Weight Loss Success Story: Brooke Birmingham

I am back from the beach.  I am working on giving you all the details of my week on another post because I could not wait to share today’s success story with you!

I found Brooke through the blog world and started reading her blog Brooke:  Not on a Diet! She is a huge inspiration and as a fellow blogger who has now reached lifetime with Weight Watchers, I look up to her!

She started her journey weighing 327 pounds.

Weight Loss Success Story Brooke Before Picture

She has lost a whopping 177.6 pounds and is now an “after” weighing in at a tiny 155 pounds:

Weight Loss Success Story Brooke After Photo

You are going to love her story!  Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your job, etc…

Hello there! I’m Brooke from Brooke: Not on a Diet! I am a healthy living blogger who has 177lbs with the help of the Weight Watchers program. I am married to an amazing man who I refer to Mr. B. He is my soulmate and biggest cheerleader. We live in the great state of Illinois with dreams of moving near the mountains someday. You can find us enjoying a Blackhawks game or a good brew at the bar. I spend my days working with people who have mental illness (until the end of June!) and aspire to be a Weight Watchers leader and a health coach.

How long did it take you to get to your ideal weight? Are you there now?

I started Weight Watchers February of 2009 and hit my goal weight of 150lbs in May of 2013. Which means it took me a little over 4 years to reach my goal.

What was your motivation to lose weight?

My motivation was just to be healthy and to like how I looked in the beginning. My reasons have changed over the journey with now my focus being to be a healthy mama someday so I can enjoy my future children and teach them how to live a healthy life as well. I also want to grow old with Mr. B!

What made you decide to start your weight loss journey?

I was in a pretty crappy relationship right before I started my journey. After I got rid of the guy, I decided I needed to start loving myself and deserved better. My mom invited me to a Weight Watcher meeting and it was exactly what I needed.

What kept you on track losing weight?

Knowing how much better I feel now helps keep me on track. I also believe in never depriving myself of something. If I want a cupcake, I’m going to have it. I am a big advocate of the cheat meal (junk meal, splurge meal, whatever you call it), once a week I have something totally outrageous to eat and I enjoy every bite. Lol. Usually it’s pizza and ice cream or french fries. I enjoy it guilt free and get right back on track the next day. I’ve done it ever since I started losing weight and it has always helped keep me on track.

Planning also really helps! I menu plan dinner every week, while I don’t always follow it according to plan, it really keeps me from doing the “there’s nothing to eat, let’s eat out” song and dance.

Tell us about a typical day in terms of eating and exercise.

My typical eating day starts off with oatmeal with PB2 & a banana or some form of eggs. I also do a smoothie once a week. Lunch is a salad with leftovers from the pervious night’s dinner. Dinner is always a recipe of some sort, just depends on what the menu plan has on it. Snacks are yogurt, fruit, and popcorn.

Exercise has always been done at my home, as I’ve never had a gym membership. I have a vast collection of DVDs (Jillian Michaels is my favorite!) that I do 3-5 times a week. I also have a bike that I love riding along the Mississippi river.

What is the biggest difference you have noticed because of your weight loss?

The biggest difference is how much better I feel. At 327lbs, I used to have the worst time getting around and would suffer massive headaches. Now I can run, bike, and dance like a fool. Those headaches are a thing of the past and I can do things I never imagined possible, like zip lining on my honeymoon!

Obviously I look a lot different too. Now I shop for clothes in places I never stepped foot in and don’t have to go directly to the plus sized section. I can wear dresses without feeling like I’m wearing a bag and the smaller clothes are MUCH cuter!

What advice can you give to others struggling to lose weight?

My advice is to always remember that you are worth it! You are worth all the hard work it takes to lose weight. My other bit of advice is to just do it! You will NEVER regret starting a weight loss journey, I can promise you that. The only thing you’ll regret is never getting started!

Also, write down why you want this. Write down every single reason, no matter now silly and pull out that list when you’re struggling. Sometimes we just need to remember why we’re doing this.

One last thing, measure your success with more than just the scale! That thing can REALLY suck sometimes no matter how awesome of a week we had. Take your measurements and focus on non-scale victories! Maybe you gained a pound, but that same week you worked out 3 times. Those type of things are more important than any number on the scale!

How do you keep the weight off in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I just keep doing what I do and remind myself that there is no other option. I can either eat healthy and feel better, or eat like crap and die an early death. I love life now, I much rather be here for the long haul!

Give us a quote or a motto that you have used to keep you focused.

One that I’ve always used is “There is no other option!” when I’m struggling with a workout. It really helps push me.

I also tell myself that I’m a rockstar daily. Oh and that I’m beautiful!

I want you all to know that no matter what amount of weight you have to lose, wether it be 10lbs or 100lbs, it’s not going to be easy. But, it will always be worth it in the end! Celebrate your successes no matter how small, because no matter what you achieve, you’re awesome!

 

THANK YOU Brooke for sharing your incredible story with us!  I am honored to have you guest post on my blog today and show others that it can be done!

If you are interested in following Brooke further into her journey, you can follow her on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

I love that Brooke plans meals weekly.  I need to be better at that!  What did you love the most about Brooke’s story?

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About Jennifer Swafford

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher who is trying to lose 100+ pounds. She has certainly learned how much It Sux To Be Fat and is here to motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.