As this post debuts, we’ll be waking up with our belly’s still full from dinner at The Local, minds still abuzz from the VA blogger meetup (organized by one of the “Nutty-iest” girls I know).  On the agenda for today – hotel workout with Katy and the kids, breakfast, stroll around the Charlottesville campus, then lunch with Kath.  I’m sure fro-yo will be had before we hit the road back to NC. 

Today I have a guest post from the inspiring Kelly!!  She’s lost a whopping 54 pounds and has done it the right way: sensible diet and exercise. 

I’m so very proud of you, Kelly!!  Take it away!


Hello, Lindays’ List readers!  I’m excited to be able to share with you today.  My name is Kelly, and I blog over at No Sugar Sweet Life.  I had the privilege of meeting Lindsay at the Blend Retreat in May. She’s even more wonderful in person, if you can believe that! I LOVE her blog (as I’m sure you do!) and especially love her focus on fitness, body image, and loving those around her.

Struggling with my weight for my entire adult life, I finally decided life is too short to live perpetually unhappy.  I recently lost over 50 pounds after celebrating my daughter’s first birthday, and am currently working on the last 30.  I am a busy full-time mom of an almost 2 year-old toddler, who also has a full-time job as an accountant, who is a wife and helper to an amazing man, and who thought it would be fun to start a blog!

Here’s a pic from my recent “Rewards” Photoshoot:


And here’s a quick before and after so you can see where I’ve come from:


I never wanted to be one of those people. You know, the ones who let themselves go once they get married.  I don’t think I did that intentionally; but, I definitely didn’t get myself in check year after year that I gained weight.  I always ate *pretty* healthy, but eating just an extra 100 calories a day can lead to a 10 pound weight gain per year.

That’s about right… 7.5 years of marriage x 100 calories a day = BAM.. 75 pounds!!!

I was perpetually unhappy.

Dear hubby was unhappy seeing me unhappy.

It was a vicious cycle that needed to be broken.

My only regret is that I didn’t “wake-up” to this fact sooner.

What it took for me to wake-up to the fact that I needed to lose weight and get my life in control:

  1. Becoming a mother… to a daughter. It started almost two years ago, when I embarked on the most amazing, life-changing, challenging, and rewarding journey of parenthood. I thank God every day for our little miracle whose smile and happy demeanor are absolutely contagious!


I want to be healthy for her.  I want to show her what it looks like to have a healthy relationship with food, to use it as fuel for strength (not for comfort or numbing pain).  I want her to grow to love her body and KNOW 100% that she is beautiful, loved, and enough.  And heck, I want her to be a positive influence in others’ lives as well – friends who will no doubt struggle with these same issues.  How awesome would it be for HER to be a catalyst and encourager in others’ lives to live the happy healthy life too?!

I want her “normal” to include veggie juices and hummus and quinoa and bell peppers!

I want her to dance and jump and smile with glee.

I want her to feel the amazement of accomplishing a long run.

And if possible, I want her journey to be easier than mine.

Realizing life is too short to live perpetually unhappy. I only have this one life, and if I spend so much of it unhappy, angry, and frozen… then I am doing myself, my family, and those around me a HUGE disservice. Some may say weight is a superficial issue, or it doesn’t really MATTER how much you weigh in the grand scheme of life. BUT, if it’s causing you to not really LIVE life, then it really does matter.

Realizing I was avoiding getting my picture taken. It was actually REALLY hard to find a “before” picture to include above. Why? Because most of that first year of my daughter’s life, I refused to have my picture taken. I wasn’t happy with my weight and the way I looked, so I avoided having it documented. Have you ever felt that way? And if any pics did get taken, I most likely deleted them, embarrassed and angry at how I looked in them. It’s like I didn’t exist for an entire year!

Realizing I could actually make a change. It all started with a Reboot – a reprogramming of my body with the help of veggie juices. It kick-started my weight-loss (which had been non-existent) and gave me the momentum to keep losing more.  I no longer craved sugar/sweets AT ALL . I completely stopped coffee and all soda (even diet). I had so much more energy, but most importantly: Hope.  Hope that my life (and weight) could really change. I still include veggie juices into my eating plan a couple times a week because I love the nutrient rich blend/boost I can give my body.  A few of my favorite are:  Pink Kale Juice, Cucumber Melon, & Mean Green.

Lindsay Inspiration:

Lindsay doesn’t know it (yet), but she has inspired me in a couple of different ways: She inspired me to see the good in all circumstances because of this post.   She inspired me to give good’ol Chobani a try even though I never really liked yogurt because of this serious cuteness!  And she inspired me to go to BLEND so I could meet other awesome like-minded ladies who love to blog… for which I am forever thankful.

So now, without further ado, I’d love to share with you a new favorite recipe.

Introducing Marinated Peppers, Jicama, & Corn Salad:

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting creating in the kitchen over the past couple of months… which has been really FUN!  I want you to know, I officially outdid myself with this one.  The flavors were exquisite, each bite tangy and mouth-watering: A perfect summer side salad. The jicama was such a wonderful and surprising addition.


  • 2 cups Sweet Peppers, cut into rings
  • 1 cup jicama, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2Tbsp olive oil
  • 1Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:  Mix together in a large ziploc bag. Lay flat in fridge for 24 hours.  Serve & Enjoy

~ Serves 4-6

Here is a close-up of the first few ingredients before the marinade was added:


All ingredients mixed and marinating, laying flat and ready for the fridge:


And voila, 24 hours later… a super delicious tangy marinated pepper salad:


I served it with grilled salmon to make it more of a full meal:


You’ll have to let me know what you think if you try it! My mom saw the word “Jicama” and was instantly in love. She made the salad this weekend and thought it was DELISH!

I’m happy to say that this week, I’ve hit the 50 POUND loss mark! I still have about 30 left to go, but I am well on my way, living the happy healthy life… no sugar added.


1) What was/is your motivation to get healthy?

2) What has Lindsay inspired YOU to do lately?

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published.

  1. What a wonderful, positive story Kelly! As a mom to a 9 month old girl, I feel the exact same way. I want her to grow up healthy and strong, but scale obsessed and insecure. I think the best way to to this is to lead by example, so I’m trying the best I can!

  2. Congratulations, Kelly! What an accomplishment.

    I noticed myself hating the way I looked in pictures more and more and finally realizing, ‘Hey, it’s not the photos, it’s me!’ I realized my 20s were supposed to be the prime of my life, and I was wasting them by eating too much and not staying active.

    That veggie salad looks amazing–I think I’ll give it a try this weekend!

  3. I remember people always saying “you’re in the best shape of your life in your 20s.” Now I don’t really care if that’s a true statement or not, but I realized that if it WAS, then I want the best shape of my life to be pretty darn good so that even if it is “downhill” it won’t feel like the end of the world. But through reading blogs from people of all shapes, ages and sizes, I have realized it doesn’t matter what your age is, just as long as you FEEL good.

  4. love this post, Kelly!
    What first motivated me to ‘get healthy’ (and still does) was seeing so much of my older relatives get sick because they never took care of themselves. That probably sounds awful, but seeing my Grandma not able to walk around on her own because she spent her entire life overweight and her knees no longer wanted to work or seeing my uncle going to a form of kemo because his habit of eating fast food everyday ultimately gave him crohn’s (plus other examples), I know I was absolutely not going to live that way! Sometimes now when I lack motivation to make healthy choices I just think of how I want to feel now and in the years to come.

  5. I want to get healthy to fulfill my dream of becoming a mother someday! I’ve destroyed my body through years of starving/binging cycles, and now I’m determined to make things right! I can do all things through God who gives me strength!

  6. WOW! Good for you! I have always been on the healthy side. I was a high school and college athlete. But it was hard for me once college was over to figure out how many calories I could eat since I was obviously not competing at such an intense level with college coaches and nutritionists at my fingertips. That was hard to find a healthy and normal everyday balance.

  7. I got healthy BEFORE HER but my DAILY motivation to stay on this path is my daughter.
    I owe it to her to live, live long and LIVE VIBRANTLY.