We had our family pictures taken a few weeks ago. Is it bad that this is my favorite picture we took that day? It’s my favorite because while making the faces, my double chin was temporarily hidden. The end.

Let’s just say that yellow isn’t my color. Tears were shed after looking at some of the rest. Unflattering is an understatement. HA!

crazy family photo

I have shared my feelings about weight loss several times here at All Things Thrifty, and although I know it isn’t a subject that should clog up the content, sometimes I think it’s healthy to check in and give an update. I hope you don’t mind. I guess it’s my way of keeping things real around here if ya know what I mean.

I’ll be brave and share one of the unflattering photos too. Deep breaths…yep, yellow just isn’t my color. I think the rest of the family looks DARLING though!

Our family 2013 1

So, on goes the roller coaster of weight loss {and gain} around here. I am in a good place right now, and I try hard to eat healthy. I eat healthy because I feel better when I do. If I eat a lot of starchy carbs, my body screams at me immediately. AND, I don’t want my kids to think their Mom is constantly on a diet.  It isn’t a diet. I truly just try and eat good.  So, if they ask me, I tell them that I’m trying to eat healthier. And if they ask me if I “can’t” have something. I say, “I can have it, but I’ll save that for a special occasion.” Or, “my tummy will hurt if I eat it,” or simply “No thanks.”

I read an article that a friend shared with me called, “When your Mother says she’s Fat.” And ever since I read that article, I’ve tried hard to be better about anything of the sort.

At the beginning of the year, when I revealed our 2012 project wrap up post, I said, “Goal #1 for 2013, SET A GOAL.” Although I never announced what that goal was, my theme for 2013 is:

be Considerate copy

It encompasses lots of things that I wanted to work on this year.

#1: Be considerate to myself.

#2: Be more considerate to my family.

#3: Be more considerate to others.

I can be hard on myself {like most women are}. And although it’s not fair, my intrapersonal communication {ya know, when I talk to myself} can be pretty darn mean. I never realized it until Teresa, an amazing friend of mine pointed out that I needed to pay attention to what I said to myself.

I found myself describing my day as, “pathetic” and “lazy”. Ummmm, how fair is that? It’s not. Especially because my days are quite full and are far from “lazy.”


I adjusted that self talk to give myself a little credit. In fact, I practiced pretending that I was talking to my sister instead of myself. That may sound weird, but it was easier at first because I would NEVER say those things to someone I love. I would never call them lazy, fat, …etc.

So, although I’m definitely not perfect; I feel better. I’m definitely doing better in this area most days.

I also found out that my thyroid is low, and I had no idea how much this impacted the way I felt as well as influencing my ability to lose weight. I constantly felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t remember my “to do” list, I missed appointments, and I was stressed to the max over silly things. I also had major anxiety that caused my heart to race and prevented me from taking a deep breath at times.

As a result, I took a break from the weight loss train. I was constantly trying to lose weight, but nothing was happening. It was so frustrating. During my hiatus and rebellious stage against it all, I gained 30 pounds. Holy. Hell.

It’s like I blink and I gain 5 lbs. No joke.

So, I joined a support group with a friend and lost 20 pounds in eight weeks…

Then that program ended and I gained almost all of it back. That’s what happens when you quit working out cold turkey. I’m not telling you this to feel sorry for me. I’m just recounting what happened. If you can relate, maybe you will appreciate my honesty. Who knows, either way, it is what it is.

I wish I liked to work out, but I don’t. I’ve found that unless I have a friend pushing me to go to the gym and meeting me there, I don’t go. I’ve also learned that if I don’t get up in the morning and go to the gym, it doesn’t happen. I come up with good excuses why I’m too busy later in the day. I’m pretty convincing!

My thyroid is finally regulated again and I’m seeing results. I feel much better, and my brain isn’t as foggy as it was.  I’ve lost almost 10 pounds again. I’m talking armour thyroid {a prescription medication} every day, and although I was super sad that it was necessary, I am soooo glad that I finally bit the bullet and had it tested.

I’m mad that I’m starting over again with my endurance. If I would stay consistent I would probably be an Olympic athlete by now. Ha! Obviously I’m kidding. But, I’m proud to say that I worked out this morning.

I bet I have lost 75 pounds in the last 2 years, and that is no joke. The problem is that I keep gaining it back. I know that this is something that I constantly have to worry about and that gets overwhelming at times.  If you have any kind advice, please share.

Thanks for listening. I’ll keep you updated on my journey.

Our Family 2013




  1. Nicholia says

    Oh Brooke,
    I am a long time follower. I was actually wondering how you were doing the other day.

    Lady- You look amazing, you are beautiful, smart, and ambitious. I totally get the weight loss thing. I just started weight watchers. I just do it on my iPhone- man it is so easy. I lose a little every week. It is really simple. I would recommend it.
    Dont let it get you down. Youre amazing!

    • Brooke says

      Thank you for your kind comment. Good luck with weight watchers! I might join weight watchers again too. xoxo, thanks again for your comment.

  2. says

    I think you look amazing and beautiful my friend. But, I can totally relate. Struggling with hypothyroidism can be very frustrating and difficult. So glad you are getting it under control. The Armour makes a big difference for me as well. Hang in there friend! Love ya!

    • Brooke says

      Thanks Ame. YOU are amazing and beautiful. I wish we lived closer so that we could hang out more than twice a year! I think about you all the time because of your gluten allergies. That would be absolutely terrible. I love your guts and I look up to you in a million ways.

  3. JODI says

    First of all you are BEAUTIFUL!! You also look fantastic in yellow… I have “struggled” with my weight all my life as well, but you wouldn’t know it to look at me. I am petite but I work my ass off and have never let a bite of food go uncalculated in my head… this has been since I was 8 and realized other girls were skinny. I have taken up running again and although sometimes it sucks, I love the feeling that it is the only “me” time I really get, even if that means I have 3 kiddos in the basement with me while I run. Find out what works for your body… see a naturopath, listen to your body and treat yourself well. Walk if you don’t like the gym… I walked for years while my knee was waiting for surgery :) And most of all treat everyday as a separate day… good luck!

  4. says

    I can relate. I gained weight with both pregnancies, but lost all of it right after each birth. What I have now is my own fault. I like to eat…snack a lot. And I don’t drink enough water. I’m tired when I get home, so I don’t exercise then, and I’m a late riser so I can’t workout then either. I’m definitely one that needs a good kick in the pants. I started taking a vitamin supplement called Thrive, and drink a shake with that daily for breakfast. My energy has perked up A LOT and I can actually get out at night, take a walk, play with the girls….I’ve lost a few pounds thus far and am excited that maybe, just maybe I’ve finally found some help. :) one day at a time I guess is all we can ask.
    You brought up a great point though…about how mean we are to ourselves. I’m definitely guilty there. I’m going to try to work on that. Thanks for this post!

  5. Lisa says

    First of all, thank you for being brave enough to be honest about your struggle. Secondly, to be the mom of 4 children, you look AMAZING. I am 48 (with no kids ) and also struggle with my weight (or what society deems to be my problem :), my mother died in 2011 and since that time I have gained about 40 pounds. I have always struggled with the ups and downs of weight gain/loss, but since losing my mom, it has been worse. I am married to a wonderful supportive husband and always encourages me to be happy and healthy. I recently stared using Fitness Pal, a phone app for tracking food intake. I really like it and recommend it. There also is an online community for support.

    • Brooke says

      I use myfitnesspal too! Come find me my username is brookeulrich! I’m so sorry about losing your Mom. xoxo.

  6. TRACY says

    Long time reader, love your blog. Just wanted to say I know how you feel! I have been trying to lose the weight from my 5 kids for 5 years. Finally got my body figured out and starting to see small results. It is frustrating but don’t you quit!! And can I say, your pics are beautiful. Your personality radiates and while I don’t know you, I can tell that you are a kind, caring, compassionate person. Don’t quit on yourself or your goals!

    • Brooke says

      I read your comment and for some reason it made me cry. Thank you for taking the time to write it. It means a lot and it didn’t go unnoticed. Thank you.

  7. says

    First of all, I think you look very pretty. And I intend to check that out in person in approximately 10 days. 😉

    I have gained much “happy fat” over the last several years, and I can’t seem to get disgusted/motivated enough to change. I love cheese and Coke and the internet (aka sitting). And now Hostess Donettes are back! Ack!

    I feel your pain, Brooke. At least you are taking positive steps though. Proud of you! :)

  8. says

    I can totally relate to everything you said. I have never cared to exercise until recently myself. I think it is all about finding something you really enjoy doing. Easier said than done though isn’t it? Just keep making gradual changes and the weight loss will come. We get set in this mindset that we must get the weight off as fast as we can that we miss the opportunity to make the changes that need to occur for long term results.

  9. Cortney says

    I disagree! You look great in yellow. It’s vibrant and fun. If you don’t like the way you look in the photos, you know what you have to do, girl. But don’t blame it on the yellow, because you’re rocking that color.

  10. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this today, Brooke! I’ve been having a hard time with the same thing. I have always been small with curves, but over the past few years I just keep gaining weight…it’s super frustrating. I’m heading to Haven in less than two weeks, and thought by now I would have lost some of it, but nope. I decided last week to let it go and just go be myself…like anyone there cares if my arse is bigger than it used to be 😉 Sending you a huge hug!!!


  11. says

    Hi Brooke! First, you are beautiful in these pics (love the yellow)!! Second, I love that you shared so honestly. I too found out I’m hypothyroid a few years ago but even after my meds were properly dosed, I still had a hard time losing the weight. I’ve always had to work out to maintain my weight but after having 3 kids in 4 years I found myself 55 lbs overweight. I set a goal to learn to like running (because I knew it burned a lot of calories in a little time and with 3 small kids time is something I’m always short on). I started with Couch 2 5K and kept my running slow and I started to see weight loss. Then I started eating clean. More weight loss (slow but it was starting to come off). Then I started to actually enjoy running and I started training for a half marathon (I did it on Mother’s Day this past May). In the past 15 months, I’ve lost 45 lbs and something like 30″ (6″ off each thigh alone!). I’m still a pretty slow runner but it’s become my “me time” that keeps me sane between my family/kids, school, blogging/graphic design! Now I’m sidelined with a knee injury but thanks to a friend, I’ve adopted the mantra “Something is better than nothing”, so I’m walking, doing TurboJam and TurboSculpt (which are really fun!) and hoping to see these last 10 lbs come off soon!! Best of luck to you and you’re not alone! :)

    • Brooke says

      Dawn, I’m inspired. I want to like to run too! I can run 2 miles without stopping and I hate every step! HA! I’m working on liking it. I’ll let you know if that happens anytime soon. I look forward to the day that I actually WANT to go for a run!

      • says

        I am not a big fan of running either. But I love to dance. So when I need to run, I put on some music and sinc my footsteps to the beat, and then with every step I imagine the dance move I would do to that part of current song. See if it works for you.

  12. says

    Thanks so much for your candor and putting it out there and keeping it real. I think you look beautiful and amazing and the photos are fab, but I get how you feel. I feel the so way looking at family photos recently. We can be so hard on ourselves. I’m the same way with working out–mornings or bust-and I need a friend or someone to kick my sleepy butt pit of bed or I won’t go consistently. I’m very convincing too!

    Your legions of fans are here rooting you on!

  13. says

    Thank you for sharing. As someone who has struggled with my weight for the last 10 years it is nice to hear that you are being considerate to you. That has been
    a huge struggle for me. Thanks for the great example.

  14. Amy says

    Love the family photos! I have also struggled with weight almost all my life. In May after going on vacation and overindulging the whole time, I came home and decided I had had enough. I started walking and jogging without much success in losing weight. Then I heard about Trim Healthy Mama and decided to buy the book. I love it!!! I am down 22 lbs and for the first time in my life feel like I can do this forever. I am able to make meals that the whole family will eat and I don’t have to count anything!! There is also great support on their Facebook page. I think there is even a seperate group for Mamas dealing with thyroid issues. Just thought I would mention it! Lots of luck to you!

  15. Angelica says

    If it helps, I think you look great and your family is gorgeous! I just started weight watchers so I totally get your struggle. I have the same issues. Love you post today. I needed that.

  16. Jackie says

    I’m a huge fan of the 17 Day Diet book. It tells you exactly what to eat for every single meal. I just can’t do diets that “recommend” a variety of things that you should eat—I need to be told exactly what to do, and I can do it. Plus, you can do anything for 17 days (it has 3 17 day cycles).

    Before I had my baby last year I lost 17 pounds in about 6 weeks on the diet and kept it off until I was 32 weeks pregnant (while eating whatever sounded good). I’m nursing, but I started just doing the diet for breakfast, lunch and snacks when my baby was 8 months old. I’m down 16 pounds since April with 8 more to go for my goal weight. My friend’s family did the diet too. She lost over 30, and her daughter lost 68 pounds.

    I also weigh myself every single morning with a digital scale so that I can see ounces leaving. I track it on a weight loss app so I can see my progress over months. That way I can see that I have small ups and downs, but downward progress overall. Good luck!

  17. Roxanne B says

    I always thought it was just me!!! I can also gain about 30 pounds the second I stop paying attention. I always wondered if the “set point” was a myth. It seemed unfair to me that it came on so easily. The best I can do is look at my mother and realize that she appears to be a yo-yo dieter but she just has an inconsistent activity level so she also fluctuates within 30 pounds. I have no frustration tolerance, ADHD (fun!), a mom with special needs and hypothyroidism. At about 300 pounds I couldn’t take the inconsistency any more and I decided on surgery (the sleeve). In all seriousness I did it because I stopped caring about my weight as a number and wanted to have some kind of buffer that helped me keep things from getting out of control when life happened. In truth not a lot has changed, I still need to focus on eating better and exercising more! 😀 I lost a lot of weight, but so far I feel that I got what I wanted because its alot harder to gain as much weight quickly as I once did. So its a tool that works for me and I wanted to share with you. I hope I’m not discouraging you in any way! I hope you follow your heart and know that you aren’t alone :)

  18. Roxanne B says

    I always thought it was just me!!! I can also gain about 30 pounds the second I stop paying attention. I always wondered if the “set point” was a myth. It seemed unfair to me that it came on so easily. The best I can do is look at my mother and realize that she appears to be a yo-yo dieter but she just has an inconsistent activity level so she also fluctuates within 30 pounds. I have no frustration tolerance, ADHD (fun!), a mom with special needs and hypothyroidism. At about 300 pounds I couldn’t take the inconsistency any more and I decided on surgery (the sleeve). In all seriousness I did it because I stopped caring about my weight as a number and wanted to have some kind of buffer that helped me keep things from getting out of control when life happened. In truth not a lot has changed, I still need to focus on eating better and exercising more! 😀 I lost a lot of weight, but so far I feel that I got what I wanted because its alot harder to gain as much weight quickly as I once did. So its a tool that works for me and I wanted to share with you. I hope I’m not discouraging you in any way! I hope you follow your heart and know that you aren’t alone :)

  19. says

    I really like your outfit! I think you have to dress what you have and just enjoy the journey. I am a firm believer in just changing diet. If you stop eating processed shit you will likely drop a lot of weight without having to go hard at the gym every single day. I have also seen a lot of friends who have struggled to loose weight, stop eating carbs and they got skinny quick. I guess you have to find what works for you. Also you shouldn’t feel bad getting rid of all the processed food, I know it will be tough for the kids but it’s worse for them than it is for you.

  20. says

    Hi Brooke!
    I kind of want to give you a hug right now because I can totally relate to your journey. Having kids did a number on my body and I haven’t been able to get my mojo back yet. But one thing that helps me on the gym front is that I began separating “working out” from “losing weight”. I realized that going to the gym gives me time alone to think and pray, time to pour into me {something we moms rarely do} and a thing that is just my own. It is so good for my emotional and mental health. So I look at it now as something that’s good for my heart, mind and soul. That makes it easier to get up early and be consistent because I know I’m a better mommy when I take care of my soul. Separating my weight and looks and body from they gym made me appreciate the gym so much more and it makes me enjoy my time there so much more.
    And I think you look great in yellow. It looks great with your hair color and skin tone. You know…in case you were thinking of never wearing it again. :-)

  21. Molly H says

    Hey Brooke,
    Weight has been a struggle for me my whole life. Ironically, I also found out that my Thyroid was not functioning right a little over a year ago. It has taken a year to get my levels right and I still have to get tested every 6 weeks to check on it.
    I write down everything I eat, and stopped picking at EVERYTHING. I would make dinner and snack through it and still eat a full meal. I try to eat when I am hungry and make a conscious decision about what I’m eating and focus on what my body tells me. If I’m hungry I eat, if I’m not I don’t. I know that sounds stupid but I think 75% of the time I eat because it’s there not because I’m hungry. I need pickers anonymous. I look at the people that can eat anything and be thin and think they can’t possibly know how great they have it.
    So now I make good eating decisions and like you I refuse to call it a diet. A diet is temporary in my brain. This needs to be forever because my ass has been too big for forever. I have also been working out for about 9 months 5 days a week. It’s soooooo hard to do it all. Do you have classes that you can take? I’ve done, Crossfit, Body Fusion and kick boxing and I love it. Body Fusion is my absolute favorite. 1 hour class and it’s total body, aerobics and strength. I also mix a yoga class in once a week (love that too). On days I don’t take a class I walk or run depending on the temp. But always outside and always about 2 miles.
    I’m still not at my goal weight or size. But now I kinda make my goal to feel good and stop looking at numbers too much. I want to look in the mirror and feel content and not look at pictures of myself and want to find the nearest paper shredder. I just want to be happy. I’m never going to be a size 2. Hell. I’m never going to be a size 8. But I bet I could be a pretty happy, fit, great, content size 10 or 12.
    Feeling over weight sucks. Feeling bad about yourself sucks. Go easy on yourself. Your body produced 4 seriously gorgeous children and your man looks pretty happy in those pictures. You did that. Take credit and be happy that you are obviously going something VERY right.
    Good luck, and make sure you stay on your thyroid, I get mine tested every 8 weeks because it has fluctuated.
    Good luck girl, PS I think yellow looks terrific on you. Your skin is amazing.

  22. Celesta says

    You look great! But health is an important issue and a key indicator of health is weight. The only thing that has worked for me is a low carb, high fat diet. It’s amazing. I can eat cheese, butter, cream cheese, meat, veggies and I’m as healthy as a horse. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t even have to work out. And the more I read about processed foods, well, the less I miss them.

    And instead of saying, “I can’t eat that,” I say “I don’t eat that,” and that’s the truth!

    Good luck on your journey! Would be happy to discuss this way of eating further if you’d like.

  23. says

    How brave you are to share. I am loving your family pics. I’ve been wanting to do some, but keep putting it off “until I lose some weight”. Who knows when that will happen because I struggle EVERYDAY. I’m on the roller coaster exercise plan. Once I get going good, tiredness and lack of time win over. Tired because I’m only sleeping 4 hours a night. Which this adds difficulty in shaking the LBS. I’ve battled this my whole life, and want to see a finish to it. Last night at mass I laid it down at the feet of Jesus. I’m letting Him guide me through and give me strength for it to work this time. Thank you for your honesty! You have a beautiful family, and these pics send out family love to those that see them.

  24. says

    I am in the same boat as far as the losing – gaining roller coaster. Ugh! Its hard to find the time and motivation to make the necessary changes to lose and then maintain a healthy weight. Thanks for your candidness. Praying that you are able to make healthy choices for you and your family. By the way – your family pix are precious!

  25. says

    First of all you are such an inspiration, Brooke…especially to us DIY bloggers that are new to the game, so thank you for being so damn cool! 😉 Secondly, you and your family are BEAUTIFUL…love the pics!
    And finally, I too have weight issues. I have battled those demons my entire 30+ years on this planet. I find myself being scared for my little girls and hoping that they don’t have to fight the battle as much as I do. It didn’t help at all that my mother and grandmother , the two women I looked up to the most in my life, were CONSTANTLY on a “diet.” Such a dirty word that needs to be removed from the dictionary! I tell my girls we eat well because it’s “healthy” and because it’s important to our bodies. Every Saturday we have a “treat day” and it helps everyone because it’s something to look forward to. I got “healthy” when I found out that I had a hormonal imbalance. I still go up and down on the scale, but most of the time I can control my cravings that come with the emotional swings. I LOVE to bake so in order to feel good about what my family was eating I played around with recipes and adapted healthier alternatives for cookies, cakes, etc. I also change up my workout routine…CONSTANTLY. I have tried most everything under the sun, but it’s the “new” thing that keeps me going back ( I might be slightly ADD :)). I started jogging when my 5 year old was 1. I used to hate the idea of it, but soon got addicted and it turned into many races including a half marathon! But I also do dancing, yoga, circuit training, weights…just depends on how I feel that day. I think keeping things interesting and not getting stuck in a rut with a boring routine is a very good strategy for weight loss. Another plus to that is your body never gets bored so you burn fat constantly. :) You hang in there, girl. Know that there are a lot of women out there, including me, fighting that battle every minute of the day. We have to love ourselves to make it all work.

    Thanks again for inspiring so many!!

  26. ashley says

    I tear up reading this. I had my youngest 2 back to back (#3 & #4) & I felt so free in those pregnancies to relax, eat, & enjoy my moment. Then I had some beautiful 10 and a half pound boys, & I was 100lbs up from my size 6 frame. Sometimes I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. There is no confidence left in here. So I beat myself up about it, & eat. Why this is so hard for some of us I just don’t know. I downloaded the ‘lose it’ app on my phone the other day to hold myself accountable. I sure hope this works! I’ve got to ditch at least 60 lbs. I wish you all the strength in the world from my heart to yours. And that last picture is perfect by the way. You’re beautiful :)

  27. says

    Brooke, you are gorgeous and I think you could rock any color! Good luck with your journey, I know you’ll get there!!! I actually don’t LOVE running that much, I think it’s more of the fact that I have people to run with that I go as far as I have. I’d much rather lift weights, maybe you just haven’t found something that you love yet. But no matter what the scale says, you will always be one of the sweetest, most compassionate people that I know. Truly. You have a knack for making people feel good about themselves and always saying such nice things. I think you just gotta tell yourself the same because you deserve it. Love ya!

  28. says

    Your family looks so happy & loved! Being comfortable with our weight is something women struggle with all the time. For me, I’ve found it helps if I have a routine that includes the gym. Each day when I take my lunch break at work, I go to the gym to either run, walk outside, do spin class or boot camp. It breaks up the day and I actually look forward to getting my sweat on 😉 Good luck, I personally think you look great!

  29. Mckenzie Woods says

    Like many have said you look absolutely beautiful in these pics, and what a beautiful family! “diet” wise I try and watch my portions and eat everything in moderation (except fruits and veggies). I also have had hypothyroidism for 13 years now and have noticed that if I forget to take even one pill I start to round out and loose energy! For most people “being healthy” is just a lifestyle change, hang in there and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember how great you are, you are beautiful in and out, and amazingly talented!!
    P.S. you were my first blog I started following 😉

  30. says


    I just wanted to leave you a comment to let you know that you’re on the right track. I’m a personal trainer, so weight loss is something I deal with all the time. You’ve already taken the first steps: 1) stop being so hard on yourself, and 2) focus on good nutrition. Eating healthy (cutting WAY back on processed foods and starchy/white carbs) will get you 80% of your results, so start with that. Carrying extra weight makes exercise that much harder, so it’s normal to not like exercise! But every pound you lose through nutrition makes exercise a bit easier, and it won’t be long before you can discover and appreciate your body’s strengths.

    Don’t think of exercise as “that chore that you have to do at the gym in order to lose weight.” Think of it as “training for living a full life,” so you never have to say no to an activity or adventure or opportunity just because you’re not in shape for it. Or like other commenters have suggested, think of it as “me time,” time spent just on you so that you can recharge your batteries and have more of yourself to give to those around you.

    Thank you for sharing your story! Good luck on your road to a healthier lifestyle, and be proud of what you’ve already accomplished!

  31. Tonja Lee says

    This is a great post. You’re brave and awesome and you are SO GORGEOUS! And I think you look great in yellow. I know that we can never see ourselves through the eyes of others, but through my eyes you look wonderful. :)

  32. says

    One, thank you for being honest. I don’t have any advice for you, but I applaud you for being upfront so publicly with your journey.
    Two, all of the pictures you shared are beautiful, you and your family are all beautiful.
    Three, thank you for sharing the “when your mother says she’s fat” article. I don’t have girls, but even with boys, they need to be taught that women are more than their jeans size, and don’t need lipstick to walk to the mailbox.

    Clearly with the number of comments of support you have already recieved in such a short amount of time after posting this, you are well loved, looked up to, and respected. Stay positive.

  33. lannie patel says

    Brooke, first of all you are gorgeous and you are wonderful for opening up about this. my husband has an identical situation :( it is so tough he struggles with a thyroid problem and gains weight at a blink of an eye. It is a constant struggle and I have to re-assure him he is trying like I know you are. I commend you for talking about this I know it is difficult. keep up the good work you are wonderful totally love you 10x more !!!!!!!

  34. says

    What a lovely family — I just found your blog recently. I struggle with similar weight issues and try very hard to not give out my ‘mom feels fat’ vibe to my two young girls. It is hard, isn’t it?! While all of your pictures are adorable, that last one is just perfect!

  35. says

    I swear, women say horrendous things to themselves that they would NEVER say to another person. We are so much harder on ourselves than others. I applaud your honesty, and I (like most people) share the same struggles and insecurities.

    When I looked at your family pictures, I did not consider your weight at all. I think you look beautiful and your family is such a joyous group.

  36. says

    First of all, the picture where you think you look horrible happens to be a beautiful picture of you and your super adorable family. I know it’s hard to look at a picture and see what everyone else is seeing but honestly, you look good. I commend you for your openness to talking about the subject and wish you the best of luck. Honestly, it’s when we don’t worry about things is when they start to fall together. Just remember that!

  37. Angie says

    Looks to me like you are beautiful, have a great looking hubby (hope he doesn’t mind compliments), four gorgeous kids and a beyond lovely home. I think you look fabulous in the pics! Your smile lit up the page!

  38. says

    I think you look amazing in yellow! Also I love your family pictures but I can understand looking at photos and wanting to cry. Just keep with it and you will reach your goal! So glad to hear you are doing it a healthy way! That will really pay off in the end!

  39. Sarah says

    I think you and your family looks gorgeous. Honestly. The number on the scale is just a number that does not describe what kind of person you are or how attractive you are!!

    The only thing that motivates me to eat “healthy” and exercise is for my kids. I want to be around to watch them as they grow older. I want to be able to participate with them in activities. The things that help me are to try to be active WITH my girls and to set family activity goals, such as going on a hike. I schedule the activity well in advance on our calendar and then work my way up to be able to participate in it. I just had another baby a few months ago so I am at my heaviest and least fit on my spectrum, but I know I can set small, achievable fitness goals and make it happen. I want to be a good example to my girls!!

    You talked about the rollercoaster of weight loss– instead of dreading gaining weight, feel confident because you know you’ve done it before and can do it again!

  40. Christie says

    Girl, you rock that yellow! Loved this {raw} and {brave} post. For me, I love working out and do it fairly regularly. My problem is eating unhealthy food! It’s my comfort and escape.

    The only thing that made a lasting change in me was recognizing that my body is {not} actually mine! It is a loan from Heavenly Father, paid for at a high price by His Son, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am only given it because I chose to face this test of faith, to gain immortality with my Father in Heaven.

    Just like borrowing a #2 pencil from your teacher to take a test in school, you don’t want to chew up and down the sides or color on it. You want to return it in the best condition possible out of respect.

    Once I had that mindset, I didn’t want to put anything in this body that would show Him that I didn’t respect Him or His sacrifice to get me here. This mindset also stops me from drinking, smoking, or getting a tattoo. I want to return it in the best possible condition and show Him that I am committed to doing well here on Earth.

    That being said, warm brownies, red velvet cake balls, and salty french fries are a heaven-sent! And must be enjoyed on occasion : ) After all, this life is to be “enjoyed, not just endured!” ?

  41. Brittany says

    I’m so sorry you have struggled with your weight, I have many friends and family members who also have, and it takes such an amazing amount of energy and time, strength and endurance to fight that battle.
    But seriously, when you first put that photo up that you said was ‘bad’ or cringeworthy, I kept scrolling to find it for a second.
    I thought “love the shoes, she has a gorgeous smile, and the yellow shirt with blue blazer looks adorable.” You do so many amazing things, give yourself a little credit! Whatever your journey brings, I hope you can find a balance and happiness. You are an awesome lady with a beautiful family, you included. And I love your work.

  42. Kristi Dodson-Skinkis says

    My husband wasn’t even thirty when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a non-alcoholic fatty liver. The diagnosis was hard to swallow for both of us. We went home and threw out all the junk food and bleached whites. And, we both walked it out to the trash. Really hard to throw food away!!! We changed how we ate.. baby steps. First no red meat.. we used ground turkey… then fish.. now not really any meat. You will LOVE some things and HATE others. I hate papaya. Who hates papaya?! After a year my husband’s A1c is down from 6.9 to 5.2…the normal range with help of medication, his blood pressure and cholesterol are normal. His weight is down 40#. We continually educate ourselves and eat different things. If you flub, pick yourself up and dust yourself off and give it another go. Forgive yourself, you are human. If you flub in the am, make the pm better…. make the next minute better. Then the next hour. It’s not all or nothing.
    Things that really helped were: resolving issues. Extra pounds are frequently other things. Forgive yourself, often. Educate yourself on what is good and bad.. relearn how to eat. This was major for us. I was raised on a farm. Nothing came out of boxes. My husband on the other hand, everything came out of boxes. When you have kids and are busy easy sometimes is what helps us keep sanity. There are a lot of REALLY great documentaries on Netflix that will give you a start, “Forks over Knives”, “Food Matters”, “Engine 2 Diet” and “Vegucated” and a TON of blogs LOL! My favorites are Ohsheglows.com, Engine2.com, healyrealfoodvegetarian.com, happyherbivore.com, fatfreevegan.com
    We also don’t eat dairy.. I have a dairy allergy. It’s bad. I know from my highway exit to the ER is 7.5 mins at 90mph. That has helped my husband lose weight too.. and me stay alive. We live in WI so this wasn’t easy. We used to think of the vegan cheese as a substitute… it’s not! I didn’t really like ice cream until I could’t have it. Then that is all I wanted. I make my own with frozen bananas. TONS cheaper! Or, buy coconut ice cream, I LOVE coconut. That wasn’t a hard sell.
    I make most everything in my house. Fruit snacks, granola bars, can foods. That may not be your thing… there are good store bought substitutes, Etsy.com. You just have to find them. You have to make the time to like yourself best and find what is healthiest. We had to make time for ourselves.
    IF you choose to go vegan, it is a TON cheaper… and doesn’t come with a hippie name tag. :) Don’t go all out and buy a ton of vegan stuff..buy a couple new things per shopping trip. We buy one thing new every trip.. we are running out of new stuff to buy! We are making more new things..
    You have a great support group here online.. most of us have been there!

  43. Julie W says

    Girl, you look fabulous, yellow or not! I completely ‘get’ what you’re saying about weight loss. I started gaining when I was knocked up with #1 and on bed rest. I never lost any of that weight. Basically went from a size 10 on my wedding day, to a size 22 on my first wedding anniversary. I’ve stayed a 22/24 for the last 8 years, despite diet, exercise, eating right. It’s frustrating and demoralizing to no end. It makes you question every single choice you make, from the cute top you just tried on to the salad you eat for dinner, to the juice pop you want for dessert. I keep telling myself that I’m going to re-start a ‘diet’ and get more serious about exercise, but I never do. I walk the dog, and chase 3 boys around before and after working 8+ hour days, so it’s easy to make excuses.

    Don’t ever be afraid to talk it out on your blog. I really believe that blogging is for the blogg-er, not the reader. It’s us being (mostly) honest with ourselves, in a way that generates us some (mostly) positive feedback. Just keep being you!

  44. says

    :) thanks for being so open and honest Brooke. I’ve struggled with my weight and self image since middle school. I’m short and even busting my butt and watching my diet never seems to help. Now after 2 kids I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and have been feeling super crappy about how I “think” I look. Know that you aren’t alone and having chats like this only helps to keep us all motivated and conscious of what we are doing/not doing to reach our health goals.
    p.s. I think the yellow looks great with your coloring!

  45. Kelsey says

    I’ve been a chunky kid all my life. I love to eat (and drink… which is probably why i’ve gained so much in the last few years). I’m 5’7” and was my skinniest in 2007 at 137 and my 2002 college heaviest was 200+ (I stopped looking after the two). I’m now sitting right at 185, after gaining 20 lbs following my wedding last year. Nothing fits, I hate everything I wear — I beat myself up every single day.

    Running — it has always been the cure-all. If I can run (and set a lofty goal) a few times a week, I have almost always lost weight (I like to be in the low 160s because I can maintain really easily). You can walk out the front door, run, and be back in 20 minutes and the workout is over. It’s not PRETTY, but it seems to work.

    Just last week I signed up for a half marathon IN SIX WEEKS. I wouldn’t recommend that, but if you hate exercise as much as I do, perhaps give the run/jog a try. If you really aren’t a runner, train for a 5k or 10k. Register for it, because then you feel like you have to do it. Just make sure that major training doesn’t mean you eat more — I actually gained about 10 lbs training for a marathon a few years ago because I always felt like I earned by cheeseburger.

  46. Samantha H says

    Oh my can I relate. I lost 57lbs last year and was feeling great. I had gone from 205 to 148 (i’m 5′ 7″) and was heading to visit my sister (on the other side of the country). Funny thing was…i still wanted to lose weight. I still saw myself as kinda fat. I know I know…it’s crazy…. Since last October i’ve gained back about 20 of those pounds back and i started kicking myself. Then I read the same article you did about moms calling themselves fat and something clicked (sort of). I AM BEAUTIFUL. I may have a little bit of a belly and thighs but that doesn’t define all of me. I want my kids to know I’m beautiful so they believe me when I tell them that they are. Does that mean i’m going to let myself go…Heck no. I’ll ebb and wane i’m sure. I’ll get committed to exercise and watching what I eat and i’m sure i’ll slack up sometimes.
    Do I have to be tiny and fit to feel good ….NO…
    You my dear are BEAUTIFUL! The FIRST thing I thought when I saw your pics was “wow what a beautiful smile and face and glow she has….do I look that good in pictures” (no joke…i seriously thought that)
    Go with it….that’s my advice. Do the things you know work for you…For me it’s writing down what I eat and working out….
    I wish I had a magic formula to tell you that would make it all go away but there isn’t one. What there is is wisdom to be learned. That’s what we do in this life….gain wisdom….pray and see what the Lord has you to learn from this experience….everybody has trials….one of mine (and it seems yours too) is our perspective of ourselves (and weight probably….i look at a donut and gain weight)…

    I’m rambly now…You (like so many others) are a lovely beautiful talented person….keep being happy and lovely and sharing on this awesome blog.

  47. Maggie Fieger says

    I so identified with your post today. Sounds exactly like me. Wish I could just accept the body but I can’t. I think you look fine but I certainly understand the battle. Take care and good luck

  48. says

    I love how you choose to respond to your kids saying you can’t because it will give you a stomach ache or you are saving it for a special occasion. This is so encouraging to me as I often eat food out of wanting to please the person who cooked it for me. Instead of giving a thousand other excuses, I want to be healthy and honest as you are with your kids. Thanks so much for putting yourself out there and sharing your heart!!!

  49. Maili Marsden says

    Brooke, you look GEORGOUS! Don’t let anyone tell you differently! However, I have and am
    still right there with you sister!! I have been battling with weight for the past 10 years,
    more-so the past 7 years since my {no so little} Lady was born. It is a struggle not to be so hard
    on yourself, but know that each pound is a success!! As I’m sure you know, as you gain muscle
    it weighs more than fat. {soo dumb. Ha!} One thing I’ve tried and have had a lot of success on
    is Weight Watchers. Promise I don’t work for them, but I am a FIRM believer in their program!!
    When I first started, I was 270 and am down to 230 {ish} now. {Believe me I still have way more to go}
    It’s taken a little while, and I’ve fallen off the band wagon a time or two,
    but they truly teaches you “how” to eat. They teach you how to choose the right meals
    and snacks to help keep you full, to loose the weight and keep it off. If you are to try it, pay the
    extra to go to the meetings. I’ve found that the accountability of “weighing in” in front of them
    makes me want to do good so I can show I’ve lost weight. I have absolutely loved it.. and the nice
    thing is not only do you have your daily points, but you also have weekly points! So if you want to take a day to splurge or eat out.. you don’t have to feel guilty about it! Anyway, something to look into and try. Don’t give up though, you look beautiful! It really doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but what’s on the INSIDE that counts.. and you’ve got it girl! Keep up the amazing work, you are wonderful and I love reading your blog!! :}

  50. Stace says

    I can relate to the roller coaster that is weight gain and loss and thyroid complications. You are not alone and as frustrating as it is to hear it, it’s a life long challenge that will always take will power and determination. Thyroid regulates sooo much of our bodies! I too have to muscle through the annoying exercise in the morning and tell myself 60 times an hour that walking makes me feel better and eating carrots makes me happier with myself at the end of the day than that cheesecake that I really want to shove my face into. It’s not easy, there will be mistakes, there will be successes. Celebrate those successes in a new way! New nail polish, not the donut (mmmm…donut) even though dang that donut tasted good but at what cost? You’ll do great! And I’m right here with you, waiting for our family photos to come back and trying not to let myself “go there.” We woman are more than what meets the eye, and I’m so excited to see you work to teach your children that truth! Amazing role model you are for our future generations! Thanks for sharing! You are so inspiring to so many! Thank you!!

  51. says

    First off, I totally disagree that yellow isn’t your color – I think it looks great on you, and your family photos are so sweet.

    Weight/food is something I’ve always struggled with, and I think I always will! I cycle through good times and bad, with plenty of self-sabotage and less than kind self-talk thrown in as well. I have recently been reading Chris Powell’s book, “Choose to Lose”, and it has proven to be a great plan that makes a lot of sense (he has the show ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ on ABC). Hang in there – and be kind to yourself in the meantime. 😉

  52. Jeanna says

    I think your approach with your kids is the right one. Kids learn how to eat from their patents. From someone who is constantly struggling with those extra pounds, I have learned a few things along the way#1 do not drink your calories, there are so many hidden calories in beverages ( fancy coffee, soda , etc)#2 drink water with lemon when u first get up– this jump starts your metabolism and corrects the ph of your plumbing, #3 eat within an hour of getting up, if mornings are crazy — and with kids they are, cook twice eat once, oatmeal cooks up great in batches, so do proteins ( just nuke and go) . I have learned for me no carbs at lunch is critical to avoid the afternoon sleepies, #4 exercise does not have to be done all at once, get a pedometer and wear it, this will let You know how much you are really moving. #5 eat off a smaller plate, new plates on average are 2-3″ bigger than our grandmas plates( i bought some and they were too big for my cupboards )There is no magic bullet and we all have those days when we want to give up, pull out the yellow shirt picture and let it get you mad– because if you have lost weight , you know how hard it is to do it , you can do it!!!

  53. says

    You’re beautiful, Brooke!!! I really mean that!! Weight loss is something I have always struggled with, and will probably continue to struggle with forever :/ I appreciate your honesty so much, and I am SO worried about projecting a negative body image on to my kids (I’m due in 1 week with our first!!) Thanks again for sharing all of this!!

  54. jeana says

    I think you are beautiful, inside and out. I thank you for sharing your struggle, because there are so many of us women are so hard on ourselves. I wish you could see yourself how the rest of us see you. I know all too well about the self-loathing things we say to ourselves when we look at ourselves in photos or in a dressing room mirror. I applaud your efforts to not let your kids hear you saying negative things about yourself, as they are you family and love you unconditionally. Please don’t be so hard on yourself, take it one day at a time, let your thyroid medicine adjust your metabolism, the weight will come off…I have made a conscious effort to accept a compliment, when given to me, stop saying negative things about myself, and just try to live a better healthier life…everyday isn’t perfect, but nobody is perfect, and to just live a positive life,,iam a work in progress. thank you for putting yourself out there, it’s courageous.

  55. Monae says

    I have read your blog for a while, but I never really commented. I just wanted you to know how much I love that last picture. You look SO beautiful-and your family is quite cute too=). I love when family pictures show the true love and feelings in a family, and that last ones just shows you glowing in your love for your kids and husband. Thanks for sharing such great things on your blog.=)

  56. says

    Good luck! (But you look great in your photo!) I am trying to lose weight, too. The thing is though, that I lost some this summer, but then went with my family on vacation, and I am pretty sure I gained it all back! We went to NYC today, and after seeing the photos my husband took of us today, I wasn’t happy with the way I look!

  57. nicole says

    BROOKE! I’m so sorry you are going through this! I work out in the am I usually only make it three days a week but you are welcome to join me anytime. And I think you always look darling and so put together.

  58. nicole says

    PS I admire your attitude toward it with your kids I think that, is so admirable to viciously think about what your attitude and language teaches them. And you are one if the most considerate thoughtful people I know toward others, so that part of your goal is taken care of.

  59. Jamie says

    My degree is in health, so I have WAY too many opinions. It seems like you are going in a great direction. Statistics show that no diet works. The advice I would give you is to keep loving the body you are blessed with, listen to your body and try to eat and do what makes it feel best. Don’t be restrictive and give yourself some slack. Ps I also agree with the others that the family photos are beautiful, you especially!

  60. says

    I found out last fall that I also had problems with my thyroid. I had many of those same symptoms and was so exhausted all the time that it was hard to do much of anything. I gained 30 lbs in a short period of time, which made me feel even worse. Most people don’t realize how much the thyroid really does until it doesn’t work properly. Since I have hashimotos (autoimmune thyroid disorder) my Dr checks my levels every 3 months. With her help I have been able to lose 10 lbs in the last few months. I think sharing your struggle is a good thing because so many of your readers can relate with you, and give you encouragement. Try not to be hard on yourself. (I know easier said, than done) It can take a little while to feel 100% again even with thyroid meds. Just don’t give up, and take it one day at a time! I also agree with the others who said you really do look good in yellow. Your family photos are great!

  61. Ardis W says

    I love how you keep things real around here…also, I love the Goal you set…Be Considerate…I really need to work on that!

  62. says

    First of all, I think you look fantastic! You are totally a babe. Weight loss journeys are one of the hardest things to go through! If you are needing a snack, try eating the flavored almonds! They have great flavors that really feel like you are eating a yummy treat!

  63. Emily says

    Hi Brooke.
    You look amazing. I have the same problem, I lose 5 lbs and than gain 7 back. Unless I work out first thing in the morning, its hard to push myself to do it later in the day. What I have found though, is that I am more apt to do do something if I really enjoy it. I love playing tennis, so i make it a point to play at least a couple times a week(and it is a great workout). I also found that I really like kickboxing, so I do that on my wii about 3 times a week. The point I am trying to make, is that if you find an activity you truly enjoy, chances are you will be more likely to do it. One other thing that I have been doing for the past 2 months is replacing my lunch with a spinach, fruit, and almond milk smoothie. It is very filling and actually gives me energy. my biggest problem is eating at night, so I try to keep sugar-free jello puddings and flavored almonds around for when those nighttime craving hits. Weight is a struggle many women (and men) have, so know that you are not alone in the frustration. You look beautiful in your photos and what matters more is that you are such a wonderful and inspiring person.

  64. Lucrecia says

    Oh boy can I relate! Especially to the crying at pictures part, or the not really liking to work out part, oh and the lose gain lose gain part :-( It really sounds like you have a healthy attitude about it though. It does need to be a way of life instead of a temporary “diet” mentality. Both for you, and your girls. I’m working on trying to get there myself!

  65. Meredith says

    You look beautiful and your family pictures are great! But, I can totally relate! I’ve had five babies in 8 years and held on to about 10 pounds from each of them. I can’t lose weight while nursing. And I’ve had hypothyroid for 9 years. Tack on to the fact that I love to bake and cook and I hate to exercise…. It’s SO hard. I’m trying desperately to find my motivation. And we recently just had our family pictures done as well (http://fausetphotography.com/blog/?p=10796) As unhappy I am with myself, I was so happy that we did them. The kids don’t care now, nor will they 30 years from now. What they will care about is that we have those pictures of us together, at this point in our life. So, I’m proud of you for doing them!

    If I have any advice, not that I’m one to talk, but I’ve heard that weight loss is mostly diet, ahead of exercise. For me, I have to cut out the sugar and carbs (my kryptonite!) I’ve also started doing the Body by Vi shakes and really like them and how full I actually get from them.

    Good luck! I love your work and all that you do!

  66. Deb says

    Your family is adorable – including the Mommy! I am considerably older than you but have struggled with my weight since having children. Here is what I learned about myself – I cannot maintain a weight. I am either gaining or losing weight EVERYDAY! So if I am not monitoring calories and exercising I am on an upswing. The problem is that as you get older and more tired of the fight you allow your upswings to go on longer and the weight is harder to lose. (Age spots, hot flahses, more hair on your face except in the area of your eyebrows – you have so much to look forward to!) The only advice I would give you is to fight the fight to stay healthy but don’t beat up on yourself – when I look back at pics it isn’t my weight I see – it is the smiles!

  67. karen c says

    I can definitely relate to what you are going through, although I think you look great in your pics! We are always hardest on ourselves. I am a long term yo yo dieter, but I think I may have finally gotten myself under control. I made it up to 250 pounds, and wore size 22 jeans. I went on a medically assisted low carb starvation diet and lost a ton of weight. Unfortunately I made it back up to 208 before I put on the breaks. I’m now about 182 and I wear a 10 or 12 jeans. This isn’t my ultimate goal, but I’m much happier with how I look, and I feel sooo much better. What has helped me is weighing myself every day. If I am down a little, it encourages me to keep going, and if I am up a little, I know that I have to get back on track. I have been at this weight, (up or down 3 lbs or so) since last Fall. I’m not beating myself up about it. I’m focusing more on maintaining and not creeping back up to 200+. I am so happy to be out of the plus size department! I also have difficulty exercising. My back was messed up in a car accident in 2010, so exercise hurts! I know without exercise I’ll never be skinny, but that’s ok. I want to get down to 160 or so, and I’m still working on it, but I feel like I’ve gotten over a hump with my weight. If I never get any smaller, it won’t be the end of the world. I just want to stay out of the plus sizes!! Good luck to you, and God bless.

  68. Kim says

    Long-time lurker, first-time commenter here. Brooke you seriously do look so cute in these pix. quit with the cringing already and love yourself a little, girl! all the other people in the pix do! Have to echo Emily’s post: you’ve gotta find what you love in terms of activity. took me AGES to find something i absolutely look forward to EVERY.SINGLE.DAY: zumba! love, love, love it! go to zumba.com and find a class near you. It’s a blast and you’ll burn a load of calories. don’t worry: you don’t need to know how to dance. In fact, I’m quite sure i look like I’m having a seizure but I’m having one hell of a good time! good luck & keep up the fight for yourself!

  69. says

    You are so beautiful. And a hero to so many.
    To quote from one of my favorite Christian songs:

    ” She knows all the answers
    And she’s rehearsed all the lines
    And so she’ll try to do better
    But then she’s too weak to try

    But don’t you know who you are?

    You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
    You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
    You are more than the problems you create,
    You’ve been remade….”

    You will get there…in the mean time continue to share the light!-aimee

  70. says

    Here are two real life solutions that helped me. The first is a video about your body’s pH levels and it is fascinating! QUIT DIET SODA!!!! We often think of things in terms of calories, fat free, sugar free, etc. But we rarely think of things as nutritious or devoid of nutrition. When I quit drinking diet soda, I had awful withdrawal symptoms for like 3 weeks, but after that I was amazed that my yo-yo weight and thyroid problems all but disappeared. If you are trying to get in control of your body, diet soda should be the very very first thing to go. It is poison.

    The second link is to a long article that is actually a part 2 of thyroid health. I have tried nearly every way of eating there is: no sugars, no grains, no meats, no dairy, paleo, slow carb, no carb, etc etc. The biggest difference I noticed is when I simply changed my source of oils. Bad oils: canola, corn, soybean (vegetable), cottonseed. Good oils: coconut, olive, avocado, nut and seed oils. The bad oils clog up your system and make you fat. The good oils help build your system and make you skinny. I eat more fat in grams now than I ever have, but my hair and nails grow faster, my wounds heal more quickly, my skin looks better, and I am thinner.



  71. Emily says

    Hi Brooke,

    I know what it feels like to be constantly bouncing back and forth with weight loss and weight gain my sister is a nutritionist and she says it really is a change in diet that makes the difference in weight loss not really the exercise and I’ve finally found something that really works for me I do the 5:2 fast diet. 2 days a week you only eat 500 calories and the other 5 you eat pretty much what you want without going over board. I know it sounds hard but it’s really not that difficult after the first few fast days. So on Mondays and Thursdays I have a small breakfast, half a pot of healthy soup for lunch and just quite a small portion of whatever is for dinner that day and if I really need a snack a small piece of fruit. You will feel hungry but that’s the point right? you’ve got feel hungry to shift it. I love this diet because it means I can have treats! just not on fast days and I don’t have to spend all my time thinking about what I can and can’t have and restricting my food all the time.

    I hope this is helpful and I hope you get to where you want to be. I absolutely love your blog you are such an inspiration.

  72. Cathleen says

    This is going to sound trite, but it worked for me… I got a dog. A big dog. One that HAS to be worked out regularly or she will drive us all to insanity. When she was a puppy, she would tear up the house unless she got worked out. I started out just walking her, but it would take an hour or more to wear her out and I don’t have that kind of time with twins. I found some amazing trails in the woods near our house, and started walking her off leash. Eventually, I started running, and for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying exercising. I’m so distracted by the dog and terrain, the time flies and it’s so beautiful, it’s a great mental break. That being said, after 2 years, the dog tore a ligament and we took a break. I’m having a terrible time getting back on track, but I’m hoping once school starts up again we can get back in the swing of things. Routine is everything. As far as food goes, I’m virtually hopeless. The best I can do is try to listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry so I don’t stuff myself later. Hang in there…

  73. Jasanna Czellar says

    I’m all about goals! Good for you and you have a lovely family! Something that’s worked well for my husband and I is meeting with a weekly running group. We were NEVER runners before but we’ve actually started liking it now 6 months later. And we’ve lost a lot of weight! Having a regular routine helps you want to eat healthier…and now my husband and I have completely cut out soda from our diets and are drinking mostly all water, that helps too! :)

  74. Belinda says

    Oh that’s great you found out about your thyroid! My best friend found out a few years back she had thyroid issues (she always struggled with her weight before then) and it’s helped so much! She felt so much better, clearer mind and less emotional and she’s been able to lose weight and keep it off easier. You look so pretty in your pictures! (But I understand the wanting to feel like you look your best.) I gained a lot of weight (for the first time in my life) due to some medicine I had to go on and then we found out we were pregnant with our first(yay!) at the end of it…now weigh about 70 pounds more than I normally would and it’s making me crazy! I’m about to pop this little guy out and then I’ll have a weight loss road ahead of me. Good luck to us both!

  75. says

    i didn’t read them all, but i’m hoping 86 comments mean that many folks agree with me- i think you & your family look adorable in your pictures. i love your blog & all signs point to you being a kind, bright & lively person in real life. i’m all for healthfulness, but i also struggle with those 40ish extra pounds that feel so hard to get rid of. if i ever hear my daughter (who is 4 right now) say she’s fat, i’ll hold myself responsible. you write a truly lovely blog :) cheers! -lindsey

  76. says

    i didn’t read them all, but i’m hoping 86 comments mean that many folks agree with me- i think you & your family look adorable in your pictures. i love your blog & all signs point to you being a kind, bright & lively person in real life. i’m all for healthfulness, but i also struggle with those 40ish extra pounds that feel so hard to get rid of. if i ever hear my daughter (who is 4 right now) say she’s fat, i’ll hold myself responsible. you write a truly lovely blog :) cheers! -lindsey

  77. says

    Wow, what an honest post. You are absolutely beautiful! I even really like that picture that you don’t like, I think it’s great! Your kids are gorgeous and your family altogether as a whole looks so happy together!

  78. Crystal says

    You look beautiful in your pictures and yes yellow looks good on you!!! I’ve struggled for years with my weight. I also absolutely hate exercising, but am trying to change my mindset on that. I’ve been a yo-yo dieter for years. I just started to get serious and trying to be healthier. Good luck!!

  79. says

    I didn’t read through all the comments but if I can make a suggestion…

    I completely cut out sugar. I wasn’t in a diet, just no sugar. If I wanted a burger and fries, no worries. Just no sugar. Oh man, what a difference. My energy levels rose dramatically, I automatically wanted to eat healthier stuff without trying and bad stuff just dropped out of my diet. It was amazing and as a sugar-holic, I was shocked at how easy it was to stop. I really think suar is the enemy. If I really wanted something sweet, I would gourge on fruit or I would cheat with toast and honey. With little effort besides focusing on that, I lost five pounds and then I shockingly got pregnant after two successful IVF pregnancies and years of barrenness. Was there a connection? IDK. But I just think it is a bit too coincidental.

    If you just focused on sugar and eliminating it, I think you would be absolutely shocked at the results and where it will lead you in your life.

    And after I get done being pregnant in October, the sugar is going for good. Not worth the pain, sluggishness, ulcers that it inflicts. Think about it. You can do it.

    P.s. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  80. ndmidwife says

    Brooke, you have definitely inspired me w/ your blog when I was going through tough times at my house. I am a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor, this title means different things in different states, suffice to say that there is a group of doctors out there who have full 4-year medical degrees, and are trained in working w/ patients on medications, and depending on the state can also prescribe medications (such as Armour). I bring this up because I see patients in similar situations to yours, and very often adrenal support (via traditional and ancient medicines, and diet and lifestyle guidance) can make a huge difference in the efficacy of your medication and your personal weight loss achievement. Doctors with the same degree in your area can be found @ http://www.naturopathic.org.
    God bless!

  81. Kami E. says

    Good job on being so honest. Not everyone will be the same size, and that has to be ok in our culture. I think your family pictures are beautiful… you should hang them up and look at them every day proudly! Instead of worrying about what you look like in those pics, focus on your happy smile and a supportive husband and cute kids. I am also struggling with weight loss right now after having my first baby, and it is so hard to motivate myself. And I even LIKE working out! I just would rather watch TV, or eat dessert or something. I have to ask my husband to motivate me, and I also print out a calendar with my workout schedule on it. I will tape that schedule to my bathroom mirror so I can see it every day, and my husband can see it too. I cross each day off, and man, it is rewarding getting every day checked off. You can do this, just realize what your pitfalls and triggers are so you can try to avoid them. You’re awesome, keep up the good work!

  82. Mindy says

    Good luck. Trying to lose weight is hard. I was around 30 lbs. overweight when I was a teen and when I married my husband. I lost a lot of weight after that because we were too poor to buy enough food. :) Also, during the first three months of my first pregnancy, I couldn’t eat anything, and not only did I lose some weight, but my appetite also shrunk… drastically. I used to eat literally three times what other people ate, and I couldn’t understand how people could eat one plate and be full. I was never full. But now my appetite is normal. I think I still eat more than some people, but I also bike a lot- during school, a couple of hours a week.
    You look nice in the pictures, yellow looks fine on you.

  83. Jill says

    I just wanted to pop on and tell you that your family is beautiful and your pictures look GREAT!! You look so pretty in ALL of them! Truly, you should be proud of those portraits – they are gorgeous!

  84. Michelle says

    Oh Brooke you are absolutely beautiful and have a beautiful family.
    I’m not an expert but these things have helped me. When I was in my 20’s after having my first son I gained a lot of weight and it took me years to take it off. It wasn’t till I realized that I had to exercise and change my eating habits that the weight started to come off. Take one day/week/month at a time and focus on one thing. I just read somewhere that adults need 150 minutes of activity a week. So if you break it down that is 30 minutes five times a week of some sort of exercise. I’m not a fan of exercise and I’m just like you, if I don’t do it in the morning then I wont do it. So now I get up earlier and I go for a run or sometimes a walk. I added weight resistance to my workouts three days a week and that has seemed to help keep the weight off. I’m in my 40’s and I can just look at food and a pound will appear on my behind. I gave up eating my beloved snack at night. This was so hard for me. I use to wait till my family was asleep and then I would have a snack. I’m not talking a cookie or two but like a huge cinnamon bun covered in peanut butter icing size snack every night for years. I use to eat one if I was hungry or not. Now if I’m hungry at night I’ll have a banana with a smidgen of peanut butter. So far that has worked.
    What ever you do you have to pick what is going to work for you. Just remember you are beautiful and an inspiration to so many.

  85. laura says

    I think you are too hard on yourself. There are many ways to be beautiful and you are one of them. When I look back at old pictures I think I was too hard on myself and I was prettier than I realized. I think one day you will look back and think the same.

  86. Alla says

    Brook, i almost never comment on internet, but your voice is so genuine and true. You are so beautiful!! and yellow does look good on you!!! i struggle with weight all my life too… some years are better than others ;). Good luck on your journey!

  87. Cherina says

    Hi Brooke,

    I’ve been a longtime watcher of your blog. It provides me with so much inspiration! Especially because seeing your blog lets me know that I can create a home with character, color, love and well appointed decor on the CHEAP :-) You also have a beautiful family and are a very accomplished woman.

    Just wanted to take a minute to respond to this (first time posting!) but I think it’s very brave of you to share what you’re going through. It can feel really anxiety ridden but you are also helping others when you share about these things. So good luck to you! I also wanted to send you a link to a “lifestyle” change that I too have made to eat healthier. My friend recommended this book and it absolutely works. It’s called “The Fast Metabolism Diet” by Hayle Pomroy (NO, I don’t get paid toe post about this lol). It’s not really a diet though its a different approach to eating. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight (15lbs) since I began and it even has an app for iphone. Reading this helped me to stop thinking about food and weight in a negative light.

    Check out the pinterest and if you’re interested http://pinterest.com/hayliepomroy/.

    Good luck on your journey! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  88. says

    Can I just say that you are incredibly beautiful! Seriously stunning!
    I’ve definitely had my weight loss highs and lows, I know that it’s a struggle. One of my favorite phrases is ‘Be Consistent’. All it takes is at least one minor ‘healthy’ choice a day to create a habit. I always try and ask myself everyday, “have I made at least 1 healthy choice today.”
    Keep up the great work and don’t get down. You look great and you are an incredible person!

  89. says


    Our bodies are a gift from God and give our experiences depth and intensity. Think of all you can do/experience because of your body! If you are taking care of your body, you are good. Society pounds it into the heads of women that there is one acceptable body type and one type of beauty (skinny). This is crap. God created this Earth with so much variety (us incuded) and he doesn’t make junk. Charity, kindness, zest for life shine from your face and you can’t get that at a gym. I am glad you are trying to be positive with yourself and set an example of health for you kids. Thank you for being real and for being you and sharing so much of your talents and experiences with your readers!

  90. says

    WOW! I am amazed by your openness, I know it isnt easy, You are AMAZING for sharing your journey, and I to am guilty of the self bashing as well. I applaud you for going public, you go girl!! You are absolutely beautiful and I have been following your blog for some time now. You have a beautiful family and should be sooooooooo proud of all your accomplishments. I am currently struggling to lose weight and it is no easy task. And the constant negative thoughts in my head make it soo difficult, but knowing your not alone and being that bold is amazing! I LOVE your statement about talk to yourself as if you were talking to your sister, I am going to try that.

    You are beautiful, and don’t let anyone not even yourself put you down. I needed to read this today, thank you for sharing!

  91. says

    Brooke, you look beautiful in ALL the pictures! I really like how you avoid talking about being on a diet with your kids and focus on being healthy. I overheard two tiny 11-year-old girls discussing how fat they were the other day, and it about broke my heart! Thanks for the inspiration! I need to get myself feeling healthy, too.

  92. Naiad says

    Hi Brooke,

    I am a long time lurker, first time commentator.

    Have you checked – ‘ the Gabriel method”? Its the diet free way to lose weight. I have been following this from the last 4 months and have lost 20 pounds. Its a holistic approach to losing weight. I was really skeptic at first but I came across his method while watching the documentary “hungry for change”. I hesitantly started following it and I have seen results within 4 months :) so glad and wishing you the best on your weight loss journey too


  93. says

    Brooke, I cannot tell you how inspired I am by you! Not your funky kitchen table (while I LOVE it and will probably copy it!) and not your crazy good thrifting abilities (while they are AWESOME too!) I am inspired by your SMILE!! I was at Haven this past weekend and watched you every chance I could (don’t worry I’m not creepy like that)… I was just encapsulated with your smile! People tell me that I am a big smiler and I don’t really see it. But as I watched you this weekend… you always had a smile on your face. That SMILE makes you B-E-A-U-tiful!!! I am right there with you on the weight struggle, more than you can imagine! I have been up and down 50 pounds, three times over the last 5 years and right now I am up! It wasn’t fun feeling fluffy at Haven this weekend, but when I saw you, it reminded me to smile! A SMILE is our best asset and you’ve got it down!! I look forward to following you on this journey and hope to be inspired along the way!! Thank you for smiling!!! :) *Hugs*

  94. Bonnie says

    I was in the same boat but with a diagnosis of a skin Lupis. I read ” Wheat Belly” and it changed my life. I was the bread queen, and could not pass a bakery without stopping:) But after reading this book I gave up Gluten and my friends still can’t believe it. I did and the Lupis has not showed up, I’ve lost 20 lbs, no migraines or brain fog or rashes, etc. Disease really does begin in the gut. We are consuming too my pesticides, hormones & GMO that farmers use to get a higher yield and our belly’s can’t take it. If your belly can’t do it’s job…no amount of exercise will help. You are a beautiful hard working mom that takes care of everyone else…time to take care of you(everyone else will benefit too)?

  95. Torrie says

    I just recently came across your blog it has to be my favorite so far. Losing weight is hard and it sucks. You are still very stunning. Good Luck!

  96. says

    Hi Brooke! I love your blog but only check in every few months. First of all you seem beautiful on the inside and out! It also seems that you have a great support group! I think most of us moms have been through the struggle with weightloss. I gained 40 lbs each pregnancy (4!) and managed to lose all of it until the last one. I have always hated to workout but was then introduced to Beachbody. I began doing a home workout weight training program and it changed my body and my relationship with exercise. I have been getting up to workout at 5 am for the last 4 years! I am an online fitness coach and love to help others find what works for them. Good luck to you!

  97. Melissa says

    I just stumbled across your blog and i’d like to say that you and your family are beautiful and good for you for working to improve your health! for me, it’s all about the little steps.

    keep shining bright!

  98. says

    Hi Brooke!
    I just found your blog, so I’m sorry if I’m quite late to the game posting this comment. First, I think that you and your family are completely gorgeous. I don’t have kids yet, but just seeing your pictures make me want to have a bazillion. SECOND, I hear you on the working out. I didn’t grow up working out, and it seemed so boring to me. So I have hopped from place to place and activity to activity until I found something I love. It takes time to find something you really like – ask yourself, do I do better with a group / class? With a private instructor? Maybe there is something super expensive but you LIKE it – it’s worth the splure for your health!
    Food is by far the thing I struggle with the most. I’ve gone back and forth between calculating every tiny thing and totally throwing it all away. I’ve finally started to live a healthier lifestyle without calculations – I have been better about trying to eat “real” foods and also asking myself, “am I hungry or am I bored?” I also remind myself, “this isn’t the last time I will ever eat pizza – i don’t need to eat the WHOLE thing” and that it’s okay to leave food on my plate. These changes have made me feel better about myself because I feel like I am making healthy choices that aren’t dependent on counting every tiny thing.

    ANYway, sorry for rambling. You are gorgeous! Just put good things in – and treat yourself once in a while. You got this!


    • Brooke says

      Thanks Meghan! I read every comment, so no worries about being “late” to comment. Your comment made my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. XOXO

  99. says

    So Brooke – Wow! I didn’t have time to read through all your comments to see if what I’m about to say is a repeat but here’s my take….as women, we have it incredibly hard. We don’t have the liberty to ignore everyone else and just take care of ourselves. Yes, if it was a perfect world, fast food would have never been invented. But it’s there and we do use it – some more than others, myself included. I think focusing on what’s really important in life is the key. If we happen to lose a few pounds along the way then AWESOME…..if not then so what. You have four of the most beautiful children ever, a handsome supportive husband (yea, I’ve seen him up on that ladder!) and you inspire so many people in so many ways. But I will say this, I understand how it feels to get dressed in the morning, trying to figure out what to wear that hides you know what or have a photo taken that sends you spiraling down to the darkest of places. I wish I could say “don’t go there!” but we all do. It sucks. I’m 55 and I’m way past the point of being able to fit into a bikini (hey, age appropriateness is more important!) I’m happy when I can get up in the morning and not hobble. I REFUSE to be one of those women.
    You know, I”m about to say something that usually freaks people out but it’s the best way to get my point across. My son was murdered back in March. Yea, he was that pizza delivery guy who was killed in Denver while delivering Pizza. I am a different person than I was on March 17th – forever changed by circumstances no one in our family would have dreamed of. These days, I wake up and try to shake off the nightmare but when I realize I can’t, I’m left with two choices: how to make the best of this day for myself, my family and for the three little granddaughters he left us or do I decide to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself? Sometimes I choose the second one and that’s okay occasionally. But realistically, do you think my precious little granddaughters care that I have a muffin top? :-)

    Keep inspiring us Brooke – whether it’s through whatever new DIY project you’ve come up with or how many pounds you lost this month. We are there with you. And I disagree…..I think that yellow looks awesome on you! Love the way it gives the whole photo some pop!



  1. […] I have shared my feelings about weight loss several times here at All Things Thrifty, and although I know it isn't a subject that should clog up the content, sometimes I think it's healthy to check in and give an update. I hope you … healthy weight loss – Google Blog Search […]

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