When Tiana asked me to be a feature on her blog I was really blown away, extremely flattered, and somewhat nervous. To me, my story isn’t that different from anyone else’s and it’s not super special or difficult.
I haven’t lost a ton of weight, or gained a ton for that matter (that’s been my goal by the way, but I’ll get to that in just a second). But I immediately checked myself and used a technique my therapist taught me....accept the compliment/offer, smile & say yes, followed by a thank you.
And I did, sitting at home on my couch, I responded to her email with a smile on my face and a bunch of exclamation points. This is a first for me, to be recognized on such a positive and well-known blog. But I’m excited to share my story so let’s get into it.
My name is Brittney, and my friends call me BFancy. I am a Baton Rouge, LA native who lives in Studio City...so a country girl at heart, living in one of the craziest cities in America. Talk about an adjustment!!
I moved to California in 2010 and that is where my journey with fitness began. I was the furthest I had ever been from home. New city...new people...new everything. I came for graduate school, so all I did was eat, study, and try to sleep.
I’ve always been slim and small, so working out to maintain a figure was never a priority for me. I’ve always been around the healthcare industry - my mom is a nurse, so I grew up in hospitals pretty much. But I had a good handle on the health and wellness side of things.
Even though that didn’t matter much, I ate what I wanted when I wanted to. A “balanced diet” was somewhat of a joke as well. Until one day after brunch with friends a lady shopping in a store with me assumed I was a “newly showing” mom-to-be. She commented, very nicely I should say, on how “cute my new bump was” and how I was going to “carry so well”. Needless to say, I was mortified!!
I went home and lit into my friends who “let me walk around looking pregnant”. I knew something had to change. My weight hadn’t changed, but after that I knew that the “skinny fat” I thought wasn’t that bad was getting to be that bad.
So I reached out to a friend who for some time had been on a new journey of health and wellness. He was posting about his journey on his social media and I saw how he was changing both physically and as a person.
At the time, I was dealing with the difficult decision of going home after being removed from my graduate program or staying in California and finishing what I had started in a different way. So anything that offered me the ability to change everything for the better sounded like a win to me.
So I started my nutrition program with him and hired a personal trainer. In my first 90 days, I dropped 3% body fat and put on 8 pounds of lean muscle. I was BLOWN AWAY. The only other time in my life I was able to put weight on like this was when I started birth control. And none of that weight was muscle. Needless to say, I was all smiles.
I learned how to make my body do what I wanted it to do, and mentally I was in the best place ever. I was happier, learned what personal development was, and learned how it can completely change your life. I was the best version of me.
I became a coach as well and started teaching people how to do what I had done. Life went on, and after about a year, I decided (for financial reasons) I needed a “real job” and became a part-time coach.
For my “real job”, I became a flight attendant. One of the requirements to becoming a flight attendant is a 6.5 week training. And let me tell you, it is not easy. That was by far one of the most challenging experiences of my life. Sleep was almost nonexistent, stress was at an all-time high, and my brain was on overload….oh and they literally feed you ALL DAY LONG!!
Outside of our classroom were two very long banquet tables that were constantly stocked with cookies, brownies, cokes, juice, chips…you name it, we had it. Lectures were one to two hours long and jam packed with all this new terminology, policies, and procedures that had to be committed to memory.
Yes, they put us in a very nice hotel that had a fairly decent gym, but to be honest, that place saw me maybe twice in the 6.5 weeks. So needless to say, I gained a couple pounds. But they were in all the right places, so I was too happy to have them!!!
I maintained that body for about 2 years. I was thrilled to be so bootylicious, traveling all over the country and parts of the world and in such a positive place. LIFE WAS GOOD!!
Then in 2017, I got injured. A soft tissue shoulder injury that didn’t require surgery. That’s when the sky began to fall. At first I didn’t notice it. But looking back, it all started about 3 months after my injury.
I was about 6 months in with a new “situationship” that was starting to go left, my parents thought I was milking the time off from work with my injury, my team of Workers’ Comp doctors were completely incompetent and making my pain worse, and the administrator for our claims wanted to cut off my benefits. The sky was definitely falling.
(Now, a brief back story - I have dealt with episodes of depression and anxiety in my past, but I had learned very effective coping skills before that allowed me to manage it for a very long time. But I was not prepared for what hit in late 2017.)
I went into a pretty ugly depressive state. I had no appetite, didn’t want to text, let alone talk to anyone, and I rarely left the house other than for appointments and an occasional dinner with select friends.
I didn’t realize the weight loss, or how much I was changing mentally because I was in such denial. It wasn’t until my mom and sister came to visit in September of 2017 that I actually began to accept the changes that my body had made were noticeable. But I denied, denied, denied, until they left…then I got on my scale. I had gone from about 118 pounds to 99.8 pounds in less than 4 months.
Bye bye Bootylicious BFancy, hello Skinny B.
I wasn’t myself anymore. My butt was gone, my curves were smaller, my confidence shot, and my spirit broken. I was dealing with a breakup of a friendship/situationship, crying all the time, in pain, not working (so going broke, well my definition of broke), feeling misunderstood, and felt totally alone. I was nowhere near that woman in 2015-2016 who had it going on.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t look bad or sickly…I just looked small. If you were just meeting me, I looked fine, but everyone who knew me noticed it. It was kind of like how pregnant women have no belly until they announce and BAM! overnight it just shows up….yeah, literally everybody noticed after scale day.
So my mom made me come up with a 90-day plan to get back to myself. I was so mad at her for how she did it, but looking back, that was the best thing to happen at that point of my life.
I found a therapist and immediately started having weekly sessions. I began to basically force-feed myself, which I do not recommend at all, but I was hell-bent on getting my shape back. I started back with my personal development…which meant daily affirmations, prayer, and attendance at church weekly. I reconnected with friends who I knew genuinely cared about me and would understand my almost 6 months disappearance.
I looked into getting a nutritionist, but was unsuccessful, so I asked my gynecologist to change my birth control to whatever she got the most complaints about weight gain. That lasted about 2 weeks, those pills made me so sick I couldn’t take it. So I started the “eat whatever whenever diet”. That wasn’t super successful either.
I knew I needed weights to get my weight up, but I also knew my shoulder couldn’t handle much, so I needed help. My doctor held off on the workouts for a while, so it was literally my last thing to add back. But in the meantime, I was working on me from the inside out. Slowly, the old me started to return. I was different. I am different, but I’m just about back.
To date, I’ve put about 6 pounds back on, but I am not even close to my goal. I know it won’t happen overnight, but I know what steps I need to take to get there. Now my focus is getting back into, and maintaining, a positive mindset.
I try my best to eliminate negative people, things, and information from my world. I am mindful of how I speak to myself and about myself. And I know my shape, whatever it may be, does not define me. My last battle with depression and anxiety was my worst. I know that I am prone to have another, but I will never get so far down in the rabbit hole that I end up where I was again.
So now I talk about it to anyone who asks, because it is so easy to slide down that hole. And when your down there, it seems like no one cares or understands….and that is simply not true. I know my weight loss was a direct result of my anxiety and depression, which was a result of my circumstances at the time.
Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, I could have controlled them both. But now I am better equipped to deal with life when the sky is falling, because it will feel like that again. I just have a better umbrella.
Whatever part of the journey you are on, know this - it is going to be okay. There is light on the other side of this storm, and it will not last always. Trust me, I know it may not seem like that today, and today it feels like you are Chicken Little and THE SKY IS FALLING. But if I can leave you with just a few words of wisdom……
- First, YES in your world the sky is falling. And it is OKAY to feel every single emotion that comes with that fact.
- Second, eventually it will all fall and there will be nothing left to come raining down. So there is an end to the madness.
- Third, there are people in your life today that will stand in the rain with you and catch that falling sky. Find them. Trust them. Lean on them. Let them show up for you.
- And lastly, once you have caught one sky, you can catch them all. So when it starts to look like it’s about to happen again….know and trust yourself enough to know that if you’ve handled it once, I’ll be damned if you can’t handle it again!!