'B' for Books Food Me

Twenty Pounds Lighter

Losing twenty pounds was number six on my 30 Before Thirty list. Following through with number five (stop drinking soda) certainly helped, so that’s two more off the list!

My BMI now officially puts me in the normal weight category, which is fantastic considering that I had edged into obese territory after pregnancy. I certainly didn’t feel obese, but medically, there I was. I gained 40 pounds while I was pregnant with Eleanor, and I’ve since lost 60, making me twenty pounds lighter than my pre-baby weight.

Line Diet

I did it very sensibly, losing two pounds per week. I followed the Steve Ward diet, which is not actually a diet but rather a way to keep yourself on track. You just draw a line on graph paper from your current weight to your goal, eat normally when you’re below the line and watch your meals when you’re above. I’m a visual person, so the graph was immensely helpful to me. It kept me motivated when I felt like nothing was happening because I could see my progress (even before I could see a difference in my waistline). I also liked being able to look ahead and see where I’d be by a certain date, assuming I kept on track.

* Edit: I didn’t do the broccoli only thing that the Steve Ward diet calls for — that’s too extreme. I just ate a little lighter overall when I went over the line.

I never followed a strict exercise plan or diet. I went on more walks and for longer distances, and I often used a baby carrier for Eleanor instead of a stroller. I had been reading a lot about opting not to partake in the Western Diet (all of the crap that Americans typically eat), and so I was mindful about making healthier choices. These are some of the books that helped me:

It’s hard to change a lifetime of eating habits so I still have some work to do, but I’m making good progress. I have hardly eaten any fast food, and in fact the times that I did revert to it I found that I didn’t like it as much. Still, I’m not one to deny myself an occasional cheeseburger or pizza, so I let myself indulge sometimes. The difference is that I really do think of it as an indulgence rather than a normal weeknight option.

So that’s how I did it. I lost weight the baby weight and then some with diet, exercise, and graph paper.

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163 Comments

  • Reply
    Design Milk
    June 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Congrats Nicole! You look fabulous.

  • Reply
    Kate @ Twenty-Six To Life
    June 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Wow, congrats! That’s a huge accomplishment! I’ve read “In Defense Of Food”, but I definitely need to check out the others.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Good for you!! That’s a fabulous achievement! Getting healthy is so important for our kids!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Having a kid was the push I needed to really make an effort to be healthier. I can’t expect Eleanor to drink water and eat well when I’m having soda and junk food.

  • Reply
    Rhea
    June 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I recently lost 20 lbs myself, so I am always interested to hear about others’ approaches and journeys. Also, I’ve been wanting to read the Pollan and Bittman books, and I think you gave me the extra nudge! My boyfriend and I watched Food, Inc. last weekend and liked it a lot: informative and engaging without being sensational or preachy. One last thing– I joined a CSA, which has been immensely fun and helpful for the healthy eating front.
    Whew, this turned into a novel. ;)

    Best,

    Rhea

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      I’ve been thinking about joining a CSA too! If you only start with one book, read In Defense of Food first.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    That is awesome. You inspire me :)

  • Reply
    Mandy Ford
    June 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Good for you! I still have 5 lbs to go after having my twins, so this is very inspiring!

    Mandy @ Design Brew

  • Reply
    Renee
    June 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Go girl! Congrats on your improved health and the continuation of your healthier lifestyle!

  • Reply
    Christine
    June 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Wow, congratulations girl!! You are definitely inspiring. That graph is fantastic, I’m definitely a visual person too so I love that idea!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    June 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Very cool! I have not seen this method, but it’s so simple. What did you tend to eat on your “above the line” days?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      I ate similarly throughout, but on my ‘below the line days’ I drank chocolate milk. ;) I know it’s bad for me (so much sugar, so many calories), but I love it so much. Not all the time. but you know… more than I should.

      • Reply
        danielle
        June 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm

        They say drinking chocolate milk is a great way to help your body after a workout!

  • Reply
    Jill
    June 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Great job! Weight loss is hard. You should be proud!

  • Reply
    Katrina
    June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Congrats on losing your baby pds and then some!! I’ve tto been watching my food intake and now consume less sugar and carbs and eat more whole grains etc…we husband and I just started running too!

    The documentary Food,Inc. was a scary wake up call for me and my family! yikes.

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Inspiring!

  • Reply
    Miss B
    June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Congrats! I love how analytic you are it makes me laugh, only you would resort to a graph, lol…

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      I know! Give me a chance to make a math problem out of something and I’ll take it. ;)

  • Reply
    Marie
    June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    You have no idea how well-timed this blog post was. I just came back from a visit with the parents, which ended with them discussing how I should lose some weight. I have never felt so much like a hippo before. I have been sulking ever since.

    It’s nice to see I’m not alone in struggling with diet choices, and I’m a very visual person so I think I’m going to try this!

    thanks so much for posting this and congrats!!!
    xo
    Marie

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm

      I second the notion that this was a well-timed post. I was immediately ashamed and dejected over my weight this afternoon when I was weighed before a doctor’s appointment.

      Thank you for all that you share, Nicole. Congratulations!

  • Reply
    Chloe
    June 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Good for you! I loved those Michael Pollan books as well. Sometimes it helps to read/reaffirm what we already know to stay on the right track.

  • Reply
    Kim at Yellow Brick Home
    June 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Congratulations! What an achievement; Good for you.

    Also, I love that you used pink dots to chart your progress. You’re very consistent!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    June 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Bravo! Congratulations, I have read several of those books, plus Animal Vegetable Miracle, which is the one that inspired my thriving veg garden.

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve never heard of this method, but it sounds so much like ME! I’m no good at rigid diets and deprivations.. I just want to live my life and be healthy at it. The visual aids and flexibility are right up my alley and I can’t wait to make a chart.. thanks so much for sharing this, and congrats!

  • Reply
    Gregory
    June 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Commendable, inspiring…and very, very reasonable of a plan for a healthier lifestyle!

  • Reply
    Jane @ The Borrowed Abode
    June 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Way To Go!!!!!!!!!

    I loved Animal Vegetable Miracle and also Skinny Bitch – the latter is just a good smack-you-in-the-face reminder of what really is behind the food in our culture.

  • Reply
    michelle @ pretty mommy
    June 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    You rock!! Congrats…I’m feeling a little inspired :)

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I am so inspired. I’ve done my chart and I’m on my way to buy a scale! Just curious…why are some of your dots circled?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      I circled every seventh day just so I could see a larger weekly trend.

  • Reply
    Kalee
    June 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    This graph thing looks interesting. I think people tend to scoff that it could be that easy, but it’s about balance, eating foods that are healthy but taste good, and not stressing about it. You eat a rich dinner one night so you eat lighter the next day. As long as you know you can eat anything in moderation it gives you a sense of breathing room.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    June 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Congratulations! This is so inspiring!

  • Reply
    Enyasi
    June 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the list of resources. I am at home now with my newborn baby girl. I want to lose weight, but more importantly, start eating better, so I can be healthier for me and her. The list of books and video will give me something to start with. BTW have you checked out he Mark Bittman videos on the NYTIMES?

    Congrats, you look wonderful!

  • Reply
    Denise
    June 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Congratulations!! I´m so Happy for you!

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Great job!! You must feel amazing. I’m not sure if you mentioned whether or not you are still nursing. If so, be very very careful when weaning. I had lost a lot of weight while nursing my first baby for a year and then gained 10 pounds the week after I stopped nursing. My second baby I was much more careful and the weight stayed off.
    Congrats!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Yes, and I probably should have mentioned that. I’m sure nursing helped a lot. We’re weaning now and my weight has steadied a bit instead of dropping as much.

    • Reply
      Ameya
      June 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      See, I’m of the opposite.. I actually gained weight while nursing! I hope I’m one of those who lose weight when they wean instead.. though it will still probably be a year before we’ve weaned completely (he’s 7 months right now).

      • Reply
        Amy Awesome
        June 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

        I didn’t gain while nursing, but I barely lost weight. I gained almost 70 pounds with my pregnancy, lost 20 with her birth and the following week; but with nursing for two years, I’ve only very slowly lost 15 pounds, and I gained 5 back when she weaned. Frustrating!

  • Reply
    Kal
    June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Congrats on the weight loss, you look fantastic by the way. What to you snack on during the day? And is it harder or easier to grocery shop? It is very inspiring. I’m doing weight watchers and in a slump. I just don’t want to do it. Maybe a good book will turn my thinking around…

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      I’ve never been much of a snacker. If I’m really hungry, I tend to just eat the next meal a little earlier. Otherwise I find that I’ll snack to hold off my hunger, then eat the same amount I normally would at the next meal anyway (which seems silly to me). When I do snack (rarely), it’s a handful of nuts usually.

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I just read this after eating a cupcake.

    WAY TO GO WOMAN! That is great. Weight loss is HARD! I teetered into the obese category after my baby too. I think I gained 60 lbs when I was pregnant. I still have 25 left and I just can’t seem to shake them. *sigh* So congratulations on your success! You should be very proud! I think I am going to try the graph too. I like visuals! :)

  • Reply
    kay*
    June 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    congrats to you!
    wonderful post with such great tips and information. i’m on a quest to lose 15-20 pounds as well and have recently made the decision to become more educated and conscious about the good i put into my body. glad to see many of the books on my reading list are ones you recommend!

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Congrats!! So far in my pregnancy, I’ve also gained 40 lbs and hope I’ll be able to lose the weight (hopefully I’ll lose about 8lbs this week… in the form of baby!!). This Steve Ward Diet seems like it would work great for me! I don’t do well on traditional diets, and will be lucky to find time to go to the gym after the baby is born! Congrats again!!

  • Reply
    artsy fartsy
    June 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    You go girl! I love your honesty and thank you for sharing this. I am due in August, and am a little anxious about losing the baby weight. I have “favorited” Steve Ward’s site, and look forward to coming back to it in a couple of months!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    June 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats! That’s really great! I’m going to check out this graphing method. Seems like a good way to track your progress.

  • Reply
    Rach W.
    June 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    That is so fantastic! I’m going to look into that graph method myself.
    Congratulations to you!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    June 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Congratulations! I recently turned 40 and one of my goals was to be in the best shape of my life. Nothing radical – just eating better and exercising more. I’m happy to report I’ve lost a few pounds and best of all, I’m feeling great!

    Kudos on being a healthy role model for your little girl!

  • Reply
    jen
    June 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    congrats on the weight loss and doing it in a sensible way! changing eating habits are hard but i found that having diversity in my meal options and drinking lots of water helps keep the pounds off.

  • Reply
    Sylvia
    June 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Congrats! I know how hard it is to make changes to your lifestyle and have LOVED the Pollan and Bittman books. If you’re interested, check out Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink (http://www.mindlesseating.org/, http://aem.cornell.edu/profiles/wansink.htm). Absolutely changed the way I look at food, and it’s funny, clever and well-written to boot.

  • Reply
    Marie
    June 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Congrats on the weight loss! I need to lose about 25-30 pounds but am having a hard time getting started. How long did it take you to lose the weight?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      It took awhile. I dropped most of the baby weight by about nine or ten months, then started concentrating on keeping the weight loss going after that. I aimed for two pounds per week from the time I started keeping track.

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Congrats! I love that the graph worked for you. :)

  • Reply
    Nichole
    June 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Congratulations! And thanks for posting about this and what worked for you. I too, recently got myself out of the obese category, but I’ve stalled out. I’m going to check out your tips and look at the ones from the comments as well.

  • Reply
    brooke @ claremont road
    June 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve been trying to lose “those last 8 pounds” (I’m only 5′ 3″ so it makes a big difference) since gaining after my wedding almost 2 years ago, and it truly is about changing the way you think about food and exercise. Depriving myself does nothing because then I binge; making healthy food my regular choice with splurges now and then, in addition to daily exercise, are much better choices for my waistline and my sanity! Keep up the good work :)

  • Reply
    Allison
    June 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    What a cool method for losing weight in a sensible, healthy, and most importantly, sustainable way!

  • Reply
    Ameya
    June 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    That graph method is brilliant, I’m the type of person who would really do well with it, too. Now I need to get my paws on some graph paper! I gained almost 70lbs with my pregnancy, and my son is 7 months old and I’ve only lost ~23lbs.. and 6 of those are from the past week as i’ve been to sick to eat. I definitely need to do something, soon!

  • Reply
    Renae
    June 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Congratulations -and yay to eating healthy!
    I just turned 30 a couple of months ago -and I love it, love it! I’m sure you will too!

  • Reply
    dana
    June 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    congratulations on the weight loss! that is awesome! my family and i watched Food Inc. back in march and it has since changed the way we all eat. my sisters and i share books and the one book that has been passed through the family since march is Clean by Alejandro Junger. after reading this book and watching the movie..my husband and i now eat about 85-90% organic and it is so true about what you said…when you eat something like fast food..it doesn’t taste as good as it did before. i find myself craving fruits and veggies more. i actually really enjoy grocery shopping and making meals so much more now.

  • Reply
    Ally
    June 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    That is fantastic! I love your idea of 30 before thirty! What a great way to get motivated and get things done that you would otherwise put on the back burner. Having kids can really put your personal goals out of reach. Way to be!

  • Reply
    Trisha M.
    June 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    wow you have really motivated me to do the same. i have about 15 extra since the birth of my baby and well… she’s not a baby anymore. time to get going. thanks so much.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Jones
    June 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Way to go, girl! Thanks for sharing, Nicole. This is very inspirational.

  • Reply
    Christina
    June 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    wow thanks for sharing and congratulations! you’re amazing :)

  • Reply
    lala
    June 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Good for you!!

  • Reply
    Viv
    June 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    You look amazing Nicole. Well done on accomplishing a goal of yours! Chasing after Eleanor will help keep the weight off too.

  • Reply
    Allison
    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Congratulations! Losing weight is difficult but I think it’s the life style change that people get stuck on. A healthy life style is important and a wonderful gift to Eleanor. Hooray for you!!

  • Reply
    Jessica at Lavender and Lilies
    June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Congratulations! It’s on my before 30 list as well. I really loved Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules and his other books are on my reading list. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Not Stacy
    June 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing this idea. I have already made my chart and taped it to the bathroom wall. I don’t believe in diets, per se, but I can tell a huge difference in my energy, how well I sleep and how “puffy” I feel around the middle depending on my choices. I recently began eating vegan – it kind of happened accidentally – and it’s been terrific. I’m loving coming up with healthier options when ordering in restaurants. As far as “American” food goes, it’s the hardest! In Asian, Salvadoran or Italian restaurants, I’ve been able to feast! I’m still working at cooking interesting things that my family of 5 will go for. Again, thanks. Watching progress on the chart will be fun!
    (I tend to go on and on when I’m excited!)

  • Reply
    Theresa
    June 21, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Great job! I have to look into that Steve Ward strategy!

  • Reply
    Mary Ferrara
    June 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Congratulations! I have been loving following along with your list progress, and you inspired me to make one too. That is really great about knocking two off at the same time. You must feel so great!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    June 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I definitely want to use this method. How fun and visual?! Loves it. And bravo! Slow and Steady always wins the race.

  • Reply
    amy
    June 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    You recently posted a black and white picture of you and Eleanor and the moment I saw it I thought, wow, she looks like she lost a lot of weight. It is not an easy thing to do, this is very inspiring. The graph thing is not something I could do (I might be the only person who is not “visual”) but it’s a very cool idea nonetheless.

  • Reply
    Skye
    June 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! This may be the way I need to keep track of things to help me see them better. Congrats!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    June 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Congrats! And I love the graph! It’s so perfectly nerdy and awesome.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    June 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    aww great job, Nicole!! Diets make me nervous, but that plan you found sounds great. Congrats! :)

  • Reply
    amy purple
    June 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Congrats Nicole! I appreciate your good examples – on the graph and showing good habits to Eleanor as well.

  • Reply
    Yolanda
    June 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing this. I’ve drawn my graph, and I have my goal date – my 10 year wedding anniversary! Wish me luck!

    BTW, you can print your own graph paper here: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/plain/

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Wow… so impressive – CONGRATS! I’m working towards a much larger weight loss goal, so its inspiring to see someone else with success… someone who doesnt have a live-in chef and personal trainer! ;)

  • Reply
    shelley
    June 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Congratulations! That’s hard work! I need to make it happen myself.

  • Reply
    danielle
    June 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Great job! It’s not easy losing weight and keeping it off, so you have the right idea! Great way to start off the big 3-0!!

  • Reply
    Amy Esther
    June 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Congrats! The Steve Ward diet looks brilliant, thanks for sharing. It’s really inspiring.

    Just one question for you… Did your husband diet with you, or prepare alternate food on your lo-cal days? I often cook for my boyfriend at home (or he cooks for me) and he has the opposite problem – he really needs to gain weight! It seems like it would be really tough to cook him a calorie heavy meal and then eat broccoli…

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm

      Sometimes we ate the same thing, sometimes not. For example, I really love salmon but Brandon doesn’t like fish so he’d eat something else. I didn’t make him follow along with me, so he has stayed at the same weight.

  • Reply
    Andrea Larsen
    June 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    way to go! v. interesting. :)

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    VERY inspiring! I just had my second baby and already lost all the weight, but I still need to lose the weight from my first pregnancy! 20 lbs! I think I’ll try this graph to see my progress. My goal is size 6 skinny jeans by September.

  • Reply
    Nicole Feliciano
    June 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    A while ago I put together 10 tips for moms to stay skinny

    http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2010/05/ten-tips-for-mom-to-lose-weight.html

    Like you,I believe in combing tricks and common sense. Congrats on meeting your goal.

  • Reply
    jodi
    June 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    way to go!! you are such an inspiration!

  • Reply
    Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists
    June 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Good for you! I love the idea of graphing your weight loss. I’m off to start plotting a 10 pound weight loss for myself.

  • Reply
    sarah
    June 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Nicole, what an accomplishment… Congratulations! I know how hard it can be to lose weight after a baby. I’m still trying.

  • Reply
    Felicity Lingle
    June 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Congratulations and what an interesting technique. Isn’t In Defense of Food fantastic? It’s just so incredibly logical and simple!!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    June 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    What an inspiring and brave post. I am a fan of all of the books you mentioned and the movie. Way to go! I also love how you shared your story in such a matter of fact no drama way -you are amazing.
    Congrats -I am going to forward your link to a few friends!

  • Reply
    Mary Jo
    June 21, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Congrats…that is such an awesome goal to have met. Question regarding Eleanor’s carrier. My daughter is days younger and I’m finding the mei tai is begining to hurt my shoulders, neck. How about you? Have you looked at other carriers as she gets older? I’m on the search now.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 30, 2010 at 8:31 am

      I still love my mei tai, but I also still like carring Eleanor in the front so maybe that’s the difference?

  • Reply
    sara
    June 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    congrats!!! very impressive- you’ve inspired me!

  • Reply
    Laura
    June 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    That is awesome! Go, you!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    June 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Ugh; I would love to try this, but I am frustrated that I don’t understand how to lay out the graph. I tend to be mathematically challenged! Wish I wasn’t. Harumph..
    Could anyone give me some pointers? I have graph paper!
    Thanks! Jenny

    • Reply
      Jenny
      June 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      Okay, my husband helped me make a graph. Actually seeing reults will be a huge motivater for me, not to mention a great way to stay on track. I was just wondering, Nicole; did you weigh yourself at the same time each day?
      Thanks for sharing!
      Jenny

      • Reply
        Making it Lovely
        June 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

        Glad you got the graph started! Yes, I weighed myself at the same time each morning.

  • Reply
    melissa
    June 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    congratulations! i am 5 months postpartum and trying to lose baby weight myself! this is very inspiring! i love the jamie oliver cookbook- it’s become my new go-to. plus there is so much good food in chicago that is SO bad for you!!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 30, 2010 at 8:31 am

      I know. Chicago food is soooooo good (but so bad for you)!

  • Reply
    Heather
    June 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    You never cease to amaze! I’m so proud of you, and inspired by your success. However I must say, one thing I’ve always loved about you is that you are NOT stick thin like so many artistic types out there. You are so authentically human, so down to earth in your hipness, so confident in your skin, you just radiate! So if you’re ever having a bad day, just remember that you are loved and admired, no matter what the scale says.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    June 22, 2010 at 12:08 am

    All those books are wonderful! Great choices. And you’re right, it’s more about a making a lifestyle change and then occasionally allowing yourself treats (they are important psychologically). That’s how I roll too. Isn’t it amazing how much better you feel when you eat healthy food and not so much crap? I am amazed. I also started drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, before consuming anything else, and that’s made a difference too.

    Congratulations! Losing that much weight is no small feat, this I know.

  • Reply
    Cindy
    June 22, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Congrats! It’s always nice to accomplish a goal. Even better that it’s one that’s good for your health!

    Keep it up girl!

  • Reply
    Saima
    June 22, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Wow Nicole, that’s amazing. You should be proud :)

  • Reply
    Sealicious
    June 22, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Congratulations!!! That is a terrific accomplishment and I think it’s ridiculously cute (and so typical) that you did it with such style!!

    I mean, I’d never heard of a visually-appealing weightloss plan!

  • Reply
    jan : daisy janie
    June 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Way to go, Nicole! It’s always so nice to hear about folks getting healthier. You hit the nail on the head when you said it’s hard to change a lifetime of eating habits – we are products of our environment for sure. And the fact that you already recognize how that will affect Eleanor is key! She will do as you do. We all want to give our children the best leg-up we can in life, and a healthy body and self-esteem is the first place to start.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 22, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Good for you!

  • Reply
    thiliblooms
    June 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Congrats!! Wow thats a lot of weight you got rid of!! Now let me go get some of this dr steve ward diet.. thanks for sharing this links! Have a wonderful week :)

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    Breanna
    June 22, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Wow! Your experience is so inspirational! My goal is to lose 20 lbs this summer, but I don’t think I’m dedicated enough! I tend to forget my goals in the heat of the moment (aka inhaling some ice cream), so maybe I need to write my goals down and seeing them would help? Did you find yourself often thinking about your weightloss strategies throughout the day or was it just in the back of your mind the whole time? And did it get easier with time to make better choices?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      June 30, 2010 at 8:32 am

      It gets easier. I didn’t obsess about my choices, and if I had been doing well I allowed myself to splurge on things like ice cream too.

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    fresh365
    June 22, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Congrats! You are a great inspiration by becoming educated and determined rather than giving into some fad diet. Awesome work!

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    Wendy
    June 22, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Congratulations! it’s lots of hard work I know – I too am trying to loose the baby weight. Be sure to buy yourself some new clothes so you can show off the new you!!! :)

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 22, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Congrats, that is really exciting. I love Michael Pollen, his books changed how we eat too. Right now I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover. You would enjoy it if you loved Polen’s books.

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    April
    June 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I’m on my way to losing 50 pounds right now, and any time I read a blog post about someone who’s been successful, it’s SO inspiring. And every time, I learn a new technique or tip. I’m a huge fan of math and visual representations, so this graph thing might be right up my alley! Thanks for sharing, and major congrats on the weightloss!!!

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    Kathy
    June 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    This may seem silly but I had a hard time finding graph paper at the store. I was able to customize and download free graph paper online at

    http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/

    In pretty colors too!

  • Reply
    Erika
    June 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Congratulations!!! I am in the process of trying to shed about 15 – 20 lbs, and this post makes me want to keep going. I like the way you did it sensibly.

    Thanks for the encouragement today, and congrats again! I like that graph paper idea…I think I will do that.

    If you came across any super stellar recipes, I would love to see a post about them.

    Keep up the good work and let us know about future progress; it really is very encouraging.

  • Reply
    Loren
    June 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Wow 20 pounds! This is fantastic.
    I discovered the same thing when I stopped drinking soda and eating fast food. All of a sudden I didn’t want them anymore. I still have them occasionally, but it actually felt really great to not WANT them.
    I’ve been listening to a podcast called the ‘No Excuses Workout System’. I don’t know if he would be your thing but I love that he focuses on small things you can do in your day to day life to add in a little more exercise. (Like parking a block away from work and walking.) His website is http://www.noexcusesworkouts.com

  • Reply
    Anna/quilted giraffe
    June 22, 2010 at 10:03 am

    You are one inspiring lady!

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    Laura in LA
    June 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Awesome! Did you notice a change in your energy levels, complexion, or other areas since eating healthier and losing the weight?

  • Reply
    Elle Sees
    June 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Sounds easy! Ha. I wish. Kudos to you though. I’m thinking I shall start this.

  • Reply
    amy goodhouse
    June 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Very cool! Congrats!

    I’m going to try this way of dieting for a while. Just made up my graph this morning :)

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