Last updated: Mar 30, 2016

Erica Calderon, 34, 5'8", from Phoenix, Arizona
Before: 230 lb., size 14
After: 145 lb., size 6/8

Total pounds lost: 85
Total sizes lost: 3/4

Fitness and nutrition had always been a big part of my life—so much so that I became a PE teacher after I graduated from college. Between chasing after the middle schoolers in my class and running three times a week, I was so active that I didn't have to worry about my weight. But around the time I got pregnant with my first child, my husband began working longer hours, and I soon found myself eating out with friends more and more. It didn't help that during my pregnancy, I stopped exercising. Before I knew it, the number on the scale read 230 pounds.

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30 minutes to fit

With my husband by my side—he wanted to drop weight, too—I followed the Beachbody Insanity program six times a week. I loved that I could turn on the half-hour videos whenever it was convenient and work out right in my living room. I kept it up for two years, eventually shedding 85 pounds. And then I got pregnant again and regained 50 of them.

Clean eating, conquered

After the birth of my second daughter, I was determined to get my pre-pregnancy body back. For me, that meant not only resuming my crazy-tough workouts but also overhauling my eating habits—something I had neglected to do the first time around. I turned to Autumn Calabrese's 21 Day Fix program, which provides premeasured containers for each food group. This helped me see exactly what I was consuming, as well as reduce my portion sizes. I also cut down on sugar; within a few weeks, my sweetness cravings started to subside. Eliminating junk food from my diet helped me feel as healthy as I looked. It's also great to weigh even less than I did in high school!

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Erica's winning strategies

Healthy eating and intense exercise helped Erica drop 85 pounds. Get her tips.

1. Schedule sweat sessions. Raising two girls keeps me pretty busy, so I have to be really creative about fitting in exercise. My ideal window: when my youngest goes down for her nap and the other is at school. I treat workouts as meetings that I absolutely cannot miss.

2. Hang out far from the kitchen. I always crave sweets after dinner while watching TV. To avoid temptation, I'll go upstairs to watch my shows instead of sitting in the living room, which is attached to the kitchen. That way, I'm less likely to scavenge.

3. Invest in a slow-cooker. It's the ultimate time-saver. First thing in the morning, I throw in something simple, like turkey and sweet potatoes, and at the end of the day, I have a delicious and nutritious meal waiting for me.

As told to Lindsey Murray