7 Fitness Secrets From a Woman Who Lost 90 Pounds

Here's what worked for her — and why a few simple changes to her diet made the biggest difference.

mom loses 90 pounds

As a mom to five kids under the age of 5, Ashley Garrett was used to chasing toddlers. What took some getting used to, however, after the birth of her youngest, Lorelai, was the realization that she could no longer keep up. She'd get winded easily and felt like she couldn't do it anymore — and she knew it largely had to do with her weight.

"I was tired of being out of breath," Garrett said. "I wanted to be able to keep up with them and be happy with myself."

She vowed to make a change, and in a year, she dropped 90 pounds — all through diet and exercise. Here's what worked for her.

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2 She doubled up to get results faster.

Garrett decided to give Beachbody — a streaming and DVD-based home exercise program, famous for its P90X series — a shot, deciding to start with 21-Day Fix. It features seven different workouts that are repeated each week for (you guessed it) 21 days. "I liked it because you have one minute of high-intensity exercise, then a little break, which helped my body adjust to the exercises," she explained.

At first, she wasn't seeing results, so she decided to take things one step further, doing another Beachbody program at the same time: T25, a five-days-a-week routine. It bumped her cardio up to an hour a day, and between that and cutting down her portions, she started to see the pounds melt off.

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3 She said buh-bye to booze (for a little while).

When Garrett decided to do two workouts a day instead of just one, she also committed to changing her eating patterns. For six weeks, she gave up alcohol — just to see how it'd affect her body (spoiler: she lost weight faster, she said) — and started packing salads for lunch. She also halved her dinners because she realized the portions she ladled out were often much bigger than the standard serving size.

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4 Mickey Mouse became her unexpected fitness coach.

Once Garrett reached her goal weight, she stopped her two-a-day workouts, preferring to get in about 30 minutes of exercise six days a week and run up to three days a week. Garrett lives in Florida and used Disney World's running events as a way to motivate herself to get out of bed — particularly on mornings when she'd rather hit snooze. Repeatedly.

The 5Ks, 10Ks, half, and full marathons let you run through parts of the parks most guests don't get to see, which makes them more exciting than the typical race, she said. It gave her something to look forward to — and a goal to chase.

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5 She gradually learned to love running.

She used the Couch to 5K program to ease into running and prefers to exercise in intervals: 90 seconds of running, 30 seconds of power walking, and repeat. "I like that break, because you feel like you can do anything for 90 seconds, so you power through," she said.

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6 She adopted a new policy for dinner.

One of the most helpful things she did, Garrett said, is committing to walking away from the dinner table the second she finished eating. "Otherwise I'd keep picking at it as I sat there," she explained.

Just because she cut back on her portions doesn't mean she's given up what she loves, though. She tries to eat pretty balanced meals (protein, veggies, and whole grains included) but allows herself a cheat meal — not a cheat day, though — once or twice a week. Garrett found that if she has an entire cheat day, she's more likely to fall off the bandwagon entirely.

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7 She's turned Instagram into a fitness tool.

We've all heard how important it is to have accountability when you're starting a new workout routine, and it was 100 percent true for Garrett. In addition to running with a friend, she launched a separate Instagram account to post a selfie a day — or just a shot that records her workout or progress. "I didn't want to constantly post pictures to my personal account and drive people crazy," she said.

She also used it as a way to follow health and fitness Instagrammers. She was able to learn from their tips and advice — and create a community of people she could connect with in the process.

You can follow Garrett at @momof5getshealthy.

From: Delish
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