06/30/2014 04:03 EDT | Updated 06/30/2014 04:59 EDT

Weight Lost: How This Mom Dropped 55 Pounds

Dan Go

WHO: Miranda Quartarone

AGE: 33

CITY: Markham, Ont.

By The Numbers: 185 at my heaviest, currently 130, for a total weight loss of 55 pounds

The Weight Gain: I was pretty average as a child. I did start to yo-yo with my weight around puberty, but balanced out my weight around 15 and was a normal weight into my mid-twenties. I started to yo-yo again around 24, and when I got pregnant with my daughter at 26, I gained around 65 pounds.

The Final Straw: The final straw for me was not getting results after two years of hard work. I was working out four times a week and eating healthy but just not losing the weight. I could not take it anymore. Just after Christmas, I tried on a dress that my sister gave me and I hated how I looked. I felt awful and I just wanted to be able to put something on and feel great about it.

I have a six-year-old daughter and I wanted to be able to run around the park with her, go for bike rides, play soccer with her, and not be so tired all the time. I really wanted a different lifestyle. I did it for me and I did it for my daughter.

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The Plan Of Attack: I joined Go Girl Transformation Centre in Markham, Ont. in February of this year. I met with owner and personal trainer Dan Go, a.k.a. the Fat Loss Ninja, and he customized a plan of attack for me. It consisted of working out four times a week and making the right food choices. It was really more than just eating healthy, it was being more conscious about what foods I was putting into my body and portion control. There is definitely a science of when and what to eat and Go Girl’s taught me on how to balance my eating in the right way. It took me three months to lose my final 36 pounds that just would not come off.

The Food Element: I started eating more vegetables (and the right ones) and more protein. I learned about portion sizes and what were the right choices for veggies and meats. I learned which carbs and which fruits were good choices, and when to eat them. Every fad diet or information I read on the Internet got me nowhere. Eating clean and making my own food was the best thing for me. To change the way I ate, I cut out fried foods, processed foods, bad carbohydrates, and refined sugars.

Once I got to my last 15 pounds to lose, I started using the app My Fitness Pal. I started to balance out my meals more in advance and become even more aware of what was going into my body. It took some getting used to, but I am glad that I did add it into the mix of my healthy living. I still use it and will continue to do so.

The Exercise Factor: I considered myself a little more advanced than the average person starting out, since I did have two years of personal training under my belt. However, I still get my butt kicked by my trainers at boot camp, because they are always changing things up and pushing us to the next level. The thing I loved most about boot camp was the community of women -- it was like having girlfriends there for each workout.

What I love most about working out now is the athletic aspect to it. The fact I can continue on my path of healthy living and push myself to stay healthy. I still work out four times a week and would never miss a day! I play softball once to twice a week on top of my workouts.

The Current Day-To-Day: I always have energy and I am outside all the time, enjoying life with my family.

I'm proud of the fact that I stayed focused and I never gave up and continued to push myself. Whenever I had doubts or had a moment of weakness, I just told myself, 'yes, you can' and kept going. You have to want to change for yourself and no one can motivate you more than you. I am proud that I did what I set out to do.

The most important thing is focus and knowing why you are trying to change your life. There will be a lot of haters in your life that will try to put you down or want you to fail, just forget them and listen to yourself. The only person who can tell you that you can’t is you! I unlearned that word pretty quickly in my journey. There is no quick fix, it is hard work and dedication, put the effort in and you will get the results.

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