Hi guys! I'm Autumn. :) I'm 21 years old, 5'4'', with a start weight of 142 lbs! My current weight is 122!!! If these pictures are inspirational to you, then at the end I have posted a bunch of things I did that helped me!










And here I am 20 pounds down!

My face is so much thinner now, which I love!




I know this is a goofy picture of me, but my cheekbones are very defined.


I even like what I look like without makeup now!






And this is me this morning!




SW: 142
Current: 123
Goal: 120
(refer to previous post for success pictures)

Hello! So a few friends of mine have personally messaged me to explain how I have lost weight, and since I knew I would get quite wordy, I decided to post a topic about it, instead of rewriting this, several different times. So brace yourself, this is going to be lengthy, but I take the time because I know how much it helped me, so I want to help others. SO, I hope it’s worth it!
*First off, let me give the typical disclaimer, that “I’m not a nutritionist, by any means, or a doctor, etc.,etc., but this is just what worked for ME”*

Alright, so for starters, I *obviously* used MFP. I set my goal, I think, to lose 1 pound per week, maybe more? So the MFP weight loss generator set my daily caloric intake to 1200 calories.
Doing the math, I tried to divide my meals into 300 for breakfast, 400 for lunch, and 500 for dinner. But I usually have a pretty big appetite in the morning, so I would eat more for breakfast and then sacrifice less for lunch or dinner. I tried burning around 400 calories a day for exercise (I ran, but other than that, I tried to be active in every way possible i.e. taking the stairs instead of the escalator, my bike instead of my car). This extra 400 calories REALLY helped, because let me tell ya, I like to eat ;) or... at least snack. This always made it so I could have a little something in the day, like CHOCOLATE. <3

At first, 1200 calories was hard, I’ll admit. The first 2-3 weeks were the worst. I’m not even kidding when I say I probably went from about 2000-3000 calories daily, to 1200. My body wanted sweets, all day every day. It was hard to say “no” at first, but it gets easier. After the first 3 weeks of being SO STRICT, it was easy as pie. My (literal) stomach shrunk in size, so my body couldn’t hold as much even if I TRIED to gorge myself. I ate frequently, keeping my metabolism going. The first three weeks, I’ll admit, there were times I was hungry. But if you can be strict and tell yourself “no”, that you have a goal in sight, the hunger will go away. Not because you’re starving yourself, because, in fact, I wasn’t doing that. But instead, your body will adjust, to being healthy. It realizes, wow, I don’t need this large of a portion, who knew?

So that’s the hard truth. Now I’ll give some tips that personally helped me.

Find what motivates you. Health? A special occasion? A fit body? I can tell you what doesn’t motivate me: rainy days, snowy Minnesotan winters, chocolate. My motivator was wanting a beach bod. We had an extra-long winter in Minnesota this year—it snowed on May 4th—so it was really easy to pack on the pounds as I sat by the fire in local coffee shops downing Chai Tea lattes one after another and exploring different pastries. It was one of the few warm days between April and May when girls were starting to break out the shorts and tank tops, that I realized, I was not prepared at ALL for the summer season. I had slacked so much in the winter, and it showed. I knew more cold days were still to come, so I told myself I HAD to stay motivated even amidst the cold, the rain, and the snow. Hard days will come. Remember to keep your goal in sight! For me, hard days come with the weather. For others, hard days come with who you’re around… which brings me to my next point…

Peer pressure. I fall victim to eating poorly when I see my slender friends around me enjoying a cupcake, a cookie. My boyfriend, in particular, is a late night eater (and a non-weight gainer, because he’s a boy, curse those boys) and would always ask me what I wanted as we drove through fast food drive-thrus. He would almost, insist, that I get something, because he wanted me to be happy, and in his mind, he was harmless, he was just wanting to please me (smiles). Eventually I had to tell him to stop offering me food, because, YES, I want a bite of your Beefy Five Layer Burrito, yes, I want my OWN, in fact. He didn’t understand how hard it was for me to say “no”. But once I told him this, he stopped offering, and that helped me a lot. As for the people I have no control over—my classmates in the caf, I realized that their genetic makeup is different than mine—their current physique is different than mine for different reasons. Whether they work out more or less than me, I have to realize that just because they are eating those yummy treats, doesn’t mean I need to. It may not affect them the same way that it will affect me. It will affect them too, but they may not care. And I care. A lot of losing weight is making conscious decisions instead of quick-fix decisions in a pinch… which brings me to my next point…

Planned meals. This might sound tedious, impossible, etc. And it can be. In fact, I hardly have the time or the resources to plan my meals. But let me tell ya, the days I plan my meals are my best days! There’s something about pre-calculating everything that goes into your body—no mind tricks, no hunger tricks. Planned meals. Seriously helps so much.
Cravings. Cravings are the devil. And though planned meals might be the savior, the cravings will still creep in. What worked for me? Saying “no” to about 80% of my cravings (depending on the TOM, of course, in which I say no to 0% of cravings, happily). I’ve realized in my personal experience, saying no to ALL cravings, just leads me to eat MORE of another “substitute” food, because I’m still trying to satisfy that particular craving, which, 1) is not good and 2) I never got what I was WANTING in the first place. Losing weight doesn’t have to be torturous. Allow yourself your special treats when the time is right. It’s easier to say “no” when you know there will be a time in the week when you can say “YES”.

Work out. Exercise is so important, and so is the time of day you do it. No, I don’t mean working out in the morning will make you burn more calories than at night, and vice versa. But what I do mean is, find when works best for you, and get yourself into a routine. For example, I work out mid-morning. After I’ve woken up and had quiet time, eaten breakfast, possibly cleaned my apartment, done something productive, I would work out. This is the time of the day I have the most energy—the most endurance to push through. I am simply not a night person so working out at night doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I’ll convince myself that a night work-out is okay, but then I’ll just end up walking and burning 200 calories, or 100—whereas in the morning, I can run 2 miles straight. Big difference. So it’s really important, in my opinion, to find out this particular time of the day that works best for you, and make it stick. However, life is life, schedules fluctuate, and in those instances, any exercise is good exercise. 

Substitute foods. Is there anything you can substitute for a healthier version? I’m a die-hard chocolate fan. But I used to hate dark chocolate. One day, I MADE myself eat it, and enjoy it. They say dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate. I don’t know if that’s true or not (and who’s “they” anyway my mother always says). But now, when I’m craving something sweet, I eat some dark chocolate, and since it’s so rich, I’m able to eat less of it and become satisfied. Less calories, problem solved.  I’m also a big pop drinker (or “soda” according to all my Minnesotan friends). My first transition was to drink only diet soda. (This is where my “I’m not a nutritionist disclaimer comes into my play. I realize diet soda is still, UNHEALTHY.) But, this was/is one HUGE way I can cut down on calories, and still get something sweet on my tongue. I was also a HUGE Mountain Dew drinker. Being that I cut out all “regular” soda and switched to diet, I didn’t drink anymore Mountain Dew, because diet Mountain Dew is simply disgusting. I haven’t had Mountain Dew for a few months now. The other night, I went out to Applebees with my boyfriend, and, since it was special occasion, ordered a Mountain Dew, and this next statement I never thought I would say in a MILLION years, but… it was GROSS! Too sweet for me! I say all this in elaborate detail because you may be reading all this and thinking ‘oh how can I give up such and such’, but I am a living testimony that you can do it! – I also was a big coffee drinker, or should I say cream drinker. I WAS the girl who liked coffee with her cream, and not the other way around. Then, one day, it was brought to my attention that coffee (black coffee) has about 2 calories. TWO CALORIES. I knew I had to make myself like it. It would be a life saver. And it is. Once you go black, you never go back. ;) – I chew gum as soon as I’m done eating a meal, to keep myself from snacking. Helps wonders. Find low calorie snacks: fruit is great—strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, the list goes on. I grew up on a farm in Michigan, so, fortunately for me, I’ve always had an endless supply of fruit in the summer. But for those of us who read those two previous sentences and don’t consider fruit as a snack, fruit roll-ups have only FIFTY CALORIES, I know, I couldn’t believe it either!

Drink water. Bla, bla, blabbidy bla. You’ve heard this one a million times. It’s because it’s true. Water cleans out your system. It’s refreshing. It’s hydrating. But some people just don’t like water (which I don’t understand why), but I do understand how it’s sometimes hard to make yourself drink it. Why would you drink water when you can have a soda instead? This may sound silly, but what I found works for me is drinking it out of a straw. I don’t know why, but if I put it in a cup with a straw in it and carry it around with me, I will find myself sipping it ‘til it’s gone (and then I fill it up again), but if it’s in a bottle with a cap, I’ll hardly touch it. Sometimes water can be boring. Get some flavored aqua! Crystal Lite. My favorite is the ‘Yumberry Pomegranate’ by Sobe. I would drink that with some fruity gum and it would be a snack to me, with a grand total of 5 calories.  Another thing I’ve heard before: your body confuses hunger for thirst. If you’re feeling hungry, or snacky for that matter, drink some water first. You might just be thirsty! And if you were hungry, then you’ve filled your belly up that much more with some water making less room to stuff yourself—all around goodness. 

How to track progress? Everyone’s different on this one. I like the scale, as opposed to how clothes fit, because my clothes fit fine, even when I was heavier, and I looked fine enough. It was under the clothes that I was targeting, so the scale helped me bunches. Some people, like myself, like hard substantial proof.

Remember it takes a while to see progress. You don’t get healthy by a day of being good—or a week for that matter. Diligence is key. You will have bad days. Don’t be discouraged! It happens to the best of us.

Sorry again for the most lengthy post ever, but I hope it helps at least one person out there! (and I’d love to hear if it does!) Feel free to friend/message me if you have any more questions (or even if you don’t)! I love to help and I love making new friends, even via social media!



  • autumnpennell
    autumnpennell Posts: 196 Member
    Haha so the top pic cut me out! That is my sister, I was to the right of her
  • Imcharmed
    Imcharmed Posts: 346 Member
    Fantastic, well done. Thanks for sharing, helps us newbies.
  • celadontea
    celadontea Posts: 335 Member
    Love this post. Love your outfits! Great job!!
  • musycnlyrics
    musycnlyrics Posts: 323 Member
    So awesome !
    Congrats on your loss!
  • guessrs
    guessrs Posts: 358 Member
    I loooooved reading how you did it. You explain everything that I can't put into words for other people. Like the part when you say no. Your pics look fantastic!!
  • Joannesmith2818
    Joannesmith2818 Posts: 438 Member
    You look so gorgeous, and I want every single one of your cute outfits. :)
  • kelseybkelsey
    kelseybkelsey Posts: 7 Member
    You look incredible.
  • naturallyme36
    naturallyme36 Posts: 155 Member
    you look beautiful!!! thanks for sharing your story with us and giving so really good advice. :wink:
  • LouiseEWake
    LouiseEWake Posts: 4 Member
    I just completed my first week. Thank you for all the information I really value your positive and negative experiences. You look fantastic!!! I hope I can be as strong as you.:happy:
  • Congratulations hun,you look gorgeous :smile:
  • mszboriqua
    mszboriqua Posts: 1 Member
    seeing that you are about the same height and was the weight i am, your post is such a great help, i LOVE snacking too and i am going to try the things you have done. Thanks for the post :)
  • gabbygirl78
    gabbygirl78 Posts: 936 Member
    I have a lot more weight to lose that you obviously, but you gave me some great ideas to cut calories! You look great! I cant wait until I can post some pics of me -150lbs. Thanks for this post!!
  • You look great! Congratulations
  • Way to go. Truly inspires me to loose my baby weight im sitting at 148 and wanna get back at 130 at least :)
  • eprybs
    eprybs Posts: 36 Member
    You Look FABOOSH! How long did it take you>?
  • wbfd22
    wbfd22 Posts: 65 Member
    Thank you so much for posting ALL of that!! You look fabulous and everything that you say is right on!! I am the same height as you witha little more weight to lose. I'm currently hoping to lose 20 lbs more. I am doing everything you mentioned in your post so I hope it's just time and determination that get me there!! How long did it take you? And what did you do when you worked out?
  • Edensienna
    Edensienna Posts: 180 Member
    You look stunning... Enjoy your new confidence! :flowerforyou:
  • Loved reading your post. It gave me some more ideas for me to try and gave me some motivation. Also, your pics were awesome:flowerforyou: and :smokin: Thanks for this post.
  • qtgonewild
    qtgonewild Posts: 1,930 Member
    congratulations you look fantastic!
  • nerge
    nerge Posts: 52 Member
    You look great!!! Same height at SW as me so very interesting read!! Question - did you drink (alcohol)? I find the weekends and the nights out just kill me!
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