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.

If you have been following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you probably have heard me talking about Sarah Jenks or Live More Weigh Less. (I promise, it is only for another week or two.) I try to keep the things here light and fun, but life is not always that way, is it?

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. One day, I was on Facebook and someone had shared the Live More Weigh Less training videos. The instant that I started watching, I felt like Sarah was talking about me. I so resonated with her story that I immediately knew that this was what I needed to do. I anxiously awaited the day to register, and did it without looking back. The program was a financial investment and I tend to not follow through on a lot of things that I start, but I just knew that it was what I needed to help me reclaim my life.

Working with Sarah and the other women in Live More Weigh Less changed my life. And I do not say that lightly.

me-nowI 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.) But even if I didn’t lose a pound, I would still be just as happy that I did Sarah’s program. I am so much happier. 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 have done that a year ago.