Not the actual day I was born.  Reborn.  Reborn into a person determined to reach her goals and become healthy. Let me tell you a bit about what was going on over a year ago.  We had just watched my beloved father-in-law suffer in his last days on Earth from colon cancer.  I was fat and secretly unhappy.  I was so, so negative about everything.  I sat on the couch and stuffed my face most days.  But that was then.

 How about some comparison pics?

Okay, I had JUST given birth 2 days before, but I swear I was the same size 4 months later.  240lbs or so?  God knows I wasn’t stepping on any scales.

This was taken yesterday: 187lbs.

and again:  Last year in June, about 3 weeks before the new lifestyle.

and recently:

I just realized I have nearly no full body pics before or after.  I’ll have to do some digging.

Anyway, it’s important to note that I have not yet reached my goal.  I still have 25-27lbs to lose.  But I WILL do it.  And that’s all I’m gonna say about that, LOL.

What I really want to write about is change.  Sometimes I wonder if everything about me has changed–it certainly seems so on many days. True, my body is nearly 50lbs lighter, but I never anticipated the transformation on the emotional/mental level.  I’m nicer and more positive.  I hope that I’m less quick to jump to a negative comment.  I have less fear.  I have dreams and goals I never saw for myself at the beginning of this journey. I’m proud of myself.

A big part of my success is my trainer, Fred.  I honestly don’t know where I would be if he hadn’t come into my life.  Would I still be on the stupid cardio machines, learning nothing and then stalling out and quitting?  I tend to think so.  He has given me so much–the tools to succeed, the focus, the emotional support.  He has been Sacajawea to my Lewis & Clark.  He helped me break out of my shell of fear.  Gosh, I was so scared of looking stupid at the gym!  I was scared of everything!  I say this without hesitation: he’s the greatest teacher I’ve had.

I truly “get it” now.  The mind/body connection.  What fitness and strength feel like.   I have this thirst for life that I’ve never had before.  There is no perfection.  I still struggle with overeating–and probably always will.  But I know how to get back up on the horse now.

This has been the best year of my life.  I feel like I’ve taken great strides in becoming myself.


My husband gave me my Mother’s Day present today!  A cruiser bike!  I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time.  I love that it’s Powder Blue!  He totally surprised me–I had not even a tiny inkling of his plans.  I love that man.  I love that I chose him to be my partner in life and the father of my children.  I’m not saying that because he gave me the bike, but I must admit, he’s a great gift-giver. 

Until recently, I wasn’t really a bike rider.  But I’ve been taking spin class (love it–another post about this coming soon) a few times a week and we drug a bike trailer that someone gave us last year down from the hooks on the garage.  And I ride, with the kids in the trailer, pretty much every evening after supper. It keeps me from snacking.  It’s great!  I love the feel of the wind in my face and hearing my kids laugh behind me.  I think bike riding is my “thing.”  Some prefer running.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be a runner and now that I’ve found biking, that’s okay with me.

What really strikes me is that if you had told me a year ago that I would get a BICYCLE for Mother’s Day and be estatic about it, I would have just laughed in disbelief.  Who is this active person I’ve become?  It boggles my mind and makes me smile.  I love the new me.  A friend sent me a picture of myself that was taken about a month after I started getting healthy.

Well, heck.  Here’s the pic, I’m in green (hahaha)  I was actually down 20lbs from my starting weight in this pic.   


And here is last night, in pink, down 43lbs from starting weight.
Franklin Date night

It’s unreal to me that sometimes I don’t understand just how far I’ve come. I need pictures like these to help cement the change in my mind.

I realize I’ve posted quite a few pics of myself recently.  Thank goodness this is MY blog, hahahahaha.  But really, it’s because I feel so good about myself.  I love being fit and strong. And for the first time in a LONG time, I like the way I look!

Quite possibly, this is the best pic I’ve taken in years.

This was at the end of March, about 190lbs.  I really need to get a body shaper, huh?  or suck in more often, lol!  Forgive the no makeup look, please.  I am not loving the outer curve of my upper arm but I do love that those jeans are a size 12!  Oh, by the way, I’m the one in the green!




Stark contrast to my last picture, huh?

Both literally and figuratively.

Literal:  What a freaking workout!  Jeez, I went to pick up a 40lb kettlebell and I could feel the bile rising.  I have never exercised so hard that I felt pukey!  And I’m so mind warped now (lol) that I am proud of getting pukey!  Granted, I am getting over the stomach bug, but still!


This picture from May of this year.  Two months before I started this whole shebang, but basically the same weight as when I began:

Cute baby 🙂  But man, oh man!  I looked TERRIBLE!  I felt TERRIBLE!  I had zero energy or zest in my life.  I was so, so, so lazy.

The reason I bring this up is that my trainer has requested before photos.  Like most fat people, I’ve avoided the camera very successfully.  I have none of me by myself before.  But I did want pictures of me with my kids, so at least one of them is in all the before photos.  I didn’t want something  to happen to me and there be no pictures for my kids to look at. (I’m a bit morbid.  But when you’ve lost both your in-laws, these thoughts come up.)

I kinda thought I wanted to destroy some of these pics, but I think I should keep them now.  They show how far I’ve come and make me realize how badly I don’t want to go back.

I decided to post a picture from Sept 18.–so almost a month ago. And 3.5lbs ago, too.  A friend recently posted it on her Myspace and I nearly didn’t recognize myself.  I’ll do a full body shot for 30lbs lost.

Brianne & maren by you.