Melissa Mountain, a 35-year-old Illinois mom of two, found herself weighing 250 pounds after leaving an abusive marriage. Now she’s remarried and has lost more than 63 pounds. Learn how—and why—she did it.

By Krystal Hagan
Photo courtesy of Melissa Mountain

What made you decide to finally commit to losing the weight for good?

I started dating again and ended up meeting the love of my life, who proposed in 2017. I wanted to feel better about myself and look great on my wedding day. We got married on May 26, 2018.

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How much weight have you lost and how did you do it?

Since Nov. 7, 2017, I’ve lost 63.4 pounds total by tracking everything I ate and drank through the Lose It! app, which gave me a much better idea of what I was putting into my body. It allowed me to watch my fat and carb intake and helped me focus on making sure my diet was high in protein.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Mountain

What is your goal weight? Have you reached it?

I haven't set a goal (number wise); I just want to focus on being healthy and feeling good.

What other diets/routines you've tried in the past?

I’ve tried Weight Watchers in the past, but I was never able to maintain my weight loss.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Mountain

What has been the hardest part of your journey?

The mental health issues I've had to confront while losing the weight. I was never a big girl, but after having two kids and leaving an abusive marriage with my now ex-husband, I realized that I’d gained a lot of weight. I wanted to feel better about myself and look great on my wedding day. After the wedding, I realized my weight loss was starting to become an obsession, as my life began to revolve around how much time I was spending at the gym and what I was eating, and I knew that I needed to take time for myself to re-evaluate what I needed to do in order to find my happy medium. My weight-loss journey isn't over and right now I am doing it at a little slower pace, and in a much healthier place mentally and physically.

Who or what inspires you to keep going?

My husband and I went on this journey together and we have lost over 120 pounds combined! Having him to lean on as a support system has helped tremendously. My entire family is constantly cheering me on, and they help me celebrate just how far I have come.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Mountain

What does your typical day look like?

I'm a stay-at-home mom, so every day is a little bit different. If I can't make it to the gym, then I make sure to squeeze in a workout at my home gym.

Could you give us an example of what a typical healthy meal is for you?

Typical day of eating:

  • Breakfast: 1-2 eggs, turkey sausage links and sometimes a yogurt.
  • Lunch: Salad with mixed spinach, cottage cheese, meat (usually chicken or turkey), cheese and BBQ sauce.
  • Dinner: Chicken, vegetable and fruit.

What are your go-to snacks?

I’m not really a snack person, but I if I am needing something to hold me over, then I’ll go for a One Bar.

Do you have cheat meals/cheat snacks? If so, what are they?

Pizza is still one of my favorite meals to have every so often.

You used the Lose It! app to help you track your meals during this journey. What do you like about Lose It! and why do you think it’s been successful for you? Do you have any other go-to tools or apps that keep you on track?

Instead of following a specific diet, I used Lose It! to help me track everything I ate and drank, which gave me a much better picture of what I was eating and how I felt. The app helped me keep my fat and carb intake in check, while making sure my diet was high in protein.

Do you find yourself focusing more on diet or exercise? Or do you try to find a balance?

I try to find a balance between my diet and exercise, but I do find myself focusing more on what I’m eating.

What is your favorite way to work out? How do you motivate yourself on the days you don’t want to exercise?

I do a lot of cardio, as well as weight and resistance training. My husband and I bought an all-in-one gym for our home, so there's really no excuse for us not to exercise. We'll spend about one to two hours depending on what machine we’re using that day and try to work out three to five days a week. We are good about motivating each other on the days we don't feel like working out. We started this weight loss journey together, so we hold each other accountable and support each other on days we're having a hard time. My family is a constant source of motivation, as they've seen how far I've come and are constantly cheering me on.

How has your weight-loss journey affected your family?

This journey was much easier with my husband and I facing things together. Having someone to hold me accountable and be on this journey with me has helped keep me motivated and positive throughout this experience.

What advice do you have for others, especially moms, who are struggling with weight loss?

Know that weight loss won’t happen overnight. Make sure to research the best meals and diets that will work for your lifestyle. Find someone to help keep you accountable! Lastly, use an app like Lose It! to help give you a better understanding of what you’re eating

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