My name is Carie Mclean (@carievscalories), and I am 28 years old. I am from San Antonio, Texas, and I am a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to get healthier for my kids and decided to eat low-carb and high-protein, paired with intermittent fasting and at-home strength training workouts and cardio.
Before I started my weight-loss journey, I was miserable. I remember my oldest daughter always pointing out that I breathed hard. We would just be sitting down watching TV or playing and she would say, “Mom, why are you breathing so hard?” I didn’t even notice. I would also get tired fast when we played outside or went on a family trip to the zoo. Sitting down and getting up took a lot of effort.
I didn't really have a turning point moment—I was just finally tired of being uncomfortable.
Being in a large body and doing simple things like walking up stairs or painting my toenails was always a chore. I decided I wanted to change and see what would happen if I stayed consistent and didn’t give up within the first two weeks. So I started my journey in July 2020.
I researched different types of so-called diet plans, but settled on simply eating low-carb and high-protein.
I also decided to do intermittent fasting. I made sure to count my calories (using MyFitnessPal). I think what made it work for me was being able to control when I ate (I fasted overnight until lunchtime). And by counting my calories, I was actually paying attention to the amount that I ate.
Here’s what I eat in a day.
- Breakfast: Black coffee or green tea
- Lunch: Salad with broccoli, kale, cucumbers, red onions, avocado, pan-seared chicken, and a splash of lemon juice
- Snacks: Strawberries and almonds with honey
- Dinner: Chicken apple sausage with roasted veggies (usually Brussels sprouts, broccoli and green beans)
I started working out right at the beginning of my journey. The first month was the hardest.
I was so sore. My legs and arms would hurt whenever I moved, but I just kept pushing.
I started working out three to five days a week for 30 minutes. Some days I would have to force myself to workout because I wasn’t always motivated. So I would tell myself to just start, and by the time I was done, I was happy I did.
Now, I love working out. It’s my favorite part of my day. I work out six days a week now for 45 minutes at home, and I’ve gotten so much stronger. I also do resistance training, as well as weight lifting. I don’t really focus on cardio, but on the days I do, I’ll run the stairs in my house.
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.
- I started to document my journey. I started documenting my journey on Instagram. I wanted to hold myself accountable. I took photos in the beginning so that I could look back and compare them when I started seeing physical changes. I began to gain followers, and they started to show support and that would motivate me to keep going.
- I found a solid support system. My husband has been my main supporter. On days when I felt like I wasn’t losing fast enough or I gained five pounds of water weight overnight, he would calm me down and talk some sense into me. He would surprise me by buying me weights or my “goal outfits” when I would reach a short-term goal. He even started asking me to make him some of the healthy meals I would prepare for myself.
- I focused on self-care. After I had my children, I forgot myself. I had to relearn how to take care of my mental and physical health. That meant taking a moment for myself to think and collect my thoughts. Writing things down, working out, and eating healthy all played a part in my success. I had to focus on myself.
Overall, I’ve lost 80 pounds, and it took me 10 months.
I want other women to know that, as cliché as it sounds, weight loss is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. It took me a few months into my journey to realize that. Forgive yourself whenever you mess up, because you will slip up and you will fail. I remind myself that this is a lifestyle change, and I am learning new ways to become healthier. I'm proud of myself.