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How To Lose Weight Quick and Easy

by Susan · 73 comments

How To Lose Weight Quick and Easy

For today’s post I have an awesome interview I did with an old friend of mine, Mary Ann, where she talks about how to lose weight quick and easy when you’re a parent who works full time.

Mary Ann and I go way back to grade school when we played on the same basketball team. I am proud to say that we are still in touch and she is allowing me to share her story today.

Mary Ann is very much like you are: busy, kids, family, job, and a few extra pounds.

In this interview, Mary Ann tells us all about her plan to lose 80 pounds and how she has already lost a healthy portion of it!

Check this out and take notes!

Susan: Hey Mary Ann, thank you so much for talking with me today. I think your story can help inspire and teach other people in similar situations to you about how to lose weight when you have virtually no time for yourself. Most people today are very short on spare time.

Tell me about what your day to day life looks like: how many kids, your profession, how busy you are, etc.

Mary Ann: Thanks for asking me to share my story! I have 3 kids who are ages 3, 2 and 1.  Yes, I’ve had 3 kids in 4 years.  So that makes for a very busy day in and of itself.  I am a stay-at-home-mom, a daycare provider (yes, even more kids in the house!) and I run a baking business (custom cakes and cookies as well as other desserts).

My kids (and our other friends) keep me busy during the day.  Most of my baking occurs at night – usually starting around 8 pm – kids to bed at 7 followed by a little down time with my husband and then off to cake land.  I don’t have baking to do every night, sometimes I might just be doing some planning (supply inventory, ordering, designs for upcoming orders + more).  When I do have orders I am actually creating I am up pretty late…2:30, 3:30, sometimes it’s an all-nighter.  So all that in addition to the same craziness everyone else has:  laundry, clean house, grocery shopping, etc, etc, oh, and Facebook, of course!

Susan: Talk about how you felt/what your life was like when you had the extra weight.

Lazy, lethargic, anxious for my kids to go to bed at night b/c I was so tired.  I felt ugly.  I was embarassed to see pics of myself.  That was really sad b/c I LOVE pics of my family but often turn people down who say, “let me take the pic of all of you”. Um, ‘no thanks!’

I still consider myself to ‘have’ the extra weight.  I still have a long way to go.  I will say even just losing the 1st 10 lbs. I felt like I had so much more energy – almost immediately. That’s what makes the prospect of losing more so exciting (that and a new wardrobe!  LOL!).  I can’t wait to see how energetic I am when all the extra weight is gone.

Susan: Why did you decide to take action and do something about it? What was the tipping point for you?

Mary Ann: Each time after my 1st and 2nd children it took me about 6 mos. to get it in gear (time to adjust to the changes in our lives, etc) and start to do something about the pounds.  I went to a kickboxing class and paid a little attention to what I was eating, but honestly only a little.  I would start to lose the ‘baby weight’ (really due to the exercising & breastfeeding – that’s a calorie burner!) but then we would find out that we were having another baby.  I’d slack off on the exercise, some walking here or there but nothing serious.  And while I was conscious of the fact that ‘eating for two’ does not mean you can eat double, I didn’t ever deny myself an extra helping or dessert.

The real turning point though was when I was pregnant with my third.  For #2 and #3 I had to have a c-section so that requires a pre-op testing.  So there I was sitting at the hospital when I was pregnant with my third filling out mounds of paperwork that was being placed in my file.  I could see the file with some kind of informational sheet on the front.  In big letters I saw “Morbidly Obese”.

At first, I was silently embarrassed but then I started to feel really guilty about my body not being in the best shape, or at least better shape, while pregnant.  I knew then & there that I would change my eating & exercise habits not only to help me drop the weight and be a healthier person, but more importantly to help teach my children good habits.  What better motivation then the health and wellness of your own children?

Susan: That’s an awesome point. Not only that, but you need to be healthy to be able to take care of your family, be around for them for the long haul, and keep up with your schedule on a day to day basis. When you decided to take action what did you do first? Describe any diet changes and any exercise you think contributed.

Mary Ann: Everyone knows what they “should” do to lose weight quick and easy:  Eat less, portion control, good healthy natural foods, water, exercise, etc, etc.  It’s a matter of putting those things into action.  It all seems simple and they are when you look at each component individually, BUT to pull it all together and incorporate it takes planning, and planning takes TIME – something I am generally short on.

With my husband’s new job and thus new insurance, I found that they would pay for me to go to Weight Watchers.  With the accountability of attending a meeting each week (bonus: Mary Ann time with nothing to do but do something for myself – every busy mother’s dream!) it has kept me on track.  Your Blog keeps me focused on a daily basis.  Whether your topic is about food or exercise I can usually find something to incorporate it into my new habits (less red meat!).  They are small reminders every day to stay strong and remain focused.  Even the quotes you post are inspiring.

Note from Susan: Thanks for the shout out Mary Ann, I am proud to be able to influence you towards a healthier lifestyle!

I also found out that my husband’s insurance company will give us money towards a gym membership. So I have signed up for the gym.  In the warmer days I don’t mind getting outside with the kids running around or going for walks or other exercise, BUT in the winter yuck!  I hate the cold and it’s dark.  So the gym will provide a place that is warm & bright and….some ‘ME TIME’ doing something healthy!

Susan: Yeah, even though I teach people how to workout at home, I really love my gym time. It is “me” time or my time to socialize with any friends who might join me. How much weight have you lost so far?

I have lost 16.8 lbs. of the 80 lbs. of my goal.

Susan: That’s an awesome start! But sounds like you are sort of just beginning your weight loss journey. How were you able to fit in the exercise and make the diet changes with your busy work and family life?

Mary Ann: My husband and I sat down together and had to plan. We each chose days/times for exercise and they are put on the calendar just like if we had a dentist appointment.  By placing these things on the calendar this firms up the commitment mentally.  I do the grocery shopping and most of the food preparation in our home.  So that was easy enough. The only ‘tools’ in our kitchen are the choices I’ve made.  (And, no one to blame but me……)

My husband, out of kindness, has always been one to bring home small surprises from time to time.  These surprises???  Usually food treats of some sort.  Be it anything from ice cream to chocolate to a Little Debbie snack when he stopped to get gas.  For a while I have just graciously accepted these items, would sit them aside with the intent to toss later when he wasn’t around, but before too long I was dipping into them.  I finally had to put on my big girl pants and risk hurting his feelings and tell him that he was being an enabler.  I likened it to alcoholism – ie. If I was an alcoholic would you bring me hope a shot of vodka for a treat???

Susan: Wow, so many important points you just mentioned. Family support is crucial! Between you addressing your husband about not bringing you home your “drug” of choice and you sitting down together to plan out exercise schedules, I think you set yourself up to succeed. Besides what you just mentioned about your husband, what role did social support play in losing weight? Who supported you?

My family has been my biggest support because I am around them most often.  The group at Weight Watchers is also very helpful weather you have a good day or a bad day they are always there to cheer you on.  And really people who are dealing/have dealt with the same issues (be it their own issues or a career dealing with people who have these issues – such as yourself). I think they are the best to help in these goals.

To force some accountability onto myself, I also tell other people about my goals and how I’m doing with them.

Susan: You have to share your goals with others, it’s so important for accountability! Are you keeping a food log or an exercise journal?

Mary Ann: I keep a food log.  I write down everything I eat and drink (except water).  Even when I don’t want to write it down…like by not writing it the calories don’t count or something….hahaha.  I don’t keep an exercise journal.  In the Weigh Watchers system you are rewarded for exercising.  It allows you extra ‘points’ which you can use that day to, in short, eat additional food.  I look at it like this:  the body needs exercise.  It’s something that should be done for one’s health, not so you can have an ice cream instead of an apple.

Susan: How do you feel now since you have made a nice little dent in your weight loss goals and how has your life changed, if at all?

Mary Ann: I feel great. I have a long way to go though. My goal is to lose 80 lbs. and drop my BMI down to a much healthier number.

Susan: True, but 16.8 lbs is nothing to turn your nose up at! It’s a great start! Talk a little bit about your path forward – will you keep up with the diet and exercise plan that helped you lose the weight so far?

Mary Ann: Yes, I plan to keep up with my new path.  It is in my AND MY FAMILY’S best interest. I am the front line of education for my kids.  I’ve already seen a difference.  The other day I asked my kids if they wanted a cookie or some fruit for their snack.  One shouted out they wanted a pear, the other a Clementine.  I was so proud of them and me too!

Susan: Mary Ann, it looks like you are headed down a much healthier path then you have been for the last few years while having your kids. You are really making all the necessary changes to be healthier and drop your weight into a more appropriate range. From, diet to exercise, and social support, and food logging, I really believe you are well on your way to meeting your weight loss goal. Please let me know how I can help you along the way, and we can’t wait to have you back here to keep us updated on your progress!

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1 Latief January 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Hello, great interview! I just love to see hard-working people that reach their goals. Don’t give up Mary Ann, keep fighting! Congratulations Susan for the great interview, keep up the good work !

2 Roshan Kharia January 17, 2011 at 5:30 am

Beautiful story and pretty inspiring!
But as most people are looking to lose weight, I’m struggling in getting a few extra pounds. I’m 22 and always been thin by nature, I’m not skinny for my hight but I can use some extra pounds.
I’m eating a lot, but apparently it doesn’t help, I just have a fast metabolism…

3 susan January 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

Hey Roshan! Wow thanks for sharing your experience with us. I guess you do have a very healthy metabolism! While you want to gain weight, you do not want it to be fat. So, try eating a higher percentage of protein and healthy fats and lower on the starchy carbs. If you add a little resistance training to your workouts you should be able to add on some muscle. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

4 Sire January 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm

That was a great interview and I want to congratulate Mary Ann on her progress and on her decision to improve her life.

My wife could do with losing a few pounds but she has an aversion to doing any exercise. We could be watching a program, Oprah or something, and they’re talking about losing weight and how important it is to exercise and every time I point it out she will give me this dirty look or get upset.

I’ve offered to go out on walks with her and stuff but to know avail. I know her weight bothers her but she just doesn’t seem to want to go that extra step to lose it.

As to Mitch’s de-cluttering list, I can’t see anything here that would keep him away ;)

5 susan January 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

Hey Sire, yes, unfortunately there are many people out there who have no interest in exercising. While I know it can be uncomfortable and require some effort, I am sad that she will never experience the feelings of completing a workout. I swear, if I could bottle that feeling and sell it I would be a millionaire 10 x over by now. And not to mention the health benefits she isn’t getting. Keep working on her, Sire, if nothing else to take a walk with you.

If she isn’t going to exercise, my suggestion is that she really focus on her nutrition. “They” say that nutrition is 80% responsible for your weight. I bet if she can get her portions in check and eat more of the right things and less of the nasty things she should be able to lose weight without exercise. If you think she might like my help on that or if you want a little more info on how to do it just give me a shout, I am happy to help.

And thanks for the kind words about my site :-) Mitch knows!

6 Sire January 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Actually her diet is pretty good so I’m afraid the problem is her metabolism isn’t all the best. I’ve told her that exercise would help in that department and how extra muscle mass would help to burn off the fat. I’ve even built a home gym so she can do it all from home but no luck so far.

I’ve only just started exercising again after many years and I still love the burn you get from the workout and admiring the pumped look of the muscles after each set.

I’ll have to pop in every now and again to see what you women can teach me.

7 susan January 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Oh please, Sire, we have EVERYTHING to teach you! HA!

If your wife’s diet is good then maybe cut portions a little more. Other than that, you are right, she needs a workout boost. She won’t do it until she is ready. :-(

Thanks so much for coming back!

8 Amr Boghdady January 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Thats a truly inspiring interview!
It must be really hard to stay in shape when you run your own baking business, with all these cakes and desserts within your site all the time!
But really, being able to lose that amount of weight while being a working mom is extremely impressive!
Well done Mary Ann!

9 susan January 17, 2011 at 9:30 am

Hey Amr! Thanks for coming by! You know, it is hard enough to keep the weight off being a full time mom and running 2 businesses, but yeah, can you imagine being around all that cakey goodness all the time and still losing weight? Never! For me, I say keep it all out of the house. If it isn’t there you won’t eat it!

10 Samantha Dermot January 15, 2011 at 3:14 am

Losing weight especially for moms can be that difficult if they won’t develop any discipline on their part. Just stay focus on your goal and surely you will attain it! Well, maintaining a good figure for a mom with kids is very challenging but self-full filling as everybody see the result.

11 susan January 17, 2011 at 9:28 am

I can’t imagine being a mom and wife, running 2 businesses, and still achieving the goals weight loss goals Mary Ann is. She has found what works for her!

12 Mitch January 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Great interview, and I applaud Mary Ann for the changes she’s making in her life. I think the big point was talking about family support and how her husband was kind of enabling her. My wife kind of did that for me, and I also just accepted it. When I’m focused, I don’t accept; when I’m not… well, all bets are off.

13 susan January 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Family support and even social support is HUGE! I almost don’t see how one can succeed when the person they live with doesn’t support them. I suppose you could still meet your goals but it would have to be a brutal road.

I guess the trick for you is always staying focused on your goal! Are you focused right now?

Wow, and I’m honored you came to my blog even though you have a laundry list of reasons why you won’t! HA!

14 Mitch January 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I just said it was torture; I didn’t say I didn’t need it. lol And I come all the time; remember, I even commented on that “cold exercise” post. And I still say “ain’t no way!”

15 susan January 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm


16 Yum Yucky January 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

Ohhh. I have lots in common with Mary Ann. I can totally relate. It’s great to hear another mom’s story. :)

17 susan January 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hey Josie, thanks so much to taking the time to comment and adding to the conversation. I think we all agree here that Mary Ann is remarkable in all that she takes on and we are all looking forward to her next update when she has great news to share with us! When I got the idea for this website, I did so with busy working moms in mind. I had been running bootcamps and about 90% of my campers were teachers with kids. During our sessions we would talk about some of the struggles they had in terms of time and other limiting factors to exercise time. I figured I knew this group of people the most, so why not start a blog with them in mind?

Josie, as a busy mom, what are some of the things you do to make sure you get the time to exercise and eat right? Do you have good social support? :-)

18 Jackie Christiansen January 12, 2011 at 1:47 am

Great interview Susan! I’m impressed at how much you accomplish with the amount of work you juggle! Being a work from home mom is a tough job that requires a strong mind and a lot of patience! Keep it up! You’re doing an amazing job!!

Jackie Christiansen

19 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

Thanks Jackie! Mary Ann did all the awesome work! I’m surprised she even had time for this interview! Thanks for adding to the conversation!

20 Lean Muscle Matt January 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

What a wonderful interview Susan, and what an inspirational and empowering story!

I truly believe that it truly takes a family to embrace the fitness lifestyle. My mom has tried several diets in the past and they always failed because my dad still brought home Oreos (her “drug” of choice), and other sweets because he wanted them. The problem is that she truly eats stuff like that without even realizing how many she has, so then he started hiding them, which just made her feel like he’s treating her like a child. It took a while, but I think my dad has finally realized that part of supporting her in her struggle is to walk with her on her journey.

Way to hang in there Mary Ann and to find inspiration your family’s love, and the love you have for your family. It does take sacrifice, but the rewards are truly astounding!

I wish you nothing but continued success!


21 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

Hey Matt! Thanks for adding to the conversation! Social support is absolutely essential – you are spot on. Even my boyfriend comes home with pints of ice cream (my drug of choice) and eats it in front of me. I take a bite or two instead of eating half of it. But other than that he does pretty well by me. Mary Ann is super lucky to have a husband as great as she does. The best part is that when she addressed him bringing home treats for her, instead of getting all bent out of shape he just did what she asked him to do. LOVE it! She will succeed!

22 Peggy Baron January 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm

What an inspiring story, Susan and Mary Ann!
I like that you don’t blame others, Mary Ann, and that you are holding yourself accountable. I also love that you are taking action and finding what works for YOU.


23 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:12 am

Hey Peggy! Yes, Mary Ann is an inspiration and an amazing mom! She decided it was time for a change, made a great action plan, and is taking massive action to achieve it. With that winning strategy, I know she will achieve her weight loss goals.

24 Rick Kaselj January 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Action is so huge!

Rick Kaselj of http://ExercisesForInjuries.com


25 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:23 am

And will be the key to her success!

26 Todd@PhitZone January 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

First, what a beautiful family. Second, outstanding interview. Mary Ann, outstanding work. Keep it up!

27 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

She’s amazing, isn’t she? No doubt in my mind she will reach her weight loss goals in no time! Thanks Todd.

28 Steve Youngs January 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hi Susan!

Wow, I think this is one of the best interviews I’ve read on a blog in a long long time. And no, I can’t tell you why, it just “feels” right. :-)

Mary Ann, congratulations! That’s awesome what you’ve been able to achieve so far. I had to get Google to convert your numbers to kilograms before I could see how awesome, but that’s neither here nor there. You’ve done great! Loved the “big girl pants” comment. Still lol’ing over that. :-)

Best wishes for the rest of your journey, Mary Ann.

Kind regards,

29 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

Hey Steve, I don’t think I have ever gotten such an awesome compliment in my entire life! Again, you are making me blush! Mary Ann has done amazing so far. But the thing is, I think we will see her continue to do well and blast off the remaining pounds she wants to get rid of!

Thanks for joining the conversation!

30 Bryan Thompson January 11, 2011 at 10:29 am

Susan, fantastic post, my new blog friend. :) I don’t think anyone works quite as hard as a stay-at-home mom, and particularly one who runs a daycare out of their home. :) Your friend Mary Ann is quite busy. Good for her.

For me, the clicking moment came when I turned 30. For years I had ballooned in and out, trying various diets – no fat, no carbs, no sugar (I was angry), and no smiles for the rest of my life. Then, as it turned out, I realized you need all of those things. But, you needed them in the right way. I turned 30 and had a 3rd daughter on the way and I began to realize I didn’t want to be the overweight dad who didn’t have any fun with his kids.

So, 2 things happened: 1.) I began to work out because I LOVED IT. I found something I truly enjoyed (running), that gave me an escape from stress and made me more productive and creative. And 2.) I began to eat things for the most part that truly made me feel GREAT – lots of berries and nuts and salads. It took a real mental leap before I made my physical one. Lost 50 lbs, too. And kept it off!

31 susan January 12, 2011 at 8:06 am

Hey Bryan! We are friends! Thanks so much for joining the conversation! You got that right, stay at home moms, especially those that run 2 businesses, work wicked hard. There’s never a dull moment! I am gla dyou found a great exercise and nutrition strategy that worked for you. That’s the key, really. There are hundreds of diets and exercise programs that work out there. But not all of them work for everyone. The trick is doing a little experimentation, without being discouraged by failure, and finding the one that works for you. Thanks so much for the awesome comment!

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