I am going to type this edit to show you just how much life can change over a few years.
My Dad got sick, and I had some shit in my head that got me very depressed. Bring on the binge eating and drinking more. Then he died and things did not much improve. Guilt, over what I am learning were justified feelings through some deep soul searching, lead to more depression, binging, drinking, and insomnia.
Bring in buying a building to open my dream studio! Should have helped, right??? NOPE! The stress of owning a business is TOUGH! There is never enough time in the day(I still work a full-time day job). NEVER enough money. And fitness is a HARD business to make any money at to begin with. People are finicky about fitness. And statistics say, that as popular of a subject as fitness is, still less than 26% of all Americans who exercise (19% of women) get less than the 150 minutes of advised activity to promote good health. And the percentage of those doing ZERO is appalling! That said, I LOVE my studio! I do! It is the only place some days where I can truly be me and be happy! It is also the place where I push myself to exhaustion and well past, which resulted in some injuries that…YUP! you guessed it, brought more depression, binging, drinking, and add in STEROIDS! And then COVID-19! YAY! NOT 😡
All of this while dealing with menopause kinda kicked my butt! I am now back to weighing in around 235# I still work out a minimum of 5 days a week. I still eat healthy about 75% of the time. I still drink too much alcohol, and the 25% bad is REALLY bad! But as I write this on 10-25-20, I am working on recommitting to myself. I have started running, very slowly and only 2-3 times a week, but I am running. I am working on nutrition and am going to be starting a couple of online classes for my NASM-CPT renewal in that will help not only me, but help me help others more. They will be adding a Mental Toughness(Fitness psych class) AND *Corrective Exercise Specialist* to my Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Specialist credentials.
I am SO excited to get back to some of the things that I love that I have let slip out of my life.
Learning. Writing. Running. Yes, with some amazing support on my side from some old and some new friends, I am on my way back to ME
My name is Brenda and summer of 2008, I was
morbidly obese. I have lived my whole life chubby…fat…even
obese, but in September 2008, I was told that my numbers made me
“MORBIDLY” obese! That is a tough thing to hear. Not sure
exactly where to start, so let’s start with a few things about me
prior to September 2008. I was born weighing over 12 lbs! I was
always the chubby kid in school who faked sprained ankles to get out
of gym at least one week a month. Made it easy that I don’t have
cartilage between 2 bones in my right ankle, so no one ever
questioned me. Before even getting to high school, I had already
started dieting. Including the baby food diet, grapefruit diet, and
even sneaking my Mom’s diet pills. In high school it got worse. I
would starve myself and when I was forced to eat, I would
occassionally even purge. NOT A WAY TO LIVE! I just wanted to fit
After school, I got a jobs as a
Certified Nursing Assistant, and worked a lot! I was working up to
80 hours a week. I actually slimmed down quite a bit at this time,
but then I met the man who would end up being my husband:) Got a
little comfy, and then BAM! I got injured on the job. I herniated 3
disks in my lower back. Within 3 months, I had 2 surgeries, and
gained about 50 lbs. I was not healing, so I could not walk or
barely move. After the 2nd one, they put me in a more
gentle therapy at first that at least got me moving again. After a
year and a half of PT 3x’s a week, and sticking to a doctor sponsored
weigh loss plan, I got down to 150lbs(size 12).
Unfortunately, I thought that meant I
was DONE! I thought being at my goal weight gave me the green light
to eat WHATEVER I wanted. I started gaining right away, and was back
up to about 185-190 within a few months. I stayed there for a couple
years, until my back started showing wear and tear again. I had to
have a 3rd surgery, which included a 3 level spinal
fusion. Here came the rest of the weight. By the year 1998, I was
up to 230 and gradually crept up to 240, then 250, then 260, where I
hovered until September 2008, when BL Season 6 started airing their
promos and I decided this was my time. I weighed 263 lbs, which to my surprise was actually less than the 298# that I had weighed in at in May.
I had become so depressed, that I also had a 12 + can a day beer problem,
and a 1.5 pack a day cigarette problem. On September 16th,
I joined BLC. I learned a lot from who and what I found there, and
decided that now was not only my time to lose weight, but my time to
truly get healthy for the first time in my life! On October 20th
2008, I smoked my last cigarette, and decided that I was only going
to have beer once a week. Now, don’t get me wrong, I WAS AN ADDICT!
I am aware of this, and the next couple months were NOT easy. I
exercised and read weightloss books and fitness magazines. ANYTHING
to keep my mind off of food, beer, AND cigarettes. But I stuck with
my BLC friends, and even joined a BootCamp team, the Foxy Ladies.
And over the 3 years that I was a member there, made some of the best friends I will EVER find.
They have been with me through all the highs and lows, not just of
weightloss, but of life!
In January of 2009 I joined a gym, and
started working out with weights and walking/jogging on the
treadmill. In March I heard talk of a 5k called Bridge the Gap, and
decided THAT would be my motivation for the next 2 months. I was
going to try to RUN a 5k. On that beautiful Saturday morning in May,
I ran my first 5k in just over 38 minutes! I was SO proud of myself
for sticking to it! I stood on the other side of that finish line
and cried like a baby. That feeling was SO AWESOME, that I could not
contain my emotions. I was HOOKED! It didn’t matter how fast…it
was the feeling of accomplishment! I had DONE IT! I ran several
other 5k’s and even one 10k in 2009, and in January 2010, I decided
to sign up to train for the BTG Half-marathon. I finished in
2:13:13, and felt GREAT about it. Then I decided to go for the big
one! And I started training for my first marathon, the Illinois
Marathon in Champaign-Urbana on April 30, 2011. After a lot of hard
training, I ran on that beautiful spring Saturday 26.2 miles in
4:50:31. I was THRILLED to say the least:)
So, to sum up my last three and a half years, I
have went from a disabled, obese 37 year old couch potato who felt
80, to a fit 41 year old who is in the best shape of her life! I
have lost a total of 115#, have not had a cigarette in almost 4
years. And I did it by eating as healthy and clean as possible, and
exercising. I FINALLY realized that I was worth it. That I deserved
to be healthy, and was truly ready to start living! The hard work is
I am not yet certified as a Personal
Trainer or am I a Registered Dietician. But I have been working on
getting my CPT on and off for awhile now, and hope to soon find more
time to dedicate to getting certified. What you will find on this
blog is what worked for me to lose the weight and keep it off for
over a year and a half now. It is my experience and opinions only.
I hope if you are reading this, that it has inspired you and you are
soon on your way to a healthier and happier you!
6 Replies to “A Little about Me”
I have never heard your full story. You are an inspiration! My story is much like yours, too. I am enjoying your blog ever so much!
Your story is awesome Brenda! Love the blog, thanks for sharing!!!!
What an incredible story, you look amazing!!
You ROCK Brenda!! Awesome Blog!!
Thanks for sharing your story!! You are an inspiration!!
You are very inspiring!