Posted: Feb 14, 2013 1:00 PM
Just shy of Day 30 of my weight-loss challenge I stepped on the scale to discover I'd hit my goal -- with .3 pounds to spare! I did it! It wasn't always easy but I did it my way.

As I mentioned when I started this journey, I am a real mom – a lot like you. I struggled with fitting in my work out every day (yes, even for just 15 minutes), and I sometimes had to cheat. (A month without alcohol or a Diet Coke is simply too long for this woman!). I did it the way that it worked for me, and I believe that’s why I was able to achieve my goal.

Molly's progression

I thought since I started this journey with 10-steps to losing weight in 30 days, I’d create my own. These are the things that worked for me:

10. Close the kitchen

Outside of mealtime, I considered my kitchen off-limits. I am a big snacker, so cutting back on mindless stress eating and eliminating after-dinner treats helped a lot.

9. Can the candy

As I told you at the beginning of my challenge, I love the sweet stuff. I stopped buying candy that I told myself was for the kids, and once it was out of the house, I had no problem giving it up.

8. Give in to yourself… a little

If I was really craving a few chips or a beer, I allowed it. I don’t think dieting should be about total deprivation. For my real life, giving up the “Evil 6” all at once was total culture shock… so I indulged in a light Greek yogurt or a Diet Coke every now and then.

7. Get back in the game

If you’ve fallen off the diet wagon or skipped a few workouts, don’t let that be the segue to regaining the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.

6. Be accountable

Even though my sister-in-law lives on the other side of the country, we started checking in with each other daily about how our respective diets were going. Having to fess up to her about what I ate or whether I worked out or not made it easier for me to stick to my plan.

5. Recognize the small victories

With each pound or two lost, I gained a little more self-confidence. Believe me, posting a picture of myself in a bikini online is a total exercise in humility. I’m not perfect but I’m proud of each pound I’m down!

4. Make smarter choices

When dining out, which we often do, I got creative with ordering. I love pastas and carb-heavy foods but when dining out I chose salads, soups or lean proteins and veggies. I ate my carbs at home when I could control what kind (brown rice is a fave) and how much.

3. Pack it up

We do a lot of road trips and are out and about a lot which used to equate to fast-food meals on the go. Instead of relying on a roll through the drive-thru (as I would have in the past), I packed on-the-go eats like almonds, apples and string cheese to keep me from craving a Double-Double.

2. Find a treat that feels like a cheat

I mentioned my favorite frozen yogurt in my last post. My family and I like to go out for dessert, so finding a low-calorie version of a favorite treat for an occasional splurge without really blowing it was a big deal for me.

1. Make time for yourself

I think in general us moms are too hard on ourselves. Whether working outside the home or not, moms balance a lot, and we deserve to take the time to make ourselves a priority, too. Consider getting healthy and exercising the biggest me-time gift you can give yourself. It has really been great for my mind (i.e. my sanity!) above all else.

Molly's final scale photo

I am so thrilled with my results but I hope to lose a few more pounds and continue to tone up. With a little help… DailyBurn’s resident fitness queen Anja Garcia, RN, offers up some tips for how to proceed with weight loss (or maintenance) once a challenge comes to an end.

Once you achieve your original goal, it's important to celebrate. But don't forget that this is just the first milestone on a lifelong journey of health and fitness

Anja says, "Once you achieve your original goal, it's important to celebrate. But don't forget that this is just the first milestone on a lifelong journey of health and fitness. You need to keep up the momentum so that you don't fall back into old habits and undo all of your hard work. Here are my favorite tips to help you stay on track after you achieve a weight loss or fitness goal: 

Manage your eating habits with DailyBurn Balance

Molly final side view

DailyBurn Balance is a nutrition program that follows the 21-day detox nutrition plan DailyBurn Ignite. While Ignite is designed to be followed for three weeks, DailyBurn Balance is designed to be your nutrition plan for the rest of your life.

During Ignite, you eliminated the "evil 6" foods, including added sugar, alcohol, gluten, soy protein, dairy, and artificial sweeteners. We know that you can't spend the rest of your life without eating a piece of cheese pizza ever again. During Balance, you can eat a limited number of foods that contain one or more of these evil 6 foods, but once your spend your balance points, you've hit your limit for the week.

Reward yourself with new workout clothes

Many people are tempted to reward themselves with food, especially if they have been limiting treat foods for a few weeks. Don't do it! Instead, reward yourself with workout clothes.

Start a new workout program immediately

If you've been following a workout program with a beginning and an end like DailyBurn Inferno, start a new workout program immediately. If you take too much time off between programs, then you risk losing your motivation to keep a regular exercise routine.

Set new goals

Goals are powerful motivators. If you have achieved your weight loss goal, set a performance goal.

Become and inspiration to others

Serving as a healthy inspiration to others also benefits you. You'll be more likely to keep up with your new nutrition and exercise habits if other people are following your lead.

I just want to thank you all for joining me and supporting me on this journey!

More on my journey

My personal weight-loss journey
My personal weight-loss journey: Week 2
My personal weight-loss journey: Week 4