We get so many inspiring emails from readers, and today we’re sharing another weight-loss success story with you! Read on for Brianna W.’s inspiring story. And feel free to share yours!
Weight has always been an issue in my life, ever since I was a young child. I can’t remember a time when I felt comfortable in my body.
By my 24th birthday, I was well over 300 pounds, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t think I was that big. Looking back, I compare it to an anorexic person who doesn’t think they are thin. In December 2007 at a work Christmas party, a picture was taken that gave me some big perspective. Looking at this photo, I realized I had to do something about my weight. People had told me over the years how to lose weight; they told me that I had to do it. But I’m the type of person that does not respond well to people telling me how to live my life—I had to make the decision for myself.
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On January 1, 2008, I made the same resolution I made every year before—to lose weight—except this time I stuck with it. One day at a time I made better choices, and I started to see changes. I wrote down everything I ate and counted calories. I told myself at the beginning of 2008 that this time was the right time; this time I was going to stick with it. I told myself that even if I slipped up, I would get right back on the bandwagon. At a starting weight of 360 pounds, I was overwhelmed, and I never thought I could reach my goal, and I never thought I would be happy in my skin. But I knew if I didn’t start now, then I was just procrastinating. After a year of being focused, I had lost almost 90 pounds. Most of this was through good eating, but once the weight started to come off, I gained confidence. I found I was able to do things I didn’t think I could do. I realized that I was fully capable of losing this weight—it would just take time.
I walked to work instead of getting a ride. I started swimming and trying new classes at the gym, and I made new friends and started to find happiness in my life. After I had lost my initial 90 pounds, my body stopped responding to calorie counting, and I plateaued for almost a year. I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose any more. I knew I couldn’t give up, as I had come so far. I just kept doing what I knew to do, which was to count calories and stay active. After a year of no change in my weight, I knew something needed to change. I decided to amp up my workouts and signed up for boot camp. I joined a program called “Biggest Winners” through a local fitness studio. The program is designed after the TV show The Biggest Loser. Joining this program has totally changed my life for the better. They taught me to not count calories, to eat five to six small meals per day and eat clean (no processed foods, white sugar/flour). I let go of the need to monitor every calorie that entered my mouth. I just ensured I was eating the right foods. In the Biggest Winners, I found a group of amazing people who were all facing the same struggle as me. We meet four days per week for boot camp, and I add in two additional days of workouts on my own.
Since I started my journey, I have lost 169 pounds—an entire person! I like to think that I lost that old me and a new me has emerged. I am a confident and strong woman now who can face any challenge thrown at me. My life is full of a list of things I can do—instead of things I can’t do because of my weight. I have climbed mountains. I have run 10Ks. I have motivated countless individuals to make positive and healthy changes in their lives. I have flown on an airplane without a seatbelt extender. I have developed life-long friendships with people I would never have met if I had remained at home and did nothing. I have developed a love for exercise and a love for healthy food. I am not at my final weight-goal yet, but I know that I will get there. This year I will run a half marathon. I will reach my final goal of losing 200 pounds. I will stay accountable to myself and everyone in my life, and I will succeed. —Brianna W.
We couldn’t be more inspired or more proud of Brianna! You are sooo an FBG, girl! Be sure to stay up to date on Brianna’s progress on her blog My Commitment to Me. —Jenn