How You Can Really Lose 50 Pounds in the New Year

getting in shape
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Fourteen months ago, I weighed nearly 200 pounds.

I can’t tell you exactly how much I weighed because I don’t want to the scale at my house is a jerk sometimes, but I know I was close. Really, insanely, unbelievably close.

Two hundred pounds is a lot of pounds for someone who is 5 feet 3 inches tall on a well-rested, standing-up-super-straight day.

Especially because at least 50 of those pounds made me feel slow. And tired. And sluggish. And unhappy. And fat.

I knew I needed to do something dramatic about my weight—to change how I looked, and more importantly, how I felt.

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I’m starting 2014 somewhere around 150 pounds (stupid scale) and, while I know I still have a little ways to go to get to my goal weight (I’m not even talking about the official if-you-are-5-foot-3-inches-and-a-very-young-looking-35-years-old-you-are-supposed-to-weigh-this weight), I am 100 times happier with myself than I was when I began this journey.

And proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Planning to get on the weight loss train in the new year? Here are some tips to help you succeed!


Image via Amanda Rodriguez
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

1.  Don’t make losing 20 pounds your New Year's resolution.

Go smaller. Be more specific. Focus on changing one thing—something small enough that you can actually pull off. It’s all about stepping stones to your final goal. So maybe commit to going to the gym at least 12 times in January, or tell yourself you will give up sugar for the month (for the record, I would never). At the end of the month, stop and re-evaluate your progress, then set a new goal for the next month.

Image via Flickr/Robin McConnell
Image via Flickr/Robin McConnell


2.  Never feel guilty for investing in yourself.

You deserve to be healthy and to feel good about yourself. You might have to take an hour or two away from hands-on mommy duties, but you’ll be so glad you did when you’re down a pants size or able to push your 40-pound 3-year-old on that handle bike around the block without stopping.

Image via Flickr/the Italian voice
Image via Flickr/the Italian voice

3.  Don’t weigh yourself every day.

Healthy weight loss may mean that you are only dropping about two pounds a month. It can be frustrating to watch the scale move in such small increments, so don’t focus on how much you weigh. Focus on something more significant instead, like how you feel and how your clothing is fitting. If you really feel like you need to keep tabs on your weight, step on the scale once a week and ignore the scale the rest of the time.

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Image via Flickr/Serge Melki
Image via Flickr/Serge Melki


4.  Build a team.

Weight loss is way easier if you have a group to do it with you. Enlist some friends to walk with you every morning. Start a healthy lunch bunch with your coworkers. Sign up for Zumba with your mom. When you feel like quitting, hopefully your loyalty to the people you care about will keep you committed.


amanda what not to wear
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

5.  Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

When the going gets tough, the tough just say no to those chocolate chip cookies and put on that workout DVD you got for Christmas. Know that there are going to be ups and downs. You will hit plateaus and you will get so busy that you won’t be able to make it to the gym for days at a time. It’s okay to take a break to enjoy your birthday dinner or to stop working out for a couple of weeks while you are at Disneyland with your family. Just don’t give up when frustration kicks in or when life gets in the way. Healthy living is a marathon. Eventually, making healthy food choices and being active will be as natural as having coffee in the morning … or stalking Justin Timberlake online— or whatever it is you do without thinking. If I can make it to where I am today,  so can you.

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How You Can Really Lose 50 Pounds in the New Year

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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