Meet Tina: The Former 300lb Mother Of Two With Better Abs Than You

I’d like you to meet my new pal Tina.

I’d actually like you to meet 2 versions of her… Tina “before” and Tina “after.”

A little while back, Tina sent me an email. She said she had been using my Bodybuilding 2.0 program from The Best Workout Routines and had a question about something.

So, I gave her an answer, she thanked me and mentioned that she “loved the gains she was making so far.” Now that’s what I like to hear!

And then, as I often do when talking to anyone who is putting any of my diet/training advice into action, I told her to keep me updated on her progress. Success stories are awesome and I never get tired of hearing them.

It was at that point when Tina responded with a success story that absolutely blew me away. I’m guessing you had that same “blown away” feeling yourself when you saw her transformation pics above.

But what makes it all even more impressive is the story that goes with them. What story, you ask? Well, I asked Tina if she’d be willing to show off her progress and tell her story on the site. She was happy to do it.

So, without further ado…

Who Are You and What Do We See In Your “Before” Picture?

My name is Tina Hunt. I’m a 34 year old health/fitness nut and a mother of 2 little ones; a newly 1-year old daughter and an almost 3-year old son.

The person you see in my “before” pic is, sadly, also me at 300 lbs wearing men’s size 50 pants.  I couldn’t find Women’s size that would fit me.  I couldn’t find anything larger than a size 28 in Women’s, so Men’s size 50 it was!

I was pretty much born a “hambone” as my family would call me.  I didn’t know any other way of living, other than being a heavy girl.  I always wanted to be thin.  I always prayed and dreamed about what it would be like to be thin.  My sister was as thin as a rail and I envied her for it.

How Did You Reach That Point?

Modeling some of her old pants.

I never understood why I was heavy.  I hardly ate.  I would never eat breakfast, a small lunch, and a big dinner.  I think I made up for all my meals at dinner time.

I worked a lot of hours. And guess where?  A bakery!  At first it was heaven!  All those fresh baked cookies, sweet breads, donuts, danish, cakes… heaven!  I would nibble on things here and there, being a test dummy to sample our products.

I gained a good 40 lbs just working in the bakery over 2 years.  I know, it could of been a lot worse… I think.  It wasn’t until one fateful day at the doctor’s office.  To this day I can’t even remember what I was being seen for.  All I know is, it was my life changing moment.

The moment when I had to get weighed!

I got on the scale, a little hesitant, but when I got on there, and the medical assistant moved the weight of the scale over to 300, I collapsed.  I cried.  I did not know I was THAT heavy!

I was in total disbelief that I was that heavy!  Last I knew, I weighed 242 lbs.  I don’t even think I realized I was going up in pant sizes.  From that moment on, I knew I had to do something… and quick!

What Did You Do?

My boss in the bakery, who was also heavy, weighed over 300lbs and only 5’3, was on the Atkin’s Diet.  He told me all about it and how much weight he was losing on it.  I did notice he was losing weight, but I never asked him what he was doing.

I cut the carbs completely out of my diet.  To my surprise, I lost 20lbs in the first 2-3 weeks of the diet. I had to buy new clothes for work, I was feeling good!  So good, I wanted to do more than just change my diet.

I started walking about 15-20 minutes after work.  Walking became jogging, and longer, up to 30 minutes.  I started doing ab workouts, body weight squats, side bends, all the basic beginner stuff.

I gradually added carbs, but still kept them low.  Probably way too low.  A year later, I was up to a 100lb weight loss and slowly lost 50lbs over the next year.

I still exercised.  I loved the way it made me feel both mentally and physically.  I never had confidence in myself until I started seeing my results.  I felt like I could do anything, BE anything!  I was proving to myself more and more that anything is possible.  I was living proof to myself.

I don’t see a single pink dumbbell on that rack.

Loose Skin, Low Carbs And Eating Disorders

The downside to all of this… the excess skin!  I won’t lie, it was not pretty!  Clothes fit me funny, I was afraid of people to see my legs and tummy.  My skin looked like my rolls had rolls.  It just didn’t look healthy. In 2004 I decided to get a tummy tuck to get the extra skin removed.  It helped, but I still had the extra skin on my arms, legs and back.

Still being on a low carb type diet plan, my energy levels were not the greatest either. I was afraid of carbs!  I thought of me giving up carbs was what was making me lose the weight, why would I want to eat them?  I became obsessed with carbs.

The obsession turned into anorexia and bulimia.  The lowest weight I ever got to was 138lbs and I’m 5’9″.  I looked terrible!  Brittle hair, yellow skin (liver damage), lack of energy.  I would live off of pretty much almonds, low carb/high protein bars, and very little water.

Bodybuilding Saves The Day

Eventually, I got tired of being tired all the time.  I was learning more about fitness and read about bodybuilding.  I saw how bodybuilders were not afraid of carbs and had such muscular bodies.  If I could live like THAT, eating carbs, it’s on!

I read and read and read about bodybuilding.  Everything about it seemed fitting for me.  I changed my eating habits, added carbs, more water, more good fats, and I ate more frequently and a lot more!  I learned with all the hard work in strength training, it was OK to eat carbs.  After all, I actually wanted to get bigger… with muscle!

There came a point where I wanted to focus more on cardio and not so much bodybuilding.  I did 5 mile runs/jogs in the morning and some circuit type training.  With the hot Arizona summers and early work hours, I decided to get an elliptical and run it into the ground for an hour each day.  I loved it.

Two Pregnancies Later…

I continued to workout like this even while being pregnant (ok’d by the doctor because I was already working out prior and my body was used to it).  Eating for two, I knew I wasn’t necessarily eating “for two”… for me it meant to be aware, you are eating for 2 now!

I was very cautious about what I put in my body with both of my pregnancies.  Although, veggies were hard to get down without the gag reflex, I got them in!  Both of my pregnancies were healthy, full term, happy, active babies!  I gained 12 lbs total (though this may seem low, but I also lost some muscle weight in addition to gaining baby weight.  I’m sure it would have been more that I gained without losing the muscle).

Getting Back Into Weight Training… “The Right Way”

Standing in what she has nicknamed her “Room Of Pain.”

After having my last baby, I decided I wanted to pick up bodybuilding again.  I did tons and tons of research on how to do it.. the RIGHT way.  The more I read about it, the more confused and contraindicated everything became. I would put my own programs together that seemed to work, and didn’t. The more I read, the more sloppy things became.

That’s where I came across JAY!  Yay for JAY!  He has brought me back to my sanity of training, the right way!  Been doing his Bodybuilding 2.0 workout since December 2011 and I absolutely love the torture my muscles are getting.

(Author’s Note: Just wanted to interrupt for a second and point something out to all of the females reading this. There are no 2lb pink dumbbells in Tina’s routine. There are no “toning exercises.” There’s none of the typical nonsense that fills most women’s workout routines.

She’s using my Bodybuilding 2.0 routine. That means she presses, rows, squats, deadlifts and does all of the big boy exercises most women avoid. And she actually uses weights that challenge her and require real effort! And when those weights become easy… she increases them!

Why am I pointing this out? Because I want you to look at her pictures. Does she have the “big, bulky, manly” body most women are afraid this type of weight training will instantly produce? Nope. She has the body most women WANT to have. Take note, ladies.)

Loose Skin Part 2

I did, however, have to take some time off.  I still had extra skin that was bothering me and making it hard to see my results.  I saved and got a lower body lift, thigh lift and arm lift.  But in order to do it, I had to “lean out” to create as much extra skin as I could.  This way I could be pulled tight.  I had to go back to cardio and lose the muscle I gained.

After almost 3 months of leaning out, I lost most of the muscle I gained.  April 2012 is when I had my surgery.  Through the pain and swelling, I was back to doing cardio 15 days later.  I was ok’d by the dr to start weight training 2 months post op.  I started early at a month and a half.  I didn’t tell him that though πŸ™‚  Full recovery is a year, and I’m still recovering.

Scars are still sore.  Squats hurt a little and so do the arms when I get the blood pumping and its stretching my skin.  But now that I’m able to SEE my results, it’s all worth the pain, the cost, the recovery, the investment and I’d do it all over again to see the body that I have always dreamed about having… if not better πŸ™‚

“There Are No Excuses”

I think one of the biggest pet peeves I have is when someone tries to compliment me and says, “not fair”… “you have a gift”… “I wish I could do that or be you”…. things like this reeeeeally irk me! I tell them it IS fair, it ISN’T a gift, and YOU sure as hell CAN do it and it CAN be YOU!

People lack their self worth and what they are truly capable of doing. It bothers me when people WANT but don’t DO. It takes time, sacrifice, self discipline, dedication and motivation… and biggest of all, a positive mind set. You see a goal, you go for it 110%, no less.

I explain my “no excuse” attitude by waking up at 3am to get the day started. I figure, if I start early, I can get it out of the way and use the rest of the time and day being a full time mom (hate the phrase “stay at home mom”… because we don’t stay home). I prep healthy meals for the day for the family.

This way, good foods are always available and within reach when the tummies are screamin for food. We live outside the city, so I make sure to pack not only a diaper bag and strollers, but lunch boxes full of healthy foods. This way, once again, healthy food is always available.

I workout doing weights 3-4 days a week. Depends on what body part I’m working. Currently doing Bodybuilding 2.0 Push, Legs, Pull program. I do cardio 7 days a week. I do 20 minutes of lighter cardio on weight training days and 45 minutes cardio on non-weight training days. This may seem excessive, but it’s my daily dose of anxiety medication :)… but it also helps loosen up stiff muscles and conditioning.

I wake up every day excited to workout because I look forward to progressing and proving to myself that I can be better than yesterday. It’s a constant competition for life. A good competition! Being and feeling fit and healthy is a great motivator… as is seeing and feeling the results. When people ask me how to start off losing weight (fat), I am honest in telling them it is going to SUCK at first!

It’s going to hurt and you may feel as if you’re gong to die! But, those are going to be probably the most hardest of all… is getting started. You have to prove to yourself that you are worth and capable of getting through it! The results will show you! Not the scale. The scale’s numbers comes from not only fat, but bone, water and muscle weight. Avoid it in the beginning! Go by how your clothes feel!

If someone sees someone that they are inspired by, they too can get to where they are at! It just takes time and dedication! There are NO EXCUSES to be there! NONE!

You CAN eat healthy… all the time! If hunger takes over, give in to GOOD foods, not fast convenient foods. Make sure you prep and keep available healthy foods. Drink lots of water, detox daily (not just a few times a year)… I use dandelion and Milk Thistle. It’s a staple in my diet.

I try not to tell people a lot about supplements, but with my experience, I know this is a MUST! Losing a lot of weight puts a lot of stress on the liver and obese people trying to lose weight (fat) are at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. I had to undergo a liver biopsy due to elevated liver enzymes. I’m blessed I don’t have fatty liver. This could be due to the constant break down of muscle with weight training… still under dr’s care. But, Dandelion and Milk Thistle is great for over all liver health and function.

What Are Your Current Goals?

Not bad, huh?

I don’t really have a specific goal other than to be stronger, faster, leaner with more muscle mass, than I was the day before. It will always be a constant in my life. To be better than I was yesterday.

I try to aim for heavier weight or increase my reps in my exercises each week. I aim to see progression. If I’m not progressing as fast as I should (or would like), I change things up, so that I can get there.

My family and friends know I’m crazy about health/fitness and always ask or suggest that I compete. I don’t know if I’ll ever compete, but I like being able to have the option.

To me, I do compete… every day. I compete against myself to be better than I was. And it’s for life. This is my life long goal.

I know that as we age, the body takes longer to recover and things just get a little more challenging to do. Having 2 little ones, I want to be in the best physical shape I can be in to keep up with them.

I want to be 80 years old, playing sports with my babies (even when I’m 80, they’ll still be “my babies” :))… hell, even grand babies! Gotta show them that grandmas have strength and muscle too! πŸ™‚ Ok, but that’s a loooooong time from now. I’m still young. πŸ˜‰

Another goal, not so much personal, is to ingrain health and fitness into my children. I grew up in a big Italian family and boy did we love pasta. If I would have known back then, what I do today, I don’t think I’d ever of been obese.

I had to learn on my own. I did every diet possible! Cabbage nasty soup diet, low carb/high protein (which does work short term), rice diet (which I gain a hell of a lot of weight from!!), low fat (caused constant sugar cravings), took many different types of supplements and fat burners… all of which made me a jittery b–ch!

I learned over time it’s all about calories in vs calories out and exercise. I have also learned that not all calories are the same. To make sure you get a good balance of macros in your meals; fats, carbs and proteins. These are the things I want to ingrain in my children. To make sure they pick the right healthy kinds of foods over overly processed artificial fake crap!

My goal is to never be OBESE again! It’s been 12 years now and I know it will never be back. I’m too disciplined and motivated to keep it off. I have saved my size 50’s pants as a reminder (like I could ever forget) how big I used to be. Let me tell ya, it’s enough to motivate anyone FOR LIFE!

Thank You Tina!

Thanks again for sharing your story, experience and awesome transformation. It’s impressive as hell.

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About Jay
Jay is the science-based writer and researcher behind everything you've seen here. He has 15+ years of experience helping thousands of men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and build their "goal body." His work has been featured by the likes of Time, The Huffington Post, CNET, Business Week and more, referenced in studies, used in textbooks, quoted in publications, and adapted by coaches, trainers, and diet professionals at every level.

37 thoughts on “Meet Tina: The Former 300lb Mother Of Two With Better Abs Than You”


  1. Thank you for the interview, Jay. It was a pleasure to do and the least I could do. I don’t think (I’m pretty sure I KNOW)I wouldn’t be as far along in my training as I am now if it wasn’t for you and your no-BS approach to health and fitness πŸ™‚ YOU ROCK!

  2. I am so proud of you sister. I love you and amazed by your strength ans determination. Keep it up as I know you will.

  3. I loved your story and passed it on to a few women who needs to see that it can be done and it can be fun doing it. When I see myself losing and getting stronger, it makes me even more hyped. I am re-inventing myself and I love it!

    • That’s great to hear, Patricia! Results are what keeps me going! Well, and the fact that I don’t EVER EVER EVER want to fit in those men’s size 50’s I have hidden away. I appreciate you passing my story along. I proved to myself, anything can be done.. and I’m no one special. Anyone can do it, as long as they are self disciplined, determined and dedicated πŸ™‚

  4. WOW..that is amazing. Congrats to Tina for the amazing transformation.
    I sent this article to one of my friends. She’s doing a keto diet and is feeling the same way Tina was feeling when she was on Atkin’s.
    Anyways, great progress and keep it up:)

    • Thank you for the kind words, Mohamad! Thank you for sending this to your friend. I hope it helps her. The Atkins was successful to a point, but long term, I didn’t find it to be very healthy. My energy and workouts suffered from the lack of carbs. Adding carbs helped my energy and workouts tremendously! I see much better results with a good balance of fats (good ones), protein and carbs. I hope she can courage up for those carbs! πŸ™‚

  5. Tremendous job, Tina! πŸ˜€

    Yes, I would like to see some Jay – video lessons as well!
    Come on… Man we want to see you!!


  6. You look hot Tina. Im undergoing the same thing you did but its taking longer than hoped because of depression. I think you look wonderfull. Hard to believe its the same person. Congrats. You look hot!

  7. Great story Tina, pleased everything has worked out for you, I’m hoping to get there myself. I’m also in contact with Jay (best fitness expert on the Internet, anyone??), I’ve been following his program for 2 months now and can not believe I’m already seeing resullt. Never thought I would be so obsessed with Deadlifts and Pull-ups! That reminds me, progress E-mail to Jay this week sometime. Thanks again for your story, and thanks Jay for providing all this brilliant FREE information.

  8. You look great Tina! Congratulations on your transformation and steady progress. Since I read you wake up at 3AM, I became curious about what time you go to bed. Would you mind telling me how many hours you sleep?

    It must be great to have a power rack in your house. I use a pullup bar,Jumpstretch bands, and Powerblock dumbbells that go up to 90#’s each.

    Have you tried a hex bar for deadlifts? They are great for reducing the shear force on your spine while getting the benefits of the deadlift. If you are interested, you may find them on amazon by searching for “hex bar”.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. OMG … you are one of those few girls who have big sexy boobs when you are atletic and not fat .

    You should get hit by a lot of guys that want to flirt with you .

  10. Wow, you’re Wonder Woman!! Excuse my language but you’re a kick-ass mom! I came across this at such a significant time. I’m a mother of 5 (yes, 5) my youngest just turned two. I was recently on a keto diet, lost 15lbs, but had to quit because my kidneys (stones) do not agree, may I add I do not have a gallbladder either.
    I am definitely scared of carbs, (btw, I’m 4’10 148 lbs) so basically I’ve been struggling to find the “right” foods to eat. I’m rambling now so I will leave off saying your SUCH an inspiration and I’m so happy to have come across this. You Rock!

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