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This Woman Lost Almost 20 Pounds Pre-pregnancy, and You Can, Too

She dropped from a size 12 down to a size 4/6.

Whatever your end game may be—from weight loss to a sculpted six-pack—it's always inspiring to hear real-life success stories of how other individuals achieved their fitness goals. We chatted with Renee Noel who shares exactly what she did in order to undergo an almost-20-pound weight loss transformation, followed by a healthy pregnancy and postpartum recovery. If you're wondering how to lose 20 pounds pre-pregnancy, keep reading to learn more about Noel's motivating weight loss journey.

She had two major end goals.

before and after weight loss, split image
Courtesy of Renee Noel

Noel reveals she had two major end goals in mind. "[I wanted to] get off birth control to begin trying to conceive (was on it for 17 years due to heavy cycles) and I wanted to stop making excuses for not eating healthy due to all my food allergies," she tells us.

In April 2020, Noel weighed 158 pounds and was a size 12 at the beginning of her journey. Fast-forward to February 2021 when she hit 148 pounds (size 10) and was stuck there for a bit. "This is when I started working with [my trainer] Jacquie and understood how mental and physical health work together to achieve greater success," she says. Noel dropped down to 140 pounds and a size 4/6 in August 2021 before she got pregnant. In total, that's almost a 20-pound weight loss.

The above photo shows Noel on the left in late 2019 before completely committing to her weight loss journey; the right side is Noel trying on a new pair of size 6 jeans after losing weight.

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She focused on getting in daily movement with yoga, Pilates, walks, and sculpting.

yoga studio with mats

How did Noel lose 20 pounds? Working with her personal trainer, Jacquie Smith, Noel was able to switch up the mindset of following a strict workout to getting in daily movement and letting her body "define what that meant for the day." She focused on moving her body for five to 35 minutes each day, focusing on sculpting, Pilates, yoga, strength, stretching, or simply walking around the block. "Jacquie's workout classes range from 10-40 minutes and helped make it easier to ensure I got my daily movement in with no excuses," she says.

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Each week, she dedicated time to plan healthy meals, shop, and prep.

meal prepping bowls of quinoa, chicken, and avocado

As far as diet is concerned, Noel deals with quite a few food allergies, so she calls this more of an "elimination diet." She says she dedicated around an hour each week to meal planning, shopping, and prepping. This really helped her stick with eating healthy and clean week after week, as the food was readily available for her to grab and enjoy!

Noel loved working with Smith, telling us, "Jacquie helped me understand so much more about nutrition and how to fuel my body properly. She also helped me shift my mindset which opened the door to greater success with my weight loss. Mental and physical health really go hand-in-hand." She adds, "I'm able to really focus on eating real food with real ingredients and fuel my body properly."

She stayed motivated by seeing her mental and physical transformation "in real-time."

split image woman 20-pound weight loss
Courtesy of Renee Noel

What served as an endless source of motivation? Noticing her transformation "in real-time," both mentally and physically. "I had a lot more energy, greatly reduced stress, and my mental health was the best I had ever experienced," Noel says.

Her life has immensely improved; she now knows how to make herself a top priority.

self-care list

Noel's life has immensely improved. She now knows how to make herself and her needs a top priority, because it makes her feel all-around happier and healthier. Smith's "little adapts" approach has been instrumental in Noel's routine, as it helps make small changes that turn into life-changing habits. "Because of the work I put in, I had an incredible pregnancy journey—the exact opposite of what I had imagined," she tells us.

For those who are getting started on their own weight loss or fitness journey, Noel has some solid advice: "Invest in yourself. Love yourself. It'll take you places you never dreamed of. You can't give to others from an empty cup—remember to fill your cup first. You'll find that you become a better version of yourself."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa