Before and After Weight Loss | Working Mother

22 Inspiring Working Moms Before and After They Lost Weight

From dropping a size to completely changing their body, these moms share their secrets to getting healthier.

Whether you’re trying to lose the baby weight or shed pounds that crept up over time, it’s never easy trying to change the scale. But these working moms deliver just the inspiration you might need to make healthy lifestyle changes that even short-on-time working moms can swing. Here, the strategies that helped them slim down.


Age: 34
Mother of: Two boys, ages 11 and 13
Job: Legal Secretary
Town: Sacramento, CA
Total Pounds Lost: 75

"I was able to lose the weight by paying closer attention to what I was eating and my activity level. I started using an app to track my meals and a step counter to help track my activity. My coworkers were supportive and would often join me for walks during breaks. Every step counts! I would still go out to lunch with them, but I would look for healthier options on the menu and track what I was eating. My boys were also supportive, and they joined me in activities after work. They loved that I started to have more energy to do things."

Veronica Before and After

Veronica Before and After

With help from the Real Appeal digital weight loss program, Veronica lost weight and regained her confidence.

Courtesy of Veronica

Brianna Bernard

Age: 32
Mom of: Tye, 5
Job: Personal trainer and nutrition coach
Town: Minneapolis, MN
Total Pounds Lost: 107

"After gaining 70 pounds during my pregnancy, my weight had escalated to 245 pounds. Before I knew it, Tye was almost one. I hadn’t exercised or watched what I ate the entire year and my weight hadn’t budged. I was standing in a grocery store checkout line and picked up a copy of People Magazine’s, “How They Lost 100 lbs” issue. Inside, I found the story of Dawn Bryant who was also from Minneapolis. She had hired Jason Burgoon, owner and lead trainer at Bodies by Burgoon, as her personal trainer the year before and he helped her lose 130 pounds. I thought if this gym and this man could have such a profound impact on this woman’s life and health ... then maybe he can help me too. So I made the call. I began training with Jason three days per week. I started logging my food in My Fitness Pal, drank a gallon of water every day, and ate small meals, consisting of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats, every two to three hours. One year later, I had lost 100 pounds. It inspired me to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach and help others define what strong means to them."

Brianna Bernard Before and After

Brianna Bernard Before and After

Working with a personal trainer and eating a balanced diet helped this mom lose major weight in just one year.

Courtesy of Brianna Bernard

Tanisha Washington

Age: 25
Mom of: Liam, 4
Job: Senior Risk Analyst
Town: Austin, TX
Total Pounds Lost: 106

"At the age of 21, while a senior at my four-year university, I found out I was pregnant and was so scared. Soon after, I also discovered I was going to be a single mother, and it was one of the toughest pills I ever had to swallow. Through the support of family and friends, I had a beautiful pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby boy named Liam in December 2013. I wanted to be the best parent I could be to him, especially since I was doing it alone, so I decided, after struggling with weight my whole life, to finally get healthy. I began by cleaning up the foods I was putting in my body and adopting an Atkins low-carb lifestyle by eating a moderate amount of healthy fats, high-fiber carbs and optimal proteins. I cut out all refined carbs such as white rice, pasta, bread and sweets. I ate lots of green, leafy veggies and fruits. I constantly gave myself a healthy variety of fun and tasty meals that never left me feeling deprived or restricted. I lost 40 pounds before I ever began working out! Once I got in the gym and began HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and strength training in addition to a healthy diet, I was able to lose the weight in just one year."

Before and After

Tanisha Washington Before and After

With help from the Atkins diet, Tanisha was able to slim down in only one year.

Courtesy of Tanisha Washington

Robin Schaffner

Age: 37
Mom of: Kali, 17, and Parker, 2
Job: Fumigation Administrator
Town: Camarillo, CA
Total pounds lost: 56.5

"I started Weight Watchers in June 2015, and by December 2015 I had lost 30 pounds by following the plan and counting points. I was walking every day after work and taking short walks during my breaks at work. Then my dad passed away in February 2016, and my weight loss came to a stop. I had gained about five pounds back and was almost ready to quit. But in August 2016 I decided to get back on track. When I started tracking my meals again, the weight just started falling off. Weight Watchers is amazing because it's not a diet! They show you how to live a healthy lifestyle by encouraging you to eat high protein and low sugars, saturated fats and carbs. They also encourage you to make more time for yourself. Be healthy and happy from the inside out!”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Robin Schaffner Before and After

Instead of dieting, Robin says she lost the weight by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Courtesy of Robin Schaffner

Donna Grant-Paige

Age: 47
Mom of: Brianna, 22, Hannah, 10, and Jackson, 7
Job: Adjunct Faculty
Town: Lynchburg, VA
Total pounds lost: 125

“I was borderline diabetic and my mother even suggested gastric bypass surgery, so I decided to try Atkins and pursue a low-carb lifestyle with the goal of coming back to school looking completely different. I reduced total net carbs and removed sugar from my diet. I also took advantage of the outdoor activities Lynchburg has to offer. In September my students didn’t even recognize me! Seeing the weight fall off, I began working out with a trainer at Planet Fitness, ran my first 5K race in Lynchburg’s Turkey Trot, and started walking with my children on the trails of Blackwater Creek. My proudest accomplishment, though, is that I inspired my daughter to start losing weight—she’s lost 50 pounds and counting.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Donna Grant-Paige Before and After

Through Turkey Trots and outdoor activities with her children, Donna lost 125 pounds.

Courtesy of Donna Grant-Paige

Esther Hollander

Age: 40
Mom of: Avraham, 11, and Yakir, 7
Job: Health coach and independent PR specialist
Town: Teaneck, NJ
Total pounds lost: 173

“My motivation to lose weight stemmed from my worsening physical and mental health. Besides being down about my external appearance, my body was starting to rebel, and illnesses related to obesity were beginning to accrue. I shied away from social activities because I struggled with my self-confidence. I began the Take Shape For Life Program and was so happy to have found a program with structure and built-in support from the community—I never felt alone. My health coach motivated, guided and encouraged me, and made me believe that I could be successful. I am happier, more vibrant, more engaged in all aspects in life. I am more active with my family and am open to new experiences—ones that I felt were closed off to me prior. I am exercising at a more intense rate and feel like a rock star at Zumba! I am jogging. I am getting up off the sofa and running up and down stairs with no thought. I am playing sports with my kids. I am making healthier meals.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Esther Hollander Before and After

Take Shape for Life has Esther feeling more vibrant than ever.

Courtesy of Esther Hollander

Samantha Sutton

Age: 32
Mom of: Terry, 10, Cameron, 8, and Austin, 4
Job: Order Entry Coordinator, CB Complex Provision at Spectrum Enterprise
Town: Syracuse, NY
Total pounds lost: 48

“Weight Watchers has helped me learn to balance work and weight loss by finding recipes that were healthy and the whole family would enjoy. This cut down on having to make two separate meals after work. I eat my lunch at my desk and walk during my lunchtime and breaks. This allows me to get in more steps during the day.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Samantha Sutton Before and After

Weight Watchers has Samantha feeling healthy and accomplished.

Courtesy of Samantha Sutton

Jenn Espinosa-Goswami

Age: 38
Mom of: Jade, 13, and Asha, 6
Job: Motivational speaker
Town: Minneapolis, MN
Total pounds lost: 115

“The secret to dropping the baby weight while working full-time was eating real food—no shakes or supplements, preparing meals in advance, and going slow. I balanced all of my meals to have a mix of protein, fat and carbs. As for meal prep, that was critical! After my kids went to bed, I would roast some veggies and meat in the oven with olive oil and seasoning like garlic, rosemary, oregano and bake for 425 degrees at 25 minutes. Then I would prep egg muffins, flourless banana muffins or snacks like roasted chickpeas. The whole prep would take from 30 to 60 minutes. I did this meal prep every two to three days instead of all day on Sunday. That allowed for greater variety and fresher ingredients, plus I could grab and go during the crazy busy morning rush for my meals the next day at work. Also, I incorporated both HIIT and strength training to get the most bang for my 5:30 a.m. workouts on weekdays, using my home equipment of dumbbells, resistance bands, a core ball and kettlebell. You don't need to sacrifice time with your family or from your career to lose weight. I'm proof of that.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Jenn Espinosa-Goswami Before and After

Jenn says you don't need to sacrifice time with your family to lose weight.

Courtesy of Jenn Espinosa-Goswani

KJ Landis

Age: 52
Mom of: Golden, 16, and Sage, 12
Job: Full-time server at night in a hotel restaurant and a wellness coach, personal trainer, author, exercise instructor and motivational speaker by day
Town: San Francisco, CA
Total pounds lost: 50

“I was inspired to lose weight because I had gained a little every year in my thirties and forties, especially after having children. I lost the weight using the natural pregnancy hormone HCG and eating only green veggies, white fleshed fish and seafood, and drinking a gallon of water a day. I was always very active, and held certified personal training certificates for years. I keep the fat off now by hiking, yoga, walking, lifting weights and waitressing in the evenings. I eat clean and green 80 percent of the time and allow treats—notice I don't call them cheats—20 percent of the time. I still drink lots of water, meditate and smile at myself daily! My best tips are to slowly increase water consumption to a gallon of water a day and add lemon or cucumbers. That way you can tell if you are truly hungry or just socially and emotionally hungry.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

KJ Landis Before and After

KJ continues to stay active with hiking, yoga, walking, lifting weights and waitressing.

Courtesy of KJ Landis

Faith McKinney

Age: 50
Mom of: Donovan, 29, Camille, 23, and step-daughter Mauricia, 23
Job: U.S. Postal Service worker
Town: Indianapolis
Total pounds lost: 42

“I lost the weight by exercising with a personal trainer, but the weight didn't come off until I changed my eating habits. The very specific diet of oatmeal and an egg in the morning, and a smoothie, fish and veggies in proper portions worked for me. Water is critical as well. The most important part of weight loss is meal planning and preparation every day.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Faith McKinney Before and After

Meal planning was essential in Faith's weight loss journey.

Courtesy of Faith McKinney

Vernic Popat

Age: 34
Mom of: Sanum, 7, and Sohum, 3
Job: CFO of, an online eco-friendly gifting company
Town: Windermere, FL
Total pounds lost: 13

“The way that I lost my baby weight is doing P90x, Insanity and PiYo at the YMCA—they all have a great system of cardio and plyometrics. The reps are low and the intensity level is high, so when I finish one rep I feel so accomplished to do the rest. I would keep telling myself to do one more. It also helps to have a great instructor; my instructor would literally do the work with you. That’s what makes me want to do more. I am now at a level that I can keep up with our group instructor, which is amazing. I haven’t felt this alive in a long time. I’m a vegetarian, and we love our carbs, so that was a bit hard, especially after doing cardio. You feel like you’re starving. I cut the carbs—no bread and pasta—and just added more vegetables and cold pressed juices to get extra vitamins in my body. I snack when I’m hungry on cashews and peanuts, and hydrate with water as much as I can.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Vernic Popat Before and After

High intensity workouts were key in helping Vernic lose 13 pounds.

Courtesy of Vernic Popat

Ashley Wong

Age: 39
Mom of: Trevor, 16, Grayson, 13, Avari, 11
Job: reproductive biologist/scientist
Town: Medina, MN
Total pounds lost: 107

“Our children are very active and fit, and I felt I was not setting a good example for them. As a scientist I thought, if I did one hour of exercise that one of my children did I would be fit. I also wondered, 'If I fed my body exactly the way I should, how would I feel?' I ordered Seattle Sutton (a meal plan that provides three freshly prepared meals a day). The proper diet and nutrition gave me the boost to start moving. Instead of dropping the kids at the rink and going home and watching TV or staying and sitting in the stands, I walked. I felt free. And I wanted more. I struggle with exercise and heat-induced asthma, so running has always been difficult, but I wanted to give it a try. I started on a treadmill at home, but was shy about trying in front of my family. So I ran in my neighborhood, in the dark, at night, slowly. As my nutrition and health improved, so did my ability to run.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Ashley Wong Before and After

Ashley's weight loss journey began with proper diet and nutrition and walking.

Courtesy of Ashley Wong

Lisa Whealon

Age: 33
Mom of: Sophia, 6, and Ava, 4
Job: Chief People Officer for a book company
Town: St. Louis
Total pounds lost: 91

“I was tired of losing and gaining the same 30 pounds, and wanted to find a permanent solution. I started by learning about portion control. I cut out soda and sugary coffee drinks completely and paid close attention to how much I was eating. I saw some pretty instant results in doing this. Results are contagious, and every time I would see my hard work pay off on the scale or in my clothes, I would chase that feeling. I did all I could to learn about food, and I began working out. I started small and aimed at walking 20 to 30 minutes every day. I tracked my calories and planned every workout. Once I felt the results were tapering, I’d increase my workouts. I never deprived myself of something I wanted or a craving, but found ways to fit it in my calories goal for the day. This mindset was sustainable, and I didn't feel resentment like before when I thought I had to eat grilled chicken and brown rice for every meal. After losing 50 pounds on my own, I plateaued and found it harder to see results. I was on such a great track and knew I needed some help. It was at this point that I had the Obalon Balloon System placed. (It’s the first swallowable, FDA-approved balloon system for weight loss. The non-surgical treatment consists of three lightweight balloons, placed gradually over three months, occupying space in a patient’s stomach to facilitate weight loss). The balloons helped me continue on with my journey and gave me the confidence and seriousness to not stop. Through the program, I met with a nutritionist who helped me learn even more about nutrition and how to fuel my body. Over the six months of having the balloons, I lost an additional 32 pounds. I have kept off the weight by continuing to focus on my nutrition and workouts.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Lisa Whealon Before and After

Lisa stopped the cycle of losing and gaining the same 30 pounds by learning portion control.

Courtesy of Lisa Whealon

Cori Magnotta

Age: 33
Mom of: Luigi, 2½
Job: Product Specialist with Microsoft
Town: Portland, CT
Total pounds lost: 85

“I lost weight by hula hooping while my son played at playgrounds. It took me about seven months. I used a weighted hula hoop about 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week. Hula hooping is a full body workout, and my son loved watching the hoop go round and round, especially when he was younger. Once I started hula hooping, I started feeling better about myself and made better food choices. I'd pack my lunch—salads with turkey or chicken—with fruits and vegetables instead of heading out for fast food every day. One of the biggest changes was to always have an easy-to-carry fruit on hand in my purse for what I call a ‘hunger emergency.' If a meeting ran long or if I got stuck at the office after hours and found myself really hungry, I'd have an apple or banana instead of hitting up the vending machine for a candy bar. Always being prepared with a healthy snack and never letting myself get desperately hungry has really helped. This has prevented me from stopping at the drive-thru on my way home from work. I've also made sure to also always have a water bottle in my purse. I used to drink soda and fruit juice all day, not realizing how easy it is to drink my daily allotment of calories. I've since purchased a wearable fitness tracker and made sure to find ways to hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day, such as walking my son in his stroller to local parks and libraries instead of driving, and parking as far away as possible from where I was going.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Cori Magnotta Before and After

Cori hula hooped her way to dropping 85 pounds.

Courtesy of Cori Magnotta

Shantea Johnson

Age: 42
Mom of: Teiarra, 25, Tyler, 14, and Kamryn, 10
Job: Paralegal
Town: Atlanta
Total pounds lost: 27

“My goal was to look like the women I admired in the fitness magazines. After attending a local fitness competition with a friend, I was able to find a trainer who educated me on the importance of eating healthier and exercising and how the two together were the key to obtaining an amazing physique. I changed my diet dramatically. I ate five small meals a day and began doing cardio five to six days a week, and the transformation was astonishing. I wanted to compete at the same local fitness competition I visited before beginning my journey, and I placed third in the Open Bikini going against women that were half my age! Competing was not only an amazing experience, but a huge confidence booster. I have gone on to accomplish so many amazing things in four-and-a-half years, including placing in competitions, being on the cover of a fitness magazine and becoming a contributing writer for several fitness magazines. This has shown me that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and that age truly is just a number! Today I feel and look better than I did at 25.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Shantea Johnson Before and After

Shantea went from watching a local fitness competition to placing third in one.

Courtesy of Shantea Johnson

Giovanna Baratto

Age: 48
Mom of: Alex, 22
Job: Full-time massage therapy student working towards a Ph.D. in physical therapy
Town: Madison, NJ
Total pounds lost: 53

“I served in the U.S. army for 11 years as a computer hardware/software specialist before I was medically discharged due to thyroid cancer in 2005. Initially, I was misdiagnosed with asthma and was pumped with heavy doses of prednisone steroids, which sent me from a size 4 to a size 20 in one year. Both my endocrinologist and family doctor said not to expect to get back into my size 4s ever again. However, I wanted to join the Wounded Warrior’s cycling team to support disabled veterans, so I had to get back to cycling over 100 miles. I teamed up with a personal trainer, Justin Roberts, at Retro Fitness in Florham Park, NJ, in December 2015. When he saw how determined I was, he told me about competing in the 90-Day Challenge. During my training, I learned the importance of choosing quality exercise over quantity. Especially with my schedule of work, home, school and the gym, I had to get the most out of the limited time I had to work out. I typically do 30 minutes of weights three times a week with cardio in between and one rest day.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Giovanna Baratto Before and After

Thyroid cancer did not get in the way of Giovanna's goals.

Courtesy of Giovanna Baratto

Pam Horrocks

Age: 46
Mom of: Wesley, 12
Job: Health coach and teacher
Town: Sherman Oaks, CA
Total pounds lost: 121

“After reaching my highest weight of 240 pounds in July 2014, I decided to make a life change. I was on Facebook and saw my sister was looking thinner and thinner in each picture. She introduced me to Take Shape For Life and it transformed my life! It combines the personalized support of a health coach to give you the resources and skills you need to live healthier for the long term. I was on the plan that consists of eating five healthy "fuelings" throughout the day, along with one healthy meal of lean protein and low carb vegetables. I continue to eat six small meals throughout the day. Additionally, I’ve found a new hobby and began working out. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would say to my husband before leaving the house, ‘I’m going to work out.’ Now I work out four times a week!”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Pam Horrocks Before and After

Take Shape for Life helped Pam make the life change she was searching for.

Courtesy of Pam Horrocks

Tania Oneil

Age: 40
Mom of: Samantha 6, Amanda, 4, Aidan 2½ , and Logan, 10 months
Job: Accountant
Town: Kings Park, NY
Total pounds lost: 25

“My motivation for losing the baby weight and getting back in shape is to set an example for my kids on how important it is to be healthy, strong and fit. I've known Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness NY LTD for many years, so when she created the five-month program, I knew I had to get on board! I incorporate my gym time into my daily schedule, like brushing my teeth, so it's part of my day. If something comes up or there's a school activity, I rearrange my schedule to fit it in. I do meal prep on Sundays so I always have healthy snacks and meals on hand in the fridge to grab and go with my busy schedule. Also, this program allows you to do workouts anywhere and gives endless recipe ideas and guidelines. Working out every day is my therapy. I believe a mother is the heart and strength of a family, and in order to run the household, you need to be healthy, fit and strong!”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Tania Oneil Before and After

Tania shed 25 pounds in hopes of setting an example for her kids.

Courtesy of Tania Oneil

Karen Reddel

Age: 44
Mom of: Devin, 12, Ruby, 8, and Wyatt, 6
Job: Publisher
Town: Fallston, MD
Total pounds lost: 17

“I used Dr. Fred Pescatore’s The A-List Diet, which includes kicking things off with a detox, then low-carb eating combined with protein boosting, where you supplement with extra amino acids. It worked like a charm and was easy to stick to, so now it’s really just become my natural way of eating. The protein boosting really works to kill any cravings and helps me maintain energy—it makes it easy when I need something quick between the kids’ activities in the evenings and on weekends. And it has definitely helped keep me toned, considering I only work out about three days a week.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Karen Reddel Before and After

Karen slimmed down and remains toned using the A-List Diet.

Courtesy of Karen Reddel

Tara Lajevic

Age: 32
Mom of: Gianna, 9
Job: Self-owned internet business
Town: Pittsburgh
Total pounds lost: 90

“When I started Atkins 20, the weight started flying off and it was motivation just to keep going. I also avoided the scale for the first five weeks, which is probably the smartest thing I ever did! I did Atkins 20 for eight months, and I focused on being in ketosis (burning fat for fuel). Eventually, I added in exercise—cycling classes and light weights—to tone up. Now I just try to watch what I eat and I work out five days a week to maintain my weight.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Tara Lajevic Before and After

Eight months of Atkins dieting paired with exercising enabled Tara to reach her weight loss goal.

Courtesy of Tara Lajevic

Katie Rosin

Age: 41
Mom of: TJ, 13, Zoe, 9
Job: Film producer
Town: Nyack, NY
Total weight lost: 60

“I lost weight with consistent exercise and diet. First I did Weight Watchers, then 5:2/The Fast Diet, then Whole30, and I'm finishing up with the Fast Metabolism Diet. For three years now I have been doing HIIT/kettlebell training three times a week, and it really has changed my body positively. I also spin two to three times a week—I’m a SoulCycle addict—and have really found workouts that fit my schedule and love the endorphins. My biggest advice would be to team up. Every time I have done so, I have realized more success. Whether it be my kettlebell training with my mom friends at bootcamp or dieting with a pal, it is so much easier to do it with a support system.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Katie Rosin Before and After

Katie is a SoulCycle addict and proud of it.

Courtesy of Katie Rosin

Melissa Martinez

Age: 35
Mom of: Maya, 9, and twins Abigail and Adam, 2
Job: Sales Executive Admin
Town: Miami
Total pounds lost: 40

“Weight Watchers has taught me to make the right choices when preparing for meals. I now use my free time to remain stress-free in efforts to reduce anxious eating while at work. And I keep my lunch tasty and fun.”

Working Mom Weight Loss

Melissa Martinez Before and After

Because of Weight Watchers, Melissa now knows how to better prepare her meals.

Courtesy of Melissa Martinez


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