Losing weight is really not that hard. People lose weight all the time. They just happen to put it back on and that’s the really hard part.

For Tara Kavanagh, her weight loss started with options that she narrowed down to the most healthy one for her. Then, success gave her motivation. Motivation gave her more success. That’s the formula that it takes to lose weight successfully and then to keep it off.

Tara is a 35-year-old self-employed mom living in Rapid City, South Dakota. She was overweight before she had children. She blossomed to a full 304 pounds after the second child was born. Her weight got her down mentally.

Tara had finally come to the point in her life where she made the decision to change.

“I was a young mother of two little girls and in my early 20s when I decided I didn’t want to live the rest of my life obese and unhealthy anymore. I wanted to be an active mother and be able to play with my kids. I also wanted to live my life, not just exist. I wanted to experience new things and felt my size was holding me back.”

You Have To Want To Lose Weight For Yourself

Losing Weight

That is an important moment in any weight loss journey. You have to decide you want it and you have to want it for yourself. You can’t want it for the people around you or for any other reason because those reasons may not always be there. So once you decide weight loss is something that you want, the next step is to find the program that works.

Some people try surgery. For most of Tara’s family, they had opted for that. But they put the weight back on.

“For a long time I felt surgery was my only option for how big I was — there was no way I could lose so much weight on my own — but after seeing my relatives gain their weight back, I knew it wasn’t about the surgery,” said Tara. “It had to be about lifestyle, and I was determined to figure it out to prevent myself from spending all that money and going through all the pain of surgery for something that I never saw work long-term for anyone I knew who had it done.”

Find Out What Works For You

Losing Weight

That’s the next part of the mental road. You have to acknowledge that this is a lifestyle change. If you want to lose the weight, you have to realize that the habits you’ve developed throughout your life are what have contributed to your weight gain. You have to change those. And the reason it’s a lifestyle change is because after you lose the weight, you still have to continue in that lifestyle to keep it off.

Tara recalls in her unhealthy days, “I used to eat because I was bored. I never thought about what I was eating, how many calories were in it, the quality of it, etc. I ate because it made me feel good.”

Tara lives by the infamous 80/20 rule that is going viral. Eat 80% good healthy foods and then you can have 20% snacks. That keeps you from feeling overwhelmed with having to eat totally healthy. Your body doesn’t go through cravings and it gets easier as it goes.

Losing Weight Can Become Addictive

Losing Weight

Tara recalls how losing weight motivated her to lose more and keep going. “I knew if I changed too much too fast I would get overwhelmed and quit. After the weight started to come off, it was addictive for me to learn healthier ways of eating. I turned my focus on calories after that, living by what I learned from Jillian: my calories in needed to be less than my calories out. I used her app along with a fitness tracker, and the weight came off so easily!”

By Jillian, she is referring to Jillian Michaels who has helped millions of people lose weight either by watching her show The Biggest Loser, reading her books, or visiting her website and getting help there. Tara has lost 145 pounds and doesn’t even look like her former self.

She didn’t just lose the weight. She turned her whole life around.

“The best part of losing the weight has been gaining the confidence to really live my life and try new things. I don’t let my body hold me back anymore.”

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