The Path to Now, Part 2

Ready for part 2? (Here’s part 1 if you missed it)


So, the spring/summer of 2003.

The good thing about this time in my life?

I started dating Nick. I think this is one reason why things really started to turn around.

He wanted to date me, even though I wasn’t happy with myself. He had known me before I gained the weight…and he still wanted to be with me.

The spring semester of that year was his last year in school – the perfect time to start dating, right? Right before he graduated? ;) But we made it work.

He moved here (to the house we live in now) and I went home for the summer. We talked every night on the phone, no matter what.

The summer itself was going okay – I had a great summer job, was dating Nick, and had just accepted where I was at the time. That’s not to say I was happy or that I wasn’t still dealing with these bad habits – I just had other things to focus on.

The final straw was a comment I got from my Pampaw. God bless him, and I miss him terribly – without this comment, I may never have started on this path when I did.

My family was out to lunch one day after church, and he walked past me to get to his seat, pinched my arm, and said “Getting a little chubby, aren’t you?”

Now…Pampaw just didn’t say things like that.

I was so angry and hurt and just wanted to not eat my lunch, crawl under the table, and get out of there.

I remember feeling my face turn red, my face flush and get hot, and the tears filling my eyes.

But because he never, ever said things like that to anyone, I knew it was coming from concern. I know he loved me, loved all of us, and I knew it wasn’t meant to be cruel or hurtful – just honest.

He told me the very thing I was trying to ignore.

I joined Weight Watchers for the first time that summer.

I actually ended up losing a few pounds that summer, but I wasn’t horribly committed to the program. I mean….I did it, but I not as well as I could have. But I lost a few pounds and was feeling a bit better – plus, I was totally, head-over-heels in love.

The summer went pretty well and I headed back to school in August. Since I was a broke college student with no real/good paying job, I couldn’t keep going to the WW meetings. I tried doing the program on my own for a while since I had the materials, and I did okay.

But those bad habits of good during the week/crap on the weekends started creeping back in.

I was constantly dealing with this battle in my head – criticizing myself all the time for stupid things and yet I was ridiculously happy with my family and Nick and my friends.

I was just so hard on myself – I gave myself no room for error.

No forgiveness. I had to be perfect or it was over, or that’s what I thought.

I think I ended up staying about the same weight my junior year in school, which I guess was good since I still wasn’t working out regularly or eating the best foods.

Did I mention that during my junior year, Nick and I got engaged, started planning a wedding (while still dating/being engaged long distance), my uncle had a horrible stroke and almost died, and I was just having a hard time overall?

I switched majors twice, was trying to figure out what I wanted to do and just had other things on my mind than following WW.

Of course, I didn’t lose anymore. I was stuck, but finding my wedding dress took my thoughts off of that for a while.

The closer the wedding got, the more I wished I would have done better following the program because I knew it worked. I joined WW with my sister to get the new materials and start up again.

But you know what?


The wedding happened. Nick and I got married, everything went smoothly, the weather was beautiful that day, and that’s all that mattered.

We had a great first summer being married, including me starting summer school and finding a part time job here.

I was also learning how to cook because…I didn’t know how to make anything other than velveeta shells & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and canned soup.

Seriously. I didn’t cook at school, and now I was married, living in our house, and trying to plan meals.

I got through the summer okay, but still wasn’t happy with myself and also hadn’t made any changes in how I thought about and treated myself.

So, I joined WW again in September of 2004.


For the 3rd and final time.


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  1. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  2. Hey beautiful!!! I love to read your “Path to Now”!!
    As Jessica wrote, I can’t wait to read the rest, too! ;)
    I catched up with all your post!! Awesome eats!!! I can’t believe you once could not cook!! ;) But I’m the same! Two and a half years ago I had no idea how to even make potatoes!! ;)
    Have a good day love!!! Hug n.

  3. You keep pausing at the most intense moments! I need to know what happened next!

    And your pictures are beautiful. When I get married, I’d love for it to be on the beach :)

  4. Such a cliff hanger :)

  5. Wow. What a journey… Looking forward to the next part…

    LOVE the wedding picture!

  6. Can’t wait to hear the rest. :-)

    I can’t imagine how hard it was to hear that from your Pampaw. But, I know people have said things to me in my life that were VERY hard to hear at the time. I guess in the end, we just have to take those things and use them to do positive things with our lives…which you did!

  7. Wow you had a lot going on! Can’t wait to read the rest!

  8. Brandi, I relate SO much to your story — thank you for sharing it with us!!!

  9. great story! your wedding picture is fabulous!

  10. I can’t wait to read the rest, Bran!

  11. Looking forward to the rest. It sounds like you had a tough journey, but you are certainly in an amazing place in your life now!

  12. I can’t wait to read the next installment. You were a lovely bride, btw. I love the picture!

    And you, YOU who make the most wonderful looking meals! I can’t believe you didn’t cook! ;)

  13. I can’t wait to read what happens next!

    You were a gorgeous bride!

  14. You’re such a tease! :)

    I’ve been enjoying reading about your journey — and I’m very impressed that you went from not knowing how to cook to all the yummy creations you make now!

  15. this is prob super therapeutic for you which is why it’s exhausting, been there! I was wondering how you knew it was time to get married. I am in college now and have been with my bf for almost two years now. Right away he knew we should get married and though he is my first serious boyfriend, i feel attached, yet scared that his ‘little ticks’ will drive me crazy and that I dont know what else is out there. Not that I am not happy with what i have… any insight/advice?
    Keep up the amazing posts and work :-)

  16. This is so interesting! And I’m nosy ihihi
    Thank you for sharing, can’t wait to read the rest :)

  17. Thank you for sharing all of this! Can’t wait to hear more! You are such an inspiration!

  18. Aww I can’t wait to read the rest of your story!

  19. so intrigued! love your story thus far chica!

  20. You look so beautiful at your wedding! No matter what weight you were at.

    Still loving this story! Can’t wait for the rest.

  21. Brandi, I almost cried when I read this. I had a similar thing happen to me. I was 18 years old and it was Christmas day and my uncle jokingly pointed out that I was having seconds and asked if I was worried about getting a little pudgy. My world stopped at that moment and I ran to my room crying in shame. He didn’t mean to insult me, but I knew what my reality was and I knew I had to make some changes in my life. Thank you again for being so honest in your post and for making us all feel normal.

  22. I’m so happy that you were able to keep a positive outlook even if you might have been down on yourself sometimes. And that wedding picture looks gorgeous! Clearly you found a fabulous dress and were a beautiful bride!

    And it’s great to hear about when you started cooking. Based on the recipes you’re sharing with us now, you definitely taught yourself a lot!

  23. Aww, your wedding picture makes me so happy. It was a wonderful day and you were absolutely beautiful!

    Sorry for contributing to your mac and cheese issue and the regular trips to dairy queen all through college! :)

  24. I love your story. It really helps to hear how others found a point that they were happy with where they were. I can’t wait to read more.

    And I love the pic of you and Nick on the beach for your wedding :0)

  25. Our weight loss journeys have been completely different, yet a few things you wrote stuck with me. Especially the part about accepting where you were at the time, despite being unhappy or the continuing bad habits. That feels like my entire life – accepting where I was because it was all I knew and I feared I couldn’t change it, yet totally hating it at the same time.
    Can’t wait to read part 3.

  26. “I was just so hard on myself – I gave myself no room for error.

    No forgiveness. I had to be perfect or it was over, or that’s what I thought. ”

    This made me cry. This is me as I type to you.

  27. Pingback: The Path to Now, Part 4 «

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