Throwback Thursday,  Obesity Edition

The statistics are grim when it comes to weightloss. We all think we are different, that we are the exception. I know I did. I lost the weight through good ‘ole willpower – dieting and exercising, the traditional “eat less, move more” mantra of restriction and punishment. I wore a size 6 but I hated myself. Even though I was outwardly thin, I was mentally obese. I was miserable and ill equipped to deal with life. I needed food to cope with stress and anxiety and this fed my depression. I was hardly in that body for 30 seconds before I promptly started gaining the weight back – and then some. Ask anyone who's ever found themselves in this position and they'll tell you the same – they're not quite sure how it happened. It's insidious, obesity. Don't take it lightly and don't let your guard down.

I struggled with my weight for most of my life. I don't remember a time when I wasn't preoccupied with food or my body. Counting and calculating, plotting and planning. I attributed all of my problems to being overweight.

In 2006, I reached a healthy body weight. I should have been happy, but instead I was miserable. I had all of the outward signs of success, but I still felt like a prisoner. I could not love myself, I didn't know how. (I really loved clothes though!) I spent my life attributing my value to the size of my body or the number on the scale and when I got there, it wasn't enough.

This may surprise you, but I felt more fat in the photo on the left than I did in the photo on the right. In 2006, I was so depressed that many days I woke up just wishing I would die. In 2012, I was physically uncomfortable, but I was learning to love myself and felt hopeful, resilient, and connected. It's hard to explain how different my insides felt but I can say with certainty that I would choose 2012 over 2006 any day.

It's easy to get caught up focusing on the external, but it's the internal that must really change for any of this to be permanent. The statistics are grim – most people who lose weight will gain it all back and more. Diets don't work. You are probably thinking “yeah, but I'm different,” but you're not. If you've ever been obese, it's very likely you are addicted to food, and addiction is insidious.

It's now nearly 2016. I've lost 90 pounds by slowly changing my habits and learning to care for myself and my body. I still want to lose another 60 pounds, but I'm happier than I've ever been in my life. I enjoy food but don't obsess over it. I am active but I don't spend hours in the gym or consider how many calories I burn. My weight is taking care of itself.

We are all in this together. No one chooses to be overweight or struggle with obesity. I mean, obviously. It's an epidemic. We are not alone. I don't have it figured all out and never will. I just know that some of the stories we believe about ourselves aren't actually true and that's how we stay sick and fat.

xx Brooke

18 comments

  1. I have been touched by what I have read here. I know I should say something like, this person did this and that person did this, etc. to motivate. I am so scared. I feel weak. I am scared

    1. Hi Julynn, I’m sorry to hear you feel scared and weak. I can certainly relate, but I hope you know how powerful it is to acknowledge and share your feelings. That’s the first step in making positive change. Sending you so much love. <3

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are such a brave and beautiful woman!
    This is the first blog I have read that addresses the fact that being thin through starving yourself does not equal happiness. I have been through the weight loss journey many times and have been very thin and also very unhappy. Thank you for writing about this! It made me cry.
    Finally I too, am trying to just be healthy! I am a lot older than you, so it took me longer to figure out!

    1. Hi Angela, Welcome <3 Thank you so much for your kind words. I think it's so important to remember that happiness will never be achieved by weight loss.

  3. my name is kelly and i too have done the diet thing for the about last 25 years( i have no obesity in my family what so ever but lots of addiction) I’m 50 now and just beginning to love or like my body i am going for “feeling better” i have gained 30+ pounds in the last 2 years i have been a size 6-8 and now about a 14-16 NEVER in my wildest dreams did i think i could ever weigh this much (about 200) i do not weigh myself anymore i was that a few months ago i have just done nothing to loose wt in the past two years trying to “love my body this way” it is difficult i have to be honest but my physical self is suffering my feet hurt my knees my back i get so out of breath and i know how to eat healthy i can do seminars on whats healthy what to eat i was obsessed with it for years tried every and all diets only to gain back what i had suffered so badly to loose i am learning i am on nutri system which i said i didn’t ever want to do again b/c of all the “shit” in the food but i decided that putting that crap in my body for a few months to get a jump start on getting healthy than staying the way i am is a better choice i started walking 4 miles a day and on my off days i walk 2-2.5 miles i have food addiction and i am a emotional eater binge eater binge and restrict i have done this for half my life i am on my way its going to be a long process but i feel that i am doing i right this time although i am doing a “food restriction” i don’t restrict anything if i want an ice cream i have it pizza candy i don’t deny myself anything i have to be careful tho b/c those are my trigger foods i trying to find a happy medium and i am not working right now (i am a nurse)and can devote all my time and energy to this life altering whatever you want to call it lol like they say “nothing changes if nothing changes”

  4. I read your story and feel like I am reading my own struggle. I was always a little chubby but picked on so badly by my brothers and people I loved I stopped eating. At 17 I was in an accident that changed those habits but I became more then chubby and the whole cycle started over. I was do martial arts eating only when I was going to pass out and spiraling out of control. Now I am heavier then ever, apologizing for my weight and dealing with health issues. I don’t want to be this way but I have Noone to turn to. I feel lost.

    1. Hi Shannon, Welcome! I am so sorry you are feeling lost. You are not alone, I promise. I am just seeing your comment a few months after it was left. How are things going for you now?

  5. Awesome…well done…and very useful incite! You look fantastic! Though I have not struggled too much in my life, I did have to work at it…working out etc…their was a time I had to lose 60 lbs. I love to hear stories like this and know how good you must be feeling right now. I have never blogged…lol but hopefully this gets to you. Again, reiterating…..Awesome job.

    1. Hi Jo Ann! Welcome 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you “can not seem to get it together” and I certainly relate to that sentiment. I wish I could give you the magical equation for weight loss, but it doesn’t exist. If it were as simple as prescribing an eating plan, there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic. We have a compliance problem and that is mostly a result of psychology. I think we mostly have an idea of what to eat, but fall short in actually eating that way. My new initiative is around self-care, which includes building healthy habits around diet and exercise. If you signed up for my newsletter, you’ll get more details when it launches on Monday.

  6. Wow wonderful transformation, Its a great inspiration to people around you and when we read your journey, keep it up and love to learn from you regarding the schedule and food and excersise and how many days it took to travel and how to get motivated.

    1. Hi Arun! Thank you for the kind words. I wish there were a formula I could give out of the perfect schedule, food, exercise, and days to reach weight loss, but it doesn’t work like that. We are all individual and our journeys are unique. It’s really important to look at your own life and your own habits and figure out where you can improve. What habits do you currently have that are sabotaging your success? What small action could you start taking that would contribute to your health? Think about how you can take the best care of yourself and start working toward that.

  7. You are such an inspiration to so many that struggle with being overweight…thanks for your honsety in the weightless journey because it is so hard. Please keep posting updates. And do you have any meal plans that you recomend?

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