HEAB's Weight Loss Advice

by HEAB on June 28, 2009

After several emails regarding my weight loss, I’ve just decided to do an entire post about it.

Yes, I used to be overweight:

HIgh-school graduation.

High-school graduation June 1994.

Now, I’m not. Post weight loss & dressed all in white once again:

My wedding day - September 22, 2007.

My wedding day - September 22, 2007.

Did y’all know I’m 33 years old?  Well, I am, and I lost over 100 pounds after my senior year of college.  I did it all on my own, and I’ve kept it off for 10 years now, never re-gaining more than 10 pounds.  People that see me now are shocked when they learn I used to be heavy.  They tell me I look like I’ve never struggled with weight in my life.  Well, I have, and I have the loose skin and stretch marks to prove it.  Let’s just say I’m very thankful for sports bras and Spanx. 🙂

How did I do it?  Well, I completely changed everything about my lifestyle:

1. No sugar.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know I CANNOT eat sugar, including fruit.  I do my best to stay completely away from it. So, if I don’t accept a piece of your birthday or wedding cake, please don’t be offended.  Just hand me a jar of nut butter instead! Giving up sugar and white flour worked wonders for me.

My advice to all of you struggling out there to lose weight is EAT.  Eat the good stuff including vegetables galore, lean proteins, and healthy fats…but stay away from sugar.  Yes, you will probably lose weight on a 1200 – 1300 calorie diet of Zbars and carob chips, but do you realize what you’re feeding your body?  Wouldn’t you rather have a huge amazingly yummy salad like this?


2. Eat your fats. After I lost weight, my fat intake got down to almost nothing.  I looked and felt awful. My hair was dry, brittle, and would not grow.  My hormones got all out of whack and are still messed up.  Our bodies need fat to function. Please don’t make the same mistakes I did.  Eat that avocado, quit measuring your nut butters, and perhaps add a little coconut oil to your next smoothie.  I probably eat 4 to 6 TBSP of almond butter everyday, tons of chia seeds,  and I usually add an avocado to the mix as well.  Again, you NEED fat – don’t fear it!

3. Move. During my weight loss, I walked and did yoga and strength training videos.  After my weight loss, I started running and didn’t stop for about 8 years. After my first 5K, I was hooked, and I grew to truly love running.  It was a novelty for me at first.  Y’all when I was overweight, I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath.  All of a sudden, I was running and running far.  Well, after over 20 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and 1 50K, I realized I wasn’t enjoying running so much anymore, and I was eating a lot of crap to fuel those long runs.  So, I stopped running, and I stopped eating crap.  It’s been 7 months since my last real run, and I’m now thinner and more toned thanks to yoga and walking.  So, my exercise advice to you is run if it makes you happy.  However, it if doesn’t, then do something else, but just do something.  Keep moving and stay active, but don’t feel like you have to get your heart rate up to 80% max for hours on end.  You don’t, okay?

4. Question conventional wisdom. Back when I was eating vegan and restricting my fat intake and just about every other food group (I lost over 100 pounds and was scared to death of gaining it back – yes, I had issues.), my mom was worried and had me go see a nutritionist at a well regarded hospital here in Nashville (starts with a “V”, rhymes with wanderbilt). Anyway, she told me to add weight gaining smoothies to my diet consisting of grape juice, corn syrup, heavy cream, and ice. I kid you not, and I never went back.  Nothing against registered dieticians, but if you do seek the advice of one, make sure you are both on the same page.  Do your research – ask if your RD has any testimonials from former patients.  If he or she even mentions the FDA’s food pyramid, my advice is run away.  I’m sorry, but do you really want the same people who run the DMV and airport security telling you what you should be eating?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

5. Figure out what works best for you. It took me a while, and I still play around with my diet, but I know what works for me.  Complex carbs? Yes.  Fruit? No.  I can eat huge bowls of oat bran and sweet potatoes, even…gasp…late at night right before going to bed, and it doesn’t seem to affect my weight. However, give me freshly squeezed juice or an apple, and my muffin top will appear almost instantly. I’ve posted on this topic before, but there is no perfect diet for everyone my friends.  Again, experiment with real whole foods, and LISTEN to your body.  You do not need to buy the latest diet book, because guess what?  It doesn’t have all the answers. Only you can figure out what works best for you.

Please don’t hesitate to email me with questions.  That’s why I started blogging in the first place – to help others out there know it is possible to lose a large amount of weight AND maintain the weight loss.

Be sure to check out Emily’s blog Curly Top for a special post on oat bran.  Emily is the brilliant creator of PBU and has put together a really cool design for all my favorite oat bran recipes. You can also click here to enter Emily’s blog makeover giveaway.  Seriously, could this girl be any more talented? 🙂


lauren August 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

Hi, Heather! I am glad to see that someone else has such a love affair with almond butter! I love almond butter, peanut butter, sunbutter… really, I don’t discriminate! What healthy fats did you eat while you were losing weight/getting leaner? I say getting leaner because I’m not looking to lose a lot of weight but rather tone/lean out. What fruits did you eat before you were pregnant? Congratulations on baby #4!! Love your blog!

HEAB August 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hey Lauren,
Well, when losing weight I avoided most animal products and relied mostly on olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc for fat. Honestly though, at my leanest and most toned (when I was doing nothing buy vinyasa yoga), I ate plenty of animal fat, including lots of salmon and butter. What always helps me is to avoid sugar. All of it, including excess fructose. I’ve never completely avoided fruit, but if I overdo it, I gain weight around my belly. Love summer fruit though – berries, peaches, etc., and there is nothing like a crisp Granny Smith apple. I just try not to eat five a day. Thanks for your kind words and for reading. 🙂

Cassie July 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I love your story…and we all have one to tell! Well done and keep on motivating and inspiring!

HEAB July 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Thanks Cassie. 🙂

zeba July 2, 2013 at 3:48 am

hi there.quit over 1 year I follow ur blog but I never leave a comment.U R JUST AMAZING.am so far away from u.i live in Mauritius.dnt know if u ever heard.am so happy for ur 4th pregnancy.u lucky stayed so slim.am so discouraged.after 4 years of struggling I lost 13 kg afer 2nd baby.now after my 3rd this year I gained everything back with an addition of 4kg more.am breastfeeding.its difficult to control

HEAB July 2, 2013 at 7:18 am

Hi Zeba,
Thanks for reading from so far away and hang in there! I know it can be frustrating, and I COULD NOT lose weight while breastfeeding. I was eating all the time to try and increase my milk supply, and my body seemed to want to hold on to every last ounce of extra weight. When I weaned, the weight came off. You’ll get there – just know that your giving your baby what it he/she needs right now, and that is what matters most. Plus, with two running around, you won’t have time to sit down very often. 🙂
Thanks again for reading and best of luck to you!

Roisin June 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I love the way you write! It’s so true I have recently stopped eating refined sugar (I have already stopped eating wheat and dairy for health reasons). People think I am NUTS but it works!! Eating like this means that you can eat ALL THE TIME and actually be ok! I love your blog I think it looks really slick.

HEAB June 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Roisin,
Happy to hear you found a way of eating that works for you (you’re not nuts!). Thanks for reading. 🙂

gigi July 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Hi Heather,

Thanks for the wonderful blog. What are your thoughts on rice?

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm

To answer your question, we just ate red beans and brown rice for dinner. 🙂 Love rice, and personally, I prefer the taste of brown. Mmm, so nutty and chewy. As far as grains go, the only ones I try to avoid involve wheat or gluten. TRY being the key word as some nights, pizza is the only thing that will do.

gigi July 11, 2011 at 12:01 am

Thanks Heather. You’ve inspired me to eat healthier whole food and not be OCD about counting calories. 🙂

Justin April 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Thanks for the great post! I’ve been thinking about this exact same thing over the last few days, so it’s weird that you posted on it. You definitely did a much nicer job writing about it than I could have though.

Nicole February 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Can you recommend a good beginner yoga DVD, for Weight loss/toning? I’m on Weight Watchers and doing cardio, but I’d like to do some strengthing as well to build muscle and tone up. I don’t have a weight machine and I’ve heard many wonderful things about yoga. I figured you’d be a good person to ask. 🙂 Thank you.

HEAB February 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm


For DVD’s, I like Sarah Ivanhoe and Shiva Rea. Both are great.

Here are some online options:
Polly has some great online videos perfect for beginners. They are all about 10 minutes in length, completely free, and a great place to start b/c she does the yoga along with you: http://www.yogaisyummy.com
Dave Farmar: http://www.davefarmar.com/. His podcasts are pretty advanced and free. However, I’ll be honest, his constant talking drives me nuts!
I also really like Sadie Nardini half hour power series. Maggie posted a link here: http://www.thesaladgirl.com/2009/01/07/refreshing-power-yoga-sequence/.
Yoga to the People has 9 different 60 minute power yoga classes you can download as well: http://www.yogatothepeople.com/tryOnlineClass.shtml
You can try tons of free 20 minute classes over at http://www.yogadownload.com, one of my favorite yoga websites. Love all their classes.
Also, Averie from Love Veggies and Yoga did a great Q & A post all about yoga, including information about online options and DVD’s. Here is the link: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/01/yoga-faqs.html.

Bootstrap November 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

That’s why I never hate on “skinny” girls, you never know what they’ve been/are going through!

Carla April 15, 2010 at 12:59 am

I too found your blog by accident! I was Googling “almond butter” and found this. I lost over 40+ lbs over the course of two years following your advice with a few exceptions (cant do grains, but can have a little low-GI fruit) and now I’m following your blog! Keep up the good work.

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 15, 2010 at 7:58 am

Thanks Carla – glad you found me! 🙂

Joy April 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

It is quite by accident I found your blog. I feel also it is by Divine intervention. It is so refreshing to see someone who has lost weight completely by their own sheer strength and ability. I need to loose 100 pounds and I am post menopause age. I feel uplifted by the stories and information you provide. Sometimes I think I should just give up and let life takes it course. But, then I think there is so much to see and do and I still have time, if only I felt better. I will continue to read your blog and gain inspiration your your story.
You are truly an inspiration to us all.

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Joy, Don’t EVER give up. It will take some work, but you can totally make some changes in your life now that will help you in the long run. Never hesitate to email me for anything! 🙂

No No Nanette April 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

just found you after googling “almond butter” and have been looking around here all evening. After my baby was born in December I had to give up dairy because it irritated her. Giving up dairy made me significantly reduce my sugar because most sweet baked goods have dairy. I feel great and am only a pound away from my pre-prego weight. I agree with everything you said here. Fat is good! Sugar is bad! and you do have to find what works for you. I am doing my best to get rid of all refined foods this year. (and somehow figure out how to get my 5 yr old son and 3 yr old daughter to love avocado as much as I do)
Congrats on staying healthy and sharing it all on this blog. Will be looking forward to reading more.

Amanda Y. April 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm

(email back if you reply) Do you think that giving up fruit you have given up too many nutrients? If you have, is it worth it to have the weight gone (nutritionally, not emotionally)..

Marty April 3, 2010 at 2:43 am

Heather – What is it about fruit, all fruit that you can’t eat? Thanks, marty

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 3, 2010 at 7:33 am

Marty, My body doesn’t seem to handle fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit, very well. I discovered this when I did a juicing/raw foods diet for a couple of months. I kept gaining weight, but when I cut back on the fruit, my weight went back down. I still eat fruit as I love it, and it’s full of vitamins and fiber. However, I usually just have a serving or so a day.

happywriter7 July 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I love this post. I’ve never read your blog before, but found you through a blog I ready occasssionally, and I found this post. Thank You so much for being so honest.
I really will do my best to quit sugar – at least cut it down. Im doing just slightly “ok” with my diet and exercise, to date Ive lost over 100lbs, but I still have quite a bit to go. I know I can do better. There’s a time when just ‘ok’ isnt. Your post has inspired me to do better. Thank You. I needed to read this.

Kelli July 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Another one more question… Do you have to do more cardio while losing? I can see how walking and yoga are plenty when you have already lost the weight, but would they be enough while trying to lose weight?

Kelli July 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

One more thing… I am new to your blog so excuse me if this question has already been answered. Is there a reason you use oat bran insteas of oats? I am assuming it is all of the fiber. We eat soaked oats in our house a couple times a week, but I always am on the look out for better options.

Elina July 3, 2009 at 6:07 am

Wow, I saw this before picture in your About Me page a while ago, but I didn’t realize you lost over 100 lbs and kept it off for 10 years!!! That’s incredible, Heather! I really like all of your advice – the best part is that you played with your food and exercise and found things you like and that work for you! Keep up with blogging – we love you 😀

Tina July 3, 2009 at 5:13 am

Amazing post! Thank you so much for being so open and honest about yourself. You have done something absolutely amazing which shows what a strong and determined woman you are. I greatly admire you! Regarding the sugar issue, this is something I struggle with every single day. I’m a realy sweet tooth and have cravings for something sweet ALL the time! I completely agree with you that sugar is nothing I (or my body) needs, but it’s so hard to resist those temptations. How did you manage to kick the habit of eating sugar?

Kelli July 3, 2009 at 1:43 am

I would love some advice. I was always thin until about age 20. Now at 38 and 4 babies later, I am fat. I lost 30 pounds doing low carb, and then platued and wanted to gag if I saw another egg. So I just tried to eat healthy, not low carb and gained it all back. So a few years later, I just tried to eat many small healthy meals, and was working out (running a couple days a week, weights a couple days a week) and even ran a 10K, but only lost a little weight (this was about a 6 month period). So I now kind of feel like I can’t get this weight off of me. I am starting to run again. I like to run. How often do you think I should exercise? I am giving up sugar again. I eat healthy about 80% of the time. I eat things like soaked oats, salads with dinner almost every night.
Thanks for taking your time to help others!

l July 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

It’s so funny how everyones’ body processes food differently. I’m only semi-active but I still eat about 15 servings of fruit per day to keep my weight up to healthy levels. Personally I do better with fruit than with starches (even complex carbs).

Vicki July 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm

P.S. Uggh! Typos galore above! I hate that….My brain must have been going faster than my fingers! 🙂 (OKay, it must have been that sugar I had today….I’m caught red-handed…uggh) 🙁

Vicki July 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Hey Heather-

I might as well add a comment too! Once again, I love your blogs…and your honesty! Don’t let any skeptics tell you otherwise! 🙂

I think I can speak for other and would love how you came to the conclusion about sugar elimination. I used a dedicated excerciser but through years of food “abuse” (either too much or too little and the disordered eating), my metabolism has rebelled and I’m starting to really feel that I need to treat sugar like poison. I now feel horrible for days after eating it (fatigue, moodiness, etc.). Also, with an increase in weight…it’s just a BIG bummer…literally!

Also, I truly see it as a food addiction (not a good one like the almond butter!) and really am thinking that I need to “kick the habit”. Would love to hear any revelations you have had in your life to truly eliminate it.

Thanks for the wonderful ideas to eat MORE healthy!

Thanks for being a blessing!

Robin July 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm

What a great story. You look amazing 🙂 I’m sure you’re an inspiration to a lot of overweight people who may think they can’t do it.

luckytastebuds July 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Wow!! You have just pretty succinctly and VERY interestingly sumamrized what an entire book i was reading was all about. hahaha Except the doctor who wrote it took YEARS of research and studies to write her book “Health at every size”.

I also went through a period after my 90 pound weight loss when i became So thin but feared fat SO much that it was pretty much an eating disorder, though there isn’t such a thing since I ate normally and didn’t exercise much. This is a fabbbbulous post and I agree with it whole heartedly! IN the end, your “diet” simply comes down to what works for YOU, not what “experts” tell you to do! 🙂

ttfn300 July 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

wowsa girl! you look like you’ve gained ten years (as in gotten younger, not older!) 🙂 gorgeous, and isn’t it true–find what works for you!

shauna/dg July 1, 2009 at 3:22 am

YES! Brilliant, brilliant post… you are so right that you just have have the courage to find out what works for you. And what a beautiful wedding pic 🙂

Sweet and Fit June 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm

thank you so much for posting this – you are such a continued source of inspiration for me. I am still struggling to loose the weight that I have gained, but I am really going to take your advice to heart. thanks so much =)

gina (fitnessista) June 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

what an amazing post <3
i look up to you so much – thank you for being such a fabulous role model to many

Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) June 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I absolutely love this post! I lost 70 lbs over a year ago and I have made some of the same mistakes as you (like the fat restriction and subsequent messed up hormones!), so it makes me feel really good knowing someone else has been through it. Congrats for keeping it off as long as you have.

I also loved the line about extra skin and spanx…me too! 🙂

Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write June 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

Holy moly. How did I miss this post? I actually wrote a post about my weight loss yesterday too! Great minds think alike! You are absolutely breathtaking in your wedding picture. Congratulations. I know exactly how you feel. I felt that way on my wedding day too. Best to you, lady. 🙂

Jenn (eating bender) June 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

Hi Heather,

Wow, what a fantastic post this was. I think what sticks out most for me is the fact that you remind people that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person. I find it so interesting that grains, etc. don’t affect you but any sort of sugar has a major impact. It really has caused me to take a step back and think about how I feel after every single meal I eat. It’s about time I figured out what leaves me feeling alive and what leaves me feeling like I’ve been sitting out in the Arizona sun too long…wouldn’t you say?

Thank you for being such an inspiration. It’s really a credit to you that I can come back to your blog after being gone for way too long, and the first post I read is something completely motivating. To me, it just goes to show that the care and time you put into every post makes for a good read, all day every day 🙂

kristina June 30, 2009 at 8:20 am

Heather, you’re stunning and an inspiration for all who are lucky enough to come across you. I, too, lost a good amount of weight post college. I’m a runner but have been lagging lately. It doesn’t feel as good as it used to. I’ve been trying to walk but I don’t feel like it’s enough. How long do you typically walk and how many times per week?

Thanks for posting!

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) June 30, 2009 at 7:32 am

Thank you Heather for a wonderful, beautiful, inspiring and informational post! Ya know, you really radiate with an inner AND outer beauty. I wish more people would listen to their bodies – I really feel as though I am just starting to do that, and feel so much better. When I listen, the distorted eating/word diet/all that fad crap kind of fade into the background and what truly makes me feel good (and tastes good) is clearer.

Thanks for all you do – you are a doll and LOVE me some avocado + AB love! You can’t go wrong with a combo like that 🙂

dailygoods June 30, 2009 at 7:11 am

heather im not even sure where to begin. you are truly the biggest inspiration out there for us all. You remind us over and over again to do what works for YOU and only you. its so easy to get caught up in what works for everyone else and you want to emulate the same to get the same results. it takes a lot of trial and error but eventually we’ll find what works for us the BEST. You are absolutely beautiful inside and out, thank you for all your posts. you really lift my spirits up everytime I read your blog. Endless thanks

Meghann June 30, 2009 at 6:49 am

Wow over 100 comments on this one! You go girl!

I always love reading your insight on weight loss becuase it is so outside of the box yet so in the box at the same time. You’re right everyone needs to find what works for them and what works for you is amazing! Thanks for always posting yuor crazy, inspiring concoctions and telling us the way it is!

Also thank you for telling us to eat fat! My roommate in college complete cut fat from her diet and she literallys tarted going bald! Her thin hair just could not take it, but she refused to make any changes. Soo sad.

frenchybelle June 30, 2009 at 5:34 am

Heather you are one BEAUTIFUL woman, in and out!!! Thank you for sharing everything with us! you are an inspiration for more than you will ever imagine I am sure!!! 🙂

Ashley June 30, 2009 at 12:41 am

An inspiring post Heather. I agree with everything you wrote – and that bit about carob chips made me feel a little guilty for the couple I add to my breakfast. I think you’re right though – sugar should be avoided! I went sugar free a little while back and it did wonders for me. And yes, fat is important! I get so sick of seeing people eat ‘fat free’ this and that. Fat doesn’t make you fat!

Anyway, I’m thinking I need to stay away from sugar a little more!

emily June 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Adore this post! I don’t have a lot of weight to lose but my 5lb tone up seems more do-able when I see inspring posts like this. You’ve done such an amazing job and this blog is such a testament to good health

leslie June 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

heather, thank you for this post. you have such an awareness of your body and your own needs that i really aspire to have one day. health is such a personal thing, and i wish more people would recognize that. i know that constantly trying to measure up to others is what got me into a negative relationship with food and exercise in the first place. when i started doing what felt right for me, i finally began to actually feel good in my body. i still struggle sometimes, but i’m in a much much better place now. i really appreciate you taking the time to write this!

pytnyc June 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I meant working on losing a chunk of weight, not looking on. 🙂

pytnyc June 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I love this post. I am so inspired by your journey. I am currently looking on losing a chunk of weight. Food blogging has really made me focus on clean eating and drop the ‘calorie mentality’. You look great!

Skeptic June 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm

I actually think this is pretty dangerous. When you put yourself out there as some sort of food/diet expert and then “advise” people that they don’t need to eat a balanced diet in moderation, you are potentially messing with people’s health. I still don’t understand why your diet hasn’t solved the hormonal problems you talk about. It would be interesting to know why the RD made his/her recommendations. Let me guess… you were dangerously underweight and at risk of (or had) an eating disorder. Just suggesting that they were incompetent may not be accurate. They may have been seriously concerned about your health (and psyche).

Alisa - Frugal Foodie June 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Awesome, awesome post! I really love how you encourage people to do best for themselves. It is so impressive how you have really tapped into your body and what it responds to that way. No easy feat!

And yes, you were a beautiful bride!

burpexcuzme June 29, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Heather, my weight goal is actually the opposite direction, but I find you very empowering and inspiring. Your motivation and body-smarts is seriously so amazing, and I need the same things to reach my goal as well. I also love that you challenge conventional advice and do what is right for YOUR body. Everyone’s bodies are different, and our needs are different. way to put that up there!

jacobc June 29, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Great job heather!
Most women i hear talking to are in the “oprah” cycle.. lol Or on the latest fad..
You should write a book, people would listen to someone who has succeeded.. (and sell it at the restaurant- *hint* ;-p)
Cheers, J

Danielle June 29, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Oh Heather, thank you. This is such a spectacular post, I appreciate it so much… as do about 100 other commenters I see 😉

Ashley H aka Organic Girl June 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I love this post I just found your blog through polly’s. I recently discovered that eating sugar also made me sooo sick. I am being struggling with terrible “ibs” and you are truly an inspiration. I hope one day I will be able to understand completely what makes me sick and what doesnt. Thanks I’ll be sticking around thats for sure. 🙂

winslie gomez June 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Great comments! Not read everyone but, wow!
Said I would catch up, so here I am.
You epitomise all that I believe in i.e. being in balance with your own body.

Each one of us is unique. Should I repeat that, yes unique. An individual; and as such what works for one cannot necessarily work for someone else.
What you display is the envigorating experience of getting your body into balance and knowing what works and what doesn’t – for you.
I am ecstatic that you have the courage to say it in print and encouraged by the response to your post.

A simple equation I try to live by is; “energy in = energy out”.
If we view food as a source of energy alone, then we lose the pleasure principle of food and it is part of our human psyche to enjoy food; with all our senses.

You’ve dropped out fruit for the sugar content and I can partially agree with you because I loved dried fruits thinking they were a healthy option until I realised the concentrated sugar content. Now drastically reduce the portion.

I dare say, that the nutrients you get from fruits are being replaced from another source.

You enthuse others and that’s worth it’s weight (no pun intended)in Gold!
bye and cheers from across the pond

KK @ Running Through Life June 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for this post Heather! Awesome job you have done.

Sally June 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Hi Heather,

I just stumbled across your blog through yoga is yummy and as soon as I read #4 from your post today I wanted to add a comment. I couldn’t stop nodding my head in agreement to what you were saying about the food pyramid! It’s refreshing to know that there are so many people who think the same! Thank you for a wonderful post 🙂

Brooke June 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Heather- Why do you think you lost more weight once you stopped running? Also, how did you determine that you can’t eat sugar if you want to maintain your weight? There is so much trial and error and it is a little scary trying to understand each individual’s body.

RunToFinish June 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm

wow fantastic post! you are so right that not one thing works for everybody!

Susan June 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm

It’s nice to get some straight talk from a woman like yourself. I could not agree with you more. I’ve been doing the same type of diet as you did but am cheating a little with a Cleanse that I found at helensdiary dot com. So far i’ve lost 15 pounds but still got a little ways to go.

Jess June 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for this great post Heather! You are so brave and inspiring to share your story with the world.

eatlivelovedream June 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Heather!! I LOVED this post!
You are so inspiring!!! I think I’m feeling ya on the whole fruit issue. It seems my tummy can’t handle it. I might Email you with more questions later on:)

Jerilynne June 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I’ve been a lurker for awhile but I wanted to come out and say thank you for this post Heather!

I think you really have a healthy approach to food and that is something I admire. I am finally ready to start trying to do something good for my body instead of just not trying to do the bad things. It’s all about balance, right? If that means taking a day off from running or having an extra spoonful of almond butter.. then that’s what it means! Regardless of what anyone says.. This is an entirely new concept for me but I am really working on it and so far, I think I like it. I certainly have open and honest bloggers like you to thank helping me get to this point =).

You’re beautiful – in BOTH pictures!

justine June 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

HEABers, Good advice as always. I am sure some dietitian is reading this some where and turning red in the face. hehe. What time are we meeting tomorrow and where?


amy (veganissexy) June 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Heather for your advice. I totally agree about adding fat into your diet. I have found the best balance (still working on it) for my body is plenty of fresh fruits & veggies, the least processed protein sources with a healthy dose of fat. I also used to fear too much nut butter or avocado…but now I don’t measure and have stopped counting calories as well. SO MUCH BETTER!

Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 29, 2009 at 11:49 am

You look gorgeous and you offer some excellent advice. Great post!!

Jen June 29, 2009 at 11:10 am

I should clarify…I was 6 pounds under the bottom of *my range* for the BMI chart.

Jen June 29, 2009 at 11:09 am

My eyes are tearing up while reading this. I lost a lot of weight (120 pounds). I’ve been at this weight for a while, but I have been TERRIFIED of gaining it back. I started running with a running group and went overboard. I was 6 pounds under the bottom of the BMI chart. I wanted to be underweight…just in case I slipped up and ate something I shouldn’t. The thing is, I don’t even like running. I also did Pilates (even becoming a certified instructor). But I was afraid to stop running and just do Pilates for fear that it wouldn’t be enough to keep the weight off. I’m inspired by your story. I’m going to stop running and just do Pilates and yoga. Thank you for your blog!

Marta June 29, 2009 at 10:45 am

What a great post Heather!
Thanks for sharing your tips and real life experiences with us. I’m sure you’re proud of you acocmplishments, not just in weight loss, but in your overal health. You look fantastic, but that’s just the physical representation of being healthy and happy.
I agree with you on all your tips! I lost 40lbs myself and have kept it off for 5 years. I don’t eat any sugars, flours, rice, or other starchy carbs (no potaotes or carrots or yams, etc). I do eat fruit, but only recently. And I’m a huge fan of the good fats. Peanut butter, almonds, avocados, flax seeds, etc… bring it on!
Thanks for this great post!

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) June 29, 2009 at 8:41 am

Yeah HEAB, advice to live by for sure. I knew you’d lost weight, but THAT much?! WOWIE. You’ve certainly got the street cred to back up your advice, and your GORE-JASS wedding pic is total proof. And that RD story is pretty horrifying. Imma keep that in mind during my upcoming studies. 😉

brandi June 29, 2009 at 8:11 am

i love this post and your tips and that you know there is not one perfect way to eat for everyone.

and can I just say that you look beautiful in both pictures in this post? Glowing in both 🙂

I bought OAT GROATS and CHIA seeds this weekend and totally thought of you.

JENNA June 29, 2009 at 8:08 am

thank you so much for this post! Its nice to be reminded that not every “diet”/way of eating is right for everyone. I recently attempted eating mostly raw b/c I thought it was soooo healthy and was down right disastrous. We all have to find whats right for our individual selves.

I really am astonished that a RD told you to start making those smoothies… :-/ horrible!

You look fabulous and I’m so thankful I’ve found your blog! 🙂

Sarah June 29, 2009 at 7:26 am

Add me to that list of readers that have been reading and not commenting… however I HAD to comment today. I just want to reiterate your point that it’s very important to check out your RD before going to visit them. As I was also struggling with losing too much weight and being restrictive after a healthy weight loss, I went to see an RD. She presented me with a list of ways I could continue to cut calories and drop weight. Uh, really? However, a year or so later I had a wonderful experieince with a new RD!!! Like anything, do your research!!! Thanks for the great post and thanks for banishing our fear of fat!

charlotte June 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

Great post – you are a very inspiring example of someone who has really learned what their body is all about! One question though: it seems like you eat a lot of flavored nut butters – don’t those have sugar in them? Not that I’m criticizing, just curious.

MizFit June 29, 2009 at 4:55 am

such an amazing post.

and I 100% agree in the whatworksforyou’ism.

people IM SURE criticize your no-fruit policy but if it works for you—–then it is PERFECT.

Miz, who is oft criticized fer her no white pasta/rice policy 🙂

winslie gomez June 29, 2009 at 3:52 am

Brilliant post and thank you for some myth busting truths!
I too am a late night eater!
Recently went on a 4 week Personal Trainer course and everything you’ve stated here needs to be endorsed and people should be encouraged to get to know their own body.

First time to your blog but will be back, as rushing out the door just now.

yogiclarebear June 28, 2009 at 11:01 pm

heather thanks for posting this. i love the “what works for you” part. im also a midnight oatbran eater. i cant sleep unless i have a warm fully belly! maybe its mental but whatever. it works for me. 😉

i was wondering, and i apologize if this has been asked before, but do you have a current cardiovascular exercise routine?

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 29, 2009 at 6:26 am

I rarely do cardio anymore. I do walk – but just around my neighborhood, sometimes with the pooches for no more than an hour. I also hike some local trails – between 2 and 5 miles. It it’s raining out, preventing me from walking, I’ll get on our stationary bike and do Tabata Intervals…but, I’ve only done them about 3 times in the last 7 months. My ideal cardio – short and intense. Other than that, it’s yoga 5-6 days a week. Seems to be working for me.
Happy Monday!

Trilby Drew June 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Such an awesome post, Heather. That is a total understatement but I am so blown away by you that I am actually at a loss for the exact way to express how amazing you are and how much I look up to you.

Thank you for sharing a little sliver of your life with me and the rest of the blog world.


glidingcalm June 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Oh Mama Heather! You are one of my heroes!! 🙂 But you knew that already, right?

Thank you.

(And beaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful wedding picture!!!)

Skeptic June 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

You wrote, “I was scared to death to gain it back… yes, I had issues”. What kind of issues? Why hasn’t your new way of eating solved the health problems you talked about (hormonal imbalance)? The comments about RDs are unnecessary in my humble opinion.

Tasha June 28, 2009 at 9:25 pm

What a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing your story!

Rose June 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, Heather. I wish I had words to say in this comment that would at least equal the quality of writing and the truth you displayed in this post. But it’s 11 p.m., and I should be sleeping.

I’d very much like to talk to you via email about this more in depth. I have been going through these ups and downs through life where something works, then it doesn’t anymore. Right now I’m at this stage where I want to get more toned, lose weight, but something just isn’t clicking. Anyway… I shall email sometime.

Thanks, again.

Marcia June 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Great blog! I’m a first time visitor. Good for you for taking off the weight and keeping it off. It’s a lot of hard work. I am also very thankful for sports bras and spanx.

I’m 39 and have a 3 year old, and I always joke that it’s nice that I’ve finally “grown into” my body. The stretch marks, loose skin, and somewhat saggy breast are suddenly normal after you’ve given birth and nursed for 1+ years, and nobody but my spouse and me need to know the truth…

(Lost 57 lbs back in ’02 and have mostly kept it off since. Baby in there, about 1.5 yrs to take off those last 20 baby lbs, and my new normal weight is 52 lbs from my max).

lena June 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm

thanks Heather, this is so inspiring, i am so motivated by reading your blogs and inspired by all your spirit and determination. thank you, for the great insights! love reading your blog!

Samantha June 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm

For me, your blog is the one I’m most able to relate to, because we’re closer in age. I read several healthy eating, active lifestyle blogs, many of which belong to those who used to be overweight…but so many of them are younger. And for me, my metabolism came to a grinding halt at 28. I’ve yet to see any loss in the last several months but more important that that, I’m gaining energy back. So much of that credit goes to you and others who post so many unique fun ways to eat healthy whole (and raw) food and not sacrifice taste or variety. Thank you for that!

And kudos…you’ve done amazing things! Maybe one day I’ll not obsess over weekly mileage trying to get calorie burn!

Elizabeth June 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm

You’re beautiful inside & out, my dear!

Thanks for keepin’ it real. I lost 55 pounds following Weight Watchers & have been working on discovering what “naturally” works for me (while maintaining for the last 6 months). Great to hear from others that love their almond butter & avacados. You lost me on the no fruit thing though 😉


Maggie June 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Ahh, this is so perfect.

Today all I did was some yoga this morning, and I walked for about 20 minutes. And I feel great. Sometimes I just need to rest, ya know?

Thank you for the healthy fat reminder. I do eat them… but I could have more. ABU milkshake here I come.

I think the most important thing is to realize that EVERYONE is different. We need to LISTEN to ourselves to figure out what’s right. Gotta learn the language of my body. Sometimes I feel like it’s speaking jibberish, and other times it’s shouting clearly.

Like today, when I couldn’t finish my green oats (??!?!?!??!)… well, don’t you know it was probably because the freakin’ rhubarb leaves are poisonous. I don’t think I’ve ever not finished something like that before. It was kind of crazy.

I hope you have a great night Heather 🙂

foodsthatfit June 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm


You are absolutely gorgeous! The before and after pics look like 2 completely different people. I loved reading your story, and think it is great you have narrowed down what works for you.

Emily June 28, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I reading about your weight loss journey and what has worked for you. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience with the RD at Vanderbilt. Unfortunately, not all dietetic students come into programs with the mentality that every person they see is an individual and should be treated uniquely…and that the food pyramid is not necessarily the basis for a good diet. I can’t believe she told you to use corn syrup in your smoothies! Uggh. There are a lot of bad dietitians out there, and I’m hoping I can change that stereotype!

I think you are a real inspiration and example of the importance of fueling based on individual, not mass recommendations. 🙂 Bravo!

buffmuffy June 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm

What a great post … I can’t believe that you gain weight from sugar! That is insane. But it looks like you have no trouble keeping yourself happy with what you do eat, it all looks amazing!
Thanks for posting this, it was inspiring.

Michal Mymo June 28, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Heather thank you so much for this post – you are an inspiration as always. You are truely a beautiful person. : )

Michal (lilearthmuffin)

Anna June 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Wonderful post, Heather! This post (like all of your posts!) is just so honest, sincere, and full of candor. I couldn’t agree more- it’s all about what’s best for YOU.

Meghan June 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I think I endure the same effect from fruits and sugars that you do. My question is, though, how do you get enough vitamin C? Do you take a supplement?

Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) June 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Great post! I especially like your advice of figuring out what works for you. There really is no one-size-fits-all diet. And kudos for mentioning the importance of fat! Last year, I was teaching 5+ Spinning classes a week and eating virtually no fat. I was one of those girls who was afraid of nuts and nut butters, etc. I felt awful, was constantly hungry, and my hormones were way out of whack. As soon as I started incorporating more healthy fats like nuts and avocado into my diet, I had so much more energy! Now I make sure to have at least a serving of nuts every day.

Alison June 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Thank you so much for such an inspiring post!

CaSaundra June 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm

You’re very inspiring and it’s so good to know some people can lose weight and keep it off the healthy way! Congrats x100!

Kristie June 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I LOVE this post. Your habits and ways of eating completely fascinate me. It’s really eye opening too – no sugar and lots of fats. It must be worth a try because it’s sure doing wonders for you. Plus, who could argue with getting to eat spoon upon spoon of nut butter? Doesn’t get much better than that!
Seriously, thanks for doing this post! It’s wonderful. As is your weight loss. As is your lifestyle. As are YOU!

Metta June 28, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Just a wonderful post – you are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story and spreading your light.

Juanita June 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm


Thank you for sharing your story – it is really important to hear and be inspired by people like you. I have started on my health journey and I am always checking in with your blog to keep me inspired and on the right track.

Angharad June 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

This is a really great, inspirational post – thanks for writing it! I think we all have our issues with food, eating and body image. It’s a shame but I know it’s true. Finding a healthy balance that works for YOU is such a good point to make. The same thing is not going to work for everyone and you have to take the measures that feel right for you and work in the long term.
Also – you look awesome and I can’t believe you’re 33!

Please check out my blog if you get the chance – I’m brand new to blogging! Thanks

coco June 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

these are great advices, especially remind us that everyone’s body is different and we need take care about ourselves giving us what we need most! 🙂

bobbi June 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm

wow heather that is an amazing journey!!!! Ok so do you ever ever ever eat fruit or dessert??? That is amazing!

Ednabucket June 28, 2009 at 3:51 pm

So inspirational and a really good read – thanks for posting this! Such great advice and what a beautiful bride.

bibixs June 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Congrats heather!! you look absolutely gorgeous!!!
I gain a LOT of weight while dealing with a thyroid-issue treatmeant, going from 135 to 156 or something… lost it slooooooowly over the past 2 years and know im 128-130, and trying to lose the last 10 vanity pounds.
Any advise on this? i’ve thought about the mcdougall program or the south beach diet, what do you think?
thanks 😉

sunshineach June 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

One of my biggest pet peeves is overhearing the insane methods for weight loss that women are desperately clinging to (I worked at a gym and literally had a woman tell me, “I don’t want to exercise and I don’t mind not eating, as long as I can smoke.) Seriously?

It seems people go to the extreme (myself included at times) in that running for hours is the answer or cutting out all of a certain food group (ahem…Atkins?)is the key. It is truly all about what works best for YOU and moderation in everything.

Once again, it was just refreshing to hear someone else reinforce that fact (this coming from someone who loves her food and prefers walking and yoga to sugar and running).

You look fabulous, but it’s the confidence in your words that give you a glow!

Sweetie Pie June 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Great post! As I’ve said before, I’m so glad to know someone who lost it and kept it off. I’m hoping to keep my 180 bonus pounds from returning, and you always remind me that, despite the naysayers, it can be done. I’m working on conquering the fear of the creeping scale, and your healthy approach provides me with great inspiration. Thank you so so much for that!!

Your bottom line is spot on– as always. It’s always good to be reminded that what works for one person might not work for someone else. Isn’t it amazing how different we all are? I love it!

Erin June 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I have to agree with everyone. You are GLOWING in your wedding picture. You’re gorgeous no matter what though!
I love this post. I need CONSTANT reminding to do what works for me. You’ve come a long way and I am so inspired by your journey and your ability to do what works for you. Your running journey resonates with me, because I think the biggest reason I’ve liked it is that I couldn’t do it at all when I was in school. It’s a huge accomplishment for me, but it hurts my whole body and gives me a ravenous appetite. I’m shocked that working out less seems to make it easier to maintain/lose weight for me. Simple things still surprise me.

Erica June 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm

You are AMAZING and so beautiful 🙂 I’m sure you have and will motivate tons of others to lose weight! Keep up the great work g friend

Sarah June 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Oh my gosh HEAB, I love everything about this post.

I was reading it on my phone, in the car, and Gracie pipes up, “I LOVE her dress!!!” I do too. She has good taste.

I couldn’t agree with you more on finding what works for you (obviously). I think that so many times we are so afraid of trying new things, letting go of inner fears, ignoring what other people say or think and just putting ourselves FIRST for once. That is what it is all about.

I love you, my friend.

Denise June 28, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Thank you for this post! I am just learning what works for my body and what doesn’t. I am trying to work with my “fat girl mentality” in adding fat to my diet, i.e. good fats. I do measure my nut butters and nuts, but I have issues with portion control, so I kind of have to. 🙂 I think because each of us is different, what helps one person lose weight may not help another.

Clare (Clare's Two Steps Forward) June 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Thank you so much for posting this…especially the part about fat! When I was unknowingly enveloped in an eating disorder, fat was never a part of my diet. A meal would be a massive pile of spinach (like 1/2 the plate and piled inches into the air) and a rice stuffed mushroom or a piece of grilled chicken. My hair also suffered for it. Once my boyfriend looked at me funny when I made a PB sandwich. He said, That doesn’t seem like something you would eat. You’re usually healthy. Heather, thank you for letting everyone know the truth!

ksgoodeats June 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm

These are some wonderful tips, Heather! They’re so spot on!! It kills me when people go on “diets” and only eat prepackaged/fat free foods. It may work short term (and usually only water weight) but you can’t live your life like that! Like I said, these are all wonderful!!

Congrats by the way on all of your hard work – very inspiring!

Gina June 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm

You’re so sweet 🙂 I also would never have believed if I met you in person that you used to be overweight, you look fantastic.

I’ve had to lose some weight in the past, although never as much as you did, so…while I know what to do, I’m so frustrated to be on the upper end of that ten pound swing, so your post is just another little kick I need to keep me going right now 🙂

Kath June 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm

WOW, Heather, what a great transformation and post. You are so inspiring!! Very interesting about sugar. I am not surprised about white sugar, but fruit too – wow. Makes me wonder what would happen to me if I gave it up. But it’s not gonna happen. One of the greatest pleasures of my life 🙂

Harriet June 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I felt compelled to say how much I loved this post. As many others have said; it really is inspiring, so thank you from the UK 🙂

Adi (oatonomy.com) June 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Another really great post, Heather. I can relate so much to what you’re saying. I feel like I have a constant battle going on with my tummy, never sure what sets it off and what keeps it happiest. I love your approach to eating really basic, simple food. Oat bran and broccoli? If you love it and it makes you feel good, then why not?!

Your comments about running hit me, too. I have a lot of friends who are runners (one who is training hard for a marathon) and I actually feel *guilty* that I don’t love running, I’m not good at running, and I can’t run long distances. I’m always trying to force myself to like it. Your post reminded me that I don’t need to like anything about running! I think my legs prefer nice walks. 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t think this shift in thinking happens over night, but it’s something I’ll be working on… thanks for this post!

adrianna June 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

i just spend a ridic amount of time reading thru tons of your posts after stumbling upon this blog. you’ve made my bookmarks fo sho. what a great blog! and this story…incredible. what an inspiration! your tips are very smart, very down to earth, and very real and accessible. there is no negativity whatsoever, hence your amazing outlook and appearance. youz one hot whoa-man 🙂 and the FL vaca looked super fun.

Holly B June 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Hi Heather- I frequent your wonderful blog but I think this is my first response. This post really spoke to me, so thank you! I am wondering how you found out that sugars of any kind don’t work for you? Bloggers often write about what “works for them” but it just seems like such a daunting/needle-in-a-haystack process. Did you decide to cut out sugar to cut calories/see what would happen/etc? Thank you again for your insight!

peaceandpeanutbutter June 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm


Thank you again for sharing this part of your journey. I can relate to the struggle of trying to find out ‘what our bodies need’. I’m still trying to figure that one out! Our bodies are so complex, but they sure know what they want! They key is for us to listen 🙂

Congrats on taking this fabulous journey, and lots of love and light ahead!


Lara (Thinspired) June 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

P.S. YAY for avocados and fats! I am relieved whenever I read that. Just had a pack of the Justin’s AB today and thought of you as I scraped the packet clean!

Lara (Thinspired) June 28, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Ok Heather, you are just adorable. I have to say that because in all of your posts I think that, but this post I was “Awww”-ing out loud and told Matt to come look at the photo of you on your wedding day. You are gorgeous.

I am inspired that you have found what has worked for you. I am still playing around with what works for me, but I know that heaping bowls of carbs (even the good ones) don’t give me the glow they give you 🙁 I can definitely do moderate amounts, and fruit seems to be just fine. I think excess of anything for me is the problem. (K, sorry to ramble, I’m thinking outloud here).

Anyway, thank you for sharing your story. I know a lot of people appreciate it. Success stories are always the best to read!

Gena (Choosing Raw) June 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

First of all: holy moly, you are gorgeous on your wedding day, Heather! What a stunning bride.

Second, as usual, I love your post. And as usual, we’re in total agreement about strategies for healthy living through INDIVIDUALIZATION.

Love you!!!!!!!

Deb June 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

Hey Heather. So glad you posted this. It’s so helpful to everyone. What’s great is that you’ve found your balance. I admire your lack of fat-phobia. I need to work on it, and you are helping me in that regard. Leftover from 80’s dieting! [anyone remember that decade?!! :-)]

I’m still STILL trying to find my balance- to make my life less about food and calories and exercising just to burn off X calories- as you know I was about 90 pounds heavier myself- so I can TOTALLY relate. Still a work in progress, and so blogs like yours are incredibly helpful. So thank you!!!!

Susan June 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

That’s why I never hate on “skinny” girls, you never know what they’ve been/are going through!

I’ve learned all similar lessons through trial and error and couldn’t agree with you more. Especially the part about eating lots of nut butter 😉
BTW I love your blog!

Susan June 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

That’s why I never hate on “skinny” girls, you never know what they’ve been/are going through!

I’ve learned all similar lessons through trial and error and couldn’t agree with you more. Especially the part about eating lots of nut butter 😉

Chris June 28, 2009 at 11:08 am

Heather, you look amazing and I’m so impressed at your achievement – not just the weight loss, not just maintaining the weight loss, but your fantastic attitude towards food, health, and exercise. You’re an inspiration, and I love your blog!

Sandy June 28, 2009 at 11:07 am

Thank you so much for this post. At 54 I have lost and gained the same 20 pounds over and over. I am down at a feel great weight right now and really want to keep it off but it is feeling different this time because we have been eating really healthy wholesome food. One question – I can’t find almond butter in my store. Should it be with the peanut butter?

I gave up running 21 years ago when I was pregnant and have walked several half marathons and daily walk at least 4 miles. I feel like I should be a runner but I just don’t like to run. I add pilates and yoga and feel great so I appreciate you and Polly both saying it is OK not to be a runner.

Rachel June 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

You are absolutely beautiful. Your wedding day photo is stunning. Thanks for posting this post..very interesting and helpful 🙂 Real whole food is the best food!

Did you ever/do you still calorie count? x

Leah June 28, 2009 at 11:00 am

Heather- absolutely BRILLIANT. This is why I love you as a blogger.. you are honest and to the point. So much great information here. Thank you so much for putting this post together!

Jess June 28, 2009 at 10:58 am

Heather, thanks so much for sharing this. You are so beautiful and I love that picture of you in your wedding gown. You’re beaming! I’m sure CD dropped over when he saw you 😉
<3 jess

goddessgreen June 28, 2009 at 10:57 am

wow no short of an inspiration!!! the world needs more heather’s!

Holly June 28, 2009 at 10:56 am

Heather, I love love loved reading this. I have always been interested in people’s weight loss journeys (or just life journeys in general!). You are so wise and have wonderful advice for so many people.

After so many years of fearing nut butters, avocadoes (it’s with a “e” when plural…right? 🙂 ), and being laid off from running, you have taught me that all of these things are OKAY. We are strong and shouldn’t limit our eats or activities if they are not good for our bodies in the long run.

By the way, you are an absolutely STUNNING bride. You are just glowing!

Shelby June 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

This is such a wonderful post Heather! You are an inspiration to all women because you are beautiful, smart, and you listen to your body.

Horray for healthy fats and veggies! =)

so inspiring! June 28, 2009 at 10:47 am

I can relate so much to your story. I lost 50 pounds after senior year of high school by reading up on nutrition, and switching to a vegan diet. I could not believe how blind I had been to what I was putting in my body all through high-school! It’s amazing how much better life can be when we chose to start living healthier. Thanks for sharing your story!

janetha June 28, 2009 at 10:39 am

thanks for sharing your story 🙂 i really enjoyed reading it!

Jessica (jesslikesithot) June 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

Thanks for sharing your story Heather! I know that so many look up to you and i love that you’re telling everyone to just eat the fats & carbs!! It’s true, we really need ’em! That’s crazy how fruit sugars can affect some and not others though, but hey….you know what works for you! 🙂

Maria June 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

You look absolutely gorgeous in your wedding picture–such a stunning bride :D.

Thanks for this post, Heather. I’m starting to wean away from those healthy fats again, and this totally is telling me to stop (my hormones are already out of wack and this may be the reason why).

I also ran 3 miles yesterday after not running for a while (used to run 25 miles a week, but stopped due to injuries), and just felt all the aching pains again. Although I love running, my body is not liking it. Thank you again for reminding me that not all bodies are meant to do so much intense cardio! Love all this advice! Hope you have a glorious Sunday dear friend!

jenngirl June 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

Wow really amazing and great post Heather. Thank you so much for sharing your story and experience. I LOVE that you endorse EATING and eating WELL to maintain weight loss. Especially when it involves nut butters 😉

I couldn’t agree more that everyone is different and requires a different combination of foods to fuel their lifestyles. But it’s nice to get some straight talk from an obviously intelligent woman like yourself! Thanks for this post!

Graze With Me June 28, 2009 at 10:31 am

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. EAT to lose weight. So simple right? It’s amazing how many people are shocked when I say I eat ALL DAY LONG.

You look soooo happy and radiant on your wedding day! What a big smile too! I love it, success stories such as your own are what I love about this community and why I want to be a nutritionist.

I can’t believe some “professional” told you to drink a shake w/corn syrup and heavy cream in it!!! My mouth dropped to the floor when I read that…. :-0

Congrats on finding your perfect eating style, I’m still fine-tuning mine but nut butters are a permanent staple in my house. Always have been – always will be!

polly June 28, 2009 at 10:29 am


You shine like a sparkly jar of almond butter in the summer sunshine, my friend. I LOVED THIS POST. Can I just print it out and hang it next to my fridge? Yes, thanks. 😀 You are just so beautiful inside and outside. I AGREE with all of what you said!

Ya think I should tell my bloggies I was once rather chunky and lived on fruit and bread and crap and ran my buns off (or not off) but feel 100% different now? hmmm. You are an inspiration to ALL of us! I agree… eat those fats eat what works for YOU and love it!!

What a beautiful sunday it is. D is feeling a smidgen better. He just ate a leftover hamburger all wrapped up burrito style with cheese and spinach in a tortilla… sitting next to his wife who just ate her left over chicken wrapped in lettuce and and glops AB. 😛 The end of the jar was near… so I just scraped her clean. 😉

Remember those 8 jars of AB from TJ’s?

umm… 3 jars left.


Hugs to you, sweet peach! XOXO

Whit June 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

Wow Heather this is great! Thanks so much for showing what a strong determined woman you are and showing others that they can do it too!

JB June 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

i don’t need to lose weight, but i really enjoyed this post anyway. i totally agree about not fearing fats, and figuring out what’s right for YOU. two great pieces of advice right there. and your before and after photos are incredible, girl! you’re amazing.


livingfreeforever June 28, 2009 at 10:27 am

I am so glad you posted this! My friend and I were just talking about how you lost so much weight. I think this will help her:)

I also was just thinking before reading this about how your blog is helping me SO much with my fear of fat! Do you have ESP or something? I have tried EVERY diet known to mankind and fell flat on my face in the grips of an eating disorder. I am doing well now, but I still struggle with a lot of fear over food and fat. I totally agree that fat makes us feel better. My hormones are also REALLY out of whack from the damage I did to my body.

Thank you for posting this and showing the world that we can eat REAL food and be healthy:)

VeggieGirl June 28, 2009 at 10:26 am

You’re gorgeous, my dear friend!!

Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) June 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

Heather, you are an angel. I really needed this today. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what works for other people…but the bottom line is that we are all unique and everyone works differently. And WOO for healthy fats!!!

I’m definitely not TRYING to lose weight…but having struggled with disordered eating, I still get into that mentality that I need to eat a certain way…so not true. Needed this pick me up today! You are an inspiration. Thank you!

elise June 28, 2009 at 10:15 am

i LOVE you heather! you are so brilliant…and of course your story is so motivational and positive. it makes me so happy!

haha, dont even get me STARTED on the FDA!!! and that ever so efficient DMV and airport security…

Dori June 28, 2009 at 10:14 am

Fantastic post! I am amazed by how much you’ve accomplished. You look absolutely stunning on your wedding day and your advice is so practical. You are so right about everyone’s body being different and listening to it when losing weight. I have no issues with sugars, but eating too much of anything will show my muffin top, even the healthiest foods. I lost 20 lbs a few years ago and for me it was just small portions that worked. Thanks for posting this!

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