After years of avoiding the bath scale, Brandi Lemburg decided to face her fears and find happiness.
Occupation Massage therapy student
Time required to reach goal 2 years, 5 months
Lesson learned Read labels. Being on a vegan diet forced me to think about the preservatives I was putting in my body and whether I wanted to do that.
Secret weapon Post-it notes. I stuck them on my bathroom mirror so I would never blow off the gym.
Weight before 230
Weight after 148
Brandi Lemburg had been a vegetarian since age 9, but she was no fan of greens. “I had potatoes with every meal,” she says. In her twenties, Lemburg worked her way up to three sodas a day and hot fudge sundaes every night. At 22 and 170 pounds, she stopped weighing herself. “I didn’t want to know,” she says.
In February 2006, Lemburg’s size-18 jeans were cutting into her waist. She forced herself onto a scale and saw that she had gained 60 pounds. “When I read the number 230, my heart sank,” she says. “I had never weighed that much.” Realizing that she could easily top 300 pounds in another year, she took action.
Lemburg knew she needed a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. She went vegan, which forced her to get protein from soy, beans, nuts, and veggies instead of fattening dairy products. Sweet snap peas and organic apple slices with vegan peanut butter replaced cookies and Little Debbie’s cakes. “I gave up soda completely,” she says. She logged half-hour sessions on a treadmill three times a week. For the first two months, Lemburg lost five pounds a week. Eager for more, she started walking everywhere–to work, to school, to run errands–and practiced yoga five nights a week. “I do squats when I’m blow-drying my hair. When I watch television, I do lunges,” Lemburg says. By last July, her scale was down to 148.
At her lowest weight since she was a teenager, Lemburg has lifted more than just a physical burden. “My weight was really bringing me down,” she says. “I had zero energy and I was self-conscious. Now I wake up and I’m ready to take on the day.”
Eat in “I try healthy meat- and dairy-free recipes at home.”
Have a shoe fetish “I leave my shoes on after work so I’m ready to pull weeds or do some aerobic cleaning.”
Be positive “I never let discouraging thoughts take over.”