Sunday, August 20, 2023

How I Lost 100 Pounds

 First, I must start with the declaration that I am not a Doctor so don't take medical advice from me. Always speak to your trusted physician about what diet and exercise plan is right for you.

WARNING: this is long and has NOTHING to do with quilting. If you aren't interested, come back in two weeks for quilt-talk.

Officially down 100 pounds, 15 months, give or take. Photo taken August 17, 2023:

March 2023:

March 2022: 

Before and After--April 2011 with my husband vs. June 2023:

Since my early teenage years I have struggled with weight. Always overweight, always fighting the urge to overeat. There are many reasons for this, and most have nothing to do with food. Let's just say food has always been my drug of choice, in dealing with the slings and arrows of life. 

Several times before I have lost substantial weight, then gained it back plus some. This time I wanted to lose it and keep it lost forever. A little more than a year ago I started again...

I had reached my highest weight, 256, and size 22s were tight. If not now, when would I fix this? 

This is my story, for inspiration and to answer the many questions I have received since people started to notice.

Everyone wants to know the SECRET. Surgery? Gummies? Nope. Diet and Exercise. The same thing we've always been told. Eat less, move more. So I knew what to do. I just had to START. 

For years, when trying to lose weight, I have used a great app, MY FITNESS PAL. I use the free version to track everything I eat and my daily exercise. 

I use it to plan meals at restaurants, BEFORE I go, so I make better choices. I can eat whatever I want but everything I eat counts. Will it get me closer to or farther away from my goal of being healthy? I love this app and would be lost without it. I especially love the button at the bottom of each day's Diary--COMPLETE DIARY. It says "If every day were like today, in 5 weeks you'd weigh XXX". It is such a simple way to see that having a calorie deficit takes me in the direction I want to go. So I check, even on BAD DAYS--that helps me get back on track tomorrow.

Then I stumbled on a great book about diet and exercise for those of us over 50:

I first read about this in the AARP magazine. The book is easy to understand. It explains why we need more Protein as we age, not less, and how to get the right amount every day. It is not a DIET--it is a plan for eating healthy foods most often, and getting enough Fiber, something else most Americans don't get enough of. It explains the need to build muscle now as we age and how to do that. If you want a plan, I highly recommend you read this, cover to cover. Very educational and a great resource. 


Here are my MACROS, the guide I have set for myself:

Calories    1220-- most days I get closer to 1400 and when we go out to dinner it's 1700
Carbs     45%     137 g
Protein   35%     107 g
Fat          20%      27 g 
Sodium  1500 mg
Fiber 21 g 
Sugar 46 g 

These have changed over the years but, with all the diet books/websites I've read, this is best for me at this point.

The Whole Body Reset says women over 50 should aim for 25 g of lean Protein and 5 g of Fiber at all 3 meals. And a little more from 1-2 snacks a day. Men should get 30 g Pro and 7 g Fiber at all 3 meals. 

I don't like to cook nor spend lots of time shopping/planning meals. It has always worked best for me to have a few go-to meals, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once I figure those out, I save then in My Fitness Pal, making it so easy to add them to the daily Diary. 

I will do a separate blog next week with my RECIPES. But so you know what I eat most days, here are my go-to meals.


1. Whole oats, frozen berries, Muscle Milk Protein Powder Vanilla Creme flavor, Two Good Greek Yogurt vanilla flavor--one half container to add sweetening and more protein. Oatmeal alone is not a good meal as protein is low.

2. In a hurry, I grab a banana and a big spoonful of peanut butter. My favorite is Jif Reduced Fat PB, but it has more sugar. Natural peanut butter is best but I don't want to deal with stirring cold PB so I use the one I like best. Life is all about choices and compromise. 

3. Eggs---two hardboiled, scrambled or fried in extra virgin olive oil, Thomas' Multi-Grain English Muffin--100 calories and lots of fiber. Since it resembles cardboard, I add butter and some kind of preserves to it. Just not a huge amount of either--I have to be mindful of sugar. 

Oatmeal at home and 1 cup skim milk in coffee


1. Cottage Cheese Jello "Fluff": cottage cheese, sugar-free Jello and 1/4 cup no sugar added Fruit Cocktail. Stir, let set, this makes at least 4 servings. Cottage cheese is high in Sodium so I watch sodium for the rest of the day

2. Banana and Peanut Butter--see above

3. Lean protein and a handful of cherry tomatoes and/or sliced peppers or cucumber. Rotisserie chicken is great to have on hand, as is canned salmon and tuna. 


1. Salad, lots of veggies, add olives, and a lean protein. 

2. Rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies nuked, brown rice

3. Baked Salmon, salad or frozen veggies nuked 

Half salad, half chicken salad sandwich McAllisters deli on the road

Salad with boiled shrimp, at a restaurant but easy to prepare at home

I refuse to be hungry so I snack when I am and the next meal is still a few hours away. 

Unsalted CASHEWS -- 1/4 cup, my Favorite

An apple and cheese

Muscle Milk Protein Shake--Knockout Chocolate when daily Protein needs a boost (32 g), Strawberry when less Protein is needed (25 g). Zero sugar, plenty of fiber. These travel great as they are non-dairy so I often bring them on trips--chilled overnight they are yummy. Available at grocery stores in the Pharmacy area or on Amazon:

I drink one large cup of coffee with breakfast, using 1 cup of skim milk to make it palatable, just for the caffeine. The rest of the day I drink plain water, at least 100 ounces a day. I sweat buckets during my two hours of exercise so need to replenish that and stay hydrated. If out for a nice dinner, a couple times a month I enjoy one glass of Moscato wine. Otherwise, it’s just plain water for me.


The other part of the equation is exercise. I eat every day so I move my body every day. For me, the easiest thing to do is walking. All I need are good shoes. I just have to walk out my door. If I have to drive to the gym, it won't happen.  I just walk.

When I started again last year, I went around the block. Once. Done. The next day I did it again. And the next day, again. The beauty of using MY FITNESS PAL is I can see that I can eat MORE if I exercise more. 

A month in, I was walking at a 3.0 mph pace for 30-40 minutes. Then one day I was "walking and talking" to a friend and I JUST KEPT GOING. I walked for an hour and felt great. That's progress. I kept it up, the weight was coming off and I was seeing results. 

Today I walk at  a 4.0 mph pace for almost 2 hours, most days. As I move into maintaining more than trying to lose much more, I will walk less. An hour a day maximum is my goal.

Now I am really working on building muscle with free weights and lots of squats, lunges, etc. There are unlimited free videos on Instagram and YouTube to help.

Both my knees were replaced years ago, 2007 and 2012. They work just fine now that I have taken off 100 pounds. I can really tell the difference. 

Exercise, love it or hate it, you need it. Find something you can learn to like and JUST START.


Daily Blood Pressure pill, my BP is perfect.

Weekly Trulicity injection--I am still borderline pre-diabetic from the many years I abused my body with food. I hope that can be ended at the next doctor's visit in December. If A1C is normal, that should happen. 

A Multivitamin, B12, and D3--just to keep my bloodwork as the doctor wants it. 

Let's show some pictures:

2018 on the set of The Quilt Show


2021 the perfect BEFORE shot

December 2021 with Sam

July 2022 with Stella

And now from my Journey: 

February 2023

Birthday June 2022

Birthday June 2023

March 2023 onboard cruise ship at Veteran’s Salute

May 2023 on the road in Durango CO

May 2023 on the Road in Huntsville TX

May 2023

June 2023

July 2023

July 2023

July 2023, size 10 shorts, size SMALL shirt

August 11, 2023 so close...


All my life I have had goals. Here they are:

1. Weigh less than my husband--CHECK
2. Be able to shop for clothes in Regular Misses sizes--CHECK
3. No longer be OBESE--for me, that means under 175--CHECK
4. Weigh less than it says on my Driver's License--a month ago I burst out laughing at the bank when I saw my DL--175--and I was really 171--CHECK
5. Be able to wear the Special/Favorite clothes I saved from 26 years ago--CHECK
6. Lose 100 lbs--CHECK

Only one more goal, the MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, maintain this healthy, happy size with daily exercise of one hour or so. No more yo-yo-ing up and down. So far, so good.

I check my weight every Monday and Friday. If it is up, even one pound, I check every day until it is down again. 

You should know, the BMI chart still says I am OVERWEIGHT; at 5'4", I need to be 145 or less to be "normal". I am not sure that will happen and today, it's not a goal. My doctor is thrilled with where I am and so am I. 

In my younger days:
August 15, 1975, the day I was commissioned a 2LT in the United States Marine Corps--one of the BEST days of my life

March 29 1979 1st Lt United States Marine Corps, serving with VMAT 202--my GLORY DAYS

July 1981 the first time I got to goal on WW

I never expect to be this small again, and that's OK. I am so much smarter now than I was as this young woman. I am loved by some wonderful people, and love them in return. I have had several successful careers and think I have been helpful to many people over the course of my life. All in all, I am happy and now, healthy. There are great things ahead for me yet, and I look forward to that. I have a dream, a goal and a plan.


1. If I can do it, you can do it.
2. Just start, wherever you are. Make small improvements every day.
3. See results monthly, not daily.
4. When you fall off the wagon, get back on the next day.
5. Next year I will be one year older. If I am to be better, it starts with what I do TODAY.
6. Nothing tastes as good as being HEALTHY feels. Although, Key Lime Pie is right up there...

Next week, I will share a variety of the simple recipes I like to make and eat. UPDATE: FIND THAT POST HERE

After that, let's quilt!

PS. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS if you like. With the small buttons at the bottom of each post, you can EMAIL, BLOG, share to TWITTER, share to FACEBOOK or share to PINTEREST:

Thank you!



  1. Such an impressive life, and weight loss. Yes, it is more difficult to lose weight after age 50, but you have done it. Very admirable.

  2. Proud of you Barbara! It’s inspiring to see your consistent progress.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Barbara! I retired early to work on my health and try to lose some weight. I’m right up there where you started and hope to lose the same amount of weight.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I DM you a few months ago and got the book. I, also, got a book on Walking. It was informational. I have major depression and anxiety and have been down since January. But, am coming out of it with a new Rx and therapy. I feel I can start the program now. You are an inspiration! I plan on baby steps at first and gradually adding. I admire your perserverence. Thanks again!
    Debbie Gallagher

  5. Congratulations on all of your hard work! Once again you will serve as an inspiration for me! You look happy and fantastic! πŸ’•

  6. Congratulations on your success! Once again you are an inspiration to me. You look happy and fabulous!

  7. Thanks Barbara! This was very helpful and motivating!

  8. Thank you. I ordered the book and am excited to start a healthy lifestyle once again. Congratulations on your progress. You look great. Looking forward to seeing your recipes.

  9. You look FANTASTIC!!!! You go GURL!!!

  10. Thank you for sharing your fantastic journey to health Barbara. Many congratulations on your weight loss. You look wonderful--but more importantly, we can all see from the photos your good health shining through. Congrats again!

    1. KPDuty Quilts Oh Barbara, you showed how to be healthy on the way down in weight. Better food choices and a walk around the block are doable for any one. You have

    2. kpdutyquilter, you inspired me to take a walk today!!!

    3. Great! Each step gets you farther down the road to health.

  11. Barbara, I've known you for the last 7-8 years or so. And, NEVER would I have guessed your starting weight... but, as I have told people, when you see someone you admire, or feel affection, you are seeing with something other than just your eyes! You also see with your heart. Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU! Well deserved. It sounds like you transferred the same discipline you had for perfecting your quilting to working on your health. Hard earned success, for sure. No short cuts, no secrets.

  12. PS: I'm not a physician either, but I do have a good friend is was a very successful cardiologist. She told me she was convinced she could get her female patients off a lot of their meds if they would walk out their door, walk a mile, and try it again the next day.

  13. I’m so inspired by you Barbara. I’m going to do it - focus on, set my goals and see where I am in 12 months time. Thank you for sharing. Xxb

  14. Kudos to you Barbara. You look fabulous and I can tell that you feel great. I have been on my own weight loss journey, and am doing it through healthy eating and walking.

  15. Thank you for sharing. Very inspiring!

  16. thank you for sharing your journey. Congratulations! I recently watched a BOM episode from 2 years ago & easily saw how much you had lost from then.

  17. Your determination and drive are inspiring. Your kindness and sharing of knowledge in everything you do shows your generosity in helping others. Good for you Barbara, you look beyond fabulous. I know it has been a lot of hard work but the exceptional results are something to be proud of. Goals, no matter the size are more than worth it. Thank you for being you!😍

  18. Congratulations! You have been an inspiration to me to
    walk more and eat better , Thank you!

  19. What a wonderful, inspirational story. And so caring of you to share it with all. Barbara, you are a jewel. Congratulations and enjoy life to the fullest!

  20. What a wonderful and inspirational story! Thank you for sharing your journey and the steps to your success…your generous heart shines through. I celebrate with you and will definitely use your counsel as inspiration in my own journey. Congratulations!

  21. This is a great motivational post; I’m determined to start something similar and lose that 50 pounds that goes on and off for good. You are amazing, both in quilting and weight loss!

  22. I am on the same journey not quite as long as you but I
    Have lost over 20 and recently started walking to jumpstart more loss. Another 20 would get me where I need e

  23. Thanks for sharing. Good advice, and I will get for the book. Staying personally healthy is one of the best gifts to our family, imo.

  24. Barbara, congratulations on your triumphal journey! It is indeed difficult to lose weight the older we get, and the most difficult part is taking that first step! You rock!

  25. Wow, what an amazing journey. Thank you for the kick in the pants to get started on exercise. The element in feeling better I was unwilling to do. You are an inspiration. πŸ’ 

  26. Thank you for sharing your journey. I too find myself in a similar spot and am working towards a healthier lifestyle and hopefully some pounds lost. I also think the book Body Reset is very helpful, lots of good information. Tracking that food and exercise are so important. One thing I have found so difficult is meal planning so I’m looking forward to more information from you next week.

  27. Thank you, Barbara, very inspiring!

  28. You go, girl!!! This was a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  29. Barbara, you look fantastic ... and I don't just mean your body ... I mean your smile! You look healthy and happy and wonderful. Congratulations to you ... you are an inspiration. :)

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I bought the Body Reset book when it first came out, I will reread it again. Thanks for the info on the app, I think that could be very helpful. I am turning 70 this year and am determined to go into a new era healthier. Thanks for the inspiration! Marsha

  31. WOW! Congratulations on meeting your goals. Very nice of you to share your journey to a healthier you.

  32. Congratulations on your success! You've shown that though sewing is a sedentary activity you can change and adapt. You look fabulous and are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.

  33. Congratulations! you look wow amazing! I shared with my sister. I told her you can do it.

  34. good for you!! congratulations. It must feel wonderful. I bet your heart is happy and I bet you feel terrific. too often women think "I just can't lose weight".....but actually you can. It is science. three cheers for you

  35. Very inspirational! I've had to quit my job of 30 years in childcare where I was, you know, running after little ones all day, to now caring for my husband with AML. So in about 8 months, I'm feeling the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. I was at the dr yesterday saying i need to get back on the bike. Thanks for a very informative post and a little motivation

  36. Thanks for sharing your journey! I've been reading a lot lately about making changes and your blog post inspired me the most!

  37. So impressive! You are an inspiration! You look fabulous...and healthy and happy!

  38. Consistency is huge! You are inspiring πŸ’ž Thank you for the reminder and you example.

  39. Wow! I was astounded reading your story as I lost weight in the same way you did with even my meals being very similar. The only difference is that I used a paper journal to track my food and record my weight. For exercise, I do weight-lifting three days a week and spinning two; it's too hot here in Florida most of the year to walk outside but I can do that several months of the year. I have to say that you look marvelous in your new body! Congrats on your accomplishment! (It ain't easy!)

  40. congrats, you are inspiring and beautiful :)