Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.
Karol K. teaches how to save on the popular Flex Belt, and discusses the basics of TRX training (learn more). He contributes articles on fitness training, working out, and losing weight in general. He also enjoys writing occasionally for WeightLossTriumph. He’s a fan of healthy living and being in shape no matter what. In his personal life, he proves that one doesn’t have to struggle to be healthy.
About: Blogs full of heart-felt writing and deep emotions are great, but it never hurts to toss in one with a laugh-out-loud humor to it as well. Enter Running off the Reese's blogger Cely. If her blog mantra “Because no one should have to choose between their pants and chocolate” doesn’t pull you in, her creative use of gifs and humorous style of writing will. Cely was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 18 — a diagnosis she certainly didn’t let hold her back. She runs races (usually half-marathons or less), shares her experiences, has a long list of book reviews...and talks a bit about life in general in between. And it’s awesome.

About: It may be tough to tell by looking at her photo (complete with a very toned tummy), but Hannah’s no stranger to gaining weight. She packed on about 50 pounds each time she became pregnant with her two kids until she eventually went from a size 4 to a size 12-14. The pregnancies also changed her body and made her unhappy with the way she looked. Ready for change, Hannah created a fitness and food plan for herself, stuck to it and noticed she slowly but surely lost weight and started to look more and more toned. Now she’s studying to be a personal trainer, and her blog is a place she shares all her fitness tips, nutrition ideas and motivation to help others lose weight too.


I’m currently at 202 lbs and 5′ 4″ and need to lose at least 60 lbs. I usually work out 2 – 3 days a week but only do cardio (walking, the elliptical, & biking) for 1 hr 45 mins. . .I haven’t used any free weights or nautical equipment but I feel as if I have reached a plateau. Can you please help me to get motivated & back on the right path. I see you have really done well and I want to get healthy, into a smaller size, and improve my self-esteem. I am really at my wit’s end! Can you help me with a diet plan or suggest a exercise program?

Hi! I have to say 600 calories is terrible! You are going to starve your body. On average without exercise, your body burns at least 1400 calories, if you are eating only 600 calories you are not fueling your body with proper nutrition. When this happens your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gaining weight to, worse yet, end up sickly. Don’t do that to yourself, please! When I added more calories into my diet, I gradually added more, like a 200 a week. I gave myself an extra snack. I don’t recall if I gained weight at the beginning, but I do know I lost weight when I ate more. Don’t be afraid to eat!! What I would do if I were you is add more protein into your diet, like eggs, greek yogurt, lean chicken. You also need a little fat like avocado, olive oil or peanut butter. I personally found the hardest thing about dieting is not being able to stick to it. I dieted for 2 years lost weight, but then life happened. I eat healthy but what I started back when I was dieting I was eating low calorie, now I eat what normal people eat and I gained some weight back. But I realized what I was doing to my body back then, I wasn’t able to do that for the rest of my life. My advice is to eat healthy, eat what is in your calorie range and exercise for 30 minutes a day, even if it is just a walk. Doing this is a set-up for permanent weight lose and you will be healthy. I learned over the years that a healthy body on the inside, shows on the outside and even if you gain a little weight you are better off.
Top Quote: “If I surrender, give up the fight to do it all alone, then I’ll probably remain on the outskirts of that tribe of origin permanently. Is that a tough thing to write? You bet. But here’s the gorgeous thing about life – you can make your own tribe. You can form your own crew, you can find other lovable, crazy-about-life people that will be there to support you and lift you up.”
Nicole Morrissey is a registered dietitian who works specifically with diabetes and weight management. What sets her apart from many other dietitians is that she’s struggled with her own weight since a young age. She was 14 when she went to her first Weight Watchers meeting, and the years that followed brought many ups and downs. Today, she accepts that she “may forever be a work in progress,” so she focuses on balance. That means healthy, good-for-her foods, and doing the active things she loves, like running and hockey. Visit the blog.
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