Brandi is 40, 5’8”, and she has reduced her weight a total of 86 pounds; reducing her body fat by over 20%.
This is the story of her Lifestyle Transformation.
IN THE BEGINNING
I have always been overweight! I became aware of it in elementary school because I was teased, but my family assured me that I was just “big boned”. My weight wasn’t something I became ashamed of until I was in high school. I went to a predominantly white, all girls, Catholic high school, and compared to my classmates/peers, I was obviously more than just “big boned”. High school was the beginning of my lifelong struggle with fad diets, excessive exercise, weight loss programs and everything else I could think of to lose weight.
I reached 260 lbs in 2006 while in medical school, my heaviest weight thus far. I then successfully lost 60lbs via a near-starvation diet and a minimum of 2hrs a day in the gym. I gained most of the weight back while in residency, despite my inconsistent efforts at dieting and exercise. By the time I signed on with Kurt in 7/2015, at age 37, I had reached my heaviest weight of 280 lbs…and I was miserable!
THE TURNING POINT
My turning point was a trip I took to Japan in 4/2015.
I was probably at my heaviest weight then, and I just remember being uncomfortable for the entire trip. I got stuck in a middle seat on the flight both ways, and the seat belt was way too tight! I remember my knees, back and hips hurting from all the walking we did on our sightseeing adventures. I remember my feet and ankles being swollen at the end of each day. I remember being the one in the group that always wanted to take a train/bus or bike rather than walk, and still needing to take extra breaks along the way.
The final straw was when I tore my ACL and meniscus while jumping on a trampoline at my godson’s 6-year-old birthday party in June of 2015. I wasn’t the only adult out there jumping with the kids, but I was convinced that I injured myself because my knees couldn’t support my weight!
I needed surgery to repair my knee, and because of my weight, it had to be done in the hospital rather than an outpatient surgery center. It was then that I knew I had to do something “drastic” to regain control of my weight and my life!
WHY BODY REFINED
I was referred to Body Refined by my doctor who had a few patients successfully lose weight on the program. I was skeptical at first because I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew that I needed to do something different.
I read the testimonials from the website, many of which sounded like my life struggles! I had tried every weight loss program I had ever heard of, diet pills, HCG injections, personal trainers, even anorexia!
I had been successful many times, but I always seemed to gain the weight back. The reason is because I never learned the importance of forming habits that ultimately result in changes to my lifestyle that are sustainable and necessary to lose and maintain the loss. What Kurt teaches you is to develop consistent habits that lead to overall good health.
In the beginning, learning to “eat clean” felt like a restrictive diet, but now I see it as just a better way of life and a necessary habit to maintain my weight. Working with Kurt has truly been a life altering experience for me. I have learned so much of what I thought I already knew! As a coach, he holds you accountable for what you signed on to do, but he is truly invested in empowering you to take ownership of your health. I thought it was all about diet and exercise, but I’ve learned that consistent sleep, water intake, and regular activity is just as, if not more, important as what you eat.
If you are ready to change your lifestyle, then Body Refined is the program for you. If you are looking for a quick weight loss program, then it’s not. I tell people who are interested, that you must be willing to let go of what you think you know and open your mind to doing things differently. You need thick skin to deal with Kurt because he can work your nerves, but his intentions are good!
If you submit to the process, you will change your life!
The biggest change I made was that I started cooking!
Before, my breakfast was often coffee from Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds, accompanied by some sort of breakfast sandwich. I ate out almost daily for lunch, and several times a week for dinner.
Meal planning/prepping and cooking all my meals has been the biggest adjustment, but also the most essential to my success.
In the past, my excuse for not cooking was that I never had time. I’ve learned that I always have time to do the things I deem are important, so I had to make meal prep and cooking a priority. Now, its part of my routine and just as important as making sure I have clean clothes ready for my work week!
Another major change I’ve made involves how I think about food and the pleasure I seek from it. I wanted a “party in my mouth” every time I ate something, which often meant I was not concerned with the nutritional value (or lack thereof) of whatever I chose to eat. Once I started to think of food as something to fuel and nourish my body and seek nothing else from it, then I was able to eat the same thing every day for the 5th day in a row! Now this was no simple feat, and it honestly is still a struggle sometimes, but when you to get to the point where you are not looking for your food to pleasure or entertain you, then you can focus on eating only the things that benefit your body.
Now, at my current weight, I feel like a new person! I feel liberated because my activities are no longer restricted by my weight. I am no longer relegated to shop on the basement level at the back of the department store, nor do I have only two clothing store options in an entire mall. I have significantly less physical pain (knees, back, hips) than I did before. I like to take pictures now and look at myself in the mirror. I exude more self-confidence, because I am more confident.
I feel that I have regained the control over my life that I had lost in all the extra weight.
I reached a healthy weight nearly a year ago, but I have continued to work with Kurt for a total 2 1/2 yrs. now and the entire process had been a struggle!
Developing the necessary habits and being consistent with them is the key to success in this game. I struggle with the consistency part and therefore, my loss was slow. But as Kurt tells it, my weight is moving at the pace of my ability to be consistent. So, it’s moving neither slow or fast.
Although it can be frustrating to lose, from what I thought, slowly, I have learned that when I am consistent, the scale moves. I’ve had to fall off the wagon few times to prove to myself that the process works. I’m convinced now that it does, but only if I am consistent.
I tend to still want to give myself credit for doing better now than I did 2 yrs ago, but what I must accept is that nothing I did two years ago is relevant anymore because my body is completely different.
The struggle now is more mental than physical, and Kurt continues to support me.
Cook, Cook, Cook! Eating out is convenient, but even when you order the “healthy” option, it not as healthy as it would be if you cooked it yourself.
Eat as clean as possible (no processed foods), as consistently as possible.
Lastly, you don’t need to kill yourself in the gym every day to lose weight. Its 80% of what you do outside of the gym, your lifestyle (to include what you are eating)!