How One Woman Turned Her Weight-Loss Journey Into a Book Deal

Tina Haupert of Carrots 'N' Cake began blogging her way through weight loss. Along the way, she lost the pounds, gained a following, and even published a book.

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Name: Tina Haupert

Age: 36

Start Date: January 2014

Start Weight: 153 pounds

Current Weight: 135 pounds

What was the turning point that made you want to lose weight?

I wasn't happy at my heaviest, but I wasn't really motivated to do anything about it until a ski trip with friends in January 2004 put things into perspective. The vacation was a blast, but I quickly lost my getaway glow when I saw photos from our trip. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by how much weight I had gained. Every photo was a "bad" photo of me.

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Had you tried losing weight in the past?

The fall after I graduated from college, I tried the Atkins diet for almost two weeks. I had gained a good 20 pounds after graduation, so I really wanted to lose the weight. After eating ground turkey, blocks of cheese, and raw veggies for days and days — I didn't really know how to cook back then — I didn't feel good about myself. I actually don't think I lost any weight at all, so that was the end of that diet.

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What's one habit that had the biggest effect?

Meal planning and prepping healthy food on Sunday. It was key to keeping me on track with my healthy eating. I mean, it's easy to buy healthy food. The hard part is actually cooking recipes that you like and eating it. Once I've done the hard part, there's no reason not to eat healthy.

How did your diet change when you were trying to lose weight?

I was always a fairly healthy eater, but I was just eating too much of everything. I started tracking my daily calories online, and it really helped me understand my overblown portion sizes and just how many calories I was consuming. Once I reduced my portion sizes, the weight slowly came off.

How did your fitness level change when you were trying to lose weight?

I was always active, playing soccer as a kid through college, running a few times a week, and regularly partaking in group exercise classes at the gym. When I really focused on losing weight, Body Pump classes made a huge difference in the way my body looked and burned calories. Building muscle definitely helped the weight come off.

What made you decide to document your transformation online?

I was engaged to be married, and I wanted to look great for my wedding day. I thought a blog would be the perfect way to stay accountable.

How do you start each day? Do you have a specific morning routine that gets you going for the day?

I typically eat eggs for breakfast. They're packed with protein, healthy fat, and nutrients, so they're always a healthy start to my day.

Give us an example of what your meals and snacks look like throughout the day.

Breakfast: 2 to 3 eggs with breakfast potatoes and/or sautéed veggies, as well as iced coffee.

Lunch: Homemade taco salad with guacamole.

Snacks: Peanut butter protein balls, a protein smoothie, and cereal with almond milk.

Dinner: Chicken fajitas or a cauliflower rice bowl.

What's your favorite "cheat" day treat?

I love a good donut and typically enjoy one every Friday with my son.

What does your fitness routine look now?

I run 2 to 3 times a week and CrossFit 2 to 3 times a week.

Who inspires you to stay fit and healthy?

My 2-year-old son; I want to set a good example for him.

Do you have any new goals for yourself?

I want to break my half-marathon time this fall!

What tips do you have for people who don't know where to start when it comes to losing weight?

Start small and change one thing at time. Don't try to overhaul your entire life at once. Regularly try new healthy things and figure out which ones best fit into your lifestyle. The ones that stick are the right ones for you!

What does living #TheGoodLife mean to you?

Living simply and appreciating your everyday blessings.

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