My name is Ashlie Agostinelli (@ashliegetsactive), and I am 31 years old. I live in Florida, and I am a mom to a little boy and a middle school teacher. By counting calories and staying in a calorie deficit while also working out, I lost 90 pounds.

I was overweight since I was a kid. Around 18 or 19 years old is when I first hit over 200 pounds. Most of my 20s, I struggled. My weight was up and down on the scale from under 200 pounds to well over 200 pounds. I was at my highest weight ever when I got pregnant with my son in 2019—and the scale hit 279 pounds.

After I got pregnant, I started going to the doctor’s office more regularly. I learned I had high blood pressure and other medical issues because of my weight. After I had my son, I had some of the worst pain ever and found out my gallbladder had gallstones and was not working properly.

Two months after giving birth, I had to have my gallbladder removed—and that was an eye-opener for me that I needed to take better care of myself for my family. So once I healed from my surgery and was okayed to work out, I started a “diet” and working out in March 2020. But not long into trying to live a healthier lifestyle, COVID hit and the world shut down. I stopped my newfound habits for a bit, then restarted my journey April 28, 2020...and have kept going ever since.

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I really wanted to adopt a lifestyle that was livable and would allow me to keep the weight off forever. So I chose to practice calorie counting and eating in a calorie deficit.

I really like the fact that I can eat anything as long as it works within my calorie allotment. “Everything is fine in moderation” has always been a motto I love because you can’t stay on a “diet” and restrict yourself forever without eventually burning out or binging. I love chocolate and Starbucks, so I wanted a way to still incorporate the things I love and lose weight. I typically eat about 1,650 to 1,750 calories a day. That's just what works for me and isn't meant to be a recommendation. Always speak with your doctor or a nutritionist for help.

Here’s what I eat in a day.

  • Breakfast: Lately, I have been really liking either yogurt bowls with Greek yogurt, granola, fruit, and peanut butter or Protein Oatmeal topped with fruit, chocolate, or peanut butter.
  • Lunch: I mostly use a meal prep service for lunches to make packing lunch to bring to work easier. But I usually choose something with meat, carbs, and veggie.
  • Snacks: I love protein bars. They are such a quick and easy snack. I really like Built Bars or Barebells. I also like Quest protein chips.
  • Dinner: I usually cook dinner. I either try to recreate a healthier version of my favorite foods or I will make a simple meal of a meat, veggie, and carbs.
  • Dessert: I love dessert! I always try to leave a decent amount of my calories for something yummy to end my night. I love chocolate and peanut butter, so I usually choose either a few chocolates or graham crackers topped with peanut butter.

I started exercising right away. I knew to live a full, healthy life, I wanted to be strong as well.

I have exercised just about every day since I started my weight-loss journey. I follow a trainer on YouTube named Sydney Cummings. She is the most positive and hard-working trainer and has monthly programs to follow for free. So, I follow her programs five days a week and do cardio/stretching on the other two days of the week. I also have a treadmill that I like to incorporate walking and jogging as well. I really like to mix cardio and strength training.

These three changes made my weight loss journey a success.

  1. I started exercising. Exercising has really helped me stay motivated and make healthier choices. I love it and look forward to my workouts every day. When you like what you do, it makes it easier to stick to.
  2. I drink lots of water. Last year while doing a countdown to summer challenge, I had to drink a gallon of water every day. I have kept up that habit ever since. I feel like drinking lots of water has definitely helped with my weight loss and clearing up my skin.
  3. I utilize alarms. Timers and alarms really help me to stay on track and stick to my plans. I have an alarm to get up and work out before I go to work. I also have alarms to get up and stretch before bed as well. This helps me make sure I am staying consistent with my goals and my body feels good.

Overall, I have lost over 90 pounds in the past two years.

My ultimate goal is to lose 100 pounds. My weight loss has slowed down towards the end here, but I am hoping to hit that goal sometime this year.

I know it might be cliché, but if I can do this, so can you! The biggest thing is to just find a meal plan and exercises you love and can stick to. Make this a lifestyle change versus a “diet” or temporary quick fix. Even if you make small changes, that eventually leads to big results. Don’t ever give up when the scale isn’t going your way either.