How To: Get Fit

As I’ve been sharing bits and pieces on this topic, I keep getting comments and emails saying, “Keep it coming, I need motivation!” So here you go.  Summer is about 3 months away and that is plenty of time to make a big difference if you’re wanting to find the motivation to get healthier (see much further down this post how much I changed in just 3 months).  Over the past 2 years I’ve made some big changes, and one of the things that has been instrumental is that I’ve learned to love and embrace exercise and fitness.  I’m not talking about loving fitness in the way that you annoy everyone you know posting your workouts on Facebook.  I’m talking about genuinely loving living an active life and pushing myself physically.

treadmill funny

It’s become a hobby, a stress reliever, and for someone who’s life revolves around food- a necessity.  I’ve found becoming healthy and strong just as much mentally and emotionally empowering as it is physically empowering.  Next week I’m going to share my whole story, about where I’ve been and where I am, and everything that’s influenced me along the way (including the topic of nutrition, which is probably the thing I get the most questions about.)  Well next week or the week after.  The other post I have in the queue involves cheese-smothered nachos.  It’s all about balance.  But today I’m going to write about exercise, and all of my best tips on how to make it happen and truly assist you in getting healthier, and specifically- losing weight.  Okay, now.  I’m about to do something incredibly embarrassing and I’m having heart palpitations just thinking about it.  But here we go.  I’m posting this picture in hopes of inspiring others so at least ONE flippin’ person out there better tell me they’re  inspired or I will go hide under a rock for the rest of my life.  This is the difference that exercise and nutrition have made for me:

Food Blogger loses 50 pounds

That before picture was a little less than 2 years ago, and the after was a couple of days ago.  I’ve learned so much along the way.  For everyone who’s asked for motivation, tips, and advice from my personal experience- here’s my best stuff.  I hope this helps someone out there feel motivated enough to set a goal and make it happen.  I am such a happier person today than I was 2 years ago almost 50lbs overweight, and trust me: if I, a person who’s life revolves around cooking and eating can make this happen- so can you!

Make the time

One of the most common challenges people face when trying to start an exercise program is simply a lack of time.  Let me tell you- I know a thing or two about lack of time.  I know what it’s like to lead a busy life.  Mine doesn’t slow down, ever!    As my life has become increasingly busy over the years, time has become a precious commodity.   Having more and more to do has actually made me be more and more productive and organized.  I hate wasting time; I hate being idle.  What I’ve learned is that it’s all about prioritizing.  You make time for the things that are important to you.

Make Time

This applies to wanting more time for your family, your hobby, and definitely for exercise.  If it’s important to you, you can’t wait for “leftover” time to squeeze it in.  You schedule it in.  You commit.  You make the time.  Sometimes this requires sacrifice.  I am NOT a morning person, or at least I never have been, but I found that I simply don’t have the time to work out during the day, and I hate it when I lose time with my kids, or for my job, or other things I need to be doing be having to map out out big chunk of time in the middle of the day.  So I work out in the wee hours of the morning.  My alarm goes off between 5:30-6 every day and over the past 2 years I re-conditioned my body and my mind, and that’s just my schedule now.  Even if I don’t set an alarm, my eyes pop open by 6, it’s just what I’m used to now.  Even when I want so desperately to sleep, I don’t let myself talk me out of it.  It’s non-negotiable, and now it’s habit.  Make time for yourself.

Now is the Right Time-2

People (and by people I mostly mean women) are generally shocked to hear that I still want to have another baby.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard the sentence, “Why are you wasting your time getting fit and losing weight when you’re just going to get pregnant and ruin it all?” Most people have a tendency to look for that perfect time for everything.  Fitness is no exception.  I myself have often thought, “okay after my vacation next week, I’ll really focus and get started on this.” or “After I get through this stressful work project, I’ll be dedicated to my nutrition.”  The perfect time is now.  Today.  Always.  There’s never a negative of making healthy choices and if there’s one thing I can encourage you to do (if you’re reading this and are needing encouragement) it’s to stop wasting time waiting for that “right” time.  Just start now!  Today!  A few months from now you’ll be SO happy you did.

After I lost most of my weight, my little brother moved here to Boise.  After the incredibly successful experience I had working with a great trainer, I encouraged my brother to at least meet with him too.  I knew my trainer, Jacob, could help my brother change his life if he could just find the motivation to make the decision to do it.  My brother met with Jacob at the beginning of December, and after a long talk he knew it was great fit and something he needed, and wanted, to do.  On January 1st,  of course.  Because that’s when you “start” things.  My brother just wanted to get through the holidays, enjoy the holidays, and then focus on this giant weight loss goal. Jacob convinced them there was no point in waiting.  Why wait and prolong what you’ve already decided to do??  So my brother begrudgingly  did it.  He started a nutrition and training plan at the beginning of the most caloric month of the year.  A month where he says he traditionally gains 5-10 pounds, and instead, he lost 10 pounds.  By January 1st, the time he planned to start thinking committing to a goal, he was already well on his way.  That was a little over a year ago and to date, my “little” brother has shed over 100 pounds.  Start now!

100 lb weight loss on Our Best Bites

Okay, so let’s assume you’re ready to get fit.  Ready to make some changes, train for something specific, or simply be more active.  Here’s some practical tips when it comes to the How-To.

Now is the Right Time

ON Pink topSimple thing when you look at the big scheme of things, but as I mentioned in my Fit Gear Faves post, it’s amazing how much more motivated you can be when you feel comfortable and confident and have something fun and new to wear.  Don’t let weight be a deterrent; you don’t have to buy anything fancy and expensive.  Grab a cute free top from Old Navy, or even Walmart has a great super cheap line.  Then when you lose weight, you can reward yourself with one in a smaller size!

power in numbers

S and TWhile dedication to fitness takes a lot of personal effort, having friends and a support network absolutely helps.  This is my friend Tricia.  After I had my first baby, moved to Idaho, and tried to get back into exercising, we began working out at the same gym.  Tricia had recently lost a significant amount of weight and encouraged me to come to some of the group classes she attended.  I was terrified since I was out of shape and had no idea what I was doing, but it wasn’t so scary going with a friend.  I quickly fell in love with kickboxing and spinning, and we found we got a great workout, while chit-chatting the entire time.  It was like a fun girls-night-out, but we were sweating our rears off.  That hour class each night became my kid-free stress relief each week and I loved it.  I never would have even tried those things if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a friend by my side those first few times.  So find a friend or two with similar goals as you and encourage one another.  Or try swapping kids so you can both work out.  Form an exercise group yourself.  Several years ago a group of my friends and I gathered at 5:30 in the morning and did P90 in my friend’s garage together.   Another time we formed a little running group.  I HAD to get out of bed when I knew my buddies were waiting out on the corner for me in the wee hours of the morning.  Plus, there’s nothing more motivating than a little friendly competition, and when you get girls together to work out you’re bound to have a little of that 😉

Join a gym

There are a lot of ways to work out, including in your own home, but I love going to the gym because it helps me to focus.  At home I will find a million and one distractions, but at the gym, the only thing to do there is work out, so I get my stuff done and get out.  Now days, joining a gym doesn’t need to be a major financial investment.  Sure there are huge, fancy facilities with state of the art equipment.  You’ve got classes and swimming, and children’s programs, and more- but those things also come with a price.  In most cities there are small gyms with minimal monthly fees that are totally manageable for just about any budget.  The gym I go to is small.  Like, really small.  It’s got kind of a Cheers vibe going on where everyone knows everyone because you work out along-side the same 15 people every day.  There are zero bells and whistles, and the equipment isn’t even high-end, but it’s perfect for me.  I don’t need wireless internet and tv screens on every treadmill.  I go to the gym to lift heavy stuff and sweat, and my little gym gets the job done.  It’s open 24 hours, is located about 3 minutes from my house, and I pay less than $10 a month.  I probably spend that much on gum each month so a gym is totally in the realm of possibility for anyone.  Check around and I bet you can find one in your area in the $10-15 a month range.

That being said, if you don’t have a gym membership, there are SO many great (free!) resources online for home work-outs.  Start googling and you’ll find more than you ever imagine existed.


Sara and her TrainerThis picture is from last summer when I took Kate to workout with my trainer.  This is after our workout and as you can see he’s pointing to both of us, but Kate threatened to hunt me down and cut me in my sleep if I ever posted the photo to the internet.  Kate, take note: you have been effectively removed.  Still, I might sleep with one eye open tonight.

I used to think that trainers were for one of two types of people.  Either the super-elite, training for crazy awesome athletic events (like, I don’t know- the Olympics?) or just the opposite: people who didn’t have a clue how to exercise and needed someone to hold their hand.  I dismissed the idea because I didn’t fit into either category, but I was wrong on both accounts.  I’ll tell you more about how I ended up with a trainer when I write my post next week with my full story, but I will tell you right now that the key to my success this time around, when I had been unsuccessful so many times before,  was undoubtedly an awesome trainer, who is really good at what he does.  Investing in training was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  That being said, all trainers are not created equal.  In fact, I’d say some would be a complete waste of time and money, and since training can be expensive, you want to make sure you’re investing in something that’s going to be very worthwhile.  The absolute best way to find a good trainer is from a personal reference.  Ask around; talk to friends who have worked with trainers and get a recommendation.

Less Cardio

Maybe it’s just the area that I live in, because this is so, so prevalent in the Utah/Idaho region, but running is a really big thing.  I swear every minivan in town has a bumper sticker proudly displaying their mileage (and I’m not talking about the car.)

Fitness Tips from Our Best Bites

Girls in particular tend to be obsessive about cardio.  Before I started working with my trainer I was running several miles a day.  I couldn’t figure out how I could be running so much and not losing weight.  The single most effective thing in my personal weight-loss experience was the change from cardio to resistance training.  I used to spend the majority of my exercise on cardio (running, elliptical, stair climbing, etc.) and then maybe throw in a few minutes lifting weights.  My trainer completely reversed that.  Cardio became my cool-down; just 15-20 minutes after an intense hour of resistance.  I spend the majority of my workouts in the weight room now.  The moment I started doing that the pounds literally melted off.  Just to show you- here’s that same horrid before picture (which was taken right after one of my very first training sessions, and explains why I look like death), and the after is just 3 months later (I’m not a crazy person, it was Halloween.)  This was simply eating a normal healthy diet, but staying within a reasonable calorie range, and weight training at the direction of my trainer.

Results of 3 months of weight training at Our Best Bites

When you lift weights, you build lean tissue.  You raise your metabolism so you burn more calories doing nothing!  Girls, you won’t bulk up; you’ll become lean, and toned.  The thing that surprised me the most was that as my weight started coming off and the fat melted, I wasn’t just getting thinner, I was getting strong. I had muscle definition.  Cardio is good, running is healthy, but don’t depend completely on it.  Try getting into the weight room and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.  Read my experience of this past December when I took an entire month off of cardio while at the same time increasing my calories each day: Here.

And so I don’t sound like a hypocrite- I do still run!  I do some cardio every day and usually one day a week I take a break from weights to let my muscles rest and do a long run (anywhere from 4-6 miles) to keep up my endurance.  In terms of my daily routine, I switch things up often, but generally speaking I work out 5-6 days a week.  I warm up with a little cardio to get my blood moving and then do anywhere from 30-60 minutes of resistance training (weights),  I alternate between days that focus on legs, shoulders and back, biceps and triceps, and core.  Then I usually finish with some higher intensity cardio, like 20 minutes of faster-pace running or stairs.  So I do still sweat it out on the cardio machines, I just focus more on resistance now.

Active Habits

Exercising doesn’t have to be about suiting up for the gym or pounding the pavement.  The secret to long-term health and fitness is living an active life.  Find some activities you enjoy, or start a new one.  My husband and I love to be outdoors hiking and exploring so this winter we took up snowshoeing.  It’s been an awesome way to be active and good workout while having fun doing something we enjoy together.

Sara Our Best Bites Snowshoeing

If you’re taking baby steps, try just going for a walk every night after dinner.  If you’re already pretty fit and just want a new hobby, try a new sport or train for an event you’ve never done before.  The best way to burn calories is to do it in a fun way where you forget you’re even exercising.

no excuses

Once you make a goal and commit to something, don’t let the devil on your shoulder talk you out of it.  I used to be a very all or nothing person.  I was either totally zoned in and focused on something (like health and fitness) or completely out of it (“Well, since I didn’t work out today, I may as well eat cake for breakfast.)  Take vacation for example.  That was always clearly “time off” for me.  I enjoyed not stressing about anything, eating whatever I wanted, and dealing with the consequences when I got back to real life.  I live a life now that’s much more balanced.  When I go out of town on business or on vacation with my family, I still enjoy myself, and still indulge in yummy food, but I also make better decisions and fit in exercise.  Even for a quick overnight trip, I pack my work out clothes and running shoes.  Almost all hotels have fitness facilities now, and if they don’t, I do this at-home workout from my trainer.

Our Best Bites Home Workout

Last summer after a solid 6 weeks of traveling (and “time off”) I came back to reality and had gained 10 pounds.  Ten!  I slipped in one training session before I was leaving the very next morning on a massive road trip ending in Disneyland.  After the depressing weigh-in, I promised my trainer that the moment I got home from my big trip, I’d fix the mess I’d made and be right back on track.  He said no way.  I was starting right then.  “But I’m going on a road trip!”  “And we’re eating out every single day!”  “And I have no gym!”  He made me commit to tracking my calories and he texted me this workout to do every day.  I did it.  7 days, 40 something hours in the car, no gym, and amusement park food every day, and I came home 2 pounds lighter (and knocked off the rest of it shortly after).  No excuses.

Another one of my favorite no-excuses work-outs are intervals, because you can do them anywhere.  Search the iTunes store for “interval app” and you’ll find basic timers like this.  I set it to 1 minute intervals and it will beep when each one is done.  Then just do something different for each minute and don’t stop until the minute is over.  Try jumping jacks, squats, push ups, sit-ups, lunges, high-knees, planks, tricep dips, etc.  Sometimes I set 30 1 minute intervals and do it while I watch a half-hour tv show, talking some of the intervals as breaks.

Interval App from Our Best Bites

Don't be Annoying

I can’t write this post without also including this one last very important section.

workout funny

Don’t be one of those people.  You know who I’m talking about.  You desperately want to hide them from your social media feeds, but then you couldn’t silently mock them so you just keep them there.

Deciding to be fit and healthy is awesome, but don’t become obsessed.  Don’t let it take over your life.  And don’t annoy all of your friends by talking about it ALL THE TIME. I know you all have those friends, and I’m going to stop talking about this before mine realize I’m talking about them.  There’s a big difference between being dedicated, and being obsessed and addicted.  Make sure you can differentiate.  Making time for exercise is important, but if it gets to the point where you’re missing family events, or turning down time with friends because you’re stressed it will interfere with your fitness schedule, you might have a problem.

I sincerely hope that this helps some of you out there find that extra little push you need.  Now go get after it!


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Awesome job lady! Please keep these post coming! It truly is an inspiration to me! I have 40 more lbs to lose! Seeing those who did it helps a lot! Especially a fellow foodie!

  2. You look fantastic! I really want to get in shape before my husband and I start trying for a baby next year, but finding time to exercise is the hardest thing for me… I just need to make it a priority, I guess.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story,and pictures. You have helped me see what I need t o work on to lose weight and given great tips.
    Thanks again!!!

  4. Sara!! Love this and love u!! Thanks for the great motivation!! I needed this!! Can’t wait to hear ur tips and tricks on nutrition- and how to feed ur family while eating clean/healthy…that’s my biggest struggle!!

    1. Love you back, Seri! I can totally relate on the feeding your family thing, hopefully I can give some helpful hints for that in my next post!

      1. Seri, do you actually know Sara? Small world moment. Sara thanks for the motivating post. I’m unfortunately at the force myself out of bed in the morning to actually get up and exercise phase. I’ve done it before, I just need to get back to it. I also go in and out of being good with food.

        1. Lol Michelle- yes! Fittingly (considering the subject matter) Seri and I first met at the gym 🙂 Now we’re legit Facebook friends, which is like the most official form of friendship there is so we’re basically like sisters. And we have similar shopping styles because we like to run into each other at places like Target and Hobby Lobby, haha 🙂

  5. I love your story. Thanks for sharing your success … And I want your trainer!!! Makes me want to spend some time in Boise just to spend some time with >>> that guy. I’ve worked out with trainers in the past and I can’t agree more … There are some great ones and some not so motivating ones. So glad you and your brother and friends have found one of the great ones 🙂 thanks for posting this as well as your workout tools post and looking forward to your next one. You are a beautiful person inside and out 🙂

  6. Very well said! It’s true, you have to make it a priority, we accomplish those things that we find important. Sign up for an event and get busy, a trainer it will help keep you motivated. . . it’s interesting what happens when you KNOW someone is watching, looking, & checking in on a regular basis!
    hugs to you & congrats 🙂

  7. I usually hate posts like this because A. it’s long and B. many folks aren’t very adept at describing their fitness routine and why it works in a way to empower other people. This post is fantastic! I work out regularly and I feel inspired by this.

    In terms of joining a gym and the cost being unmanageable, I started categorizing my gym fees as a “health” fee in my budget. Would I spend $40 a month on my health? Heck yes! I really think its something people need to prioritize outside of dining out, clothing, etc. Classes are a great way to get familiar with some equipment (like weights, barbells, etc.). Loving this series and your attitude.

    1. Phew, you had me worried there for a sec Laurel! Haha. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I totally agree with you on the categorizing the monetary aspect. That’s exactly how I looked at my training investment (which was quite sizable.) It wasn’t just some fun perk- it was an actual investment in my personal health, which is really important. Looking at it from that perspective kept me really motivated.

  8. After my son was born, I started up walking again very quickly. Not to lose weight, but to heal and to feel better, and mainly fight new mommy fatigue. I lost the baby weight very quickly, and a lady told me, “Wow, you’re looking good. I figure, I’m going to have another one, so why worry about the weight now?” I thought, “Well if I did that with multiple kids, I’d be 50 or more pounds heavier once I’m done…I’ll keep walking!” 🙂 I totally agree with your thought, “Now is the time.” I need to do a little more strength building, but walking works for me and my lifestyle—and it’s something my son and I can do together to “kill time” and be out of our house! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your info, I really appreciate it! I think we all need a reminder and pep talk now and then!

    1. Exactly! I get so sick of people telling me I should just not worry about things and pop out babies first. And walking is the perfect post-baby routine!

  9. I just wanted to say thanks! I tend to gain A LOT with each pregnancy. I lost it all and then some before Baby #4. He is now 11 months old and I still have 15 lbs to lose. I needed this motivation to bump it into gear. Thanks again!

    1. I gain a lot with each pregnancy too, like a LOT, lol. Being down to 15 lbs is amazing! I hope I get there that quickly after I have another baby- good for you!

  10. Thank you so much for your honesty and encouragement! I have been needing the push to make a change. I would love to know the specifics of your weight routine-if there’s some free-weight routine that I could be doing at home (along with the lunges and squats and occasional cardio). You have done an amazing job I congratulations and keep up the good work!

  11. This inspired me to the point of tears! I was in such good shape before but I let it all go during my third pregnancy and now I have 40 pounds to lose to get back to myself. You have reminded me how much I love being healthy & in shape and I’m starting now! Thank you, thank you! You look amazing!

  12. Thanks Sara! U rock! I appreciate you being real and showing the before pic; that takes some real nerve. It also shows me that you are a “real” person and had to work hard to get where you are now. I want your arms! Any tips for a totally flat chested girl who want to wear those nike tanks? thank you again for being real! {{virtual hug}}

    1. Oh my gosh Sally- you’re talking to a flat chested girl, lol! I seriously lost like 3 cup sizes when all that weight came off! That after photo is taken at a great angle, and (since I’m putting it ALL out there in this post already) I’m just wearing a normal bra in that pic so I’m not totally flattened out, haha. My advice is 1. Just own it- seriously. I actually love being smaller up top because it makes running and jumping a lot easier, haha. Also, in my Fit Gear Faves post– I talked about sports bras from Victoria’s secret. Check those out if you haven’t already because they’re built more like real bras (as opposed to just thick spandex that smashes everything in on top) Those will actually give you some shape, and they even have ones with a little lift if you need it. Definitely try those!

  13. Awesome and inspiring! I’m right there with you and just broke my plateau of weight loss this week after baby #4! Hopefully the next 10 lbs come off in the next couple of months!!!!

  14. Your posts couldn’t have come at a better time. I had a beautiful baby girl one year ago, and while I didn’t gain much weight, my body did not go back to the “right” shape. My stomach pooched out a lot. Too many people were asking me when I was due, even my general practitioners nurse assumed I was pregnant. Something had to be done. My sis-in-law had a baby one week before me and had started working out with her brother, who happens to be a trainer. She looked great. I was so jealous, but didn’t have a clue where to start. So my husband generously started me on a 3-month membership with the trainer at the beginning of this year, and it’s been good. Like you, we do strength and cardio twice a week, then I add in a couple cardio during the week on my own. Your posts have been helpful with the apps and gear and attire and motivation. The nutrition part is probably my biggest crutch, but I’m working on that. So far, I don’t look so much pregnant but just chubby now, so that’s progress. And I just booked a no-kid trip with some friends (tall skinny girls) in May, so that’s my motivation right now. I may not be able to do anything about being short, but I don’t have to be the chubby one in the group! Keep the posts coming! Thanks.

    1. I can totally relate Courtney. My body never goes back to the same shape after pregnancy- and it’s different each time! That’s awesome you’re starting with a trainer; I bet you’ll be where you want to get in no time. Nutrition is my biggest challenge too; I just love food too much and have very little willpower! But man, if you can get that in check, AND great workouts- it’s like magic!

  15. Thank you for sharing. I totally relate to the all or nothing attitude!!! It makes no logical sense, but if I slip and eat a little treat then I end up caving and eating something worse because I wasn’t “perfect.” Thanks for the motivation!

  16. I’ve been trying to get healthier over the last couple of months so I’ve started focusing on eating healthier. I’m losing weight but I know exercise is the next step. Thanks for the encouragement to take the next step! It won’t be easy since where I’m from we’ve had the coldest winter in 64 years & I hate the cold! Looking forward to reading more in this series.

  17. I’ve lost 75 (almost) lbs this year and it makes such a huge difference in my quality of life and my ambitions. We are going to Alaska in May to celebrate and we are going to hike on glaciers!

    1. Janet, that’s amazing!! Congrats on such a huge accomplishment. And way to celebrate in an adventurous way!

  18. This was amazing and inspiring! I lost a good amount of weight before I got pregnant with my 4th and last child. I’m back at it again and more focused than ever. Although, I find it very hard for me to step away from the cardio, I find it quite therapeutic. But I am trying to add more resistance training in. Thank you for this post.

    1. I find it therapeutic as well, Kristen! And I still do cardio- I enjoy it because that’s when my mind wanders and I get lots of thinking done! In fact, ironically, I often daydream about recipes and come up with some of my best work while on a treadmill, haha.

  19. Thank you so much for this! Seven years ago, I made the decision to change my life and get healthy. I lost 40 pounds that first year and have (give or take 5lbs) kept it off. I just had my first baby in November and have been struggling to get back to my workouts, though I miss them so much. This is a great reminder that I can fit a little something in during nap times. Any new mom fitness tips?

    1. That new baby stage is so hard, because not only are you sleep deprived, but it’s hard to leave your baby with anyone (or in the childcare), and if you’re nursing, you kind of have to work around that, too. Now that spring is on it’s way, it will be easier to get outside. After my first baby, I lost most of my weight by stroller-walking every day. I’d walk fast, and up hills, and as long as nutrition is in check, too, it’s a great way to get healthy and lose weight while not leaving baby!

    2. For me, walking is the best because I can take baby (well, now toddler) with me. It’s not a super tough workout, but it was a good start for me. I also have found that anything I can do without having to change into workout clothes works best as a new mom. If I can just walk, or do a few pushups without having to change first, I usually will do it. Start slow with something you know you can do, even if it’s sit ups, pushups, or a quick walk. Being a new mom is tricky, and I found that each month my baby was around, I got better at adding a new thing to my routine (whether is was laundry more regularly, or exercise!). Be patient with yourself, I think that’s key!

  20. Good for you! And your brother too! You’ve given some great, practical advice. Definitely inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Really needed this post! Lost a bit of motivation over the last couple weeks to keep at daily exercising. This gave me the push to get back on the horse (and hopefully stay on)!

  22. Thanks for this post! I lost 15 lbs. last year and felt great but then beginning in November 2013, I lost the motivation in preparation for the holidays. I’ve just started getting back on track after discovery I gained 6 pounds back and could use all the motivation and advice I can get to stay on track!

  23. This is completely inspiring!!! I just got back from running, funny enough:) I need to add more resistance training. Thanks for your motivating words!! You look strong and defined!!!!!

  24. Sara, thank you so much for sharing! You look great. I’ve also made some similar changes to my lifestyle, and it really has made such a difference. Weight/resistance training is such an effective tool for leaning out and losing weight, and I can’t recommend it enough!

  25. I love that you posted this. I myself have just lost 40 lbs in the last year and I really appreciate your time and energy for creating all your awesome recipes. I have your cook books, I have your apps and I follow your blog and I love all your healthy recipes. I need variety with food so it is fun to try out your recipes and it makes me happy that you are making some of them so healthy! Thank you!

  26. Thank you! Thank you for this post! You have inspired me to start weight training. Please keep the fitness posts coming!

  27. Sara, this post is SO awesome! Thank you so very much for opening up, sharing your journey and very excellent and sound advice!!! Thank you for sharing your blessing with others to help and inspire – and you’ve inspired me. I’m a fairly fit (yet busy) mom, but I’m stuck in a fitness rut right now, and your post is exactly the kick in the pants I needed. I agree wholeheartedly with everything in this post. And thank you for being so brave to post photos because it really helps! Not brave really, because you look a-mazing! I especially love how your photos depict just what you can accomplish in 3 short months! Thank you a million times over and please keep this terrific posts coming! Blessings to you, Kate and your families!

  28. Sara, forget about hiding under that rock. You have inspired me! I’ve lost 20lbs over the past 6 months (slowwwww, but at least the scale is going in the right direction, right?) and you’re making me feel like maybe it’s time to give up the elliptical and do some weight training. Thanks for sharing this.

  29. I’m so excited for this series of posts to continue. I gobbled this one up. Thanks for the great info and the positive motivation. Your story is awesome and really shows me that I can do it. Can’t wait to hear more!

    1. Also, I’m scared to try tricep dips at the gym because I feel fairly certain I’ll fall over or tip the bench or something equally as horrifying.

    2. Agreed, I really loved this post. Thanks so much for sharing your story, it’s very inspiring! Also, great tips and advice. I especially agree with the part about developing habits. Your #1 priority should be on developing habits that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle. That’s the the basis of most successful weight loss strategies for a reason – it works! In fact, here’s a wonderful little article that explains the key factors in an effective, long-term weight loss strategy: