My Wedding Weight Loss Before & After Story

My Wedding Weight Loss Before and After Story

I thought it would be fitting to start this blog with my story, which also happens to be the inspiration behind the entire Fit for a Bride idea!  Growing up overweight, I never thought I’d get married. My first crush was on a boy named Michael Chin and I’ll never forget when he called me fat. I was devastated. Afterward, throughout middle school, high school, and even in college, I dealt with a lot more name calling and bullying, and in my mind at least, it seemed I would never have a boyfriend because I was fat. Granted, I was very outgoing and talkative, and I had a lot of friends, but beneath a happy-go-lucky exterior, I felt rejected. Anyone know this feeling? Yea. It sucks!

On my wedding day, after months of eating right and falling in love with exercise (zumba, running, and weight lifting), I vowed to make health a priority. I decided to love my body and treat it well, and to help others do the same.


wedding weight loss before and after lazyload

Wedding photo credit: Meredith Perdue

Growing Up Overweight

When I was young, I didn’t know anything about nutrition. No offense to my mom, but we ate out A LOT. She worked long hours and usually didn’t get home until late. I remember eating a lot of Chinese food, pizza, and Five Guys! We would spread it out on the living room table and go to town! My mom, my brother, and me were all overweight.

In middle school, my dad tried to get me involved in sports. He was a well-known and respected basketball coach at a local High School and had a reputation for no-nonsense training. He’s a tough coach, but he has a big heart and the toughness is all part of getting athletes to their fullest potential. (A little insight: he cries every time he watches Hoosiers!)

My dad worked with me, teaching me how to shoot the basketball, get into a defensive stance, everything. The problem was my weight. I couldn’t run a full mile! I did manage to make the junior varsity team in High School, but it was a small, private school and I was a junior; meaning, I should have been on the Varsity team. I played anyway–played my heart out–and we lost every game. No, seriously. It was rough!

I probably should have thrown in the towel after that, but my senior year, I tried out again. I remember tryouts vividly, running those four laps around the track… I was so proud of myself because I ran the ENTIRE time, a FULL mile. I think it took me about 14 minutes and I ran straight to the locker room afterward- I thought I was going to die I felt so sick! Sadly, I didn’t make the team and so, in lieu of basketball, I joined color guard. Any other color guard folks out there?

Fast forward to college and I’m living a very unhealthy lifestyle: eating horribly, never exercising, and, I’d picked up a new habit: smoking. In 2004, my freshman year, I did manage to drop 20 pounds, but I didn’t do it the right way. I walked a lot, which was good, but I didn’t eat healthy or do any weight training, and, I smoked a pack of cigarettes A DAY. Horrific, I know!

Believe it or not, losing 20 lbs didn’t do much for my self-esteem. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I spent my early twenties in a state of “skinny fat,” meaning I looked skinny but I really felt fat, and I had a lot of flab from losing weight and never weight training.

In 2009, two things happened: I got engaged (woo hoo!) and joined a Biggest Loser competition at work. At the first weigh-in, I was shocked to see that I was almost back to my pre-college weight of 175 lbs! Needless to say, I wasn’t happy.

These photos are from our engagement session:

wedding weight loss before and after

wedding weight loss before and after

Photos by Kelly J. Mihalcoe

With an upcoming wedding, I started to change my life for good. I joined a gym and began working out daily. I went to zumba classes and took up cycling and running. I absolutely LOVED running and I still do. I love it because I don’t have to be skilled or fast-paced. All I have to do is keep going, and so long as I believe in myself (sounds corny), I can do that. In 2010, I ran my first 5k and not long after I ran a 10k. I also ran two 10 milers (the Army Ten Miler and Cherry Blossom Ten Miler) and eventually, I ran a full marathon (26.2 miles)!

When I got married in April of 2011, I weighed 145 lbs, an all-time low.

{At our rehearsal dinner}


{Wedding day via Meredith Perdue}

I had come a long way since Michael Chin and my pre- and post-college weight– I wasn’t just thin, I was strong! I was healthy! After the wedding, I realized I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Industry or my new-found love for fitness. I wanted to continue to learn about healthy living and bring these new and improved concepts about food and exercise to my newlywed kitchen and life, and to others! That’s what Fit for a Bride is all about! Motivation. Change. Encouragement.

Wedding photo credit: Meredith Perdue

My journey is far from over and I really believe in the old saying, “It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.”

I’m fighting old habits every day and believe me, they die hard! My default mode isn’t healthy, but I’m striving to change that. I’m finding new ways to incorporate healthy foods in my diet and eliminate the toxic stuff. I’m also studying to get a personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, because I want to be a personal trainer and help others achieve their health goals!

I really, really appreciate you reading my story. To learn more, go to the About section of this blog and definitely subscribe! I’ll be sharing a lot more about my past in future posts.

Do you have a weight loss story to share? Email it to I’d love to feature you!

Also read: 

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Leave a Comment


  1. Shayla wrote:

    This is awesome, Sara! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply
  2. Paula wrote:

    I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your story! Your transformation is incredible and it gives me courage and motivation to do the same. I, too, have struggled with weight loss throughout the years, and thanks to your blogs, I have decided to create my own as a way to hold myself accountable for being healthy. I am getting married in August and I just want to be able to feel happy and comfortable in my own skin. So I look forward to reading your blogs. Thanks again for providing such motivation! 🙂

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Paula, your comment totally made my day! It made all the hard work and frustration I experienced getting this blog and this idea off the ground TOTALLY worth it! I’ll be following your journey on your blog! Don’t be a stranger! xo

      Posted 1.2.13 Reply
  3. Nicole aka Nikki wrote:

    Heyyyyyy Sara!!I’m so so excited about your “Fit for a bride ” launch.
    I absolutely loved your weddingbee blogs!! And it was your weddingbee blogs that helped inspire many of my wedding ideas.
    I look forward to reading…as I am dealing with “post wedding weight”…smh. Trying to stay motivated to drop this weight.
    I can’t wait to hear about staying fit and so much more.
    Your owning your craft girly…and it’s amazing to see you grow.

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Hey Nikki! Thank you SO much for your comment! It was the first thing I read this morning as I got up early to work on the blog before I go to my “real” job, and it seriously, touched my heart! YOU ARE SO SWEET! I’m so thankful for friends like you who are so encouraging! Oh and also, I’m planning a huge series about post-wedding weight! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Lol. I think it’s like the “freshman 15!” It just happens! Anyway, I’ll be blogging about that a lot – stay tuned! Love you hun! Thanks again 🙂

      Posted 1.2.13 Reply
  4. Wow Sara, your story is amazing! I actually put a lot of weight on after our wedding (so dissappointing) so I am looking for motivation and advice as I tackle losing almost the same weight you did for your wedding!

    Posted 1.2.13 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Sarah, seriously, thank you so much for commenting! Also, your encouragement, via Instagram, prior to me starting this blog was HUGE for me. You might see it as a few kind words here and there, but to me, it was bigger than that: it pushed me to believe I could (I should!) do this! So THANK YOU! Also, we’re going to talk about that post-wedding weight! I put it on too! I think that’s pretty common and I hope this blog as a fun way for us all to work together to get to a healthy weight (and stay there)! Yay! So excited about this journey! The workouts are coming next week- keep an eye out! xo

      Posted 1.2.13 Reply
  5. Lucie wrote:

    Sara – I am in LOVE with this blog! I am so proud of you and your journey to become fit but most of all healthy. You really touched me when you mentioned that you were dealing with that “fat skinny” because I deal with that daily. Although, I’m no size 3 anymore, I’m pretty petite. I’ve gained and lost weight, but no matter how “small” or “good” I look to my husband or friends, I see fat. Always have. That’s my biggest problem. That and the fact that I LOVE food. But now that I have a child, one of my top priorities is staying healthy and being a good role model. I want to SHOW my daughter the healthy way to live and not to rely on the “skinny” genes she got from her parents. I have to set the example and be her number one role model. With that said, I’ll continue to look up to you, follow your posts, advice and tips and begin to share my own (once I get them lol). LOVE YOU TONS!!

    Posted 1.3.13 Reply
  6. Nicole wrote:

    Oh you hear about people loosing weight all the time. I was between 135 and 145 all through high school and college. I couldn’t run to save my life, but I lived on a farm so hauling hay, bucking bales, etc, that was easy peasy! Sadly I was bigger than all my friends so that was a big of a hardship but then I went to college. Oddly enough I stayed the same weight through most of college until my senior year and it kind of went downhill. I was heavy in my wedding back in 2010 and I’m kind of about the same weight now 2 years later with losing some in there and putting it back on. Yuck! I must say I don’t like cold weather so I’m lazy in the winter. Not so good!

    Posted 1.3.13 Reply
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    This is amazing, and so inspiring! I absolutely stand by your motto of “it’s a lifestyle, not a diet” – so very true! Can’t wait to read more from you. :))

    Posted 1.5.13 Reply
  8. This is fabulous! Kudos for putting yourself out there and sharing your story– your work will encourage and motivate so many brides!! xoxo

    Posted 2.11.13 Reply
  9. Monica wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this! It is very inspirational 🙂

    Posted 2.11.13 Reply
  10. Stephanie wrote:

    you are so strong, what a great story and this blog rocks my world! I’m hooked and have been catching myself up!

    Posted 3.28.13 Reply
  11. Adam Prowse wrote:

    I have lost 10 kg weight within 4 weeks through cardio exercises and veggies diet foods. I mostly take green tea, grapefruit juice, and vegetables soups for my weight reduction. I think it is great success for me to lose 10 kg in 4 week, I will carry my these weight loss efforts to get my ideal body weight.
    Maitland fitness

    Posted 9.19.13 Reply
  12. Micheal Clark wrote:

    Your way to enlighten everything on this blog is actually pleasant, everyone manage to efficiently be familiar with it, Thanks a great deal.Garcinia Cambogia

    Posted 4.10.14 Reply
  13. Sara, this is truly an inspiring story and one I would love to share with my own audience of brides to be. Just dropped you a quick message. Matt

    Posted 3.15.15 Reply
  14. Sasha Cohen wrote:

    You look amazing! Thank you for sharing your success story. This is a great blog post. I have been struggling with personal issues that has affected my weight for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. I have been following her twitter for updates and advice

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
  15. […] no idea what I was doing! I never learned to cook growing up (especially not healthy food – my family ate out a lot), but I’ve been giving cooking my very best these last 2 years; yet, there’s so much I […]

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  16. […] (dinners with friends and lots of family events). In between I didn’t know what to eat. I wasn’t taught healthy eating principles growing up (unless Five Guys has a lesson I don’t know about!?). So one day she wrote out a very simple […]

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  17. […] always been in the mindset that 135 lbs was the goal. Growing up overweight, I constantly thought to myself: If I can just get down to 135, or 140, then… fill-in-the […]

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