A lot of people have been complimenting me lately on my weight loss. But the compliment is usually followed up by a question of, how'd you do it? So, here is my answer.

1. I got my heart broken

The totally honest truth is that I went through the worst breakup I've ever experienced. I weighed 160 pounds when it happened, and I only stand five foot three inches, which means I was technically overweight.

I've definitely heard of girls experiencing weight loss immediately following breakups, but it had never happened to me until this time around. It was probably a combination of crying, stress and having to adjust my entire life. It takes a toll on your mind and body.

2. Stress in general

The breakup definitely wasn't the only stressor in my life. I was also stressed about school, money, work, family and more. I was a full-time college student and part-time waitress, trying to make ends meet in a state 800 miles away from my friends and family.

Do I recommend this course of action in particular? No. But it's the situation I put myself in, and the overall stress of life I think contributed to my weight loss.

I am not advocating any of this as healthy. I am simply aware of the major effects stress can have on the body, especially when not managed well (stress management post coming soon, y'all).

3. Drinking LOTS of water

One healthy thing I have done that has helped me lose weight is drinking a ton of water. I bought two 32-ounce Contigo Addison water bottles from Wal-Mart, and I fill it with ice and water every morning and try to drink at least two entire bottles every day. Some days I accomplish this, and some days I don't. Making the conscious effort to drink more water has not only helped me lose weight but helped me feel more healthy and even made my skin clear up.

4. Cutting soda out of my diet

While I was never a frequent soda drinker, I didn't hesitate to sometimes indulge in a Fanta orange soda or glass of sugary juice. Now, I limit my non-water drink on a daily basis to one, sometimes two, cups of hot coffee in the morning. The rest of the day, I drink water only. I will make an exception though, for a glass of ginger ale if I have a stomachache or the occasional glass of wine after work. Other than that, I stay a strictly water girl!

5. Being more conscious of what I eat

I applied the same process of choosing to cut virtually all non-water fluids out of my life to my eating habits as well. Now, not saying I don't indulge in my restaurant's delicious fried chicken, or a little ice cream at the end of a rough shift, but, I have definitely made more conscious decisions about what I put in my body. In a typical day, I will have a cup of coffee and a Nature Valley peanut granola bar for breakfast, a salad with grilled chicken or a sandwich with turkey, lettuce and tomato for lunch and usually a piece of chicken for dinner.

I have steered away from buying snacks like chips at the grocery store and aim for healthier foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.

6. Cutting down on portion sizes

When I was at my heaviest, I could eat an entire half pound of pasta by myself. Now, the thought makes me sick. I started cutting down on my portion sizes at first to three-quarters of what I was used to eating.

Once my stomach got used to that portion size, I cut down to almost half of what I was originally eating. Over time, my stomach got accustomed to smaller portion sizes and now I get fuller faster. This is a good way for me to cut down on calorie intake.

7. Getting those steps in

While I have never gone out of my way to exercise — despite knowing that it's good for me — I do waitress for a living, which involves walking and being on my feet anywhere from four to 14 hours a day. I don't wear a pedometer, but I definitely should because I can't even imagine the number of steps I put in during a long shift.

While it is not exercising in the traditional sense like running on a treadmill or lifting weights, it was a way for me to walk off the pounds without ever stepping foot in a gym! I've never been a fan of the gym. If you are, props to you!