08/13/2013 01:53 EDT | Updated 08/13/2013 01:59 EDT

Weight Lost: Amanda Bass Dropped 53 Pounds

Amanda Bass

WHO: Amanda Bass

AGE: 34

CITY: Richmond Hill, Ont.

By The Numbers: 195 pounds at my starting point, and currently 142, total weight loss 53 pounds

The Weight Gain: I was scrawny until high school and had a decent muscular build. I was an athlete, but by no means was I skinny.

I gained some weight in university (the infamous freshman 15), packed on another 10 but then it really started to add on right before getting pregnant with my daughter. I never lost the weight after she was born.

In university, the gym and I had an on-again-off-again relationship. I was more worried about working full-time and keeping up with classes. Years later, I tried a program called “BODY FOR LIFE”, lost 25 pounds, but gained it all back. I tried to join a gym, but ended up subsidizing it (since I never went). I then packed on even more weight as a result of emotional eating, tied to the stress of work and home.

The Final Straw: Something just clicked inside me — I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. One of the weirdest parts of it was I thought I was smaller than I was, but every time I stared at picture or my reflection, reality said different. I was also worried about gestational diabetes that would be more likely at weight levels like that.

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I can really summarize three factors that have kept me motivated in dropping the weight:

1) I want to be a great role model for my daughter (happy, healthy and fit).

2) I don’t want to become diabetic too early. Diabetes runs in my family, and frankly, needles scare the hell out of me!

3) I wanted to lose weight to get pregnant again. At 195 pounds, I wasn't feeling healthy enough to get pregnant, not only for myself but for another life. Too risky.

The Plan Of Attack: Two weeks before joining the Markham Bootcamp (Go Girls Boot Camp GGBC), I started with nutrition. I needed to lose a few pounds before starting any program. My interest was piqued by a six-week challenge (“Sexy in Six Weeks”) at GGBC. The rest, they say, is history.

The Food Element: I'll answer this by telling you the only foods I would eat: meat, veggies (as much as my heart desired), and fats. I had a bit of dairy cream (no milk), butter, and some cheeses. Generally, I tried to stick to the healthier alternatives, but there was some bacon, an occasional hotdog, and lots of eggs.

But I also dropped bread, pasta, grains or rice and replaced them with their healthy counterparts, quinoa and brown rice for example. I also said no to candy, cake, doughnuts, chocolate and pop.

The Exercise Factor: At the start of my first six-week challenge at GGBC, we wrote down our goals. I wanted to lose 12 pounds (two pounds per week), lose two dress sizes, commit to GGBC three times a week and follow the program. I took it a few steps further than just my short term goals for the challenge.

The Current Day-To-Day: Aside from the flood of positive compliments I get on a daily basis (which confirm the results of my transformation), I am shopping for a new wardrobe because the size 10s and 8s are too big!

The beauty of this challenge and the hardest part is the maintenance. I pay attention to everything that goes into my body. I do have weeks where I have my naughty foods, but I recognize that there is a limit. I also recognize the negative thoughts and triggers, I acknowledge and address that they are there but they are feelings and not facts.

Everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you so tweak it for yourself. We all know what we need to do. It’s a matter of finding the triggers that keep us focused on the prize, motivated, committed, and dedicated to achieve the results you want or even more.