How Quitting My Strict Diet and Finding a Workout I Love Helped Me Lose 45 Pounds

Chelsea Feeser proves that replacing a strict diet with more flexibility can lead to success.

strict diet weight loss

Chelsea Feeser is proof that you don’t need to follow a super strict diet to change your body. Photograph courtesy Chelsea Feeser

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email

Who: Chelsea Feeser, 31, a special events and sports marketing manager from Fairmount

Why I wanted to make a change:  “My weight has fluctuated for so long with diet and exercise and I really wanted to make something stick. Since I was a teenager, I would try all the different fad diets and lose weight, gain it back, lose it, and the cycle would continue.  I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 25 and it’s been a struggle health and confidence wise. I was active in high school playing basketball, soccer, and tennis, but when I was 17, I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus during an indoor soccer game and my knee and activity level was never the same.”

When I started: 10 months ago

Height: 5’7″

Weight lost: 45 pounds

How I changed: “I feel so much stronger and my endurance has improved, which gives me motivation to keep making healthy choices. I make time to plan and prep my meals each week and schedule workout classes. I actually like working out and am excited to go to class. I also prefer walking over taking public transportation.”

How I changed my diet: “After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I was so frustrated trying to figure out a healthy diet. I read so many different articles about what women should and shouldn’t eat. Some suggested yogurt as a good snack and others would say not to eat dairy. I knew that I needed a professional to guide me in the right direction and hold me accountable. That’s when I started working with Kaitlin at OnPoint Nutrition (in March 2018), and she has taught me so much. One of the biggest takeaways since working with Kaitlin is that I don’t have to be perfect every single day. I used to say, ‘Okay, this week is absolutely no carbs, no sweets, no cheese,’ and then I’d indulge in [sweets at the office] and get down on myself about it. Now I know if you want a piece of chocolate, have a piece of chocolate, don’t feel bad about it, and get back to your day of healthy eating; one indulgence doesn’t ruin your day.

“That being said, insulin resistance is a big thing with PCOS, so I aim to eat less starches and choose better starches like whole grain bread and brown and wild rice. I also eat more fruits and veggies, and drink about 75 to 100 ounces of water per day.

“I have been doing HelloFresh meals for over a year. I get three meals delivered weekly and it helps me stay on track. If I’m going out to dinner or going to an Eagles game, I’ll work out in the morning, save my starches for the event and have a lot of veggies, water, and protein during the day. It’s all about balance.”

“If you want a piece of chocolate, have a piece of chocolate, don’t feel bad about it, and get back to your day of healthy eating; one indulgence doesn’t ruin your day.”

How I changed my workouts: “I went from no exercise for months to working out four to five times a week. I’ve tried so many gyms in the city and was bored and unmotivated within a couple of months. BPM Fitness opened right around the corner from me in November 2017 (three minute walk door to door!) and I’ve been there ever since. I started out slow with only a couple classes a month and then really picked it up February 2018. I LOVE BPM! I took some spin classes at gyms in the past and liked it, so I was excited about a studio that incorporated spin, weights, ropes, kettle bells, TRX, and more. Every day and every workout is different, so I don’t get bored and the coaches are the most motivating people. I also walk to and from work every day, which is about 1.6 miles and 35 minutes each way.”

The hardest part: “The hardest part was getting started. I always knew what I needed to do with the diet and exercise, but never did it. I needed some professional help from a nutritionist. I just had to take the first step and set up the appointment. I knew I needed to go workout. I just had to go. There have been a couple times where I plateaued and didn’t see the scale move and that was really frustrating, but I talked to my nutritionist, we restructured some things, I refocused and thought about why I started in the first place, pushed through and started to see results again.”

What I’m most proud of: “I’m most proud my weight loss. I am also really proud of my dedication and my motivation. I never thought I would be someone who loves working out, plans their workouts a week out, or works out in the morning.”

What I want everyone to know: “It is not easy at all, but it is worth it. You need to put in the work and make plans! It takes time and is not going to happen overnight, but it is so rewarding.”

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