How I Lost 10 Pounds in 5 steps or 5 million steps on my Garmin

How I lost 10 pounds… in video form because I thought it’s easier to explain myself. And because I’m your peep, bullet points are below for a quick read if you’re at your place of employment.

1. Run. I run more. I didn’t ‘make’ myself run more – it just happened that way. Sometimes when your head or heart aches it helps to make your quads ache instead.

So I ran.

Like I mentioned yesterday I have already run 12 races this year! Who am I?! Oh, I’m Run Eat Repeat.

how I lost 10 pounds

I’m not recommending anyone run as much as I have been this year because it’s a bit unbalanced in terms of variety and cross training. But it is what I have needed at this point in my life mentally and I have seen some physical benefits. I needed all those endorphins and it felt good!

Note: I still take 2 rest days a week. And I take a few days off after races.

Note Part II:  I’ve also seen physical drawbacks as my IT band was getting pissed the last 2 weeks. So be smarter than me. Find an amount of exercise that works for your body.

2. Eat. The same. I aim for 3 – 500 calorie meals, 3 – 300 calorie snacks which is about 2400 on average. More on race days, obviously…

losing weight while still eating good food

I counted up yesterday (a rest day) and it was about 2300 calories.


I have been experimenting with taking out certain foods that affect my thyroid but that is still in the works. There is a list of foods called goitrogens that may interfere with thyroid function but it includes a lot of healthy foods that I love, so I want to research more before I make any announcements. The main thing is that I’m eating around the same number of calories.

(Thyroid stuff is a separate issue and I’ll address that soon too.)

how i lost 10 pounds tips

3. Chip away at bad habits.

I have identified my 3 worst habits that interfere with my weight loss and I’m working on them =

A.) Afternoon snacking

B.) Night time eating

C.) Grazing while cooking

I am not ‘done’ with these habits, but I’m improving.

4. Clean kitchen = Clean Eating.

I travel a lot and really indulge when I’m away from my house. I also drink a lot more when I’m out of town.image

I eat beignets, fries, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, chips & guacamole, mile high margaritas… ALL OF IT when I’m out. But, at home I have cleaned up my kitchen.

I try not to keep ‘junk food’ in the house. I stopped buying cookies and ice cream.

Okay, okay. I did buy this crap last month, but I used them in a recipe and gave a lot of it away. oreos and snickers ice cream

And, sometimes I get a package of goodies from a company or Biscoff from an expo. It’s not all or nothing – but I make a conscious effort not to buy sweets for the house unless it’s a special occasion. image

But I still eat a treat every day. Yes. Now I have to make a treat though. That’s why there have been a lot more Skinny Shamrock Shake and Pistachio Pudding Pie kinda recipes. I bake or cook up a clean-ish dessert every week. It’s actually been a lot of fun to experiment in the kitchen!

Protein Peanut Butter Cookies

5. Find a balance. I still tend to overeat or over-indulge on a weekly basis. But my reaction used to be “I’m not going to eat any sugar this week!!” OR “No carbs after 3pm for 22 days!!” image

Now when I over do it I just adjust back to center. It’s literally the same thing you do when you find your balance physically. I get back on track with the next meal and just keep chugging along. image

NOTE:  I’m NOT at goal weight yet, so I’m still working on losing weight and getting there. But, I’m using these methods to do it in a way that allows me to enjoy my life and make progress.

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Question: How to do you maintain or lose weight? Share your tips with the class!


    • Wendy says

      Hit submit too fast- I’m one that can go off the deepend if I have a bad day, I was already planning a post vacation sugar cleanse but this post reminded me to be a normal human being- so thank you

  1. says

    I have had the most success losing weight when I cleaned up the diet. I started to eat whole foods with very little packaged foods. It has been fun trying out new recipes. You can make some pretty delicious things when you actually try. I am slowly losing the weight. I have lost a lot of weight in the past but it has been through “dieting” When the lifestyle hasn’t changed and it is only for a short period of time then the weight doesn’t stay off. I also run a lot. That helps.

  2. Angie says

    This is what a great post and just what I needed. I’m having a hard time losing these last 15 baby pounds. I know I should give myself some time since he’s only 9 months but I’m having a difficult time. I’m keeping track of everything on myfitnesspal and its been such a SLOW process. Definitely need to eat cleaner. It’s the same thing with me with afternoon snacking.

    • Wendy says

      My daughter will be one next week. I noticed my body really changed over the last 3 months. I remember being frustrated at the 9 month point too.

    • says

      I’m having a hard time losing my last 5 to 7 lbs of baby weight. It’s been 6 months now. I want to run, but can never find the time with little one. Will be excited when she enjoys riding in the jogger stroller!!!

  3. says

    You’ve just summed up, in this post, exactly my food woes and successes. Clean eating at home, but too many temptations when away from home. Keep updating us with how you are getting on with this! Great read!

  4. says

    I COMPLETELY can agree and relate that when I stopped worrying about weight so much and started focusing on my running, time goals, ect.. I lost without even trying. I’ve lost 14lbs so far without going crazy.

  5. says

    While I haven’t been as diligent as of late the thing that’s worked best for me is eating extremely filling foods. I need to feel full after a meal or i will seek out unhealthy munchies. Popcorn, sweet potatoes, avocado, whole wheat couscous with grilled chicken, olives feta and veggies are some “go-to foods. also, cucumbers and watermelon are water packed so they help me feel full. At work I have a tootsie pop after my lunch to give a little sweet treat to “close out” the meal. I’m still working on not feeling the need to partake in every opportunity to have sweets. So basically volume is more important to me. I ate a whole bag of Brussels sprouts once. Dipped in mustard. I do admit I felt a little sick after. But not hungry! And water!!!! Very important.

  6. says

    I have a similar rule: if I want a treat, I have to make it. It really does help in terms of reducing the amount of baked goods idea, but you’ll see from my blog that I bake A LOT. Sweets are my weakness.

    I’ve committed to making this month a wellness month. I’m trying to make sure I exercise at least 5 days a week, drink plenty of water and try to limit myself to a treat once a week (as opposed to my usual once or twice a day). But honestly, I feel like I’m more successful when I just stop thinking about trying to lose weight and concentrate on healthy habits day by day.

    Also for me a huge difference has been lifting weights!

    Congrats on your weight loss!

  7. Laura says

    Thanks for this post. Everything you say of course makes perfect sense, it helps to hear it from someone else who’s having success. I’ve been trying to lose this “last 10 lbs” for awhile now and am starting to wonder if I’m not eating enough? Your post gives me some things to think about.

  8. says

    This is certainly not rocket science, eh? 😉

    I’m going to be nosey and ask what your mileage is sitting at – what’s been your average monthly mileage?

  9. says

    I think it definitely is a combination of all the little things and being mindful to set yourself up for success by what you keep in the house. One bad shopping trip can sometimes mean one bad week!

  10. says

    Mmmmmm… Sorry. That won’t do- I need a more specific equation or prescription name… Just kidding. I think losing weight really is simple in theory (feed face less, move ass more), it’s just a matter of will power. Some days are hard.

  11. says

    I’ll make a lot (15-20 days worth) of healthy wraps and meals on my day off and freeze them in individual baggies-I work at a sports bar/restaurant that only serves super fatty extra cheese food, so having these meals with me and ready to go in the microwave has stopped me from eating at the restaurant. Five months later, I’ve finally lost the extra 15 lbs. I gained eating that food thanks to bringing along my “freezies”.

      • says

        I usually have the guys at work toast them for me after they thaw, but my roommate takes them with her a lot and she says she just puts them in the microwave and they don’t get mushy. If you want, (so I don’t keep talking all about my own stuff on Monica’s blog), you can Facebook friend me so I can send you an invite to the Community page and you can keep up with the different freezie recipes-I have a bunch!

  12. says

    Not trying to lose weight here – I just wanted to say – you look great and your video is so cute!!!
    And, having a beverage when you travel is definitely the “right thing to do”!!!

  13. Lauren says

    I think i remember from a while ago you mentioning having thyroid issues. How much do you think controlling your thyroid with medication and clean habits has impacted your weight as well?

  14. says

    I think that balance is *so* important! If you deprive yourself of something you really love, you’re more likely to binge on that thing later. Better to have just a little and really savor it. Good luck reaching the rest of your weight loss goals! :)

  15. Becky says

    You look great! It sounds like youre doing it the sensible way :-) What’s your goal weight if you don’t mind me asking? Are you still working towards 145lb?

  16. Sarah says

    I appreciated your tip on identifying the main saboteurs to your weight loss. I can’t think of mine off the top of my head so I’m going to work on it now! Simple enough!

  17. says

    “The windchime of my weight loss” – haha! I gained some weight while doing distance training over the past 9 months, all for half marathons, so now that I’m training for my first marathon I’m trying to not eat any more unless it’s absolutely necessary for fueling. It can be so tough to balance runger with actual hunger! Thanks for inspiring me to know it CAN be done :)

  18. says

    You look great, Monica! And great tips! The only way I lost weight was by keeping a food journal. It was a pain at times to write everything down and look up calorie counts, but it helped a lot.

  19. says

    Balance, balance, balance! The second you start making crazy rules like “no carbs after 7” or “no dessert unless I workout” you are already working towards failure.

    I lost about 30 pounds last year and have been pretty good at maintaining but as I ramp up my marathon training I have found myself rationalizing one too many snacks and I fear the pounds are going to start creeping back on. Must keep my eating the same!

  20. says

    I think this post is great. It’s not saying eat this, don’t eat that, but that you just need to make positive changes in your life. I have finally let go of the constant weight loss talk that I would do to myself every minute of everyday. It’s all about moderation, not keeping yourself from enjoying life and food :)

  21. Jessica H. says

    Thank you for this post! I know that it really is all about balance, and I’m glad you have running as a tool to help you with stress. I know I’m a food-soother, so I still have to check in with myself to not try to “feel better” or “make it all go away” with food. Exercise (and in moderation, as you said) is a much healthier way to “feel better”! You are awesome, Monica(n)! 😉

  22. Sarah says

    Great post! I’m working to lose weight as well…running more, keeping calories in check, cleaner eats etc. It’s a slow process but I know it will be worth it. Also, thank you for finally addressing your weight loss…i know it was obvious that you were running more, but its just nice to see a post that ties everything together (i.e. bad habits and balance)
    Keep up the great work Monica! :)

  23. Kez says

    Best RER post in months, thanks Monica, I really appreciate you answering this question. I guess run more eat same will always work – the challenge for me is to not let run more = eat more, because it makes me hungry! And often also hangry…

    I think I share some of your habits – e.g. grazing while cooking, and I also have had a terrible habit of stuffing my face the second I get in the door after work. I’ve found I need to consciouly eat a fair bit more during the day to avoid that sense of emergency-level hunger that drives to the afternoon binges. And tracking my calories helps with that, if I get to 5pm and I’ve only eaten 1200 calories, well duh of course I want to eat 4 loaves of bread.

    You look great at your current weight!!

  24. says

    I think you look amazing! Just a note about zevia: I love it, but it was really, I mean REALLY, starting to eat away at my teeth. More than diet coke (I swore off aspartame 5 years ago and zevia was my alternative). I’ve kicked soda completely and feel way better for it. But it is sooooooo delicious!!!

  25. says

    Great job on the video. I obviously have no advice since I ate an entire (small) bag of Kettle Korn while watching it (WHAT?) I will make this comment though, as you stated this is what is working for you right now. And what works for one person may not work for someone else. As an “older” runner, what worked in my 30s need to be adjusted in my mid-30s, which had to be tweaked in my 40s and I’m fine-tuning once again at the age of 48. Remember that you are unique. Embrace YOU!

  26. Emily says

    I was SO excited when I saw the topic of your post, and then SO sad when I saw it was a video… so how excited was I when I saw there were bullets! Yay for being at my place of employement at 8:30 pm and finding some time to sneak a blog read. Thanks for the tips, I am on week 12 of 14 for half marathon training (my first!) and I am def starting to see a difference body wise. Just keep running!

  27. Betsy says

    You have such a positive, healthy attitude, thanks for setting such a good example! I’m working on getting my negative attitude in check and your blog really helps.

  28. Jamey says

    I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism three years ago when (as much as I hate to admit it) I started increasing the amount of time and distance I ran. I drove myself crazy looking up all of that information about goitrogenic foods and steered clear of ALL of them for like six months. I felt terrible, I missed all those healthy foods, and I was making my thyroid worse because I stressed out about my diet. I quit worrying about that and eat loads of these foods every day. To my surprise, my thyroid has not changed! I still make sure to eat a good amount of the foods that promote thryoid health, but I don’t avoid the “bad” foods. But, that’s just me!

  29. Lenny says

    Oh, I love your balanced approach to eating and living. Thanks for the reminder to keep it balanced and enjoy a little. You are a great inspiration.

  30. says

    I don’t need to focus on losing/maintaining, but I try to eat fairly cleanly and not graze. I used to eat when I was bored, and now I try to eat only when I am hungry. Getting Yoplait Light’s and tea really help w/sweet tooth cravings

  31. Sarah says

    Loved this post. I’m still figuring out what works for me, but certainly higher mileage and clean food choices make a big difference. Like someone else said, “it’s not rocket science. ” 😉 I cheat once in a while too, but it works out better for me in the long run when I don’t obsess over every slip and just refocus and get back on track again.

  32. Erin H says

    I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to say that you are adorable! I love your blog and I LOVE this video. Great stuff. The “balance” part really struck a chord with me. Thanks for being “real” and for the tips :-)

  33. Emily says

    I really appreciate you for making this post. I can relate to all of it from body shape to going on a journey with food to treating yourself with yummy food eats. I, too, love running, food, and overindulging. I am practicing many of the things you currently are, and it is so awesome for me to know that I am not alone. Thank you a lot.

  34. Kelly M says

    Thanks for this post. …and I’m all about rewarding with food!!!! I work out super hard, I deserve a caramel mocha once in awhile!!

  35. Mer says

    Great video! I love your posts…you are so down-to-earth and HUMAN and funny. Glad I found your blog!

  36. Shannon says

    Thanks for this post Monica, and keep up the running – you are so inspiring! For me, not eating or hard core restriction is never gonna work, so that means working out more is key. But these days, with a stressful desk job, I am having a tough time getting my workouts in. Wish I had a running buddy like you to keep me motivated.

  37. Sarah says

    I really enjoy reading your blogs, my husband even knows my night time ritual of reading your blog and Skinny Runner. Great job Monica, you look great and are a fabulous role model :)

  38. says

    Am trying not to lose weight; am probably a tad underweight and have been trying to put on a bit. I eat healthy for most of the time except when I’m dining out and I typically limit this to Sunday dinner.

  39. says

    Sticking to a Paleo diet works best for me. I’m a real sucker for evening snacking – I can go all day making healthy choices then wham, it gets to 9pm and I’m raiding my boyfriend’s snack supplies. Like you, we’ve stopped keeping crap in the house now.

  40. says

    Thanks for the great tips. My eating is definitely my weak spot as I have a serious sweet tooth. Also, congrats on the twelve races and for looking completely amazing!!

  41. Annie says

    This is no way a criticisme, more a compliment than anything else but man, you eat a lot 😀 I’m impressed than someone could lose weight safely eating so much. I know you run a lot but still, I’m very jealous!

    • says

      I think most of us don’t have to eat so little to lose weight. Not that everyone can eat 2400+ calories, but you definitely shouldn’t starve to lose. It’s a slow process to keep it off for good.

  42. tara says

    Great post. I am sure its also harder to not snack and graze when you work from home. I eat a lot..but all clean foods and I pack my lunch and snacks each day. I am sure if I didn’t do that and had access to my entire kitchen I would not be so diligent about what I ate.
    I think you look great…..and don’t get stuck on a number on the scale!

  43. says

    Fabulous advice and I agree with you that when the amount of workout is adequate, one should not find the need to reduce or revamp his or her eating habits. Thanks for the motivation and advice

  44. says

    Finally someone who admits to eating real food and still being able to lose weight! Different things work for everyone, but when you feed your body what it needs, it reacts well! You’re proof of that!

  45. says

    My key to maintaining weight is to keep healthy, easy snack options at home and sweets to a minimum (I always have some kind of sweet in my house). Also, when I am at home I only drink water (besides my one glass of milk in the morning). There are no sodas or juices to even tempt me and when I go out to a restaurant I still stick with h20…or a glass of wine 😉

  46. Jamie in Arkansas says

    Great job on the video!!!! You’ve come a long way baby! Thanks for the info we’ve all been dying to hear. I love your laid back presentation – it’s like I’m talking to my BFF :) Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! Keep running!

  47. says

    I’m no weight loss expert, but I can attest to the fact that hard times lead to harder, faster running. A few years ago I was going through a really difficult time personally, and that spring I saw my fastest times ever. Life is happy and calm now, but I’m still chasing those PRs from 2011. :) Thanks for sharing what’s worked for you!

  48. says

    This was a great post to read, I realized coming into July that I had over ate pretty much every night for the last month when I was home. I feel like mini goals help me to reset a little bit. This week it’s just trying not to start my day out with chocolate from the candy dish at work. Seems simple enough but when I do manage to skip the bowl my resolve to make good decisions for the rest of the day is much better. Most days aren’t perfect but I prefer setting myself up for success then just getting pissy all the time.

  49. zoe says

    just wanted to say congrats! it sounds like you’re on your way to a really well balanced and FUN healthy life.

    i too have really enjoyed having to make desserts with random stuff in my kitchen :) i also made my own vitatops with canned pumpkin. kinda funky, but it works.

    i love your blog!

  50. says

    Work it, girl. I think it’s good to share progress as progress is made. An end goal is not the end, you know? This journey will keep on going and going. That’s the most important thing I’ve learned from eating clean this year.

  51. kalli says

    great post and great video! thank you for keeping it real Monica. i feel the same way-don’t go overboard with crazy rules. i know for me that just leads to binge eating. i am a bit unsettled at this time in my life. i lost about 10 pounds while divorcing and now that i am back at life and going out more i have put it back on. it is a little uncomfortable for me even though people say i look great and needed a bit of junk in my trunk. but i also know we need to embrace our curves :) okay i went off on a tangent! luv ya girl. keep inspiring and yes i agree with the others-you look FAB!

  52. says

    Nice work!

    I love the balanced approach–and it’s how I live too. I too lost weight simply by eating well & balanced & by working on my fitness. It was awesome for before I got pregnant too-I am so much more balanced :)

  53. Eugenia Byrne says

    Wonderful post! I know you have a few rest days a week, but I am curious how many miles per week you log (on average)?

    • says

      It really depends, I’m all over the place. After a race I cut back drastically, then I’ll build back up again. I don’t have a weekly mileage goal right now, but I want to incorporate one for my end of year marathons.

  54. Phebe says

    This has been said a million times already, but great video! You really look fantastic, and I like your tips – especially keeping a clean kitchen. If I don’t have junk food in the house, I won’t eat it!
    I don’t run much just for the sake of running (my main exercise is Ultimate Frisbee 3x per week), but you actually make it seem fun :)

  55. says

    I’m interested to hear the thyroid portion of this – I’m a bit (coughlotscough) older than you but recently have been running and cross training like crazy and eating fairly healthy – nothing more or less than usual since I have followed the weight watchers plan loosely for more than 8 years and was able to keep a steady weight all that time – and have been steadily gaining weight and it simply won’t come off (along with a host of other issues like tired to my bones fatigue). Apparently my thyroid is wonky and we’re monitoring it now with monthly bloodwork but if there’s something I’m eating that might be exacerbating this I’m all ears!!

  56. says

    you look great girl! although its annoying, i do think having a good understanding of how many calories you eat each day can help you lose weight. i feel like tracking it for a week even would help…it helps me realize how many snacks i actually have…which is a lot haha oops

  57. says

    This sounds so silly, but I had never watched one of your videos and I love your voice :) Totally not what I expected! Work girl!

    Also, your weight loss check in is so inspiring. It’s hard when it looks like it’s easy for everyone, so thanks for being real with us.

  58. says

    I love your balanced approach. I have the same pitfalls and approach to them. Right now I am not as successful as I have been in the past, but we can’t beat ourselves up over it, right? Learn from the misstep and move forward! Thanks!

  59. Summer says

    This is going to sound stupid weird but … you have a great voice. I thought it would be the typical pretty skinny girl squeaky voice. Glad I was wrong. I always like the way you think/write. I should have known better. PS. I’m sorry that your heart is hurting. And you’re right – walking, running, whatever gets you moving, helps with the sadness.

  60. Mia says

    Umm. Forgot two important one
    Watermeloning as a sport burn a TON of calories
    And it hard work to spend the day kicking ass.
    Proven by me (and clearly you) to work.
    Great job! i hope you didn’t feel to pressured to write this post. Also, happy to see that there aren’t any negative comments here(I was worried there would be when i saw the title.) :)

  61. says

    Great post and you look fab!
    Did you find that you put weight on while training for your first marathon? I’m about half way through training and I’m all of a sudden feeling very ‘chunky’. Maybe I’m overestimating my body’s fuel needs? I don’t know! It’s definitely frustrating! I’m not running it for weight loss but weight gain kinda wasn’t the plan either

  62. Kim says

    Thanks so much for sharing this (and having bullet points for those of us at work under the video too)! I’m struggling to lose my last 10 pounds. Or at least get down to that point and see if I like where I’m at. For the last 3 years now I’ve been able to get down 5 pounds but then I guess I get cocky and start eating more desserts and drinking more fun boozy drinks and before I know it I’m back to where I started. Its refreshing to see someone who eats real food and emphasizes clean eating as a way to lose weight. This is motivation for me to get back on track and stay there.

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