Wednesday, September 21

From "Fat" and Happy to Lean, Clean and Ecstatic


I have been healthy and active my entire life. Well. . . almost my entire life. I participated in sports and danced competitively through high school and was one of the few girls I knew not to gain the freshman fifteen in college. In fact, collegiate cheerleading, running and tae bo (remember that craze?) kept me so fit I graduated college at 110 lbs.

Law school renewed my motivation to run as it was my only form of stress relief. I started running every morning, eventually working my way up to my first half marathon, followed by three more half marathons, a full marathon and a sprint triathlon.

After law school I discovered a new "sport". . . . kickball. For those who aren't familiar kickball isn't really a sport at all but rather an excuse to spend the day drinking excessive amounts of beer. Add to that the fact that I was now living in a trendy Santa Monica neighborhood with bars on every corner, the closest to my apt specializing in "southern food" (fried pickles anyone??) And I now had enough money to eat out occasionally . . . or frequently as the case may be.

By Christmas of 2010 I weighed a whopping 138 lbs. Almost 30 lbs more than when I graduated college! This is when I decided enough was enough and made it my new years resolution to lose 10 lbs.

I launched my "weight loss plan" the first week of January...only it wasn't much of a plan. I thought once I started working out regularly the weight would fall off. But I was working out every day, including twice a week with a trainer, and losing less than a pound a week! After the first month I had only lost 3 lbs. I was exhausted, frustrated and discouraged.

Then I remembered hearing about Tone It Up. I hadn't thought I needed it at the time. Afterall, Tone It Up focused on nutrition and what I needed was to get my @#$ off the couch and exercise. This was of course before I realized weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. 20%?!? No wonder I wasn't losing weight. . . my "plan" was missing the most important component!

Reading through the Tone It Up nutrition plan I realized that, although I had been doing almost everything wrong, the changes I needed to make were actually very simple. Soon I was losing 1-3 lbs a week, was full of energy and felt better than I had in years. I met my goal of losing 10 lbs in less than two months and, although I stopped consciously trying to lose weight, I have continued to live the "Tone It Up" lifestyle (eating clean, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly.) Just recently I weighed myself and was shocked to find I have lost five more pounds bringing the total to 15lbs. What I wouldn't have given to lose weight without trying back in January . . . and now I have:)

I hope you enjoy the recipes, advice and personal anecdotes I have provided here. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have about weight loss or "clean" eating. It motivates me as much as it does you! Good luck :)


  1. Lara, you are such a gem! Knowing you, I know how hard this must have been to ‘blast to the world’…not to mention, just posting pics when you’re unhappy with yourself and your look. This is such an inspiration to people that aren’t “overweight’, but just need to still lose those extra pounds and get ignored by society’s target market. So thank you for sharing your heart!!! Your healthy heart…..

  2. Thanks Amanda!! I cringe every time I look at the "before" pic in the bikini. I wanted to leave it off the blog but it wouldn't have nearly the same effect. ("You're skinny . . . we get it.) Haha.

    I know you're working hard too and I can't wait to hear about your amazing results. From not quite overweight to DEFINITELY not overweight;)

  3. I came across this blog and I'm so happy I did. I started the TIU plan a few weeks ago around the same time I was competing in a pageant. I had amazing success with the 7DSD, but afterwards my appetite definitely got the better of me. I'm finally starting to understand the TIU plan, and really understanding the principles. Thanks so much for this blog.

  4. Thanks for sharing. You look great. I also have the same difficulty with accepting the fact that nutrition is key to weight loss. I'm small, but I need to tone up, especially my mid-section. I do lots of cardio and tone it up videos. Maybe I just need to purchase the plan. I always have trouble with healthy eating though. Is it easy?

  5. It was much harder in the beginning when I didn't want to wake up early or take time out of my schedule to make meals. But it's sooo easy now that it's habit. In fact I really look forward to my time in the kitchen on sunday night or in the morning before work. The plan was invaluable to me because it taught me how to eat "clean" and provided me with the framework I needed to continue on my own. (Although I still use tiu recipes;)

  6. MacKenzie I'm so glad tiu is working for you! I absolutely agree about the principles. It's funny looking back on how I used to eat and realizing I wasn't nearly as healthy as I thought it was! It has completely transformed both my kitchen and my attitude towards health and nutrition...

  7. I just started the Tone It Up regimen and found your blog while I was looking for a TIU-friendly recipe for dinner tonight... I am so glad I did! I can relate to a lot of what you're saying (beer) and (beer) I love the look of (beer) all of your recipes. Definitely bookmarking for the future! Good work and best of luck to you in the future...