How I Lost 40 Pounds in 6 Months

Before I get too far into this post, let me just say 2 things:

  1. I am not a doctor and do not profess to be a medical professional of any kind. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, please speak with your primary care physician about what is right for you.
  2. I cannot promise this will work for you. I wish I could. Unfortunately, every person is different, and what may work for one may not work for another.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the post!

First, we’ll back up about 7 – 8 months. I was at my heaviest weight. I was miserable. In fact, I was dealing with a lot of chronic pain. I was in and out of my doctor’s office trying to figure out what steps to take next.

I wasn’t eating right. I was completely addicted to soda… Pepsi to be more specific. It was like my own version of alcoholism. I would drink a minimum of 16 cans of Pepsi PER DAY. I was depressed, and it was all because I was feeling fat and ugly.

People would say things like, “Oh, you look good for having 6 kids.” I HATED hearing that. I knew they were lying. I didn’t look good, and I certainly didn’t feel “good.” {I know that’s not proper grammar, but you get what I mean.}

In December, the wonderful people at DietBet contacted me and asked me if I would compete against several other mom bloggers for the chance at a $5,000 pot, and we would have to give some of that money to charity.

That was exactly the kick in the pants I needed. I am an incredibly competitive person, and knowing that I could play for a charity like St. Jude and have the opportunity to give them up to $5,000, well, let’s just say that I was all in.

The competition started in early January. I weighed in at a ghastly 213 pounds. I hadn’t been on a scale in months, and I had no idea that it had gotten so out of control. In that first DietBet challenge, I lost 17 pounds. I smashed the competition, {although according to DietBet rules, we all “won”}, and I gave all my winnings to St. Jude’s.

Now, here we are in June. It’s been 6 months since I started that first DietBet challenge, and I am down 40 pounds.

Take a look at my before and after shots: {Click the picture to see it larger.}

40 pounds in 6 months
Pretty dramatic difference, isn’t it? I can’t believe the difference in my face and upper body. And my BUTT. Oh my gosh. Every time I have gotten pregnant, I have carried my kids in my butt and hips. My butt was huge. I was in a size 16 pants in January. Now, I can squeeze my behind into any pair of size 10s, and most size 8s. I’ve come a long way.

But I still have a long way to go. My goal is to lose another 40 pounds or so and get down to 130 – 135 pounds. THEN I want people to tell me that I look good for having 6 kids. I might actually start to believe them.

I have people asking me every day what I’ve been doing to lose the weight. So, I thought I’d share my tips with you. I hope they help encourage you get on a path to healthier living.

  • I’ve focused on Spiritual growth. I realize that I can do nothing on my own. But, through Christ, I can do anything. {Philippians 4:13} Early in January, I discovered Job 23:12b that says, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” I made that my life verse for this weight loss challenge. Whenever I want something sweet, I remind myself of those words, and I pick up my Bible. I know it sounds crazy, but it has truly worked for me. I have made my Spiritual life and my relationship with Jesus my top priority, and I have benefited in so many ways because of it.
  • I’ve reduced portion sizes. Drastically. I still eat exactly what my family eats, but I put my servings on a kid-sized plate instead of a large plate. And when I’ve eaten what’s on my plate, that’s it. No seconds.
  • I opt for Fat-Free, Low-Fat, and Reduced calorie as often as I can. We have one shelf in our pantry dedicated to my snacks and such. The kids know those items are off limits to them. Any time I buy salad dressing, it’s fat free. I also only use fat-free Feta cheese on salads.
  • I eat every 2 – 3 hours during the day.It starts with breakfast at 8, snack at 10, lunch at noon, snack at 3, and dinner at 6. My portions are small, yes, but this absolutely keeps me from getting hungry at all during the day. Some of my favorite snacks include:
    • Fruit Nuggets – these are found in the Fruit Snacks section. They contain 0g of fat and only 50 calories per pack. LOVE them.
    • Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes – This is how I get my chocolate fix. Each cookie only has 50 calories and NO fat.
    • Fat Free Fig Newtons – In two cookies, there are only 90 calories and no fat. {Note: Nabisco has large packs that you can toss in your purse, but the two cookies in those packs contain 200 calories. I buy the tray of cookies and just toss Ziploc baggies that contain 2 cookies in my purse.}
    • Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop – I honestly can’t finish an entire serving myself. But, one serving only contains 100 calories and only 2g of fat.
    • Snack Pack Chocolate Fat Free Pudding – Another chocolate fix. Only 90 calories and zero fat.
    • Fruit – Berries, Bananas, Oranges. Sometimes I even get creative and mix several fruits in a blender with ice and little Truvia to sweeten it, and make a smoothie. Mmmm.
  • I completely gave up soda. As you can imagine, this was quite a challenge for me. But I honestly believe it was the BEST decision I ever could have made. Now, the ONLY thing I will drink is water. I will not even allow myself a sip of soda or Sweet Tea {another weakness!}, because I know it would take nothing for me to fall back into old habits.
  • I Exercise Daily. I started slowly. After all, until January, the most exercise I got was going to the grocery store with all 6 kids. I have a treadmill, and when I first started, my goal was to burn 200 calories per day. I started by walking at 2.5 MPH, and then slowly increased that number weekly. My March, I was burning 300 calories/day, and now I burn 400 calories on the treadmill everyday. Toward the end of April, I started using the Total Gym as well. Now I do 400 calories on the treadmill {which takes about an hour}, and then I do 30 – 45 minutes on the Total Gym.ย  I also park my car farther away at the store, and force myself to walk that extra bit as often as I can. Just getting up and moving will make a huge difference. You don’t have to walk fast. My treadmill only goes up to 4 MPH, but I have literally walked my butt off the past 6 months. And, to answer any questions, YES. I exercise 7 days a week. I won’t allow myself to take a day of rest, because I’ll want to rest all the time.

It takes a complete lifestyle change in order to lose weight and get healthy. You have to be willing to give up some of your favorite things. Am I saying that you have to give them up forever? Of course not. But isn’t it worth it to give it up for a short time so that you can become the person that you want to be?

I also want to mention that since January when I made this lifestyle change, I have not had one single pain that I was dealing with last year. I feel about a million times better than I have in years. For me, these changes were life-changing and possibly life-saving.

For the past few days, I have been learning about another lifestyle transformation program, and I am prayerfully considering trying it out and seeing how it works for me at getting those last 40 pounds off. Depending on how the program works for me, hopefully I will be sharing more about it with you all soon.

However, until that happens, I will continue on the path I laid out above. I will work hard, eat right, and praise Jesus for every pound that comes off.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about weight loss, I hope you’ll leave a comment on this post.

Angie Vinez (2959 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.

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  1. Good for you! I am proud of you! I am working myself on losing weight after – not 6 kids!! just 3. really, just 2, because prior to the last 2, I’d lost all the weight from the first one. BUT – I need to lose about 40-50 pound (or more) Seeing someone else “do it” helps a little with motivation – boy, is it difficult!


    • It is difficult, but once you get in the habit, I find that it’s harder to keep myself from exercising or eating right.

      Keep me posted on your progress! I wish you all the success in the world.

  2. Wow, this is such a blessing for you, and you look amazing! What an inspiration you are to all of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

    “It takes a complete lifestyle change in order to lose weight and get healthy.” This is sooo true. I know that I would lose more weight and be healthier if I practiced portion control and cut way down on sugar (my weakness is creamer in my coffee in the mornings). Great job, and thank you for sharing!
    Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy recently posted..Stage an Awesome Fatherโ€™s Day Photo Shoot Courtesy of Paper Coterie! (Free Printables)

      • Lindsey, I would just like to comment that the Skinny Caramel Macchiato creamer by International Delight is pretty good!!

  3. You look great! I’m currently trying to work on losing some of my pregnancy weight, it’s tough, but you give great inspiration!

  4. I am just wondering if you had headaches from the caffeine withdrawals initially and what you did for it. Were you really drinking 16 a day? Or did you mean that to be 6? As you may know, my pitfall is mountain dew, and I still have the occasional can, but not 2-4 a day like I used to. You look great Angie!
    Danielle recently posted..Rings

    • No, I meant 16. I went through 6 – 7 24 packs of Pepsi PER WEEK. I have no idea how, but I had absolutely NO withdraws from the caffeine. I truly believe that increasing my spiritual life is what helped with that. I also increased my water intake to about 100ounces per day, so I don’t know if that helped wash out the toxins from the soda or what. Either way, I am just so thankful that I didn’t have the complications that I could have had.

      • Danielle,
        I too am working hard to get away from the soda. I noticed I more drink soda for the recently I have tried switching to flavored carbonated water. It seems to help quench my thirst. Best of luck to you!

  5. Also, I lost almost 20 pounds, down from 153-155 during the Holidays to 135-137 now. But I think because of our height differences, it’s about the same success. Aren’t you like 5’10”?
    Danielle recently posted..Rings

    • Congrats on your loss! ๐Ÿ™‚ That is awesome! I’m 5’8″, so a healthy weight for me is between 130 – 150. I really want to be on the lower end of that to give myself a little extra to play with.

  6. Ok, so I just want to say you’re an amazing inspiration! I am glad I came across your profile! I am struggling with my weight loss. I am looking to lose about 50 lbs. I was once there with a prescribed appetite suppressant and know how great I felt and how great I looked. I still wasn’t in the “normal” range, but I looked pretty decent. But then I made a drastic move and then got pregnant again and gained it all back, and this time I don’t have my doctor to “save me”. I have a general idea what I “need” to do, but having a hard time with the details. We have a gym, but not sure exactly what exercises and what reps, etc. I am sorry for the book, but you inspire me and that’s really what I need with some motivation. My husband is naturally built and only has to worry about what to eat to build he can’t relate.

  7. Wow! Girlfriend! I mean WOW!
    Such an amazing inspiration. Kudos for the want & amazing will-power. WOW!
    I have struggled on this yo-yo and roller coaster since I can’t really remember. Sadly I just can’t seem to completely stick to the program. I get so far and do pretty good and feel like (1) treat won’t hurt……… WRONG! It never ends there. I am even on prescribed meds and they help, but I always go back to my love… “MOCHAS”
    You are right Angie… YOU HAVE TO “REALLY” WANT IT! I have got to figure out a way to heed those words and live it. I am not getting any younger. SOooooooooo important for me to get it together. I have some of those aches and pains and I am sure I would feel so much better … ONLY If!
    I have to tell you that I am SOooooooo proud of you! REALLY! You are so beautiful inside & out. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are inspiring me.
    Remember… “Nothing tastes as good as HEALTHY Skinny feels” {{Hugs}} to you!

    • Becci,
      I too am having a rough time. I was on meds before and it helped me to lose a bunch of weight, but then I got pregnant again, and now i don’t have a doctor to help me, nor the money to pay for the prescription. I know this is a tough battle, but day by day I am gaining the willpower to change my bad habits. I think it is truthfully mind over matter. I wish you the best of luck!

  8. To anybody who reads this blog- I would just like to give an update. Since reading Angie’s story and using the few tips in this blog, I am officially down 10 pounds!! I find Angie a true inspiration and thank God for coming across her profile. For whatever reason, reading her story gave me the extra “kick in the pants” to really do this! I am so excited for her, and for myself!

    • I wish I could “LOVE” this comment – instead of just liking it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stephanie, I am SOOOOOO proud of you!!! I am so glad that this is working for you, and that you’re starting to see a difference.

      Keep up the good work!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

      • I’m back Angie! New update! I’ve hit my 20 pound mark! I’m so happy how far I’ve gotten and I’m very excited to keep going!! Hope all is well with you guys ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. thank you for sharing im at the point I need to lose weight, im a mother of 1 im 24 n weighing 190 its ridic n after seein my stomach for the first time in a year in the.mirror today im disgisted n ready to go n drop the weight! Any advice?

    • Just get started! Don’t put it off any longer. It won’t be easy at first… and you will get frustrated. BUT, as you see the weight come off, you will feel so much better. Good luck! I’ll be joining you again as soon as my baby is born. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh my Gosh! You are so inspriational to me. I have also lost 40 pounds (30 with dietbet) and want to lose 40 more!! I love the community feel of it and your success is so encouraging!! Fantastic! When I make my goal I want to be a testimonial too…

  11. ~ What kind of products/ machines did you buy from the Total gym~
    I’m 23 ~ had depression for 2 years and need to get my health back together ~ I know that using the elliptical or treadmill for 1 hour is good but I also need to work out other muscle groups~ what can you recommend?

    • I love our total gym. (We bought it from a friend.) It’s the perfect cool down after I use the treadmill, and it’s really strengthened and helped shaped my muscles. We didn’t get any extras, just what the total gym came with, and I don’t see any need to add anything else to it. Good luck! If I can help in any way, let me know!

  12. I love that I came across this. God has been doing a lot of work on my “inside” and now after 4 babies it’s time to get to work on the outside. I have 40 lbs to lose and I was fearful that working on the outside would take away from God working on the inside si I was praying about how to combine the 2 and it led me to this.
    I love that verse in Job. Thank you for that.
    I pray that you stay strong in your journey of faith and health. Please do that same for me

    ~your sister in Christ~

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  14. Wow. That is awesome! Congrats. You look great. I stumbled this post! I never had problems with weight but after my third birth I had lots of trouble and was frustrated for quite awhile.

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  16. I am so happy to have found your blog through DietBet! ๐Ÿ˜€ CONGRATS on losing all that! I am down 30 lbs! ๐Ÿ™‚ WOrking towards another 60 ๐Ÿ™‚ SO proud of you ! I start my first DIET bet game in three days

  17. Wanted to say thanks for being so open. I found you through Dietbet’s testimonial page. I have 5 kids and I HATE hearing I look good for having 5 kids… Ugh. That’s not even a compliment. So I have about 30 lbs I would like to lose and I just started a dietbet. Praying the Lord helps me overcome my weakness and lack of selfcontrol!!

    • You CAN do this! I promise! And I know exactly what you mean about the “You look good for having XX kids…” That makes me bonkers too! Feel free to check in here anytime you need a boost! I’ll promise to cheer you on!

  18. WOW Is all i can say ….You are amazing and even more so that God is at the centre of all your efforts that is SO admirable!!!
    I recently started the Paleo diet which seems to be working fo me ,i lost 4kgs so far in teh past month.I am a single mom who can never find the time to exercise 7 days a week , I usually get in about 3. Please tell me HOW you do it 7 days a week ? Do you find it better in the morning ? I think that if i can overcome that exercise hurdle I will lose more weight. Again…well done on your achievements an commitment.

    • First of all, congratulations on your first milestone. 4Kgs is nothing to sneeze at! That’s a great start on your journey.

      As far as exercise, YES. I find that working out first thing in the morning is the best for me. I feel energized all day, and it just makes me feel better. BUT, I have to workout when I can, and that doesn’t always happen in the morning. Sometimes it’s late at night. But as long as I’m doing something, that’s all that matters.

      I have to force myself to find the time to exercise. And I have to accept help when I need to. My husband is my biggest motivator, and he watches the kids often for me so that I can get to the gym. I don’t know what I’d do without him. If you can’t get in a full half an hour of exercise daily, do little things: jumping jacks here and there, wall push ups while you’re in the shower. Even moving just a little bit will really make a difference.

      I hope that helps! If I can be an encouragement in any other way, please let me know!

  19. I am wondering if you went with this and what it is, if you could direct me to any relevant posts? I am on my first day of my first DietBet, which is where I found your blog! Thank you! Debra

    For the past few days, I have been learning about another lifestyle transformation program, and I am prayerfully considering trying it out and seeing how it works for me at getting those last 40 pounds off. Depending on how the program works for me, hopefully I will be sharing more about it with you all soon.

    • Hi, Debra. I actually have not been able to go with the program I mentioned in the post above. I simply have not been able to afford it. DietBet worked REALLY well for me, as I’m extremely competitive, so right now would be the best time for me to get into another bet. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did Jenny Craig for a month, and I lost quite a bit of weight during my time with them, but most recently, I joined a local fitness center. That has made a HUGE difference. I’m down another 10 pounds, and I’m losing inches like crazy. I wish I had done this at the beginning, because I can’t believe the results.

      I hope this helps. Good luck in your DietBet! I hope you do well!

  20. Ok I have a question and it may be stupid but I am really confused. What was your daily calorie intake while loosing all this weight? I am trying to loose weight and was wondering if #1 you have to eat all your daily calories and #2 if you should to eat back the calories you burned while exercising. For example today I didn’t eat all my calories I am on a 1,200 calorie diet I only ate 629 and then I burnt off 400. Is that unhealthy seeing that my body is only functioning on 200 calories. This whole eating back calories really confuses me because I trying to loose weight and I want to get it right and be loosing it at a heathy rate I don’t want to not loose weight because I am not eating Enough. Please help!!

    • Kate, I never kept track of my caloric intake. It was WAY too hard with so many kids. Instead, I just switched to kid sized plates and didn’t allow myself seconds. It sounds to me like you are consuming far too few calories, and you may end up putting your body into “starvation mode” where you won’t lose weight because your body is fighting to keep what you have.

      Talk to your doctor and find out exactly what is best for you. They are the perfect place to start, and they can help you come up with the program that’s perfect for you.

      Good luck, and please keep me posted!

  21. I am so happy I found this blog. I relate to everything you have said, I feel like shedding a tear.

    I am still on my weight loss journey, I have my ups and downs. I have been stumbling a lot lately, but reading this has motivated me and gave me the kick I needed. You are my ‘thinspiration’.

    I know just how personal this stuff can be and so I thank you for sharing. I’m certain it’s helping more than just me.

  22. Great job and love the blog, I especially like that you started with spiritual growth. Praise the Lord for his blessings and you keep posting all this great stuff, we need it.

  23. Thank you for sharing this! My goal is to lose 40 pounds by July when I turn 43. I have 3 kids – 21, 15, and 2. I love that you said you worked on your spiritual growth first and foremost. That is what I do as well. I ask GOD to help me and motivate me to wake up at 3:45 am each morning to get on my treadmill. I ask HIM to push me and be my personal trainer. It works!! When I want to stop on the treadmill before my workout is done I call on HIS strength to help me push through. I used to work out all the time and I used to be very fit. After my 3rd child I became very lazy and ate poorly, thus I never lost my baby weight. I will reach my goal – slow and steady wins the race!

  24. I am currently back up to 165. My daughter is getting married in 10 mos. I NEED to lose 30 lbs. CAN I DO IT? I am an exercise freak, but gave it up the past 6 mos because of burnout. Now, I’m flabby and fat. So, I need help and support. Literally, I need to get on track.

    • You CAN do it! I promise!! Start slowly – by walking 30 minutes after dinner. Soon, you’ll be back to your old self. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep me posted, and let me know how you’re doing!

      • You are sweet. I am starting AGAIN today. The past 2 months have been a struggle, but it’s now or never. I ran 3 miles today.

  25. I loved reading this and also at the end I completely agree with what you said ..”I will work hard…” I will be sharing this diet program ๐Ÿ™‚ with my friend. It is awesome how God can help us through absolutely anything and everything. Thanks for your post!

  26. So, it’s back to the basics. Today I ran 3 miles, but I need to lose 40 lbs by October 16th. Is that even possible? I do enjoy working out, I just have no will power.

  27. Did you actually lose 40 pounds from just walking? I walk everyday and eat healthy. Follow up question, how tall are you? And in your 45 minute gym circuit do you just run on the treadmil or do others things to like lift weights. Love your blog!

    • I really lost it just by walking! I’m 5′ 8″. And when I was going to the gym, I would do 20 minutes on the treadmill (walking pace) and 45 minutes of weights. Now that I’m just at home (and before I went to the gym), the 45 minutes were strictly weights. Walking was separate. Hope that helps!!

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  29. I find your experience very interesting, as I was reading it I felt it was exactly what I had been searching for. I have decided to being the challenge starting with day 1 as of today…I need to lose at the least 40 lbs and six months is my time line.
    Yes I trully believe I can do this thru Jesus who strengthens me.

    Thank you Angie

  30. I find your experience very interesting, as I was reading it I felt it was exactly what I had been searching for. I have decided to beging the challenge starting with day 1 as of today…I need to lose at the least 40 lbs and six months is my time line.
    Yes I trully believe I can do this thru Jesus who strengthens me.

    Thank you Angie

  31. Dec11, 2016
    Hi what an inspiring story!
    I started my new eating/exercise plan on Nov 1, 2016 to lose 40 lbs. Goal weight is 130…After 40 days Im down 12 lbs. Im taking 6 months to lose the weight n have my plan all mapped out. I use diet apps to help me and to log everything I eat. I am actually having fun w this. Im eating healthier…but still eat chicken fajatas at our fav restaurant. I just limit my portion…I allow myself 10 chips w salsa and 2 corn tortillas with fajata mux in it…I do this often. I find eating satisfying food that you lije keeps you happier.