How I Lost 10 Pounds (and Learned to Love a Healthy Lifestyle)

Up until college, I’d never been the type to exercise. As a child, I absolutely detested P.E. I dreaded the runs around the school parking lot (my school didn’t have a track field) and couldn’t do one push up even if my gym teacher forced me to. When my mom wanted me to do workout videos with her (on VHS – remember those?) I would give up the first quarter into it and, instead, flop onto the couch. It’s unfortunate, but my favorite activities (reading, writing and drawing) all required an activity that certainly doesn’t burn calories: sitting. Hence, I’ve never built any real physical stamina or interest in being in shape.

By the time I was in college, I still detested jogging, jumping jacks – basically, anything associated with the word ‘exercise.’ I’d much rather write, read or draw on my bed or in a quiet, local coffee shop somewhere. But that attitude soon flipped inside out when I realized that the 24/7 availability of pizza, fried chicken and ice cream (courtesy of the dorm cafeteria) had resulted in a widened muffin top and heavier legs. I had gained seven pounds.

Now, I wasn’t considered overweight. I was 127 lbs at 5’4” (that’s considered the maximum average weight for someone my height), but one thing was for sure: I was out of shape. Plus, my weight-gain was making me less confident. My lack of physical stamina was affecting me emotionally, and I was desperate to have control of my body (and, subsequently, life) again. I finally signed up for a gym membership and decided to commit to a new diet plan: octo-lacto-vegetarianism (a type of vegetarianism where eggs and dairy products are permitted).

If there’s any solid advice I have for anyone who wants to lose weight, it’s to start small (even really small, if that’s what you can handle). I started exercising three times a week for thirty minutes and eventually increased that to four times a week and an hour each session. According to the websites I was reading, I knew I needed to do cardio to lose weight, so I started on the elliptical machine with level-one resistance. Weeks later, I increased my resistance level to three and then six (some people are much more intense than I am with this, but these numbers worked for me). After each cardio session I would spend 10 to 15 minutes doing basic Mat Pilates movements to tone my stomach, legs and arms.

For a girl who hated exercise in the beginning, that’s not bad, huh?

For my diet, I decided to try a plant-based diet with eggs, beans and tofu as my sources of protein. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult for me to give up meat. In the mornings, I would cook protein-heavy foods like two eggs with generous amounts of boiled spinach, broccoli, carrots and sometimes a slab of whole wheat rice the size of my palm. Lunch and dinner would follow the same formula: protein as the main course and an abundance of fruits and veggies on the side.

It was difficult to lose any weight in the beginning but, after a couple of weeks, I started dropping one pound a week. I invested in a cheap notebook I christened my fitness journal and became more diligent with tracking my exercise and dieting efforts, which actually kept me more disciplined.

Like any goal in life, losing weight is really about sticking to your goal and tracking your progress with consistency (‘consistency’ is the most important word of this last sentence). From this experience I learned that exercise is actually fun and can make you feel strong and mentally healthy, too. The feeling of being able to run an extra lap, committing to a diet plan, and achieving and surpassing goals showed me what both my body and my mind are truly capable of.


About Author

Kristine Hoang is a freelance writer and graphic artist based in Orange County, Calif. She graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in history and currently writes about food, education, career and lifestyle for various alternative weekly newspapers and online publications. Besides writing, Kristine has former experience in fashion, non-profits, and graphic design. To learn more about Kristine and her work, visit her About.Me page.

Posts By Kristine Hoang
  • Ay.

    I agree that losing weight may be more about sticking to one’s goal. I think that making small changes step by step may help in the journey.

    While weight loss could lead to a certain body type, I think that the advantages may go beyond. This is because I have read that losing weight could have positive health impact on: helping lower blood pressure, help lowering the risk of kidney stones, reduce bad cholesterol, help with the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help with knee pain.

    If you too do not like the idea of being starved by a diet or being enslaved by an extreme workout, check this page out and the video it links to:

    Losing weight and keeping it off is what seems to truly count.

  • TeriS

    My husband and I have been doing Take Shape for Life for about three months. We walk about 2.8 miles almost every day and are enjoying a lean and green meal in the evenings. The journey is great so far and both of us have lost about 30 pounds. It is always exciting to see results but more so when you have a partner.

  • Lindsay Taylor

    I have actually had some
    good results with this ebook. Since I am active on these bolgs I have found
    many tips/strategies/products on the market to help with weight loss, some of
    them worked just like a pound or two in 15-20 days of struggle, speaking of
    truth most of them does the exact opposite of what they claim. I would like to
    share something that will help you (I believe) to achieve your weight loss
    goals. Here you will find all the details- I am
    confident enough to share this with all of you because I am about 15 days into
    this and I have to say I am very pleased with the results so far! I am currently
    down 5 pounds and my massive appetite has shrunken. I am excited to see long
    term results, will definitely continue to use.

  • Jane Blue

    Great article. Weight loss can be easy if you are really motivated. You have to find diet tips that works and stick to it.

    Jane>> I share some of my tips

  • Ginny

    Everything I’ve read has said that the maximum weight for a height of 5’4″ is 144-145. I’m curious as to where you got 127 from.

  • Jane Blue

    I lost 32 pounds. But as you write in the article you have to start with small steps and do everything consistency. You wrote also about proteins like eggs and bean.

    Actually the eggs white is a fat burner and you don’t have to give up with meat cause turkey breasts, for example – is a great source of protein.

    There is something better than cardio high-intensity interval training.

    Studies show that 15 minutes of HIIT training (3 times a week) are more effective than 1 hour of jogging.

  • Jane Blue

    That’s true. It’s so much easier when you have somebody to motivate you.

  • Tanna

    Yeah so… At 5’4″ when I weighed 128 lbs in college I wore a size four. I would love to be that size again. Lol.

  • Blerina Jaupaj

    I would advise please don’t take the tablets; you are damaging your body more!

  • Ashley N Patrick Knox

    I think me and my husband have found a way to help you loose some of
    those unwanted pounds. Almost 2 months ago we started on a journey, each
    of us with our own goals. We understood how much time it was going to
    take us to reach our goals. What we didn’t expect was the instant
    results we got. There has been ups and downs for both of us, but with
    just a few simple steps we saw wonderful results. I have been able to
    shave just over 50 pounds since i had my fourth child including
    baby weight. My husband has been able to take off 20 lbs. We are both
    happy with these results but no there is still a long way to go to where
    we want to be. We can’t express any better than this, that we want this
    to be about teaching all of you on how you can get your healthy back.
    If this is of some interest to you, feel free to reach out to us and we
    can share more of our story and information. Thanks for taking the time
    to read this..

  • Alice Shockley

    I started out loving this article…since she sounded just like me as a kid. Until I saw she was NEVER OVERWEIGHT. Really? I’m supposed to be impressed that a normal-sized person stayed normal-sized and got fitter?
    And what the heck is whole-wheat rice? Was that supposed to be bread?

  • Bobb Lawrence

    i lost 20. does that count? but it is hard to be Santa when you are skinny. I had a Santa Delivers Company in Del Mar for several years way back. love that town. had house in RSF. it

  • Ellen Do
  • Bandar Bola Piala Dunia

    Feel free to visit my homepage :
    best world cup betting Online

  • Kshitiz Chauhan

    After looking at a handful of the articles on your site, I honestly like your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.Please check out my site.

  • Marvin Bradford

    This is a very interesting article that’s well written. This site will enhance what’s said here.

  • Gaby Pasca

    Hey Kristine Hoang,

    I love your work so much,so i even linked out to you in my latest blog post :

    12 Diet Secrets for How to Lose Weight Fast –
    Feel free to check it out.


    P.S. If you share my post,it wouldn`t just make my day,it would make my year.

  • Ellen Do

    Your post is great. Not everyone can lose weight like you.

    duc nhua gia re

  • AJay

    Hi Mates, Just want to recommend this product to you its really effective and backed by a 100% money back guarantee for 60 full days from your original purchase. If you’re not totally and completely satisfied with this product. Nothing will be lost if you try.just click the link.

  • Sboui Nidhal

    i want to share this product with you it worked wonders for my wife and now i’m waiting for my order it’s just unbelieveble and i think it’s not that expensive….. love it