So this one was the worst!!!!…..BECAUSE NOW I AM ADDICTED!! I couldn’t stop eating the chocolate Love Grown Foods Granola! It had a perfect sweet taste that wasn’t overpowering the strawberry Chobani! I loved how they chose dark chocolate chips to bring heart health to the meal! I will definitely go for this combination instead of chocolate covered strawberries!!
Usually when people make the switch to a healthier lifestyle they go for the cupboards and throw out the cereal. Cereal can actually be healthy and full of health benefits. Before you go and throw it all away flip the box over and read the label. Try to find cereal that is full of fiber, minerals, vitamins, whole grains and fewer calories. Make sure to always measure your cereal and eat it in proportions. Cereal can be a disaster if you just poor it strait in the bowl, most likely you will fill it to the top tripling the serving. If you want to make it even more healthy you can add fresh fruits!
In my bowl I used Special K Red Berries, it’s 110 calories for one cup and with the 1/2 banana slices comes to 179 calories. Staying between 0-4g of fat in cereal is the range to shoot for, as long as the fat is coming from healthy fats. The cereal has 27g of carbohydrates, my carbohydrate goal for cereal is to stay under 30g. It is not very high in protein but most cereals aren’t. It has 2g, if you are trying to shoot for a high protein fix adding yogurt will help. It has 4g of Dietary fiber. I try to shoot for 3g and up, Fiber One has a huge serving of fiber in their cereals. You can also add a serving of benefiber to double for fiber intake. My cereal has 9g of sugars, I always make sure not to go over 11g, the fruit I add has enough sugars.
The next step into making sure your cereal is healthy is what you add to it! Most people will add milk or yogurt. Some days when I am trying to get a quick protein fix I will add a non fat Greek yogurt. I make sure the yogurt I choose is low carbohydrates and low sugar. When it comes to milk I usually use Soy Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. It is only 35 calories and full of calcium. If your strictly a milk person the best choice is skim.
Cereal can be a healthy quick fix especially if you are in a hurry, it can also really help out your budget goals. Don’t get the wrong idea about cereal, just do your research and find out which ones are the most healthy!
Have you ever had those cinnamon roasted almonds during the holidays!? Well the almonds in this granola tasted JUST LIKE THAT! I couldn’t get enough!!! Blueberry Chobani is one of my favorites, and the combination of the raisins and fresh fruit at the bottom were so yummy!!!! Another A+!!
So far the Sweet Cranberry Pecan Love Grown Granola is my favorite! You know those dried cranberries you can buy in the bags?, well the dried ones in this granola taste nothing like those! They are sour and actually taste like a cranberry. Love Grown Foods should start making their own dried fruits! The Pecans are chopped so you don’t get that powerful tart taste from a whole pecan. It went perfect with the Passion fruit Chobani! This is the first time I have tried the Passion fruit, and it was PHENOMENAL! I feel like I’m a matchmaker here!
I haven’t made a menu make over post in a while! Last night I was so hungry and not in any mood to cook, so I decided to stop at Subway. I usually order a salad or a Veggie sub, but I was surprised and happy to see that they finally offer the falafel now. I ordered the falafel on whole wheat bread with onions, lettuce, spinach, green pepper, banana pepper, and cucumber. When I got home I added yellow mustard, because for some reason they only have honey mustard, which I find odd ,most people add yellow mustard to their sandwiches. ANYWAYS, the sandwich was so delicious and came to around 260 calories. The best part of this meal was the price! I ordered a foot-long and it came to $5.00, and now I have the other half to eat for lunch!
Again I am amazed!! The sweet honey flavor of the Granola took away the sour lemon taste and gave me a lemon meringue pie flavor! Lemon Greek Yogurt from Chobani is one of my top favorite flavors, but now I don’t think I’ll ever eat it without the granola. This would also make an excellent dessert!
I have been searching everywhere for a very healthy/low cal granola! When I saw Love Grown Foods I couldn’t believe it! Most granola is around 200 calories and loaded in sugar. LGF is only 130 calories! Love Grown Foods uses honey and agave to sweeten their granola. If you need to find a location to purchase these you can go to LOVEGROWNFOODS.COM.
I bought 5 flavors of Chobani yogurt that I thought would go perfect with each flavor of granola to try out for breakfast for this week. I will keep you posted each day with how they taste!
Today I had the apple cinnamon Chobani with Apple Walnut Delight granola.
YUM! I absolutely loved these two products together! The apple walnut delight granola was a perfect touch. It was extra crunchy and complimented the yogurt perfectly. I couldn’t even tell that the granola was sweetened with agave and honey. It almost tasted like my grandpa’s apple pie. I can’t wait to try another combo tomorrow!!
When I was younger this was my FAVORITE sandwich. I created it when I was about 6 years old! I constructed a healthier version of it by making a few swaps. The combination seems very unusual but I promise the flavor will send a great shock to your taste buds!
2 Slices Whole Grain Bread (50 Calorie) Village Hearth
5 MINUTES, 5 INGREDIENT PASTA! PERFECT FOR A DORM! ALL YOU NEED IS A MICROWAVE!
I Picked up a few extra things at Whole Foods the other night. I’m trying to focus more on eating cleaner. Just because it’s coming out of a microwave doesn’t make it unhealthy, well not in this situation!
I had never tried a starfruit until tonight. The proper name for this fruit is Carambola. They are so adorable and would make perfect garnishes! I cut them up and added them to my yogurt. They are around 30 calories and full of fiber!
Last night Jeremy and I were so hungry and craving pasta, so we decided to make a dish but try to make it as healthy as possible! I don’t know about you, but when I am hungry , I always over eat pasta. We decided to go to Whole Foods because they have a larger variety of low calorie health foods.
We found four different types of Shirataki noodles, we couldn’t decide which one to try so we decided it would just be safe to buy all four and test them out. That way next time we will know right away which ones to purchase. A lot of the time people have a hard time trying to find these noodles, because they are in the refrigerator section.
It’s hard to believe these are not pasta noodles, they look just like the full carb noodles!! I will never buy pasta noodles again! These will definitely be my pasta alternatives from now on!
Servings Size : 1 1/2 Cup
Calories 120, Fat 3g, Carbohydrates 15g, Fiber 4g, Protein 6g
This is the dish Jeremy and I created. His favorite of the four choices was the angel hair, my favorite was the fettuccine. I don’t have a problem with the textures of food, but he is all about textures, so he thought the angel hair was the most similar to real pasta noodles. This is such a low carb dish if you are watching your carb intake.
4 Bags Noodles
1 Cup Cooked Shrimp
3 Cups Bell Pepper + Onion Cooked in Organic Spaghetti Suace
Valentines Day is my FAVORITE holiday. I used to plan out my Valentines Day cards during Christmas when I was in Elementary School. I refused to buy the boxes of Valentines. People always had the same ones! My mom always dressed me up in pink and helped me take a picture for my Valentines.
Valentines Day is in 32 days, it’s time to get ready! Windsor and I will be posting healthy Valentine recipes and cute ideas to get you ready! It’s all about the Fashion, Food, and of course the Love!
This is Beth and I, I’m sure you’ve seen her on my blog tons. She is my best friend in the ENTIRE world. Beth has been by my side through all my struggles. We met in High School through theater, but she was a grade ahead of me, we had no classes together so I never really got to know her, until my first college class. She was the only one I recognized and I sat down next to her. We hit it off in literally 2 minutes, from that moment we became inseparable. We found fun in the littlest things! Taking pictures, recording videos, going to basketball games having no idea what was going on, rehearsals, etc. She is like a sister to me and now that we live so far away I miss her so much, but I wanted to make this post to congratulate her on her acceptance into AMDA NYC! She is an amazing actress/model and she is going to go so far! I love her so much!!
The girl circled is Taralynn of UndressedSkeleton, a rather popular “fitblr” here on our quaint little website. In the photo, one can see the caption “She lost 50 pounds the healthy way!” under her name. What’s so bad about that? Well, nothing. Putting aside any fat-phobia, losing weight the ‘healthy way’ (i.e. eating appropriately and exercising on a regular basis) is great. But that’s not my issue. Taralynn claims time and time again that her eating habits are normal and healthy, but the truth is, they’re not.
After waking up this morning, I was linked to a couple blog post about me. I respect whoever wrote this, and everyone has the right to voice their opinions. In this post there were a lot of false accusations about my blog. I do understand how easy it is to get a precarious vibe, but if you were resourceful you would have considered taking the time to investigate deeper into my site before you began this post. Goes to show how much background you have in research considering you used “Snooks” as a reference site, that’s worse than quoting Wikipedia on a College paper. I stand firm on “ I am Healthy” and this is why:
A quick click-through of her blog brings up the following:
She addssugar-freejello to everything. In an attempt to cut out added sugars, she switches to using artificial sweeteners (in this case, aspartame). Despite the reports that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners may not actually be harmful, sugar-free jello lacks something that fruit does not: nutrients.
The reason I use sugar free jello is to slowly help those who don’t like the taste of fruits or other healthy foods by themselves. When I first started my journey I noticed how healthy grapefruits were, but I couldn’t stand the taste alone, so I sprinkled some sugar free jello over the top, I noticed this helped me eat the fruit and really enjoy it. Sugar Free Jello took away it’s tart taste, soon my tastebud created a enjoyment for the fruit alone. Sugar free jello might be lacking nutrients, but does that really matter when you are consuming, fruits, yogurts and other healthy nutritious foods a long with it? I know that if I posted “Sprinkle Jello over the top of your fruit” I would have pretentious replys to my post about how unhealthy sugar is in regular jello.
Having a blog is never a win/win situation. It’s about posting exactly what you do. Many will feel inclined your ideas and many will despise them. I don’t want to fabricate about the food I consume, that doesn’t make a reliable blog.
I do understand where you are coming from with the “dangers of the sugar free sweeteners” I have taken consideration in cutting them out. I have slowly begun to.http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com/post/8998623142/this-morning-i-decided-to-make-a-change-im-going . I used to use splenda and sweet n low in about everything I ate, that was when I had never thought about the side effects. I have diverted over to using Truvia. If you have read any of my updated recipes you will notice my baking swaps from splenda to stevia.
Is aspartame safe? (FDA)
After reviewing scientific studies, FDA determined in 1981 that aspartame was safe for use in foods. In 1987, the General Accounting Office investigated the process surrounding FDA’s approval of aspartame and confirmed the agency had acted properly. However, FDA has continued to review complaints alleging adverse reactions to products containing aspartame. To date, FDA has not determined any consistent pattern of symptoms that can be attributed to the use of aspartame, nor is the agency aware of any recent studies that clearly show safety problems.
As you can see there is no proven fact that aspartame is detrimental or fatal. I recognize that I should refrain from using it because it is artificial. I have been cutting back, but there are many foods that contain “artificial ingredients” even if they are not a fat free/sugar free food. Lunchmeat, white bread, ramen noodles, cheese, yogurt, cereal, dried fruit, etc. are all foods with high fat, and sugar content, but they are also known for artificial sweeteners and additives. The obvious solution is to always buy your foods at a Whole Food/Organic grocery store, but in reality being a young adult/teen I can’t afford to spend 100$ on each meal. I try to visit the whole foods market as much as possible, but it’s expensive, which is another reason I eat the foods that are available to me and my budget. Those who are pursuing healthy alternatives that are from whole foods can find numerous blogs online based solely on whole foods.
That’s right! I do eat my soup with a fork. Now do I eat my tomato soup or any other runny soups with a fork? Obviously not! I LOVE soup, especially in the winter months, but I focus on staying within the 2000mg of sodium per day. Some of my favorite soups contain more than 1000mg of sodium! That is A LOT! I also eat soup almost every day, so if I continued to consume tons of sodium, that could be dangerous to my blood pressure and heart. I usually eat the really chunky vegetable soups and it makes since to eat with a fork. It cuts out sodium, which only benefits your health. Of course everyone needs sodium in their diet, but too much of it can be dangerous. My family has a background of heart attacks, both of my grandpas had severe heart attacks throughout their lives, doctors had asked them to watch cholesterol and sodium for the rest of their lives, and this is why it’s important for me.
If you took t time to read my blog more thoroughly you’d realize, why this accusation is beyond false. I am very aware of how many calories one should consume each day, and everyone is different. I used to have a meal plan link on the side of my blog that had over 100 meal plans to choose from all being 1000 calories. On the top of the page was a paragraph stating “All of these meal plans are 1000 calories. Everyone’s body requires a different amount of calories based on activity and size. The reason these are 1000 calories is so you can mix and match meal plans. If you are striving for 2000 calories a day than go ahead and pick two to follow for the day. If you are striving for 1500 calories for the day, go ahead and add another half of a meal plan. I would never tell someone to shoot for 1000 calories that would be an eating disorder. When I get emails from girls talking about staying under 1000 calories I am very concerned and IMMEDIETLY tell them to start adding more. That is why there is a restricting rescue page. The reason I took this page down was because of the misunderstanding of mix and matching meal plans. I burn tons of calories at the gym, and if I was only eating 1000 calories per day I would be very ill.
I want to be forward here: I am not saying Taralynn has an eating disorder. What I am saying is that her means of dieting are not healthy and that it is unfair to herself and her readers to claim that they are.
I also want to be forward: You are stating I have an eating disorder, and that I condone it in girls around the world. I also don’t believe in diets, because they do not work in long term progress. I stay on a healthy diet not a life of dieting. If I eat something unhealthy I don’t punish myself, but if I was on a “diet” I would believe that eating unhealthy was wrong. It’s why it’s a lifestyle, and I don’t believe in dieting. My body is as healthy as anyone else’s. Now a day it’s hard to eat pure on a budget and my foods I eat are just as healthy as the foods you supposedly eat. This is not a “whole foods” blog. I do eat whole foods but not every day. I love to work out and I post ways to make it more fun. I created this blog for girls who could relate to the life I used to live. I want girls to know that there is always a way out and never to let anyone bring you down. I have dealt with bullies since I was a little girl and obviously still do till this day. Of course reading through this post this morning felt like a stab in the gut, and I contemplated on what to do. Should I let it go? Write back?… Then I realized NO ONE deserves to be put down and to be accused of false motives.
On the cover of the magazine is “Demi Lovato” a girl who has been in and out of rehab, dealt with bullies, turned to self injury, suffered eating disorders, turned to drugs and still continues to stay positive. I thought that was very inspiring and this is why I have decided to write back. It’s not fair to me to have to feel put down and accused when all I am trying to do is help girls find comfort and love. MY blog is about honesty and the truth, never sugar coated. I will continue to smile and have pride in my blog. You can take what you want out of it but I will never change it for you.
Hi there! I came across your incredibly inspirational blog through a friend of mine on Pinterest. What a miraculous thing you’ve done, congratulations!! I thoroughly enjoy what I’ve read so far and the fact that you’ve done it all as healthy as possible. So few people are working to lose the weight in the best ways for their body and the way that will help them to keep it off. I’m including a picture of me from early last year standing at the entrance to The Troll Stroll. It’s a walking path in the town of Oakland, NE where I met my boyfriend, Tyler. The local kids have spiced it up by painting pictures of trolls along the walkway and it’s maintained throughout the year for everyone’s continued use. When I met Tyler I was just under 300 lbs, I couldn’t figure out what an amazing guy like him could see in me. I had absolutely no confidence in myself which, as you know, plays a huge part in how others view you. He saw me for who I really was and has been helping me to get healthy ever since. It’s now almost a year later and I’m down to 235 lbs (about 70 lbs)! It’s a daily struggle and because I’m human, I don’t always succeed. I don’t tell people I want to be skinny, I tell them I want to be healthy. I started with small, but very influential goals; being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, being able to go jogging, getting to ride my favorite roller coaster at Worlds of Fun. I’ve achieved them all so far and I’m not done yet. Your page is so wonderful it brought me to tears and I’m truly going to continue making my change with you. Thank you for the bright light you shine at the end of the tunnel.
PS I’ve included a picture of myself prior to meeting Tyler, it’s embarrassing for me, but if you’d like to post it I think it could help motivate others out there (I’m standing on a baseball field in a floral dress). The picture with the angry bird was taken a few nights ago, it’ll give an idea of my progress. Post what you would like :)
(I’m not sure if you got this the first time I sent you this, so I will gladly send it again. That’s how serious I am about making a lasting change! :) )
My name is Caitlin, and I could not be more inspired by your tumblr. The thing I love the most about it is that you LOVE to cook, and I am in the same exact boat, which sometimes can be the death of me! However, I started eating healthier and workout more on Dec. 1, and so far I have lost about 10 pounds, I have a LONG way to go, and I was concerned about ways to stay focused and continued to perform to the best of my ability, and then Pinterest led me to your blog. Making one of those might have been on of the best things that has happened to me, because I get to see excellent stories like yours! But yours stood out to me the most no doubt because we are similar in so many ways! You rock, and you’ve earned another admirer! Which I know I am one of MANY! God Bless you and you have a very Merry Christmas!
About the photo:
So this photo was taken last summer at a friend’s pool. This is going to sound so silly but we made points to take numerous silly photos of ourselves in action in our bikinis to help us stay motivated during the colder months. I absolutely LOVE to swim, however, the chlorine tends to be damaging to my chemically processed hair. Not a problem though, my friends and I alternate from the harsh chemicals to a more “natural” setting, the beach! I just cannot stay AWAY from the sun! I guess what I am trying to say is that my motivation for staying active and healthy is just to be able to soak up those wonderful natural rays that mother nature blessed us with! Whether we play a friendly game of volleyball, jog on the strip, or just ride bikes, just the natural high of being able to soak up the sun with the people you love is invigorating!
Thanks for taking the time to read this obnoxiously long email, but you are my inspiration to be thin and healthy! I won’t say thinspiration, because most of the time people look at thinspiration pictures just to be envious and covet the visual aspect of a person, this is different! A lifestyle change is about to take place; and I CAN’T wait!
Your fellow sister in “healthihood”
I have no idea how I came across your website but it has been really great to read the progress you’ve made and see that changing habits will pay off after hard work. Through high school and into college I always struggled and could relate to everything you wrote. I’m ready for a change and for this new part of my life that will come from have the right attitude and knowledge. Thanks for the posts and reminding people that someone else has gone through the same thing and was successful!!! Best of luck in 2012.
Hey there my name is Edythe Eddinger and i wanted to enter the contest
me and my friend shannon have been loosing wait together since we made our wight loss journal this summer and decided to change our life style, loosing wight is so much easier when you have a supportive buddy. she is the one who showed me your page and you have really inspired me and my family so much that we all ran a 5k this past month at midnight to raise money for ovary cancer. reading your story has also inspired me to join track, i have been running for a few years but now i got enough guts to join and i run on the weekends with shannon, her goal is to be fit for b.l.e.t. (basic law enforcement training), My dad is the chief of police so shannon and i have become best friends. we r each others biggest supporters. And i can not wait to reed your book when you publish it, i show all of my friends your page and every time i view your page and all of your followers it motivates me knowing that im not alone. i am sixteen and as you know it is not easy to loose wait in high school, but my goal is to loose 40 pounds before this summer when my cousins come to oak island and stay with us. Thank you so much for being my inspiration.
Last year my new years resolution was to lose 50 lbs. I was determined enough that I actually achieved my goal, and it felt so great to be able to buy clothes from the cute stores again. However, once I met my goal, I didnt have the motivation to lose any more, I was lucky enough that I maintained my weight loss but I wasnt able to lose anymore. I was in a rut when I found your blog and am so excited that I now have the motivation to lose more. I would like to lose another 25 lbs this year and I feel that with your uplifting post and exciting recipes, I will be able to reach this goal. I went grocery shopping today and set myself up for success. I even bought and tried hummus for the first time, it was actually pretty good! Im excited to embark on my next weight loss journey :)
Taralynn, I was browsing pintrest and spotted you. Thank God I did! I’m 22 and have always been overweight. I’m also a mother of two boys God gave me. almost four year old and one year old. I want to give my family my all. I want to show my children that being healthy is the way. I have a small fear that if I continue to be unhealthy I’ll be in danger with health or be that embarrassing fat mom. I’ve always stuggled trying to lose weight. I get depressed easy.I don’t feel sexy to my husband.I’m always worried about what people think about me. Then it hit me after reading your blogs! I can do this! QUIT WISHING TO BE THAT HOT YOUNG MOM AND WORK FOR IT! Can’t do much by sitting around crying about it or dreaming about it. So I’ve been working out everyday at the gym! lost 8 pounds so far! I’m excited for this journey! I know its hard, but I will do anything for my kids! I want to live long and healthy to see them grow up. Thank you for your blogs and everything! You made something click in my brain. Truly inspiring. Your a role model to me, and when I reach my goal I want to be a inspiration to others and my kids. I WILL make a change with you Taralynn!
Hi Taralynn! The past few years I’ve struggled with weight, I’m 17 and I’ve finally hit my limit, there’s no way I’ll let myself get any bigger! I had troubles being motivated and every attempt ended badly :( but now that I’ve come across your blog I see I don’t have to set unrealistic goals for myself and that there is hope for me! I just need to stay focused and believe in myself. So, I’m going to lose weight in time to feel amazing in my prom dress!(: I’m using your blog to help me stay motivated and this week I’ve started working out (walking my dog every day and getting on the elliptical every other day) and eating healthier(no more junk food for me!) and I plan to stay on this track to help become a better me! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
When I first saw your blog it really inspired me to start eating healthier and have the desire to exercise. I think most girls can relate to you and feel motivated to change their lives after reading your transformation story. I went through some rough years growing up in an abusive home and I would eat to comfort my emotional pain. The only thing that helped me not gain weight was the fact that I was in Cheerleading. In college I was able to partly heal emotionally and that helped me be myself again. I met my husband and got married in January of 2011. I have been married almost a year now and I just turned 20. Since I have been married we have been moving constantly. In July 2011 we moved to Sweden for school purposes and to be adventurous. I am still hurting from all the years of pain I went through and I have seen that I have been slowly gaining weight. I am 30 pounds over what is normal for my height. After reading your blog I have decided that I am going to help myself by eating right and getting exercise. We are moving back to America beginning of Feburary 2012 and I am ready to make a change. Thanks for sharing your story and I when I lose my extra weight I will let you know!
Love your site! So thankful for the recipes and advice!
I know you’re constantly hearing this, but that’s only because it really is so true… you are a huge inspiration! I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. In high school it seemed like I was always trying to diet, but after I would stop the weight would just come right back. But now, all of that’s changed. I found your blog at the beginning of last August (about 3 weeks before I started my first year at college) and it has been a life saver, literally! Since then, I have lost 23.5 lbs… and the awesome part is that I’m not on a “diet”. Instead, I’m living a healthier lifestyle. And that is why the weight is staying off. I have about 40 lbs. more to go to reach a healthy BMI, but I know that with my healthier lifestyle and with you as a role model, I WILL reach my goals.
Over Christmas, I talked with my grandpa and aunt about being healthier and losing weight (they both would really like to lose some weight too). And that’s when the idea for “Change Jars” came to mind (as seen in my picture). We decided to each make our own jars and put in $5 when we lose a pound, $0.50 when we get at least 30 min. of exercise in a day, and $0.25 when we drink our daily amount of water. So in a sense we our paying ourselves for being healthy. Then, when we reach a goal we have some money to buy something new, like a new pair of jeans.
When my parents saw the jar I made, they asked if I would make them each one too! And they wanted me to create SparkPeople accounts for them. For the last week, they have even been going on walks each night. I’m so happy to see them try to live a healthier life too!
Since reading your blog, I have been inspired to create my own (keepingkayla.tumblr.com). I just started it a couple of days ago, so it’s not much yet, but I hope to have some of my recipes up on it soon and share my weight loss journey with others.
Thanks so much for sharing your life with us, because it has truly helped me change mine,
Kayla from South Dakota
Hello, my name is Heather Huettl and I live in Wisconsin and I can honestly say that I am a skeleton. Reading your blog gave me hope that one day I will be an “Undressed Skeleton”. But I honestly don’t know where to start. Hopefully you can help.
As a kid I was very active. My grandfather owned a farm and I worked there constantly throughout my life and I was a very athletic size. I was considered a healthy body weight and I could even call myself skinny. But that all changed when I turned fifteen.
On my fifteenth birthday my dad died in a car accident on his way home from my softball game, (he was also my coach and best friend). My life was shattered. My mom and my sister did everything we could to hold ourselves together and if I didn’t have them I don’t know where I would be. My mom and sister took it hard, but I took it the worst. Several times I thought of suicide and my family was always there to help me through the rough times. But there was no one to stop myself from eating, and at the point I couldn’t even control myself. Going on birth control to control my acne didn’t help and soon my self-esteem crashed completely. I resorted to more baggy clothes. I was still in sports and kept good grades in high school, but inside I was terrified. None of my former friends knew how to talk to me because they were afraid they would hurt me, and some of them did on purpose. One day a girl told me that my dad had deserved to die. I don’t think after that day I was ever the same. My dad was a great man; he was a father, a son, an uncle, a coach, and a best friend to many. The line to get into his wake was over three hours long, you can’t tell me that a man life that deserved to die. I was frustrated, and I’d eat. But at that point I was in three sports (volleyball, basketball, and softball) so I was active enough to keep my increasing weight around an average. I also never drank in high school so my weight was increasing but everyone said “You’re just turning into a woman.”
All I could think of when people said this was, “Umm, no! I’m depressed, I feel like crap, and sleep doesn’t come easy”. Around my sophomore year of high school I started a love/hate relationship with candy. In between classes, after school, before practice, after practice, before games, after games and just about everywhere in between I had to have my sugar fix. I’d have a stash in my locker at all times. It just wasn’t good. But I was still only putting on some weight so while everyone thought I was okay, inside I was crushed. So I’d eat more.
My junior year I was named prom queen in my small high school and I had a blast, I was still an average/athletic size at that point. I looked pretty great in my dress but inside I was still feeling terrible. I just didn’t feel very healthy. I thought to myself that I’d begin to work out more on my own.
The summer before my senior year, I became addicted to working out. I began to be able to run farther and faster and I had never been so happy with myself. But something was wrong. In my workout fix, I had stopped eating. It wasn’t even intentional. When I would work out, it would wipe out my appetite, most times completely. At this point I was looking in the mirror and thinking I looked so good. I was proud. One day I got sick, I thought it was just the flu. I had to work that afternoon but I figured if I slept in a little bit more and took a long shower I’d be okay. Wrong. I went to work and within five minutes I collapsed. I began to seizure and was taken to the hospital, the ride was 45 minutes and I had the seizure the whole ride, they couldn’t get it to stop. The worst part, I was awake the whole time. My friends had to watch me get towed away in the ambulance with tears and makeup running down my face. I was so scared.
Many tests and a couple weeks later, they still knew nothing of how the seizure came to be. The best guess was that I had viral meningitis (an infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.) But considering it can only be tested for with a spinal tap I didn’t know for sure if that’s how I got sick. They figured it was just a freak incident. Between working out in the hot weather outside, to being sick, and not eating because I was sick and working out with a little bit of dehydration, it was an accident waiting to happen.
When I recovered from that (I slept for almost two weeks) I also had to get my wisdom teeth taken out, which was another week without working out. Somewhere in this mess my boyfriend and I broke up. Basically I had lost everything that I had spent the entire summer working towards. The worst part was the loneliness of missing my dad and feeling as if I had failed him.
My senior year rolled around and I was salutatorian. I had worked all four years of high school and I was happy. I was a healthy weight. But I felt like I could look better and feel better about myself. But I thought that college would be the perfect start over. New friends, new lifestyle, and a future I could curve to make my own.
I am eighteen years old and a freshman in college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, (otherwise known as the biggest party school in the state.) I love college and I have lots of friends that support me. I am ready to make a change in my life. To become a healthy size once again and be able to tell myself that I could wear a bikini with no fear, to be able to go out on a date and not fear that my arms or stomach will show.
The first couple of weeks of college I tried the party scene and realized that I like meeting new people but that I honestly don’t care that much for getting drunk because of how it treated my body. The food here is definitely not the healthiest either. I put on around 15-20 pounds since I’ve gone to college and I’ve never been so upset with myself. I stopped drinking and started working out again. I got rid of my unhealthy food, especially my best friend called candy. But the stress of college put me into a shell. But I’m ready now, for the change that I’ve put off for so long.
This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, it’s a life changing resolution made for myself.
Because the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and Taralynn your blog has encouraged me to take the first step. But I need help and I’m begging you to help me.
Hello:) My name is Ana and I’m a Spanish teenager who has been inspired by you, actually, your my role model! :)
It maybe sounds crazy, but it is, you and your blog have inspired me. I really want to make a change. I MUST make a change!
I’m tall (5´87”…I don’t know if I write it well, I’m 1,78m), but that doesn’t mean I have to be as fat as I am. I’m 176lbs (80kls)
and I hate my body! But I’m making a change, I don’t drink sodas, I eat more salads and lets fats, my goal is to reach the 149,6lbs with a healthier life, doing sport, and changing my ways for June, when it’s my graduation. I want to enter in the hall of my highschool and saw everybody’s faces saying “wow! that’s the fat girl I used to laugh of?”
I’ve started my own blog of a healthier life and I also join SparkTeen. I took that photo in my bedroom, just after finish a long 2 hours walk with my mum, I think she would make a change to!
P.S:My English is horrible! (that’s another thing I had to change)
I got motivated after reading your blog, especially after all of this Holiday eating and left overs sitting around the house. I’m a college student and I know how hard it is to keep up with a diet. I plan on reading into everything you have, including your grocery list so I can kick start my roommates in being healthy also. This photo was taken when we decided to go hiking for the day and be active, we had a fun day and it was better than laying around in the apartment. When we get back to school we plan to hike at least once a week, if more.
Thank you for the motivation!
Happy New Year!
I will Make a change
Thank you for all you do, Taralynn!
I am a 29 year old, single mother of an amazing 3 year old girl, who just
finished college in December or 2011. I need to make a change for myself and
her. After I had my daughter I rocketed to 245 lbs. which is about where I am
still at currently. Now that I have finally finished my degree in middle school
education, I have no reason to not get healthy again. When I was a senior in
High School I lost 80 plus pounds and entered college my freshman year at the
smallest I have ever been. After I left school and began making some
bad/unhealthy decisions in my life I gained all of it plus more back. A few
years later I had my daughter which didn’t help the situation. Now I am a single
mother passing along the same bad decisions that I have been making to her too.
That is when I have to say enough is enough. I can NOT let her be the fat girl
in school like I always was. I have to make better decisions and stand up and be
the healthy parent that she needs. I am afraid that if I do not get healthy with
you, she will be left alone. There is no father in her life, so if she losses me
because I am not healthy she will have nobody. I am very fortunate that I have
found your blog and web site. I have read it many times over so I can find my
own way to introduce a healthy lifestyle into our lives. This is the beginning
of our NEW and HEALTHY lifestyle all with your help.
Thank you in advance. I will lose 40 pounds by the middle of May and I will walk
in my college ceremony 40 pounds lighter and it will all be thanks to you!!!! I
will send you pictures of my success.
I live in London in the UK and have recently (very luckily) stumbled across your blog. Immediately I saw myself in you and you have inspired me to get healthy and make a change. I have had enough of feeling uncomfortable and want to feel healthy and fit. Thank you for taking your time to inspire people from all over the world. I will make a change… with you! xxxx
It is the first of January and I feel full of hope for the new year. I want to MAKE A CHANGE and I want to do it RIGHT. You are the only person out there that has shown me a way that works for ME and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for inspiring me and showing me how to improve my health and my appearance, and still be able to go out and enjoy delicious food and cook up a storm for my friends and family too! I commit to losing 40 pounds this year, and for the first time, have fun doing it! I will send you a photo when I reach my goal, so that you can see how your change has created a wave that has reached me in the United Kingdom and transformed my life. I have faith that I can do it!! Thank you Taralynn. Lots of love xox Vicky
Hi Taralynn! I’d like to thank you for being such an inspiration to me. I’ve gained about 20 pounds since starting college, and your blog has inspired me to not only lose the weight, but get in great shape, too. I suffer from a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome that makes me feel very sick at times, so finding the motivation to work out is difficult. Your blog inspires me daily; I have worked out every day for 3 weeks, am choosing healthier food options, and am updating my blog (http://semisweetblog.wordpress.com/) more often to keep myself accountable! I am starting to notice changes in my body already! I cannot say thank you enough, and I WILL make a change with Taralynn!
I’m so thankfull for Your tumblr, You’re my biggest inspiration for this (new) year.
In this year I’ll have the 20th birthday and I’m so motivated to loss some weight. Thanks You I believe that this year will be the best year ever, because I know that dreams can come true even my dreams - fat girl dreams, because on this freaking planet there’re people like me and You and we can also be happy, healthy and proud of ourselves. I’m tired of being the heaviest of all my friends. All I want is to feel confidence, no more depressed, no more cry and no more broken dreams. Time to grow up. Woop!
Thank You again, and please - stay with us Darling!
Monika K. (from Poland - yup, sorry for my english)
I hope it’s not too late to enter the I Will Make A Change Challenge. I just saw a link to your blog on pinterest and was so inspired I had to take part. Attached is my photo as entry for the contest.
I am making a change because I recently received news that I couldn’t jog (participate in high impact exercise) anymore because of a foot injury. After hearing that I just gave up. But after reading your inspirational blog I decided to do something…anything to start moving again! I have decided to use the elliptical available at my work and build myself back up. I also purchased a video for home that is a low impact exercise routine that I want to try out. Taralynn you are right, I can’t do it all right now, I have to take one step at a time. Slowly introduce a new way of eating, exercising and thinking about my lifestyle. While exploring your blog a few friends started asking me about my new plan so I have shared your blog with them too. With the help of your blog we can all encourage one another to achieve success!
Thank you for sharing your journey.
You are such an inspirational person! You are an amazing example of what a
person can do if they set their mind to it. Short bio about me..I was always in
really great shape until I was a sophomore in high school and diagnosed with a
rare form of epilepsy. I was put on medicine that made me gain 20lbs, caused
extreme fatigue, and depression. I fell into a horrible place for a long time,
ALWAYS battling my self-esteem issues strongly based on my weight. After a
couple of years in college I reached an all time low, and for the first time, I
admitted to needing help. I took a semester off from college to get my mental
and physical health under control. I was in and out of the hospital, on all
different kinds of medicine, and struggling. In the picture is my dog
Hannah(holding the sign in her mouth!). When I adopted her, she was a starving,
flea infested puppy with bald spots all over her body with no hair because she
had mange! I immediately fell in love with her! She was a big turning point in
my life, she needed me as much as I needed her. That semester, I was able to
get off some of the medicine that was causing the depression and weight gain.
She helped me get out of bed and out of the house to exercise. However, from
time to time, I will fall back into unhealthy eating habits. I want to be
better. Your blog has helped me get to a great start. My point is, I WILL make
a change with Taralynn.
Now I'm off to my evening jog!
My name is Breanna, and I am from Washington State. In 2008 I had major back surgery and have been going through health problems and more surgeries ever since. I have always been thin but being out of the game for so long has ended up with me gaining over 40 pounds. For months I have been trying to find the right motivation to get me going with a healthy lifestyle, even though I am not able to exercise the way I should due to medical stuff. Finding your blog was an amazing thing for me. You are such an inspiration
So, in my picture you see some of your Banana Breakfast Bred and pre-cut fruits and veggies that now live in the front of my fridge. By eating healthier and doing some moderate exercise I hope to lose about 20 pounds by the summer. I will be taking pictures every week and will keep you updated! Thanks for all the inspiration!
I’ve been a huge fan of your healthy tips for a while now. Your story is so inspirational and an amazing transformation. Recently in college, I’ve gained a bit of weight. It’s hard to be healthy when the cafeteria doesn’t seem to have a great source of nutrients in their food or any type of whole foods. I have a disease called Ulcerative Colitis. It causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Because of my disease, my colon stopped functioning completely, so now I need to be very conscious of my food selections. I can’t eat any red meat, or too many dairy products, but your site has showed me the power of Almond Breeze and white meat/fish! I can’t wait to get back in shape and start anew with eating healthy. The most important thing in life is to make sure you treat your body well. You are absolutely right; it’s not about being on a diet, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle. The numbers don’t matter when it comes to weight. As long as you listen to your body, and feel good in your skin, you’re doing something right! Thank you so much for being a leader for me. I never thought I could live healthy and have it be ENJOYABLE. I love running and cooking, and wouldn’t change it for anyone!
P.S. My father is Greek and Persian, and makes tons of yummy ethnic foods that are delicious and healthy. My favorite entree of his is called “Feta Cheese & Cucumber Pita Pockets”. It is made exactly how it sounds. Cucumber slices, low fat feta cheese slices, shoved in toasted pita pockets. The combination is amazing and brings out a lot of Greek traditions! Hopefully you can give it a try and let me know how you like it!
Thanks again for everything,
I’m Mandy Marquardt, I’m 20 years old, and I have Type 1 diabetes. It’s so motivating, and inspiring that you have touched not only my, but so many other people’s lives. You’ve certainly impacted my life by teaching me better eating habits, and positive lifestyle changes.
My life motto: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
I’m a cyclist for a team called Team Type 1, our mission is to strive to instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes. With appropriate diet, exercise, treatment and technology we believe anyone with diabetes can achieve their dreams. Being a Type 1 diabetic, I’m proud to be an advocate representing this team all over the world on and off the bike, and a role model for other diabetics.
Over Thanksgiving break, Team Type 1 and I went to Rwanda to bring over diabetes supplies for the people of Rwanda. While the Men’s Professional cycling team were racing, I was there as a diabetes ambassador, riding all over Rwanda each day. It’s was definitely the most incredible experience of my life, almost even heartbreaking having to see individuals in struggle for diabetic supplies, and begging for food. It was amazing to see the culture, and engage with the people as well. Seeing Rwanda on the bike was breathtaking and gave me a different perspective on life.
My body is my engine, and I rely on it everyday. You’ve taught me desserts can be healthy, and tasty! I appreciate everything you’ve done, and what you’re doing. I’d be an honor to be recognized by you.
Photo: I’m on your far right, in the green. The photo was taken in Rwanda over Thanksgiving break in 2011.
Thank you for inspiring me to inspire others!
Hey Taralynn! First let me start by saying I’m a big fan of yours. I have been wanting to “get fit” for awhile now and never quite found the motivation to do so until I stumbled upon Pinterest, which led me to your blog. I have recently been eating MUCH healthier, which was especially hard the first week, and because of your challenge, decided to make a leap and exercise. I used to run cross country in high school (4 years ago) and basically stopped once I graduated, continuing to eat whatever I wanted. This, of course, led to a large weight gain. Normally a very fit and petite person, I began hating the way I looked and would often complain without doing anything about it. I just couldnt seem to get the motivation.
Since you put up the “Make a Change Challenge” I have begun running again (up to three miles outside and only one mile on the treadmill….I hate treadmills). I decided I want to be ambitious and set a goal for myself, something I can do to stay focused on being healthy while achieving something off my bucket-list: I am going to run a half marathon! The event is in Rochester, NY at the end of April and with your blog, I believe I can make this change of my usual lazy habits. Whenever I feel a loss of motivation or like eating a huge chocolate cake late at night (I have a major nighttime binge issue that I’m overcoming), your blog, along with Pinterest, keeps me on track and focused to keep making that change! Cant wait to let you know how the half marathon goes!
I’m a new reader to your blog. I found a few healthy snack ideas on pinterest and ended up spending 2 hours reading post after post on your blog! I am addicted to your site and its not because of your recipes or work out plans, its YOU! It’s your motivation, determination and that big healthy smile; you’re truely an inspiration Taralynn.
I won’t lie, I’ve never struggled with weight loss. I’ve always been the tall & skinny girl. So why the interest with the undressedskeleton? I’m not healthy. I try to be, I really do, but I have such a weakness for McD’s (aaah I said it haha). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just eat crap all the time but I don’t eat as well as I’d like not to mention I don’t feel healthy. When I started reading your blog I thought to myself “look at this girl, she looks so happy and healthy” and that’s why I’m hooked to your blog. You’re constantly inspiring me to be a better me, simple as that.
What I’ve learned by reading about your success is that I need be better prepared (fail to prepare, prepare to fail). I love that you plan every one of your meals and snacks! I realized that since I don’t do this I often forget to eat breakfast and then end up eating too much for lunch, or I don’t bring a mid afternoon snack so by the time I get home from work I’m too tired and too hungry so I order a pizza.
I’m 23 and still adjusting to having a career and a lot of times I blamed my job for making me tired or stressed but really its my eating habits and the lack of exercise. I’m always on the go and I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from you about what to eat when In a hurry and how to prepare for the times when I am rushing out the door and need a quick meal. I’ll be damned if someone tells me that eating a poptart is better than eating greek yogurt with a little sugar free jello sprinkled on top! COME ON! I’m busy but not too busy to eat better and move around a bit all I need is a little more planning and you as my motivator!
So, I vow to make a change with Taralynn!
-Never will I go without eating breakfast!
-I’ll always pack snacks!
-I’ll plan out my meals for every day of the week!
-I won’t wake up too late and forget to pack a lunch and end up at the drive through! (if I do, I will get a salad and a yogurt!)
-I will eat grapefruit with sugar free jello as my mid morning snack because its better than 2 apple pies at the golden arches! (anyone who thinks otherwise can kiss my skinny white a$$)
-I will work out a few days a week and take stretch breaks at work!
Here’s to being healthy and happy ( and to you Taralynn!)
I am making a change this year. Afterall, I turn 30. With two small kids to keep up with, I need a leaner and stronger body to work with.
Thanks for the inspiration and all the yummy recipes.
I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to stumble upon your site one night. As I read your story, I related and connected to many of the pains that you faced concerning your weight and overall health. I was relieved to find such a strong and empowered, beautiful young woman taking a stand to raise awareness on living healthy and happy. I have struggled with weight issues my entire laugh and endured an abundance of teasing that ultimately destroyed all sense of self-esteem or self-confidence in me. I have spent the last few years trying to rebuild both of these and while it’s been difficult, I am finally finding peace.
When I was 13 years old, I joined Weight Watchers with my mom, one of my best friends at the time and her mom. We all needed to renovate our eating habits and for a while we all helped each other out, but as my supporters started to drop off the program, I used my determination to stay on track and not give up and I lost 61 pounds. However, I realized during high school, when I gained half of what I initially lost, that having friends and supporters in the journey to a healthier lifestyle is the most important component in the process to changing one’s lifestyle. After my first year of college, I was disgusted with who I had become and vowed to change my own self-image and make myself healthier. I joined a support website called myfitnesspal.com and quickly made friends with some people who are constantly there to support me and with their help and my willpower and belief in myself, I managed to lost 30 pounds over the summer. I stayed quiet at first about my healthier lifestyle changes outside of the website, but soon my friends started to notice that I looked thinner, healthier, and stronger and they asked me what I had been doing. I then became all to eager to share my secrets with them about how I found creative ways to exercise and new healthy recipes to make and how much better I felt. I wanted them to feel the same empowerment and joy that I was now feeling. Pretty soon my friends were calling me “their inspiration”, making a permanent smile set on my face. One person really can change a group of people, which ultimately expands and creates a network of healthier choices.
I continue to maintain my goal weight (the lowest weight and healthiest I have ever been) and continue to try and inspire and motivate my friends around me to make healthy choices. For example, the picture I am attaching shows me surrounded with a healthy dinner that I made with a friend. We made your healthier version of chicken nuggets (which even my twin sister asked if I would make again when we are back at our college apartment because she loved them so much) and also some sweet potato fries, a salad, and the green bowl is a healthier recipe for vanilla cupcakes that we topped with your brilliant idea to use marshmallow creme instead of frosting. Every item was a big hit and the perfect meal to treat ourselves to after a Zumba fitness outing together. I absolutely love hanging out with my friends in this way because we have a blast, get a workout, eat healthy, and can talk about ways to stay healthy up at college. I am so blessed to have found your blog because I can relate and your recipes are perfect to beat a spout of doubt about how far I have come. You should be incredibly proud to have your site come so far, you are talented, strong, and courageous and the perfect face and story to represent all of us “skeletons” that are finding our way back into the light with new confidence and a new urge to expand our knowledge of healthier lifestyles to as many friends and people as possible! I will continue to help make a change with you, Taralynn!
This morning around 7 AM Grumples was barking to go outside, so I figured I’d suck it up and go out there with him without putting on shoes, a coat, gloves, hat, etc. I was standing there shivering and mumbling “okay Grumples hurry up, im cold, ahhhh”, well when he was finished I went to go into the house and I had locked myself out. “REALLLLLLLLY????” I thought. I was standing there on the porch trying to figure out what I was going to do. I was in yoga pants, a T-shirt, and slippers. My phone was in the house along with my house keys. Grumples was loving it, playing in the yard and I was shivering with a blank mind. All I could think about was how cold It was, how bad I wanted coffee, and I was going to miss Live with Kelly! . Finally the neighbor lady came out with her dogs and I asked if I could use her phone. I was about to dial, and then I realized I didn’t know Jeremy’s number because I’m so used to texting lol I called my mom so she could get a hold of him and thank goodness she did, but he didn’t get the message until two hours later. After I got into the house I hurried up brewed some coffee, made some hot oatmeal and hopped into bed to watch the last 3 minutes of Live With Kelly! I havnt moved since, but Jeremy and I are going to the gym tonight to shoot basketballs and get a nice work out in, so let the lazy begin.