Happiest Day of My Life!




I was challenged today to share with you a part of my story that you may not know. Something I don’t talk a lot about. My wedding day! Well, let’s actually let’s start 6 weeks before my wedding day. It was March 9, 2003. It was a beautiful spring Sunday, and I was working in my yard. Cabin fever had got me like it did every winter, and I was looking forward to getting some flower beds cleared to prepare them for planting.  Nearly every Sunday(unless I had been shopping with her the day before), I called my Mom.  That day, I was going to call her when I went inside for the evening.  That is a call I never got to make.  We got a call from my Dad saying that Mom had passed suddenly in her sleep sitting in her favorite chair.

To say the least, I was DEVISTATED!  My Mom was my best friend.  She was the one person that no matter what crap I pulled, she still loved me totally and unconditionally!  And trust me, I pulled some doozies!  But that is a novel for another time.  She was my sounding board for EVERYTHING!  My confidant.  But she was always in poor health.  She had diabetes from a young age, which lead to heart disease, major eye problems, and eventually left her going to dialysis 3 days a week for the last 8 months of her life due to complete renal failure.

How was I supposed to have the “Happiest Day of My Life” without HER?  As I sat next to the gurney that she was on in hospital, holding her hand, I swore to myself that I would lose the weight, take better care of myself, and NEVER put anyone through all of the worry that she put us through with her health problems.  I was lying to myself.  I made it to my wedding day, I married my other best friend, and it was a wonderful happy day.  But there was still something missing, and I slipped into a dark place for awhile.  I was sad.  I was depressed.  And my replacement friends, became food and alcohol.  LOTS of alcohol!  I sat around for the next 5 years getting fatter and more unhealthy and more self-loathing.

But something told me in September 2008, that I was NOT a lost cause!  That no one is so broken that they can’t work on being MORE.  That is the thing about Rock Bottom…You still have a choice.  Settle and stay there until rock bottom becomes disease and death, or MAKE the changes you want in your life and RISE UP!


No one can do it for you!  YOU choose!  I was a scared, broken, depressed, sick, disabled, obese, chain smoking drunk who had never finished anything in her life, on my Day 1.  It’s OK!  You can have as many FIRST steps as you need.  As long as you never choose to take your LAST step!

So if you need a cheerleader in your corner, someone to stay accountable to, someone to push you a little along the way, or just someone that you can reach out to that understands that being fit does not always mean you look like a fitness model, but you are doing your best to be YOUR personal best…I would love to help!  Contact me about joining one of my Beachbody Challenge Groups, or about joining my team and leading by example as you are on your journey.





Facebook Body By Brenda

IG and Twitter @bodybybrenda

My Battle with Depression!

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I am a HUGE Robin Williams fan, and almost every morning, I start my posts with a hearty GGGOOOOOOOODDDD MOOORRRNNINNNGGGG!!!!  And every time I type it, I hear his voice in my head. 🙂  But the last couple days, I have realized that maybe I adore him so much, because I could feel a bit of a connection to him.

I don’t talk about this often, but I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I am going to be honest, in the fact that I believe that no one should EVER feel ashamed of having a mental illness, but I unfortunately still feel the need to keep some things about myself hidden.  I joke about it at times, but that is to hide the fact that the struggles and terrors were/are very tough on me.

I have never felt worthy of real love because I have never thought much of myself.  And my actions and appearance for most of my life were a testament to those feelings.  I was bullied and/or disrespected, in more way than one, often by people I either loved or thought were people I could trust.  At the age of 9, I had had enough, and tried to kill myself.  My Mom stopped me.  Then we brawled over the knife, and I was sent to a locked down adult psychiatric unit.  Where not only was I not helped, but I acquired even more demons by being passed around as a play thing between the other patients.  And by having quite possibly the WORST psychiatrist in the world who decided to try to “heal” me by scaring me with threats that I would never get to see my family again if I didn’t “shape up”!

I drove all those emotions down DEEP!  I learned to deal with the sadness and depression that was inside of me.  But since I was in such a dark place and still suffering inside, I put myself through a lot of self torture and self mutilation.  Cutting, burning, and eating disorders including bulimia and even an All Ex-Lax diet.  I looked for acceptance from ANYONE!  Sometimes I found it in not great places.  I always seemed to look for the “bad boys”.  Well, they NEVER disappointed, they all treated me pretty bad!  Tony(my now husband), with his long hair and fast car, looked “bad”, but he actually turned out to be a rare “one of the good guys” 😉  He listens to me when I need to talk without preaching to me what I should do to make me all better, and he never makes me feel like I “deserved” all the bad things that happened to me as a kid, or that I am weird or bad because these things are part of my past.   And even though he is not “in to” the whole Beachbody Coaching thing all that much, he supports me in it 100%, because he sees what it has done for my confidence to be around so many positive people.

So if things happen for a reason, maybe that reason was to make someone else eventually see this post and realize that they too can make a change and find a way to deal with the Rock Bottom, horrible, UGLY parts of your life.  Many things over the years have brought times of depression.  My back injury and the 3 surgeries that followed, alcohol addictions, losing my daughter, my Mom, and both of my In-laws, the struggles of watching my father age, put him in a nursing home, sell his house, and watching him slowly slip away to become a person I don’t even recognize anymore, and even the occasional  relationship/marital problems -neither of us is perfect, and marriage is WORK!   But I have been blessed to have someone who would listen.  And I always try to be there to listen without judgement when someone needs me to be there to vent to or spill their heart out to.  So even if I don’t always think great things about myself, maybe someone else will.

Still, it is so hard to see a man with so much love inside him and with the ability to spread such great happiness to so many, lose the battle against his own demons.  If you know someone who often does battle with something deep inside, don’t push, but if they reach out in even the most subtle of ways, try to keep your ears and heart open.

Rest in Peace Robin.

The Touching Story Behind Robin Williams’ Close Friendship With Christopher Reeve « K-EARTH 101.