How I Lost 100 Pounds in 11 Months

Mar 3, 2014 | Fitness, Health

To celebrate Focus on Fitness month, we're sharing this incredibly inspiring guest post from our friend Diana from Livy Loves to Run. Find out how she lost 100 pounds and pick up a few tips and tricks to jumpstart your own weightloss journey.

learn how I lost 100 pounds, from Fun Cheap or Free

Hi! I'm Diana, and I lost 100 pounds in 11 months. It's very common for people to ask “how did you lose the weight?” or “how did you do it in under a year?”

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Though I have plastered my tips and progress on social media like Instagram, I decided to write up a post explaining what exactly I did to lose 100 pounds…and am still doing.


before and after 100 pounds weight loss, from Fun Cheap or Free

First, a quick disclaimer: every weight loss journey is different! For me, here's what has worked well:

  • I count calories and track them thru my fitness pal app that is free. In the beginning, I'd eat between 1400-1700 calories, it just varied day to day.
  • I eat eggs, ground turkey, apples, peanut butter, bananas, chicken, protein shakes, turkey burgers, broccoli, cauliflower, almond milk, low-calorie pasta, and just basically as clean and healthy as I can be.  It was a learning curve, in the beginning, to figure out what to eat, but that's why I love calorie counting because I can eat a piece of cake and still stay on my “diet”.

Since I have learned quite a bit about myself and how my body reacts to certain foods, I eat 1300-1500 calories a day.  For the most part, I eat the same types of foods.  I used to have a cheat meal once a week but now I have limited that to twice a month.  My body doesn't crave the foods anymore like it used to.  When I eat junk, I don't perform as well when I run and I get extremely sick.


woman wearing a race bib, from Fun Cheap or Free

Before you begin any new fitness routine, be sure to consult with your doctor. Again, what works for you might be different, but here's how I shed some pounds through exericse:

  • I started out walking 1-2 miles a day with my kids in the double stroller, using a pedometer to track my distance.  I tried to burn anywhere between 200-500 calories per workout.
  • As time went on and I got stronger, I started to try running.  I got into running about 4 months into my journey and have just gotten stronger and built up my endurance, and eventually purchased a polar ft4 watch that tracked how many calories I burned.  I highly recommend this watch!
  • In August of last year, I completed my first 5K and then did my first half marathon in October.  Through all of that training, I lost around 50 lbs.
  • Right after my half marathon I joined a gym and have now been incorporating weight lifting into my workouts which I know has made a huge change in my body.
  • I now try to burn between 500-1000 calories a workout.

I get asked a lot how I can do so much.  Well, my body just craves an intense workout.  I love to run and running burns lots of calories.  I need to keep pushing myself and anything below that wouldn't be.


Now this last one, I can't teach.  You just have to want it.  If I didn't have the motivation and desire to try each and every day, I would not be where I am.  I have had plenty of cheat meals and lots of days where I skipped my workout.  I just got up every single morning wanting more. Sure, there were days, even weeks, where the motivation was just not there.  However, I just had to remind myself that you will just digress if you don't continue, and that's extremely depressing; especially since I had already lost so much. That has made a huge change in my weight loss because it's never been something I saw as temporary. 

Thoughts like “If I work out really hard this week, I will reward myself with pizza and ice cream this weekend.” were not something considered. I didn't let myself think that way because what's the point in putting in all the hard work and then backtracking? When I started seeing results, it just kept motivating me to keep going.  I set goals for myself every single week and that made it more doable to try harder.  I can remember plenty of times running and feeling so much pain in my legs but just thinking of the number I wanted to see on the scale on my weigh-in day.   That motivated me so much to push above and beyond. 

I didn't choose the quick fix or the “diet” that would help me lose 20 pounds; I chose a lifestyle.  For so many years, I hated the way I felt, and now I finally love getting dressed every day because I love the way clothes look on me.  Instead of bottomless french fries, I can buy smaller sizes.  You need to reward yourself, especially in the beginning, but remember you're not a dog! That's why I reward myself with new clothes or a pedicure.


Wow, is anyone else inspired? Thanks for sharing, Diana! Another great way to track your fitness and weight-loss goals is with M5 Fitness, which we've used and loved. Check it out. Happy Fitness Month everyone!

And if you are looking to whip your wallet into shape, don't forget about our Secret Sauce online budgeting program, Budget Boot Camp! It is a super fun video program that makes money easy to understand. All you need is a screen and you're set!

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learn how one woman lost 100 pounds in 11 months, from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more fitness or motivation tips?

You've got this!


  1. Charlsey G

    This is JUST the motivation I need to get started right. Congratulations on your success and thank you for the inspiring story 🙂

    • Becky

      You are so right Diane you have to want it so badly you’re willing to go ALL IN! I started my weight loss journey over a year ago but I went full force with a weight loss surgery about 9 months ago and I’ve lost 175 pounds. It’s a struggle every day to make those good choices. It’s true that you stop craving sugar so much once you stop but there are still times where DH will make waffles or pancakes and I’ll have to really put on the brakes because I know that personally, I can’t stop at one. Some people call my choice of surgery “the easy way out” but it’s not. I still have to choose what to put into my body. BUT this is about you. You’re doing so great. Keep it up!!

  2. Meredith

    Diana you are an inspiration! It’s so hard to fight the temptations of old lifestyle choices. I struggle with fast food and am hoping for my fast food cravings to go away one day. I love your story!

    • Lori Caliman

      Thank you!

  3. Kim

    This actually isn’t totally in response to this particular blog post (on that, I’ll say good for her but I hate the whole “you’re not a dog” thing). I wanted to comment that I strongly dislike this new change of having to click from my blog reader (feedly) to the webpage to read an article. My opinion is if a blog is interesting, I’ll click over there all by myself without being forced to in order to read the content at all. I will likely be removing this blog from my feed just because this is such an annoyance to me.

    • Samantha
  4. Andrea B.

    Diana, I love your story! It is true, determination is so important, and it is so important to change your lifestyle, not be on a diet.

    I also wanted to add that I love It’s free and easy to use; it tracks both fitness and food.

  5. Nicole

    Diana, this is such a fabulous story. I keep trying to start a workout regimen, but I keep finding excuses not to. I quit smoking almost 9 months ago so I have put on a lot more weight than I want. Keep up the good work.

  6. Amy

    you look amazing!!

  7. Ducks 'n a Row

    Jordan, you look WONDERFUL! I am excited to get serious about weightloss again after reading your story. Thanks.
    Sinea from Ducks ‘n a Row

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Thanks Sinea! Best of luck with your journey 🙂

  8. Ginger


  9. Yvey

    well done !! .. I know there are many fad diets out there .. But it really is to do with common sense & life style changes ..
    I don’t believe in diets it’s just eating everything in moderation ..

  10. Angela F. From dallas

    After reading your story and seeing the results has given me inspiration to get started, congratulations you look amazing ; )

  11. Paige

    WHAT AN INSPIRATION! What a great story! Thank you for giving your friend an outlet to give her story out there!! Bravo to both of you!
    Kudos and wow. Such pride Diana has I for herself, well deserved. I’m even so proud of her!!

  12. Laura Hickman

    Just found this post. Totally love the discipline and yet somewhat intuitive eating. It actually sounds do-able. I’m always searching for inspiration. So glad Diana wanted to share her story.

  13. Janice Gilbert

    You look AMAZING! I so want to do this! I just started my weight loss journey and I absolutely love your story! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. M Millward

    Congratulations! Our journey’s have been very similar. I have been doing the same kind of things and am down 45 lbs in 4 and a half months. I Love my Garmin band and My Fitness Pal! I second the way you have done your weightloss-slow, steady, and smart!! You look great! Keep up the healthy, good work!

  15. Darla

    What a wonderful post. Thanks so much.

  16. Mary Adcock

    I just want to say that you are beautiful! You were before losing weight but even more so now because you are much healthier. Congrats! Kiddos!

  17. Mari

    Great inspiratiion for those that we struggle to get the commitment. Thanks for sharing your story

  18. Misty

    You totally nailed how I feel.. I am diabetic, over weight and tired of it. At the first of the year I decided to get serious about taking control of my life. Since January 3, I’ve lost 47 pounds by cutting out gluten and greasy fried foods. I started adding lots of healthy choices. My blood work just came back. It looks amazing. I am healthy. It drives me every day. I no longer crave food, I don’t cheat, I feel so good. I am a little afraid of food. I don’t want to go back to my old ways. But looking thinner, being healthy and wearing the cute clothes is much better than pizza and burgers. I still have another about 50 pounds but I’m keeping it off. Your success inspired me. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. Kerri Raphael

    Hi Diana,

    Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. I’m doing the same thing, though it’s slow, and I am losing my cravings, too! I am totally inspired by your story. It reaffirms everything I am trying to do.
    Congratulations! Amazing job. I’ll come back to this when I need more inspiration.
    Thanks again!

  20. Darlene Dugan

    How would I be your friend on My Fit Pal ?

  21. jan williamson

    I also did about the same this last year 90+ lbs since June. I love my fitness pal and live with a fitness tracker unfortunately I’m older almost 55 and damaged my knees too much to run anymore but I long to. I’m going to check out your fitness tracker. congrats I know how good you feel

    • Alicia

      Hi Jan … I find your success story particularly inspiring since my situation more mirrors yours (I’m 50, bad knees … both replaced … so running isn’t really an option). But youve lost 90 lbs. which is amazing. May I ask how you did it, your exercise regimen? Congratulations and thank you!

    • Tonya

      At 50 I’m finding it very difficult to lose weight. I walk ,I’ve started snowshoeing, I bike when I can and even kayak in the summer. I try to keep moving. The weight does not move! Ugh! Jan Williamson, try riding a bike, it’s easier on your knees. I have to keep changing what I’m doing or I get to sore and stiff.

  22. Patrice

    Very onspirinf. Sounds like a plan i could follow. Thank you for sharing. Will just taylor your idea to fit my needs.

  23. Lily

    Great, inspiring story! But maybe consider changing the font of the title if possible–when I first saw this post on Pinterest, I thought it said 100 pounds in 99 months, not 11! 🙂

  24. a

    I weigh over 300 lbs. You inspire me. But I keep putting it off. I’m to set a date and stick to it.

    Thank you

  25. BB

    The story is inspiring. But, the writing is WEIRD. The story definitely needs to be proofread.

  26. Nicole D

    You look Amazing more importantly you sound happy and healthy you have definitely inspired me??

  27. Babs

    I absolutely love my fitness pal. About 3 years ago I lost 100 pounds on there in a year. It totally changes the way you look at food and you can eat whatever you want to eat as well. Since then I stopped tracking and have gained weight and am back on it right now. In just a month and and a half I have already lost 15 pounds. I just gotta keep and up. I have a group of girls doing a weight loss challenge with me right now to get us all motivated. For those looking to loose weight realisticly and not a quick fix try my fitness pal. It works!

  28. Tara Shawger

    Awesome job on your weight loss. I’m at a 57 lb loss and hope to make it to at least 80 lb loss.
    I hope you are maintaining your weight loss.

  29. Kelly

    Amazing job I’ve been struggling with weight almost my whole life I do well for a few months get in to sort of a rythm the some thing changes and I loose my mind

  30. Megan

    Awesome job on losing weight. You look great!! I’ve been on My Fitness Pal for just under 2 months and have lost 15.2 just tracking food accurately and light exercise. My first goal is 50 pounds down, and then will reevaluate. You are just the story and motivation I needed. 🙂

  31. Joyce

    Congratulations Diana! I love hearing and reading about such great successes, especially when I need to lose at least 120 pounds myself. I’m quite sure my cardiologist would approve of how you’ve lost weight, so I’m going to talk to him about this way of doing it for myself. Right now, I’m dealing with a heart murmur, and the effects of that, including being short of breath whenever I walk much. If I can get at least 20 pounds off first, exercise will be a great deal easier!

  32. Chelsey Hackleman

    Holy cow. What an inspiration. I love that it’s not so much about losing weight, but feeling better and being able to live life to the fullest.

  33. Debra mays

    How did you get past a weight loss plateau? That’s where I am right now.I get so depressed. Working hard but no movement for 3 weeks now.


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