Before and after, June and November, 2010 are pictured above. Just like in the commercials, I'm also tan in the "after" picture! Haha, that was not planned! The first one just happened to be not only before losing the weight, but also before spending several months outside running and three weeks at the cottage water skiing.
15.4 pounds, 3.6% body fat, and 22.5 inches is the total change (plus, back to my just-started-college-have-not-yet-discovered-the-never-empty-table-of-cookies-yet size!!). I feel like a new person! It's really strange, but really good. And all I really want to say in posting this is (1) I'm really happy and proud, and (2) you can totally do this, too, if it's something you need/want!!
I don't want to sound like some kind of advertisement, but I never knew how much 15 pounds would change me (both by gaining in the first place and by losing after the fact). It's still hard to believe this has even happened. I felt chubby from ages 13-26, half of my life. For most of that time I wasn't really that chubby, I was just a teenager thinking I needed to look like a model. Then between the end of college and my first few years being married and holding a real job, I gained 15 pounds. I didn't like it, but I just worked on making it the new normal. It wasn't normal though; it was uncomfortable.
Quitting teaching in May offered me a lot of free time; time to be free of this weight. It wasn't easy and it took about two and a half months longer than I anticipated. I remember back in July crying to Matt about how much of a struggle this has been for me for a long time. I really, really didn't believe in myself in this way, and quitting teaching had really slashed my confidence across the board.
I brought it to God, and he literally said, "Brooke, you're going to have to actually try." I was surprised and realized he was exactly right. I had the mentality that I could just casually work out and eat better and just quickly become healthy. It wasn't that easy, for sure, but once I started trying, it wasn't as hard as I thought either. The main thing was persevering in believing I could do it.
I wanted this change to be lasting, so I didn't do anything crazy. I simply exercised more and ate less. I didn't even go to the gym. I worked out at home with the TRX, walked, ran, and biked. Also, the types of food I was eating were fine, it was just the portions that were outrageous! Oh, and thanks to my friend Beth, I logged all of that exercise and eating into FitDay.com. I think I would have gone crazy without FitDay (which is FREE) because it calculates your foods, calories, exercises, nutrients and everything for you with all kinds of graphs and scales. It made it SO convenient (once you get the hang of entering food into the log online, it goes quickly and I found myself really looking forward to it).
Anyway, that's it. I just really wanted to share this with you! It's so very empowering and confidence-boosting. The biggest thing is that I feel like now that I know I can do this, I know I can really do "all things through Christ" (Phil. 4:13). I wonder what's next...