I Lost 90 Pounds Using These Calorie-Counting Techniques

Before: 274

After: 184

I always struggled with my weight growing up, as my family often used food as a source of comfort. My parents and grandparents were all heavy, so naturally, so was I. Throughout high school and college, I was prone to yo-yo dieting—I’d lose 20 and gain 30 back, then lose 40 and gain 50 back. After the birth of my daughter, however, I stopped losing the weight, but continued to gain.

In 2010, I was undergoing a grueling work training program, coming out of a divorce and caring for a small child. I was so focused on being there for my daughter that I viewed taking the time to exercise and cook healthily as selfish time spent away from her. My only concern when it came to my own meals was if they were fast and tasted good, which lead me to eat a lot of take-out and pre-packaged meals. At the time, it felt like I wasn’t really living, just surviving.

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Meagan Wilson

My ah-ha moment came that year when my small daughter couldn’t even give me a hug because I’d gotten so big. Especially after the divorce, I was all she had and knew I had to do something for myself because at the rate I was going, I’d be dead at 40. Plus, I wanted to set a good example for her that food can be a positive experience. My goal didn’t revolve around the scale so much as simply getting healthier, so I put my focus on non-scale victories. My family is made of Disneyland fanatics, so I decided my goal was to eventually run a Disney half marathon.

Related: Jillian Michaels Says These 6 Easy Tips Will Help You Lose Weight Like You're On 'The Biggest Loser'


Meagan Wilson

I started tackling nutrition by looking at the calories I was already consuming. I had no concept of how much I was eating because I ate purely off of emotion. I realized I was eating over 3,000 calories a day, so I decided to set a new goal of eating 2,000 calories a day. Around that time I also began closely reading nutrition labels and cooking more. However, during those two years, I was still eating a lot of processed foods, just within that calorie restriction. I lost 40 pounds in two years doing that.

After two years, I began to plateau. That’s when I started seeing a nutrition consultant. I began increasing my vegetable and lean protein intake, and decreased the amount of sugar I was eating. I very rarely eat carbs now unless I’m loading up for a race or on vacation. And instead of sticking to an exact calorie amount every day, I mix it up with low-calorie (1,250) and higher-calorie (1,800) days. By doing this, I lost and additional 50 pounds in three years and have kept the full 90 pounds off since.

Related: 4 Foods That Burn Belly Fat


Meagan Wilson

I began running by getting on the treadmill at the gym, pushing the 5K button, and running for as long as possible. At first, that meant I could only run a quarter of a mile and had to walk the rest of it. I started signing up for 5Ks and after two years, I could finally run the entire 5K. 2012 is also the year I reached my goal of completing a Disney Half Marathon. It may have taken me nearly three hours, but I did it!

Now, I follow the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Run method—I typically run two minutes, then walk one minute, and if I feel good, I may push myself to run further. I also got a personal trainer five years ago, and since then I’ve been working out four to five times a week. Most weeks, I run three days and lift weights two days. My workouts span anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on what the workout is. I continue to run races all around the world and am even running the TCS New York City Marathon this year. (The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 5, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tristate area from9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.)

If you've run on a treadmill in your life, you'll be able to relate to these thoughts every woman has had on the treadmill:



Meagan Wilson

There have been a lot of moments of doubt along the way. Having a trainer helps keep me accountable, as does positive feedback from friends, family, and coworkers. My best friend has been on similar journey, so we’re able to provide one another with a sounding board which is great. Of course, teaching my daughter about healthy living is hugely motivating. We’ll be at the gym and she literally cheers me on. My dad even ended up training for a half marathon with me, so being an inspiration for him has been great as well.


Meagan Wilson

I work in a technical field with a lot of men. It shouldn’t have, but my weight overshadowed what I brought to the table at work. I’m more confident now that I can face any challenge. It makes my job easier in that people don’t see me negatively and I’m more comfortable presenting myself. People now look at me because of what I have to say, not because I’m bigger. I’m also a better parent, because I can teach my daughter to have a positive body image without all the focus being on the scale.

Related: 'This Major Life Change Helped Me Lose 60 Pounds And Beat Addiction'


Meagan Wilson

Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. I plateaued and wish I’d asked for help earlier. It isn’t weak and it isn’t embarrassing. You need an ally in this journey, so find one.


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