0-50 Pounds, Female, Other

iTrackBites Success Story – How This Mom Lost 50 Pounds

Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?

I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. I remember doing diets with my mom when I was as young as fifth grade. I lost a lot of weight right before high school when I started doing marching band without changing my eating habits, so I didn’t really notice as the years went by that I was putting a lot of the weight right back on. 

I got married soon after college, and while my wedding day was absolutely magical, I was so disappointed when I saw how I looked in the photos. I was a bridesmaid about a year after my wedding, and those photos were finally the ones that sparked me to get to work. 

In January 2014, I started Weight Watchers and lost 55 pounds in about eleven months. Since then, I’ve had two sons, and my weight has fluctuated quite a bit during that time, as well. After my second son was born, I got right back to track after about three weeks and haven’t stopped since. I’m back to the size I was when I originally lost the weight, so all in all, about fifty pounds down. It’s been a journey full of ups and downs, but it’s mine, and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.

What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?

When I first started losing weight, I followed a blogger who’d lost quite a bit of weight and had become a runner. I was inspired, so I tried my hand at becoming a runner, too. I worked hard and tried my best, but running was always so difficult for me. I wanted to love it, but I grew to dread it when I would head out to exercise.

For the most part, I do a lot of walking each day. I try to get 10,000 steps at least five times a week, and that has helped me remain very consistent. It’s not something I dread, and it’s easy for me. In the last few weeks, though, I’ve discovered The Fitness Marshall workouts on YouTube, and I’m absolutely in love. I love to dance, and these workouts don’t feel like exercise to me–they’re just really fun!

So all of this to say: it’s very important to find a workout that you truly enjoy doing. For some people, that’s running or lifting weights. But those things aren’t for everyone. The best workout for you is one you look forward to doing.

What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?

When I first started, I did the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. I was very successful on this program, losing about 55 pounds in just under a year. When I got pregnant with my first son, the program changed over to Smart Points.

After I had my first son and was ready to get back on track, I knew that I wanted to continue the plan I’d seen success on, so I used an app that would allow me to continue to do a variation of the Points Plus program. Now I just changed to using the iTrackBites app. I’m now doing the Better Balance plan (very similar to the current WW blue plan) and really enjoying it. 

A typical day of eating for me would be oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, frittata or a wrap with fruit and unsweetened applesauce for lunch, some sort of protein bar for a snack (Clio bars are my favorite), dinners vary widely but we do a lot of lightened up soups and pasta dishes, and then something sweet for dessert, like a frozen yogurt bar or pudding cup.

I’ve never taken any sort of supplements and don’t plan to. There is no easy fix when it comes to weight loss–you have to put in the work and be mindful with your eating and exercise.

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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?

There are absolutely times when I had no motivation, and that’s when your consistent habits hopefully kick in. It’s not about perfection, it’s about consistency. I also think it’s extremely important to listen to your body–if you need to rest, rest.

If you’re craving pizza, eat the pizza. Food is just food, and we shouldn’t label it “good” or “bad.” That has helped me so much with the mental part of this journey.

When did you start to notice progress?

When I first lost all the weight, I got a lot of new clothes that I felt so confident in. When I got pregnant, I obviously outgrew those clothes but I just couldn’t face giving those clothes away. I made a promise to myself that I’d be able to wear those clothes again.

It took a while, but when I started being able to wear them again a few months after my second son was born, I felt so proud and accomplished. Wearing those clothes again was like I came through on that promise to myself to not give up and to keep going, no matter how long it took or how difficult the journey to get there.

Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress? 

I used the Weight Watchers app when I first started in 2014 and switched to the Ultimate Food Value Diary app.

I am now using the Pro version of the iTrackBites app, and it has been a great tool!

I have also worn a FitBit for about three years now, and it has been so helpful with my workouts and ensuring I get enough activity each day.

Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?

Some things that really help me on my journey:

  • Pretracking my day so I know where I have wiggle room for snacks
  • Filling up my water bottle the night before so I’m set up for success with drinking enough water the next day
  • If it’s cold out, I’ll walk in place while I watch a favorite show (you could easily do this on a treadmill if you have one).
  • Being a part of the weight loss community on Instagram has been so helpful for me on my journey. It’s nice to find people on similar journeys who can provide encouragement and accountability.
  • During the pandemic, family walks have been a lifesaver. It gets us out of the house, we’re getting lots of energy out, and it’s quality time spent together. You can’t beat it.

What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?

I would tell them to start small. Maybe for that first week, you just focus on tracking everything but not worrying about how many points/bites/calories you’re using. Once that gets easier, see where you can lighten things up. Then work on adding in more water each day or activity or whatever. Trying to do it all at once can lead to burnout, but adding things in slowly leads to consistent habits.

I would also say, and it’s easier said than done, that the scale is just one small part of the journey. It won’t always reflect your hard work, so remember to take lots of pictures, pay attention to how your clothes are fitting, and how you’re feeling mentally. The scale is just data, so don’t let it define your journey. That being said it’s also absolutely fine to be excited when the scale does show your hard work and to be proud and celebrate that! And always remember the non-scale victories (fitting into smaller size jeans, walking upstairs without breathing heavily, whatever it may be) to get you through when the scale isn’t reflecting your efforts.

Where can we find more about you?

I would love for everyone to follow my journey on Instagram @maegangetshealthy!

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