 12week 13week 14week 15week 16week 17week 18week 191 month eating on her own1 year later

Putting My Mom on a Diet

Today marks two full months of dieting for Mom, and she is doing so well (see below for more progress photos!). I’m incredibly proud. Beyond inspired. This week, I’ll share the recipe for the broccoli cheddar frittata, answer any other questions that have come in, and share a post about how I feel the journey has gone so far. But first, here’s a peek at Mom’s food diary from the past seven days:



Breakfast: 2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s cereal (200) + 1 cup 1 % milk (110) = 310

turkey lettuce tomato wrap

Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread (100) + 4 ounces Dietz & Watson homestyle turkey breast (120) + 1 Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge (35) + 2 teaspoons honey mustard (40) + lettuce and tomato (15) = 310
+ 1 cup cherries (75) = 385

Snack: 2 cups red grapes (120)

taco salad

Dinner: Taco Salad
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce (10) + ½ cup chopped tomatoes (20) + 4 ounces 93% lean taco-seasoned ground beef (170 for beef alone + 20 for seasoning = 190) + 1 ounce pepper Jack cheese, shredded (100) + ¼ of a medium avocado, sliced (~60) + 2 tablespoons salsa (10) + 1 tablespoon full-fat sour cream (30) = 420

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1385




Breakfast: 2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s cereal (200) + 1 cup 1 % milk (110) = 310

roast beef wrap

Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread (100) + 4 ounces Dietz & Watson Angus roast beef (120) + 1 Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge (35) + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard (20) + lettuce and tomato (15) = 290
+ 1 cup cherries (75) = 365

Snack: 1/2 ounce mixed nuts (about 12 nuts=90 calories) + 1 100-calorie box raisins (100) = 190

steak salad and sweet potato

Dinner: 4 ounces sirloin steak tips (240 for the steak alone + 30 for the Stonewall Kitchen marinade = 270) + 1 smallish sweet potato (6 ounces cooked =150) + 1 ½ cups mixed salad (20) with 1 tablespoons Ken’s Steak House Light Caesar Dressing (40) = 480

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1495




Breakfast: Breakfast: 2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s (200) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 310

turkey salad

Lunch: Turkey, Bacon, Avocado Salad
vegetable base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes=50 calories) + 3 ounces sliced turkey breast (90) + 2 slices bacon, crumbled (70) + 1/4th of an avocado (60) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Steak House Lite Honey Mustard dressing (80) = 350
Snack: 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple  (120) = 120

steak and cheese

Dinner: Sauteed steak, cheese, and caramelized onions: 4 ounces leftover sirloin steak, thinly sliced (240) + 1/2 cup caramelized onions (60) + 1 ounce provolone cheese (100) = 400
+ 1 cup green peas (120) = 520

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1450




Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (150) + 1/2 banana (50) = 360

egg salad

Lunch: Egg salad
vegetable base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes=50 calories) + 2 hard-boiled eggs (140) + 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (~60) + 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (100) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Steak House Lite Honey Mustard dressing (80) = 430

Snack: 1 ounce pecans (200)

chicken and baked potato

Dinner: 4 ounces marinated and grilled chicken breast (120 for chicken alone + 30 for marinade = 150) + 1 medium baked potato (6 or 7 ounces = ~150) + 2 teaspoons butter (60) + 1 1/2 cups grilled veggies (lightly brushed with oil, 100) = 460

Total: 1450




peanut butter english muffin

Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (200) = 360

Out to lunch at Johnny Rockets: Patty Melt: Hamburger patty, grilled onions, and American and Cheddar cheeses on grilled rye bread (880)

Out to dinner: Grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side (~500)

Dessert: Cupcake Charlie’s Oreo Cupcake (~500)

*Andie note: The cupcake was part of a birthday celebration. I recommend these cupcakes to everyone who lives nearby one of their locations, because they’re outstanding–the cake is moist and the frosting is light, fluffy, and piled high. The Oreo one is hard to beat.

Total: 2240




No breakfast

Lunch at a funeral reception: Half of a ham and cheese wrap (~300) + 1/2 cup macaroni salad (~200) = 500

Dinner at a party: Chicken salad sandwich on a bulkie roll (~500) + 1 vanilla cupcake (400)

*Andie note: This cupcake was smaller than the one from Cupcake Charlie’s on Friday night, which explains the difference in calories.

Total: 1400




Breakfast: 2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s (200) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 310

Lunch: Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread (100) + 4 ounces Dietz & Watson homestyle turkey breast (120) + 1 Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge (35) + 2 teaspoons mustard (10) + lettuce and tomato (15) = 280

pasta meatballs

Dinner: Pasta and Meatballs: 1 ½ cups penne tossed in olive oil (family tradition to toss the hot pasta in oil after draining so that it never sticks together or hardens as it cools. This serving of penne alone would be 300 calories + 2 teaspoons oil (60) = 360) + 2 meatballs and ½ cup marinara sauce (Recipe for PJ’s Meatballs and Sauce  = 320) = 680


Dessert: 1 slice birthday cake (350)

*Andie note: It was for my brother’s birthday, and surprise! the cake was from White’s. We are so predictable and obsessed. This is a recycled photo, but it’s the exact size of the slice that Mom had.

Total: 1620



Week 8 Weigh-In:

Starting Weight: 210

Week 1 Weight: 201.4 (down 8.6)

Week 2 Weight: 199.4 (down 2.0)

Week 3 Weight: 199 (down 0.4)

Week 4 Weight: 196 (down 3)

Week 5 Weight: 194.4 (down 1.6)

Week 6 Weight: 193 (down 1.4)

Week 7 Weight: 192 (down 1)

Week 8 Weight: 188.8 (down 3.2)

Total Pounds Lost: 21.2


Mom’s thoughts on progress: “Hello everyone,

Hope you all are well and enjoying your summer!  As always thank you for your undying support!  I just wanted to let people know–those who may not understand what Andie meant when she told you that I was a sweets lover and that I ate a high calorie diet before–below is just an example of a day in my life before Andie’s diet intervention began.

Breakfast:  3 honey dip donuts from a local donut shop (so we are talking dripping with honey–not scantily covered like Dunkin Donuts)
1 20 ounce regular Coke

Snack: (around 10:00 am) 10-15 nonpareils or any kind of candy that I purchased at my work’s gift shop (minimum of 10 pieces)

Lunch: (around 12:30) Chicken and feta wrap with a bag of chips or maybe instead of the chips a full order of sweet potato fries (the guy in the kitchen is my friend and he loads me up). 1 20 ounce regular Coke on the side.

Snack: (around 3:00 pm) Either a chocolate whoopie pie (700 calories, and believe me, it’s huge) or maybe a huge white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. 1 20 ounce Coke.

Dinner: Chinese buffet (all you can eat, and I can eat) usually consisting of 4 chicken fingers, 5 crab rangoons, 1 egg roll, fried rice, string beans in garlic sauce, twice-cooked pork, and several other side dishes. 1 20 ounce Coke.

Dessert: A stop at Roche Brothers supermarket and I would get myself not one but two half moons.

Sadly, I am not even exaggerating. If anything, I may have omitted something else that I ate then and have now forgotten about it.  I often complained about not being able to sleep (maybe one too many sodas). I had fun though and enjoyed every bit of it and often found myself feeling nauseated in bed.  But I would get up the next day and have at it again (I would change the menu up a bit).  It is amazing how many good things you can come up with when you eat like I did. When I worked even more hours than I do now (many 16 hour days), I could justify my eating by saying, ” I eat for energy!”  Problem was, I still never had any and saw my physician a lot and asked if I needed my thyroid medication upped.  Have I mentioned that I have hypothyroidism?

Honestly I don’t miss that nauseous, car-sick feeling that I was constantly having, and I don’t miss the highs and lows. I like not disgusting myself as much as I did before, eating whole bags of circus peanuts till the bag was empty while shopping at Home Goods.

I was telling Andrea the other night that the first week on the diet I had to just go to bed after dinner because i didn’t have the energy to do anything else.  Now I do,  I can do marathon TJ Maxx shopping and still keep going!  I am enjoying the small sacrifices I make because I am eating better stuff instead.  I am fuller and not as bloated. I’m satisfied.  I am not meaning to preach, believe me, because there are times I want to binge again and sometimes I am somewhere that eating junk foods would be easier than telling people I am not hungry because there is nothing healthier to eat.   Dieting takes thought, control, and willpower, and before, I didn’t think I possessed any of these qualities.  Andrea and I are very different about willpower: she can go without when I would feel deprived.  She can watch what she eats without minding, and I can think of ways to make candy work in a diet.  It will always be a struggle for me, but I will keep trying!

Andrea is posting pictures of me wearing the same outfit, I apologize for not looking too good as I am not at all photogenic.  Despite the full facial waxing and less hair on my head I still appear quite large.  I am now weighing in at 188.8 and you may not see any difference until I get into the 160’s.  But I can assure you that pictures do not show you that my clothes are feeling looser and my 3 stomach rings are indeed going down
(not away, but down). Thanks again for all of your loving support!

Take care,



Progress photos!

Putting My Mom on a Diet



Putting My Mom on a Diet


Putting My Mom on a Diet



CLICK HERE for a printable version of this week’s meal plan!



173 thoughts on “Putting My Mom on a Diet: Week 8 Meal Plan and Weigh-In

  1. neha

    Usually don’t comment, but WOW! I already see such a change (especially in the side profile), and this really gives me the push I need to get started on my own weight loss journey!

  2. Amie

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented, although I’ve been reading for a long time. I see a definite difference. Own it! You look great and you’re inspiring others! Way to go.

  3. Kelsey

    Bloody hell well done Maryellen! You look so much more confident already and you can totally see a difference. You and Andie have inspired me to get going again; I’ve been lacking A LOT. I am such a terrible sweet tooth and also find it hard to go without. (People just don’t understand that yes I do need that tub of Ben & Jerry’s sometimes.) Good for you, keep up the good work we’re all rooting for you :) x

  4. Katie

    Congratulations! You can see a big difference already! I love reading about your story and the receipes are fantastic and are helping me shift my baby weight. I’m from England so you are inspiring people all around the world!
    Keep it up!

  5. s

    I never comment but you look great. I see all of the hard work you put in and it really shows. Now I feel like I can do it too. Good job keep up the good work.

  6. Nina

    Wow, she looks amazing! Keep it up! – I will say my favorite part of the progress photos are the pug photobombs…because mine somehow make it into most pictures we take as well :)

  7. BethB

    Holy Crap!!! Look at the pictures, lady! There is an incredible amount of difference!!!! :-)

    (Seriously, I get it because I’ve lost 20lbs this spring and looking in the mirror I don’t always see it.)

    I also understand what you mean about sweets. That’s my problem too. When I was 22 and weighed 260 my daily diet looked a lot like yours. I just turned 40 and I’m finally down to 170. My weight loss comes in 10-25 lb spurts so I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who loses the whole nine yards in one go. I maintained 190 for almost a decade (not counting pregnancies) before I was finally ready and able to lose more. So I get how hard it is! Lately I’ve noticed how crappy I feel if I have sugar laden foods during the day which helps keep me away from them. For some reason they don’t affect me as much after dinner but that was never my problem anyway. I admire you for your progress on this journey.

    Congratulations, Maryellen!

  8. Donna

    This is a two part comment. Maryellen, You look wonderful – and even more importantly, it sounds as though you are feeling healthy and proud. Like you I’ve struggled to keep to a healthy eating plan, but it’s worth it! Thanks so much for your inspiration as you love yourself enough to hold yourself to a higher standard for good health. I’m looking for the day, you write that you have added walking to your program . . . if you lived near me, I’d be outside your door early in morning ready to walk with you.

    Andie, Keep those recipes and food suggestions coming! We’ve come to enjoy the English muffins and wraps you recommend. And the salad combinations are so helpful – as I don’t have to “think” about what to include. We also tried the Stubb’s marinade – delicious and easy for port tenderloin. I don’t have any daughters, but if I had one, I’d want her to be just like you!

  9. Chelsea

    Wow! What amazing progress! From your head to your ankles the difference is striking between the before and after shots. Congrats and keep up the great work. And I too try to fit candy into a diet :) thanks for sharing.

  10. miki

    Love this series. Your mom looks fantastic and I love hearing her perspective and reading the the weekly food recaps. They give me so many ideas. Especially love the sweet puggy in the photos! She should make an appearance more often. Thanks to you both.

  11. Hannah

    Maryellen, I have to disagree, I can definitely see a difference in your progress photos! Especially the side view – you not only seem thinner but you also carry yourself more confidently, which makes a world of difference. Thank you so much for taking this journey and letting Andie document it on her blog for all of us! Andie, these posts are so helpful, too, since I’m trying to get healthier as well – you know where to cut calories without cutting a feeling of fullness and I’m going to be buying the lavash bread soon!

  12. Kendra Lewellyn

    Mary Ellen, you look AMAZING! I think you are selling yourself short there woman. Definitely can see all the work and progress in the photos. :)

    Andie, what a testimony to the love you have for your family. I am inspired by your hands-on labor to prepare, craft, adjust and tailor these meals for your mom. Awesome. You are definitely on my wish-I-knew-her list.

  13. Melanie

    You look fantastic!!! Very inspiring. Thank you!
    the food looks great too… I do the same thing, “eat sugar for energy”, to try to get through my work. It is short lived and then I am even more exhausted. I have to change I really do, you are very lucky to have the support!

  14. Caroline

    I think the progress is super evident already ! Especially on the picture taken from the side !
    Good job, you must feel great ! :)

  15. Shelly

    I just found this site last week and have been reading along with your 8 week journey since.
    I wanted to congratulate you on your success and tell you that you look AWESOME!! You can definitely see a difference :) And this is only with watching what you eat…wow!!! I only wish my I had someone in my corner helping me…you are lucky to have Andie….I think this is really great!! Keep up the good work :)

  16. bett

    I just forwarded this to a friend – saying I like this diet so much better than the harsh one she is on. And I just wanted to compliment you on the amazing weight loss. Yes, it is amazing and you are looking so much trimmer. :-)

  17. Gwenia Fiskevold

    I also, have never really commented before but I must stay–I find this so inspiring! You are brave for continuing this journey and it has been such a joy to watch your transformation. I can see from your pictures that you have already made a lot of progress even if you don’t think it is that much. Keep on going and finding inspiration in yourself!

  18. D Geller

    You look great!! There is definitely a huge difference in week 1 vs. week 8 photographs.

    I have a massive sweet tooth as well, and these days about the sweetest thing I have on a daily basis is my coffee– ~3 tsp sugar in a total of 32oz of coffee. What I’ve noticed is that most of the time, the idea of candy or the donut (my food kryptonite) is so much better than the reality of actually eating it. Having cut out so much sugar, I think my appetite has decreased a bit as well. The Extra desserts gum has also helped me enjoy some of my favorite flavors without actually consuming the calories.

    Keep up the amazing work! It’s so inspiring to read about your progress each week!

  19. Wendy

    You look amazing! I can see differences in all of your pictures, not just the side view. In the front view, you can tell your shirt is looser. In the back view, you can see your arms are smaller. I have a pear-shaped body, and I tended to lose weight from the top down. (I’ve lost 36 pounds.) It looks like you are doing the same thing. My hips and belly are the last places to shrink and in fact, I’m still not happy with how much they have (or have not) shrunk. But I’m working on it! Keep up the good work! I love reading this series. I wish we could all help our family members out this way.

  20. Haley

    Maryellen! What are you apologizing for, you beautiful lady?! You can absolutely see a difference! I am like you in that from one angle it might not look like there’s much of a difference. But, then from another it’s like “bam!”. Your before and after PROFILE (or side) pictures speak loads about how much you’ve lost! I myself have been working hard at fighting binge eating. I started a lifestyle change in January after seeing an old college roommate on New Years Eve (perfect timing right?) who lost a lot of weight that she struggled with when we lived together. I started eating healthier and exercising and have lost 40 pounds. It’s definitely not easy, because like so many people who are overweight, I battle compulsive eating on a daily basis. But anyway, keep it up! You look wonderful and you FEEL wonderful… which in reality is the best thing!


  21. Jenn

    She looks incredible – way to go, Mama! PS: I made the taco salad the other night for dinner – AMAZING! It will be a staple dinner in my household now :)

  22. ciely

    The point where a profile shot showed my breasts (not my belly)
    as the main protrusion, was the proof I needed to continue.
    And I even see a more defined chin line (I don;t have that yet).
    If those two things tormented you as much as they did me,
    you know it’s working and anything is possible.
    THANK YOU for your bravery & generosity in sharing.

  23. Rocio

    WOW I am so impressed with the progress pictures. Great job Mary Ellen! Like everybody said, there is a HUGE difference. Wow I can’t believe that’s what you ate daily, I think you have a pretty good metabolism, if I ate that daily I can’t imagine how much I would weigh lol It’s scary what you were feeling at night, I guess your body was giving you signals. It’s funny how when we feel bad we never really relate what we feel to food, I know I wouldn’t have blamed it on what I was eating. Only after changing your diet did you realize how bad so much sugar was for you. I have been changing my habits for two weeks now. I hope to see great progress like yours! You are doing great!

    Andy…what can I say you are just so amazing. :) You inspire me with every post.

  24. Stephanie Hanson

    Wow – you are AWESOME!!! And do not even start to say that you don’t look any different – I can tell a difference in every single picture! You should be so proud – I am proud and I don’t even know you :-) Keep up the good work – and remember (something I have heard Andie say on this blog) weight loss is a journey, not a destination. You are AMAZING!

  25. Amanda

    Wonderful work indeed! I too don’t notice much difference in -20+ pounds when the comparisons of me are face shots but the profiles tell the story better for us women at least, I think. Thank you for being an example of what a little at a time weight loss can look like relatively quickly (though your first and eighth weeks are not my definition of “a little loss”). :> Thank you for helping light a fire under me to ‘Just Do It’!

  26. Ariel

    You look incredible!!!! The difference is astounding! Good for you :) You are such an inspiration.

    DeeDee also looks absolutelyadorablepreciouscutebebe. (I have a pug too ;) )

  27. Celesta

    You look amazing! I can definitely see a difference: the first thing I said when I saw difference between the before and 8 week photos was “WOW! She looks GREAT!” Keep it up! I’m on a similar journey to you, and have lost about the same amount of weight. There are days when I look in the mirror and think, “you don’t look like you’ve made any progress” but my clothes tell me differently, and my energy level is significantly higher than it was before. So keep going!! Best of luck. :o)

  28. Colleen

    Congratulations on all of the hard work! You look wonderful! I can definitely see the progress! My mom and I have really enjoyed following you along your journey and you have been our inspiration for the last 2 months :)

  29. Caroline

    I have to disagree with you, Maryellen — there is a HUGE difference! You look amazing, it sounds like you feel amazing … keep up the good work!!

  30. Holly H.

    You look amazing! What a difference. You have been an inspiration to me. Keep up the good work! Thank you again for the much needed inspiration.

  31. Amy

    WOW! You look amazing! I can definitely tell the progress you’re making. Keep up the good and hard work! It’s definitely paying off.

  32. Kristin

    Nice work! I’m glad I’m not the only one recovering from a massive sugar addiction. I’m amazed at how I feel so much better not eating all that sugar– and yes a lot more energy!

  33. Leanne

    Andie your mama looks amazing!!! You can tell such a difference already! She looks glowing and is so inspiring.

  34. Lynda

    Hi Maryellen,

    I just want to tell you that you are fantastic! I am on my own weight loss journey and understand the desire to fit in the sweets and share your love of Skinny Cow :) I also want to tell you that I think what you are doing for your self (and for the readers) is awesome! You have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.

    You are a beautiful woman at any weight and I can absolutely see the changes in the pictures posted!! Keep it up and enjoy the way you are feeling now (behavior rewarded is behavior repeated). I look forward to reading about your journey as I continue mine.

    Much love and support to you and Andie!!


  35. Jody

    I have been quietly following your mom’s progress but now I feel the need to speak up….WOW your mom looks AMAZING!!!! We can totally see a difference in the way her clothes fit and her “stomach rings” and she looks so much happier! Keep it up!!!!

  36. Kym Donachie

    Mary Ellen – you look fantastic! I am losing alongside you but a week behind…I haven’t done quite as well but I’m getting there- seeing your photos really helps motivate me – as of course do Andie’s Monday morning posts. Love seeing your Pug in the photo shoots!

  37. jennielynn

    I can ABSOLUTELY see a difference. You look fantastic! Congratulations for sticking with it – you’re not giving yourself enough credit for having willpower. I know you’re working sweets in, but there’s not a thing wrong with that. I’ve been shaving bits and pieces off what I eat in a day, so I can have a glass of wine in the evening.

    Way to go, Maryellen! I can’t wait to see your next progress report.

  38. Sam

    Wow! I’ve been following this since the beginning of your weight loss journey, and you look really good! I was excited to see pictures and at first wasn’t exactly sure what I should expect, but you look noticeably thinner and happier! Especially in the side profile.

    I’ve been wanting to lose weight. In the last year or so I have gained 30 or 35 pounds and I currently weigh somewhere close to 165 so I’d really like to go back down to my former size and watching you lose weight has encouraged me to do the same (and, you know, actually do it and not just think about it). I’ve kind of been taking a more laid back approach to it, because I’ve found that if I tell myself I am going to diet, I rebel and don’t do anything or eat MORE. But I’m eating healthier, eating fewer snacks, and trying to eat foods that are just better in general.

    Anyway, good luck to you! I can’t wait to see next week’s edition!

  39. Liz

    Mary Ellen,
    I can see the wonderful progress you are making. You look terrific. Keep up the great work. You can do it!!!

  40. Hootie

    Maryellen, you look fantastic! Keep it up!

    Andie, thanks for letting us go on this journey with you both :)

    Love to you both xxxxxxx

  41. Alma

    The side view shot really shows your Mama’s progress. I’m so proud of her. As a fellow sugar freak, I know the soda addiction well. It’s so wonderful to see her conquering it and doing so well.

  42. Mary

    My jaw DROPPED when I saw your before and after photos! You are amazing and should be SO PROUD of the healthy changes you are making in your life!!!!
    This blog inspires me so much on so many different levels! Thank you!

  43. Michelle Christine

    Your success is STUNNING! Give yourself lots of credit. You have lost 21 pounds!!! I need to lose that amount and yet I sit here weighing the same I did when I read week 1 of your journey.

  44. Ky G

    All I can say is WOW. I can totally see the difference…especially in your side profile. Please stick with it, you are definitely motivating me!

  45. marybeth

    amazing work!! everything you said is true- it is so hard to change years of habits. you are doing wonderful and it certainly shows!!

  46. Sana

    I hope you realize you look 10 years younger already-from the front, back AND side! Congratulations to both of you!

  47. Nancy A.

    You are doing so great! You look fantastic!! Love the food you are getting to eat with this plan, doesn’t look like diet food at all. You are lucky to have such a caring, helpful daughter. Keep on going, it is such a great journey and we all love being along for the wonderful results.

  48. Nichole C

    Mom looks great! You know its sad on my part but reading the weight loss numbers, and I think “that doesn’t seem like much”, because apparently I’m a jerk. But to SEE the progress photos, and you can see so much difference! And the truth is, these eight weeks were going to pass, regardless, right? Such an eye opener….thank you, Andi AND Maryellen for this journey! P.S. Love the pug photo bombs ;)

  49. Katrina

    Your mom is kidding right? You can’t tell the difference!?!? First thing I thought when I saw the pics was “wow, that’s amazing! She looks awesome!” Good job & I think it’s incredibly brave that you’re sharing your journey.

  50. Therese

    Andie, putting your mom on a diet has helped my daughter and me enough to make us both start dieting. I can’t thank you and your mom enough for sharing this journey, the pics and the recipes.

    Maryellen, you look fantastic! I can imagine how your clothes feel lose, you can tell there has been a considerable loss of weight already. You look fantastic and the difference is amazing already!

    You both are truly motivating!!!! What started out as a journey for you both is helping so many others. Thanks so much!

    Now maybe your before and during pics will convince my daughter to let me take progress pics too. So far, she says no.

    So happy for you both!

  51. Peggy

    I don’t ever leave comments so this is a first….you look fantastic and I can see a big change already! Way to go, you are doing great! It is hard and when you feel like you want to eat junk, look at these pictures. Go you!!

  52. Donna

    Bravo, ladies, bravo! Maryellen, you are so much stronger than you know and are only getting stronger with every pound you lose. You look terrific! Rock on! Andie, it’s wonderful to see how much you care about your Mom. High Five to you both!

  53. Jessica

    You are looking great! Congrats on the progress and keep up the good work so we can all keep being inspired by you!

  54. jeannine

    I can see a difference. You look amazing, not that you didn’t before. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to these updates in my mailbox every week.

    You are both such an inspiration.

  55. Mandy

    I have never commented, but have been following your journey and all I can say is WOW!!! There is a very noticeable difference for sure! You are a huge inspiration:) Keep up the good work!!

  56. Lucinda

    This series is such an inspiration. All the meals looks delicious and doable. Can I just say wow Mom…lookin good!

    PS. I tried the carrot fries the other night and they were great. Will put them in the vegie rotation for sure!
    Thank you for sharing the journey with us!

  57. Jen

    Ladies: thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us who read this blog. Maryellen, you look wonderful!! Keep up the good work!

  58. Sue Nations

    Andie and Maryellen, thank you so much for showing us how this can be done. You are both so inspiring. I am saving all of the recipes and great meal ideas. Keep up the great work!!

  59. Jenna

    Amazing, amazing progress! I have just started calorie counting and wondering if anyone could answer some of the questions I have. I’ve noticed that when I lower my calories significantly (aka to reach the golden 500 calorie deficit) I end up grumpy and shaky. I’m also concerned that if I eat too little that I’ll end up slowing down my metabolism. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Does cutting calories by a lot hurt future chances of success?

  60. Sarah W.

    the side profiles show a ginormous difference! and only 8 weeks of dieting? and all that wonderful filling and healthy food you eat? plus those awesome treats.


  61. Meredith O.

    Hi! I never comment either, but I couldn’t help but pile on to what others have said. I’ve been following you in this journey and the photos DO tell the tale of your hard work! Yes, the side view is the most dramatic difference, but they all show a wonderful trend. I hope you’re proud, because you should be!

  62. Kate


    You are brave and wonderful! Having lost (and kept off) 126 pounds several years ago, I applaud you! I can definitely see the progress! It is exciting to see the fun variety of foo dchoices you are making, including dessert. It is a difficult process, but you seem to be doing great and I follow your efforts with great empathy and admiration!

    Keep it up.

  63. tomigirl

    Andie and Maryellen,
    My husband and I are 8 weeks behind you but we’re on the train! We just started putting together a meal plan from the fantastic, SENSIBLE recipes you have so generously shared! Thank you both for your genuineness, vulnerability, and honesty. It is truly an inspiration. Can’t wait to be where you are in 8 weeks!

  64. Samantha

    I’ve never commented on this blog before, but I have followed it for a while. I was excited when you started this series, and I love how good that food looks! (Please come cook for me! Ha!)

    Maryellen — YOU LOOK AMAZING! I see a HUGE difference in the two pictures! Keep it up!

  65. Jess

    From the side and the back especially, you can notice a HUGE difference! You look great, and you should be so proud of yourself! I`m so excited for you! Awesome! I am like you- I cannot just give up the treats I love- I need to find a way to work them into my “diet” (lifestyle). I have lost about 70 pounds while continuing to enjoy food- I always ask myself – can I commit to this in the long term? Can I go with cupcakes in the long term? Heck no! I have to work them in. If that means I eat a few too many calories one day, fine. I have to get back on track the next day. And I know I have come a long way from the days when I would just eat all three cupcakes I wanted! Instead, I have one, and I way till the end of the day so that I can look forward to that ONE awesome treat! Keep up the amazing progress, all of your hard work is paying off!!

  66. Emily

    AMAZING! You look great, but most importantly, healthy! You have inspired me to start eating a lot healthier and to help my mom do the same. Kudos to you and Andy for all of your hard work. Keep it up!

  67. BROOK

    Are you kidding me….I can totally see a difference! GREAT JOB!!! and I love that Andy post your food for all of us to check out. What a wonderful motivator this has been…thanks for posting and keep up the fantastic work=)

  68. Nancy

    Maryellen, you look wonderful! I have been doing Weight Watchers and struggle to make the meals look and taste interesting. I love Andie’s recipes and pictures. Just wish I had her at home to cook for me too! You are both wonderful! Keep up the good work.

  69. Deborah J

    I am new to this blog. I found it at the start of this process. You look wonderful. The recipes
    and all the posts are very inspiring for me. I have started a new relationship with food to get the binge eating under control. Thank you, thank you!

  70. marjie

    WOW. You look great! Such a big difference. Your daughter makes and photographs such yummy looking food. Very inspiring for all of us. Thanks for sharing your progress. Lucky mom to have such a caring talented daughter.

  71. Jess

    You look amazing!!! Do not discount your hard work. You are doing such a great job and you seriously look FANTASTIC! Keep it up. You are giving me hope I can do it too and not feel deprived.

  72. Lindsey

    I’ve been reading each week and haven’t commented yet, but I had to this week! You’re progress is amazing, and if you don’t see a difference in the photos maybe you need to get your eyes checked ;) But, seriously, you are doing so great! You really are an inspiration and I’ve been taking some of your meals and adding them to my rotation! Keep it up!

  73. kara

    is there any book or website you can recommend re counting calories? I always end up just estimating and it would be nice to be a little more specific like how you do it with your mom or a little close to that. Specially when it comes to condiments, sauces and serving portions. hope any of you can help! thanks!

    PS: Your mom looks incredible! AND she looks taller too!

    1. Liz

      I use the CalorieCount app on my smart phone. I simply log all my food, water, and activity for the day, and it does the rest! I’ve used it for four weeks now in connection with the ideas and recipes expressed on this blog, and am starting to have some real success.

      Good luck with your journey!

  74. Xinni

    This is very inspiring! Keep up the great work! I am obese and I am so going to try out this wonderful eating clean plan! Thank you for sharing the great recipes!

  75. Jojo @ RunFastEatLots

    Your progress is inspiring! And please, do not apologize for your looks! You are definitely photogenic and beautiful; beauty comes from within, and being fat or thin does not change that!

    Keep up the great work :) I am really enjoying following your weight-loss adventure. We are all rooting for you!

  76. Jocey


    You look AMAZING! I have a major sweet tooth myself and I understand feeling “deprived.” Look at how far you’ve come! Celebrate it and let it serve as motivation to continue!

  77. Aubrey

    The side view especially is beyond impressive. I’m really enjoying this series! The meal-by-meal breakdown with calorie totals is so helpful, and Maryellen, your honesty is truly refreshing.

    But I’ll also repeat what so many have already mentioned, and ask you to please please please stop apologizing for your looks. You don’t owe it to anyone to look a certain way, so why feel sorry about it? You are beautiful and fierce, and I hope you feel all the love, strength, and good thoughts we’re sending your way.

  78. Jessica

    Oh my goodness, Maryellen! You look fantastic!!!

    You are exactly right, living a health lifestyle does take thought, self control and willpower but I’m sure you are finding it gets easier and easier every day. I’m sure when Andie was first starting her journey, she felt the same way you do right now. Just imagine how easy it will be for you before long.

    I’m so, so proud of you. Keep up the good work!!!

  79. lisa

    Maryellen you look amazing! Andy’s web site is my go to place for inspiration and yummy recipes and following your amazing journey has been super inspiring. You can see so many changes already – in only 2 months – your waist, your neck your back! its all looking so defined and slim. BTW your posture has totally changed as well – you just look fabulous! keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration.

    You are so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter but obviously you deserve her because you raised her!

  80. Ames

    AHHHH!! I have chill bumps! Incredible progress and so happy for you and your daughter’s relationship. I have also had a 100 lb weight loss and have been there. I know it is hard but it is so worth it especially seeing the progress you have made. It gives you that motivation to keep going and keeping your new lifestyle! :) Best of luck and keep up the hard work.

  81. Shelley

    Oh, my goodness but I see a wonderful change! Congratulations! Don’t sell yourself short because you are looking fabulous!

  82. andrea

    What an amazing journey you’re on Maryellen, very inspiring. Thank you so much for allowing your daughter document your progress for us. You are definitely making wonderful progress, congratulations!

    I just have to comment on your pug in the pictures…that is SO Pug like, haha! She is just adorable! I have two and they are always photo-bombing our pics…that is when we’re not taking pics of them, which we often do ;-) Anyway, I loved seeing your pictures and your pug!

  83. Jamielynn

    This is my first time commenting and I have been following Andrea’s blog for some time as well! I must say that there is a HUGE difference!!! Be so proud of yourself and keep up the good work!! My mom started a weight loss program similar to this one (counting calories) and she is losing as well!! Simple science…well maybe not so simple!!!! Congrats a good luck on the rest of your journey!!!

  84. Katie K

    Amazing!! Maryellen I love your honesty and sense of humor. Keep up the great work – you look beautiful and what an amazing daughter you have to love you this much by sharing so much!

  85. Paula

    WTG Maryellen and Andrea!!!!!!!!! You make a good partnership and an even better Mom and Daughter!!!!!!!Could you adopt me,please???LOL Love you guys!

  86. Katie

    Don’t you dare apologize for not looking good, because that is the furthest from the truth. You look AMAZING!!! I need to assure YOU that there is a definite difference between your before and after picture. I know our brains sometimes trick us, not allowing us to see what others see when we look in the mirror, but please know that your hardwork is very much noticed. I hope one day you will start to see what everyone else sees – beautiful and fit. You are doing great and of course, a huge inspiration to us all!

  87. Kelly

    This is AWESOME!!! You look amazing and the photos definitely show the difference, you just look more comfortable in your own skin. Good job!

  88. Shari Liming

    Congratulations! I think you look great, and it’s obvious that you are losing. Kudos to Andie for being such a great support to you, too.

  89. Alison

    Oh my goodness, you may not see too much of a difference, but I think the photos and comments above indicate otherwise! You are looking great!!!

  90. Annie

    Maryellen – the honest assessment of your old eating habits is so refreshing. I used to find a way to work “candy into a diet” and was convinced that I didn’t have the willpower gene. It’s all about one choice at a time – one moment at a time – inside ourselves. Keep up the healthy.

    I see where your lovely and inspiring daughter gets it.

    Warmest, Annie

  91. Anne

    WOW, Maryellen!!!!!!!! I am VERY impressed! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You look great! KEEP IT UP! You inspire many of us out in computer land. Thanks for being so brave to put pics on the computer.Hope you are VERY proud of yourself. Love to hear from you on the blog.
    You GO girl !!!!!!!!!!!! af

  92. Maryellen Loiacono

    Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments, I am so blown away by all the kinds words and enthusiasm you all have for my dieting. Sometimes I get so scared because even though I lost 21 lbs, I feel like I am one twinkie away from gaining it all back. I have nothing but respect for all of you who have lost so much weight and keep at it without giving up, you are very brave! You readers are so inspiring for me and give me the strength and determination to keep going and I must admit I am usually a quitter when it comes to long term dieting. I will take all your wonderful advice, hints and words of wisdom and keep going. Bye the way Andrea has her step dad doing this diet with me and he has lost 15 lbs. Thank you all again!

    PS Thank you to the wonderful people at KIND, who sent Andrea the most delicious protein bars I have ever tasted, they knock the socks of candy bars. Also Uncle Sam’s cereal for the wonderful cereal selections that keep me eating healthy. If it weren’t for these new treats I am sure I would get bored with my selections and start eating unhealthily.


    1. Anne

      Hey! What is KIND? A brand of these bars or what and where can I get them???
      Keep on top of this. You are doing great!

  93. Karen

    Wow you look amazing, I know how hard it is to change how we eat.
    but you are such an inspiration. The meals Andie has put together are totally what I would, and like to eat.
    Again great Job to you and to your daughter Andie for putting together such delicious recipes

  94. Shanon

    Mary Ellen—

    You look WONDERFUL. There is SUCH a difference and not just in the way that you look, but even in the way that you stand between the two photos. Be proud of how far you’ve come. Andie, you’ve done your mother and the rest of us a wonderful turn by visually showing that food can be so satisfying and in the proper portions, good for you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Keep up the amazing work!

  95. Hayley

    I don’t usually comment either but had to say MAJOR CONGRATS to your mom!! She looks fabulous and I hope she’s feeling as good as she looks. I also wanted to say I love the meals you have lined up for her. They look delicious, non-deprivational (is that a word?) and well-balanced. You’re lucky to have each other!

  96. Sandi

    We never see it in ourselves, sometimes even when we’ve moved down a size or two, but it shows to others. It definitely shows.

  97. Lindsey

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I have to say, congratulations! And hang in there! I’m a PhD student in Nutrition, so I know just how difficult it is to radically change your diet. And as a sweets-lover, I know how hard it can be to cut back on the good stuff. Way to go! You are a true inspiration!

  98. Amber

    I don’t normally comment, although this particular blog feature has become my favorite, but you can TOTALLY see a difference between those pictures!!! Your Mom is looking fabulous!!!

    I have to say, I love this feature because it’s nice to see how well you can eat while dieting. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a post and immediately wanted to make a salad or have a wrap. It’s nice to see how easy and delicious eating well can be.

  99. JR

    “Andrea is posting pictures of me wearing the same outfit, I apologize for not looking too good as I am not at all photogenic. Despite the full facial waxing and less hair on my head I still appear quite large.”

    Um…wow! I can’t believe this is only after two months! You look GREAT! And no more beating yourself up about not looking too good or not being photogenic–be kind to yourself, there’s enough people out there in the world trying to tear us down as it is, you don’t need to be one more of them. (I need this reminder just as much as anybody…) You are BEAUTIFUL–and you even look happier in the “after” photos. Andie, you’ve got to get her walking if she’s not…It’ll just accelerate the progress (I know you know that, but holy cow–I’m so impressed with how well she’s doing already!)

  100. Liz

    You look AMAZING, Maryellen. You are losing at a moderate pace through good eating and patience, and as someone who has lost 50 pounds through deprivation (and then gained it all back), I can tell you that is the only way to do it. I’m losing right along with you this time around, and I can’t begin to tell you how fantastic I feel 20 pounds down. I have gotten to eat everything I love, and have not felt like I “couldn’t” eat something even once. If I want it, I’m going to eat it; maybe I’ll only have half or just a bite (depending what it is that day), but I’m going to have some.

    Congratulations to you on this major positive life change. It is clear from all of these glowing comments that we couldn’t be more proud.

    Andie, this goes without saying, but you are daughter of the year.

  101. Jay

    The progress is noticable and it’s great that your mother is feeling better, but I feel it’s really worrying how little calories you’ve prescribed her, Andie. :/

  102. Lindsay

    I’m not one to comment, though I have been reading for some time now. Your comparison photos are shocking! What an amazing change! I had to scroll to the bottom and look at the photos before going back and reading the post. Congratulations! You are inspiring more people than you will ever know! You are looking wonderful!


  103. Nancy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting the pictures. Your progress is amazing, and the pictures tell the story beautifully. Congratulations on your progress — keep up the great work, and keep updating your pictures every 10 pounds or so!

  104. Shelley B

    You’re doing so well! There’s a huge difference in your side profile shot. Just keep doing what you’re doing and the rest of whatever you want to lose will come right off.

    I also have hypothyroidism and it’s great to know that you can still shed weight pretty quickly with this. I am going to have a baby in a couple weeks and I know I’ll have some work to do to get back to my pre-preg weight!

  105. Kelli S

    Way to go Maryellen!! I agree, the one from the side shows a big difference!! Way to stick with it and reaps the rewards! Blessings on the next leg of your journey!

  106. TN

    I googled “Weight Loss Blogs” a few days ago and this was the first one that came up on a list of 20 best. I haven’t even visited any others–I love this so much! The meals are so healthy and EASY and I need that because I’m a homeschooling mom with 3 kids so my issue is that I love to eat healthy foods but don’t have much time. I am inspired, have copied about 20 recipes to try, started my calorie counting journal today, and am super excited! The before/after picture is so amazing that I’m very motivated to follow what you’ve been doing Maryellen. I have about 20 stomach pounds to lose, but I am energized because I see a simple lifestyle/formula (salads for lunch most days, similar snacks, etc.) that I can DO.
    Also, I think the process of working with your Mom is so helpful to see in all the notes, so keep those notes coming please! I do hope & pray my relationship with my children will be as wonderful and loving as yours is with your Mom Andie. Respectful, encouraging, and dear.

  107. Sue


    You are awesome. I know only too well how hard it is to lose weight. I am 61 years old and trying very hard to lose. It has taken me 6 months to lose 30 pounds. I have some medical conditions that make it hard…but I will keep trying and I encourage you to do the same….
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  108. RBee

    I have been fully enjoying this segment. I have to admit when I saw the before/after photos, the first words out of my mouth were, “No. I just don’t believe it.” But I do believe now…and I’m impressed. You are a brave woman for allowing so many people to “watch” you on what can feel like a very personal journey. Keep striving! And Andie, you put me to shame. I hope I will be so sacrificial for my mom when she needs me.

  109. Sarah

    A big thanks to both of you for sharing this journey! Maryellen – you look GREAT, and you CAN see the difference, even in the pictures! I think this is my favorite blog series ever! :)

  110. Susan

    You look fantastic!! I can see the difference!! And I can see it in your smile :-) Many {hugs} and kudos to you on your journey to a new and healthier you!!!

  111. Philana

    WOW! Andie’s mom, you look great!! I am very inspired and impressed with the hard work and results.
    THank you for blogging this

  112. ElGuappa

    Mary Ellen, I want to congratulate you on your courage. It takes a lot of guts to take these steps to be healthy and well, especially in a public forum like this. I am really impressed by your courage, bravery, and heart. Also, I really want to express just how wonderful it is of you to change your previously unhealthy habits to these new healthy ones. You are giving yourself a tremendous gift, and you are giving your children, your husband, and everyone around you a gift: your longevity, health, energy, vitality, joy, accomplishment, spirit, and so many other fantastic things.

    Having struggled for years with my own eating ups and downs, I know how difficult this is emotionally, psychologically, and physically.

    Yes, you look really great. Your skin even looks better! But, focus on how you’re feeling, because that will keep you going when the going gets tough.

    All the best, Mary Ellen. You rock!


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  118. Luna

    Wow, I wish I could lose weight on that many calories/carbs. I’m only 40, but that “diet” would make me gain weight. The food looks great. Awesome you can lose weight eating so well!

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