125 Things I Did to Lose 125 Pounds

This is the other side of my previous post:

50 Things I Did Not Do to Lose Weight

People always ask me “how?” and I know the main reason, aside from curiosity, is that they are hoping what I say will be something they can apply to their own lives.  I absolutely believe we can learn something from each other and if you want success, looking to a successful person is a wise and reasonable thing to do.

However, what I did to lose the weight is not going to be right for everyone.  So don’t be discouraged when you read that I gave up meat or joined a gym if those are things you cannot or don’t want to do in your life.  There are so many different ways to do this.  Just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it’s right for you in your life.  If it’s not right for you in your life, you won’t stick with it.

A lot of people mistakenly think I lost the weight by going vegetarian.  This is not true.  I didn’t go veggie until I had already lost 60+ pounds.  In fact, I didn’t really change what I ate until about a year into it.  Before that, I really just counted calories and ate less. One can make good or bad choices with pretty much any way of eating.  There are fat, unhealthy vegans and there are fit, healthy people who regularly eat fast food cheeseburgers.

125 things I did to lose the 125 lb over 2.5 years

  1. Joined a gym
  2. Went to the gym
  3. Kept going to the gym
  4. Joined Fatsecret.com
  5. Set a goal to lose the weight no matter how long it took and never gain it back
  6. Counted calories
  7. Read about fitness, health, food and nutrition at every opportunity
  8. Started going to the Health section first on any news site
  9. Read labels
  10. Learned how many calories are in a gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein
  11. Did the elliptical
  12. Cut out high fructose corn syrup
  13. Cut out artificial sweeteners
  14. Stopped eating fast food except very occasionally
  15. Bought a food scale
  16. Used smaller plates
  17. Used tiny bowls for snacks
  18. Ate less calories than I burned (but not too many less)
  19. Ate breakfast
  20. Brought lunch to work instead of going out
  21. Weened myself off sugar in my coffee
  22. Drank water by default
  23. Limited drinking alcohol to special occasions
  24. Occasionally had dessert
  25. Used machines for weight training
  26. Took group exercise classes
  27. Did the Couch to 5K running program
  28. Watched Food Inc
  29. Went vegetarian
  30. Ate at least one vegan meal per day
  31. Cooked as much from scratch as possible
  32. Stopped eating processed foods
  33. Ate more vegetables
  34. Ate more fruits
  35. Ate more whole grains
  36. Blogged about weight loss (hi!)
  37. Participated in forums on diet sites
  38. Made adjustments along the way
  39. Told everyone I was going to lose weight (accountability)
  40. Trained for and ran a 5K
  41. Took BodyPump classes
  42. Zumba!
  43. Bought kitchen gadgets (especially my food processor)
  44. Said nice things to myself in the mirror
  45. Stopped berating myself
  46. Listened to my body
  47. Did it for me and for my health and nobody else
  48. Told myself I deserve to be healthy and happy
  49. Ate when I was hungry, stopped when I was full
  50. Weighed myself regularly
  51. Learned to accept weight fluctuations
  52. Took measurements
  53. Rewarded myself with new clothes, bargain shopping at each new size
  54. Focused on quality of food, not quantity
  55. Reached for the smallest slice of pizza instead of the biggest
  56. Portioned out snacks then put the package away instead of eating out of the box or bag
  57. Stopped blaming other people and circumstances for my own choices
  58. Put my foot down at work for my gym time and made it non-negotiable
  59. High Intensity Interval Training
  60. Weight trained with free weights
  61. Found healthy body role models with my body type (Crystal Renn especially)
  62. Took the stairs instead of the elevator
  63. Parked as far away as possible
  64. Cooked larger quantities on weekends and packed up leftovers for the week
  65. Ate half my meals at restaurants and took the other half to go
  66. Rarely got take-out or went out to eat
  67. Bought pricey, but effective, sports bras
  68. Bought pricey, but comfortable, sneakers
  69. Loaded up lots of motivating music on my iPod
  70. Used the Fatsecret iPhone app
  71. Shared my progress with friends and family
  72. Stopped being ashamed of my weight
  73. Read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and took it to heart
  74. Went to the gym 5 days a week
  75. Tried new things
  76. Stepped outside my comfort zone
  77. Kept counting calories more and more regularly eventually without fail
  78. Hiked up a mountain or two
  79. Stopped making excuses
  80. Realized perfection was not a requirement for success
  81. Untangled my self-worth from my weight
  82. Read about body image
  83. Got angry about how women are portrayed in the media
  84. Ran around my neighborhood
  85. Believed in myself
  86. Trusted myself
  87. Learned to listen to advice without taking it as criticism
  88. Realized that when I didn’t want to hear something – that was the time to listen closely
  89. Worked out despite busy work days and overtime
  90. Worked out despite hail storms
  91. Worked out on my birthday
  92. Went to the gym 6 days a week
  93. Completely stopped ever overeating- even on Thanksgiving
  94. Ate what I wanted, but always in moderate portions
  95. Realized overeating caused me to feel like crap
  96. Did what it took to feel good
  97. Listened to all my senses, not only taste
  98. Accepted responsibility
  99. Found real ways to deal emotional difficulty- especially writing
  100. Exercised to relieve stress instead of overeating, which didn’t work anyway
  101. Changed my plan many times when I learned new things
  102. Celebrated every victory
  103. Didn’t dwell on mistakes
  104. Tried harder every time it got easier
  105. Ate more slowly and paid attention
  106. Walked up 200 flights of stairs
  107. Ran 5 miles without stopping
  108. Did push-ups on my toes
  109. Lifted weights with my boyfriend
  110. Got plenty of sleep
  111. Ate a snack before bed every night
  112. Greatly improved my cooking skill
  113. Made cooking fun by listening to music and dancing around the kitchen
  114. Invited friends to work out with me
  115. Used the gym at the hotel when traveling
  116. Adjusted calorie level as weight changed and activity level changed
  117. Ate more when I exercised and less on rest days
  118. Ate real food, mostly plants
  119. Paid attention to what I should eat more than what I shouldn’t
  120. Had a lot of patience
  121. Didn’t sweat the small stuff
  122. Found my optimism and positivity
  123. Ran faster
  124. Kept going
  125. Didn’t give up.

26 thoughts on “125 Things I Did to Lose 125 Pounds

  1. Wow wow wow :D
    I have found out about your blog a few days ago and read it all of the posts in a row. I love your attitude and I can actually relate to the stuff you write about. Me alone is responsible for what I eat, when and how much I exercise. A gym membership won’t get my butt in shape if I do not actually go there…

    Anyway, many many thanks for posting all of your tips: I have actually just downloaded the Fatsecret App. Curious how it works for me :)

    Have a blessed day!
    Greetings from Germany
    Ana

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  4. Excellent advise! I found that I am doing a lot of things on there, however could do a lot more and I KNOW IT!!! lol love your list and am so glad you made these changes to “A Healthier you”. Great job and thanks for motivating the rest of us. Bless you.

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  6. I would eliminate 111. Its ok to snack(preferably healthy stuff like nuts or dried fruits) but not before bed. So happy to read that you become vegetarian! I have had low hemoglobin all my life and doctors kept telling me to eat more meat but I became vegetarian despite of it about a year ago. And now I had a check up, turns out my hemoglobin is the highest ever!! All the fuzz around meat is so ridiculous. Whenever someone hears I dont eat meat they assume theres something terribly wrong with me.

    • A lot of people think that you shouldn’t have a snack at night. But actually, there’s no research behind it. And there’s quite a bit that says it is beneficial to have something to digest at night. So, I’d call that a diet myth. But again this is *what works for ME* and results speak for themselves.
      People are really weird about meat. There’s no need for it, regardless of what they say- just stick to what works for YOU!

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  8. Love your story and glad I joined your Facebook page. You are a great inspiration to a regular person working toward a goal. I like that you are not promoting anything. Just a clear outlook of what a person can do to improve their life. THANK YOU!

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  10. Kate~ I am about half way there. You really have a handle on this lifestyle. Thanks for sharing it is nice to see we are not alone on the journey. It is a transformation and you are absolutely GLOWING. :-)

  11. This is an absolutely AWESOME post. Do you mind if I share to Facebook and reblog? I am fighting the war of my life right now in trying to lose 100+ lbs. To date I have lost 20, so I keep telling myself I am 1/5 of the way there. I am going to work on incorporating your suggestions a few at a time.

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  13. I have just started along a path to becoming healthier. I found your blog right after and I find the things you write about so inspiring. I know I can find what’s right for me, but trying to find the right things sometimes can be difficult, You have already been there and laid some groundwork for others and for that, I thank you.

  14. I love your list!! Some items, like 103 & 104 are so obvious but SO easy to forget which makes them that much more important to note. I can’t wait to make my own list. Thank you so much for sharing & congrats on reaching your goal!!

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