Brooke started her fitness/weight loss journey because she got engaged and wanted to look and feel great for her wedding day. However, along the journey her perspective has changed and that’s what makes her story so amazing.
So Brooke, what motivated you to lose weight and get in shape?
What originally motivated me to want to lose weight was getting engaged. I knew I couldn’t look and feel like I did about myself on my wedding day. Now, what motivates me is how much better I feel about not only myself but my relationships with other people in my life. When I started getting healthy so did everything around me. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually I have grown and it is something I want for the rest of my life. It’s safe to say this journey is not about the dress anymore.
Will you share some of the things you do?
I am still on my journey of losing weight but I try to exercise 5-6 times during the week whether that is going to boot camp, running, or both. Also, finding fun things to do on the weekend like hiking help keep me active too. Eating good balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep at night, and keeping my stress at a minimum are all things I am continuing to do to lose weight.
When did you really start seeing results? Was there something significant you did?
I really saw the most results in about 6 weeks; this was when I started taking my diet more seriously. I learned quickly that I couldn’t just exercise all I wanted and eat all that I wanted too. Jeff’s meal plan’s and smoothie recipes are what keep me in line but another thing I will say helps me is not being too strict on myself. For me, there has to be a little room for exceptions or I will feel like I am forcing myself to do something that I don’t want to do. It’s okay to have a piece of cake every now and again or to give yourself a day of relaxation. Little things like this are just as important and keep me going!
What are the big changes you made to your diet?
Cutting out late night snacking and taking on portion control have helped me tremendously. I stopped drinking sodas years ago and went to only water but I upped my water intake and it’s nothing for me to drink a full glass before a meal now. I like to let my fiancé, Kyle in on what I plan on eating. Telling him what’s for lunch today or dinner tomorrow somehow tricks my brain into thinking, “Okay this is what you have to eat!” It may sound silly but I don’t want to go back to him with the bad news of having pizza today instead of a salad that I told him about.
How important is diet to weight loss?
Diet is oh so important! Eat smart and you will be successful. I have days where I fall off track but you have to jump right back on, you can’t just unpack and stay there or you will end up right in the place you were when you started. Diet and exercise go hand and hand. I can tell such a difference when I am eating well because my workouts go good and I feel great. If I ate horrible I can literally feel myself dragging and not doing my very best. This alone makes me put my diet first because in the end I am only cheating myself.
Do you have any advice for people who are currently on a weight loss journey or those contemplating starting a journey?
The best advice I can give would be to find an accountability partner. I have gained so many friendships through this change in lifestyle but the most important is the friendship I have with Rachel. She is such an inspiration to me and keeps me on my feet at all times. Days that I don’t feel like going to the gym or on one of our runs I make the choice to go anyways because I wouldn’t want to put her out of a great workout. New achievements and goals that we reach encourage the other without even realizing it sometimes and that is something that I truly believe everyone needs.
Do you have anything to add that might help someone who’s struggling?
Stay with it! There will be days that you feel down or you feel like all of this is too much and too hard but we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. In 6 months all of those negative thoughts will go away and you will truly feel like a new person. I am just an average person who decided to make the best change for myself and for my life and so are you.
Thank you Brooke for sharing your story with all of us. You are doing wonderful and I look forward to seeing pictures of you in your wedding dress soon. You never know who you may have inspired to get up and make a change. You are an inspiration.
Inspiring You To Accept the Challenge,
I love reading about people who achieve. The kind of folks that lay it all on the line to achieve extraordinary results. People who set goals, develop plans and follow those plans through a wall if they must, to succeed.
We have many success stories in our little community. Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight folks who have knocked it out of the park. As a matter of fact, if you have a success story you want to share let me know by e-mailing me firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be a weight loss goal, fitness goal, or even a medical goal that you crushed!
Fred has won at least one of the 28 Day Challenge categories over the last four competitions. As a matter of fact, Fred has lost 60+ lbs. since July of last year. This is quite a feat because he has put on probably 20-30 lbs. of muscle as well. That means Fred has probably lost more than 80 lbs. of fat over the past 10 months.
So, what made you decide to get started on your fitness journey?
I was on vacation last summer and stepped on a scale and it said 292 lbs. That was the closest I’ve ever been to 300 lbs. I decided right then when I returned I would join boot camp where my son was doing sports camp.
How did you get your weight loss jump started?
I started going to boot camp 5-6 days per week and would go twice a day some days. I really cut back on carbs. I still eat fruit but eliminated bread and really limited pasta and potatoes.
When did you really feel like you were seeing results and was there a major change you made?
I made progress the first month and that motivated me to stay consistent and work that much harder. The real key to success is being consistent with your workouts and your diet.
What were the major changes you made in your diet?
I stopped drinking soda and reduced my carbs considerably. I eat lots of vegetables, fruit, lean meat and drink a lot of water. One thing I do is have a cheat day every now and then, but the important thing is getting back on track after the cheat day. Diet is the most important piece of weight loss and if I cheat too much I can feel the weight coming back quite quickly.
What is your advice for people contemplating change or those currently losing weight?
Drink plenty of water and use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat fewer carbs and really tighten up on your diet. 20% ease up, have a good time and eat something you really want to eat.
The most important thing you can do is expect bad days. Don’t QUIT and throw in the towel! Start over and move forward toward your goal.
A special thanks to Fred for taking the time to share his success story with us. If you’ve already started your fitness/weight loss journey keep moving forward. If you’re contemplating getting started the first step is the hardest. Get up off the couch and start moving or your more than welcome to join us at boot camp. Either way your fitness story awaits, its waiting for you to write it.
Motivating You to Accept the Challenge,