Sunday, August 28, 2011

50% Gone = 25 Lessons + 25 Successes

I DID IT!! Yeah 50%!! As of today's weigh in I have now lost 180lbs. I have lost the same amount of weight as I currently weigh - that's insane and I am very proud of myself. So reflecting back, what did I learn in this journey of 1335 days and what were my successes?


1. Long-term goals matter a lot less than short-term objectives. Meaning, yes you may have 50 or 100 lbs to lose or 200 in my case What matters more is what are the small, measurable objectives you will aim for to achieve the long term goal? For me it was getting under 300, then getting under 250, then 200, then to 180.

2. Consistency is everything. Being a perfectionist, I used to have an all or nothing attitude about being successful at weight loss, this caused me to just not even try. I realized that as long as I am consistent that I will reach the goal eventually.

3. The best programs are sustainable. I tried lots of different workouts that I didn't enjoy. I know that to maintain success I have to do things I LOVE to do. Luckily I love to do lots of different things so it keeps my life fresh.

4. Don't diet. I tried "diet's" throughout my journey and did lose weight, but it was not sustainable. I have learned that living a healthy life full of clean, healthy foods and exercise is not a diet, it's a lifestyle and it is what I will do for the rest of my life.

5. Happiness can exist only in acceptance. Sure I didn't like how I looked at 360lbs but I also knew that I wasn't going to get to where I wanted overnight. I chose a long time ago to simply be happy with myself as long as I was making an effort to lose weight. Accepting who you are in the present moment is key to being successful.

6.The first time you face something that scares you is the first time you realize that life is worth living when you take risks. I learned that without taking chances, I will never grow and would never have gotten to where I am now.

7.Don’t create limits where there really aren’t any. Like “I can’t run 5KM” or “I can’t do bootcamp”, well have you TRIED? I thought before I started bootcamp, well I can’t do that – that’s for healthy/skinny people. Look at me now, just because I TRIED! I wasn’t the fittest or the fattest but I showed up every day and made an effort.

8.Healing yourself is connected with healing others. Helping other people achieve their goals, or just get started, has been one of the biggest motivators for me to continue on my journey. Simply by writing this blog it has kept me accountable to the process.

9.Challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are. I learned to take chances and try new things and through doing this it helped me discover who I really am, STRONG.

10.Be stubborn. The journey will not be an easy road, there will be challenges and it require your willpower and lots of it. Refuse to fail and you’ll reach your goal.

11.Question your reasons. When you are sitting there eating that bag of chips, WHY are you doing that? What are the chips fulfilling for you? Is it huger, or is it filling an emotional void? Learning to question why I did things resulted in me recognizing when I was making poor choices.

12.Create a support network. People who care about you, and even people who don’t know you, are ready and willing to help you reach your goals. Reach out and ask for help. Build your bubble of supporters. They lift you up when you are down.

13.Avoid the saboteurs. I learned that even though people are supportive of me, there are also people (sometimes the same people) who will unknowingly sabotage me. I recognize that these people just want to be in the same place that I am and by sabotaging me in a strange way it makes them feel better. I also recognize that most people don’t realize they are doing this so it’s important to have that conversation when it happens or if it continues to happen.

14.Those who aren’t supporters don’t require your energy. I have encountered multiple people who tell me that what i’m doing isn’t healthy or that I shouldn’t lose more weight or I should follow another diet plan. I learned to not spend any more energy than necessary on those people and just move on. I choose to surround myself by people who are supportive of my goals.

15.Say thank you a LOT. I think it’s hard to accept compliments, only recently i’ve got better at doing this, but it still seems unnatural. When I first started my journey and people would tell me “wow you’re looking good” I would never say thank you, I would say something like “yah, but I still have a long way to go”. The lesson learned was to always be appreciative of the compliments, it means that they care enough to notice.

16.It’s okay to be selfish. I learned that it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to put yourself first because this is what is necessary to be successful. Your friends will understand, they will still be your friends just because you chose to forgo the Friday night pizza and a movie.

17.Don’t allow the number to define you. The scale is only one measurement of your success. I learned several pounds ago that the number does not define who I am. I am still stronger than I was last week even if I am not lighter.

18.You will never regret a workout. The warm, cozy bed may be hard to get out of at 5:30AM but I have never regretted getting up to workout even though I may be cursing the whole way to the gym.

19.Document your progress. Without before pictures you cannot look back and see where you came from. Without measurements you cannot see how strong you are becoming. I learned that having this permanent record of what I used to be and what I am now keeps me motivated.

20.Don’t wait to try something or meet new people. I used to be intimidated to try new things because I thought that I was going to be the biggest person there all the time. All I was doing was holding myself back. I learned that trying new things was crucial to my journey and it allowed me to be stronger as a person.

21.Practice confidence. This is kind of like “fake it til you make it”, sometimes I didn’t feel confident at all, in fact I was scared to death, but I just learned to face situations head on and eventually I actually was confident.

22.It’s okay to be afraid. Fear is a natural thing, but letting go of it is exhilarating. I was absolutely terrified to do the black course of Wild Play – but I did it and I survived. I conquered and I grew!!

23.Be true to yourself. You’re the only one you need to report to. I learned to be confident in my decisions and not to allow others to change what I believe.

24.A Peanut Buster Parfait from DQ only seems like a good idea at the moment of weakness. I learned to remind myself that it may feel good for about 10 minutes while I eat it and don’t even taste it, but then I will feel like crap and regret it immediately.

25. It’s not too late until you’re dead. I learned early on regardless of how long the journey takes it’s never too late to start. We all start somewhere.


1.Starting. Defiantly just taking that first step in choosing to change was a success in itself.

2.The #. Even though I learned not to allow the number to define me, it still is a cruicial part of my success. Getting under 300 lbs was a huge accomplishment and then getting under 200 lbs felt even bigger. Now I am 50% of the person I started as.

3.Hiking. We have so many beautiful places around Victoria and BC to Hike but I never fully enjoyed them because I wasn't strong enough, now I am. But even just going out there at 250lbs and trying to hike and succeeding was huge.

4.Normal Size. I can now buy ALL my clothes in a "normal" store. No more Penningtons or Addition Elle for this girl!

5.Running. Learning to run was a huge accomplishment for me. Now I love it and I know it is something I will continue to do. I am super excited to run my first half marathon in just 42 days.

6.Climbing. I learned how to indoor rock climb this summer at Crag X Gym. This is something I never though I would be able to do, even when I signed up to do it I had some doubts in my strength, but I did it and conquered it.

7.Biking. I bought my bike when I was 275 lbs and couldn't even ride it up a short incline. This summer I went from not being able to ride for 5 minutes to riding 75KM to Sooke and back.

8.Kayaking. I was so terrified of going kayaking, mostly because I was freaked out about falling out and getting stuck and all the weird things in the water that could "get you". Lucking I relied on my support network to get me out there.

9.Airplane Seat. Now I can confidently get on an airplane and know I don't need a seat belt extender.

10.Slo Pitch. This year I joined a slo pitch team, I was so scared to do it but it was something I wanted to do for a long time. I played softball as a kid so being able to get back into sports meant alot to me.

11.Cooking. I remember I was working at Subway and I worked probably 60 hours a week. I lived and ate at Subway, and not in a healthy way. Now that I have control of my life, I love cooking and trying new recipes. I know how to make things in a healthy way.

12.Zip Lining. Anything that has a weight limit, which ziplining does, is a success for me because now I can do all these things without having to as "is there a weight limit".

13.Box Jumps. Being able to jump, from standing, to the tallest box at the gym.

14.Planks. My longest officially timed plank was 3 minutes in my last fitness test. Now the goal is to be consistent with it.

15.Enjoying fitness. I consider this a success because I went from a sedentary life of nothing to a life full of well LIFE!

16.Wildplay. Completing the entire Wildplay course and only crying for part of it :P.

17.Adapting. I have gone through a LOT of changes professionally and personally through this journey and I know I was successful in adapting to those changes.

18.Staying Committed. Even through plateaus I knew that this journey would not be over until I finished it. I never never never gave up.

19.Dancing. I was ashamed of my body at first, but once I accepted me for who I was and stopped caring about what other people thought this allowed me to do things such as dancing. I loved taking the Hip Hop class at PERKS and learning to dance, even if it was just in a studio and not for anyone to see.

20.Fitting into LuLu Lemon Pants. I'm really not a huge person on name brand things ,but just knowing that I could buy something at LuLu Lemon was huge for me. At 360lbs I couldn't wear anything in the store, but I did buy a water bottle and the mantra is on my wall.

21.Becoming a motivator. Now that i've lost so much weight and I "get it" I am proud to be a motivator to other people.

22.Stand Up Paddleboarding. Not sure why this wasn't as scarey as kayaking, but it wasn't, and I didn't even fall in!!

23.Choosing Healthy. Every day I make a choice to be healthy and be focused is a success in itself.

24.Speaking my mind. Every time I chose to speak up and express my feelings is a success

25.Living. Maybe my biggest success is just the fact that I choose to live my life. I choose to take the lessons I have learned and apply them every day. I choose to use my successes to challenge me into a new level of living. I choose to LIVE.

4 comments:

Raeleen said...

congrats Bri you are amazing and so inspiring.

Lily said...

Beautiful. Wonderful. Thank you Bri for sharing yourself with the world. You are my new hero and inspiration to keeping healthy and fit. God bless you always.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! What a huge accomplishment! You are an inspiration to me just by reading your blog. You are a 'real' person with a husband and a job and a budget, and you have made it work! You make me feel like maybe, just maybe, I can do it too!

BriannaW said...

Thank you everyone for all the support :)