Is too much just…too much?

Are you ready to get all philosophical with me today??

Ok, so I had grand plans of giving you lovely readers a fun video today….BUT…there is always a but…I can’t get this out of my head and this is the BEST place for me to flesh this out. So…here goes.

There was a comment left on one of the past blogs about how much time I spend working out a day, and by posting that on twitter I am putting unrealistic expectations on people etc. Now, this person really was coming from a good place, and I appreciated the honesty. Let’s not get out the pitch-forks and torches just yet, because I want this to be a place we can all be honest…politely please.   After I let the sting of criticism roll off me I began to really think about this statement. Am I being realistic about my workout schedule….is it too much?

See, I told ya we were getting deep today. Heehee. This brings up a great point about balance. We all need balance in our lives…in our friendships, family, and even our workouts. For me this has been the toughest aspect of leaving the ranch. How do I find balance when all I know is Biggest Loser….which was my full time job for months and months. How do I navigate transitioning from 8 hours of working out a day to just 90 minutes? I’ll tell you…I just go day by day. Somedays 90 minutes doesn’t feel like enough and I do more if I have the time. Then other days I feel great at an hour and I stop there….although that has been rare.  There is also some guilt which I’m working on. 🙂 The point is I’m always working towards a balance that not only works for me, but is healthy.

I get asked all the time if I think I can sustain this workout schedule my whole life….to which I answer….I don’t know. It cracks me up to see people’s faces when I give them that answer. I’m sure they are expecting some kind of noble “I am winner hear me roar” type of answer like “absolutely, I will workout hours and hours everyday for the rest of my life because I have made a lifestyle change” or something like that. I wish I was that confident, but to be honest I don’t know what tomorrow will hold for me or my schedule. What I do know is that I am going to do whatever is required to keep this weight off…I owe that to myself and to the amazing gift I have been given.   For now, that means working out as much as I do these days feels right. Does that mean it should be the stick that everyone measures themselves by?  No…I repeat…N-O! Sometimes it takes just listening to your body and knowing what is right for you. At the end of the day only  you will know what is best for you, your body, and your schedule.

I hope you all know that when I post what I am doing it is not to discourage anyone…to be REALLY honest…it is to hold ME accountable and hopefully encourages everyone that we are all in this together.  When I read tweets about someone completing their first 5K, going to a spin class and loving it, OR deciding that no matter how scary it is they are going to take the Sports Bra Challenge it reminds me why I started this journey and why I continue.  It feeds my spirit and I just love it.  I hope on some level my tweets lift you up as well.  I really do feel like we are all here to learn from and edify one another.

I would LOVE to know what you think about balance and how you either achieve it or struggle with it.  It’s a great conversation worth having don’t  you think?

Much Love and Health,


P.S. Can you believe the Sports Bra Challenge is just right around the corner???  Who’s ready….who’s scared?  *raises hand* 🙂

110 replies on “Is too much just…too much?”

Great post. What works for you may not work for me or a lot of other people. I know that working out every day doesn’t work for me, but I do work out at least 3 days, more if I can.

You and Hannah are both very inspiring. It’s so great to be able to follow you both on your post Biggest Loser journey!

Thank you!

Olivia, I’m sure you feel that you have to live up to a world of expectations. I cannot imagine the stress you feel with that. Just know that you’re absolutely right in doing what works for you. Your life took a hard turn from normalcy when you got on the BL…and won it. Please always stay positive. I’m career in NV and becoming a stay at home mom in NM. I look forward to lots of insights and suggestions. I expect to see more from your heart, though, and less of what seems like corporate input.

I think that sometimes, people who are just beginning their weight loss journey sometimes feel discouraged when they read how much other people work out. They forget that at one point, that persons workout routine was pretty similar to theirs. And they need to remember that what works for one person isn’t going to work for another.

I am a runner, now, and my marathon training schedule is intense. I am also a (new) personal trainer, so I work out A LOT more than I used to. And I have had some people tell me that it’s a bit much. But, for me it is a balance that works for me. If I find myself doing too much, I scale it back. But I think that as long as you are listening to your own body, then it’s pretty easy to find that balance

I LOVED reading this! Great post! It helped remind me that I can only do what I can do and to not feel bad if I only run for 30 minutes one day. I love that you tweet what you are doing, because I get my motivation from that and I know that if you can do it, so can I. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

I think it’s all relative to the individual. My goal is to work up to one hour, which is a lot for me in a home gym environment. I could hike all day but need to find a job right now…ergo, I am stuck at the computer these days. Sooo, I have to depend on my schedule that will fill my needs. I have already lost 100 pounds and need to get off my plateau and get with the program. But what works for me may not work for the next guy. You’re in the public eye and people can be a little weird. Keep letting that roll off da ducks back! Ya heyah???? You’re a GRITS lady and just say, “bless their heart!”

I am going to have to marinate on this one for a minute……but I love reading everything you have to say. This is my new favorite blog!

I think the moment it inteferes with your “life” moments…. is the moment to reavaluate time spent working out. Life moments are those times you will not get back. Spending an evening or a meal with your young one. A rare date night with your significant other. A sunset on vacation.

The way I see it… you have paved your life now so you will be healthy to embrace many more life moments. Don’t spend all that time you have gained trying to gain more time. I am sure there is a difference between maintaining and hard core working out. I know if I hit my ideal weight and healthy style I will switch the gear to maintaining. I want to enjoy the fruits of the labor.

Great point!! Just wait til you have kids, then you will really be put to the test on how much is to much. Coming from a Mom who use to work out twice a day (before kids) and then let myself go for over ten years. Now I am back to the new old me! I work out five days a week (once a day) all the time and try to get six days in but not always. My kids are impressed because they had never seen me like this and now they are making healthier choices and choosing to “work out” on their level. You will know if you get overbalanced, you proved on the show you have a good head on your shoulders. With your hubbies help together you guys can pass on a healthy lifestyle to your kids now and have fun doing it!!

Olivia, you’re just in a different place from most people right now. You’re doing what’s right for yourself & working on THE most important person. YOURSELF!! That’s what is supposed to take place at this moment in your own life.
What I get from your Many Tweets, is that everything you’re doing, is enjoyable! It should be. There will always be those who read too much into certain things. Try not to let it discourage you. People are looking up to you & trying to be like you at this point. There will come a time, when they realize it’s not something all can achieve.
Lastly, I want you to know something I also told your sister. You are one The most inspiring people I know of. I also know you’re not a machine. Your whole personality shines through, in everything you do. Thank You, for sharing your journey with all us. Thank You, also for sharing of your true self.
I love you & Hannah, very much & I REALLY hope I can someday meet you both!! It would mean a Great deal to me, as I need positives in my life & Support. 😀

Balance is a lot different game to play when you have kids. I would love to spend an hour on the treadmill every day and then do a workout video, but sometimes – most days, actually – it doesn’t work out that way. Really, I’d love a gym membership but my baby would never stay with the daycare! If I get 40-45 min in with one kid playing on the iPad and the other in her exersaucer with a snack, yippee! I try not to beat myself up over what I want to do, and instead celebrate what I manage to do. I don’t feel guilty when my kids have to watch me run 4 miles or do a Jillian workout video because I know that they are learning healthy habits just by seeing how important working out is to me. I can imagine that 90 min feels like nothing to you after being on the Ranch where working out was basically your job. You know what, if you have the time to work out for longer, more power to you. Enjoy it while you can!

Wow, Olivia, just WOW!! I needed to read this tonight, so thank you. I tried out for BL12 and am contemplating 13, but the reality is, the imbalance of it scares me. I have 3 kids (ages 7, 5 and 2) and while I desperately want to get the weight off to fully be able to participate in their lives, I question whether 5 months away from them is really worth is, or I should just undertake this demon of mine here in town, so I can still tuck my kids in at night and help them with their homework, etc. Thank you for your honesty and candor…I needed it tonight!

I know I don’t know you, so I hope this comment isn’t unwarranted…but I say GO FOR BL 13! I know that it is 5 months away from your kids, but with the help of the trainers and all you’ll learn being there, think about how much MORE you’ll be able to be involved with your children and their lives, and 5 months will come and go! You deserve to be healthy and happy and making this sacrifice for YOURSELF is a blessing to your family and those you love. You are worth it, and this journey matters! Good luck!

I love your blogs. I just want to let you both know that you keep me inspired each and every day. I have in my living room proof of that inspiration—My good friend beth got to go to the Biggest Loser finale and meet both of you in person. She brought back a paper that says “Katherine!
Thanks for watching! I appreciate your support! Your Rock!
Team Purple”
So from the deep spot of my heart thank you to both of you for putting your experiences out their for us to read and I feel that it is giving people like myself support who are going thru the weight loss journey now.
Working out —how ever much someone can do in a day is up to them….it does vary person to person. There are many factors in a persons life that does determine how much they will be able to do.
love you both katherine

I am so glad that you brought up balance as a key point in your life. I have been working my booty off since January to lose the excess weight I have always taken shelter behind… When I started I was all out of whack…cardio crazy and miserably living at the gym. I had to work really hard and still do on certain days to strike a balance in my schedule and life. I have the problem of beating myself up with a guilt trip if I don’t think I did enough…but I am getting better at balancing, and laying off myself and am happy with the results and my life! (yay) You make an excellent point that we have to find a happy healthy balance in our own lives and using twitter and Fbook as tools to help us stay accountable, honest while maybe inspiring friends to hit the gym too! You girls are a huge inspiration but at the end of the day we all have to live within our personal lives and find what works best for you. Balance is super tricky but I think it is the key to being successful and maintaining that success. Hope this makes sense haha! You girls are inspiring for sure! Keep up the balance and do what works for you! And yes I am terrified for the SBC but am gonna do it! Gulp!

What a great blog and something I’m so glad you talked about. I have thought to myself a few times that if I can’t get in a trainer and multiple spin classes. Why should I bother will I ever be able to lose the last 25lbs. But it so true what you are able to do is so amazing and is trully is a gift. But it does not mean that my 1 spin class and gym 3times a week wont work for. We all just do what we can. You are such an inspiration.

It is funny that you posted this on your blog because I was thinking the same thing about your tweets! To some extent, you have made your goal, and it does not take the extreme long hours of exercise like you experienced on the ranch. An hour and a half of an intense work out should keep you where you are, and you look great!! I understand that that transition can be difficult, but you will find it with time! You do not have another pound to lose I promise you!

This was a great blog. I have to say I am somewhere in the middle on this. I love reading yours and Hannah’s tweets about exercise and your inspirational messages. You guys do so much! Reading how much you do helps me sometimes stick to my commitments tho they are meager in comparison BUT your tweets help me keep my exercise obligations when I might have felt too busy. Sometimes I don’t feel so great when I can’t figure out how to be so positive or dedicated in comparison. It makes me want to know HOW do you do that? How can I do that. Not sure how to get to the answer. I have been trying to get out of a slump for quite some time. Doing a little to help but need a BIG kickstarter. Not sure what that is.

On another note, you guys don’t tweet or blog so much about the eating portion of your routines. I would love to know more specifically what things you guys eat – recipes!!! And how do you keep to that. Such a drastic change. How do you really deal with that kind of change and temptations. And All the time it takes to shop, prep, cook and eat healthy. I would love to hear how that is done realistically.

Last thing, are you guys back to working regularly? It seems like you still have lots of time to get quite a bit of workout time in. Just curious.

Long comment, I know.

You guys are great, thanks!

Olivia, I think that in the reality tv world that we live in today, people forget that the actual reality is that you are just a person doing the best she can every day. You do not have to be all things to all people. You do not have to work at being an inspiration, or explain your actions or motives to anyone. From where I am sitting, it seems that you were cast on the show and ultimately won the show simply because there is something in you that is innately like-able, which may be your enthusiasm for living your life the best way that you can. We, as viewers, can be curious, can be cheerleaders, can be inspired, can disagree…but the moment you’d begin changing who you are, you’d lose your genuine you. If there are people who hold you up as an ideal, they have things to work through to make a breakthrough on their journey, because in the end we all know that to compare is to despair. Admire, don’t aspire is what I say to them!

Thank you for sharing your journey, I will always enjoy peeking in.

Yes. You’ve expressed exactly what I was thinking.

Olivia, just be who you are. Do what makes you truly happy. Finding balance happens over time, and changes with life circumstances.

When I lost my weight it started small – 30 minutes 6 days a week. It’s what I could commit to and stick with. It didn’t feel small at the time either. Over time I grew stronger and added more – found myself wanting to do more. I approached dietary changes much the same way.
I have been maintaining for about a year now. As a wife, homeschooling mom, and slave to one rambunctious golden retreiver, there are numerous demands on my time that would make hours of exercise a luxurious imbalance in my life. However – no one else lives my life, just like no one lives yours either, Olivia. Each of us should be able to pusue our own happiness, in whatever form that takes. Let’s do less comparing and judging of each other and more lifting one another up! 🙂

I think you’re doing it exactly right. Yes, you’ve gotten the weight off. But now you’re in a different season of the fitness battle. You’re in a season of transition, figuring out what it takes to sustain your weight loss and fitness.

Many people succeed at losing the weight, yet fail in this all-important transition phase. They fail here because they ease back on the throttle too much too soon.

I once lost down to my ideal weight. Little by little, I cut back on my exercise, and ended up cutting back far too much. I eased up on the strictness of my new eating habits, and ended up with poor eating habits again. After a couple of years, I was right back where I started, at the bottom of the hill, climbing back up again. All because I didn’t properly handle my transition to a safe maintenance plan.

You’ve only been off the ranch less than 2 months. It took you, what…6 months to get the weight off?? I say that you should at least give your mind and your body at LEAST that much time to find the appropriate balance of exercise and down-time.

It’s your story, Olivia. Write the next chapter of your fitness story the way that works & feels best for you.

We’ll be here cheering for you!

I LOVE this post by Jayne – funny, I was just thinking along the same lines. You and Hannah are in a season of life (read – no kids!) that allows you to do a lot for yourself and figure out what works for you. But guess what? If and when you have children, honey! That will change in the blink of an eye! Heck, it will change if you get a DOG! So use this time to figure out what works and know that life will always evolve. You are obviously a flexible person, so I’m sure you can adjust to whatever life throws at you.
And just so you know, most people are able to read your posts and tweets and realize what you have been through, what you’re used to and what your routine has been. Please know that for every person who may criticize (even nicely), there are hundreds who get it and realize we are all coming from different places and have to be happy with our OWN best and most effective routine.
You’re gorgeous inside and out! Thank you for all you do, and for being real.

Thanks for this Olivia. I just discovered your blog today and I am SO excited I did! I appreciate you & Hannah doing something like this because it will seriously help me and others out there that are like me.

Since April I’ve lost almost 60 pounds, however most of that is from dieting since I’m only working out between 60 and 90 minutes per WEEK! So clearly I am not working out as much as I should for the amount of weight I want to lose (about another 100 pounds). I’ve aksed myself this question several times.. how do I get the motivation to work out everyday, and will I be able to keep it up for the rest of my life?

I just want you to know that, if you noticed, I said that I started my weight loss journey in April. Can you guess what was airing in April and the months before?? Biggest Loser season 11. You, Hannah and Courtney were the BIGGEST inspirations I have ever had, and you guys are who inspired me to start losing this weight. I am 20 years old, so I’ve grown up overweight/obese pretty much my entire life. This blog and posts like this will just help me even more. Thank you so much<3

I could balance everything perfectly – work, kid, marriage, diet, exercise, fun – if only days were about 60 hours longer than they actually are! Good for you for doing what you need to now, Olivia. Why would anyone think they know what your life needs more than you do?

you and hannah are such an inspiration.

It’s great to hear your thoughts on this! I saw your tweet about your work out schedule, and in the moment, I wondered, “Is that sustainable?”….and I thought, “If that is what is takes, I’m not sure I can do it.” Both completely judgmental thoughts about you (who I like to think I know from watching BL11, but really as much as we follow you on TV, twitter, and Facebook….we don’t know you- your heart, your challenges, and your joys) and me (selling myself and my weight loss efforts short). I think one of the faults of reality TV and social media is the perception that we are allowed to judge you. I hope you take it all with a grain of salt…I appreciate you and Hannah both being honest and out there post-BL. I hope you don’t get discouraged by those who judge you….we really have no right! And, I hope the people who judge you and take time to comment back to you are few and far between.

Please tell everyone you work out extra because I am only allowed (for now) to lift weights and sit ups. Now you try doing that crap for more than a half hour, 45 mins tops. It sucks. You have to work out for the extra amount of time that I can’t work out. This makes sense to me. It should to everyone….or I should look for a pool to take water aerobics at, either one.

Anyhow, love and HATE you both.


Olivia, thank you for posting this. I realize criticism is necessary to make us better, but I hate it as well. You took it with such class!
I actually find all of your tweets really motivating and inspiring! When I see your posts about exercising, it motivates me to get off my butt and at least do “30 Day Shred” dvd (Jillian Michaels) or get in a walk for the day. And I love to see your posts about treating yourself as well! It’s encouraging to know that it’s not about depriving yourself! Keep it up, girl! You’re such an inspiration!
Jennifer B.

I love this..” What I do know is that I am going to do whatever is required to keep this weight off…I owe that to myself and to the amazing gift I have been given.” I love that you don’t feel entitled, and especially being the winner and remaining humble. You’re a beautiful soul, Olivia, and it shines through every facet of your life..well, every facet that I’ve been blessed to see.

Sometimes well-meaning people say some misguided things.. Do right for you, and when you wonder if you’re getting crazy, ask your husband and family! They know you best 🙂 xo

It’s great blog (don’t usually have time to read blogs and then most of them gets boring quite soon after starting reading, not yours). It’s encouraging to know that even Biggest loser winner struggles with some answers, that there is no right answer that would be the same for every person. It proves that maybe decision not to go to the gym might be the right one (as long you watch what you eat), if you do try to combine full time education, with full time job and a husband and a house. I struggled to realize that, also I’m in the healthy weight, and never been obese, if I do stop exercising, I stop eating properly, but that just not right. I though what the point to eat properly and not going to the gym. What I did failed to recognize, that I was working 8 hour job in place that demanding quite a lot of finical activities, and it might to be cardio, it’s still quite a qrueling workout every day. So I’m as well trying to find a balance in my life between everything and it’s good to know that there is support if you need it.

Great words Olivia!! I heart your honesty and straightforwardness!! I’ll be honest and say that I do expect the type of responses you listed, but what I REALLY want is the truth… honesty… and that’s exactly what you have given. I appreciate your honesty and not helping filling our heads with impossible expectations or any of that nonsense… thank you!
Big hug to you and Hannah!!!

Olivia, thank you for posting this. This is my biggest struggle when it comes to exercising. This year (thanks largely to watching Biggest Loser for the first time and being incredibly inspired by you especially), I have made a much bigger effort and have been more successful than ever BUT I still have a tough time striking a balance.

Summer is hard, I’m realizing. My kids are home all day and I am always in an opera during June/July and there is no time. I’m trying to be okay with the fact that right now is not a time I can get to the gym on a daily basis, but I CAN be more active than I normally would, and I CAN eat right. Summer is just more difficult and I have to accept that, but not go backwards just because it’s harder to find the time to work out.

Thanks so much for your inspiration.

Hi Olivia,
I really appreciated your honesty and blog post tonight. Your good and pure heart was apparent in your words and I love seeing your true goodness…it makes me even happier that you and your sister did so well on BL!

The topic of balance was also very meaningful to me because I am struggling with this as well right now. I am a professor of special education but I don’t have a university home yet because I’m trying to evaluate the best fit (one choice is a university in NYC…Manhattan…it would be great for my career but I’ve never been to New York and rumor is that the cost of living is prohibitive to moving there so I’m having trouble deciding…any suggestions?). Because I’m not working right now, I have extra time and I am so very eager to lose weight that I have decided to take this window of opportunity and spend a ton of time at the gym. I take hydro training classes, lots of fun Zumba classes, resistance training, and a weight loss class my gym offered that is mainly treadmill work. I am loving the gym. But, instructors at the gym and some of my family members are arguing with me that I’m not balancing time well. I am also worried that even with all this exercise, the weight loss is slow (17 lbs lost in 90 days) and I sometimes feel sad that I have so far to go.

So, needless to say, it was nice to hear another person thinking through these ideas. Your blog post made me feel less alone! Thank you!

I hope that everyone who reads this post is able to CLEARLY see & know how authentic you are. How real you are. How utterly OLIVIA you are & always will be. Because it takes guts to be honest in a world full of “smile if it kills you” phonies. It also takes guts to say, “Yes, I’m working my ass off because I want to keep this fab new body of mine, love me through it!” knowing that there will be eye rolling & contempt from people who don’t understand your still new-to-you lifestyle.

This is why I love you. This is why–when the confetti was falling (down my dress–wooooo, sexy!) and everyone was clapping & screaming in those end moments of the finale–I was standing there in that studio, with Janet and your family…silently crying & thanking God for giving you & Hannah this most amazing platform. Because no one else deserved it more than you two. And no one else is walking the walk and talking the talk as well as you and Hannah.

What the world needs now (other than love, sweet love) is authenticity. And friend of mine–you’ve got it. I love you deeply.

p.s. Y’all are hot. I’ve always said it.

well isnt this just the nicest blog response ever. i dont know you like Lula does, but DAMN i agree! you two are fabulous and i praise everything you do and am constantly inspired by all of your hard work. you have no idea how much of a motivating presence you ladies have. keep doing your thang and KEEP POSTING! secretly, i miss sobbing to you and hannah each week on the biggest loser (weird?)!

Amen, sister! Actually, both of you! Wish I knew ALL of you! Maybe some day! But yes, my hubby would come in after a BL episode and I would be crying into the TV… not wierd at all, Annie!
Again, you all inspire. Or should I say FITspire?
PS – anyone who uses song lyric references already has a place in my heart! Love the Lula!

Dude, I totally sobbed when Olivia sang from the scale. I realized that I need to work hard to get myself together. I’ve also been spending some time with God where I’ve learned some things about myself, which is helping with my weight loss adventure. On June 25, I weighed in at 158 (and I’m only 5’00” tall). This is probably the heaviest I’ve ever been, My goal is to be back to my basic training figure by Christmas – 6 months. That means 30 pounds in 6 months. Here we are, just 5 days from my monthly deadline, and I’ve lost my first 5 pounds! It is SO exciting to me. I want to sing. I want to be in operas. This is how Olivia and Hannah are inspiring me. My darling husband would just sit next to me and hold me so I could cry as I watched the BL. Now, I could see he had this whole “I don’t get why she’s crying” mentality going on, but then again, he’s a boy. Anyway, this blog has encouraged me to start my own (that I’m just setting up) about my weight loss adventure and the training I’m doing to run in the Army Ten Miler in October.

My goodness, I’ve sobbed over and over watching the replay of the singing on the scale moment..and your post is also making me well up with emotion! As darling as they are, they’re truly just boys and they can never know what we feel as women. We need each other! Xo

I love this line in Lula’s response:

“Yes, I’m working my ass off because I want to keep this fab new body of mine, love me through it!”

It’s just full of compassion, honesty, and a dash of sass!

I LOVE your tweets they encourage me so much! I started watching your season of biggest loser about ten weeks in, purple team encouraged me so much. I felt like I was on the journey with you two. Since April I’ve lost 35 pounds and I still have about 40 to go, but your tweets keep me encouraged and focused on the goal.

There were times where I related so much to what you and Hannah were going through. Right after my 29th birthday I started to follow your journey and Ive been inspired ever since.

I remember the episode where I watched i decided I couldn’t live like this anymore, Hannah said something about wasting her 20’s being overweight and I purposed in my heart then and there that I too would refuse to struggle in my thirties with my weight and gave myself completely over to the process. Not all weeks are successful and I do what I can do no more and no less.

It is AMAZING that you are still motivated to spend hours in the gym. Days you tweet about multiple workouts don’t make me feel guilty, it inspires the crap outta me! Don’t ever let anyone tell you to do anything that will contradict your success! I pray that you will continue to find joy in the process thanks for letting me share in that joy!

You are a great inspiration to so many people. I wholeheartedly agree you have to do what feels right for your body. No not everyone can work out hours a day we all know that. Your followers know how genuine you are about your journey. Just keep that in mind when such questions pop up.

I never thought I could be a small person being as large as I let myself become. I see someone like you and Hanna and it gives me hope that can happen for me. My highest weight was 459 and I am now at 382.

Thank you for all you both do.

If your work out schedule works for you, then it is not too much. Everyone has to find their balance! I am learning that right now. As a new mother, I do not have the personal time I used to…working out, shopping etc. have all been cut time wise due to the needs of a new born. So I am totally psyched when I get in 2 or 3 days with a 1 hour or 2 hour work out!

you and your sister are inspiring, and I love reading your blog!

God bless you! Your post just struck a cord with me this morning.

That first year of your first baby is •so• hard. Hang in there and know that every day it gets just a smidge easier as you both settle into your new family!!

Congratulations on your precious new little one!

Olivia that article was great It really helped me! PS! I AM SCARED FOR THE SPORTS BRA CHALLENGE but happy to take the leap and get out of my comfort zone !! 🙂

I could write a really long comment about all my thoughts, blah, blah, blah, but instead I’m just gonna say I think you’re awesome! Keep doing what you’re doing! You are truly amazing!

My dad used to quote 1 Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” He was a very wise man. I am TERRIBLE at balance, although I am always trying to do better. I do my best to “do what’s right for me” in the area of exercise, but always keep it in perspective. Thanks for the encouragement = )

Great post! You made me feel so much it’s o.k.that each one of us is an individual and has to do what is right for us, even if it doesn’t fit into a neat little schedule.

I don’t think I could ever commit to eight hours a day without being cast on BL…. I am going for 1-2 hours a day 5-6 days a week and I am already struggling with that. I just recently became active on twitter for the purpose of getting inspiration when I need it and your tweets along with other BL alumni are very helpful. I have been searching for support and I feel I may have found it in twitter. You are an inspiration to me. I’m ready to have my life back….

Hey Olivia, I’ve never posted before – hope I do it correctly! 😉 I got through about half of the responses & wanted to contribute a quick one of my own… watching & witnessing your transformation w/ your sis was significant for me in the time before I started to actually act on changing my life. I’m early on still, down from 245 to 222 over the last 2 months – but wanted to let you know that I have been inspired by you & Hannah & appreciate all the energy, effort & enthusiasm you guys are sharing w/ all of us. Keep having fun w/ it all :), being honest w/ your experience, w/ your calling, & know you guys are a HUGE encouragement to many & to me. And to top off all the good things, it turns out that I love your husband’s music – awesome find! Thanks again & have a great week!!

Nice post Olivia. Don’t be hard on yourself on this one. You’ve clearly got a better balance than you think, because you are willing to stop and listen to opposing opinions and weigh your own actions. At the end of the day, working out too much is a good problem to have in my opinion. It beats the alternative- sitting on the couch too much. Sure, someone can argue it’s not sustainable, but as you so well pointed out, that is something everyone who is overweight struggles with – come on, we wouldn’t be reading this post in the first place if we didn’t all struggle with balancing things. Pat yourself on the back and keep doing what is clearly working for you. I’m proud of you and hope to follow in your footsteps to a healthier lifestyle….some days that means eating good, some days not so much. I’m coming along one out of balance step at a time 🙂

Olivia, I appreciate your honesty about whether or not you can sustain your existing workout schedule for the rest of your life. I have lost and gained weight so many times, that in 2009 I decided I was going to lose it and keep it off for good. I joined Weight Watchers and lost over 100#. It took me 18 months to lose the weight. I am currently working on reaching my goal weight. My lifestyle change has evolved since the beginning of my journey. I now work out 5 -6 times per week. I lift 3 days and do cardio on the other days. I exercise about 60 minutes at a clip. Sometimes less. I have moved away from Weight Watchers and now track calories on I also wear a fitbit to keep track of my daily burn and a heart rate monitor when I exercise. I follow the philosophy of eating like the thinner person I want to become. (Their podcasts are great btw and free on itunes or through their webstie). I eat as many whole foods and limit my intake of processed foods. I do have something sweet most days as a treat. I have learned that deprivation of any food is not healthy for me and leads to a binge.

I have an all or nothing personality and can easily get obsessive by focusing on one thing. Learning balance has been a step by step process, which I practice every day. Some days are easier than others. Once I realized that I am not perfect, and that life happens I was able to lose the weight and keep it off. I will always have a weight problem if I let myself stop weighing, measuring and tracking my food. At 47 years old, it is time that I take care of myself because I AM WORTH IT!

Thank you again for your honesty. I hope your road to balance finds a happy medium of enough exercise and time to live your life. The burn out is not worth the consequences of gaining the weight back.

I think balance- in anything- is incredibly difficult. I spent several years struggling with, and then undergoing treatment for, eating disorders. This past year I started watching BL and loved the show, but a little red flag went up inside me, knowing that it was dangerous territory. Around the time of the finale I got a little bit too obsessed with it. And while at first it was tempting to see your posts and use them as excuses (I’m not allowed to work out for over an hour a day, but it seemed I could ‘justify’ it…). But it doesn’t take long to realize that everyone’s story, background, routine, and body are completely different. I started to focus instead on fitspiration challenges which were actually HARD to deal with- but so rewarding.
Olivia and Hannah- I can’t imagine the pressure that goes along with being thrown into the limelight. I have so appreciated your honesty, and that you don’t pretend to always be perfect or like it’s always easy. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with criticisms- please be reminded that you are both a huge encouragement to so so many! Thanks and God bless.

We are only accountable to ourselves and are the only one who can make choices for our self. When you work extremely hard for a long period of time to lose weight, it is absolutely petrifying to think how easy the weight can come back on so you do what you need to do to keep it off so you don’t go back to that awful place; at least that is the way it is for me.

People shouldn’t criticize what someone else may do, especially when it doesn’t affect them in anyway.

You and Hannah were so refreshing to watch on BL. In fact this was my favorite season so far as there didn’t seem to be a lot of game playing or manipulating going on.

Thanks to your inspiration, I finally am once again motivated to continue on my weight loss journey (I got kind of stagnant). I am lucky enough to be able to make choices with how I spend my leisure time and actually exercise everyday, be it at the gym or just using the Wii Fit at home.

As others have noted here, you are GREAT INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION. And we are extremely blessed that both you and Hannah are sharing your time and wisdom with us, the general public; this is something that you are not obligated to do! So THANK YOU!!

I think what people who criticize are missing is that they think exercise needs to be work and needs to be miserable. YOU have proven to everyone that you ENJOY exercise. You have found modes of exercise such as spinning that you enjoy! I think that is the key. Who cares if you do it for 90 minutes or more per day?! YOU look and feel fantastic. Others need to find what works for them. People just starting a fitness and exercise program might need to ease into it and find something that they love.
Dont listen to the negativity! You know what they say…. When your haters increase, that is only a measure that your HOTTNESS is increasing too!!!!!

Great post Olivia! I loved reading this. It’s always encouraging to hear a transparent heart to show that we are all one-of-a-kind but also human. We all have our “things” and we all work differently.

Similarly, I went through a season of anorexia where I worked out WAY too much. It took time battling my mind to get the balance back in my life. Balance is GOOD! 🙂

I love the blog and I adore you and Hannah ! Balance … I do good with the eating and the relationship part of balance, I struggle more with the exercise either I got full force or fall completely off and then struggle to get back up on again so not sure how to get that balance. I don’t have a work out partner so I know that is hard and going to the gym by myself sometimes is very boring not sure how to get that balance …. Help


It’s so great to hear you speak to the idea of balance, and for me to know that even people like yourself, who’ve made huge changes in their life, can struggle with balance. I’ve yet to find a balance of what’s right in terms of the time I spend working out. I find that I am capable of going for stints, where I’ll workout every day for 2 hours, and then I hit a day where I just cannot make it to the gym for some reason or other, and that one day is enough to throw off my routine, and I’ll find myself all of a sudden, going to the gym twice a week for maybe 45 minutes. I don’t necessarily know if my issue is a balance in my workout routine, or more my life routine, but it was really good to hear that it’s something you struggle with as well.

I appreciate the honesty. As much as we view you as the BL winner, you’re also human. I think this blog can be used as a support system for you AND for us, so you don’t fall prey to past BL winners and contestants…your journey continues in a positive light as opposed to following (back) to former habits.

I, too, struggle with balance. I’m the only one I know who works out daily. I refuse the ice cream at the “ice cream work socials,” and I walk up and down the five flights of stairs at work to help balance my sedentary desk job. I keep a 5 lb weight ball to use at my desk just to increase my movement. No one else does; it’s quite alien to everyone in the office.I bring my lunch–they go to the local burger/pizza joint.

I’ve realized that my journey of health is MINE. If others make fun or disrespect it, it’s only because they haven’t reached a point of understanding that what we do now truly effects the rest of our lives. Our bodies aren’t as forgiving as they were when we were 21. But our attitudes can be…and we move forward knowing that the criticism will end but our (hopefully good) health will remain.

Hi Olivia,

I appreciate this post so much. I struggle with finding the appropriate balance after losing a substantial amount of weight. Exercise has played a key part in the weight loss, so when “life” gets in my way, I find myself resentful of the situation, person, my job, weather or whatever is preventing me from getting to the track. I am working on this and it’s hard. I strive for an hour 4-5 times a week and some weeks, it’s just not do-able. I have a 13 year old daughter who is active and plays sports. My job can be very demanding at times and prevents me from getting home at a reasonable hour.

However, I am not complaining. I am grateful for the weight loss and try to work in the exercise as best as I can. I hope I can continue to take it day by day, the way you have done. You and Hannah have inspired me more than you know.

Team Purple Rocks!

I think your situation is different from others’. Someday if you get a normal 40 hour job again or have a family and are staying home with kids, or both, then no, you probably can’t work out more than 2 hours a day. And most of US, your readers, are working full time and/ or have families. But (and I don’t know your financial situation at all so excuse me if I’m way off-base) if you’re a Biggest Loser spokeswoman, it’s your JOB to stay fit and healthy and looking good. And if it’s your job and it’s not making you insane, then have at it.

I also thing it’s healthy to have someone FINALLY talking about how the Biggest Loser lifestyle, the one you had on the ranch, isn’t realistic for the rest of us. And talk about the challenges of leaving the ranch for real life and learning to eat and exercise and live with balance. So please keep this conversation going!

PS – I haven’t commented here before but I’m a friend of Amy V.L. I actually wasn’t watching BL this season until Amy mentioned you! She stayed with us shortly after the finale and she, like you, looks great!

Olivia – I applaud you finding your own way and working out your balance. The way I see it is that you guys are now full on ATHLETES. Seriously. You’ve had professional training and nutrition and spent months working up to this level. We’ve seen the workout schedule of olympic athletes. Heck, you ran on a treadmill next to one!!!!!!! I don’t know if this is true, and I welcome input on it, but it seems like weight is mostly about nutrition and getting to run, bike, swim, dance, etc is just gravy, baby. Exercise can help with weight, but it seems that exercise is really about the joy of movement, a way to challenge ourselves, play with friends, ease stress, get some definition, and, perhaps most importantly, to feel STRONG and CENTERED. I know I’ve seen people ramp up exercise for a marathon and not lose an ounce, but when they change their nutrition, they drop pounds.

Long story short, I think that exercise is just a rewarding activity that we balance with other rewarding activities. If exercise really does it for you, then do what you want. Hey, there are people out there running ultra-marathons.

As far as the message you’re giving to people following (thank you, thank you, thank you for posting), I think a few people might be worried that that’s how much they’ll have to exercise to get to a healthy weight. I have no clue how much is necessary to lose weight. Maybe you ladies could address that. I don’t know. It seems very individual. I just know what works for me right now. And I know that my husband is thrilled when I come back from a run or spin class with my endorphin buzz 🙂

You rock!

p.s. I just can’t help thinking the world would be a better place if we were all walking around with a workout buzz 😉

I think that some of what you are taking as criticism is nothing but true questions people have about your accomplishment. NOT judgement. People really want to know if you really NEED to be working out that much just to maintain as you are obviously no longer on a weight loss journey. You have no more weight to lose so hearing that even at your goal weight you are still working out 3plus hours a day is scary to people that are struggling to lose and are unable to work out that many hours a day. Plus thinking that you are still restricting calories, as I have heard nothing to the fact that in order to exercise as much as you are you must also have to increase your calorie intake… It’s hard for people still losing not to think that “wow even when I reach my goal I will still NEED to restrict calories and exercise 3 hours a day just to keep the weight off” when actually they will need to find a new balance of the two.

You are not by any means responsible for anyone else’s self esteem, weight loss or nutrition but being that you are exposing yourself to people they are going to have questions and these questions no matter how critical they may sound are actually compliments as these are people wishing to have the same SUCCESS you have had and want to emulate you in order to have their own success too. So they are trying to gather as many details as they can from you to help them on their journey. I am sure a year ago if you were sitting reading your posts you would have had a lot of the same fears and questions.

Congrats again on your success and enjoy your new life balance. It is great that you are open to questions and helping others just remember that what may seem to be harsh is usually someone else’s fear.

Hi Olivia,

I love that you are so open and honest with us all!

I just wanted to say that your workout routine tweets have inspired me to push myself to work out for 90 minutes at least 4 times a week. My body hasn’t looked this good in several years, and I feel amazing, happy, alert, and so much more energized throughout the day. It has helped me in all facets of my life, and has made me a much more productive person, so it’s not just about the weight-loss for me…it’s so much more! I am getting closer and closer to my maintaining stage and probably will still continue this exercise schedule even when I do get to my goal weight because of the way it makes me feel (and also because I get to eat a special treat such as a muffin or ice cream, but still continue to lose the weight!). Plus, it’s become quite the social event for me. I love the group classes I take, such as yoga and spin, and I’m looking forward to trying out some other classes in the near future. I think it’s great that you are working out as much as you are – and you seem to really enjoy doing it. That is what’s most important! So I just wanted to say thanks for that, because even though I know that only I can make myself do this, it helps to have amazing individuals like yourself to help inspire me to stick to my goals.

Keep being the genuine person you are and doing whatever it is that makes you the happiest! 🙂


olivia that was a good post you put on here. but you know sometimes i feel the sameway when i go workout etc. we are all humans we can only do soo much in our lifes. there’s one thing i want to say is olivia you do your best and give it your best on matter other ppl say. just think back how far you have come in your weight lose. you and hannah get out there and show the world who the purple team really is i know you both can do it. p.s “it takes only one person to inspire another” thanks soo much for inspiring me. i send lots of love to my favorite purple team. thanks chasity frazier:)

I LOVE this post! If I was in your position, I would be doing everything that I can to make sure that weight stays off for good. Obviously that schedule is not realistic for many of us. Your tweets inspire me to get off the couch and do something, anything. For me, I try to work out 4-5 times a week but when I’m at the gym, I don’t know what to do! I do the sitting down bike, the elliptical, treadmill, and occasionally I will brave a weight machine. Any tips??

Awesome post! I have loved reading every single one so far! Thanks for keeping us in the loop! I too am an opera singer and find your story absolutely inspiring 🙂

Hi Olivia! What a lovely post! I am really impressed with you and I appreciate you sharing how much you work out, as well as sharing your heart with all of us. I am right there with you on the guilt thing… I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve been learning with regards to my body and life as a whole: God desires freedom for me, not the bondage of guilt. And yet, at the same time, I am totally worth making smart and healthy choices. I hope you feel true freedom today and nothing but encouragement for putting yourself out there and being vulnerable with all of us! Love to you!

ps. I am *slowly* inching my way from 30-45 minutes a day to 45-60 minutes a day. It’s hard but feels good! 🙂

Great Post Olivia… you know people thinks its unrealistic, but you guys were loosing a lot every week, you lost over 100lbs in 8months? That’s a lot, and you weren’t sitting around. Anyways, I know that you will find your medium, but as long as you keep listening to your body then that is what matters. Good luck girl! You are such a great inspiration!

First of all, I read a bazillion blogs a day on breaks, and in bed on my iphone and almost never comment. Today I must tell you that I have extremely strong feelings about this topic. I have lost 30 lbs watching YOUR season of BL and have read numerous message boards about the way that you guys work out hours a day, and I must say that I am always so jealous, not only that you have the drive, but that like I have heard you say numerous times before, when you are on the ranch, you are set up for success. People are there relying on you (teammates) to show up and get your burn on. Trainers are there pushing you constantly, in a way that you may have NEVER been able to push yourself…I know I can’t do that kind of pushing for myself. So yes I can see that you would get used to that intensity, see the results and feel that addiction to the endorphins and the amazing feeling that exercising does for your mind and body and want to continue that. I can’t say that I would be any different after that environment.

On the other hand, if I can speak honestly, if it were me….and please do not take this the wrong way at all, it is not meant to be given in a nasty way, weight loss + maintenance is no joke….I would see some of the other people who have been on the show, and have made later appearance and have gained some or all of the weight back. I CANNOT IMAGINE the amount of PRESSURE you are under to keep this weight off and look amazing at all times. It seems to me that BL is getting more and more popular by the season, and the winner and even the final four are turning up in the most popular magazines! So I am sure that maybe you are feeling some of that pressure. (??)

So let’s face it, you are fresh off the ranch….your face/body is all over the place….appearances here, appearances there….it’s like this: you WON the BIGGEST LOSER!!! Live it up while you can. You EARNED this. You may have been trained, but nobody but your body ran all those miles and cycled for hours. It’s your time to shine. It’s like the Ms America pageant. It’s all you, girl…until the next person wins, right? And pretty soon you will have children (?) and when will you ever have all this time to do things that make you feel so dang good simply for yourself? If your husband is cool with how you spend your time, then why not be doing something amazing for your health like exercising?!

You are so awesome, I just want you to know that. Your first print from OK mag with Hannah is on my fridge along with poetry alphabet magnets that say “trust the process”. Maybe figuring out that 4 hours is ok instead of 8 hours is a part of your process??

And when it comes right down to it…there are WAAAY worse things in life to worry about other than working out too much!!! Trust me, there are way worse addictions.

Do your thang, girl.

Let the haters hate.

We just wish we could be more like you! 😉

And by the way…thanks for having such an amazing blog! You are so honest, it’s almost unreal. Excuse me while I go scream into my pillow like a teen Bieber freak from my excitement that my weight loss role model superstar Olivia from BL is going to read this!!!! 😀

I agree with Monique, 150%…I cannot imagine how much pressure you must feel to keep the weight off. It’s hard enough to lose but it’s even harder to keep it off, and you already know it. Just realize that we’re ALL here in your corner! 🙂

Olivia! I love you by the way…can we be best friends…well…anyhoo!

I work out 5 days a week on my lunch break, go to pilates 2 times per week and take a nice long hike on Saturday or Sunday. Many think this is too much, some think it’s just right, and others not enough. It’s all about the Goldilocks scenario.

WOW! Do you really have time to read all of the messages and comments that are left for you. What a great network! This is the first post and comments that I have read.

I agree that balance is key and what works for one person, may not work for another person. I really wish I had the motivation to work out as much as you did. I am going to try out for BL 13 with my daughter. I am ready, she is ready and it would be great if we could have some help!

If i do not get on the show I will continue to try on my own. I will never quit trying, I just hope that one day I will quit failing and find the success I long for. I will never give up because one of these tries is going to be “THE TRY” that works……SUCCESS!!!!!!

Keep up the good work. I appreciate your honesty and it really does help to hear about others with the same struggles and their success stories. Thanks for sharing everyone.


I’m a feast or famine kind of girl…which has really been the recipe for self-sabotage. The “all or nothing” mentality is so bad cause it totally sets up me for failure. Balance is KEY for success. Learning to do things in steps (days, hours, etc.) is so vital to progress. It has been very hard for me to embrace the “live one day at a time” mentality.

“Balance” is definitely the key! On a typical day, I have to: do a little laundry, tidy up, take my 2 boys to school, teach my heart out (I teach 5th graders), help my youngest boy with his homework/studying, take boys to extracurricular classes (e.g. tennis lessons, religious education classes, Boy Scouts, etc.), wash the dishes (my hubby is the chef- thank goodness), and find the time to exercise. Finding time for “me” is the hardest part of my day. However, I have made it a priority. My life feels more balanced because I made the time. I am also a happier person because of it.

Liz B.
Miami, FL

Oh Olivia….such a tough question. I admire you so very much and yet I had to check my jealously at the door when thinking about the amazing gift God gave to you of being at the Ranch for 8 months. Two years ago I fell down a flight of stairs, sustaining 5 fractures and multiple injuries. I have gained weight since then. A former single mom, now pastor’s wife of a new church to the Disney community, I feel lost at times when it comes to working out. We have six kids ages 16-21. My time is used in ministry and running my kids around (since losing my job from the workers’ compensation injuries). I cherish the early morning hours of 5:30 a.m. when I am able to be along with God, where the stillness of the early morning is relaxing. The kids are up and the day begins. By nighttime I wonder where it has all gone. I do schedule my time, yet you know how the enemy sneaks in there and tries to mess up your schedule, and I’m talking about serious events, like my 21 year old daughter being involved in a terrible accident last week and me spending the night in the hospital with her for two days. That was supposed to be my workout time! So, I suppose my attitude should be one of gratitude where I thank God for the time He has given me in each day, scheduling my workout time, and asking God to protect that time as I want my body to be healthy in every way possible, strengthening my areas of prior injury, gaining confidence that I CAN do this. If you remember, please keep me in your prayers. My husband I prayed for you and Hannah often, as my husband went to college with Ken and are good friends. You are an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty, which inspires me to do the same.
With joy and hope,
Kim Owens


Your posts on FB and this website are what keep me going…I’ve struggled with weight issues my whole life, and was worried I’d lose my inspiration to be healthier after this season of the Biggest Loser ended. You and Hannah have been given such a wonderful gift, and it’s been so helpful that you want to pay it forward. You help to motivate me every day and I’m so grateful for that.

🙂 Kelly

First of all, I’d like to say BRAVO! You are a true inspiration for me!

As for the post, well, you’ve heard the same thing from so many people already. But I will say it anyway. People are inspired by what you have accomplished and then find strength and courage to do the same for themselves. There have been many ‘winners’ before you and hopefully many more after you. But right now, many people are being inspired by YOU (and your sister) b/c of your unique personalities and your individual and collective struggles. As a role model, you try to live your life the most positive way you can. You try to do the right thing for yourself and be a positive influence to others. To me, the fact that you’re exercising and not falling back into a sedentary lifestyle speaks volumes. You have not promoted working out 8-12 hours a day. You promote fitness and healthy eating. Just like you make no statements that people who reach their goal weight should cut their hair short. It’s something you did for you because it was a change the way you wanted!

The fact that anyone criticize you for the way or time that you workout is completely unfounded. People must start taking responsibility for themselves. Is that same person issuing comments to NBC’s Biggest Loser for setting unrealistic expectations around working out 8-12 hours a day with 2-4 trainers, on a secluded ranch? No.

Anyway, I just want you to know that ‘I’ appreciate you and identify with you on many levels. I’m no where near my goal and at times I feel it’s just an illusive dream. But I look to you still, to hear your continued struggles – to know that weightloss isn’t the destination, right? It’s still a journey of discovery, of figuring out and dealing with on a daily basis those things, thoughts and actions (or inactions) that got you there in the first place. If you feel you need to workout so much to maintain then I want to know that. I want to know that it IS a lifelong change. You can’t just get to goal and then stop. I remember someone on the show (doctor? trainer? maybe Bob?) say that when you’ve been SO overweight you must expect to workout 6-7 days a week for the rest of your life – to maintain. That’s just the way it is. And for me, if I ever get to my goal, I know that it WILL be an ongoing thing forever!!

Olivia, YOU ARE WONDERFUL. You’ve achieved wonderful things and you’ve inspired this 42 year old to get off her overweight butt and change her life. That’s the kind of thing you should focus on my dear! I’ve rambled too long. Thanks for listening! Stay strong!!

Loved the post! Do what feels right for you and your body, I am doing more excersize than I thought EVER possible in my life even 5 years ago but my kids are older and I have the time and energy so why not? I could be doing alot worse things.
BUT ……………..I have a different question I am dying to know the answer to, so I hope you can answer here or maybe in a future post. Being a runner myself I always really enjoyed one of the last episodes of BL when the remaining (I think) 4 or 5 contestants ran a full marathon, I was SO sad this year that didnt happen feeling like the ones left at the end being so athletic could have done really well at it.
SO……………. were you sad, or relieved that they didnt do the BL marathon???

I wanted to know why they didn’t do the race this year too? I was sooooo disappointed!

Hey Olivia! I really enjoyed watching you on TBL.

I am naturally thin, so I don’t have the same experience as someone who has lost a ton of weight but I feel connected to you because I am a also a classican musician.
I work out now 2 hours a day, but take Sundays off. This is the schedule that is right for me.
I hope you never have to apologize for the workout schedule that you keep, but I would encourage you to keep up the good work! You look fantastic. But more importantly your lifelong health has drastically improved.

YAY! An Olivia and Hannah BLOG! I have been so inspired by you wonderful ladies and am so excited about fitspiration! Thank you both so much for continuing to share a part of your journey with all of us.

Olivia, I am so impressed with this post and your response to comments regarding your workouts. You ladies both have such integrity, and that really shows through in both your postings and blog replies. Work out times are so individual, I’m saddened that we as women have such a tendency to criticize and compare, rather than edify and build one another up in our in love. I say you go girl! Gym it up!

Be blessed, and thanks so much again. We love you gals!


Thanks for sharing with us, being so open and honest! You’re providing a place to talk about this stuff without any condemnation or shame or any other feeling us women go through!! Each one of us has to strive for what’s best! For me, it keeps me motivated when I commit to something so I am doing my first sprint triathlon this August. It pushes me beyond my comfort zone and I feel stronger when I do! Also, it’s good to not have everything figured out! Like you said, who knows what the future will hold. We need to be flexable for what life brings us and most importantly, flexable for what God brings us! Keep it up!!

Olivia: I did not read through all the comments so I do not know if someone has already mentioned this. BUT, like you, I have PCOS. It is something I have struggled w/ since I went through puberty. And, all my doctors, every since I was dianosed, have always told me that people w/ PCOS have to work out TWICE as hard as people w/out it. Because of our hormonal imbalances and lack of metabolism, it takes us alot more work to lose weight (really easy for us to GAIN weight but really HARD for us to lost weight). So, I think that your “critics” (for lack of a better term) should take that into consideration as well. The average person wouldn’t know that those of us with PCOS have an automatic disadvantage that we have to cope with, and therefore have to approach working out differently and perhaps more aggresively then the average person. B/c of this automatic disadvantage, I have found it very hard to lose weight and very discouraging when I eat well and work my butt off but don’t see any weight loss. Congratulations to you for conquering this challenge and for showing those of us with PCOS that it CAN be done.

Olivia, you are such an inspiration to me. Ive just started running and still have a hard time planning them. but reading this helps remind me that i need to plan and work up to getting on a schedule… oh and the Sports Bra Challenge is on my birthday and after losing 20 pounds im totally dong it!

It’s a great post. I remember when I started my journey I was obsessive about my gym time. 5 days a week, sometimes 6-7, at least for an hour. And then as the pounds melted off, something happened. I became a bit more laxed about it. I’m still working towards my goal weigh, I’m 16lbs shy of it, which already blows my mind. I still crave the exercise, but there are days where I simply cannot bring myself to go. Maybe It’s a bit of a burnout too. I’m still being careful about what and what I eat, of course.
I’m experimenting with all sorts of classes at my gym, something I haven’t done in the past, and I love it!
I too have the guilt factor, but I need to be a lot easier on myself. I have a job, I’m getting ready for a move, trying to work towards my goal career. The gym is still very important, but quite possibly I got a little lazy. I need to give myself the time to want to go back to 5 days a week. I’m sure I will switch back eventually, but for now I think I did hit a bit of a road block and forcing it will just be counter productive.
I’m definitely there for the sports bra challenge! I’m a little scared to go, but I will get over myself and spin away!

I think the thing I struggle with mentally is… how am I going mange my exercise schedule when I have children? As a couple without children, my husband and I find it easy to mange going to road races, regular dog walks and I go to the gym 4 times a week, play soccer once a week etc. But losing 50 45 pounds has been wonderful, I live in constant fear of gaining it all back.

It really is scary how much your lifstyle changes once you have children. My husband and I recently became respite foster parents so we take children on the weekends to relieve full time foster parents and I don’t have time to work out! Does that make me a selfish person? I find it hard to even modivate myself to eat healthy too while watching the children because it is just easier to eat what they are eating.. So my 50 pound weight loss has creep up to become a 45 pound weight loss and that plays on my mental health.

How do the Moms of the world work-out????

It’s not inuitive. You truly have to find time. For me, for the nearly 8 years of motherhood I’ve experienced, it’s been when the kid was asleep. When he was a baby, I got used to the 5am feed. Once that was gone I just kept getting up at that time to exercise. There is no gym time for me, but a good treadmill or elliptical if you can afford one, and some excellent DVDs and handweights make an effective home gym. Three days a week I head out to run as soon as the sun rises so I can be home before hubby leaves for work.
Let your children motivate you to make good choices because of the example you are giving. I’ll tell you a couple motivating quips from my dear honest son… When he was 4, and I had slipped up for a while, he walked in just as I was stepping out of the shower. He said, “Wow, your bottom looks like a Sumo wrestler!”. He was impressed, I was less so. :). Fast forward a few years… He says to his father, “I want to have two bumps like Mom.” My hubby and I exchange confused/worried glances… until he pointed to his biceps ,”right here”. THAT my friend is amazing motivation!!!

All that to say, it’s doable, challenging at times, but so is everything else about parenthood. Do what you need to in the day that you’re living and don’t worry about tomorrow. The problems of today are sufficient. 😉

Hope it helped! I also forgot to mention, regarding road races: running strollers are a great resistance add-on when the kiddos are tiny. Once they’re too big for that, sign them up for the Fun Run that most races have. In my home, one of us races the big race, while the other parent runs the shorter run with the kid. And by all means, take the kid(s) with you to walk the dog! We have a golden retreiver, and we can get a terrific walk in with my son on his roller blades (or a bike, scooter, etc…)

No need to worry! 🙂

Hannah & Olivia,

You two are such amazing inspiration, congratulations on your success! What, when and how each person does to achieve and maintain a certain body weight is truly individual to that individual – as it should be! I discovered a program that works for me and when I work the program, I have great success … and I don’t ever work out more than 25-30 minutes/day. Combined with great, clean eating, and the right amount of sleep, I’m able to maintain my ideal weight and feel great. It did take me years to figure out what worked for me, though, and it’s overwhelming the amount of info out there.

Please share what you’re doing, because for this fan, it keep me motivated, too.

Blessings for your continued happiness and success!

Honoree Corder
Austin, Texas

Olivia and Hannah,

Just know that you two rock. There will always be pressure to work out more (or less). The important thing is that you listen to YOUR body. The ideal time and intensity is different for each person. As you know, it’s not just about energy. The decision can also include schedule, kids, spouse and work. I would love to work out 3 hours a day. But I have a young daughter and my family to take care of….and the Kid’s Club won’t let her stay in for more than 2 Hours…. Keep it up the good work!

Hey Olivia- I was wondering if you and Hannah could do a blog on cravings? I know that is one of the hardest things for me to conquer, sometimes you just really want a cupcake and I always wonder if it is better to just eat the cupcake or eat the 10 other things instead of the cupcake and in the end just eating the cupcake because that was the one thing that your body wanted (do bodies want cupcakes?). Anyway, you two are a huge inspiration to me and I cannot wait for the next post!

Hi Olivia ,
your tweet lift me up all the time because you and hannah are for me the 2 GIRLS WHO MADE IT , so reading what you do and how much you do it really really make me whant to do more …
so never never never stop doing that because i really look up to you 2 ladies …
send you a lot of love from italy
i’ll be thinking of you during the bra challenge
GO PURPLE !!!!! 😀


Olivia, I love your attitude. You know more what is right for you than anyone else can. I follow you on twitter and I don’t think you are spending copious amounts of time working out. You worked hard to get to where you are, and like you said it is going to take time to getting used to working out 60 or 90 minutes a day. For me, I am working on wanting to work out 60 or 90 minutes a day. So all the PURPLE power to you!

Thank you so much for this Olivia! Your outlook on changing your life is so inspiring, and (in my opinion) realistic! Whenever I read your blogs, I always think to myself “Yes, I can do this!”. This weight loss journey has been so difficult, but each day I get a little stronger and go a little further! Keep sending the awesome posts!

I read the blog, and I read all of the posts. I let it all sink in, and then it occured to me…a long time ago, women were really busy all of the time, doing things like scrubbing their laundry without a machine, having to carry it all down to a water source, working in a garden, slaughtering their meat, rendering lard, making candles, scrubbing floors, beating carpets, baking all day, ironing; the list could go on forever. Yes, working our bodies is good for us! It’s great that we have so many things that help us out with our “chores” now, but we need to replace that physical activity with working out.
I love all of the posts and tweets from Olivia and Hannah. Wish there were more. They motivate me to no end. But, I also know that I AM RESPONSIBLE for myself, and need to be able to get off my butt and get going.
All of that said, I want to say to Olivia and Hannah…post away! Work out all you need to for you! I love you girls, and hope you stay this motivated for a long time, because you lift me up.
As far as how much one should work out, well, that’s really personal, and will differ from person to person. My cardiologist just told me that I need to lose thirty pounds, and that I need to be working out for an hour every day. So, that’s what I’m going to do. When I lose weight, I will hopefully be able to determine what it will take to keep the weight off. But I’m not going to totally depend on Hannah and Olivia to tell me that. I expect that there are lots of us who love their vivacity and charm and are motivated by them. But let’s be responsible for our own work-outs and our own weight loss, folks.
Love ya, O and H!

I love this post. I love it because I have always struggled with this myself. For me, it is because I work in food – it used to be restaurant marketing and now it’s a full service catering and events role. I thought it was hard when I was in restaurants a few days a week for work, tasting food and having to intimately know the menus, and now I literally have a kitchen IN my office 5 days a week. And the thing is, I love food. I love it so much – it is my passion and my happiness. Dining out, trying new foods, enjoying different cultures and cuisines – you name it, I love it. And let’s just say I don’t have the gift of a fast metabolism. So – what do I do? I eat – I eat for work, I eat for enjoyment, I eat for health and I try to keep it balanced but it is a challenge I have ti face every day. Sometimes I have time after work for a spin class or for bootcamp and sometimes I have to consider myself lucky for getting a 20 minute walk outside at lunch time. And the trickiest part? Learning to allow myself to love food as much as I love spinning and try not to focus on every detail. Some days I will eat an extra 400 calories on accident and somedays I have more control over my diet – but if an extra few pounds on my thighs means I can do what I love and have a career makes me happy, then I’ll take it. The point is you have to remember you are healthy and beautiful! Both of you – and if you are so busy one day you can’t work out, you have to let go of the stress of that. You are not a machine, you are a fit, healthy human being! Keep bloggin’ girls – I’m lovin’ it!


I love this post and I love the thread that came because of it. I have to admit that I’ve had cynical little thoughts about you 2 ladies and balance and t.v. success and what-have-you. The bottom line is that anytime a person encounters a dramatic amount of growth in a short period of time there is a healthy amount of obsession! I mean, even when I became a Christian I had a similar experience and even had people who would normally be supportive of me kind of raise an eyebrow and question how many bible studies I could really juggle. 🙂

There’s also (I think) a healthy amount of jealousy and skepticism that happens for people on the “outside” of that transformation. It seems borne out of disbelief that change like this is possible and lasting. My sister lost 50 pounds or so a couple of years ago which was dramatic for her frame and she encountered ALL KINDS of reactions from both friends and strangers.

I am grateful that you have chosen to be transparent and live this transformation in the public eye because both you and your sister have personalities that are similar to women I’ve known my whole life (I’m a Dallas girl in Brooklyn exile!). It makes you accessible and has inspired me to return to my own goals.

I hope that any woman reading this realizes how hard it is to overcome those little lies in your head that tell you grand successes are fiction and achievement belongs to only a privileged few. Don’t believe them – and seriously, don’t repeat them to others! If any of us are flying too close to the sun, then just let us melt because getting that high in the first place was monumental.

Peace to you

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