‘I Lost 110 Pounds When I Started Cooking All Of My Meals At Home’

I was always self-conscious about my body growing up. In middle school I had more curves, boobs, and was taller than all my friends. High school began, and I was hyper-aware of my growing and changing body, to the point where I began to restrict my eating in a very unhealthy way. I believed that was the only way I could possibly lose weight, which of course was far from true, far from safe, and also not sustainable.

When I entered college, my tricky relationship with my body and food continued but in different ways. I moved into the dorms and started eating (and drinking) more. My weight skyrocketed. I definitely gained the freshman 15, and then some.

I remember walking with my friends to class one evening in college. They started walking really fast up a hill and I couldn’t keep up. I pretended to take a phone call as an excuse to slow my pace; I didn’t want to admit I was tired from just walking up a hill. I also knew that when we sat down in class, I would be sweating like crazy, and again, I didn’t want them to see how hard this seemingly simple activity was for me. When I graduated college, I was 280 pounds.

I tried several times to lose weight after school ended. I bought weight-loss shakes, restricted my food intake, and I tried working out, but eventually gave up every time. At my highest weight, I was a little over 300 pounds.


Same me, new lifestyle 💪🏼 #mondaymotivation

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My turning point was at the end of 2016, when I had New Year’s resolutions on my mind.

I think that my friends and loved ones knew that I was overweight and unhappy, but I didn’t speak about how uncomfortable I was, my insecurities, or the fact that I wanted to change my body. I kept it all to myself. But I was so sick of life being harder than necessary for me. I knew that I wanted to use the new year to help motivate me and create lasting change, but I still needed another push.


For those of you who message and comment on my waist and how you wish you could look like me…I don’t have the waist that LuluLemon leggings give me. I have imperfections and loose skin and this is so incredibly difficult to post, but I hope it helps someone accept their imperfections and work towards loving their body for everything it’s capable of rather than hating it for everything it isn’t.

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Around that same time, my boyfriend was having health issues. His doctor told him that he was pre-diabetic and that he needed to lose weight before she saw him next, otherwise he would have to be put on insulin. This allowed me to begin dieting and exercising under the facade that I was doing it to help him. We were doing it together for *his* health. I felt like framing it that way took some of the pressure off of me and contributed to my success.

Cutting most fast food from my diet was a huge help.

I used to eat fast food for nearly every meal. I would order a combo, a side, a dessert, and a soda. This time around, I began eating at home as often as possible. And if we did have to eat out, I’d order something off of the lighter fare menu. Looking back, the food choices that I was making still weren’t the best, but really anything was better than what I had been eating before.


First pair of Lulu’s and I’m shook.

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I got better and better at prepping food at home over time. I started making sandwiches at home and finding lower-calorie options for the foods that I loved. For instance, instead of ordering my usual Starbucks frappuccinos all the time, I swapped them for iced coffee with sugar-free sweeteners, and without milk or cream. My favorite snack was (and still is) Hot Cheetos. But I began eating popcorn with cayenne pepper as a substitution. As time went on, I got into counting calories and macros.

    I was still too nervous to go to the gym when I started my journey, so I bought a cheap elliptical online.

    Any form of exercise was an improvement, so the elliptical was a great start. My boyfriend and I split the cost, used his truck to pick it up, and I cleaned out my garage to make space for a little at-home gym. I began doing an hour of cardio every night in the garage: 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on our stationary bike.

    In March of 2017, I finally joined a gym and I continued to do just cardio. It wasn’t for quite some time that I ventured away from the cardio equipment. But now, I *love* strength training and circuit workouts. I use the strength training app FitBod for workout ideas. It also helps track my workouts, as does my Apple Watch (I love it!).


    I used to be embarrassed to sweat. I would avoid anything that I thought was going to be difficult because I knew I would sweat and that would show people I was struggling, show people that I was out of shape, and overweight. Now, I do things that make me sweat for fun. I don’t have to get to school early so I have time to stop sweating before class begins. I don’t have to wear tank tops underneath my shirts so my back sweat doesn’t show. I am living a life where basic human activities like walking aren’t difficult. If you’ve never been overweight, you likely won’t understand how exciting something as simple as being able to talk and walk up the stairs at the same time is. If you’re still struggling to do these things, pay attention to how they’re getting easier, pay attention to the progress you’re making, because before you know it…you’re not even going to think twice about having to take the stairs 💕

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    In 2018, I reached my goal weight. To be honest, though, I didn’t totally love how I got there.

    I felt like I was doing too much cardio and not eating enough. At one point, I remember standing in my kitchen, on the verge of tears because I was hungry, but if I ate dinner, I would go over my daily calorie count. I told my boyfriend that seeing how upset and anxious I was about calories and food scared me because I didn’t want to go back to my unhealthy ways of skipping meals. It was that night that I decided to *stop* counting calories. It was not making a positive impact on my mentality towards weight loss.


    Let’s talk LOOSE SKINYes, I have it. Was I scared of it as I lost weight? DEFINITELY. Did I do anything specific to minimize it? Nope. I’ve lost 130 pounds…loose skin was pretty inevitable for me. Would I go back to being 300 lbs bcs of the loose skin I do have? No freaking way 🙅🏼‍♀️ I’m going to be honest though…if I’m ever in a place financially where I can afford to have surgery…I’ll probably do it. Not because I think it’ll make me a better person or because my loose skin makes me less worthy, but because I’ve worked damn hard to get in shape and become the healthiest version of myself and I would like to be able to see that person rather than the excess skin from my old lifestyle. With that being said though, I think so many people say they don’t want to lose weight because they don’t want loose skin. Loose skin is purely aesthetic whereas being obese is detrimental your quality of life. & if I’m being really REAL, using loose skin as a reason to not lose weight is simply another EXCUSE as to why you can’t do it.

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    Weight-loss culture is seriously so demented. So many people, including myself, have gotten caught up in believing you have to eat tiny calorie amounts and work out nonstop to lose weight. I was doing cardio for over an hour every day.

    Interestingly, my Instagram account (@_iwokeupinbeastmode) helped me realize that what I was doing wasn’t healthy. I was doing a Q&A on IG stories, and a follower asked me about my cardio regimen, so I replied honestly about how much cardio I was doing. One of my Instagram friends responded saying, “You do that much cardio every day!?” It really made me stop and rethink my long-term approach.

    I changed up my routine and gained 20 pounds back that same year—and that was one of the most positive changes of all.

    I think my weight gain was a combined result of not obsessing about cardio, lifting more weights, eating more, and being less hard on myself in general. I am currently maintaining a 110-pound weight loss. Today, this is what healthy eating looks like for me (no calorie counting included!):

    • Breakfast: Southwestern Egg Beaters with one whole egg, two strips of reduced sodium turkey bacon, toast with Walden Farms calorie-free jelly, and coffee
    • Lunch: Cauliflower rice with 4-oz. of lean ground turkey, steamed broccoli, and Alfredo sauce
    • Snacks: Pure Protein bars, carrots, tuna packs, or hard-boiled eggs
    • Dinner: Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and Gardein meatless meatballs
    • Dessert: Rice cakes with protein frosting (made by mixing protein powder with a very small amount of almond milk until it is a frosting-like consistency) or a donut (because, balance!)

    More recently, I have been ordering some of my meals from a local service called Prep Success Meals. It’s made it easy to continue eating healthy even when I’m swamped at work. Some of my favorites from the service include chicken, golden potatoes, and green beans, or salmon, brown rice, and asparagus.


    Hi guys 💕✨ in honor of #transformationtuesday I decided to do a little recap of how I started my journey! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔹First off, my name is Meghan. I’m 26 years old and 5’7” 🔸Since January of 2017 I have lost 120 pounds naturally through diet and exercise! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔹I USED to count calories but I had to stop. When I was in high school I used to starve myself and counting calories put me back in the state of mind of limiting my food intake (too drastically in my case) 🔸Instead, I choose healthy foods and focus on portion control and I haven’t had any problem losing weight while not counting calories. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔹For the first 3 months of my journey I worked out at home on either an elliptical or stationary bike that I have in my garage 🔸I joined LA Fitness in March ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔹For the first 7/8 months I only did cardio. I would do an hour of cardio on the elliptical or StairMaster 🔸Now, I do a 10 min cardio warmup, workout a specific muscle group, and then do 30 mins of cardio after ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔹I usually take 1 rest day a week, but there are weeks when I do more/less…depending on how my body feels! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🔸If you’re interested in what I eat, check out my story! I post a lot of my meals on it.

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    It’s been a real process to find a balance, and I am still working on it.

    Most days, I’m still not sure what a “healthy weight” necessarily looks like for me, but I know that having a healthy mindset is just as important. I still go through periods of having issues with body image and how I feel about myself. But I always remind myself that I have absolutely developed healthier mental and physical habits, and how to better fuel my body.

    I never realized how much of my life I was giving up because of my weight. I was scared to try anything. I skipped going to theme parks, or doing really any activity that might cause other people to notice how out of shape I was. I never went shopping with girlfriends because I didn’t want them to know what size I was or to see that I couldn’t fit into the regular sizes. Losing weight has changed my life and helped me shed those fears.

    It’s wild to think about how simply believing in myself enough to take control of my health has transpired into so many other aspects of my life. I am not as scared to try new things. I am more willing to try and fail than to have never tried at all. Gaining confidence (at work, at home, in the gym, in life) has been nothing short of life-changing.

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