Britney was no stranger to fad diets. From Atkins to Nutrisystem to Weight Watchers, she has tried just about all of them. Growing up, she witnessed family members go through yo-yo diets and by the age of eight, she began taking notice of her body and how others viewed it. At age 11 she recalls being told she was overweight from her grandmother who even offered to pay her for every pound she lost. Britney attended jazzercise and weight loss classes with her mom as a young girl and by the time she hit high school, she began her roller coaster relationship with dieting.
Although she was a very active student and athlete, Britney continued to gain weight as she got older, so her first “solution” was to try the Atkins diet. Over the 40 days she was on that diet, Britney took on obsessive habits, cut out carbs completely, and weighed herself daily. She felt pleased that people to notice of her weight loss and that her clothes were becoming too big, but the feeling soon wore off when her doctor told her to stop immediately. Her body was in ketosis, which meant her diet was actually starving for essential nutrients.
“I thought I was being healthy because I was losing weight, but in reality I was damaging my body further,” Britney said.
While she tried her best to maintain her weight, Britney spiraled out of control once she started college. She admittedly began taking advantage of the buffet-style cafeteria at her school and spent many nights partying and drinking. Once she realized she had gained all the weight she lost in high school, she decided to start dieting again; this time, with Nutrisystem.
For almost 4 months, she stuck with the Nutrisystem plan, eating only the freeze-dried packaged foods from her subscription. She also stopped going to social events and the school cafeteria with friends in order to maintain her new weight-loss regimen. She came to wonder how she could keep at this routine for the rest of her life. Following these thoughts, Britney slowly backed away from her obsessive dieting habits, but unfortunately fell into other old habits and regained all the weight she had lost and more.
After Britney graduated from college she had to adjust herself to yet another routine in an office job working as a graphic-designer where she would go out for lunch every day with her co-workers and head to happy hour after work. Most days she was too tired to cook so she would buy food or order in.
The defining moment that made Britney realize that she needed to change her ways was when her then-boyfriend mentioned that her weight gain was becoming an issue for him. At that moment and at her heaviest weight of about 250 pounds, she knew something had to give. She broke up with her boyfriend and decided it was time to turn her life around and focus on getting healthy.
"My mind decided 'okay, I’m ready to do this.' I didn’t think any more about what would happen or how long it would take or how painful and exhausting it would be. I didn’t think about it at all, I just did it” Britney said.
In August 2010 she walked into her first Weight Watchers meeting, a meeting that would change her life forever. She learned that she needed to make big changes in her life not because she hated her body, but because she loved it and she wanted to treat it right.
Over the last few years, she learned to make healthy choices by journaling her day-to-day process and seeking support from her friends at Weight Watchers. She also grew to love working out and learned that exercising could be fun when you find the right routine. Yoga has become one of her favorites.
After 3 years into her health and self-love journey, Britney dropped 86 pounds! But there was still one issue. Despite how hard she worked, she became self-conscious of her excess skin that never seemed to budge.
“Every time I would do a plank, a push-up, a crunch, and even when I ran, my extra skin would hang, no matter how tightly I flexed my core. It mentally bothered me so much. I had worked my butt off (quite, literally) and now I had this extra skin issue to figure out”
In 2013, she decided have her excess skin removed (before and after photo above). While the healing process was mildly difficult and took some time, she slowly returned to her healthy routine of exercise and nutritious eating.
Six years after she decided to live a healthy, wholesome life, she is close to being 100 lbs down from when she first started.
“My ultimate goal is to live a balanced life, free from rules or restrictions, but to not ever let my weight get out of control again. For me, I’m happiest when I’m getting in a workout most days a week and eating healthy, filling, nutritious foods! I want to share that message with as many people as possible and to share my story so that people know they aren’t alone and that big weight loss is possible in a healthy and manageable way” said Britney.
Britney’s story is a testament that getting healthy can be a long process and weight loss doesn’t happen over night. Her story also reveals that weight loss doesn’t automatically lead to self-love. It wasn’t until Britney put health above the want be skinny, that she found love within herself to continuously take care of her body. There is no magic diet or pill that will make you love yourself until you obtain a healthy mindset and body image. Everything else will fall into place.
For more inspiring posts, work out tips, and recipes, visit her website at FittyBritty.com and be sure to follower her on Instagram @FittyBritttty!