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collage-breeIf you are here for a recipe today, I apologize. Today I am going to get a little personal and dig a little deep.

This is hard to write, and definitely falls into the “uncomfortable” conversation category, but many of you have been here with me for years, and I feel like you are family. So I feel like I can tell you more about myself.

I got fat.

Not like, she’s-put-on-a-few-lbs fat, but really fat.

Unhealthy weight fat. Keeping-me-from-doing-things fat. Hiding-from-my-life fat.

I was at an all-time low.

The last few years have been difficult for me. We moved twice in a calendar year, my parents dropped the bomb that they were getting divorced after 29 years of marriage, I had a hard time making friends in our new town, and life just seemed hard. I was unhappy.

natureTo fill the voids in my life, I chose to eat. Everyone has something – Some people channel their feelings by smoking or drinking, some obsessively work out, some people shop. For me, I was eating my feelings. Emotional eating was how I dealt with any and feelings I had.

Looking back now, I can see how I have been this way since I was a child. If I was sad, I ate. If I was anxious, I ate. If I was happy, I ate. If I was bored, I ate. You get the idea, right? Food became a Band-Aid for me.

nycAbout 6 months ago, something in me shifted. I was done. I was so miserable in my body that I knew that something had to change. I was missing out on my life. I was closing myself off because I was embarrassed about how I looked. I couldn’t look at pictures of me with my family and see the beautiful family that I have, all I saw was the fat girl pretending to be happy.

I had tried just about every diet out there. Some with success, but the weight always came back. I have come to realize that diets just don’t work. I had done them all, and here I was again, overweight and not living the life that I wanted to.

me-nowSo what clicked for me this time? I learned to love myself again.

I started to have fun. I had been depriving myself of any fun. It was always go-go-go, I was not taking the time to enjoy my life.

I started to get dressed every day and put makeup on, even if I was in the kitchen and working by myself all day. It just made me feel better about myself. I bought new clothes. I had been wearing clothes that I didn’t feel good in, what was the point?

I started moving my body every day. Before, going to work out felt like I was being punished. The voice in my head would say, “Bree, you ate like crap yesterday, so you need to run-as-hard-you-can-for-as-long-as-you-can.” No more. Now I take a walk, ride my bike, go to Pilates because I want to – not because I feel like I need to repent. I was so mean to myself. Honestly, if I ever heard one of my children talk to someone the way that I talked to myself, I would have been mortified. But I talked to myself like that every. single. day. No wonder I treated my body like crap.

I treated myself to flowers, took myself out on dates, read for pleasure, made my house a place that made me feel inspired, bought nice pajamas.

marriageI put more energy into my relationship with my husband. The love was always there – but after 10 years and 3 children in 4 years, our marriage was not at the top of our priority list. It was just about surviving some days. Now we go on regular dates, we took an amazing vacation together without the kids, and regularly make time for each other.

There was and is so much more.

After I started to have fun and like myself again, I lost weight. A lot of weight. Crazy.

Yes, the smaller dress sizes are amazing. (I no longer hate shopping.) I am so much happier. Even if I had not lost a pound, my life is significantly better. I have been reminded that I need to take care and love myself. The results did not just happen to me either, my husband and children are happier too. I felt like I had an amazing relationship with my family before, but now it is even better.

Now, there are still days when I want to dive into a pint of ice cream. There are still days when I feel less than amazing. But what I have now that I did not have then was a set of tools for recognizing why I feel that way and now I can deal with them.

Without food.

macaronsOf course, I still eat ice cream. But now I eat it at the table in a beautiful bowl. And two scoops instead of an entire pint on the couch while watching Revenge. There is a place in my life for bread and pasta. Macarons and cupcakes. Beer. There always will be. But now that I do not use them as emotional medicine, I can have a cookie and be satisfied and truly enjoy the cookie without guilt.

I have confidence that I did not have before. Not only about how I look, but with what I can accomplish. I have had a passion for years that I had been sitting on. I will tell you more about the details later, but I have taken action to make my dream become a reality. I enrolled in a nutrition program to help me begin a coaching practice. My focus is on mothers and families. Never in a million years would I have done that a year ago.

In fact, I am in the process of creating my first online course. It is called Lighten Up and I am so excited to share it with you soon.

xoxo,

Bree

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69 Responses to Live More Weigh Less

  1. Kristen says:

    Friend, I love you. Thanks for sharing this. I’m in tears because I know your pre-story (minus the moving) because I’m currently living it.
    I can’t wait to be in the after.
    Love you!

  2. Such a beautiful, thoughtful post. I love the term “emotional medicine.” I can relate to this in so many ways. Gaining weight through pregnancy has not been an easy road for me despite how many people tell me it’s normal. :) Thank you for sharing your story!

    • bakedbree says:

      thank you Liz, pregnancy is rough on the body. But if you remember that your body is giving you a gift (a beautiful baby) it can be easier to love and appreciate her.

  3. alison says:

    Beautiful Bree, you’ve come so far. Sending you continued peace, strength & love!

  4. Kristan says:

    Hi Bree – choked up reading your post. I feel like I wrote it…only the before part. I am very interested in this program, but have questions. Should I post questions here in the comments? I’m not sure what you mean by the “contact form above.” Thank you :)

  5. molly says:

    That’s wonderful, Bree. I’m so glad you’re happy and you have your life back :)

  6. Your story is inspiring and I can relate on SO many levels. For me, losing weight has been especially hard since hitting the big 50. I am tired of hiding from the world and tired of being less than happy with myself. Thanks for the inspiration. So glad I found your story! I will be checking out the LMWL program :)

  7. Erin says:

    Thank you for being so honest! I loved reading this and seeing a bigger window into your life. What an inspiring and healthy perspective!

  8. What a beautiful story. It seems I could have written it, you story parallels so much of mine (the before part). I really need to look closer into her program, and start treating me better.

    • bakedbree says:

      Thank you Donna! My story is not unique, I am hopeful that by sharing it, more women learn to love themselves and take better care of their bodies.

  9. Rachel Cooks says:

    Loved reading this, Bree and I’ve been enjoying the 28 day challenge. It’s not the right time for me to enroll because of the age of my children but I’ve already learned so much and am definitely keeping it in mind for the future. Plus, I can’t wait to be Kristen’s cheerleader. :)

  10. Beverly says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I have looked into this for myself, but the expense of this program is just too much (although I’m sure it is worth every penny!) I would love to hear more about your experience if you choose to write about it.

  11. Natasha says:

    Oh, man! This sounds amazing and just what I need. Until…I saw the cost. I’m sure it is worth every penny, but it is simply not in my budget right now. Any chance you might be able to ask Sarah if she would consider doing a giveaway for a spot?

  12. Anna says:

    Good for you Bree, and thank you for having the courage to share your story. I’ve loved your website and recipes for years (it’s my go-to!), I really appreciate all that you do! Best of luck with your journey!

  13. Casey says:

    thank you for being honest and sharing so much with us all. congratulations on all that you have lost (and gained!) during this time!

  14. You’re one incredible woman! I needed to read this today. As a woman who overcame a 20 year eating disorder battle most recently the last three years, I truly can relate to this. It is so much easier for women to be hard on themselves instead of being kind and caring. If we could take a few minutes to stop, breathe and remember what being a woman is truly about, we may be able to finally undo the damage that society and ourselves have placed there in the first place. I advocate this same message on my blog The Soulful Spoon, but I also often forget it when things get tough or busy. Thank you for reminding me today:) You’re awesome!

  15. Kim says:

    Bree, this is so beautiful. I have only known the “post” LMWL version of you and have seen instantly in you what you just wrote on paper- a wonderful, beautiful woman loving life. You are an inspiration and I am so thankful that you are setting the stage for women to be authentic and open. Your story is beautiful and I appreciate the gift you have given by sharing it.

  16. Good for you Bree, good luck with your journey.

  17. Bree, this sounds amazing, thank you for sharing. Good luck on your journey! Keep nurturing yourself and your family!

  18. justine says:

    Hi Bree,
    This crazy coincidence is too much not to share. It all began 3 weeks ago with a magazine (BHG) that featured a style blogger, Hilary Rushford. She seemed delightful, so I subscribed to her weekly email. The first Tuesday email I received, featured Sarah Jenks and LMWL. I join the free 28 day challenge. Two days ago, looking for new, inspirational podcasts to listen to while I drive, I discover Liz Brazier’s Live Your Life Now. Late last night, I made the decision to join LMWL. When I woke up this morning, I was pretty anxious about the emotional and financial commitment to LMWL, so I decided to listen to Liz’s Live Your Life Now podcast. Liz Brazier is interviewing YOU. Half way through the interview, I check out your blog and low and behold, your post is about Sarah Jenks and LMWL!!! I feel completely out of my element sharing with people I don’t know, but something tells me (ok, more like shouts it) I am on the right path…I can’t help but believe it this time, as the number of positive people I have “around” me is starting to grow rapidly! Best of luck to you Bree! Oh, and thanks for the Kale Stuffed Shells recipe. Love knowing what’s for dinner! Thank you!

    • bakedbree says:

      That is a crazy coincidence! You are on the right path! LMWL was the best thing that I have ever done. I loved every second of it. Can’t wait to “see” you there.

  19. Becky says:

    I could have written this post myself. I wish you success on this journey. You can do this and you have more people than you know that are in your corner cheering you on!

  20. I am so proud of you, Bree. Making our health a priority is so hard. SO hard. But like you said, it really does make everyone we take care of even happier! Keep up the good work!!! xoxo.

  21. I’ve been a long time reader and this is my first time commenting. Thank you for the real and honest post. Congrats to you on your hard work. And I totally agree on the nice pajamas thing…sometimes it’s the little things!

  22. Clair says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I can so relate. I am on a similar journey. I feel like I know the right answers about loving myself, but I don’t always internalize and live those answers. I enjoyed reading about the program and perhaps the 28 day challenge will help me live more right now. :) I’m so happy for you and wish you the best in your nutrition studies! You are (and always have been) a beautiful and gracious person. :)

  23. This is really awesome! Go you! The things you’ve been doing sound very sensible. I have been making a few changes too along the same lines and I know I’ll be much happier for it, eventually ;)

  24. clo*bee says:

    Congratulations Bree! I can’t remember exactly how I found your blog but I do love it, even though I think we missed living in Old Town at the same time by just a few months. Congrats again and good luck with the long term journey. It never ends! :)

  25. Bree, as many have said, I could have been writing this story. The feeling like it is a struggle to make even one friend resonated with me. It’s lonesome. And it’s horrible. The talking badly to yourself actually made me identify, I cried. I don’t know you really well but I do adore you so very much! Hoping to get to know you better xox Lyndsay

  26. Bree, what a beautiful post. I am glad that you found something that helped you to not only love the body you have but to find happiness in your life again. you are an inspiration. p.s. youre hair, makeup, clothes, and YOU are all beautiful!! have a wonderful weekend

  27. Denise says:

    I love not only your honesty but the courage you have. I knew as soon as I met you last year, that you were a strong and determined woman, and that is what I liked about you. This post only confirms that. You are amazing, and what you are doing by sharing your struggles is amazing!

    I never had to worry about my weight, yes I was one of them, until I went through pre-mature menopause at 37 years old, when extra weight just oozed out onto me. And the depression from that, caused me to enjoy a few pints during low moments. Who am I kidding, I ate the same way, happy or sad. Recently went to have a physical, which I had my prepared speech of “yes, I want to lose 20″, and it was confirmed by my doctor. I needed to get off of my ass and start moving …. Definitely makes you feel better, doesn’t it, once you start shedding a few and those snug jeans start to look a little sexier.

    Keep up the GREAT job!! You are an inspiration.

  28. Oh Bree! What a heart felt and gorgeous story. I know we’ve never met but I I read your words, visit here frequently and make your food for my family so it’s hard not to feel connected. It breaks my heart that this has been your last year. There is nothing worse than suffering in silence and feeling like you’re alone. As mama’s and caregivers, we can all relate. It’s too easy to put yourself last while taking care of everyone else around you. Before you know it, you don’t recognize yourself and the day to day beauty is lost. Know that you have so many readers and fans cheering you on. Keep up the amazing job you’re doing and THANK YOU for sharing. This was way better than a recipe, btw!

  29. Amanda says:

    Thank you for being so bold and honest and awesome to write this! I dont know what stage of the journey you were in when I met you.. but I have to say… I have always thought you to be beautiful! You have the most gorgeous skin and coloring, not to mention adorable taste in clothing and accessories! I was so jealous of your fashion sense on that Verizon trip. (jealous in a good way… I do look up to you!) I am sorry I did not order through you… I wish I had. I was in such a hurry to sign up I just used the first link provided. :(
    Thanks for being a great example and friend sweet Bree. I hope I can follow in your footsteps! :)

    • bakedbree says:

      You are the sweetest. Thank you Amanda. You met me at a pretty low point. I am so glad that you signed up, I could not care in the least about anything else. I wish that all of the women I know and love would have joined. xoxo.

  30. Tania says:

    Hi Bree, You know I am a huge fan of yours and love that you shared this. I think what you posted is something that 99.9% of all women can relate to-regardless of their size. We are so hard on ourselves and it’s a shame. I try to remember that everyday. Keep up the great attitude- it’s inspirational!

  31. Bree – As a long time reader, I’ve come to love your posts and I’m so happy I stumbled across this one, as I was on the fence about this program. I’m ready to jump in and would love to enroll under your link. Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do after I’ve signed up. So excited about beginning this journey and I’m honored to have you as a guide! :)

  32. Ariane says:

    Ohh! I´m so happy for you and that you´re life has changed so much in a way you wanted it. It´s very courageous of you to post such a intimate story about your own feelings which were hidden in the deepest and darkest place of your soul for so many years and to admit that something went wrong in own life. It´s the first but also the hardest step we have to take to change something. You´re tough! ♥ Yeah!
    And of course, as many others said before, I´m able to identify myself and my own life with your story. These feelings, this behavior or these “talkings” to yourself.
    I´m really love you´re blog and I´m glad that I´ve found it.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Much love from Germany!

  33. […] that I had this weekend. I miss having girlfriends. I have been pretty open and honest about the struggles I have with my weight, and I think that this is the missing piece to really being free of my emotional eating […]

  34. […] have been very open about my struggle with postpartum depression, weight, and juggling motherhood. If it wasn’t for the circle of friends in my life, I don’t know if I […]

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