Making Progress: Dinner, Workout Video & Body Talk


Last night for dinner, I was in the mood for salad and pasta. Instead of full on carb pasta, I had spaghetti squash instead. I made turkey meatballs to go with! The low calorie meatball recipe is HEREย and my homemade dressing recipe is HERE.ย I want to get back into shape ย and feel good so it’s all about alternatives for me. The winter was full of pasta, chicken wings, pizza, and a lack of exercise. Believe me, it didn’t look good. I’ve been on a workout/eating right fix for a good two months now and I’m starting to see great results. I usually have decaf coffee after dinner to decrease my sweet tooth and I have dark chocolate chunks with it. It’s been a great alternative to ice cream and other sweets.


I decided to give my body a running break and did Jillian Michael’s this morning. I will still go on a 4 mile walk with Grumps too! I feel like if I get those miles in whether it’s walking or running, I’m doing good!

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Over the winter, I was struggling with saying no to heavy foods, I was drinking a lot and traded exercise for Netflix. The past two months have been full of running, playing sports, late night ab workouts, cutting alcohol, eating better foods, and treating myself occasionally.ย  I’ve been able to tell the difference in my stomach. I’m not close to my goal yet, but a lot closer than I was a month ago. I can’t wait to actually see some abs. I’m determined and ready to make a change. I’m not ashamed of my body because of what I used to look likeย years ago, but I’m not satisfied just yet. I’m working hard towards confidence.


After my workouts, I fueled up with some of my favorite treats, fresh figs and coconut water!

What are you doing for a workout today?


  • Lauren E

    I do that Jillian Michaels workout, too! It’s shocking to me how I can work that hard in my own living room. At the end of the hour I am dripping sweat. Totally worth it.

    Reply to Lauren E
  • Devin

    Thank you for your honesty in your posts. I love reading about where you came from and where you are headed now. I was in the same boat a little over a year ago. I was unhealthily too skinny (I went too far with losing weight to the point where I was likely anorexic as I now am able to admit) and my body wasn’t functioning properly (my hair was thin, I was constantly freezing, I stopped having my period). Now I’ve gained about 20lbs of that back and now my body is definitely at a healthy weight and functioning properly, but I also haven’t been eating the most healthy foods and have been overeating at times. Now I’m trying to get back into an active lifestyle with weight training in addition to cardio (before it was all cardio) and with eating healthier. I’m much more accepting of my body nowadays even though I wouldn’t mind shedding a couple pounds and toning up a bit. I understand how hard it is to find the balance between being unhealthy on both ends of the spectrum. But keep up the good work – I’m encouraged by your journey!

    Reply to Devin
  • Olga

    I admire you for your determination. I was following a really healthy lifestyle, but I had some personal issues and since that time it’s so hard to get back there.
    The problem is that I still feel good in my body, but I can also feel that it wants me to change and get back to healthy eating. Every day I’m telling myself that it’s the last day of being unhealthy, it’s not me! But I still make bad choices.
    It was so easy before. It makes me sad and I don’t know how to deal with it.
    Maybe you or anybody else has any suggestion how to persuade myself and stick to the decision??

    Reply to Olga
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You can’t really force yourself to do something unless you really want it. If you are happy and comfortable with yourself, why change? If you feel as if you’re not healthy and need that change, may just find some kind of balance that works for you. I do the 80/20. I eat healthy and workout 80% of the week and eat not-so-great %20 percent of the week. Don’t look at it as making “bad choices” that’s just life! If you eat something bad or skip a workout, don’t fret, just eat healthy and get back to your workout when you can! I have a hard time sticking to something when I’m not motivated or when I don’t want to do something. Just live your life to the fullest, stay happy, and do what YOU want to do!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katrina

    Thank you for sharing both your ups & downs, you relate that much more, to so many people. I love your blog <3

    Reply to Katrina
  • Jeanine Rivituso

    You are so inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚ love this post, just like all your others! Thank you ALWAYS for being so honest and real!

    Reply to Jeanine Rivituso
  • Rebecca

    Hey, TaraLynn, I’ve been reading your blog every so often for about a year or more — Mainly, I love looking at pictures of Grumples, because he makes my heart melt.

    Anyway. I struggled a long time with a bad body image and eating disorders. About a year ago around the time I started reading your blog, was when I finally felt like I was developing a better relationship with my body — for about two years prior to that, I was working on getting rid of the bad eating behaviors that I had in regards to calorie counting and obsessing over my weight. Then last year, I finally felt like I could focus on fitness and health again without it becoming an obsession.

    With that said, I’ve learned a lot, and one of the most important things that I have learned is that the way that your body LOOKS is not the important part. It’s not a decoration. It’s what it DOES that’s important. When I start feeling discouraged with my body, I remind myself of the fact that first and foremost — it’s why I’m alive! And able to run and move and laugh…and draw… and do anything!

    I guess, I just felt like I wanted to put that out there as you’re going through this process of trying to get back on track again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hopefully my comment found you well. Take care.

    Reply to Rebecca
    • Elaine

      ^beautiful! And exactly right. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, and be thankful for your body ๐Ÿ™‚ good for you!

      Reply to Elaine
  • Autumn (@ Beautifully Gray)

    So glad to see you feeling good about yourself! Winter really does make it difficult to stay motivated. I am hoping to get an arm workout on tonight!

    Reply to Autumn (@ Beautifully Gray)
  • Lauren

    Way to go! You are so inspiring! I really want to try spaghetti squash, but I can’t find it anywhere. They don’t seem to sell it in Belgium…

    Reply to Lauren
  • Cassie

    Lookin’ good!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Malin

    Itยดs always feels to stick to a healthier lifestyle after the winter and I think you look great!
    Just one thing: Why does your confidence need to be dependent on the way you look? I think this is an issue most of the women have, and it is something I am myself working on at the moment.
    No matter what you look like or how much you weigh, you are a great blogger, creative photographer, a humorous and touching writer, disciplined athlete, a great cook, apparently a good friend/girlfriend/daughter and so on. That are a lot of things you can be proud of and should give you all the confidence you need for whatever life brings to you!

    Reply to Malin
    • Alissa

      Couldn’t agree with this more–very well said. Of course, it is much easier said than done, since I frequently struggle with this…but here’s hoping you are feeling great on the inside as well <3

      Reply to Alissa
  • heather

    LOL some of your readers creep me out. That spaghetti squash looks great, though–in my house, we eat it cold, dressed like a noodle salad; it’s really delicious.

    Reply to heather
  • Ariel

    I did the insanity workout by Shaun T about a year ago and I hated and loved it at the same time. It was hard and about an hour long but I got AWESOME results, even without following the meal plan because I was eating pretty healthy anyway.

    I just started Shaun T’s workout program T25 just over a week ago and it’s still difficult but it’s only 25 minutes a day so it’s easy to fit in. You should look into it because it’s a total body workout at home. And there’s a lot of cardio in it so it would be a good alternative to running every day too.

    Good luck on your journey back to fitness!

    Reply to Ariel
    • Kelly

      I’ve been doing T25 also and I love it! I am also a runner and I think it builds a lot of lower body and core strength that is great for running.

      Reply to Kelly
      • Ariel

        oh absolutely. I’m using it to get ready for a warrior dash I signed up for in June. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply to Ariel
  • Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out

    I love the idea- not being ashamed of our bodies BUT still working towards our goals!

    Reply to Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out
  • Alexis

    Looking good! I think it is refreshingly honest to own up to bad habits from over the winter- I think we can all relate. Especially when you’re in a fairly new relationship, so easy to put on those relationship pounds! I’ve lost 15 lbs myself in the last 2 months! Keep up the good work!

    PS I’m a very picky eater but I’ll have to try the spaghetti squash! Do you have a recipe?

    Reply to Alexis
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    You look fantastic, Tara! And for today I almost passed up on my workout but I’m so glad I didn’t because my workout buddy canceled on me later on today ๐Ÿ™ At least I can say I’ve been there, done that!

    On a side note, would you be open to imessaging, Tara? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to get closer to you.

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Ashley @ AllAshleyMarie

    Definitely slacked off in the winter as well. And I will have to try that decaf coffee in the evening thing because I always have a sweet tooth after dinner, too. That’s something I’m really trying to work on. Last night, I had pineapple after dinner and that really did the trick!

    Reply to Ashley @ AllAshleyMarie
  • Morgan

    Jillian Michaels rocks! ripped in 30 is my fave.
    However, I hate spaghetti squash :/ I’d rather just eat a salad the texture weirds me out. Or I’d make the turkey meatballs with sauce and like sauteed veggies. I know a lot of people like it though!

    Reply to Morgan
  • Margaret @ Happy Healthy PDX

    It makes me so happy to see you happy and loving life! (Hope that doesn’t sound too creepy, I’ve just been following your blog for a long time) Way to go on the fitness gains. I’ve been in the same struggle since Christmas-time. I’ve definitely improved my fitness (turning myself into a runner after years of trying) but the eating side is still a struggle. I feel like I’m doing better but it isn’t reflected on the scale or in the mirror. Always rough, but I know I will get there in time.

    Reply to Margaret @ Happy Healthy PDX
  • Carol Kumm

    I really appreciate your honestly with falling off the healthy bandwagon for MONTHS! I do this occasionally, too, and it’s great to know I’m not the only person who struggles sometimes with saying ‘no’ to deliciousness, but that I can change when I put my mind to it!

    Reply to Carol Kumm
  • Amber

    Hi! I love your blog. I have been following for a long time. I just wanted to ask you a question about the excercise. I noticed the other day, you ended up excercising on a planned rest day. I find myself doing the same. And reading this, you did a workout video and will still have a 4 mile walk coming up. I previously had an eating disorder, and I know you have had some struggles as well (thank you for being so open about that!) How do you balance the good feelings that exercise brings, with not overdoing it. Do you ever worry it could become replacing a food disorder with an exercise disorder? I do not think I’m at that point, and I’m not implying you are either. I just sometimes wonder if I should be careful about it, and wanted to ask if you ever have the same concerns about yourself. Thank you for your time, and thank you so much for sharing your life with us. And your awesome recipes!! YUM!!

    Reply to Amber
  • Mallory

    You are doing amazing! I’ve been struggling with the bottom of my stomach, it’s fat that is just clinging on!

    Reply to Mallory
  • Rachel

    You seriously inspire me. I do four miles every day as well and have been taking a break from running too. I feel like miles are miles! Do you see results from Jillian Michaels? I just quit my gym for the summer and I still need to tone! I just want something that will actually work!

    Reply to Rachel
  • Bec

    Thank you! All your workout posts have seriously motivated me! I have gotten into the same bad winter habits and have put on weight. Thanks to you I am eating right and working out again. Hope I see results like yours in 2 months. You look amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Bec
  • Sophie

    You should be really proud of how healthy and full of life you look at the moment, keep on trucking! x

    Reply to Sophie
  • Kristin C

    I’m so glad you aren’t ashamed! You look great ๐Ÿ™‚
    I still haven’t tried spaghetti squash cooked as pasta. I really want to, but I’ve been too lazy to try it.

    Reply to Kristin C
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Kristin! AND SERIOUSLY? YOU HAVNT HAD SPAGHETTI SQUASH YET?!!?! Change that fast! I want to see what you think of it. It’s easy to make. Slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, place it on a greased baking sheet insides down, bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees and scoop it out! BOOM LIFE CHANGED!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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