How Ashley Lost 40 Pounds

October 22, 2010   13 Comments

Snack Girl's ears perk up when she hears inspiring weight loss stories. I overheard Ashley chatting with someone else about losing 40 pounds and I just HAD to learn more.

"Lose It" Weight Loss App

I met Ashley last week at the California Walnut Harvest where I consumed massive amounts of walnuts :)


She has 3 kids so I could really relate to her story. Thanks for sharing, Ashley! I am sure you will inspire others.

Snack Girl: What would you say is the biggest factor in your weight loss success?

Ashley: Two things — I used "Lose It!," which is an iPhone app, to track my caloric intake. It takes diligence to create the habit of logging everything you eat, but it was also very eye opening to see just how many calories I was taking in and making excuses for.

Secondly, which goes hand-in-hand with the first reason, I allowed myself to eat my favorites from time-to-time. If I wanted a handful of potato chips (my downfall), I could account for it in Lose It!, and I would just eat lighter somewhere else during the day. Basically, I think in the past, my attempts to lose weight failed because I was depriving myself of foods that I love.

Snack Girl: How long did it take you to lose the 40 pounds?

Ashley: I started Weight Watchers in Jan. 2006 a few months after having my third son. I was 188 pounds - my all-time high. I lost 23 pounds by May 2006, which is my wedding anniversary month, and that was my goal date to reach 165. I plateaued and was comfortable there for a long time, and then it started creeping back on, which is when I decided to go for it again.

So I started using Lose It! to count calories in earnest the day after Memorial Day of 2010. I started at 169, and my goal was 145. I reached that goal in mid-September. I have kept it off, but I'm still very diligent about keeping track of what goes in my mouth. I imagine I will have to be for some time. And actually, I think I may go for 5-10 more pounds by next summer and then call it a day. I have gotten rid of all of my 165+ clothes, so there's no turning back. Not an option!

Snack Girl: Had you tried any of the other calorie counters like Calorie King?

Ashley: I never tried anything other than Lose It!. It just seemed to be the thing that worked for me. It has restaurant calorie counts in it as well as pretty much every food you could ever eat. And if it's not in there, you can create a food entry and input all of the nutritional info, and then it's in there. Plus it has the exercise database, too. It's just what seemed to work for me.

Snack Girl: When you didn't lose weight for a few weeks - how did you keep motivated?

Ashley: I'd just keep my eye on the prize and realize that there are plateaus. It made breaking the plateau that much sweeter.

Snack Girl: What foods and habits were the most difficult for you to give up and change?

Ashley: I was the queen of "it's just one more bite. What's it gonna hurt?" Breaking that habit is an ongoing battle. But like I said, I haven't really had to give up much. I have just learned moderation.

If I want to have a piece of cake, I'm going to have to either exercise harder or eat lighter to account for my daily calorie allowance. It's simple - the number of calories going in has to be less than the number of calories going out.

Snack Girl: What advice would you give to your "40 pound heavier" self?

Ashley: It's never too late to lose weight, but it doesn't get any easier, so what are you waiting for??

Snack Girl: What is your favorite snack?

Ashley: Unhealthy? Chips and dip. Healthy? Watermelon and feta with just a tiny bit of salt on top. The perfect summertime treat!

Want to read about snacks?
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I've lost 92 pounds since April and I agree with Ashley, one of the main things is to track all your food. I use the Daily Plate at I enter all my food and it gives you sodium, calories, etc. Writing everything down, even if it's on paper is a great way to actually SEE what you're eating and get a reality check.

I use the "cheat day" concept in my plan. I eat within my calorie goals all week, but I allow one day a week where I don't count. Over time I find that I'm "cheating" with more healthy options now, and it doesn't take as much of a "cheat" to keep me feeling deprived. For example I'm just as satisfied with a frozen banana as I am with ice cream these days.

It's all about looking at it as a lifestyle change rather than a "diet". Congratulations on your weight loss Ashley.

Thank you for this story. I just started logging my food on It is really tedious, but a real eye-opener. I am starting at 168 with a goal weight of 140 so I am right where Ashley started (for the second time). I have 2 kids under 3 so that makes it hard, but worth it. Thank you!

It's crazy how much calories ppl eat and are CLUELESS!!! I started W.W. in June of this year and to date lost 24lbs. I still have about 60lbs to reach my goal. I was curious how many calories I consume daily since W.W. does points instead of calories. So I recently started using the Daily Plate at as well. I'm consuming about 1900 to 2100 daily. I can only imagine what is WAS and that's scary. Hats off to you all. Keep up the good work!

love this inspiring story! i'd love to know more about what you do for exercise, how often, etc. thanks so much, ashley and snack girl!

Great & inspiring story! I love how Ashley has found balance with eating & exercising. I like that she can still have chips & cake if she feels like it!!

Hi. I also use "Lose It!" as a weight maintenance tool. I lost 20 pounds prior to Lose It! by doing a food log but it was a pain to tabulate calories manually. Apps like Lose It are great because you can adjust the calories by adjusting the amount to see what you can eat that "fits" what your goal is. I actually have 3 different apps so I can look up restaurants or foods that Lose It! doesn't have and add them in--but I just track overall calories, fat/carb/protein, not other nutrients so it's a lot less complex to use Lose It! than some other apps.

I lost an additional 10 pounds since using Lose It! I too balance things so I'm not deprived but I can have my dark chocolate and wine :-)--and I'll up the calories a lot on a couple days a month when I know I'm going to something like a food-and-wine festival or D theme park, etc.

30 pounds ago I was eating around 2,000 calories or slightly more a day! That was an eye opener. I'm five feet tall...

Now I eat 1500-1600 calories assuming I get in a walk for exercise--a little more if I do a more intense workout. What a difference.

PS 30 pounds is a lot when one is short. It was 3 sizes. & I'm five pounds lighter than my lightest post-college weight. It's pretty awesome to be slightly thinner in my 40s than when I was 25!

Great Story! Thanks for sharing! I agree, writing down everything you eat is very important. That is what I did. I'm a mother of two and I lost 72 lbs. During my weight loss journey I also created a bracelet that tracked my weight loss that helped me stay focused and helped me to "think twice" before I reached for something to eat. I have never created anything like this before but I felt the need to create more bracelets to help those on the same path, in order to give them hope and motivation. I always love to read about other weight loss stories, like Ashleys. It's very encouraging! Thank you!

Dear Snackgirl-I love this post, it is one more brick in the wall of inspiration I have been building to lose those 35-40 extra pounds I carry. Only one question: were you in California and didn't call??-Kisses

I just started using the lose it app almost 2 weeks ago. Haven't weighed myself yet but I can tell it's working. I love how I don't have to keep track of calories it just tells me how much I'm allowed a day and I'll eat and eat til I am at my limit. I'm also on a no sugar diet so I'm hoping this will help me lose the weight faster! My goal is to lose 70 pounds.

I have just started on Lose it and for my height,age, weight and goal I am onlu allowed 807 calories per day. I though that it was dangerous to go below 1200. Just would like some input on this.

I totally agree with the comments that we should view this as a lifestyle change not a diet. A diet is a temporary thing, like a holiday from your real life. I think attitudes towards ourselves are key to moving on with our health, and we need to feel it's a positive step we're taking for it to really be effective, stay off, and self loathing not be part of our low fat, healthy regime

If anyone's interested, I've written here about my experiences of body image in the music industry

Ashley seems to have a very positive and understanding attitude towards herself, which is another inspiring aspect of this story. She's not said anything negative about her heavier self.

Congratulations Ashley - you deserve to live longer!

Love to all


Thank you Ashley for your inspiring story. I started WW January 2014 and lost 55 #'s by June 2015. It was a long and slow journey, but I had changed my mindset to really be committed to the program. I have maintained my goal since then and have not gone over the 2lbs up or down from my goal. This is a lifestyle change not a "diet". It a way to eat for life. I still attend a meeting once a week and weigh in at least 3x's a month to keep on track. I love the new WW Beyond the Scale. I think it's the best the program has ever been. It was worth all the money I spent to get to where I am now, I feel wonderful, sexy, cute and can now wear boots for the first time!! I'm 69 and holding

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