Are You Losing All Your Marbles?

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Use marbles or rocks in a jar to count pounds you've lost says celebrity trainer Heidi Powell - Learn more at

In Chantell’s episode of Extreme Weight Loss, she used 2 mason jars and marbles to help her visualize her first goal. One jar held  91 marbles, each representing 1 pound, that she needed to lose, to reach that first milestone. The other, empty, awaiting to be filled!

As she lost each pound, she moved a marble to the second jar, and continued to move marbles  from one to the other, as she worked off each and every one of those pounds, helping her visually see her progress. She was literally watching herself lose her marbles! πŸ™‚

Creating a way to help you see how you are doing as you work on a goal can help you see greater success and serve as a reminder of what you are focused on attaining. Keep it where you will walk past it and see it regularly to help you stay on track.

You can fill a jar not only with marbles, but with anything similarly small like decorative rocks or even buttons! Mason jars are inexpensive, and if you don’t have any readily handy, check the goodwill for fun jars and containers to hold “your weight”.  I love these darling apothecary jars filled with pebbles! The possibilities are endless as you create a way to visually track your goal. You can even include your favorite motivational quote to give you additional inspiration!

How do you track your goals? Let me know in the comments below!


160 Responses

  1. Soon after embarking on my own weight loss journey, I watched this episode. Immediately after the episode I whipped up my own version, using two small cube-like glass containers with decorative rocks (previously home made centrepieces). The centrepieces remind me of my sister-in-law as I made them for her bridal shower – and she is super fit and inspiring! I find it is so motivating and reminds me of my goal – and cute! Great idea! πŸ™‚

  2. I use the little heart glass pebbles…to remind me of the benefits to my heart and to remind me of the loved ones I can be around for longer for….

  3. Hi Heidi,

    I watched the episode w/Chantelle tracking her weight loss w/marbles in a jaw. I think I will start that this weekend. Thanks.

  4. Thanks Heidi, this idea will really keep motivated…it kinda reminds me of the God box I had when I was younger the concept there was everything you worried about you put on pieces of paper and put it in the box. If its in the God box that means its in Gods hands but if start worrying about you have to take it out and its back in your hands. So the point is it
    Gods will or your will…

  5. I’m going to try this. I’m 5’4″ 150 pounds and I want to be down to at least 125-130 where I’m comfortable at so I’m going to get me 2 jars and some rocks or marbles and watch as I accomplish my goal. This was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. You and Chris are just the best and sweetest people on earth.

  6. What a great way to visually see your progress when sometimes it hard to see a weightless on ourselves.

  7. This was so inspirational that I decided to do the jars during my process. I keep the jars on my dresser so I can see them when I wake up and go to bed. Keeps me focused and on track. You and Chris are a godsend in my life! Keep those awesome ideas coming!

  8. I thought this was a little silly; but it really helps you to visualize what your goals and accomplishments.

  9. I LOVED this idea. It can show you where you have been and where you are without having to worry about numbers. I just started this after the show. I hate standing on a scale to see where I am so I started the jar and I fill it with each pound.

  10. I am so on the look out for the cutest jars for this idea – I live near the beach and will be using seashells to remind I am working towards a bikini πŸ™‚

  11. I loved Chantell’s story and the mason jar of marbles. I track my goals on my iphone, but I think I want to try the marbles because its a visual and a reminder!

  12. I think is an amazing idea, because that way when you look at it, you know what your trying to accomplish and can see what you have accomplished already. #1 post for Choose More Lose More for Life! πŸ˜‰ pray I win!!!!

  13. There is so much power in remembrance! I’ve been on my (latest) weightloss journey for about a month and one thing that has made all the difference has been journalling my success. It’s easy to get wrapped up in “I want [insert unhealthy food choice here] and I want it now!” but my journal helps remind me of how good it feels to have lost over 10 lbs just through diet change/exercise. Also, it helps me realize “small things” like “I haven’t had a migraine since I quit dairy/glutein” or “I haven’t had a stomach ache since I started this diet” or “I feel so much stronger today than I did last week at yoga.” That being said, as much as I love my journal, I’m getting myself some marbles!

  14. This is a fantastic idea! I am starting to do this today & I already have 3 marbles to move over ! Love this !

  15. I am also using the marbles. I have two pretty glass containers, about 50/50 at the moment! One of my friends used a small round fishbowl for her pounds to lose, and a tall slender vase for pounds lost. πŸ™‚

  16. I have a an empty candy jar that I put a dollar per mile in daily. I wear a fitbit to track my miles. Right now I am doing 2 miles a day but that will increase. I want a new pair of running shoes, I have never ran before other then high school sports like field hockey. I always get really out of breath and light headed, watching Chantells episode gave me hope I can do it. I try not to weigh myself that often, because I self sabatoge weight loss if it is going well.

  17. Looking forward to trying this!! Currently a work in progress and can use the visual aspect of this! Great idea! πŸ™‚

  18. Such a great idea. I am doing this! Going to get marbles and going to have my kids move them for me every weekend. So proud of my whole family for being open to making the food changes with me. Turnbough transformation 2013.

  19. I absolutely loved this idea! You lose motivation sometimes when you don’t see a certain number on the scale, so I LOVE this idea of being able to see how much you have already lost on your journey, and to be proud of that!!! GREAT IDEA!! <3

  20. I love this idea. Dollar Tree is an inexpensive place to get a cute jar & what my granddaughter calls “treasure rocks” (clear polished glass pieces). You can get all kinds of colors to make your jar more interesting. Put a before picture on the beginning jar also helps to visualize why the jar needs to be emptied.

  21. I have two jars (with lids) sitting on my dresser that came from the glass area/section from Hobby Lobby. I used paint pens to write on each of them – one says “Pounds to lose” and the other says “Pounds lost”. I have two types of colored glass pebbles inside of them. The lids say things underneath. One says my starting weight. The other says my goal weight and how much that is. Week one is done as of today and I’m 12 pounds down…so 12 pebbles over into the other jar!!!

  22. I’ve seen this on pintrest and have been interested in trying it. I love the jars and stones idea nice way to change it up and stay motivated.

  23. I saw this on the show and I think it is a great idea. I am a visual learner and this is something that is perfect for me! Now all I have to do is get the marbles and container!

  24. I have a similar reminder in my bathroom. Slowly but surely the rocks are moving from one vase to the other.

  25. I started this a few months ago! It really helps as a visual motivator and reminds me that yes sometimes it can go slow but it’s still filling up!

  26. This was a great idea and I would love to try it but I am addicted to the scale and seeing the weight go down. So my previous trainer told me to get rid of the scale as it was killing my success and he was right. It became an obsession so for me this idea would only work if I had a friend keep my scale and only let me weigh myself every 2 weeks.


  28. Loved watching this episode and when i saw the jars on the show i thought i had to do this! Great way to actually see your progress. We all know that at times we cant see or feel our pounds shedding off. Good idea!

  29. I totally love this idea and need to find something to do this with because I need that visual. I often find myself getting discourage if I can’t visually see improvement.

  30. I will be doing this. My husband is always trying to get me to print out a chart showing my weight loss for motivation but I don’t really find that motivating to have my weight posted on the fridge for everyone to see! But this is fun! I’m going to enjoy this, and he will also be pleased to see my success.

  31. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  32. I thought I lost my marbles when my children were teenagers…I can’t wait to buy 2 cool jars and some marbles to track my progress! Genius idea!

  33. I thought this was a fab idea!! Last week I started my diet and at the end of week 1 I had only lost 3 Ibs. On the other hand my husband had lost 6 Ibs. I felt so deflated my first reaction was forget it where’s McDonald’s. I have to realize that turning 40 has put my metabolism in reverse. Okay not in reverse but its not as fast as when I was 20. Anyway the marble idea with the glass jar is a great visual idea to keep me on track. I’ll enjoy seeing the empty jar grow with marbles. Didn’t get the McDonald’s. I would love to know how much exercise you should do per day to lose weight. As I am sure half an hour on the cross trainer isn’t enough. Thanks for all the inspiration that you and your hubby give to people all over the world. Thanks.

  34. This is a great idea. Going to go buy some tomorrow. I have been a yo yo dieter my whole life maybe this will help me stay on track. The visual aspect may help. Thanks for the idea. (:

  35. Love this VISUAL for helping people really grasp their achievements and their goals! Great idea! πŸ™‚

  36. I LOVED this idea, My 6 year old daughter actually helped me make my own by decorating mason jars, she wrote on construction paperm “pounds to lose” and “pounds lost” and glued them to the jars. She also added stickers. It makes it even more meaningful because every time I see them and move a marble I am reminded that I am not only doing this for myself, but for her, so I can set a good example, and be able to be active and enjoy my time with her πŸ™‚

  37. I love this idea! Myself and my 13 year old need to lose a lot of weight. I’ve been looking for ways to help motivate her and myself. I think this is an awesome way…just perfect! Thank you so much!!!

  38. Losing my marbles is not what I thought I wanted to tell people, after Chantells episode, I am proud to say to everyone, I am losing my marbles.

  39. That is an awesome idea! Its also encouraging. I am gonna do this starting NOW. Thank you so much for your inspiration. I think you and Chris are a wonderful couple and awesome team. Thanks for dedicating most of your time to help people like me get into shape and meet our goals. I have a long road ahead of me but I am determined. Thanks again!

  40. TWO JARS?? YES!! I already have “one” jar that I was attempting to fill with “yellow craft stones” representing (1 stone = 1 lb. of fat). BUT…having 2 jars and transferring them is even BETTER!! GREAT idea to add to my “Lard jar”!! I have 300 yellow stones to transfer!!! Will keep you updated on my progress. THX for the inspiring shows! LisaMN

  41. Fantastic idea!! I tend to stick with my phone apps and a few other websites. This is so crafty though and cute :).

  42. This is awesome! I’m a visual person and this would really help me lose those last 10-15lbs!!! Thanks for the awesome tip!

  43. I thought this was such a great idea!! I keep a log book but I don’t have to look at it every day. This way I could just take a glance multiple times a day to remind me!!

  44. I love this idea, especially with the apothecary jars. Talk about instant keepsake, especially with a two sided photo frame with before/after pics. Still working toward “after.” πŸ™‚ 22 down/60 to go!

  45. Great motivation! You can see it happen before your eyes! It’s hard you sometime understand or get enjoyment when your working out do hard you see the scale move to take out from to lose and put into the lost has to be an amazing feeling!

  46. This was such a wonderful idea. I’m thinking about using it for my own weight loss goal counter since I don’t have one of my own ;P

  47. This is such a neat, and motivating idea! I remember seeing these jars on Chantell’s episode! Must give it a try!

  48. I did get a chance to see the jar on chantells episode, unfortunately someone in my house stopped recording 25 minutes in to watch soccer. I was very unhappy to discover only 25 minutes recorded. πŸ™ but I agree it’s a very creative way to track weight loss. I’ve been struggling for 9 months to lose my baby weight and would very much love to win Chris’s book. I know it is going to be autographed by him but if you could autograph it too that would be so exciting. If I win. :/ again, great tip. I will see if I can get my fianc? on board. πŸ™‚

  49. LOVE this idea! My husband and I are committed to getting ourselves healthy, and our kids! Can’t wait to lose MY marbles!!! πŸ˜‰

  50. LOVE! Such a cute idea! I’m so visual and this is an amazing representation for me! Thank you for everything!!

  51. I keep track in my mind of how many pounds I have lost. I can tell by how my clothes fit and how I feel. I keep on track by making a fitness goal which is my very first full marathon! 26.2 miles! In Oct! So scared and so excited all at once! lol Thanks for giving us unique ways to keep going!

  52. I have several friends that do this too. I am going to make me a loss jar. I have lost 31 lbs. so far and have 5 lbs. to go to my goal! The last 5 lbs. are the hardest to loose.

  53. This is a great idea! I am a visual person so it would be a great motivation to move the marbles from one jar to the other πŸ™‚ Thanks for the tip! Krista

  54. I love that these were featured! I’ve been using pounds jars for about 6 months now and am 13 months into my journey! I have lost 152 lbs and have watched the “lbs left” jar wind down! 28 lbs left to my goal πŸ™‚

  55. I love this idea and will be using this as a visionary tool to help others (as well as keep myself on track)! Thank you for being such a positive show that truly cares. xoxoxoxo

  56. This is an awesome idea. I used to use something similar to this with my kids when they were little. They would earn “poker chips” for chores and behavior and put them in jars so they could see their progress (then they could buy a reward based on value etc). I will be buying 75 rocks or marbles when I go shopping tomorrow, that was my goal when I started the Turbo Cycle last Monday.

  57. Heidi,

    this is a great innovative idea!!! I just may swipe it from you! I have to tell you that you and Chris are such a source of inspiration for me. I don’t have over 100 lbs to lose, but I do have 50 and it’s been a mountain of a climb.

    Watching you two on your show and reading on your sites have really encouraged me. I know this is crazy, but I felt undeserving of the weight loss. Many reasons. No need to bore you. I can see and sense your sincerity in everything you do.

    I am a registered nurse and know what to do because I discuss good food choices with my patients. I just don’t always practice it, but I have gotten better. My discouragement comes in having hypothyroidism that is difficult to keep in check, and physically at 59 after a two level lumbar fusion and an artificial knee replacement, my body doesn’t always want to cooperate!

    Going forward I hope to let you know of the success of my journey! Keep up your good work and I’ll keep plugging along on my walking and use of the elliptical at the gym!

    Thanks for all you do!!!

  58. I read this this morning and actually went out to the store and bought the stuff for it. I’m a visual person so on the days I get discouraged I just look at how far I have come and it gives me a little push in the right direction!!! Thanks for the tip!

  59. Using this idea with inches lost! I know that I will eventually gain weight again because it will be muscle! Cheers to being strong!

  60. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!!!! This could also help my kids get even more involved and help them in their progress too! Thank you!!!

  61. Great Idea… I was on that one right away. I used a simple salsa jar but I love these… way cool. Mine sits on the window sill and I see it all day… Awesome to reward your self with moving your marbles or stones or what have you into another container… Hey! just occurred to me… I should use the Petoskey Stones my mom gathered when she was here… AWESOME… Can’t wait for Saturday to see how many more I can put in there… πŸ™‚

  62. This is a great idea! I track my weight lost in a graph. I put it on the refrigerator. It helps every time I am bored. Instead of grabbing food, I get a drink of water and do 20 minutes on the elliptical.

  63. I’ve been using this trick to keep me in the right mindset. I also rescued a dog this week who needs to be walked daily, so I’ve got a living BREATHING motivation (besides myself, whom I usually put on the backburner — I’ve got to work on that) to get out there EVERYDAY and lay some steps down. πŸ™‚

  64. This is something I will add to my weight loss routine. I did something similar when I quit smoking and it worked. Haven’t smoked in over 20 years. I am planning on doing the same thing as I did then. I will physically put a quarter into a jar for every pound I lose. As soon as I have enough money saved for a treat, I will use the money to reward myself.

  65. LOVE this idea. Wish I would’ve thought of it at the beginning of my weight-loss journey, but it’s never too late. One of my best friends created hers after watching the episode from last week and they are great! What a smart visual. Thanks!

  66. I thought this was very clever! I actually already bought my jars. I just need something cute for my “marbles”. I try not to focus too much on the numbers, but hey lets face it: There is a goal and I want to reach it!

  67. I have done this. I have a LOT to lose and it is helping (great motivational tool) I have a $100 note at the bottom of my “lbs to lose” jar and once I reach the last lb I’m going to treat myself to something.

  68. Such a great idea and a wonderful motivator! It is nice to be able to see those changes because sometimes with weightloss, you know you are losing since your sizes are changing with clothes but when you look at yourself everyday, it is hard to tell. This provides you with a visual, awesome idea!

  69. This is an awesome idea and I am so going to start doing this! I love watching Exterme Weight loss with your hubby and look forward to a inspiring story every week! Thank you for loving people so much!

  70. What a great idea but I have had so many set backs trying to overcome something I don’t even know where to start for a goal

  71. That is a really good idea, I am getting stuck at odd point were I am falling on old patterns. Maybe a visual aid is just what I need to help me find the motivation to put fitness back to the front of the journey. I am the lightest I have been in 8 years, and while I have come a long way I still have so far to go.

  72. This is an insanely great idea. I’m a visual person and it’s easy to set up with things we all probably have around our house. I like the idea because I would hate to have to put a marble back because I gained weight. Thanks!

  73. Excellent visual aid. There should be a rewards jar too….with lil rewards like shopping trips….beach day etc for reaching mini goals

  74. Thanks for the great idea. I’ve implemented it right away with 5 cent pieces. 41 to be correct. That stands for 20.5 kg. Probably the first one moves te another jar tomorrow.

  75. I think this is suh a creative idea! I just have to find some rocks…living in az, I think I’ll find them easily. Haha

  76. I just watched her episode last night and I’m definitely going to try this!! Have 55lbs to lose!

  77. I LOVE each and every episode – you and Chris put your entire beings into helping these people. I have to admit Chantell’s was one of my favorites – this women NEVER whined or complaint and could have so easily blamed her family for encouraging her unhealthy lifestyle but she never did. Chantell pushed through and always had a can do attitude! I hope she is still happy and healthy today!

  78. I absolutely love this idea, I am definitely going to do this as I meet with a nutritionist today and start my journey to lose 75 lbs. Thank you for your inspiring stories.

  79. I absolutely love this idea. I will definitely be trying it while I work on my own weight loss. And I will write one of my favorite motivational quotes on the jar, which is actually from Chris himself: “Success is in the journey.”

  80. When I saw Chantell use the marbles I loved it and knew I would utilize it. Sometimes the mirror shows us how we feel not the true self when going through changes. I am not one for gimmicks. I like the facts and let’s do it, BUT this I absolutely Love!

  81. A buck a pound πŸ™‚ for every pound I lose a dollar goes in a jar – so when I reach a goal I can use the ‘hard earned money’ to ‘treat’ myself with something special – new workout clothes, movie, etc. πŸ™‚

  82. Heidi – this is great and I love the idea! But as I’m gaining muscle, I’m totally frustrated by the fact that I’m GAINING weight instead of losing it. πŸ™
    Personally, I’m fitness-goal driven, and I’m thinking that I’m going to start filling a jar for every mile run. Or each day I complete my 9 minute mission AND cardio goal. What do you think?

  83. I do something similar! I have 2 mason jars with different colored glass rocks. The jar that the rocks get moved to have button flowers in them that don’t stay standing up unless the rocks get moved over. Each rock represents a half pound and I have moved 66 rocks! I keep them at the top of my stove as a reminder to make good choices in the kitchen!

  84. Ive got a viusalisation board with you and Chris above my bed and with all my goals I want to achieve each week. It is very helpful and motivatonal πŸ˜‰

  85. Love this idea!!! Have trouble staying motivated. Always start with the best intentions but get discouraged after a couple of weeks. To see progress in a tangible way that is a reminder every time you walk by it is a great way to stay motivated. Now just have to go buy a scale. You and Chris are a great inspiration to so many. Keep up the wonderful work you do.

  86. I really would love to do this for the last 46 pounds I want to lose. This is such a great idea. I’ve been having a hard time losing the last 46 pounds and have stayed the same weight for a couple weeks now. Thank you and Chris for your hard work! I will do this πŸ™‚

  87. I’m a big fan of the app Lose it! Since 7/5/12 I have recorded all my food, beverages and exercise and I’ve lost 19 lbs. It’s super easy. But I love this idea too!

  88. I really loved this idea and was excited to watch her move her marbles over. SO much so, I am going to steal the idea. I want to loose 100 pounds.

  89. I really like this idea! Thanks, I think visualizing the goal will help in keeping on track and reminding why I’m doing what I’m doing.

  90. I really want to do this! But I really want marbles. I am having a hard time (I guess I’m being picky) finding marbles for a cheep price. I need over 200 for myself and my best friend who is joining me on my journey. Any suggestions?

    1. Maybe start with a goal of 50? Then refill and start again once you hit 50. Maybe put a BIG marble in to represent the 10lb milestones or something?

  91. I write my weight on a pad and the corresponding weights to my goal weight (250,249,248,247….200). Each weigh-in I get to rip off the number of pounds I’ve lost. I make sure I shred those numbers to signify I will never see those pounds again! I think I will try the marbles for my next goal.

  92. What a great idea. I collected sea shells on vacation last year and have not done anything with them maybe I could use those. Besides I lost my marbles a long time ago, hehe.

  93. I just started keeping a tally on my phone and every five tally marks I treat myself to a massage! I love it so far! πŸ™‚

  94. writing on my calendar each day what cardio I do. I am looking forward to looking at it at the end of the month and seeing most days notation of great exercise history. I ahve 80 to lose, and a ANniversary trip a tthe end of september. My friend suggested a note int he kitchen saying “160 or chocolate Chip cookies?” EVERY choice is either towards or away from yoru goal.

  95. As much as I hate having pictures taken of me when I’m large, I went ahead and was purposeful about doing it. After I lost my first 75 lbs, I made a beautiful Shutterfly photo book documenting that part of my journey. It was so helpful to be able to look back and see just how far I had come. Not only with my weight but with all the new things I tried along the way. Most of my rewards for hitting goals were things like hikes, camping trips, rock wall climbing, etc. My life was completely different and I had the pictures to prove it πŸ™‚ That turned out to be VERY helpful when I hit a plateau for several months.

  96. Looks like little polished rocks in the picture. But I must say I love the Idea of using marbles to count the pounds lost. Got to love Chantell’s determination.

  97. I have dollar store jars and stones. I used puff paint to label “pounds lost””pounds to go”. It has been great to hear them drop into the lost jar!

  98. When I saw the jars and marbles I thought to myself–I NEED TO DO THIS!! It seems like the perfect way to watch/track progress!! Thanks for the idea!!

  99. I pay myself for my workouts. I keep a dry erase calendar to keep track. For every mile I run, I get $1 of fun money. I give myself a $1 for spin class or Crossfit or whatever else I do to break a sweat. Kind of fun to see how much fun money I’m going to get!

  100. Loved this episode!! I track my loss with quarters, when the jar is filled I treat myself to something. Lately my numbers havent been budging, and I am quite frustrated. Still hve a long way to go, and not really understanding why I am stuck. πŸ™‚

  101. I watched Chantell’s episode and I loved the idea of the marbles.ive seen this idea before and now I’m doing the same thing with beads because its what I had at the time. In just starting the journey and have a goal of 50lbs!!! The marbles are anther visual for myself to see the weight I’m loosing!! The real visual will be the fit of my clothes and when my body changes!!! I’m so excited and what’s one of the best things about this journey is my husband is right by my side!!!

  102. I have a pile of post-its with each weight written on it until my goal weight. I have the satisfaction of tearing up each post-it and throwing it away and I pass that weight!

  103. Paper Clips. I tried to post a pic here to show you my cool paper clip strand, but I can’t figure it out. I will try to post it to FB. πŸ™‚

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