Improved strength, jeans that are too big, and no more cravings! These are just some of the perks to Brenda's new healthy lifestyle. This Cambridge mom has been working hard since mid August both in and out of boot camp classes, and has experienced amazing success. Not only is she down 41.5 inches, she has completely overhauled her habits - saying goodbye to chocolate, sugar, and other processed foods.
"I love my body. I love how strong I am and how much energy I have," says 38 year old Brenda.
We are so proud of her! How did she do it? Read her inspirational interview for more.
TBM - What was the turning point for you when it came to your weight?
BRENDA - When my son starting asking innocent questions about my appearance. "You're fat, right mom?" I felt some shame in that for sure. I knew that I didn't want my kids to see me that way, and I wanted to show him that I can make better choices and that I can change if I work hard.
TBM - What old habits were holding you back?
BRENDA - Firstly, it was the grey area and false rewards! For example; "If I work out a little, it's better than nothing." "If I eat some healthy meals I can still have some treats." "If I work really hard I can still have junk food on the weekend."
It's like everything I did for my health I undid with a "reward".
Secondly, putting my kids first. A habit that started the minute my oldest was born. It's important to take care of yourself too! On the plane you are supposed to put your own mask on first, right?
Finally, food. A lifetime of highly processed foods, hidden sugars, and way more carbs than a person can use - those eating habits are very hard to break.
Brenda and Daughter Alicia (4) during 12 Days of Christmas Week
TBM - Why did you join the buff mom boot camp?
BRENDA - I liked the locations, the flexibility week to week, and the option to make up classes. That really helped when I was battling with those grey areas!
TBM - What are you doing now that you never thought possible when you started?
BRENDA - When I tried (my jeans) on I realized they're all too big now! I'm wearing pants that I was wearing pre-pregnancy, which I didn't expect to happen so fast. I'm also getting to a point of being able to do mountain climbers with gliders (a fitness tool); when I started I had to do them standing up.
More importantly, I can say I'm truly eating well. No processed foods (no wheat! no sugar!), lots of fruits and veggies, healthy proteins, tons of water! I even cut out alcohol and caffeine, which I never thought I would. It's made such a difference in how I look and feel, compared to just making healthy choices some of the time. I only wish I had been brave enough to change my eating habits sooner.
TBM - What lessons have you learned about yourself through this process?
BRENDA - I don't have dependence on chocolate, or salty snacks, or even caffeine or alcohol; I only believed I did because of the habits I built. I do enjoy the foods that are good for me. I love fruit! (who knew....)
TBM - What's next?
BRENDA - Continue! These changes have only started to reveal a healthier version of myself. Now I need to keep these new, healthy and positive habits, and see how many more inches can I lose. I have to keep working at the mountain climbers, and I want to get to the point of being able to do advanced versions of some exercises.
TBM - What advice do you have for others who are where you were when you started?
BRENDA - For goodness sake, just start. You can do it, but you have to start!