Update 2016: Shout out to Brooklynn! She is a proud Class of 2016 high school grad and she’s lost an additional 15 pounds for a total of 69 pounds gone.
“I have actually lost an additional 15 pounds since my story was featured last year and I am still running regularly! I am signed up for my first 5k which takes place in September. One thing I have noticed is that as I get closer to my ideal weight, it has become harder to lose as quickly. Now, the next goal I want to achieve is to match my eating habits with my exercise routine. In all honesty, I feel my eating habits are what is holding me back from reaching my ultimate goal. Hopefully, with the right research and a change in mindset, I can overcome the obstacle. That being said, I am thankful for how far I have come.”
Weight Loss Story of the Day: Brooklynn lost 54 pounds. After gaining weight due to epilepsy medication in elementary school, this young lady faced additional weight gain and bullying going into middle school. She decided in 8th grade to change lifestyle and focus on what would make her happy. She’s now about to enter her senior year of high school and we applaud her for making a healthy lifestyle change at such a young age. Here is what she shared with us about her journey…
Hi, my name is Brooklynn Grace and this is my weight loss story. My family has a history of obesity, and when I developed epilepsy in the third grade, it wasn’t hard for the medicine I was placed on to help me gain 30+ pounds that year. I was taken off of the medicine because of the increased weight gain; however, my weight continued to increase over a period of time. When I was in seventh grade, my highest weight was 252.8 pounds. I was teased by one girl at school and I would even have times where I felt as if my own mom wasn’t supportive of me because she was always harping on my weight. I didn’t love myself and I felt like if I continued, I would never reach my goal in life of being and actress and performing one day in my favorite Broadway musical, The Lion King. That’s when I decided to make a change. Not for my mom, or the girl who would tease me, but for myself.
At the beginning of my eighth grade year I began doing Zumba in my basement, I lost ten pounds by the end of the school year. My freshman year of high school I joined my school’s color guard and continued doing that plus Zumba for the duration of my freshman and sophomore year. There would be moments where I would stop and start again but I refused to let myself go back to where I was. I sing in my school’s choir, play violin in my school’s orchestra, participate in my school’s theatre program, volunteer in the children’s department at my church, and participate in other numerous programs that keep my schedule busy and hardly leave any room for exercise, but I managed to pull through.
I started cutting back on a lot of sweets. That was my primary issue because I always have had a sweet tooth. I created a more balanced system as far as when I would eat them compared to when I would work out. For example if I went to a party or family gathering and had too much cake, I would add an extra 30 minutes to my workout routine. I also stopped drinking pop and that has made a tremendous difference in my health as well. My initial workout plan was 3 days a week for 2 hours in the evening. The first 30-45 minutes I would use the Just Dance game on the Sweat it Out mode because I found the routines fun and they got my heart rate going. After that, I would do the Zumba program for an hour which kept my energy up and I increased the intensity of the videos as time moved on, and finally I would do just some added strength training I began with basic sit-ups and eventually moved on to other exercises such as squats, scissors, lunges, and push-ups.
Currently, because of marching band, I do not have to do Zumba as often since we exercise at practice. However every morning that I do not have practice, I do some strengthening exercises, go to my local park and I run/walk 2 miles in 2 minute increments using the Couch 2 5k app. One of my goals is to be able to run a marathon by the time I graduate next year.
Now that I’m almost a senior in high school, I am happy to say that I weigh 198 pounds, but I’m far from reaching my goal. I may not be there yet but I’m closer than I was in seventh grade. I’m happier and more confident. Weight loss is hard especially as a teenager, but I keep going so that I can be and inspiration to myself and to others. I am seventeen years old and I am proud to say that I have lost 54.8 lbs and counting. (height: 5’6″)
My advice to anyone who wants to lose weight is that losing weight is like riding a roller coaster. There are ups and downs, but you got on the ride for a reason and you don’t want to get back in the waiting line. So, just keep going and remember to enjoy the ride. If there has been anything I’ve learned it’s that losing weight can be fun, you just have to find what’s best for you.