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.





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Quitting Smoking


Smoking cessation has been a topic of discussion a lot lately.  Several people I know have decided to take on the difficult journey to kick the habit.  I myself have been on the same journey more than once.  But the last time I started the journey was almost 6 years ago.  But in this post, I want to talk to you about my observations about when I was smoking to when I am not.

First and foremost…..my breath smells 1000% better! 🙂

Second, I don’t feel like I have to cough up a lung every morning.

Third, I ran a freaking marathon!  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  OK, so losing 125# also helped me do that, but do you REALLY think I could have done it while smoking.  I had to take guaifenesin to clear my lungs just to be able to breath every day.

Forth, I want to tell you about the difference in healing.  I have had 3 back surgeries.  For the first 2, which were only laminectomies, I was smoking.  My healing took FOREVER!  In fact, I only had 5 months between the first two, and I am not sure I had fully healed from the first one before they cut me open again.  But when I had my 3rd, I had quit smoking.  It was a laminectomy with a spinal fusion following.  I had open bolts packed with bone that needed to grow, besides my regular healing.  I actually healed MUCH faster after that one.  Dr attributed the healing time to my quitting smoking before I had it done.

Fifth, my skin and around my mouth look SO DIFFERENT.  I no longer have that gray look to me, and I don’t have those leathery looking lines around my mouth that make women look WAY OLD before they are!

Sixth, I don’t have to go out in the cold when I am in public to smoke!  LOL!  Seriously though!  Did you know that you can not smoke ANYWHERE in public in Illinois?  And we have some COLD ASS winters!  LOL!  No thank you!  I get to stay in the indoor warmth when all of my still smoking friends are banned to the freezing outdoors if they want to smoke!

I am going to stop counting there, but come on!  Let’s be real for a minute!  I am more healthy.  I have more energy.  And them suckers are EXPENSIVE!  I know, because my husband still hasn’t quit! 😦  But I see him thinking about it more and more.  It is ridiculous how expensive they have gotten!  And in Illinois, the taxes on them make them even more crazy!  And I am sure that he is really getting sick of my nagging and whining about how things stink, and the crappy nicotine stains on EVERYTHING in my house and car!  LOL!  But he needs to come to it on his own, just like everyone else.  I can’t make up his mind OR do the work for him.

So please, if you are thinking about quitting smoking, I will tell you that my biggest saving grace when I quit was my exercise and my support system!  If you want to try to quit and improve your health all the way around, I would love to help you, by getting you into one of my support groups that will encourage you every day.  You will commit to drinking Shakeology, which will help your overall health through nutrition, stick to a fitness program, and staying active in the group for 90 days!   And I will commit to helping you stick it out by being your coach for FREE!  It is THAT IMPORTANT!

Within Beachbody, I belong to an AMAZING team of coaches.  Our Motto is Passion Over Fear!  Make your passion for living BIGGER than your fear of failing.  You CAN change!  You have to work to be the very best you that you can be!  It doesn’t come free, and it doesn’t come easy.  But it, AND YOU, ARE worth it!!!

Contact me through my website at www.bodybybrendat.net today and we can get you started ASAP!

Maintenance Confessional Time!

I am here!  I have not disappeared into the night!  LOL!

I know I should talk about it more, because it may help some of you to know that even though I have been successful in weight loss, I do still have times of struggle.  And 2013 so far has been one HUGE struggle after another for me.  Started it with an infected tooth, then got sick.  Finally started to feel better and was trying to get back training for my half marathon in April, but I was dealing with a bit of depression.  I just wasn’t sure WHAT exactly I wanted to do with my life right now.  I had BIG dreams of making “Body By BrendaT” into an online coaching business, but I had started to doubt myself and gave it up.

Then, when I did run that Half Marathon in April, I ended up injured, and ever since has been one disaster after another.  In the mean time though, I had joined Beachbody as a coach, and although I struggle finding my “niche” there, I have been introduced to some AWESOME people, and have found more personal development support through my team of coaches than I ever thought possible.  My personal coach is Jeremy Krakowski, who is Sandi Krakowski’s son.  And if you are a woman in business(a man too for that matter) and don’t know about the Krakowski’s and their business A Real Change (www.arealchange.com), PLEASE do yourself a favor and check them out and follow Sandi on Facebook!  She is AMAZING!

Anyway, back to Jeremy.  He is a very inspiring young man who has really turned his life around in the last year or so, and is just absolutely flourishing.  In both business AND his personal life!  Yet even as I have watched him doing all of this, I could not get myself back in MY “groove”.

The injuries were stacking up and getting me down!  And even though I tried to work around my injuries and get in my workouts, I was turning to my old friend for comfort.  FOOD!  3 weeks ago, I weighed in at the heaviest I have weighed in about 3.5 years.  I knew it was getting bad, because my clothes were getting really tight, but the scale actually read 176#!  I was MORTIFIED!!!  I had gained 15# since the beginning of the year.  I knew I had to do something, so I decided to go back and start working on MY dream.  I decided to start a 12-week challenge on Facebook for summer, to test my workouts and my coaching style on others and see if it helped them as much as it helped me.   We are only on day 5, but so far it is going pretty well.  Lots of engaged people and I am loving their feedback and watching them support each other on the Private Facebook Group.

So, I have buckled down, and decided it is time to take my life back and NOT let the old me take over completely!  I am back to eating about 90% clean, and working out WITH my Challenge participants, plus taking FIT classes at Legacy Martial Arts, and teaching Zumba there 2 nights a week.  And this morning, I was back down to 167#(which is the top of the range where I have hovered for the last 3 years), and starting to feel better about myself.

BUT…I also got some AWESOME yet SCARY news this week.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook, know how much I adore my buddy Stace Sanchez, who is the owner/photographer for KickPics Professional Martial Arts Photography whom I met last year through my instructor My Robert Bentley at Legacy Martial Arts…well….I found out he is coming to town a full month earlier than I thought he was this summer and will be here July 29th!  I am SO excited to see him and have him take pics again, but I want to be “ready” for him!  So I have a LOT of work to do over the next 6 weeks.

So, I plan to take some selfies again this weekend, and then I will show you what I plan to be an AWESOME transformation in just 6 weeks!  They say muscle has memory, and I am counting on it! 🙂  LOL!  I know I can’t get to where I had wanted to be in that amount of time, but with some hard work, I know I can be better in six weeks than I am today!  And by the end of the B3T 12-week Summer Challenge, I will be even closer!   I am back to enjoying the journey, not just racing to the destination!

I am so blessed to have so many people believe in me even when I struggle to believe in myself.  And I am more than happy to be that for anyone else who needs a cheerleader in their life who KNOWS it is possible and will help in any way I can.  I post daily on Facebook at Body By Brenda.  Please come join me for some inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.

Don’t wait for the timing to be perfect, because it will never happen.


This is one of my favorites of the pics Stace of me last year.