These are the few simple lifestyle changes that helped one woman lose 106 pounds

Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully. Courtney McFaull is 28, 5’4” tall, and currently weighs 169 pounds. In 2016, after finally realizing how much weight she had gained over the years, she decided to start living a healthier life. This is her weight loss story.

The Turning Point

As a child, I was always very athletic. But then puberty hit, and at the same time my parents divorced. I remember just getting bigger and bigger — but I never understanding why.

In 2016, I was at the lowest point in my life and decided to move back in with my mum until I could get myself back on track. I remember looking at myself in the mirror one day during that time, and for the first time in ages I allowed myself to see how big I’d gotten. It was heartbreaking.

The Changes

The first step I took was going for a half hour walk after work every day. I was very depressed at that time and my afternoon walks by the river, accompanied by the music in my headphones, became the only thing in my day that I looked forward to. After about a week or so, the walks motivated me to look at the food I was eating, and what I saw was bad! I decided I’d start small and cut out the sugar in my coffee as well as soft drinks. That small change made me feel good, so I decided to make a few more healthy changes. The next thing I did was eliminate take out food, knowing homemade food was likely healthier. Small changes and baby steps to remove the bad stuff from my diet worked for me, and I can honestly say I have not once counted calories.

Physically, I was feeling lighter and more energized, but it was the mental changes I was simultaneously experiencing that I found even more motivating. My relationships were improving, my thoughts were becoming more positive, and I knew I was on my way to creating a better me. Just that feeling alone made my days easier.

(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)
(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)

The After

Right now I feel like I’m living properly. I’ve learned that whatever I put my mind to I can sure as hell do it — it’s very empowering. I’ve also learned that being overweight is often the symptom of a problem, and the journey to becoming healthier involves a lot of self discovery and reflection

It was also interesting to see how people treat me differently after weight loss. Guys who never used to give me the time of day are now hitting up my phone like crazy.

(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)
(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)

The Maintenance

I still don’t count calories. I look at each meal as an opportunity to make a good choice and try to put as much healthiness into my body as possible. I allow myself one cheat day each week so I don’t feel like I’m completely depriving myself.

I jog around the track I used to walk every afternoon, I’m now getting into yoga at home with the help of YouTube, and I also dance as much as possible

Reminding myself of how far I’ve come physically and mentally keeps me motivated. My progress makes me want to make the healthiest choices at every meal.

The Struggles

Sometimes I struggle with the motivation to exercise. I live in North Queensland, Australia where it’s summer and stinking hot which makes jogging a chore sometimes. If I’m feeling lazy or want to stay inside in the cooler air I say to myself, “Courtney you’ve never gone for a jog and regretted it afterwards, but plenty of times you have regretted not going for a jog when you could have. Go!”

(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)
(Photo: Courtesy of Courtney McFaull)


Start small! Small diet changes, small walks. The small changes may not get you instantly more fit, but your days feel better because you know you’re getting better. Look at each meal as a choice, don’t count calories if you don’t want to, and keep it simple.

Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!

Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.

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