Weight Loss Success: Brianna Brigidi



Age: 34

Profession: Caregiver



Height: 5’9”

Beginning Weight: 205-December 2012; In March 2011 wt was 230!



Ending Weight: 140-September 2013

Size Before: sz.18/20; XXL



Current Size: sz.6/8; SMALL!

How long has it taken you to reach your goal? Still not at my “ideal” goal weight, but close! Lost 65lbs in about 8mths. Down 85lbs TOTAL from 2011. My goal is to be down 100lbs total.



What was your motivation to lose weight? My niece-Aubrey Elizabeth Mooney, who will be 2 this March. I never wanted her to know her overweight and unhealthy auntie. I cannot wait to one day tell her just how much she inspired me to TRULY change!

How often do you work out? 5-6 times a week. It’s a habit now, but I do appreciate my rest days!



What were your worst diet habits before you began to lose weight? I was more of a binge eater. I would skip meals but when I would eat, consumed large amounts. I never “thought” about the foods I was putting in my body, and never really knew what foods I SHOULD be consuming. Some of the snacks I thought were healthy, I now know were loaded with sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. ”Healthy” frozen dinners are loaded with sodium, which I never realized. I never measured anything, so never realized I was really eating 2 or 3 servings of certain foods at one time! I ate breakfast but rarely ate lunch, so by dinner was starving. On the weekends I looked forward to drinking my beer, eating fried food and loved my sweets. I could eat an entire box of Oreos in one day or an entire cake in one weekend. I also drank a LOT of caffeine. Lived on Diet Mt Dew and Sugar-Free Red Bull. I thought they were better alternatives BECAUSE they were “diet.” I ate a lot of processed foods with crazy ingredients I could never pronounce. I never paid attention to nutrition labels or sodium content.

What dietary changes did you make? I made a 90 day countdown and kept it in my kitchen, to remind myself not to eat “junk” and remain focused. I kept a log of my workouts and what I ate. I worked with a trainer (Lisa McMahon) as part of a “biggest loser” type challenge at my YMCA. She gave feedback on my nutrition, and not wanting to let her down, kept me eating clean (aka no more highly processed foods). In the beginning, it was about me not wanting to let her down. In the end, it’s about not wanting to let ME down. I knew if I wanted the reward, I would need to make sacrifices. At times I felt like a boxer training for a fight. Essentially I was. That fight, was to get my life back. In return, I am getting a better one than I expected. The first 30 days were a transition. I woke up at 5:30 to get to the gym for 6am. I replaced candy bars with protein bars, and forced myself to pack my gym bag every night. For 90 days my trainer asked for a commitment. She asked me to avoid alcohol, and well, I thought that was a bit much. I thought I could do “moderation.” Well, weekend one I had “one beer” which quickly turned to six. By the end of the night, I was eating pizza and fried food. It took time and trial and error to introduce myself to new and healthy foods. I had to familiarize myself with nutrition labels and food groups. I learned what percentage of each group I must consume daily. I drink WATER, but will also add lemons, limes, or even fresh strawberries so it tastes different. I try and measure my food. I rarely have diet soda, but when I do, it’s a treat. The biggest change I made was cooking all my food for the week on Sunday. I portioned out my meals in containers and even cut up my fruit and veggies and put them in plastic bags so I could grab them and go. I buy plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit. I found recipes to make fairly healthy deserts. I make AWESOME flatbread sandwiches. It takes time, practice and effort, but is WORTH it in the end! Oh, and I still go to McDonalds on occasion, but now order apple slices and a salad.



What is your go to healthy snack? CLEMENTINES, baby carrots, or Cliff Kids Z-bars (Chocolate brownie, satisfies my sweet tooth!)

What food will you not give up? CAKE! But now I save it for special occasions, not just because it’s a Saturday.



What is your favorite thing about losing weight? I want you ALL to have the success I had. I really am living proof if a former procrastinator and queen of excuses can do it, you can too! It will require you to change. It will require you to step outside your comfort zone. You WILL be uncomfortable. It will get old. You won’t always lose and you may not always see the results. But trust me, you will get stronger.

 



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