Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Health and Fitness: My Weight Loss Story

I'm really flattered that so many of you have been asking me to write a healthy eating and fitness post. Yes, over the past year and a bit I have lost weight. As you know, I'm a newleywed so the wedding was a big influence and motivation to lose the weight. The number on the scale has never been a focus of mine, only how my clothes would fit and what dress size I was. When I lost the weight, it honestly isn't the weight that is noticable to me, it is the inches I have lost. At my heaviest point, basically when I started blogging, I was a good 25 pounds more than I weigh now. I've always carried my weight fairly well so I never looked overweight, just a bit chunky at my heaviest. I carry my weight in my upper arms, thighs, butt, and chest. When I was a kid, I've always been "solid". I've been active all my life, always in sports, swimming...etc, but I've never been "skinny". I can honestly say I am really happy with my current weight. I am 5'7" and weigh 135-140. I'm still curvaceous and could use toning up in some areas, but I am in no rush to do so. My weight loss has all been a gradual process, and I intend to keep it that way. 

With this said, I still have been hesitant about writing this post because I haven't been working out to lose weight recently, just focusing on eating healthy. I never ate bad before, but I would indulge more often than I do now. At my heaviest weight I attribute that to being in University, sitting on my butt studying all the time, and then going out every weekend drinking. I know this happens to a lot of people who are in college and university. I had a lack of activity and drinking on weekends was fun at the time, but I packed on the pounds from liquid calories. As soon as I graduated, I took the summer off. I didn't work and when I did find a job, I was only working minimal hours for a little over a year. The weight started to come off a bit when I started working, but plateaued. I ended up getting my current job, which is a manual labor, factory job, and I am always on my feet. I work long hours and weekends, so that amount of walking enables me to keep the weight off as long as I eat healthy. 

Before I got engaged, back in July 2010, I was doing P90X. I ended up doing a little over a month and I ended up losing some weight as well as inches off various parts of my body. I'm pretty sure I lost 2 inches in my waist alone in a month. After that, I didn't exercise as vigorously, but I would go for the occasional run and do laps and treading water at my local pool. P90X is a great program, and I intend on starting it over in the new year and completing the full 90 days. None of this P40X laziness. LOL. If doing this program for only one month worked so well for me, I can't imagine what completing the program would do. It would definitely transform my body. P90X is a very demanding program, but if you can fit in an hour a day, 6 days a week, I highly recommend trying it out. It honestly works and I must say this triggered a life style change for me. I actually went through old blog posts to see exactly how I looked and when the weight started coming off and in what areas. It is pretty interesting to see the chronological progression through posts. If you look back to June 2010, when I was doing P90X, you can see how little I started posting because I was busy with my new exercise program. It's funny because I had another phase closer to my wedding date of July 2011 where I wasn't posting as frequently and I lost more weight then too. Unfortunately, blogging takes up a lot of time where I would be doing something active. I need to find a balance or not be such a procrastinator when it comes to writing posts! I always get distracted by online shopping, youtube videos or checking out other peoples blogs that I won't realize hours have past and I still am working on ONE blog post. LOL. I'm a terrible procrastinator...I was a bad procrastinator in school too. Maybe a New Years Resolution should be to stop procrastinating. I seriously need to write some resolutions.

Anyways, since I didn't do the full 90 days, what really has been working for me was a change in diet. I started eating foods that increased my metabolism (I.e., grapefruit, black coffee, green tea) and eating more salads. I think I started my salad kick a month or two before going to Vegas for my Bachelorette. 5 days of the week I bring a salad for lunch with veggies, chicken, or egg whites. I use calorie wise salad dressing, and only a very small amount. I was eating my salads with no dressing or just a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice for a while, but it got boring fast.

Example Daily Food Intake

5:00 am - bowl of cereal w/ skim milk or 1 egg + egg whites and a piece of whole wheat toast. (Sometimes I just eat egg whites with salsa).

8:00 am - two 35 calorie skim milk yogurts. If I'm not hungry I will just have a large black coffee

11:00 am - mixed greens/baby spinach with cucumber and tomotoe (or chicken). 1 tbs Calorie wise dressing.

1:30 pm - Grapefruit

3:30 pm - 100 cal snack or V8 shot

I eat often because I have scheduled breaks and a demanding job. This is a typical eating schedule while I'm at work 7-4:30 pm.

6ish or 7 - Whatever I end up making for dinner. When eating pasta, I use whole wheat. I eat brown rice. I rarely eat red meat (I.e. 1-2 times a month). Instead of using lean ground beef for meals I use extra lean ground turkey or chicken. Most suppers consist of some form of chicken or seafood. I love salmon, shrimp, and scallops.

This chart I got from one of my husbands health books. This is basically the types of foods I eat. 

Everyones body is different, and what worked for me, may not work for you. The biggest change for me was  P90X and eating more salads. Salads are simple, easy to prepare, and you can create many different kinds of salads so it doesn't get boring. Use veggies one day, chicken the next, egg whites another, almonds, you name it. The choices are endless. Just stick to it. I like packing lunches because you HAVE to eat what you pack. Its not like you can go by cravings and be like, I'm going to eat pizza, junk food, etc. Even at home I plan my meals. I will take chicken or fish out of the freezer and then I know I HAVE to use it or it will go bad. One thing about me is that I will not waste anything (i.e., food, makeup...etc.). 

I do eat out still and indulge in some of my favourite foods (I.e., pizza, nachos, wings). Typically when I order one of these treats I end up sharing so that I still get the taste, but don't consume all the calories. For me, its really important not to deprive myself or I'll go crazy. I found when I tried to go full-on health crazy, absolutely NO bad foods, I ended up giving up. Now if I eat bad, I just make sure I eat really good the next day.

Honestly, the best way to lose weight is old fashioned diet and exercise. There are no fast fixes to weight loss, if you want to do it healthy. It is bad to fluctuate up and down (I.e., Oprah Winfrey) for your body. Losing weight is a life style change. Just by what I eat and substituting for leaner cuts of meat, and whole wheat is better for your overall health, and thus, you will eventually see a change in your body. 


Weight loss Evolution
April 2010 - Noticeably fuller in thighs, arms, butt, chest ~165lbs

April 2010 - I've probably lost 2 full cup sizes, if not more. I've heard people say you tend to lose off your upper body first, especially your chest, when you first start losing weight. I definitely followed this rule!

 June 2010 - I was currently doing/almost done a full month of P90X here. ~155 lbs

January 2011 - My face lost a lot of the baby weight. I think I aged me quite a bit since I started to lose weight!
 April 2011 - Losing off my upper body, still had thick thighs and a big ol' butt. LOL

 May 2011 - When the salad kick was in full effect. I really started toning up April/May 2011.
Chest is considerably smaller at this point.

May 2011 - End of May when I went to Vegas. I was very please with my body shape at this point. Still had thicker thighs at this point as well.

 June 2011

July 2011 - Just before my wedding! I lost a bit of thigh and my arms are much more toned. I look generally much leaner here since the beginning of my weight loss.

 July 23, 2011 - Wedding Day! I finally get to consume cake! Yayyy

Recent OOTDs - Total of 25+lbs since April 2010

Took a while, but I took baby steps. Started off with exercise, did a diet change, now plan on incorporating both for 2012.

I reached my personal goal, but I would still like to lose a few more pounds and tone up! 2012 look out! 

Disclaimer: This is my weight loss story and what worked for me. In no way am I a certified nutritionalist or fitness expert.


  1. Great post and amazing job on your weight loss Cheryl! You were always gorgeous but now it's just the bow on the package! :)

  2. You look fantastic! Congratulations on losing the weight and, more importantly, keeping it off! I've been struggling to lose the 25 lbs I've gained since I started med school and its a slow process. I'm about half way there and you've inspired me to get back to P90x! Our body shapes are really similar and seeing how great you look makes me want to hit the gym asap! Great work and great post! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post sweetie! I love reading weight loss stories! :)


  4. in your Jan 2011 picture where did you get your headband and dress??

    BTW you look incredible!!!! :) great job on the weight loss and I'm glad your setting a good example thru eating healthy and exercise not by starving yourself.

  5. What a great story! I also toned up and lost a bit of weight since 2010.
    I still have my big ol butt and things to work on, any recommendations for good toning workouts for those bodyparts?

  6. Thanks For this Post , it's so inspirational ! i don't think you need to lose anymore weight or you would look " too skinny " , you looked great b4 and you look great now , have you ever tried crash diets ? do they ever work ?

  7. i don't have any weight issues but i've seen my sisters struggling with weight loss.real people and their weight loss stories are more inspiring who work hard and without a personal trainer...thank you so such for sharing this...i really appreciate,and now its my sister's turn to read this:)

  8. good for you for sticking to your plan (for the most part). p90x is not easy and i hope you hit your goal in 2012! you are a much better person than i, i have a major weakness for red meat, oy vey. great transformation!

  9. I think you look absolutely gorgeous even at your heaviest. I look very chunky, but not 'fat'. I have my mom's thighs and they are HUGE :C it sucks, but it's what I got to work with.
    I'd kill for a body like yours :) And you looked amazing at the wedding as well!

  10. Great post...I find these type of posts very inspiring. I agree that healthy eating and regular exercise are really the only solution for weight loss. I lost 15 pounds of post baby weight by exercising 3 times a week and switching all my white carbs for brown ones. Once I lost the weight it was easy to keep it off and I didn't have to say no to treats. However, I haven't been good about keeping up the exercise- and it's starting to show! Have to get my act together again lol!

  11. Aw, Good for you hun! I love reading stories of success and am happy you were able to lose weight, but still be sane about it! I recently have lost 60 pounds of baby weight (IKNOWWW) I am like you, 5'7, thick thighs and my regular weight is about 135. Yay for weight loss. :)

  12. Intesresting post!
    thank you so much for the information!
    Currently I am doing Insanity and so far loving it!
    If you have a chance try it, I like it better then the P90X because it is not as long and it is a fast pace, and I don't get bored.

  13. Hi Cheryl,
    I love your blog and this was a great post. I had already planned an overhaul of lifestyle come January following a momentously awful year. I hope to lose about 28lb slowly and this post is really nice to see the gradual improvements! Well done, you looked fantastic before and supermodel now!!
    L xxx

  14. This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing your story. :) It is def. inspiring! I am really interested in trying the P90X or Insanity workouts.

  15. You've got it girl. I lost 80 lbs over about a year and the way I did it exactly the way you did - eating good, quality food, in smaller portions and exercise. Congrats! You look awesome!

  16. That is so inspiring! Thanks for your weight loss story :) I've been wanting to lose weight for ages!

  17. thanks for sharing your story :D you look super great. & your healthy eating habits reflect on your skin. cause it looks AMAZING.

  18. You look AMAZING!!!!! <3

  19. Thank you so much for sharing <3

  20. Great job sweetie! You look amazing! <3

  21. Great post, you look amazing! Glad to hear you're not obsessive about weight lose and put in good ol fashion time and hard work to look healthy and fabulous :)

  22. You look amazing! thanks for sharing all that you have accomplished

  23. This is a great post, Cheryl! Very in depth and really appreciated. I was one of the girls who wanted details on how you lost the weight to look so amazing, so love this!!!

  24. what shoes do you wear to work usually? I have a job where I'm on my feet all the time too, and I've been dying to find a pair of shoes that will last me longer than 3 months and actually be comfortable to wear.

  25. i just wanted to take the time and comment and say thanks for this inspiring post. like you, i don't look particularly heavy but since having my daughter 3.5 years ago (YIKES) i lost the weight at first from breastfeeding but gained some back from not eating healthy and drinking alcohol. i have been trying to get back in the right mindset to lose a few pounds & this was reeally inspiring so thanks! you looked beautiful before and just more beautiful and toned now!

  26. I used to work in a printing factory doing collating and packaging and I wasn't allowed to sit and lunch was only 15 minutes long! I lost so much weight because you're basically working out (endurance) for 8 hours 3 to 5 times a week! I miss it, because since then I packed on the pounds at my new desk job where we don't do much. I miss getting paid to be in shape haha. I love your honest post though and I feel some motivation coming on to lose my last 20 pounds because you look phenomenal. I recently lost 20 just by NOT indulging plus walking to and from school in the city. Eat right and keep busy everyone!

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  30. Great story it just prove when you put your mind in a goal nothing is impossible. You are a perfect example. Beautiful...


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