Reader Success Story: How I Lost 100 Pounds

This reader success story by Dannii Martin of Hungry Healthy Happy (originally appeared here) is a part of You Can Do It Week. Read all of the motivating and inspiring posts here! And remember, if they can do it, so can YOU!

Dannii Martin before her weight-loss journey, and after.

I say 100, “officially” it is 98 pounds, but that all depends on the day. You know what I mean — stress, water weight, a little too much cake. That can all change that number, but it is around that number.

I am not obsessed with that number though. My motivation always was and always will be my health — but society is so obsessed with the number on the scale and people can’t see the changes to my health as much as they can see the changes in my appearance, so it is sometimes easy to talk about the number. People react well to a number.

I thought it might be nice to condense it down into bullet points of what I did. Obviously, there is much more to it than bullet points and this list is not intended to make it look easy (it definitely wasn’t), but it gives you an idea of all the changes that I made.

We all have to find what works for us, so just because all of these things worked for me, doesn’t mean they will work for you. I tried a lot of things that worked for other people, but they didn’t work for me. It doesn’t make them all wrong. It comes down to trial and error.

Here goes…

How I Lost 100 Pounds

  • Set small goals
  • Made one change at a time
  • I didn’t focus on losing 100 pounds — I focused on losing 5 pounds at a time
  • I bought a Wii Fit so I could work out at home
  • I went swimming
  • Walked everywhere
  • Did workouts during the breaks while watching TV
  • I found workouts that I enjoyed
  • I became aware of portion sizes
  • Cooked healthier versions of the junk food that I loved
  • I counted calories
  • Found a balance with clean eating and still eating the things I liked
  • I educated myself and read everything I could in regards to health and fitness
  • Signed up to weight-loss forums, and health and fitness Facebook pages and blogs
  • I cut out processed food
  • I started cooking everything myself
  • I didn’t beat myself up if I ate something I shouldn’t or skipped a workout
  • Fit my workouts in where I could — like doing squats when cooking
  • Stopped making excuses
  • Made sure I was sleeping enough
  • Stopped being scared of lifting weights (they won’t make you bulky!)
  • Stopped dieting (it is a lifestyle, not a diet)
  • Quit the artificial sweeteners
  • Always had breakfast
  • Switched to whole grains
  • Stopped saying “I can’t”
  • Cut out the negative people in my life
  • Ate more fruit and vegetables
  • Listened to my body and rested when I needed to
  • Ate when I was truly hungry
  • Celebrated my success without food (a pair of shoes or a trip to the cinema)
  • Worked out five days a week for 45 minutes to an hour
  • Made sure I was drinking enough water (but not too much)
  • Gave up fizzy drinks and only drank water and green tea
  • Gave up alcohol for three months (it helped me cut out other bad habits, too)
  • Dealt with my emotional eating
  • I made time for my workouts — I didn’t find time
  • Always reminded myself there is no such thing as perfect
  • Stopped comparing myself to other people
  • Bought myself nice workout clothes so that I felt good during my workouts
  • Did some food prep for the week
  • Planned some of my meals for the week
  • Ate fewer calories than I was burning, but still made sure I was eating enough
  • Took my body measurements each week to track my progress (kept me motivated)
  • Snacked wisely
  • Reminded myself that there was no end date; I was getting fit for life
  • Started thinking more positively
  • Started each day as a new day and left yesterday in the past
  • Stopped seeing food as the enemy and stopped labeling it as good and bad
  • Always changed my routine to keep my body guessing
  • Made time to relax
  • Made appointments for my workouts just like I would a meeting
  • Put motivational quotes around my house
  • Put up photos that motivated me
  • Made sure there was plenty of fiber in my diet
  • Ate lots of healthy fats
  • Didn’t go back for a second portion of dinner
  • Ate slower
  • Did yoga — great for releasing stress and toning up
  • Identified my eating triggers
  • Bulked out pasta dishes with spinach
  • Ate berries with my breakfast
  • Got creative with salads
  • Added herbs and spices to boring clean meals
  • Used my slow cooker a lot
  • Tracked all my food (in the beginning)
  • Was honest with myself — lying about what I ate to my food diary didn’t get me anywhere
  • Limited animal fats
  • Included protein with every meal
  • Started reading the labels on everything I bought
  • Stopped ordering pizza and fries to be delivered
  • Never gave up (despite many falls and wanting to many times)

That list might seem like a lot, but like one of the first points says — make one change at a time. I didn’t do all of these things straight away, and I learned them along the way. Make changes that are going to make you feel healthy and stick with it. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. —Dannii Martin


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  1. Wowza, that is a seriously amazing weight loss journey. I think the best part is Dannii’s reminder that “just because all of these things worked for me, doesn’t mean they will work for you. I tried a lot of things that worked for other people, but they didn’t work for me. It doesn’t make them all wrong. It comes down to trial and error.” Totally true.

  2. Hi Dannii, I love the way this post is laid out, you have listed all the things that are critical to weight loss without making them sound difficult to achieve or even daunting….working out while watching TV, especially Yoga, is something that I do very often as well. All the best!

  3. Great success story. I get asked quite often about weight loss foods and tips from my own blog’s readers. I will give them your story. Thank you