The Timeline

My weight loss process went a little something like this: I started on June 1, 2005 and joined the YMCA, spent the summer just following my own path of exercising daily- taking group fitness classes, using the cardio equipment, jogging or walking with my best friend- and trying to eat well. I lost about 40 lbs in those three months of summer. I returned to college that fall and continued to eat healthier but stopped exercising almost entirely. Mind you, the college lifestyle didn’t always mesh with health so I tried not to be restrictive with my diet. I just wanted to live in the moment and enjoy eating the pizzas, the nachos, and drinking the beers and rums. Let’s put it this way: my college town of Amherst, Massachusetts opened up a burger joint called Fatzo’s that sold cheese smothered tater tots and one particularly juicy “Cowboy Burger” that involved smoky hickory barbecue sauce, onion rings, and Monterey jack cheese. Yours truly supports local business.

But burgers aside, in many ways I was successful at genuinely loving the way I was living and feeling more moderate about my eating than ever before. My weight loss slowed and I might have lost 10 lbs during the first few months back at school. Realizing that I still had a long way to go (about 80ish lbs), that November 1st I decided to join Weight Watchers. I’d heard so many people in my life praise that program as the best and most “liveable” plan. After the first meeting, I knew it was for me. I’m a very meticulous person, with a love of structure, planning, and goals. Weight Watchers felt very comfortable almost immediately, although I’ll admit I only went to two meetings. Much of my following it was done solo. Between that November and January, I probably lost another 15 lbs.

Then I left the country. I moved to Italy to study Italian language and cinema for the semester. In Rome, I was reborn as a lover of fresh, richly flavorful food, an enthusiast of fine taste, and a cook. I befriended the local farmers and their vibrant carts of fruits and vegetables, traveled to 11 cities in Italy in search of the best pizza, gnocchi, gelato, and pasta bolognese (for the record, I found all of them), I walked and I walked and I walked some more. I climbed to the top of Vesuvius. Actually, “I ate Italy” (and the 5 other European countries that I visited) is what I should rename my experience abroad. I think the key there was that I realized more than ever that portions mattered and that gelato, unlike Coldstone, doesn’t come in “Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It.” I ate well and experimented with cooking fresh meals that involved the foods I’d pick up on my way home from class. I’d still play drinking games , but with wine. A very bad idea for those of you who are wondering. Very very bad.

I also started running in Italy, much to the distress of my beloved Italians. I jogged daily along the Tiber River. By the time I left Rome after my four month love affair, I had lost 40 more pounds. I did not know that I had lost this number until I returned to the States. In Italy I never had a scale, I never tracked the progress that I was making and never relied on the lowering number to feel successful and accomplished. This may have been a blessing. I just exercised and ate well, so if I did hit a plateau where the weight stopped coming off, I didn’t know it.

I think the success I had in Italy and the months prior, was due in part to keeping a food journal. In an effort to use the valuable tools I had gained from Weight Watchers, I tried to become aware of what I was eating. It’s amazing the things you learn from this process of tracking your meals and snacks. One hundred pounds ago, the page might have included a snapshot of McDonald’s Dollar Menu. I was able to find a beautiful balance of eating healthfully and eating decadently. Salad and spaghetti, tomatoes and tiramisu. Keeping a food diary also meant that I had a written account of the incredible eating journey I had as I tasted my way through Europe. A food memoir of sorts.

Keeping a food journal at least for a short time was unbelievably beneficial to me. I think it can be so helpful in creating not only awareness, but also portions and balance. It also taught me to not beat myself up for anything I ate. Yes I wanted to lose weight and not be morbidly obese, but I also wanted to seize every opportunity and if that meant churros in Spain, that meant churros in Spain. In the grand scheme of things, the meals that you think negate your healthy lifestyle, do not.

I also think that daily exercise, anything from walking to running to group fitness classes, is not only a key to losing weight, but more importantly a key to motivation. Start acting and the motivation will follow. The strength that you gain, emotionally and physically, from challenging yourself and finding activities you love to do everyday is unparalleled. If it does nothing else, exercising will make you feel so good that you will be inspired to eat well.

I believe that if you just keep at it, keep striving to live well, eat well, and exercise, your body will eventually relinquish the pounds. I think that maybe there are temporary slows, temporary stoppages, but that if you stick it out when these things occur, you will continue to lose once again. I have read a million and one articles about “breaking past a plateau” and they usually involve exercising harder, eating slightly less, and so on. But I don’t really know that doing those things would have ever made me happy overall. If I had hit a plateau during my days of running on the Tiber, eating fresh vegetables and pasta in moderation while still licking a cone of gelato, I don’t know that I would have restricted anything in order to force the scale down. If you know that you are living a life full of movement, real, healthy food, and an abundance of fun, that may be enough.

83 thoughts on “The Timeline

  1. Sandy

    I just received my Womans World today and your story is inspirational to say the least.
    I signed up for your newsletter, at least I think I did. Looking forward to more delightful recipes and success story’s in the future, maybe even one from me.
    God bless

  2. Lori

    I just saw your article this past weekend and just now scanned your website quickly (very informative), I’m very excited to know there is someone out there with the same issues and it is possible to lose the weight, I’ve been struggling with weight issues all my life and now I hope to find my success story too, Thank you

  3. Jackie

    I just got womans world. I read your story…Very,very inspirational.
    out of all the weight loss success stories I have read, yours truly made me feel like this kind of way of life is do-able. I started my own journey today..thanks to your inspiration…Thank you!

  4. Nitia

    I just read the WW article and looked at your blog for the first time. I felt like it was me talking. The sarcasm and honesty really hit home with me. Congrats to you and your success! I know how hard the weight journey can be. You have renewed my enthusiasm for my health. Thank you.

  5. Rebecca

    So excited to find your website after the encouraging article in Woman’s World. Your story has added to my inspiration. I have finally figured out that processed foods, sugar, etc have been my downfall.

  6. Tammy


    Last year I worked really hard cutting back eating right and excerise. I walked every day 45 minutes. (rain or shine) Lost 27 lbs. I have gained 10 lbs back, I stopped walking and eating right, after reading your story, I started back today, eating right and walking. I am so glad I picked up a WW today, and read your story. This is a life long change that I am going to work really hard on. I know how happy I was last year, feeling good about myself, I want that feeling back, now I know I can have it again. :)

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Hi Tammy!

      Thank you for your note. I’m so happy to hear that your motivation is back and in full force. All you need is to believe in yourself. You are worth it. Trust what you know about eating well and moving your body- it won’t fail you. I’ll be sending good vibes your way! Keep in touch!

  7. Amanda

    Thank you for your inspirational story. I haven’t been able to loose the weight after my three kids but I am back on track walking and eating healthy because of your article. Can’t wait to feel good about myself again. Thankyou.

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Amanda, this is so wonderful to hear! You’ll be able to do it, because you believe you can. Make the way you treat yourself as special as the way you treat your kids and family. I know you have it in you. Thank you for reading, it really means a lot to me!

  8. Amy

    I just got my Woman’s World magizine last night, and I just have to say that you are the most down to earth real person I have ever read about. Your struggles sound just like mine. You have inspired me to become a healthy person. I have struggled with my weight all my life.

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Amy, this comment just moved me so much. Thank you so very much for your kindness. I want to be as honest and open with others as I can. So much is written about the good, but there needs to be reference to the bad, the difficult times, the real-life struggle of it all. I’m so glad to hear that you feel a renewed sense of energy toward your own health! Thanks again and keep in touch!

  9. Lisa

    Thank you for putting your story in Woman’s World! I have just started my weight loss journey, I need to lose 90lbs and have lost 6, it has already been a little tuff. I think your story is one that I really needed to read, you are a wonderful inspiration!

  10. Kim

    Congrats Andrea on your weight loss!!! Wow….135lbs is like losing a whole person….Frig….you must feel so amazing, and be so proud of yourself! Bravooooo……I started my weight loss journey this summer not even realizing it….I started walking my dog about 3 times a day…the next thing you know my shorts are getting looser…..Then I was getting comments…Did you lose weight….My response “NOOOO”…..I hopped on the scales this month…..and I am down 20 pounds, with just the daily walks….and girlfriend I am soooo excited…..I have a lot more weight to lose but I am taking things in baby steps I guess…..You know eating Doritos & watching Yoga……and then going for a walk….lol…
    I guess all of us trying to lose weight know that it is never just about the food….I believe self love, and healthy eating, can move mountians and I am ready to climb Mt. Everest and get my old self back. Next year I turn 50 & I want to be 50 & Fabulous!!

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Ah Kim, I feel so good after reading your comment! You’re an inspiration, yourself! Congratulations to you for “getting it” and really making your life full and all you want it to be! I wish you the best, and I thank you for reading!!

      1. Kim

        Thanks for the response that is so kind of you!!
        I am hoping you can offer me some advice….I do fabulous during
        the day eating properly, with no hunger at all, but when the sunsets
        I start wanting to eat, when I am not even hungery. It is like a
        terrible habit I have gotten in to. It is like love of God…Here I am
        snacking, watching TV & eating like a fat kid on a smartie…When I
        am not even hungery….Perhaps I need to keep busier in the
        evenings…I am not sure….My evening is my down time and my
        time to spend with my husband…Can you offer me any suggestions
        on what to do? Perhaps duct taping my cake hole, or wiring my
        jaws shut….or perhaps a little something less invasive…
        Thanks & Cheers,

  11. Cheryl

    I read the article in Woman’s World and have been on your website daily. I had my first grandchild last year and that inspired me to lose weight. I lost 50 pounds and had 30 more to go. I was eating healthy, walking 3 miles a day, every day and in the past months have done (again) what I have done before, sabbotaged myself. I have regained 30 pounds and all the clothes that I was fitting into now aren’t fitting. I am so discouraged and know that until I find the reason I sabotage myself I will ever be successful in this weight journey. I am determined to follow your advice and count my calories, write down what I eat and think, think, think!

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Ahhh, it’s such a hard thing, Cheryl. Thank you for visiting, and also for telling me about your own story. I bet so many can relate. The thing to remember is this: no matter how many times you have to try and then restart and try again, it only takes one time for it to stick, you know? I tried to lose weight a number of times and failed, but then one day, it just…worked. You can do it! Best of luck to you! Keep in touch!

  12. Rebecca

    I struggle with night time eating as well. I try and have a 200 calorie “dessert” to look forward to before 7:30. Something like Vitamuffin with fruit, ff ice cream or topping – and eat it slowly. I have to say that from time to time I still struggle with wanting something later even though I am never hungry. I find this comes and goes so ride it out and grab almonds, popcorn or some cheddar cheese sticks. Now that the kids have grown, if it comes in the house and tempts me – bad on me. I try and fight the urges at the grocery store. You know – reaching for the moment of pleasure but NOT taking it. We are only chasing a taste – nothing more.

  13. Pingback: Weight Reflections of 2010 « Can You Stay for Dinner?

  14. Natalia

    I just read your story, and it moved me. Congratulations on your weight loss, and your journey. It’s inspiring!!

  15. Katherine

    I have just discovered your blog and I must say, I feel like you are speaking to me. I have been struggling with my weight my whole life. I am currently doing Weight Watchers and have at least 140 pounds to lose. It’s really hard and I have a lot of ups and downs. I really think that your blog is informative but also inspirational because I need to begin to work on the internal issues that have resulted in my obesity. Thank you so much! I look forward to what comes next with your blog :)

  16. Amanda June

    This, especially the last paragraph, is beautiful. As someone who has lost 80 pounds and is at somewhat of a plateau (but at a healthy weight and living a pretty healthy life!), I’m thankful to have read it. Congratulations on your journey; thanks for opening it up to all of us, and thanks for putting things in a bit clearer, less-obsessive, more big-picture perspective for me.

  17. Nat - The Precious Things

    I just came across your website and read through your story. I am very impressed how positively you describe the whole time of losing weight. It is truly motivating for anyone who would like to start on losing a few kilos. But as you say, you have to adapt your whole lifestyle to maintain what you worked for! And this is where you are doing very well.

    Oh, and as I live in Switzerland and will be going to Italy in September, I would be very interested in knowing where you found the best pizza, gelato and pasta!

  18. Sarah

    A friend of mine came across your blog on Pinterest and thought I should see it, seeing as I’m on the same journey and blogging about it myself! I’m 64lbs down, with at least 100 more to go. I feel great about my progress, but I admit – I do still feel guilty about eating things that “seem” bad for me, even in moderation. It seems like you’ve got a lot of peace & freedom with that now, so I hope I can learn a thing or two from you.

    PS – I can totally relate to your Italy experience. I lost a great deal of weight for similar reasons when I lived in the UK. I think my feet being my main mode of transportation and so, so much dancing to good music did the trick!

  19. Jocie

    Hi! I just discovered your website today and absolutely devoured every single page (please excuse the dumb pun). I am now on a long weight loss journey in hopes of great health and a bikini on my honeymoon next October :)! Your website is so truly inspiring, I am now 25 pounds down on Weight Watchers and halfway to goal. I am loving the wonderful life lessons that I am learning through WW, but I have an issue with the methods. A lot of the people on the message boards seem convinced that you must run/workout heavily daily/do exercise videos/etc to lose weight. I hate doing all of these. BUT, I love walking. Did you have a method to your walking, or you did it as you pleased? I’m so very happy that I found your site, you’re such an inspiration.

  20. Brit

    Hi Andrea,
    I read your Blog yesterday and I start with my program today. Have tried to loose weight several times, but this time I will make it. You’re so very inspiring! I need to lose at least 44 to 70 lbs to reach my “normal” BMI. That’s nothing compared to what you achieved, but a long journey anyways… You’re my idol now. Thanks for your stories and frankness.
    OK here we go!

  21. Danielle @ D.Sells Seashells

    I just found your blog, and I’m so inspired. I can tell how much work you’ve put into it and I appreciate the wealth of knowledge you provide.

    I’m also 26 and lost 100lbs 3 years ago (hard to put a time stamp on it though, since it took me two years) and I have struggled on my blog with putting my experiences into words.

  22. hannah

    I found your blog through, and boy am i glad. Great stuff, very inspiring….im back on track starting tomorrow so its very helpful that I found this today! xx hannah

  23. wendy

    I also found you on Pinterest, my new interest. I usually am better about staying weight seems less important as my son was killed in Afghanistan 2 yrs ago. My motivation and enthusiasm around healthy eating is not the same.
    That said I need my heath and vitality for my young grandchildren that live near you. My son never met his daughter. I hope to use your site for my inspiration. Blessings to you for your fun and whimsy around a challenging topic.

    1. Jules

      I’m truly sorry to hear of your loss, Wendy. I hope you find comfort in your grandchildren and the special one who never knew her father. Stay strong.

  24. Emily

    The more I read of your story the more I like it. I also go to college in Amherst, MA (UMassssssss!) and I’m on weight watchers (online so no meetings) I look forward to reading more from you!

  25. Raahila

    Thanks for the blog entry especially about ur dad. My father was a violent alcoholic and i can relate to the food issues. On my way to lose weight rite now happy to have found ur blog to motivate me. :)

  26. Katie

    Although I have not finished reading your blog, I have read a good bit. I just wanted to let you know that this is all a huge inspiration to me. I graduated college this past May and throughout my studies, my weight has been up and down – a huge rollercoaster. Although I have always (or rather, most of the time) been confident with myself, I was never truly happy with my body.

    It wasn’t until I started dating my boyfriend, who was nearly 50 lbs lighter than me in June, that I really got the motivation to get to a healthier place in my life. He loves me just the way I am, but I feel self conscious when I am with him sometimes. So after we came back from a week at the beach at the end of August, I decided I was going to make an effort to get in shape.

    To do this, I decided I was not going to cut foods out of my diet, but rather just watch the QUANTITY of what I was eating. Since September 1, I have lost 24 lbs. I go to the gym, but I do things I enjoy – Zumba, Spinning, the elliptical. I still indulge in chocolates, the occasional glass of wine, pizza… whatever I want, but just in moderation.

    I am proud of myself, but still have a long way to go. I started off at 228 lbs and would like to get to 160. Reading about your journey has really helped me and makes me wanna keep going! Thanks!

  27. Mia

    OMG, once again you have expressed so eloquently what I feel myself…although I am not at the same point of the journey yet.

  28. Natalie

    I could not agree more with what you say about exercise is the key to motivation. Much of my weight has been gained since I stopped exercising. There is nothing like a room full of people to help you keep going (there is also nothing like a full length mirror that does nothing to hide the wobble beneath your t’shirt to keep you at it as well).

  29. Sarah C.W.G

    I found your blog because someone pinned your fluffy oatmeal recipe on Pinterest! (I made it this morning btw–added some cinnamon and a dash of sugar and it was sooo satisfying!) I’ve been reading your blog in the past few days; you’re such an inspiration, because you’ve accomplished SO much but you don’t advocate punishing your body like some fitness-crazed people out there. Thanks for being a “real person” and living a healthy lifestyle that other people can feasibly emulate!

  30. Brook

    What a wonderful and refreshing journey you’ve had! Thanks for sharing. I think Europeans really do have a better relationship with food than we Americans do. Just one look at the portion sizes in our restaurants would tell anyone that! Good luck to you and keep up the good work!

  31. Melissa Wegner

    I completely agree about the plateau bit. If you’re exercising, eating properly (even with a few indulgences), and yet not losing weight then you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Just don’t think about it, it will either start going down again or that’s just the weight your body wants/needs to be at.

  32. Kaitlyn

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. This is definitely inspiring, and helps me to remember what is really important in life. Excited to try out some of your recipes too!

  33. Cath

    Your struggles feel so similar to mine (even if our stories are different). You are definitely an inspiration.
    I’ve started 2012 with an incredible urge to finally take good care of myself. For the first time I truly believe in me and reading your story just confirms that my dream will come true too…

  34. mari

    I love your story, I can relate to parts of it well…including that I also went to college in Amherst (class of 07) nd studied abroad in Italy (Florence) in the fall of 2005. My roommate and iused to run through the cobblestone streets playing “tourist dodging” :)

  35. Sue Perry

    How do I follow your blog? I am new to this following blog thing. I used to have one I followed on my google homepage. How can I do that?

  36. Kaylee Bosworth

    I love your story. I don’t have a weight problem but I do have a food problem. I am a celiac (no wheat flour)and after being diagnosed, food was a mystery to me. I had no idea what being at a healthy weight was (before diagnosis, 115 lbs and ate everything I could). So before long I had a lot of weight on me from just eating things that werent poisoning me. It has taken me 7 years to realize that a food journal is not only healthy but I can then figure out what makes me sick. It also helps portion control and random snacking. I am really glad to hear other people using it. When I first started I thought it was the silliest thing ever but in the end it makes you conscious about the food you do eat.

    Thank you for your wonderful story.

  37. Vicki

    What an inspriration! I, too, lost a lot of weight (100 lbs. 5 years ago, but have regained 30–trying to get back on the wagon now).

    Your blog is going to be not only my inspriration, but my recipe/cook book! Thanks so much for sharing.

  38. Vicki

    What an inspiration! I, too, lost a lot of weight (100 lbs. 5 years ago, but have regained 30–trying to get back on the wagon now).

    Your blog is going to be not only my inspiration, but my recipe/cook book! Thanks so much for sharing.

  39. Joy

    Love love loved your article. I think a lot of that was your wonderful attitude and your lack of judgement — that sounds sooo wrong :)– I meant your lack of judging yourself and being critical, which often debilitates and sabotages. All our journeys should hold joy, no matter how difficult they might be, and it seems you struck the right balance. Cudos!

  40. Melissa

    Wow! I can’t help but read your story and relate it to own. I too am down over 120+ pounds and am struggling to find my happy place. Your story is uplifting and has given me hope that I too can find happiness within the new me!

  41. Amanda

    Do you think you would have been able to lose the initial weight if you didn’t do all of the running? I can see how you would maintain without all the running but I think it is going to be a very slow process without some vigorous exercise. I have never been able to run so thoughts please! Thanks!

  42. Maggi Veltre

    I am a member of a free weight loss website and on a team there of mostly women who have reached their weightloss goal and are maintaining. I joined it even though I wasn’t there because I wanted to think I could be. However, I don’t like visiting it because so many of the women even years later still measure and track all their food. Most claim they will overeat if they don’t, even ones who lost only 30 lbs. or so. They talk about still fearing food. It seems to me many choose a rather low weight which seems to necessitate monitoring every mouthful.

    I just don’t want to live like that.

    You are one of the exceptions in many ways so it’s possible many cannot achieve what you’ve done, but I want to believe they can and I can. My BMI hovers just into the overweight range after having been for a few years in the low obese range, but it is not a terrible struggle. I still eat sweets when I am not hungry and to be too full, but nothing like I used to. But most days I am not dreaming of foods I think I can’t eat or worrying about being sucked into eating too much. I don’t believe I have to live in fear of food and I love that you have shown even the previously morbidly obese don’t have to either. (Did you know that 97% of those who reach goal regain their weight and of those who don’t, about 25% of those relapse by 5 years? I so love that you have passed the 5-year mark.) I think learning that I like to be hungry for my food and I don’t really like being too full anymore has been crucial. I’ve accepted most of the time that there is only a certain amount of dense foods I can eat, feel good, and get hungry in a reasonable amount of time. I’m at my almost-happy eating life. Thinking about you is inspiring me to get there all the way.

  43. Maggi Veltre

    Oops, meant to say that my journey unfortunately has taken over 40 years. I’m so happy for you that you got it so young!

  44. Heather @ Curly Girl Kitchen

    I just read all of the posts linked to your sidebar, and your writing is so beautiful – poetic and inspirational. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life – I’m 33 and have never known what it feels like to be thin. Ever. I work out at the gym sporadically and then stop because I hate it so much. But I’m feeling inspired to start walking after I get home from work in the afternoon. The walking, I love. The hard part is just leaving the house to get started.

    I’ve subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to reading more!

  45. Andreea

    I just found your blog yesterday and i LOVE it!! You look amazing – congrats on following through with such determination! :-) i have decided to start a food journal since you mention it helps. I need to lose only about 10lbs – it seems easy enough, yet I have been struggling with this for 6 months now – no more excuses!! getting myself to the gym & hoping that motivation will follow the action :-)

    love your recipes too!! right up my alley as i usually cook mediterranean.

    keep up the awesome, straight-forward posts!!

  46. GG

    I adore your site and have told many of it even those who don’t have weight issues, as the recipes and photos are so lovely.
    My question is:did you have an “apron of fat” that you had removed or did the fact that you exercised the whole time (and being young & still having colligen!) help with that? Your body is incredible-so healthy and just so inspiring! I love your philosophy. I have lost and gained tons and maintenence is aways my waterloo. I will take to heart your more “gray” thinking-not so back and white-and Your peace at finally feeling you can deal with what ever comes-maintenence or life-so lovely!!!!-Thanks a million-GG

  47. Franchesca

    Love your transparency, and I identify with much of what you discuss regarding emotional eating. I recently lossed 35lbs not 135, but I can tell you the bondage to those lost pounds is just as heavy as what you describe. I eat and calculate how much I have already or will need to run the next day to be sure I don’t find my lost weight. No answers today, but I am encouraged by your story.

  48. Margo

    I ran across your blog while pinning fitness stuff on Pinterest. I always pin stuff but very rarely take the time to read them. I must say I am glad I read yours. I joined WW this January and have lost 35 pounds since. I am going to be a freshman in college this year, so it’s awesome to get inspiration from someone who started out losing weight when they are younger. You’re a great inspiration and success!

  49. Angie

    I so needed to find your inspiring story. I am on this same journey and I am first forgiving myself for the weight gain I have experienced. Second I am trying to do this by enjoying cooking and experiencing the journey…. No matter what I won’t give up. Thank you so much..

  50. Kristina Roberts

    My niece just told me to read your’e beautiful story… you are such a beautiful girl and write so beautifully…. I am a 56 year old mom, who has so struggled, all my life and have the same relationship with food as you did with your’e Dad, as children we are left to survive with what we can control and food was the one thing that I could control, in
    ways of dealing with my alcoholic home, I have a beautiful life two beautiful boys and a loving husband and a beautiful family I have been blessed with my sisters and nieces,
    but the food thing has not been easy for me, always a struggle….. ugh…. reading your story was so wonderful….. you are an inspiration for this old gal, you are beautiful dear and have turned a neg to a positive…. Thank you for your blog Ill read it every day!!!! Love Kristina Roberts PHX AZ

  51. Jen

    I just found your blog thanks to a pin on Pinterest (I still need to find the recipe-the picture made my mouth water), and I am officially in love with it. Personally, I have been all over the weight map: eating whatever and whenever I wanted to eating a few times a week (that began with a health issue that turned into a problem) to exercising so much in order to eat anything.
    I always wanted to enjoy my food, I love food!. We need it to live, so why not enjoy it? But I wasn’t enjoying it because I was obsessing over it. I have finally learned how to love & enjoy food in a way that isn’t harmful to me. I grew up cooking, but I always wanted instant gratification (eg. fast food), but changing my mindset also helped me to enjoy cooking. I love grocery shopping, preparing, and finally eating my food! I love making new things for people and seeing how much they enjoy it. I am so excited to enjoy cooking and eating the recipies you have up!!
    Thank you!!

  52. Callie

    You are such an inspiration. I have a lot of weight to loose. I have made a habit of eating a little less, not eating out as much, and not drinking as much. This has helped a lot. I have lost 50 lbs in a year which is pretty good for me. My thing is cooking and moving. I want to do it but actually doing it is the hard part. Any advice?!

  53. Caroline A

    Hi Andie!
    I am a sophomore in college and will be studying abroad in Italy and France next semester. I’m not really looking to drastically lose a bunch of weight (although I wouldn’t mind if some came off either!)… any advice or tips?

  54. Esther P

    I’ve been trying to lose weight and I eat clean I just can’t seem to lose weight and keep it off. I’ve gone gluten free for other reasons than weight and my mother always bought organic. I’ve also always been physically active and muscular but above my BMI. If I eat more than 1200 calories a day I start packing on the muscle.I ride my bike for around 1:30 a day and go to the gym for 2. Other than that I’m pretty sedentary since taking a semester off. Any suggestions?

  55. Jeannie G

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m trying to start my own story.. I have about 100 lbs to loose and this is my motivation!! Thank you for inspiring!

  56. Marie

    Thank you for the inspiration I needed and the truth it reminded me of that I have been out of touch with for a while. I’ve never felt I had an issue with my weight except for post-pregnancy weight loss. I’ve got 20 lbs left to loose after my third pregnancy and I’ve been discouraged. I deeply appreciate your words of encouragement.

  57. Pingback: Inspirational Wednesday!! « A Day In the Life of Jennay

  58. Tracey

    You are truly an inspriation to me. I was slightly over weight before having my daughter at 27. I am 6 ft tall and when I got pregnant I weighed about 190. I am almost 33 now and I have gained so much since having her. I now weight 263 lbs. I have been on countless diets and have lost 10 lbs here and 30 lbs there only to gain it all back when something stressfull happens in my life. Food has been my best friend when I am sad or stressed. Or celebrating. Or getting off of work. Or its just a day that ends in “y” and I feel like gorging myself on salty and sweet goodness. I am a single mom and I want to be able to be around my daughter for many years. I have never wanted to lose weight to be more appealing to the opposite sex or to “get a man”. I am fine being alone. I want to lose weight so my daughter has a good role model and so I can look in the mirror and be proud of myself again. I have the best of intentions but I can never seem to continue once I have started. You make me feel like I am not alone in my feelings and have put things in perspective for me. I thank you for sharing your story and I want you to know that you have touched my heart and made want to finally get the ball rolling and succeed finally. Thank you!

  59. Rebecca

    You are truly inspiring! I am trying to lose 160 pounds and I find it hard. I want to lose but then I don’t. I’ve gone through a lot in my life and food has always been there for me. I have tried everything. Weight Watchers, HCG diet, and crash diets. I now plan on just trying to eat healthy and excercising every day. but one question, Did you do any crash diets or the HCG diet?

    1. admin

      Thank you Rebecca!

      Years before I lost any significant weight, I did try a few fad diets like Slim Fast–not HCG, though–and the only results I got after a few days of doing them were massive binges. I crashed and burned every time, and only ended up heavier. It was an awful cycle.

      As far as your weight loss goal–I’m wishing you the very, very best. I know you can do it and that you will, in your own time. Take it one day at a time.


  60. Michele

    I found you on Pinterest with that Italian seasoned slow cooker chicken. Love your site I have lost 114, still going. But you have given me a lot of great ideas. I love to cook, but do tend to get lazy (read: frozen meals!). Looking forward to trying some of these to keep things fun!
    Really great site, lots to read, very inspirational, so glad I found it, plan to be a regular!


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