Taking It Off :: The Start of My Weight Loss Journey

My weight.

It has been a struggle for YEARS.

I gained 75 pounds in my first pregnancy in 2003. And from there, with two additional pregnancies and poor eating habits, I have added another 25 pounds on top of that. That means in the last 10 years I have gained 100 pounds. And it kills me to have to type those words.

I could sit here and share with you all the excuses I have made for myself over the years. The countless times I told myself “I will start tomorrow” or “this one bite won’t hurt anything.” And of course, one bite turned into so much more.

I have always said I wanted to lose weight, but never seemed to have the motivation to do anything about it. It was just recently that I realized my motivation has been in front of me this whole time – First and foremost, I want to lose this weight for myself. For my health. For my confidence. For ME. But also, I want to lose this weight for my kids. They are so much of who I am. and I want to live a long and healthy life for them. I want to be the best example I can be.

TiffanyBumpToBuff08.2013 028I finally had decided enough was enough, and that is when I met Tiffany. We met, oddly enough, at the Houston Moms Blog Launch Party. And meeting her has totally changed my world and my approach to weight loss.

Tiffany is a fellow Houston mama who, like me, found herself with a lot of excess weight after her pregnancies. Today, Tiffany has lost over 80 pounds, and she looks AMAZING! You can read all about her amazing journey on her blog Bump 2 Buff.


She has now become a coach and certified Insanity trainer. She has been a wealth of knowledge for me as well as my biggest supporter and encourager. I feel SO blessed that she has been brought into my life, and you better believe I am taking full advantage.

Tiffany was kind enough to share with me some tips on how to start this big lifestyle change I am embarking on, and she has graciously offered to let me share those same tips with you.

5 Tips For Kick Starting A Lifestyle Change

  1. Find your WHY. Find what motivates YOU and stick to it! Find friends and family to join you. Accountability leads to success!
  2. Be realistic! Set goals you can honestly achieve and maintain. Have patience…it’s not about perfection, it’s about making good choices the majority of the time. Setbacks may happen, but it’s what you learn from them and do next that really counts!
  3. Schedule your workouts for the week ahead, and stick to it like you would any other appointment.
  4. Keep a food diary. Try to be as accurate and honest as possible. This means recording everything! If you don’t put pen to paper, check out the myfitnesspal app on your phone!
  5. Plan your meals for the week ahead. Write a grocery list of what you need and stick to it. Plan when you’ll go shopping, and don’t shop hungry!

and just because…

  • You have to start in order to succeed! Before you know it, this will become a habit, and you will do it without even thinking about it.

So Houston, today is the day. No more excuses. No more tomorrows. I am ready to do this. Today begins my journey to a new and healthier me. I know the days ahead will be hard work. And that many of those days I am going to feel like quitting. And that is why I am so glad I have Tiffany. She has been there and has promised to help get me through the tough times.

And now for the part I have been dreading for days….MY before picture and starting weight.


I post this not only to document my journey, but as terrifying as it is to put this out there on the internet, there is also something very therapeutic about it. And with it, hopefully there will be some accountability as well. I invite you to follow along on my journey to be a healthier and happier me on both my personal blog and Instagram, and keep a look out for occasional updates right here on Houston Moms Blog too.  To help get me off to a positive and promising start, I would love for you to share your success stories or an encouraging word below in the comments with me.

[hr] Please Note :: I was not compensated for this post. Tiffany is just an amazing lady with an amazing story that I wanted to share in the hopes that it could inspire someone else the way it has inspired me. It was with her permission that I shared these photos and tips.

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Michelle T
Michelle is a native Houstonian who resides in the ‘burbs with her own “Full House.” She is the mama to four amazing kiddos, Madisyn {Sept 2003}, Megan {Dec 2009}, and identical twin boys Jack and Liam {Oct 2012}. She is also the wife to one handsome husband Will, who spends his days saving lives at Texas Children’s Hospital, while Michelle spends her days sparing lives at home with her kids. On Michelle’s blog, Chaos and Coffee, she documents her adventures in mommyhood with a busy family of 6 and shares her love of family, faith, HGTV, college football, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. You can also follow her daily chaos and fun on Twitter and Instagram {@michellebtanner}.


  1. Michelle you are so brave! I have gained weight in the past few years and I don’t even have any kids yet. I have just had bad habits that have been hard to change. I finally started doing something about it last month, I joined a DietBet and lost six pounds in a month the healthy way. Then after it ended I have been in a funk, not making progress again. You have inspired me! If you need another buddy I am right here with you! So not easy but you are awesome and can totally do this!

    • You are the sweetest. Looking forward to being neighbors and maybe some workout dates! There is a track right in between our houses. Just sayin’!

  2. Oh my goodness you just typed my story. I have struggled with my weight as well and keep making excuses. I’m heavier than I have ever been and struggle with my eating habits. I can’t seem to stay on track 🙁

    • I hear ya. It is tough. I am two days in and would kill for some creamy jalapeno ranch from Chuys. I know that I want to be healthier more than that though and so maybe one day, but for now I am gonna stay far away from that part of town.

  3. I am so very proud of you. If you need a meal planning partner, exercise partner, accountability gal, I would love to be that for you and you for me. My own journey started when it was physically painful and uncomfortable to kneel during Mass. I was too young to feel like this, especially while trying to pray and be in the Lord’s presence. This is what broke my spirit and helped me realize that I wasn’t taking care of me or trying to be the best me. At my heaviest weight, I got up to 285 lbs. UNFREAKINBELIEVABLE! I dieted, I exercised, I still felt unsuccessful. So I finally made a decision for me and as you know, I had gastric bypass surgery the end of January. No matter what people may say or think, having the surgery doesn’t make weight loss EASY! It makes it doable. i have loss 80 and still have about another 80 to lose to make my goal weight.

    You are AMAZING, BRAVE, and STRONG and I am so excited for you and to support you on your journey.


    • You are one of my inspirations as well there pretty lady. Seeing how amazing you look just helps motivate me. We can partner up for sure, I will need all the support I can get!

  4. girl, I am SO unbelievably proud of you!
    I’m smiling from ear to ear right now!

    this is beginning of an AMAZING journey!
    I’m with you 110%, my friend!
    LET’S DO THIS!!!!!
    love ya!! xoxo

  5. You rock Michelle!!! I already knew I liked you, but after reading this I love you so much more. You are brave, honest and an inspiration to us all. I agree that Tiffany is amazing too…I’ve known her through my blog, but met her in person at the launch party too. Good luck with your weight loss journey! I need to kickstart mine too. Lots of prayers and encouragement being sent your way!

    • Thank you so much Chelsea, I love you right back. I know it is gonna be a long hard road ahead but I have got to do this to be able to keep up to my kiddos.

  6. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhat?
    a) Is your name Sarah Peirce Schnure- okay I thought so!
    b) I am so insanely proud of you, I can’t breathe.
    c) I did it before, lost 80pds and then regained it over 8ish years..I never type or say that outloud- only in my head.
    d) I’ll see you on Nov 14th…can you start re-changing your life one day postpartum?
    e) I still can’t breathe.

    • HeHeHe, I love you Sarah. I love knowing you have done it before. I will need you to help me do it! And when ever the Dr clears you, {and that better not be one day postpartum – you take care of that baby first} I am all for a partner in crime!!

    • Thank you and you are welcome. I figured there had to be mamas out there with me and that I wasn’t alone, even though sometimes it feels like I am. Ready to get it off once and for all.

  7. I am so proud of you for taking this huge step and for making your struggle public. I even got emotional when I was reading your post. I am your biggest supporter in this and I will do whatever I can to help you!

    • Oh husband of mine, you are a sensitive one for sure. I of course would not be making this step it wasn’t for you and the beautiful family we have together. Doing it for me. For us. And for our kids. Love you to the moon and back.

  8. You are so awesome, Michelle. I KNOW you can do this. You are so brave to put that picture up and you are BEAUTIFUL. Just remember that during this process. Anytime you need someone to yell at you or even go on walks with (we can do that on football Sundays while the men watch the kids!) I will be there for you. You go, girl!!!

    • Thank you lovely. I would love to work out together some time. You my friend are one of my inspirations. Your healthy eating and watching you lose your baby weight from Miss K and seeing your determination – makes me know it is possible and want it even more!

  9. You can do it Michelle! It might be a tough challenge, but it will be so worth it. And it’s only as hard as you think it is. Your drive and determination will probably convince you that it’s not so bad after all! You’ll be posting the “after” photos before you know it!

    • Thank you so much Rachelle. It is tough two days in, but I know it will get easier over time and eventually become second nature. I look forward to that day! Thank you so much for the encouragement.

  10. Wow, I am so so impressed by your honesty and vulnerability! You are awesome! And I know you will be an inspiration and encouragement to so many. So fun to see your excitement. We are all cheering you on!!

  11. Good for you and you CAN DO IT! I actually just signed up for weight watchers today so hopefully, will be losing weight right along side of you!

    • Thank you so much Lisette. So exciting for you and your new journey with WW as well. You will have to keep me posted as to how you are doing!!

    • Thank you friend. I would go walking with you and those precious kiddos any day of the week. And you look amazing!! You are one the most amazingly strong mamas I know.

  12. Michelle, you are an awesome and beautiful woman – and very, very brave. Congratulations on being brave for you and your family! You’ve got my cheerleading for you whenever you want it!

    • Thank you so much. I will need a cheerleader for sure. I see all your pictures after your work outs and it helps motivate me. All that you do and still finding time to work out means I have no excuse!!

  13. I am so glad that you have the courage to put your story out there. THANK YOU for your honesty. Sooooooo many moms (myself included, currently) struggle with weight loss. I will be faithfully following your progress!

    • Thank you so much Rachel. There were tears shed when I uploaded the picture but I figured it will help to keep me accountable and will a nice way to look back and see my progress. So happy to have your support!

  14. Way to go, friend!!! I can’t wait to watch you shrink. I know you will feel so much better – physically and emotionally. I’m 2/3 of the way to my goal loss since January. I’ve been wanting to lose weight for years just to look and feel better. But what finally made me do something about it was not wanting to be fat when my girls got to be old enough to tell me I was. And I’ve never used the words diet, fat, or weight in front of them. I just talk about eating healthy food. You hear so much about kids with body image problems. I don’t want my girls to have those issues.

    • You are one of my inspirations red. You look amazing and I am with you, I don’t want my girls to have body image issues. Unlike you I did a poor job around them and called myself fat in front of them. I am ready to work on it all so I can lead by example.

  15. You will do awesome. I know it won’t be easy…but there’s nothing like the moms of H-town to keep you motivated and on track! So proud of you in this journey! xo

    • Thank you so much. You are an amazing motivation with all that you have going on and yet you still find time to stay fit. I am ready to stop making excuses and get after it.

  16. You are awesome and you can do this! I mean your body has produced 4 children and you have survived twin boys…you got this lady! You are already gorgeous inside and out, but I 100% support you as you work hard to become the best Michelle ever! I can’t even put in to words how brave you are to chose to blog about your journey, you’re amazing and it just shows how motivated you are to really do this. Sounds like you have the perfect coach and trainer to help you along the way. Ummm can we just talk about how fan-freaking-tastic your after picture is going to be? Seriously. I know, I know its all for the kids and to be healthy…but dang mama you are going to be hot! Go Michelle Go! Know I am cheering you on and excited for you!!!

    • You crack me up. I hope to be as hot as you!! I am totally commited and as terrifying as it was to post that picture, I knew it would help hold me accountable. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

  17. Oh my goodness I cannot even tell you how proud I am of you! I am so excited to see you make this transformation. You are going to do amazing! You are such an inspiration to so many. I am so proud to call you my friend.

  18. SO proud of you! I know you can do it! It is tough to get started, but you have done the hard part. You are already beautiful and wonderful – it is just going to be ramped up even more!

    • Thank you so much!! I saw that picture of you at the zoo the other day and you looked pretty fab there friend! I am just ready to be healthy so I can keep up with my brood. And to maybe enjoy shopping!! 🙂

  19. Michelle-

    What a great brave post! I’m a fitness professional here in Houston and the tips Tiffany gave you are right on. Ladies interested in creating a behavior change that will lead to weight loss, take note! Weight loss is not about will power, it’s about making healthy living a habit. You CAN do this, but you need to know why first.

    Looking forward to watching your progress 🙂

    • Catherine, thank you SO much. I am all about making this a lifestyle and not just a diet. We did a huge pantry and fridge clean out and it felt really good.Thank you for following along on my journey. I am sure I will need professional help from time to time and will need people like you to chime in for me!!

  20. Congrats on beginning your journey! You and I have very similar stories, and it was in January of this year I decided to look my fears in the face, and overcome them. My goal is 100lbs gone and I’m half way there, but it def starts with your WHY, and if you don’t believe that you can do it, I always say fake it till you make it, and surround yourself with a positive support team, because when there are days you feel like giving up or you don’t believe in yourself, they’ll believe in you for you! I also have a weight loss page on Facebook, which I have found to be extremely helpful with motivation and extra accountability… Sharing this journey with others has been a blessing and such an honor!

    ps. be sure to take measurements in addition. the scale is such a liar.

    Good luck to you and congrats again!!

  21. Michelle, you are a gorgeous woman, inside and out! I can’t think of a better reason to be healthy, and I look forward to seeing your journey.

  22. Wow girl! So proud of your for taking this first step towards health. And I love that you emphasized health in this…not just weight loss. I have no doubt you will be able to accomplish your goal! And you are so brave to put yourself out there on your blog! I am cheering you on! You are a wonderful beautiful person, friend. You got this!!

  23. My sweet daughter, you are already amazing and beautiful. I’am 24/7 praying for you and to have will power. You can do all things through HIM who strenghtens you. I’am SO PROUD of you as you now your mama worries about your health. Once a momma always a momma. Stay strong
    I love you

  24. Michelle, STAY STRONG!!!! You CAN do this and you will be SO Proud of yourself for working so hard and sticking with it. I am already proud of you. You were so brave to put that picture out there , cant wait to see what the future brings. I LOVE YOU!!! MOM

  25. Soooo very proud of you, Michelle! You are such an amazing person and so very inspirational!! Looking forward to exciting updates, tips and pointers, and being there for you in any way I can! #yougotthismama

  26. How brave of you to post a before picture! Taking the first steps to start your journey is exciting! I’m definitely going to jump over to your blog & check out your progress!

  27. This is super brave and super AWESOME 🙂 I ADORE the fact that you found someone you can relate to who EMPOWERS you and helps you realize that you can SO achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s amazing how much health & fitness improve EVERY aspect of life. And… I just seriously love that you’re letting everyone experience the journey with you. There’s nothing more motivating and inspiring than REAL LIFE!! 🙂



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