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My Weight Loss~One Year Later

Today is the one year anniversary of my weight loss triumph. I can’t believe it’s been a year…it feels like 10 years ago! I’m happy to say that I’ve kept it all off…fluctuating down a few…and up a few…but pretty much staying at about an average of 132, which is technically 2 pounds less than I was a year ago.

weight loss one year later

{I tried to stand at the exact same angle as best I could!}

I took the middle picture above during the 2nd phase of the 6 week cleanse, of which ended March 21st of 2012.


It always seems that GETTING the weight off is the biggest part of the battle, with so much focus on how people do it, but KEEPING it off is equally difficult and rewarding all at the same time.

I don’t have a ton of advice or tips other than what I already shared first in my Quick Weight Loss Post, or my Healthy Living  post, or my 6 month follow up post, but I will say this: YOU MUST EXERCISE REGULARLY TO KEEP IT OFF.

From my highly scientific trial and error of just ME, I’ve made exercise a non negotiable priority at LEAST 4 days a week. The first 6 months it was 6 days a week without fail. But in the past 6 months, I’ve slacked some weeks and only exercised 4 days most weeks.

But I’m happy to say, I’ve also enjoyed food, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy food again AND keep it off. By enjoy, I mean that in the month of December, I ate a whole lotta treats, and I make cookies at least weekly,  I get dessert at restaurants, and I eat WAY too many chips when we eat Tex-Mex.

I’ve retrained my expectations of portions, and thinking about my treats and not just eating M&M’s that I don’t even really like…just because I see a bowl sitting there. I don’t have dessert every day, and I try to have fewer carbs with dinners. I just have less rice or pasta and more veggies/meat.

It’s a daily mental battle. Eating and Exercise is for everyone–EVERYONE. It’s a tough game we play with ourselves, a darn hard one that won’t go away…so we gotta decide what is important to us.

will power

Here are just a few things that I try to do that help me:

  • stick to eating every 2-3 hours
  • keep packs of almonds in my purse
  • keep fresh fruit on hand
  • make a simple salad for lunch most days
  • make whatever for dinner, but eat on a small plate
  • lessen the carbs, focus on meat/veggies in meal
  • drink lots of water
  • dessert during the day is ideal, not every night
  • no eating after 7pm (if I’m up late, I just drink lots of water)
  • Schedule out my weeks around my exercise time
  • weigh yourself just to keep in check…if it’s high, be extra cautious and it goes back down

I’ll admit, though the scale is the same…..I’ve filled out in spots that I’m not happy with. I’m trying to focus on toning myself, but I haven’t tried very hard. I’m sure no one else notices, but I notice spots that a few months ago looked/felt better. I focus too much on the number, and should just monitor myself better. Who knows….

Anyway, I get lots of emails asking about my progress, also asking for tips on the hcg method I used to lose weight, and I get to cheer people on as well–that has been fun! Also fun to hear the success stories from others brings me joy. I’m not a poster child, nor do I want anyone to feel accountable to me just because they read my story and they may or may not have sustained the regimen. We each find success in our own way.

If I can inspire you to change habits, then I’m happy to. I still can’t believe that I’m in this body, that I actually LIKE the way I look, when really I was never satisfied before…even before I had babies. I’ve still got jiggles, and I still drool over amazing stomachs (I’ve seen people with 4 kids have amazing stomachs–it CAN happen!) but I feel really good.

My small bit of advice if you are struggling to LOSE weight–it is more about what you eat than how you exercise. Exercise is important, but if you are eating daily treats and exercising, you likely won’t lose much..even if you are counting calories and staying low. You HAVE to change how you eat to lose. I’ve found that maintaining–keeping up my exercise is what keeps me the same–even if I don’t eat so great all the time.

Thanks to those of you who care enough to ask about my progress, it’s been a great year where I’ve felt stronger, more energy, and just pleased with myself in how far I’ve come…and that I’ve been able to maintain.

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. Kristen … you look great! Awesome job at going away on Vacation and keeping it off! Keep up the great work you are an inpiration to many…including myself!

  2. You are looking fabulous!! Your story is inspiring to me (someone who struggles with some extra weight) and I LOVE your tips as they are reasonable not outrageous like most things you read :)
    Thanks for sharing your very personal story!
    Kimberley recently posted..Weekly Meal PlanMy Profile

    • Kristen Duke says:

      THank you so much for commenting, Kimberley, hearing from those that read make me feel it IS worth it to share!

  3. You look fantastic! Thanks for the motivation!
    McKenzie @ Girl Loves Glam recently posted..Springster KPVI More Segment: Spring and Easter DecoratingMy Profile

  4. I’ve been going through my own weight loss struggle after the birth of my second child. Your story resonates with me and I’m so happy to see you’ve managed to commit to keeping the way off. You look FABULOUS!!!! So happy for you. And thanks mucho for sharing your story.
    Dianne @ Skinny Seahorse recently posted..Do I Really Want to Have it All?My Profile

  5. Rebecca Ashby says:

    You really do look fantastic!! Great job friend!!

  6. Good for you to have kept the weight off. I think maintaining is, in some ways, harder than losing. Congratulations!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      it’s been a year of stress with maintaining….but now I feel confident in what i’ve done and hopefully will stress less this year!!

  7. Bekki Johnson says:

    You are an inspiration! I have a few more pounds to lose than you did, but reading stories like yours make we hopeful that I can do it, too! Thanks for sharing!!


  8. You look incredible–and so very happy! What a great accomplishment!

  9. Congratulations! You really do look great. My husband has been doing a challenge since the new year, and he’s lost 30 pounds! I’m so proud of him. He’s been following the plan on, and is basically eating the Paleo diet. He doesn’t like to label his “diet,” but we’ve figured out that Paleo is pretty much what he’s doing — even though he didn’t set out to follow that particular eating plan. :) He also works out six days a week. Amazing!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      haha! yeah, I called mine a “cleanse” as a kick start to a new lifestyle…it’s all semantics;) workouts HELP KEEP IT OFF!!!

  10. You are very aware of what you eat,when you eat it, and how much you exercise. Such awareness no doubt is key to your success. Well done!

  11. wow, that’s amazing. You kept it all off and you look just great!!!

    I signed up with a personal trainer and joined Weigh Less a month ago. And sadly (!) what you say is exactly what I realised – you have to change your eating FOREVER if you want to keep the weight down and then the exercise I’m finding is to keep me firm and toned, not flabby.

    It’s been a revelation to me that I can NEVER just relax with it all and keep my weight down (!!!).

    I’ve also started eating on a small plate – helps a lot so I don’t feel deprived with those small carb portions :)
    Marcia (123 blog) recently posted..School classmates’ parties, cliques and mean girl behaviourMy Profile

  12. Way or go Kris! You look awesome.

  13. You look awesome!! Love the outfit in the pics too. :) Good for you for keeping the weight off. That is hard work!

  14. Awesome! You look great. I am working on getting my butt in gear. It was sooo awesome to meet you this weekend!
    Sarah Halstead (@InTheMomentWith) recently posted..BlissDom Photowalk | Gaylord Texan {WW #85}My Profile

  15. I’ve been thinking about doing this for months. I, too, live in Austin and am curious if the diet was supervised by your PCP or did you go to a weight loss clinic? Thanks for the candid post. It really is inspiring!!!

  16. Hey Kristen! You look awesome. I am just finishing up phase 2 today and I was wondering if you started to exercise during the 3 week maintenance? I can’t seem to find any answer on this. Any help would be great. Thanks!