Emma’s Fitness Story

Emma marie chapmanEvery now and again someone comments on my weight. Usually in a kind way, mostly to say something along the lines of “How can you make and eat so much food and stay so thin?” It’s always a little weird to hear someone else’s thoughts on your weight. It’s even harder to talk about body image. Most of us probably think about it, but to actually say anything about what we do or how we feel is hard. I’ve debated a lot about if I wanted to share my story or not. It’s a scary thing. The subject makes me feel a little self-conscious. And the last thing I would ever want is to make someone else feel self-conscious. But I am super proud of my journey over the last two years. It’s my story to tell, and I’d like to share it with you.

Before & afterI first want to get one thing off my chest. I have never thought I was fat. I really don’t like the word fat either. Frankly, it’s not a very specific descriptor, nor encouraging, and it can be quite dismissive. Not interested. That being said, I’d be a liar if I told you that I haven’t paid attention my weight since high school. Never in an obsessive way. But for every season of my life, I can (generally) tell you how much I weighed. Since graduating college my weight has been everywhere from 140 lbs to 115 lbs. (I’m 5′ 4″) Like I said, I don’t believe I was ever fat while being any of these different weights. But I do remember not loving how my clothes fit when I was at my heaviest. I always wanted to wear loose jeans and cardigans. I hated wearing anything tight or form fitting. I also didn’t feel as good. Recently I was cleaning out my closet and I found an old journal from about three years ago. In one entry I was complaining about how I wanted to lose some weight, because I felt tired all the time. Although, at that time I had NO idea how to go about this. I had never successfully lost weight in my life.

About two years ago, I moved back to the Midwest to be near my family and work with my sister. She had just purchased a larger local shop and her blog (this blog, this one right here!) was beginning to grow. Needless to say, we were extremely busy. I worked every day, most of the day. Cleaning and fixing up the shop. Updating and managing the online business. Setting up systems for this or that, etc. It’s amazing how much time everything takes. Anyway. Being so busy from doing a job I loved around my family made me so happy. I didn’t have a lot of time to snack, so I tried to make the most of every meal (nutritionally). And I noticed after about three months that I had lost some weight and felt more energetic. This was so encouraging because I had never lost weight in my life before. And that was the first time that I realized small (diet) changes could make a big difference over time if you stick with them. So I started making more positive changes, like saving sugary foods as a treat only and not something I ate everyday. Just little things that add up over time.

Emma's Fitness Story In October of last year I went through a break up. It happens. Obviously, I was pretty bummed out. I decided to take that season of my life and make it a positive one, even though it was a painful one. I made a few goals, started some new habits and projects. I needed things to keep me busy, but I also tried to fill my time with things I really wanted and things that would challenge me. One thing I did around this time was join a gym. I am NOT athletic. I’m not really a “gym person.” But. I wanted to make fitness a part of my life. I started going to fitness classes at my gym regularly. Elsie went with me too. I found that I really liked a few of them. I don’t feel super comfortable in dance aerobics type classes, simply because I am super uncoordinated. But I really liked the cycling class and the weight lifting class. I still take the weight lifting class (called “Body Pump”—yep!) a couple times every week. I also started to try and find more vegetables that I enjoy and find new ways of preparing them (this is when I first discovered brussels sprouts!). A few months later I did the couch to 5K challenge, and I started to actually enjoy running. I still run once or twice every week. Elsie and I plan to do the Turkey Trot again this year (a 5K fun run on Thanksgiving morning for charity). I’m a pretty busy lady, so I don’t always get to work out as often as I would like. I sometimes have to skip a class if we have a big deadline at work. And that’s ok. But I actually really enjoy it, so I make it a priority.

And you know what? After working out for a few months I lost a little more weight. I am currently the thinnest I’ve been since graduating high school. But that’s not really the point. Or, at least, it wasn’t for me. I feel so much better when I’m active. I feel more in control of my life. I feel less stressed. And I feel more energetic. Plus, I can eat a little more because I’m hungrier than I used to be (I think because my metabolism changed, because I’m burning more calories). Bonus! I feel super proud that I took a painful season of my life and started this new healthy habit (Yay for one year of fitness!). And that means more to me than a number on a scale. Don’t get me wrong, I do like being thinner than I used to be. But eating better and working out has given me more confidence in my appearance, because I know I am working hard to look and feel my best. I might not be as thin as other ladies, and I might go through a season in life where I gain some weight. But I always plan to stay healthy and eat well. So I will never lose that confidence that this is my personal best effort, and I can be proud of that.

Emma chapmanIf you’re looking to make a healthy change in your life here’s my top 5 things I’ve learned:

1. Start small. Don’t start a major diet and run 5 miles every morning and do rock climbing every weekend. You’ll burn yourself out. You’ll feel stressed by the time commitment. Make a small goal, maybe even with a finish line date (like the couch to 5K challenge I did) and do it. After success with a small goal you can try something bigger. And you’ll feel more confident from completing this first challenge you set for yourself.

2. Love what you eat. I’ve had a few people ask me what my “secret” is since you can pretty easily see I love cookies and cake and pie (not to mention cheese and pasta and beer!). I eat what I love, but in moderation. Dieting has never worked for me. I do a bad job of keeping track of calories or points or whatever the new thing is. If that works for you, then do it. But I haven’t had any success with diets. I eat what I love in moderation. I have one or two cookies, instead of four or five. I make an effort to find fruits and vegetables that I love and eat those a lot more. I don’t eat, unless I’m hungry. I listen to my body and its needs. For me, keeping it simple like this is best. But I won’t lie. It does require some self control. Which is learned skill. And if I can do it, so can you!

3. Do something active that you enjoy. You don’t have to go running if you hate running. It’s ok. If joining a gym doesn’t fit in your budget, don’t be discouraged. There are so many fun (and free) ways to get active. You could clean your house. Take your dog on a hike. Ride your bike to the grocery store. Volunteer to help pack boxes for a food pantry. Whatever. Just try to get active for an hour a few times a week.

4. Make it a habit. Yes, I mean you have to keep doing it. For forever! You can’t expect any kind of change after only a week or two. Duh. But also I mean that you should make changes that you can make habits out of. This is why I don’t believe in crash diets or extreme fitness plans. It’s not sustainable. Make a small change and do it consistently. For example, try to not drink soda for a month and replace it with water (or the occasional juice or coffee, don’t get deprived!). For many folks this would be a challenge, and you should feel proud if you do it! But it’s also a sustainable change that you could stick with for a long period of time.

5. Do it for you. My fitness story starts with me going through a lot of (sometimes hard) changes and trying to make a positive change for me. I don’t work out for others. I do it for me, because I feel better when I’m active. Outside motivators are great, but to really achieve success YOU have to want it.

Best wishes to you on your own journey. XO. Emma

  • Thank you so much for your blog. I’ve been following your tips, you’ve improved my understanding of fitness goals immensely! Such Motivated words I got into this article while Keep it up.

  • Your story is inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing it:)

  • this is a wonderful story Emma thanks for sharing. I am currently trying to lose about 12 kilos and it is amazing how much better I feel for eating well. You have inspired me to keep going thanks again Ilana @ My Modern Vintage

  • It’s nice to see at this time of year when some of us start giving up on the diet and exercise habits (that seems easier to do in spring and summer time for some reason)–you give me hope that I can continue my journey to eat healthy and work out! So thanks for the inspiration!

  • I felt so inspired after reading this. I didn’t catch it when you first posted it but saw it when you guys did your favorite posts of the month. I, like you, have recently started to want to gain more control over my energy and general well-being. Your tips are definitely attainable! Thanks for sharing!

  • Somehow I had missed this post -.- I’m so glad you posted it under october favorites. Thanks for sharing Emma and good job! 🙂 I try to be as healthy as I can. My exercise is dancing which is really fun 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember, and I am at the heaviest I have EVER been right now. I’ve been through weight watchers, counting calories, no carbs, all of it. I’m in a different place though now where I know diets won’t work, that I need to listen to my own body and eat foods that will work for you instead of against you. I’m embarking on this new journey in hopes that I can make it a lifelong change. Thank you so much for this inspirational post 🙂

  • WOW. I love this, Emma! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I love what you said about starting small. For me, I get a little too ambitious and make really lofty goals and quit when I don’t reach them. Yours is the first story I’ve read that is paced. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me!

  • i’m a little late seeing this but i wanted to reiterate what so many others have already said: thank you for sharing your personal story with us. it’s inspiring and refreshing to get such an honest perspective.

  • Thank you for your wonderfully inspiring post. It really inspired me. I’m committed now to the Couch to 5K Challenge. Thank you, again for sharing this personal story.


  • Hi Emma!
    My name is Victoria and I’m from Brazil, I’ve read your blog for a couple o months now, and I’ve never been more exiting for reading a post like this.
    I’ve always fight with my weight since I was a teenager, and a try so many different diets. Now I’m with my bigger weight and I put in my had the same idea that you had, I want to feel better with my self and feel comfortable wearing clothes and do exercise.
    And I already make a goal, I will run this small marathon that have at my hometown, in march I really hope it succeed!
    Thank you for sharing this with a lot of girls that pass for the same stuff!
    Love the blog!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I feel like the story of an average woman getting healthy is not depicted in our media, unless she is morbidly obese and a contestant on reality TV. But I think that isn’t most of us. What about so many women I see every day with low energy, just a few pounds to lose, and don’t make time for themselves? I think we get left out of the health/diet narrative too much.

    I’ve struggled with getting healthy much of my life. And your story reflects my own and many other women who read this blog. For about a month, I’ve been making small changes to my lifestyle and it is already showing. Your post has reminded me to keep it going! Thank you!


  • I have been following a beautiful mess for years and I think that this has been one of my absolute favourite posts, ever.
    You’re both great!

  • Thanks for sharing Emma! I’ve been working on changing my eating habits (more moderation with the beer and burgers) but I was needing some inspiration to be more active. Your post motivated me to try a Body Pump class at the Y- I went to Body Flow and Body Pump and loved them both! And I am sooo sore.. 🙂 Thanks for opening up and sharing this!


  • YOU are awesome, and thanks so much for sharing this story, we all have hurdles in life, and sharing them and our humanness is what connects us!!
    xo J

  • Wonderful Emma! I feel like our stories are similar, except that my recent Healthy Go Journey (I post about it almost every Friday on my blog) began because I was steadily going up and up in sizes and not liking it, though I never thought I was fat. I just wasn’t going down at all to balance out. So, I started another fitness journey, and this time things are clicking and working much better! I don’t imagine I will ever let my health get so out of control again, but that will be seen.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  • one of my closest friends and gym buddies moved away last february. i had a hard time motivating myself to go back after that. i wasn’t going out anymore because she was my only single friend and it was just hard to get off the couch and go by myself. at least when we went together it was like a fun hang out distraction 🙂 anyway, thank you for sharing this story. i know i’m not “fat” but i also know that i’m tired and not exercising like I should be. i was just about to go to the grocery store and decided to read up on what i’ve missed on abm while i was out of town. i am so glad i did….this is a little kick in the butt to go get healthy foods and maybe even go to the gym 😉 p.s. you look awesome in both pictures! good work lady!

  • Wonderful post, I feel like you could have taken it right out of my head! I agree with everything you said, especially about listening to your body over jumping on the latest diet trend and finding workouts you LOVE in order to stick with it! I feel so much happier and better now, not because I’m thinner, but because I’m STRONGER, and because I can see the results of my hard work!
    Such a positive and inspiring post! I love it! And congrats on all your hard work!


  • Thank you for sharing honestly. It is one of those somewhat “awkward” topics, or I can relate to that comment anyways. When you do it for you and everyone else starts noticing, you never realized others noticed you and especially noticed that you lost weight.

    It’s like, I’m happy that people say “you look great” but at the same time, I wonder what I looked like before…

    Either way, it’s an insecurity for me, but you’ve put a lot of it into perspective and I appreciate your tips!


  • Thank you for sharing, it takes so much courage to be open about stuff we generally avoid. Yet by being open, you encouraged so many, me being one of them. (; yes indeed, do it for YOU!

  • thanks so much for sharing… this stuff isn’t always simple or fun to talk about, but in typical ABM style you MADE it simple and fun– and gracious and kind and encouraging too. I feel inspired to make an extra effort to live well, so thank you for that! y’all are great 🙂

  • Especially loved this post, thanks for sharing! Sounds very similar to what I’ve been doing lately. I went from being fairly inactive to running 10k! It took a number of months and a few motivation lapses, but it’s a great feeling to be fit, regardless of your weight.

  • I’ve been reading this blog for years, and I remember the excitement Elsie felt when Emma moved back to Springfield! I feel like I’ve watched both of you grow and change over time, and it’s been an honor. I want to thank you, Emma, for sharing with us something so personal but also rewarding! You both are such wonderful, talented and smart ladies – thank you for bringing us all on your journey with you!

    Much love xoxo,

  • Thank you for this ladies. very real, very practical and very honest. you are an inspiration.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience Emma. I had something similar happen a couple of years ago and the break up turned into something extremely positive for me.

  • This is so inspirational! Thank you for sharing it Emma. I decided a year ago to make a change in my life and start eating healthier, more conscious and being more active as I used to be. And little by little I’ve seen changes in my body (not as much as I wanted due to my usually busy days) but that changes make me feel proud of what I’ve aimed.
    Thanks again for sharing your story

  • Thank you for reminding me that my lack of exercise is probably why I am so tired and ill quite often. I constantly make excuses to not go to the gym. I disappoint myself. But one day I really need to start getting active.

  • Thanks for this inspiration! I mean it. You said exactly what I feel. Well, not the actual weight loss part, but the part about how I don’t feel fat, I’m just less energetic and balanced than I know I could be. I wish there were more inspirational stories like yours. I’ve never felt fat so I’ve never felt forced to “do something” but I do know I would be happier… Thanks for the extra push and reminder that it’s just plain smart to take care of or bodies…

  • Thanks for sharing your story. You look great, but I am glad you have made your story more about feeling more energetic and better about yourself rather than the number on the scale.

  • Emma, kudos to you for sharing such a personal story — it will inspire many! You caught my attention right away when you said that people ask you how you stay so thin (even though you snack on cookies, pies, etc.). I’m constantly asked that and I never really know how to respond. It even makes me feel guilty some of the time — as if I can help that I have petite genes! Anyway, it’s nice to hear that you started working out and developing a good fitness routine not because you were obsessed with your weight, but because you wanted to make a change in your life and feel more energized. Those are the two reasons I need to get my butt in gear, too! xo

  • Emma, I just ran into this and it was really very inspiring. I can relate. I never really considered myself fat either but I was always a tiny little girl until two years ago after a big break-up as well. I went from being little to being a 133 pounds at my highest, which is big for me. In January, I started hiking everyday, started juicing, and even became a vegetarian. I’m now at my perfect weight of 5’2 and 105 pounds:) Congrats to you for getting healthy cause that’s really what its all about!


  • hey emma! i’ve been reading for a long time, but i can’t recall a time i actually ever commented.

    i was just scanning through your article again, which i had read a few days ago, because i thought you had said something like “enjoy being active and let this be time you take for your self,” but now i can’t seem to find it. perhaps i overlooked it, or possibly it was written somewhere else, but regardless i will share what i wanted to say anyway. 🙂

    i really enjoyed reading this post, and admire that you can share your journey on such a public medium. i live in costa rica, where i am able to surf and do yoga. occasionally while i’m doing yoga, i get distracted and let my mind wander. however, recently i’ve been trying to be really mindful of that advice i read who-knows-where. and thus, attempting to focus my thoughts and energy on the present (active) moment. whether that means really feeling my muscles being worked, or just appreciating that i am doing something for my self. i love the idea of exercise being a time we dedicate to our selves.

    just thought i’d share. thanks for providing a great blog!!

  • This is such a wonderful, genuine, and personal story. And perfect timing, all the fall coziness has me feeling pretty sluggish and in need of a reboot!
    Thank you.

  • Thanks for your bravery in sharing this story. It really helps me feel not alone to hear you share your experiences so honestly. I’m currently doing the Couch to 5K (about to start week 4) because my sister-in-law had a great time doing it. I never thought I could enjoy working out but I really am!

  • Came over here from Shutterbean and will be sticking around a bit. I too am on this journey and love your suggestions. I have lost 30 pounds of a planned 80 and it feels amazing. When people as me what I am doing-what’s the magic pill- I respond “Eat less, move more”. Simple math. Everything in moderation and there will be less of you.

    Thanks for the affirmation. Much needed today.

  • I think it’s really nice that you posted this, because you’re right- I had never thought about it consciously but when I started reading this post I was surprised you had any weight journey at all- without really thinking about it I guess I had assumed that you had won the genetic lotto and were just able to eat what you wanted without much of a fuss. But everyone has some sort of journey, so duh. I think that the nice thing about blogs as opposed to magazines is that you get to see the real person behind them, and maybe I’m so used to the airbrushed way that I forgot there was a real person. Anyway, this was nice, thanks. Also I feel you on people commenting on your weight and not loving it, I wrote about it here if you’re interested: http://trytrydiary.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-i-think-you-look-so-skinny-isnt.html

  • I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve struggled with weight mostly because it would help so much to be lighter for my health conditions (MS and rare reactive and sometimes septic arthritis). I’ve lost 46 lbs. so far and often wonder how others do it. I have wondered exactly what you said others have asked, how do you stay so thin and eat such delicious treats that you post but after having lost what I have and changing my lifestyle habits, I assumed you were doing just what you are. You are a true inspiration to me, thanks again for sharing your story. Moderation, eating the foods you like but mostly eating healthy foods that nourish your body and being active are the answers. Exactly what I’m doing! 🙂

  • Warm and honest. Thank you so much for sharing, I can imagine it must be a difficult thing to talk about.
    I hope you’re proud of yourself; you’ve found your plan and nailed it. You look glowy, as usual;)

  • Thank you for sharing your story even though it was hard! It really is inspiring. I know for me the hardest thing is sticking with it. I’m trying to make healthier choices in my life as far as food and physical fitness and it was really reassuring to read this! Oh and I also can’t wait to make your pumpkin chilli!
    ps way too many exclamation points for one comment…

  • great post–very inspiring. i too love bodypump! i felt so much stronger and leaner after starting bodypump and look forward to getting back to it after i have my baby 🙂 so much more enjoyable with better results than using the machines in the gym.

  • Yay Fitness!

    I have a similarish story, and making achieveable fitness goals has really helped me align with how i feel today! I still may not be near where I want to be “number wise”…but my body is transforming and my clothes fit better, look better, and I feel better! woOop!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Thanks for sharing your personal journey Emma. I am currently going through something similar, I am making changes for healthy living too, so it was a pleasant surprise to see your story on my dashboard today, thank you for the inspiration! All the very best 🙂

  • I have had a very similar story to yours and a similar body type (I’m about 5’5″ and my weight range the same as yours). I mean even down to the 5k fitness goal! Congratulations on your journey and your courage & eloquence in sharing it!

    I’ve lost about 20 lbs in the 2 years since I graduated college, and through it all, I never really aimed to get “skinny”…I just wanted to look good and FEEL good about my body. I wish more girls had an attitude about fitness/healthy weight loss like yours!

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Emma! It’s inspiring! My husband and I started attending BodyPump a month ago – it’s so fun!

    Thanks for your transparency.

  • Good for you Emma! Thank you for sharing this.
    I made a new years resolution in 2012 to run a half marathon ( i could not run to the end of my street).
    I completed it with some pain & a major sense of achievement, I then completed another one four weeks later & knocked 10 minutes off my time.
    A month after this a entered a 30km trail run in the mountains, which was the toughest thing I have ever done. Lat week I completed a 100km cycle event.
    All these things I never thought possible. Motivation & determination to succeed is a powerful thing.
    Cat Pepper -Brisbane

  • thank you for sharing such a personal side of yourself. i hope i can take this and run with it. i need to get motivated again… and do it for ME!

  • Hi Emma! I am really glad that you posted this. I always thought you had such a nice figure and since you guys never really talked about exercise, I wasn’t sure if you were just naturally thin. I agree, working out not only makes you look stronger on the outside but does wonders for the whole body inside and out. Anywho, you look great and this post was very inspiring!

  • thank you for sharing your story, Emma. Always inspiring to hear other people’s stories!
    much love,


  • I loved this post. I appreciate the way in which you discussed the topics of weight, food and fitness. You hit a perfect tone and made so many great points. I also like that you brought the topic up in the first place! I love cooking, creating and fitness, but rarely do I ever see a cross over between artsy world and the fitness world. And, I really think both sides can benefit greatly through this type of cross pollination. I’m not a jock at all,but have found my inner athlete over the years and been constantly surprised and delighted.
    Well done! 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this! It seems to me that there are so many blogs out there with thin, beautiful people who seem to be able to eat everything delicious and have no interest in exercise (yours is my favorite though) and it’s nice to know that you actually have to work a little bit to look the way you do. I have struggled with my weight for years, but I would not consider myself fat and part of the reason that I’m not, is that I really watch myself. For me, it’s not just a matter of eating fewer deserts, candy and soda or walking to work, but to limit regular things like bread and salad dressing and to run 4 times a week, or I put on weight immediately. Although it’s irritating, I’ve learned to try to not compare myself to others. Keep up the awesome work, you look great!

  • This is soooo encouraging!I have been following for about a year now (Elsie’s wedding posts was one of the first blogs i saw- if not the first. That’s how I measure my time here. 😉 ). I have recently started on my own health journey (though I have yo-yo’d with my weight for years) over the past few months I have started to realize this is not a “quick fix” and started to make some more steady changes. This is really encouraging for me because not only is this a blog I loooove, but now you have reached into a very real part of my life. Seeing you be honest here about your journey just reminds me that I can do it too. So thank you very much 🙂

  • Emma- thanks so much for sharing this! This is by far one of the best, most positive things I have read about weight loss. Small changes over time – that is the only thing that is sustainable! You might be able to shed 40 lbs in two month by only eating celery, but you’ll probably gain it back because those aren’t realistic choices to keep up for a lifetime. Thanks for sharing your story that these small changes really do add up over time – it’s very motivating!

  • This is really, really inspiring. Such a soft landing into a tough subject. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Thank you for sharing your story, it definitely hit home. Eight months after my husband and I separated, I joined a gym. And lost sixty pounds over the next year. I felt amazing. Invincible. Was taking care of me. The I sprained my ankle and my 4-5 day a week work-out habit went by the wayside. Right around the same time, I met a wonderful guy. A few months ago, I started walking/running again, and have done several 5ks, trying to get back to the place where I was before. Last month, after a year and a half of dating, we broke up. My heart is still broken, but I’m trying to find my way back to once again, focusing on me. Because it worked so well before, for me, for my kids. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because I’m hoping it will get me through this season of hurt and put everything in a more positive place. Thank you for the reminder.

  • wow! i really enjoyed this post. so frank and honest and not preachy about the one right way to live healthfully. thank you for the inspiration!

  • Thank you, Emma, for being so open with your readers. We appreciate you!

  • Great work done! And you’ve seem to done it with joy, which makes it even better and also inspirational to read:)

  • Thank you for sharing your journey. I love that it all happened organically, that’s how it should be. You’ve inspired and encouraged me 🙂 All the way from Cape Town, South Africa

  • I love how positively you’ve taken on your lifestyle change…It always amazes me how thin the line is between obsessions and disorder and a healthy, positive body image. Thank you so much for sharing your positive thoughts!

    I currently write a blog about my struggles with disordered eating and fitness obsession. It is so hard to see so many women (and men!) going through the same thing because they don’t know any other way to “lose weight” or “look good” without starving or overexercising.

    I hope more people read this post and take your words to heart!


  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Like you, I love sweets – and especially anything baked. Pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, danishes, you name it. I’m 5’7″ and at the beginning of high school I was about 125 lbs. By my senior year, I was up to 145 some weeks. I had always been thin, and when I realized I couldn’t be confident buying a size S anymore it hit me pretty hard (even though I was never really very large). I struggled a lot with accepting my body and became obsessed with my size and weight. In fact, one of the first things I thought when I started reading this blog was “how do they have so much good food and stay so thin?”. I was so jealous. Since, I am down to 130 lbs which I am happy with, though I know there are still some things I want to improve. I am so happy that you posted this story because it helped me realize that being healthy doesn’t just happen; it’s something that you have to work for and be serious about. Also, it’s not really about the numbers but more about health in general. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you for sharing your story!
    It was really nice to hear about a healthy and encouraging lifestyle!
    Also I am a super big fan of brussel sprouts too haha (the best way is to roast them with garlic, yumm!)

  • Emma,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and this was a really encouraging post to read. I recently started making changes in my diet as well: cutting out meat, eating more fruits & vegetables, eating less sweets, and trying to eat as much organics as possible. I have not lost any weight yet, but for me it is really about trying to eat healthier.
    This post came at a perfect time fore me and I greatly appreciate your courage in sharing.

  • GOOD FOR YOU! You look just gorgeous and healthy and it’s wonderful to read your story. Thanks for sharing.


  • thank you so much for sharing this! this is a huge motivator. i’m already feeling more optimistic, especially because i’ve always been unsuccessful at deciding to lose weight!


  • you did an awesome job 🙂 and yes, eating healthy and feeling healthy is super! And yes, we have to do it for ourself and not anyone else… 🙂


  • Emma you are awesome! Thanks for the encouragement, inspiration and advice. Congratulations on your success. Most all thank you for making it about health. With a lot of seemingly the same struggles as you it’s taken me to my mid 30’s to get there. The important thing is being there and keeping working at being healthy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I had a baby 11 months ago and have been trying to get kick started on losing the extra weight I gained with him. I changed my eating habits but can’t diet either, I just love food and you are so right, it totally makes you feel entirely better! Now I just need to get my butt up and find an exercise I enjoy and can do with my little 🙂 thanks for sharing your story! Talking about your weight, especially on the internet, can be daunting and I admire you for being so brave!

  • This was really inspiring. Usually I read people’s hard working-super self motivated stories and I get discouraged because I know I am not like that. I try and fail after a few days. The small changes and reasons why you changed your eating habits make sense for the typical person. ha! thanks Elsie 🙂

  • Your story is so inspiring and motivating. Thanks so much for sharing! I can’t imagine how much courage you needed to talk about this on a blog. I think your post give many people, who read this the strength to change something in their life. Your story shows, that it’s possible to loose weight and feel good in your own skin for normal people like you and me. You just have to make the first step! Thanks so much!
    from http://onlyselfmade.blogspot.de

  • Great post, Emma! Over time I’ve seen the change in Elsie’s style and appearance (you are both so lovely, you just GLOW!), so it was inspiring to see the changes you’ve made for the better in your life as well. Love you girls and your style – you’re both so talented and gorgeous. You wear happiness so well!

  • I love this! I’ve been on a journey myself, a much more “on purpose” one, but this inspires me! It’s hard work! Great job! I rediscovered my love for brussels sprouts because of you!

  • I really, really, really appreciate that you posted this. I know it can be uncomfortable. You are such a great role model! Your positive attitude and the reasons why you started (being busy with things you loved) and continued (because it feels good!) to be healthy are both such a positive role model AND concrete reasons why you’ll always continue to be healthy. Because you’re healthy for all these good reasons I have no doubt it’ll be sustainable and pleasant (unlike crash diets, etc). Again, thank you for posting this and you look great!

  • I used Couch to 5k to lose weight too! I lost 50lbs. I just wrote about my story at my blog 🙂 check it out!!

  • Thank you for posting such a delicate subject with such awesome grace 🙂

  • Good for you! Thanks for sharing something personal to benefit others and provide inspiration!

  • thanks for the encouragement. i think you are a beautiful young lady and it’s so great to hear positive stories about wanting to feel better, not just look thinner.

  • Emma, this is JUST what I needed to hear! I’ll be 26 Sunday (eeeeek), and I am by far the biggest I’ve ever been. As a former collegiate swimmer, the transition from working out non-stop 7 days a week to trying to fit in a tiny workout in between my work and coaching schedule has been anything but easy. Thank you for helping me see that I can start small and ease my way into it. And I don’t have to go back to swimming 7 hours a day anymore to be fit. THANKS!

  • I will read and re-read this story many, many times! Very encouraging about the little changes making big differences over time. Thanks for sharing.

  • I always told my daughters its about making healthy choices more then dieting. My younger daughter just checked out a new boxing gym that opened mainly to find out if she could take the workout classes but not box which she can. She has been running and want to futher challenge herself. Me I walk the dog and try to get to my yoga class once a week. Your story is truely an inspiration!

  • Thanks for sharing Emma. I am the smallest I have been since I was 16 years old and I had a 9lb baby seven months ago. I have given myself running time as an ‘exit pass’ to get some space from my role as a mummy and, when I run, I design things in my head to commit to paper when I get home.
    I surprisingly love my me time so much I am now running 12km once a week with shorter walks/jogs with the buggy in between.
    You girls are inspirational! You made me get my stuff online and I love checking out your blog and I have even started my own TIPS page through facebook. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been getting into dance classes and sometimes I lose motivation and the other times it’s all I can do to be anywhere else but the studio. Food is my next challenge.
    I also want to like running, it just makes me feel nauseous. No bueno. But I definitely feel better when I exercise regularly.

  • Thank you for sharing – what an enlightened and positive way to talk about your story and how you perceived your weight. I just started running after deciding that keeping some extra baby weight for two years was unacceptable and I wanted to feel good about clothing again – I remember I used to LOVE shopping. Now I hate it, because I don’t like how I look in clothing. I am happy to say that with the small changes (some of the ones you mentioned) I am down ten pounds. I still want to go a little ways further, and one of my struggles is staying positive – not getting frustrated with lack of results, not getting down on myself for not eating perfectly or just plain not having time to work out. This is an excellent reminder that focusing on those small steps and paying attention to what we eat will pay off – in the short term and the long term. You look fabulous by the way (in EVERY picture)! Thanks again!

  • Hey Emma,
    I just want to thank for writing this post. It made me look at myself differently & feel like I don’t have to work myself to the bone and get rid all of my favorite foods in order to be healthy and happy. As a 20 year old, you and Elsie are people I really look up too and strive to be like! So I just wanted to thank you guys for posting everyday and making me try things out of the ordinary and create things out of my box. Have an awesome day! Keep up the great work Emma and Elsie! 🙂
    – Caitlin

  • If they have Body Combat (if it’s the same name in the States (areobic martial art) at your gym you should try it, so much fun!

  • Thank you for sharing!

    Right now some of my friends are doing Aquatober and trying to drink more water over the course of the month (a challenge started by YoungHouseLove). Some are cutting coffee and soda from their diets, some are just making it a goal to drink a certain number of ounces of water, and some are going the moderation route (1 daily cup of coffee + water and one beer or glass of wine a week).

  • This comes right on the heels of a terrible weight experience I just had. I went to the gynecologist for a general annual exam–and she could not address my reproductive health or birth control options because she HAD to talk to me about how overweight I am. (I had gained 5 lbs since my last annual exam.)

    The hard thing for me is that I wake up early in the morning to exercise 6 days a week. (I just finished C25K, too! I ran my 2nd 5K this week just this morning.) I try to watch what I eat–I’m not great, but definitely no junk food/soda/sweets. And this doctor COULD NOT believe me. She just kept asking if I had heard of Weight Watchers.

    Sorry for the major overshare, I’m just sad that I can work so hard at being healthy and still render medical professionals unable to perform their jobs due to my size. Congrats to you and your success, I truly mean it.

  • I always had wondered how you are in great shape. Thank you for talking about how you stay fit. This is very encouraging to know. I appreciate it very much:)

  • What a wonderful, and honest, post. Both you, Emma, and your sister, always come across as so confident and self-assured and it’s heartening to see the side of you that is more vulnerable, because it makes what you do seem so much more approachable. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I have a weight issue and hearing this re-motivates me to keep going with my goals. I also do “Body Pump” twice a week (LOVE it!), and if your gym offers the Les Mills programs, “Body Combat” is a great kick-boxing type of workout that feels super empowering!

  • Reading this made me so happy. What a great way to share your story and in such a positive way that hopefully will inspire others to get healthy or stay healthy or help someone who is trying to achieve those goals. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you for this post Emma. It my not have been easy to share but it has really impacted me. Thank you!

  • Thanks for sharing. I like how you mentioned to start slow with exercise so you dont burn out. Great advice that I needed.

  • What a great post. I actually can’t see much difference between your before and after pictures, other than the clothes – you look adorable in both of them – but I know what you mean about *feeling* better. Being a little healthier really does make such a difference to your over all energy and mood.

  • Great post! It’s such a nice change from people focusing on numbers and dieting. A positive outlook makes all the difference.

  • Brilliant post! I feel exactly the same and I think getting to the body your love takes time and small changes and then one day you look in the mirror and go omg I love my body.
    I am a massive fan of body pump too. Such a great class. Been doing it for over 2 years now.

  • thanks so much for sharing this. so encouraging to hear your journey, and it encourages me in my own!!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. What you said about fitness and eating healthy are things I know but just needed to be reminded that I need to do this for me. Thanks again!!!

  • Emma, this is so inspiring! Body image is a hard thing to talk about, but your healthy approach is so refreshing. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • this was an incredibly special post for me to read right this moment, and i’m so thankful that you shared it with us. as someone who has struggled with body image issues for the better portion of my life, i really appreciate this encouragement!

  • I really needed to read this right now. Thanks for reminding me that it takes dedication to the goal:)

  • Thank you so much for sharing. Your story is inspirational. I have been wanting to start something similar and this has given me the kick and how-to that I needed.

  • You are beautiful in all your shapes 🙂

    I became a vegetarian and lost quite a few kilos. But I think it was more the fact that I started making food from scratch instead of using fabricmade that has a lot of crap in them, rather than just stop eating meat.

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I think more women should talk about their bodies and fitness in positive, realistic ways! I especially think your tip #4 if key: if you’re doing something extreme it’s unsustainable and it won’t work. Fitness is forever, not for a month at a time.

    You’ve inspired me to share my own fitness story on my blog. Maybe we can make it a thing!? 🙂

  • I truly appreciate you telling your story. It is something we can all relate to in one way or another. I also love how you focused more on health and how it made you feel, although looking good as an outcome doesn’t hurt either!

  • Thanks for sharing your story! Diet and exercise work every time, there is no secret pill or magic diet.

  • Amazing story.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Also that picture of you stretching, stunning.

  • Thanks so much Emma for sharing your story, this is why I really love your blog every once in a while you both post something super motivating and it helps me get through my week :). I love DIY but life is always picture perfect, we all need encouragement to reach our goals!!

  • I’ve recently moved to the U.S with my husband and had to give up my job to do so. It’s difficult for me every day, but I try to stay motivated and keep myself busy with whatever I can do. And that includes working out. So I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing Emma. You inspire me!

  • Thanks a lot Emma for this so honest post. This blog is my favorite one, your sister and you are doing an amazing job. And be so honest about your weight means so much to me. I totally understand every single step of your journey and I arrived to the same conclusion : the only secret is to listen to myself. Do i feel great in my body ? Do I am really hungry ? Well, again thank you … and sorry for my mistakes I’m from Paris, France !

  • Thanks for the inspiration and honesty! It brought pleasure to my heart when i was reading it!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Emma! It is always so inspirational to hear a TRUE fitness/weightloss story. Not a made up fad diet one. I’m currently in a grumpy place where it comes to fitness, and I am desperate to get back into a happy one. I have joined the gym and filled the fridge with scrummy veg! Wish me luck 🙂


  • Thanks for sharing! I consider myself super un-athletic but got really into the couch to 5k challenge a few months ago and realized I actually enjoyed running. Felt so much better for it! I had a bit of a break towards the end of summer though and struggling to get back into it. Must make more of an effort!

  • Thanks, Emma! I absolutely love this article! Kinda made me want to cry, but in a good way! That’s so amazing that you made a dark time in your life bright! VERY INSPIRING!

    Thanks for sharing!



  • I love Body Pump! Good for you! I could never stick to a routine until I started taking pump 7 years ago and I love it so much that I want to get certified and I’m doing it (safely) during my pregnancy!

  • This is wonderful!

    I’m about 5’2. I work out constantly and eat well. I always have tons of energy and I am pretty healthy!

    Sharing your story has inspired me to feel better about my appearances and to stay healthy.

    Both you and Elsie and definitely great role models!!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. It took me so long to begin exercising regularly and figure out how to work it into my busy schedule. I think that finding classes to take is key! I also realized that body pump class was a good fit for me (also due to the coordination thing) and it is amazing how good that class makes you feel!! Its always inspiring to know people you admire go through similar challenges as yourself. Thank you!

  • Emma, thanks for sharing something so personal yet inspiring. I think a lot of people think that working out will make them tired, but in reality it actually starts to give you more energy. Even when I’m feeling sluggish, I know a good run will always bring me back to life. Cool story.

  • Thanks so much for sharing Emma! Your journey is very inspiring!


  • thank you for sharing 🙂
    weight and health is something i’ve been struggle with extremely for over the past two / three years. my goal now is to stop focusing on weight, and let the health factor be the most important one. i’m definitely going to use your tips to do this!
    xo, cheyenne

  • Emma, This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing! As a fitness instructor (Pilates), I hear from some of my clients sometimes that they want to lose weight. I first have to tell them that I am not a nutrition adviser. But since they obviously came to me for some advice since whatever I do seems to work, I encourage the small things. I tell them some of my habits which are very similar to the ones you found and now have. Nutrition and exercise are both so important! I think it’s also encouraging to hear when someone has not quite been where they wanted to be fitness and health wise and that they worked to find a system and routine that works for them and brought them to where they want to be. It gives a characteristic that anybody can relate to!
    You look great by the way and it sounds like you feel great too! Congrats!

  • Your story is very inspiring and very “REAL”; what I mean by this is that you made smart change, it’s about a process, and it’s about feeling better in your body and in your life. You didn’t go all “I’ve lost 40 pounds in one month eating nothing”. I think it’s the smartest and healthiest approach and I find it wonderful that you decided to share your story and tips with all of your readers 🙂

  • i’m probably one of those people that have commented…”I wish I could eat these things that you are posting about” lol! Thank you for sharing this story. it’s always encouraging to me to hear about other peoples fitness journeys. I’ve been on one for quite some time now, and am on maintenance. for me it’s harder than the weight loss part!
    Thanks again!

  • MERCI Emma !!! I’m starting this journey as well and your message is SO comforting ! (excuse the mistakes, I’m french…;)). You made my day !

  • I think i was meant to read this post just now.

    I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. I’m a little shorter than you at 5’1″ With a very similar body type. I’m currently at my heaviest I can remember and I hate it, yet people tell me all the time “what are you complaining about? You’re tiny!” I dont call myself fat, but I am very uncomfortable and very low in energy and clothes just don’t fit or look right on me…for ME. I’ve been stewing over this for the a litte while now and very keen to get fit again! I just hung my new boxing bag up yesterday and I’ve got a cross trainer passed on to my from my sister. I’m a single mum, who works parttme in hositality, and while it has been hard for me to go do anything, I do use this as an excuse…I’m always so exhausted. Hoping now that I have equipment at home I can slowing build up my energy again and loose the extra weight soon! It’s just come into spring here and I’ll soon need to get my pasty whites out (my very pale skin) eek!

    Have been reading your blog for a short while now and I love it! Ooops, sorry for the novel comment…This post really just struck a cord with me at the moment. Rachael xx

  • Emma, you are a beautiful person, no matter your weight. I know I don’t know you, but I still feel confident enough saying this. Loosing (or gaining!) weight is not about becoming more attractive to others, it’s about being and staying healthy. Good food and an active lifestyle leads to positive changes and you will love yourself more. And a person who loves herself and have a smile on her face is always beautiful.

    I hope your story will inspire many others, I’m on that track already and feel I’m doing the right thing. Keep doing what you love!

  • Such an inspiring post! Well done on your journey and thank you for sharing it.

    I feel really encouraged to continue with my health kick. I’ve been lazy a bit recently so I intend to use your tips to set myself some new challenges!

  • Thank you so much for sharing, I have get to grow the gusto to post on my own weighty struggles, but see through you how that could help others by being honest and breaching your comfort zone. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring and positive post, and making it about how you feel not how you feel you look. I am trying to lose weight, the right way at the moment so this really spoke to me. Thank you 🙂

  • I loved this post. It’s possibly my favorite on this blog. Ever.

    I disagree about the word ‘fat’. It’s just a descriptive word, just like ‘skinny’ or ‘blond’, but it gets a bad rep because so many people are offended by it. I’m fat. I’m not offended. Whether or not I say I’m fat, I’m pretty sure my fat will still be there until I do something about it. If I do.

    But this comment wasn’t meant to be about discussing weight.

    I really enjoyed this post because it shows that you’re real. We never really see that on this end. We know you guys try hard and that’s why it pays off. But it just seems to magically appear. I really enjoy your posts, Emma. They seem more real than all the DIY you both do. The house, your relationship, the fitness… these posts are GREAT and let us get a nice peek into YOU. 🙂 I would really love to see more.

  • Yay for couch to 5k, I started it one year ago too and like you, am still running twice a week! It has made a big change to my weight too, I have dropped 7kg without much effort but I also have so much more energy and feel better in general, which is why I began it in the first place…would recommend it to anyone ( and I regularly do!)

  • Its wonderful you have such a positite attitude and routine towards your health and body image. I’ve had a similar experience and struggled with my body confidence . It feels good to be comfortable in my clothes and feel slim knowing its because I’m healthy.
    Thank for sharing your story x

  • I really enjoy seeing stories like yours. It gives me a little more fire behind my own story. Last year, I lost about 20 lbs but in an unhealthy way. Needless to say, after moving across the country and going through a lot of stressful changes, I had gained all that back plus 2 lbs. I’ve been struggling with in for a few months. But I’m in a better place, mentally, this year. When I moved to Toronto in July, I was 182 lbs. I’ve started being really busy with work and working out every morning (ironically, except this morning) and I weighed myself this morning, and I’m down to 174! My goal for this year, 2012, is to be between 165 and 170 before I go home for Christmas.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    PS I just recently, like this week, started running and actually enjoying it!

  • Thanks so much for sharing! I really admire you! 🙂

    xxx Lena


  • I have just been ‘weighing up’ a new diet program, and I can’t face having to measure and weigh my foods forever. Its so nice to read that it isn’t necessary. Now to figure out why I can’t stop stuffing my face 🙁

  • Thanks for the wonderful post, Emma. You look amazing. BTW I think you looked awesome before as well 🙂 x

  • Thanks so much for sharing this journey Emma. Really beautiful and inspiring. Myself I’ve always been a curvy girl. Like you I just try to be healthy and feel good and not worry too much about what the scales say. Your tips are a great guide. I just wanted to add one more that I try (not always successfully) to live by: don’t get disheartened if you slip up. If a week goes by without exercise, don’t beat yourself up or tell yourself it’s all hopeless now. Most of all don’t compound the feeling with heaps of comfort food, it’s a downward spiral!! Instead just take a breath, draw a line, start again tomorrow.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. You’ve given me the extra push I needed to get back on the wagon to being healthy and happy. 🙂 x

  • Thanks for such an honest and inspiring post! I thin kit’s wonderful when people open up these sorts of dialogs on their blogs, we really should be talking about this stuff a lot more. My weight fluctuates a ton, I’m a dancer and I have phases where I’m dancing literally 6-8 hrs a day, and then there’s periods where there’s nothing and I just do an hour or so and try and rest. Of course my body reacts to that and my weight goes up and down. And I never feel ‘fat’, but I definitely feel better when I’m slimmer, clothes fit better, I don’t have awkward moments of self-consciousness, and I just have more energy and feel more fit. I’m in the process now of trying to maintain that without having to exercise for 8 hours a day, because that’s just not realistic to keep up. We all have to find our own way to healthy stable body weight and I think the road and the process for everyone is super interesting. Hopefully more people will be open about their experiences.


  • This is inspiring and really what I needed. I hope I can one day feel like that.

  • So lovely of you to share! I hate running, if fact I generally hate excerise but Aboit 12 weeks ago, I joined Roller Derby. I love the work out, meeting a bunch of new people and being part of a team!

  • This is exactly what I had needed to read, so inspiring ! You are awesome 🙂

  • This is great! And so well written. I’d like to see more of these personal stories. You inspire so many of us with your words.

    Maria xx

  • “I haven’t had any success with diets. I eat what I love in moderation.”
    I really agree with this! Diets never work for me either. But when I pay attention to my body, and stop eating when I’m full, I return to my ideal body weight.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never read a fitness story that hits so close to home.

  • Wow, good on you Emma! I’ve recently started on a fitness journey myself (coming from almost zero fitness) and can’t believe how much better and more energetic I feel! Thanks for sharing your journey with us 🙂

  • Lovely tips, all though I always have the problem I’m too slim (I hate the word skinny ;))


  • What a brilliant and beautifully written post Emma, thank you for sharing. I’m currently trying to live a healthier lifestyle and lost weight for my wedding but am finding it tough to break habits. You, Elsie and the girls are all so inspirational, this post has me heading to the gym right now! I hope you get to read the lovely comments too- I love the suggestion of taking a camera out running to make it more fun!

  • You are just so inspirational. You’re self confidence is beautiful bc it can be so hard to achieve, no matter what your weight. Im looking forward to making some healthy changes for ME! Thank you so much for sharing this. <3


  • Emma, you are so lovely and have such a beautiful body! I would’ve never guessed you had any insecurities about how you look. I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’ve lost weight before but can’t seem to “get back on the horse” since my most recent gains. Your tips are simple but inspiring. Thank you for this post. 🙂

  • Your words are so encouraging! You go, girl!


  • Thanks for sharing this, Emma!!
    Simple things/changes yet big results. I’m writing down your suggestions 🙂

  • i’m short 5′ 1″ with 3 kiddos. today i weight what I did with my first baby nine months pregnant 140 lbs:o. Is hard for me to lose the weight. i dont like to take pictures of myself neither look at the mirror, because I feel fat and ugly. SOmetimes I get disappointed of my body cause, I work out at least 30 min 5 days a week and dont lose a single pound. BUT big BUT I do feel a little more energy less stress. which is good for all my family (jeje) .Thanks for posting this it gives me courage to keep going.

  • Congrats on keeping healthy and thank you for not giving unrealistic advice. I am currently also on a similar journey and I can definitely relate to the lessons you have learnt. Although I am not at my target yet – this post is encouraging me to keep going. thank you 🙂

  • I just discovered this great new organization called Healthy is the New Skinny. (http://healthyisthenewskinny.com/) I’m all into it and this post reminds me of it. You should become an ambassador, putting your story on their website along with all the others. The whole idea is exactly what you were saying, living moderately and feeling your best and not focusing as much on the number on the scale. They’re out here in LA but they have a healthy model modeling agency and they go out to high schools out here talking to girls about unreasonable body image and the way the mainstream fashion industry pressures and uses their technology to achieve results that are not necessarily to be sought after, and teach girls to focus on loving themselves and being healthy instead. I plan on buying one of their shirts that says “Healthy is the New Skinny” to motivate me when I’m working out, reminding me what I’m really doing it for 🙂

  • Emma, thank you so much for sharing this. This is so inspiring and encouraging.

  • What are the odds that you would post this in the week that I finally started making the sorts of healthy changes that you’re talking about? This is just what I needed to keep me motivated to improve my lifestyle.

    Thanks for the inspiration, hopefully in a year or so I’ll be looking back the same way you are!

  • Emma, thanks so much for opening up. I’ve tried writing about my own challenges like this, and it is by no means easy. One of the top things I’ve learned and would add is that sometimes you will have a rough day and suddenly find yourself staring at the bottom of a carton of ice cream (this may have just happened to me earlier in the week…), but one bad night or meal doesn’t have to define you. Keep working at making those good decisions and you’ll get there! 🙂


  • Good advice. 🙂 I’ve been trying these small eating and exercise changes in the past month or two. I’ve noticed little changes – but knowing it worked for you, gives me encouragement to keep doing it and hope that it can work more for me too. Thanks!

  • I have to say I loved this post!! I’ve been reading your blog (I read Food Coma and this one before you and Elsie joined them together) for a couple years and each day I look forward to you and Elsie’s posts! Well, This one definitely struck a cord! I feel like it just clicked that it doesn’t have to be allll about fitness and working out(if u don’t want)…it’s just making time to get yourself healthy. I guess I’ve always thought that I need to become obsessed with working out to get in shape, and that overwhelmed me. It’s so motivating to see that baby steps can work so well!
    You look awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • This is a wonderful post! My story is similar to yours. Eating well and being active is truly life changing. Thanks for sharing Emma! 🙂

  • Love this! I have a similar story… Have just recently gotten down to my lowest weight since high school, and my weight range was right around the same as yours. It has been amist entirely a change if diet for me. I changed the way I eat somewhat drastically for nutrition reasons only but certainky have nit minded losing the weight. I feel healthier than ever and have so much more energy as well.. I could never go back! I’ve gotten so into nutrition now that I’m thinking about pursuing my Masters in it!

  • thx for sharing em..i really need to do this..

    love..gita from Indonesia

  • This was an amazing post!
    I’m only 15, and I’m desperately wanting to lose weight. I have bad genetics to try and lose weight and dense bones, so it’s hard for me to really lose weight. All I really do is lose inches (but that’s not so bad either). I play volleyball 5 days a week, averaging about 16 hours a week. Even though I work out so much, I have had issues losing weight to be at my goal of twenty pounds lighter than where I’m at. Right now I’m at a weight of 150 pounds, and I really want to be at 130, maybe even less. Also, even though I’m a teenage girl, I eat like a 30 year old man ( I assume I burn through calories quickly.)
    Nevertheless, I am going to stick to the plan you have above. Along with moderation, when I’m eating a meal, I’ll have a glass of water before any other drink (no soda!) and leave about one to four bites left of my food.

    Thanks for the tips, Emma!

  • Thank you for sharing this! I’ve almost always been overweight, but I lost some weight in college and then gained it back over the last couple of years. I’ve only just recently decided to really start making some changes and get back on track. This is really inspiring! I’ve always wanted to do something like a 5k, so I might make that my goal 🙂

  • This was a really great post. I really appreciate your public honesty and openness about a touchy subject like body image. This post just confirmed even more my growing loyalty to reading ABM! Thank you and God bless! 🙂

  • It’s hard to stay fit. I admire you. I want to be slim so that I can freely wear my ladies tops.

  • FOr real! Thanks so much for posting this!
    I’ve always been active- but was overweight as a kid and it always scares me to feel my jeans getting tighter. I even talked with my husband tonight about how it’s bothering me.

    But the way you wrote this was super helpful & simple.
    Thank you for sharing your heart and putting it simply.


  • What wonderfully, sensible, advice! Its so true that the small things over a long time make all the difference in the world. Now can you get out into every high school and scream your message from the rooftops?! If we had more role models like you in the world we would have a lot more healthy, happy women out there!

  • great post! After years of hating the direction my body was heading, I joined a gym to “get skinny”. Through my regular workouts, and finally signing up with a personal trainer, skinny is no longer in my vocabulary. I want to be fit, not thin. And i’m already the strongest I’ve ever been. I have more energy and less stress — it’s a great feeling! I’ll never be a size 2 (or a size 6 for that matter) but I can still be comfortable in my own skin 🙂

    kudos to you!

  • Emma thank you for your story! I am currently doing my own journey and it was always in my mind to do it but I forget how hard it is. The hard part for me is to getting use to the idea that it’s a lifestlye change, which means that my results are not going to happen overnight. I am 19 doing it for my health issues, self-control, and confidence. I have done alot of challenges in my life but this one about a healthy lifestyle has always been my hardest. Thank you for your honesty and your bravery for sharing your story. Its inspiring 🙂


  • Aw Emma thank you for sharing your story! I’m on a similar path right now with the end goal of being fit for my wedding next spring (!!) Easy does it is definitely the mind set I’m staying in and I’m never starving myself, just making food choices in moderation. Congratulations on reaching your goals!! xo

  • How serendipitous this post is!
    I’ve just signed up at the gym this week. I’ve been feeling so BLAH for a long time, and am looking forward to getting into some new habits, and getting some energy and vitality into my life.

  • Super inspiring Emma – thanks for being so wonderfully open with us and sharing this personal journey of yours.
    Ronnie xo

  • Thank you for taking the courage to share your story! I loved every bit of it since I can relate as well! I’m currently also at my lower weight since graduating high school and have never felt more confident! And also, I never thought I was fat either, just that I hated the way clothes fit on me but now that’s changed! 😀 Thank you!

  • Hi Emma! Thanks for this personal post. You are so inspiring! You show us that ir is possible to make things happen with simple changes and consistency. It’s good to see that it happens in real life. Thanks for the sincerity! xoxo

  • So well-stated, Emma. Thank you for sharing.
    I have gone through a similar journey myself and your 5 things to remember are perfect.

  • Great story & appreciate the honesty and positive language! Bodies come in all shapes & sizes but at the end of the day it’s all about how you feel. Thanks for sharing Emma!

  • I’m a very thin person, so doing some work out or gym thing is a pretty creepy idea for me, because I don’t want to be any thinner! lol. But you said, the more you active, the more you hungry. And if that so, by being more active, I think I probably won’t be too thin than I already been then! Thanks for sharing!

  • I have had a similar past with my weight and I just want to say how much I appreciate a not normal blog post from you like this. Being proud of our story of life, no matter what it entails, is so wonderful. Thank you so much for having guts to share your story and your tips! I love that you just went beyond my favorite baker/crafter blogger. Thanks a ton! I can’t wait to start those tips.

  • I respect your transition to a healthier lifestyle, but I think you could have posted a more flattering “before” picture. I know people tend to choose less flattering pictures in order to show the contrast, but I doubt that picture is representative of what you actually looked like. If the first photo was posed and outfitted like the second one, it would probably be equally as beautiful.

  • I really appreciate this! A few days ago I mentioned working out to a guy friend, and his first comment was “why, you’re cute just the way you are, you don’t need to work out!” More people need to understand that working out can be just for fun, or for being healthy, and that it doesn’t have to be about losing weight!

  • Oh Emma, I am so touched by this post. Girls never really talk about their tortuous relation to the Body and occidental Beauty normaly. You are beautiful, especially when you deliver yourself like that, I think it is the hardiest thing in the world. Thanks for this, it is inspiring, in fact, you are an inspiration!

  • Thanks so much for sharing! You look beautiful & that was such an amazing story!! 🙂 <3 xx

  • so encouraging! thank you for your transparency and courage to share this!

  • Thank you Emma for sharing this, you just reminded me something really important, you see, i was talking with my mom and best friend about how much i need to loss weight and my mom said something like “do it thinking that you’re going to find someone right for yourself” (she hopes that one day i get marry and that kind of mom things) and i just said that is not motivation for me, if someone really fell in love with me is for who i am, fat ot thin, and now reading this, if i want to loss weight is for myself, not for others or make others happy
    This is way too long, anyway thanks again

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I actually emailed you about this several months ago. I think it is only fair that if you post about high calorie treats that you also post about how to use those calories up! Otherwise, you’re contributing to the myth that healthy weight/slender people don’t need to do any work to get there and that’s not always true now is it?

    I think your tips are excellent too! A little every day, just a little can make a big difference. I’m also 5’4” and down to 116lbs for the first time in my life. If I had to add one tip, it’s to be mindful of your food and exercise and how they balance each other. I use www.myfitnesspal.com to help me. Maybe it could help some other readers too. (^_^)

  • Thanks for sharing, it is very inspiring, I’ve gained alots of weight in the past year as I stopped dancing and I feel tired all the time too, after reading your post I think I will run a little 🙂

  • that’s so funny, today i was just thinking about how i need to start exercising more and you read my mind! i also don’t think i’m fat, but i want to be more fit for me! 🙂 thanks so much for this! i’m totally going to go for the couch to 5K now!

  • OMG I always wanted a post like this.

    You know? I used to be a chubby girl and all my life I lived between comments like: ‘Your ass is like Texas, you like tacos right?, god those pants look really…thight’ blah blah blah, and I took the bad decision of practicing anorexic methods to lose weight, and yeah, I lost about 20 lbs, but then I got health complications and I had to be hospitalized by a month…whatever I understood (by a really pathetic way that being fit doesn’t have to be painful)

    The truth is that now I have a good diet and most important, I’m happy with my weight and my body shape.

    THANK YOU for sharing your story, it’s really inspiring.

    XoXo Paloma (A proud mexican who loves ‘A Beautiful Mess)

  • This was inspiring to read, thanks Emma.

    I have been going through a similar process – the turning point for me was a change in motivation. When it was weight motivated (although not overweight, I was ‘uncomfy’), I never had much long term luck. When my motivation shifted to wanting to feel healthier and more energetic, then the weight just started to come off anyway. And because I felt nurtured and looked after, it didn’t feel like hard work.

    I feel much more connected and in tune with my life now, positive and happy which keeps me on track 🙂

  • I don’t think you realise how much this blog post inspire others, especially me :’) thank you so much!!

  • Thank you Emma – the story of your journey is inspirational, and something I really needed to hear right now – thank you for sharing!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I know that I eat too many sweets sometimes. Your tips are very inspiring to make a change. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing, I know it must be hard sometimes to know how much to share and what to keep private when you have a blog but this was a refreshing look on weight loss. Thanks again!

  • This is excellent and truly encouraging. Good job on the changes you made for yourself!! You look healthy and that is what is important. I always tried to gain weight because I was extremely bony as a child and teen and people made fun of me for it so I even was on weight gainers. It was tough. Having children fixed my body, as weird as that sounds. I actually weigh the same as I did when I was 15, but the difference is that I have “meat” on my body and don’t look deathly or anything odd like that. I try to stay active and eat better just because I am aging and am reaching my 30s (in a year and less than a month). Reading your story was so filled with learning!

  • Thanks Emma, this took courage to write and please know I appreciated reading it. This post is especially fitting for me since I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my own weight/health issues. I’ve started doing Ballet Beautiful (check it out it’s great!) a few times a week and keeping a food log. I like what you say about eating in moderation and listening to your body, it is very easy to not do these things. Thanks!!!

  • I think its really awesome that you were able to set goals and make them count for something. I understand having people make somewhat mean remarks about weight, and its really cruel and unfair. Everyone is different and beautiful in being different (: Thanks for telling your story!

  • Exactly my story! I’ve never disliked myself because of weight gain, but at my heaviest I was uncomfortable all the time. Ever since changing my day-to-day diet and exercising (learning how to move my body!) I feel so much better.

  • Thanks so much for sharing. Very inspiring. I had major surgeries a while ago and lost a lot of my fitness, being unable to run for nearly seven months (and I’m a runner…) and I’m just starting to get back in the swing of things. Was so good to hear your story (and you are beautiful – at whatever weight!)….

  • Thank you for sharing this…it’s truly inspiration. You’re a beautiful person, inside and out.


  • I really enjoyed reading this post. I did wonder how you stay thin and fit because you always make the best foods! This story is great and I love seeing real women make changes in there life to be healthy. This is super inspiring!

  • So inspiring, thanks for the tips as well, very handy.
    Thanks again beautiful girl

  • I LOVE this personal story. WE all feel self conscious about body image, and doing something about it and helping others find their way to making changes and feeling confident is WONDERFUL! CONGRATS on your journey – and looking for to more happy trails!
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  • Emma, I think this was really brave of you to share your story. And I admire your commitment to yourself and your health. Best Wishes, Erin M.

  • Wow, the way you describe fitness actually makes me want to be more active.
    I’m not a running biking or class taking type of girl, unless we’re talking yoga which is more of simply de-stressing for me.
    But the way you describe your transition, it is truly inspiring! I think I could slowly get more active the way you did 🙂

  • GIRL. This post is so encouraging. I’ve gone up and down with my weight for years and have pretty consistently been unhappy with it. I wouldn’t call myself “fat” – but I’m definitely not where I want to be lifestyle wise. And thanks for the tips! 🙂

  • Emma, you really are so amazing! You inspire me so much to have financial and fitness goals, thank you so much for sharing your stories with us! You never know who’s life you will touch 🙂

  • This is a wonderful story and so great to hear! I am a student dietitian and exercise physiologist, and after hearing so many bloggers and ‘celebrities’ shouting from the rooftops the next weight loss craze it is great to hear someone influential say all of the tips that we try and tell people. Moderation is key! Small goals are key! LONG TERM is key! Weightloss is a long term lifestyle, not a “2 days to fit into that LBD” choice.

    I love this Emma and thank you so much for being inspirational!

  • Thanks for sharing! I would have never guessed that you struggled with that before. Super inspiring!


  • My favorite post you have ever written – so inspiring and brave and kind to share. thanks.

  • thanks for sharing this really honest story, Emma. I have a really similar story and totally agree with all your tips. I went up and down in weight through college and post-college, and now I feel healthier and stronger than ever through a combination of limiting all processed foods and doing exercise that’s really fun (roller derby, zumba, yoga.) finding something you enjoy is totally the key.

  • I’ve been looking for something inspiring to do on my elliptical, which is actually one of my 4 goals this season. This couch to 5K idea is perfect!
    Emma, you are a true inspiration with this story. Thank you so so very much for sharing.


  • Good for you!!! As a personal trainer I’m a sucker for inspiration and motivational take charge get healthy stories! And i love that you added weights in too, not just cardio!

  • I think that bad things happening are a great kick in the pants to get you going. I tried dieting, it was difficult and I use to hate on myself whenever I didn’t achieve what I wanted even though I was starving most of the time. Then I decided on a ‘lifestyle change’ instead. Bit by bit, I changed my habits. That’s not to say I didn’t fail spectacularly on some days and eat the whole block of chocolate, plus a bottle of wine and maybe some greasy burger and fries 😉 but i’ve changed for the better, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m 20kg down in 10 months and can only see it going up from here!

    Thank you for being so brave Emma!

  • This post was great to read. I especially like the point about eating what you love, lesser amounts, eating only when hungry and listening to your body and meeting it’s needs. I’m trying to move more in that direction. Calorie counting works but I’ve found it sets me up to ignore what my body’s true needs are. Thanks for also admitting it’s a challenge but can be done, a skill to be learned. I think I needed to see this today!

  • Thanks for sharing, always good to have a bit of inspiration! It can be hard sometimes working, eating well, preparing meals, exercising and being fabulous!!
    I fall off the wagon every so often and its little stories like this that help inspire and take the pressure off as we are all girls going through our own journeys.

  • Thanks for sharing! Since the start of this month, I finally stepped on a scale and used a tape measure to look at every number I’ve been dreading to see. It was my wakeup call, and since the first I have been watching what I eat, banning soda, and using 5lb weights and some calisthenics every other day. It is tough, but thank you for the encouraging advice.

  • I don’t normally comment, but this is SUCH a great post. Just absolutely so well written, and perfectly phrased. Emma, I love your positivity and honesty throughout this, and how you’ve shared it with us. It was really encouraging to read, and it just felt great to hear that your goals were to improve yourSELF (not “to be skinnier”), and to have more energy. I just love that! Way to go, lady! Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  • Sunshine Monica- That’s so cool! I love your story. Little changes, man. They are awesome.

  • I appreciate this post! Especially because at some point, many women have dealt with weight issues no matter how small or little. I’m a busy person too, so its encouraging to know that it’s possible. I recently moved to an upstairs apartment and lost 8 lbs just from two months of trekking up and down the stairs. Now I think I’m going to make some other little changes and work my way up to bigger ones. Thanks emma!

  • thank you so much for sharing your story !

    XX Luba
    Well Living Blog

    :: GIVEAWAY :: exclusive Michael Kors bag :: GIVEAWAY

  • I have been thinking so much about this lately. And it sounds silly, but the idea of “getting fit” again sounds completely daunting. I’m in a similar boat to where you were – not “fat” but not completely happy with where I am. I loved reading this. Thank you so much for sharing, Emma! I think I’ll start small by going running tonight.

  • Thank you so much for this honest post. I love it, so inspiring. I have recently started a wee fitness campaign and am trying to go to the gym at least twice a week, going good so far. Have discovered that I love running but hate the bike but thats ok, just as long as I am keeping active in some way 🙂
    Lianne x

  • Thanks for sharing your story, I recently started making my lifestyle more active and I couldn’t be happier. I completely agree that it’s more about being comfortable in your clothes and with yourself not a number. I’m gained so much confidence in being able to run, I’m doing my first 5K next month and I’m seriously thinking about doing a half marathon at some point 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing this with us, truly. I must say though that the part that inspired me was the part about the time after your breakup. I’m going to set up some goals, so thank you <3

  • Good post! I used to run tho at my school because I like to try new things..didn’t end up well xD but I still proud of myself because I get better each day and it shows me I’m not a quitter! 🙂 (most of my friends quit track, but I stayed until the end). It’s always fun to exercise! 🙂

    Welcome to visit: mary-andrikus.blogspot.com 😀

  • Thank you for sharing and for being so inspiring! You rock lady 🙂

    xoxo Sarah

  • I love this! Thanks for sharing your story and your honest and practical advice. I recently started a similar journey (kind of by accident, like you, although in my case it was the result of a broken computer screen, no time to get around to fixing it, and so no way to spend so much time watching TV shows, which I love), and just spent the happiest and healthiest and best summer of my life learning that I actually love running (when it’s on a beautiful mountain trail) and other physical activities. I still have a ways to go before I meet the goals I’ve set for myself, but for now, I’m just enjoying feeling amazing 🙂

  • Great story,
    You can be proud of yourself!


  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your writing and how you relate to others is so encouraging. Thank you so much for letting us see into your life and for sharing it here. You are so beautiful and so inspiring in so so many ways.

  • Lovely words of wisdom!
    Thank you for posting this! 🙂


  • Wow. This is so encouraging! I am on my own weight loss journey and I’m still in the “make changes stage”(walking 15 miles a week, eat less junk food) and I haven’t seen any major results yet, some minor but nothing to call home about, ahem…so I was starting feel really discouraged.
    So this was REALLY great to read! Thanks so much for writing this.

  • Great post. This here is why I love blogging you can always find things in common, that you thought no one else got or went through. Your words are so true and I’m too working on sticking to those little habits that I know are good for my health.

  • Your story is absolutely inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 it takes a lot of courage!!
    You look so beautiful 🙂

    xx Emily


  • Really love this post! In May I started the whole getting fit thing. I was like you, and I never really considered myself fat or obsessed over losing weight (and never lost weight) but once I hit 140 (I’m 5’1″) I realized I should change. Sitting 8 hours a day at work doesn’t help. It’s been 5 months of clean eating and working out and I lost 20 pounds, feel more energetic, and more in control of my life. It’s really an eye opening experience, and honestly I’m glad to have had to opportunity to go through this journey as opposed to not having to work for this. Thank you for sharing your story, it’s nice to know there are other people in the same boat as me.

  • Thank you for sharing this! I’m in a similar spot as the start of your fitness journey – a little more weight than I’d like, clothes not fitting quite as I’d like, needing more energy. I just last month started a new workout plan. I haven’t noticed any changes in size/shape yet, but I definitely have more energy, and am sleeping more consistently at night. I have a plan to slowly ramp up my workouts, but I knew I needed to start on a smaller scale so that I could get used to it and not get scared off from uber-soreness/too much time commitment. Reading your story and all of your tips makes me feel like, yes, this is a way for me get fit that will work for me and I just need to stick with it and be patient. 🙂

  • Thank you SO much for sharing this! This really has encouraged me to stick with my goals of getting healthier and into more comfortable shape. Last spring, my husband was gone for a few weeks job training and I decided to use that time to start getting into healthier shape. It hasn’t been a fast process, but it’s been a steady one and GOOD one!

    Thanks so much for sharing your personal success :D. Shine on!

  • Thanks for sharing the couch for 5k challenge! I have been wanting to get into shape, but am really scared of starting to run. Now I am encouraged and will actually start working out 🙂

  • Amen! I agree completely! I am on the same journey. It’s a lifestyle. I totally eat what I want I just don’t pig out 🙂 I eat tons of healthy, whole food and a little processed and keep active! Congrats!!!


  • I take my male dog running. He’s a Terrier-and-something-or-another-mix and he has boundless energy that he blows outside in the backyard. Still, he’s getting on in years, and has gained some weight but still runs like a champ, I take him out to the bayou out back (a man made runoff stream to prevent flooding in coastal areas in the south Houston has a bunch hence the Bayou City!) and let him off the leash and we go to town, running down the bank of the bayou and back up, and sometimes after him if he catches a wiff of rabbits or my cat who snuck out again to find rats.

    I don’t run for me, I run for him because he needs it but it does benefit me as well. I’m considering splurging and getting the wrist dslr strap from SewTamz so I can take pictures while out there. My phone camera is strapped to my arm for music!

  • Thanks Emma!! I’ve really been thinking I need to start being active again. Things have fallen into a bit of a slump wince having the kids. This post was really inspiring.

  • I think you look beautiful in the before and the after photos- but your journey is super inspiring and motivating! thank you so much for sharing your personal and honest words, i think it has sparked a change in me that i have been needing!

  • I really loved reading this! Thank you for writing in such a positive way and sharing your story. You posted this at a perfect time for me because I’m in the middle of trying to figure out what I can do to be healthier and sometimes it gets overwhelming. I needed that reminder to “start small” and work from there. Thanks!!

  • Cet article est vraiment touchant, encourageant et personnel. Merci d’avoir pris le temps et le courage de partager cette expérience, je pense que cette aide sera très précieuse pour bon nombre de personnes (y compris moi).
    Thank you Emma for sharing your story and give a bit of your own experience to guide those of others.

  • Really great tips. 🙂 I struggle a lot with my weight and often become frustrated because I think I’m eating right, I don’t have a lot of bad habits, I don’t drink soda, so I often feel like I don’t know where to start! Finding ways to be more active I know would help.


  • Thank you for sharing, it was so inspiring to read. I’ve had a few tough years, gained a bit of weight, and now I’m going through a break up, too and I’ve found that healthy eating and exercise has been the one thing I can depend upon to make me feel better. Thank you again.

  • Thanks for sharing! I’m in need of some focus on becoming healthier and this really helps me get ideas. Thanks again!

  • This is something I really needed to read today. I have been feeling a little down about myself and struggling with body image lately. I recently got married and was down to the smallest I’ve been since high school, but after the honeymoon and the months following I put on about 15-20 pounds. I’m really bad about over indulging. I have a killer sweet tooth and I don’t always listen to my body. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s putting things into perspective for me.

  • I love how real & honest you are with sharing your story… I have been through something similar & I have found that all of your advice is really true!! Taking care of ourselves has to be a priority… not just for vanity, but especially for health & happiness! 🙂

  • Lovely post – expressed very honestly, with truth and a gentleness which never shades into condescension. I love how this blog makes me feel consistently more able to live creatively and develop my own talents at my own pace and direction.
    Thank you Emma! xx Jane

  • Emma, Thank you for sincerely for sharing your story! As I’m writing this comment, I’m getting ready to go to my first CrossFit class, one way I’m adding more fitness to my life. Like you, I’ve yo-yoed at different weights since high school, so I really appreciated hearing your story (I’m not alone! Yes!). I’m actually finishing up my 7th week of Couch to 5k as well (in preparation for Run for Your Lives 5k). Thank you for uplifting my spirit and igniting my confidence!

  • This is so encouraging! I recently joined a gym to start feeling better also! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Emma I really can’t believe running into your story today, let me tell you why: Every time I see a picture of you I think to myself, I have a very similar body type! And then to read this, which is practically my story as well!!! I just can’t believe it. I wanted I change in my habits as well and after reaching the heaviest I have ever been, 160 pounds and I am 5.6 which is not as bad but I was feeling tired and didn’t like the way my clothes looked on me, so I decided to change my habits entirely, but always keeping some treats to get me going. I also did the couch to 5k and now I really enjoy running, I’m so happy. Today I am at 134, also my thinnest, but I am really proud that I changed the way I eat and I did it for me (getting engaged encouraged me a lot also!)

    I’m sorry that wrote some things so close to the ones you did but I feel so touched by your story, and is so close to mine that I just couldn’t help it.

    Thanks for sharing your story, that is really brave! You look great and healthy!


  • Thank you for sharing! I’ve always had weight issues, I started Beachbody in March of this year. And it was the best decision I ever made! I lost 20lbs and went down a dress size, so far!! 🙂 I am now a beachbody coach, as well as an artist/photographer & daughter of a donut queen and soon to be fellow blogger.

    For more info about Beachbody check out my page:

  • Really great post! I’ve recently started working out again, and I want it to stick this time! I reward myself on weekends only if I’ve reached my goal of going to the gym 3 times per week (my schedule doesn’t really permit more than that) and eating healthy.I’ll let myself go shopping for a new dress, or splurge on my favorite foods. I’ve been able to find some healthy options that I like and make me feel full. Not always as full as I’d like to be, but water and a handful of almonds can go a long way!

  • Thank you for sharing this! I just wanted to say that 2 years ago I went on a “soda fast” and gave up soda for 1 month. I slipped up right in the beginning, but I finished that soda and moved on. After the month, I kept getting water anytime we went out, because of habit. I would sit down and think, “shoot, I forgot to get a soda!”. Anyways, a couple months after the “fast”, I bought a soda to drink on a long car trip, I took a drink of it an spit it out! Don’t worry, I was outside when I did it! This completely shocked my husband because I NEVER spit anything out, I just quickly swallow it. But, the carbonation hurt my mouth and the soda itself tasted like cough syrup (it was a dr pepper). That was the last soda I have ever had. Every once in a while, I tile a small sip from my husbands soda, and it still tastes gross!

    Now, I only drink water and iced tea, because that is what I like! I found that after I got away from soda, I stopped liking super sugary drinks. Now, I like iced tea as a treat (or a starbucks refresher!), but when I am actually thirsty, I will always reach for water. I am pretty proud of myself for making the change!

  • What a great post! Thanks for sharing Emma, I love reading stuff like this it helps me remember you guys are real people too 🙂

  • Thank you so much for writing this. You write about something that is genuinly important in a way that truly motivates people. I can’t express it in any other way, just thank you =)

  • Thanks for sharing your story. Great advice. Healthy changes are always a good start!

  • Thank you for sharing your journey Emma! It’s very inspiring. I have a 9-5 office job, so it’s difficult to get active, but my car was recently stolen so I’ve been riding my bike to work (thinking it would be so tiring and inconvenient), and it was a blessing in disguise. It’s not difficult at all and I find myself getting to work faster and faster as the days go on. I’ve also stopped drinking soda for the most part, every now and then I do crave a little fizz, but I’ve been sticking to water the majority of the time. Like you said, self control is skill that has to be learned and you have to know and accept that you can do better and go from there. Again, thank you for the great post!



  • I just started to go to the gym again because I couldn’t bear it any longer how tires and out of breath I always felt after 10 months without any exercise. I can totally relate to your story, sports really does the trick for me too and I feel much more light on my feet (not weight wise but mood wise ;))

    Thanks for the post, I really enjoyed to read it!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Mine is similar and it reminds me that it’s never too late. Hoping my ending puts me in a “happy place” like yours did. Keep it up chica!

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m trying to make similar positive changes and it’s so encouraging to hear others’ stories!

    Well done 🙂

  • Awww, Emma! This is so sweet. I’m so glad you shared this with us. xo. Deanna

  • This post really inspired me to get started on my own changes! For me, a bad relationship and first year of university really took a toll on my body. I was always an athlete in high school and it’s been really hard to adjust to my “new body”. Same as you, I’ve never felt “fat” but I can definitely feel the difference in my energy levels. Your point about doing something that you really enjoy really struck home with me. I tried and tried to run, go to the gym etc but it just isn’t my style. I’ve been doing hot yoga for a few months now and WOW is there ever a difference already
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it helped me realize that I am not as abnormal in my struggles as I thought.

  • Thank you for sharing your story! It’s really motivating and makes me want to start becoming more active 🙂

  • Wow, what a great post. Not only do I admire you for turning something so painful into something positive (a lesson we could all learn from!), the way you describe it in this article is exactly how everyone else should feel about their body. I have thought I was fat before, but throughout the years I’ve come to accept my body. Since a couple of months I’ve suddenly lost weight because of stress and a new active hobby and I really enjoy it, not because I think “I am finally thin” but because I notice clothes fit a lot better than before. Thank you for this honest but yet helpful post!

  • Such a great story – thanks for sharing with us! I agree with Flor, you guys are fantastic role models! I was just talking this morning about trying to make a few healthier changes for ME 🙂

    Do it for yourself!

    xx Ashleigh


  • Oh I really liked this. I just wrote an ebook on my blog about my personal journey and how I have never dieted and never will again because of some of the same things you talked about in your post today! Thanks for sharing! It is so FREEING to let the weight thing go, enjoy food, and be happy in our skin, isn’t it?

    Thanks again!


  • wonderful and inspiring! thank you so much, I think this is just why I needed to read!

  • These are wonderful tips – and I love reading your story. As a fellow 5’4″ girl, I went through a really similar journey when I started my first “office job” out of college. At my heaviest I felt like my clothes weren’t fitting, I had no energy and just overall sluggish. I started working out and (YAY!) felt like I was really HUNGRY all the time – what a great side effect. 🙂 Slight diet changes and consistent exercise really did it and I have felt GREAT ever since! It is definitely hard to keep it in your schedule like you said, and I’m really happy to hear that you struggle still as well, but it’s definitely a total lifestyle change. Thanks for sharing your journey with us – it’s a huge inspiration!


  • I adore you for sharing this story. I have been following the blog for over a year now. I actually do remember your break up when you were still posting via Food Coma. I felt for you. But, I also saw how more active you become over at ABM and it was encouraging to see you overcome your relationship.

    I too have a weight story. I’ve though about sharing it on my blog, but I feel it’s still too soon for me. I have one more tiny milestone to cross first, which I’ve felt for a while I wouldn’t get there. But, reading your story has motivated me to push through it and just give it that last sprint to the end zone. Thank you! Xo, Inna.

  • You’re a champ! Truly! I’m so glad that you FEEL better too! PS: You look freaking awesome! 🙂

  • Emma, you’re a lovely lovely role model. I’ve been going through a similar transition, and finding that I really do feel better when I’ve worked out! Thanks for sharing.x

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story! These personal posts not only share little tidbits of you, but they make you more relatable and more real, too. It’s good to know that you’re not only DIY/baking queens (which you + Elsie most definitely are!), but amazing role models, too.

    I feel like my weight loss story is a lot like yours, and I really loved reading your story. Thank you again for sharing it!

  • This is great 🙂 About two years ago I had a bad breakup too, and I wanted to do something for me and the gym was a great outlet.. and well it’s going to be 3 years soon and I’m still at it and happier than ever 🙂

  • Thanks Emma for sharing, like you said it must have been difficult at first to choose and talk about that on the blog! So thumbs up for that!
    Your ideas really are good and most important “do-able” and healthy!
    I really love your blog and I truly think you and Elsie and all of you girls are adorable! I must say you changed my life a bit, by showing how little things can make great happiness and start a bigger positive process in your life! Lots of love from France et plein de bisous!

  • I appreciated this article very much. Very inspiring. I am at a very low point in my life right now when it comes to self-esteem and feeling tired and lazy all the time. I think I’ll take the time tonight to do something new. Maybe a lap around the block. And, I’ll add a little more each time. I’ll bring my camera to make it more fun for myself. Thanks so much for sharing your very personal story with us. 🙂

  • This is such a personal, lovely, and inspirational post. You ladies are not just bloggers, you’re role models! Women (and men too) can definitely relate to self-consciousness and the desire to look/feel better. I will work out when I get home today!

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