Need a little motivation? You’ve got it! These 5 women will show you what life looks like before and after weight loss, as well as load you up with tips and motivation for your own health journey.
Sometimes you just need a little motivation to start your day out right. And let me tell you—there’s nothing more motivating than hearing the stories of women who have done the work and seen massive results in their own lives.
That’s why today, I thought it would be SO cool to share stories from five different women who did just that. In this post, they’ll share their stories in their own words.
They are AWESOME, and so, so inspiring.
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Get your tissues ready because this one is going to touch you to the core.
Before and After Weight Loss: Amazing Stories from Real Women
Here at Thinlicious, we recently celebrated a pretty big milestone—our one-year anniversary of founding this company and our program.
Over the past year, we’ve had a front seat to some pretty incredible and inspiring weight loss transformations. And honestly, as a business owner, I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it is to see people actually achieving the results you set out to help them with.
I’ve been in the online space for a long time now—almost 15 years, and I’ve loved helping women get organized at home and better manage their time through my Living Well Spending Less brand. I’ve also loved helping so many people create successful online businesses of their own through Elite Blog Academy.
But helping people transform their HEALTH here at Thinlicious?
There’s nothing that compares to that.
Because our health is SO central to everything else we do. If you don’t look and feel your best, it’s hard to show up for the rest of your life. You’re tired. You’re less confident. Sometimes you’re just going through the motions instead of really living your life.
And so, in celebration of our one-year anniversary, we thought it would be SUPER COOL to invite our customers to share their own transformation stories.
And let me just tell you that the response we got was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, we had SO many people write in with such inspiring essays that actually choosing just FIVE seemed like an impossible task.
I’m not gonna lie—I bawled my eyes out on almost every single one, which made it really hard to get through them! I’m so grateful that so many of you took the time to share your stories, and I can’t even tell you how much it meant to me.
Today, I want to introduce you to our five winners and share some of their stories in their own words. Just try to get through them without crying!
1. Tammie Matthews
First up is Tammie Matthews. Here is her inspiring story of healing her health after heartache.
My name is Tammie, and I WAS an obese 48-year-old.
After my husband passed away, my health was the last thing on my mind, and I really let myself go. But one day, I was grocery shopping alone, and my knees and legs started hurting so bad that I wondered if I would make it to the next aisle, much less the car.
In my mind, I started planning for when I fell. How would I get back up? Who was I going to call for help? Thankfully, I made it to the car without falling, but then my thoughts turned to a personal scolding.
You should take better care of yourself! You need to lose weight, exercise more, and eat better. You need to try… try something!
I researched several programs and decided on Weight Watchers. I committed to six months but knew it would take longer to lose sixty pounds. After the second month, I had lost two pounds, was hungry, and discouraged.
I had been following Ruth Soukup and heard she was putting out this new weight loss program, Thinlicious. The program was for only 28 days, and included a meal plan with recipes that sounded like me. The program was affordable, I knew I could commit for 28 days, and more importantly, we were supposed to learn how to eat for the way we live. I immediately signed up and paid to cancel Weight Watchers early.
Facing Fears Before and After Weight Loss
I was worried about the ketogenic aspect because the only thing I knew about keto was you eat a lot of bacon and eggs. I hate bacon, and I’m not crazy about eggs. While preparing food to start, I found myself getting frustrated, but deep down, I knew it was not the recipes or the mess I was making.
I was really scared because I felt like my life was depending on this.
I was nervous about pricking my finger but even more terrified of the results of the blood glucose reading. I was certain diabetes was in my future and figured at some point, pricking my finger would be mandatory, so I might as well practice.
Celebrating Scale AND Non-Scale Victories
But by the end of the first 28 days, I had lost 16 lbs. and was incredibly happy with the results and all the amazing food.
Like most people, weight loss was my primary goal, but it did not come off in the places I wanted first. The first time I noticed a difference was when I slipped my foot into a wedge shoe with an ankle strap that I never adjusted.
You guessed it, I lost weight in my ankles first and had to adjust the strap smaller.
I was overwhelmed by the measurements my scale tracked and stored because they were all displayed in red which translated to high, obese, or excessive. I was always conscious of my stomach, and seeing the visceral fat rated “excessive” was heartbreaking.
It was like a news headline had exposed to the world what I had tried so hard to keep covered.
But now I just smile and giggle as those numbers turn to yellow (almost) and green (acceptable) ranges.
I remember previously feeling like a ping pong ball in a square hole visiting a public restroom. It was normal to squeeze, lean, and suck in just to get out the door. I almost cried the day I realized I was not fighting the walls anymore!
It was exhilarating as my clothes became too big, but that caused anxiety over what to do with them. My mind was telling me to keep the clothes because I might need them one day. I kept the clothes for several more months, but as part of my determination to succeed, I finally got rid of everything.
The Power of the Right Mindset
Not only did I gain closet space, but it was an incredible boost to my mindset. This action solidified my commitment to myself and renewed my determination to be healthier. Thinlicious has taught me so much about mindset and its power. In the past, I thought I lacked willpower, but now I realize really my mindset was wrong.
Early in the course, they talked about trusting our bodies. I remember thinking, how I am supposed to trust myself when it comes to food? It is what got me here in the first place.
After doing this program for a year, getting through all the holidays, and experiencing life’s ups and downs, that trust is developing. Through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I was not as strict with myself as in the beginning.
I allowed myself grace, which is another thing discussed in Thinlicious.
I also allowed for those yearly treats, and sure, I gained six pounds back, but now not only do I know how to get them off, but I also HAVE gotten them off.
Now after a stressful day, I don’t feel the need to go through the drive-through and order all the comfort foods. I don’t have the uncontrollable cravings like I did in the past.
Because of this program, I have become more confident in reading nutrition labels and menus, which enables me to make better choices and enjoy real food. These choices not only have led to less brain fog, better quality sleep, and increased energy but have also shown me how sustainable this lifestyle is.
My plan now is to get to Phase 3, the maintenance part of the program. I have lost 46 lbs. and I am confident I will get to where I want to be. More importantly, I have never felt like I did that day grocery shopping, and I no longer see diabetes in my future.
All I can say is a big Thank You to Ruth and her team for helping me regain my health and confidence.
Tammy, we are so proud of you and the progress we’ve made this year! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
2. Anita Burns
Next up is the inspiring Anita Burns.
Here’s what she wrote:
I can sum up what Thinlicious means to me in just one word. HEALTHY. But please allow me to elaborate.
H = Happy.
I am much happier since I started my Thinlicious journey.
Every day I look in the mirror and smile. I am actually astonished that the thin person looking back is actually me.
I used to avoid mirrors. Now I can’t wait to see myself. I have found that starting my day with a smile puts me in a good frame of mind to deal with life’s daily stresses. Seeing how far I have come really inspires me to keep going.
E = Energized.
I have so much more energy now! My dog is loving my Thinlicious life because he gets to go on daily walks instead of just being put out in the yard like before.
But the best thing is I don’t get short of breath anymore. This is a HUGE win for me!
Also, I can’t remember the last time I needed a nap to get through the day. Even my house is cleaner. Not that I suddenly enjoy cleaning (that would be a miracle!), but energetic, Thinlicious me is inviting people over, and that motivates me to clean.
A = A1C.
My A1C and fasting glucose levels are back in the normal range without medication! In fact, all my blood work is better than it has been in my entire adult life. My doctor is thrilled.
She has become my cheerleader and is encouraging me to stick to the low-carb lifestyle. That is NOT a problem!
L = Low-carb cooking.
It took me a while to wrap my head around the high-fat/low-carb concept, but I trusted the Thinlicious process and have never looked back. There is a whole new world of low-carb recipes out there that I am just beginning to discover.
And bonus–my teenage son actually likes my cooking now. I can’t make the Easy Sausage Balls fast enough to keep up with his appetite. It’s amazing to me how I can eat so much delicious food and still lose weight.
T = Trying on clothes.
My mother-in-law loves to take me shopping for my birthday. She very generously buys me a new outfit each year. It gives her great joy to do this, but the annual trip has always filled me with dread.
Now that I’m at a healthy weight, I find I don’t mind the fitting room. There are so many clothing options for me now that I never had before.
Who knew I would enjoy finally figuring out my personal style at age 55?
H = Hope.
The future looks hopeful to me now.
Thinlicious has given me the tools and skills to maintain my weight loss and my health. I absolutely know that I can handle any diet interruption (vacation, illness, etc…) that life throws at me.
Sure, I may gain a pound or two in the short-term, but I am in this for life. A LONG, HEALTHY life. I look forward to playing with grandchildren in ways that I was never really able to play with my son. I may even buy myself a bike.
Y = Yes.
I say YES to things now. Walking with a friend? YES! Go out to dinner? YES! I can find something low-carb at any restaurant. Dancing with my husband? Heck yeah! We’re learning to salsa, and I love it! Cocktails at a friend’s pool? Of course! I’ll bring the sausage balls and meet you there!
So good, right? We loved Anita’s creativity and her story, and while she didn’t say it, I should also mention that over the past year, Anita has lost 63 pounds! Amazing Anita! We are SO proud of you!
3. Kathy Buseman
Our next story showing life before and after weight loss is from Kathy Buseman, who kept it short and sweet.
Here’s what she wrote:
My journey started on June 22nd, 2022. I knew I needed to change, so I was going to give it a try. But having never lost more than 10 lbs before, I was not optimistic and did not take any before photos.
My first memory as the scale went down was that there was clearly something wrong with the scale. This couldn’t be real. But I had to buy a belt!
Then other amazing moments happened as this journey continued. I found out I had cheekbones again! I needed clothes but had no idea what size to buy. My entire closet got cleaned out, and those large clothes were removed from the house. I’m not planning on needing them again!
I had eaten whole foods before, so I was used to cooking and enjoying good foods, but now I was eating good foods and losing weight! I did not have to give up my dairy but instead got to have whipped cream! I worked the recipes around my food dislikes but had no trouble finding lots of good recipes.
Even when eating out, there was the next best choice. My mindset is: this is my way of eating, and I can always find something good to eat or I make the next best choice. The science behind this way of eating was so interesting, and I am learning more every day.
Not Just a Physical Change
Today I am down 66 lbs with a goal of 14 more. It is amazing the difference in my energy level and how much more fun it is being in the garden and yard now!
I can go up and down stairs, and my knees don’t hurt!! After coming down 3-4 sizes people do not recognize me as I have not been this weight in 30 years!!!
But the best change has been that food no longer controls my thoughts. I used to constantly be thinking about what can I eat now, in an hour, and if I went too long without eating, I would get hangry. Now I do a 16/8 intermittent fast.
Not only that, my A1C is down, and my fasting insulin is way down. I am much healthier in mind and body. Thank you for giving me this new, improved life!
Kathy, we’re so proud of you and the amazing changes you’ve made this year! Thank you for sharing your story of before and after weight loss, and congratulations on your success!
4. Tammy Weiland
Our fourth winner was Tammy Weiland, whose story was incredibly touching.
Here’s what she wrote:
I have been doing all of Ruth’s programs for years. Living Well Spending Less, Elite Blog Academy, Activate… and trying to get motivated, but I wasn’t really all in. I was so excited during every lesson, about each step, but I just couldn’t find the energy to carry through on my goals.
When I heard about Thinlicious, I was so ready for change. I felt like I had lost all control of my life—for two decades. I wanted it back.
In 2003, I was commuting to work with my husband. My office was 30 miles from home, his new job was 60 miles. He would drop me off at a gym that had 24 access; I’d work out, shower, and walk to work.
I was 40 years old and healthier than I had ever been in my entire life. We were busy with two teenage sons, involved in community activities, renovating a 75-year-old house, and living the American dream.
Finding Hope after Heartache
One afternoon, I received a phone call from our sons’ high school; our 18-year-old senior athlete had collapsed, and an ambulance was on the way. Then came the helicopter. Then multiple surgeries. He had a stroke and suffered a significant brain injury.
I slept in a chair for weeks in the neurotrauma ICU and months in rehab. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I am so grateful for the grace God gave me and for the faith that never wavers. My son struggles with disabilities but has overcome so much.
In the beginning, his needs were great, and we were also trying to carry on a normal routine with our younger son. I truly did not have time or energy for exercise. Truly.
But then life got a little more normal, I got my rhythm back—but not my focus. I seemed to have time for Netflix and cheese popcorn, and then came Facebook! I gained a few pounds, and then ten, and then twenty… until I just felt lousy.
I knew I needed to move more and eat less. And I like healthy food. I love to cook and can make delicious meals that are nutritious. But I just couldn’t get started. I cook most of our family meals, so as vegetables were replaced with pasta, my husband also put on some weight, though he was more disciplined than me, and it didn’t show as much!
When Thinlicious was introduced, I honestly said I wasn’t going to be sucked in by Ruth’s awesome marketing! You’re my hero, Ruth! I was having some envy; you were starting ANOTHER venture, and I couldn’t get anything completed.
Slowly my mind started to shift as I read more and researched outside of the program. I started reading and listening to ALL THINGS THINLICIOUS. Then I asked my husband if he would like to try the program with me, and he agreed, which shocked me. We NEVER do things “together.”
We planned to start, but then July 4th was coming. Then our anniversary, then vacation… I was stocking up on all the pantry items, printing recipes… Finally, we picked a date, the beginning of September, and committed to get started.
Getting Started is the Hardest Part
We were hooked immediately. Within days, our energy level increased. We weren’t hungry and always wanting to snack. We loved every recipe we tried and started tweaking our own favorites, with Thai food on cauliflower rice being a winner.
I’ve enjoyed learning to cook with different ingredients and haven’t had any difficulty with sweeteners.
One day I was halfway down the stairs and realized that I was moving faster; I just felt more steady. This was only one week in. I know it was the decreased inflammation.
I’ve been in ketosis regularly, and if not, I know why. We got some pushback from family at some gatherings, they wondered how we could enjoy good restaurants. We ordered lobster and steamed broccoli. By then, we were starting to lose weight, and people were getting curious.
The awesome Thinlicious community kept me motivated. I’ve learned so much in the Facebook group by just reading about others’ experiences. We always host Thanksgiving, and we used so many Thinlicious recipes, and everyone loved them.
We had been on the program for a few months by then, and our family was amazed to see the progress we were making. I have lost 54 pounds; my husband has lost 45 pounds! Combined, that’s a whole human!
I am that person that keeps those favorite jeans because to donate the tight clothes would be surrendering. I have a closet full of clothes that I love again! I wear belts! I bought new underwear and enjoyed it! (My boobs are gone, that’s the only drawback. Ha! )
My husband is costing me a fortune because he didn’t keep his skinny clothes! I had stopped looking at my body in the mirror. I wasn’t getting on the scale. I hated shopping for clothes.
Finding Balance with a New Lifestyle
Last month, I went to the pool the first week it was open. My husband and I hiked around the peak of Pilot Mountain. We’re running around the yard with our son’s puppy. We plan outings that aren’t at a restaurant!
The cost of pantry staples can be pricey, but we have made up for it by skipping all the junk food takeout that had become a habit. We plan ahead by bringing keto dishes to share with friends, but we eat “non-keto” sometimes too.
We’ve been to weddings, festivals, and parties. If we go off track, we do it with moderation. We both know that we can commit to this plan for the long term. It really is a lifestyle change; it takes some planning, but it’s been so easy with the amazing support and resources of the Thinlicious team and members.
We just can’t thank you enough for giving us our life back! With sincere appreciation from both of us!
Tammy, I love that you and your husband were able to do this together and find your groove as a couple again. You’ve been through SO much, and we’re SO proud of you! Thank you for sharing your story!
5. Debbie Muche
And last but certainly not least, we have Debbie Muche, who takes the prize for number of pounds lost. Her essay had me crying and also laughing out loud.
Here’s what she wrote:
It feels like I have known Ruth Soukup for years; she has been inspiring me in countless ways since I first found her. Ruth has a no-nonsense way of telling it like it is, and always makes me feel like she’s speaking directly to me.
She’s raw, she’s imperfect, and she’s real. That’s why I knew when she announced she was starting Thinlicious, I trusted her fully. I never dreamed it would change my life the way it has.
I didn’t take the “before pictures” or record my measurements. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I didn’t want to share with anyone that I was going to try “another weight loss program” that I would probably fail at.
I wish I could go back and hug my old self and whisper…this is going to be different. What I really wanted was for someone to give me a list and say, here is what to do and how to do it.
Instead, I got loads of information in manageable chunks that really made sense to me.
What Made Thinlicious Different
Each lesson was so full of things that I needed to hear. Not everything I learned about “dieting” up till then was true, and what an eye-opener it was when I applied the things I learned from Ruth and Dr. Edie, and the pounds started to come off.
Setting goals was hard for me because I didn’t always believe in myself. But I felt that Ruth believed in me, so I wrote in my planner (IN INK!) that I was going to lose 25 pounds. When I crushed that goal quicker than I imagined, I treated myself to a bottle of new perfume.
I noticed fewer aches and pains, and I was sleeping better. It was getting easier to say no to sugary foods even though people around me were eating them. I still went out for dinners with friends and family, but chose different foods than I used to.
I could eat plenty of delicious meals and never felt like I was depriving myself, and I always ate when I was hungry.
At 35 pounds lost, fireworks went off for me…what if I did more of the things and stopped being afraid to fail? I started tracking macros, bought the Keto Mojo, and stuck myself in the finger so I could learn more about how to get in and stay in ketosis.
I lost almost 50 pounds, and I was stuck—the scale wouldn’t budge. So, I went back and re-listened to the lessons, and different things applied to me now. Eat more fat to lose fat? Nope, that makes no sense.
But everything else they shared has worked, so I tried it…and before you know it, I was past my goal of 50 pounds!
I bought myself a new purse and sassy glasses like Lisa wears. The bloat was gone, no more antacids or night sweats. I could get up the stairs easier, people were noticing and encouraging me, and best of all, I had ENERGY!
I had so much energy that when no one was looking I cranked the tunes and danced around like a fool—it felt so damn good. My body was telling me I needed to move, so I added in some exercise.
Find Your Motivation
People were telling me low carb eating is bad for me and I needed to stop this unhealthy way of eating. “You know you’re going to gain all that weight back when you eat normal again, right?” I don’t have time for that negativity, dammit!
I’m doing this thing, and it’s working for me! It truly is a mindset, and when the mind and body start working together, magic happens.
I started intermittent fasting and noticed lots more good things happening to my body. Getting “permission” to skip breakfast and only eat between the hours of noon and 8pm felt like it was too good to be true, this is the easiest thing I ever did!
Losing 75 pounds seemed unreal to me, but it happened. I rewarded myself with earbuds so I could listen to more lessons and podcasts and keep learning. I carry bits of information I learn from Ruth with me and think of them throughout my day, and it feels like we are in this together.
Before and After Weight Loss: What’s Changed
My face is thinner, my hair is healthier, my skin is clear and glowing, I have curves, my “caboose” is gone, no more pain or inflammation, the pain relievers and antacids in my medicine cabinet have been replaced with nail polish, face masks, a new skincare routine, and even contacts!
I can sit comfortably in a regular chair and even cross my legs, a regular bath towel fits around my body, and I can tuck it in, my husband looks at me differently, my seat belt fits, my confidence is growing, my mind is clear, hugs feel better than ever.
I don’t hide from the camera anymore, I can polish my own toes, my love life is super, I weigh less than what it says on my driver’s license, my clothes are 4 sizes smaller, and I FEEL AMAZING!
Soon I will be able to say I have lost one hundred pounds the Thinlicious way. Now, my family meal preps with me, and their support is priceless. My husband has lost over 25 pounds without hardly trying. I’m still losing and feeling better about myself every day.
My doctor and I agree that this is the healthiest I’ve been in years–all my numbers are just right.
Someone recently told me they didn’t even recognize me, I’m so different now. I wanted to say, “I’m the same person I was before, there’s just less of me,” but that’s not true.
I’m stronger, I’m better; this is who I always wanted to be but didn’t know I could be. No more “dieting.” I’m blessed with a whole new lifestyle that works for me–I feel 20 years younger!
Thank you, Ruth, for teaching me how to invest in myself!
Isn’t Debbie AMAZING? I love how she’s kept her sense of humor and fully embraced her journey. And I have no doubt she’s going to hit that 100-pound milestone very soon because her head is in the right place. Way to go, Debbie! We’re SO very proud of you!
So that’s it—our five incredible essay winners who blew us away with their results and their stories. And all five will be joining us in Miami, Florida, in just a few weeks for a super fun makeover and photo shoot, which I already know is going to be an absolute BLAST.
We can’t wait to celebrate their success in person, and if you’re in our Thinlicious Facebook group, I hope you’ll join me in congratulating each one of our winners: Tammy Matthews, Anita Burns, Kathy Buseman, Tammy Weisman, and Debbie Muche.
Get Started on Your Own Transformation Journey
If you are new and just beginning to explore how switching to a low-carb lifestyle can improve your health, check out my free starter guide.
It’s super helpful for understanding a little bit of the science behind our program—basically how it works and why it works, and why so much of what we’ve been told about what’s healthy and what’s not is actually counter-productive.
We’ll be back on Thursday with another inspiring interview, but in the meantime, if this post encouraged you, I’d love it if you could share it with your friends and family! Share it in a text, on social media, or via email. Let’s get the word out and start changing more lives!
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