Finding your inner glow is all about owning your life, and making positive changes when you can. About a year ago, I met a girl named Brittany. In the last 12 months, she’s not only become my best friend, but I’ve watched her totally transform her life.
After having 3 kids in 3 years, Brittany set a goal to lose 30 pounds before her 30th birthday, which is today.
She did it.
Here’s her story.
About a year ago, I was scrolling Facebook and noticed a friend had tagged me in a photo. I clicked on the picture, and immediately felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
I was at a friend’s baby shower, holding my son on my hip.
Our third child in 3 years.
And I didn’t even recognize myself.
I was bigger than I’d ever been.
And I had no idea how it’d happened.
Sure, the stress of motherhood was part of it. I’d gotten into a routine of drinking wine and eating chips as soon as the kids went to bed. I’d flip on some trash TV and numb myself as I prepared for another day of toddler tantrums, lost baby socks and dirty diapers.
I knew I wasn’t being good to myself, but I was too tired to care.
I’d never really been self-conscious about my body, but I had started to dread dressing up. I knew nothing would fit right. I didn’t like to see old friends. I, flat out, felt gross in my own skin.
So last April, I decided to start Beachbody. I signed up for the 21 Day Fix program, which consisted of drinking a shake one meal a day, and eating clean for the rest of the day. I also did a 30-minute workout DVD in my living room, 7 days a week, usually at naptime or after the kids were in bed (even if that was 11pm).
After those 3 weeks, I’d dropped about 10 pounds, but I knew it wasn’t sustainable. The Beachbody snack portions were way too small, and I didn’t want to have to continue buying the shakes. Also, to be completely honest, it really bothered me that a lot of people in the Beachbody community don’t just do the workout DVDs. They add in other workouts, so of course they lose more weight. It just seemed like false advertising to me. Thankfully, my Beachbody coach was awesome and continued to support my weight loss journey long after I moved on.
For the next several months, I dropped the Beachbody shake and continued to eat clean.
I surprised even myself and started getting up before dawn to workout, alone, in our garage. I’d do 45 minutes to an hour on the elliptical and then some strength training. My friends thought I was crazy. I never would have gotten up so early to work out before. But I was motivated. And it was working.
By October, I’d lost 18 pounds and slimmed down to my pre-pregnancy weight. It felt good. But, I was still 12 pounds from my goal.
I decided to join a local boot camp that some friends, including Janie, are a part of. Every morning, I’d leave my house at 5:30am to get to camp for a workout from 6am to 7am, while I watched the sunrise over Tampa Bay. The positive energy, encouragement and group mentality fueled my push to keep going.
We did a 4-week eating challenge, and I shaved off another 6 pounds.
But after that, for about 3 months, my weight kept yoyo-ing. I couldn’t seem to lose those last 6 to 9 pounds.
I was getting so frustrated, but I knew why I wasn’t seeing progress. I was drinking a lot, especially on the tough mothering days, and not sticking to my clean diet. I was still going to boot camp, so I knew that my workouts weren’t the issue. One day, Janie and I were talking, and I realized I was drinking 4 to 5 times a week. And it’s not like I would just have 1 drink and call it a night. It would be multiple drinks, which would lead me into eating some chips and dip (my favorite!) or whatever bad food was around.
And so, for the next 4 weeks, I cut out all alcohol and ate as clean as possible. I also started drinking more water. I kept a gallon jug in my car all day, so I’d be drinking more water while I was out. This upped my water intake from about a glass a day, to 5 glasses.
I’d have a smoothie or egg casserole for breakfast, and eat a banana. I don’t snack a lot, but if I did, it’d be hummus and veggies, apples, almonds, or even a small salad. I started falling in love with Greek yogurt, so I’d have that sometimes. Lunches were usually salads or dinner leftovers, and dinners were some sort of meat with veggies, just veggies or a good soup.
And then, one morning, I went to weigh myself.
And I couldn’t believe the number.
In those 4 weeks, I’d lost 9 pounds.
And in doing so, I’d hit my goal of losing 30 pounds before my 30th birthday. I was still a month out from my birthday.
As I saw that number on the scale, I knew all that I’d overcome to get there. All the early mornings. And all the ‘no thanks’ to a cheeseburger or Titos and soda. All the ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I can’t do this’ that I chose not to believe.
I just kept going.
And, finally, after 3 years of being overweight, I’d gotten there.
As I stood on the scale, I started weeping.
Because I was so freaking proud.
Being a mom of 3 young kids is not easy. And neither is losing 30 pounds.
But I did it.
And I’m so glad.
Before I began this journey, I thought I was happy with myself. But, I’d stopped finding the joys in life. I was just going through the day and doing the very least possible to get the day over with. People on the outside saw me as the same happy person, but on the inside, I was hurting. I felt ugly. I felt gross.
I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until the weight started coming off.
The best part about losing the weight isn’t looking better. It’s about feeling better, from the inside out. It’s about regaining my lost confidence. It’s about feeling light and positive. My heart is happy, and I feel absolutely amazing.
Oh, looking good naked doesn’t hurt either. (*wink*)
Congrats, Brittany! If you’d like to send Brittany an encouraging message, please comment below.