Published on February 24, 2017
What do Snow White and Brandy Friend have in common?
If you ask Brandy, she’d probably tell you her “seven little ones.”
Hint - not cartoon dwarves :)
Brandy Friend, as her name implies, is truly everyone’s friend: a self-professed “lover of laughter” and proud stay-at-home mom. She lights up the room with her positive energy, contagious enthusiasm, and warm & loving nature.
And she has an amazing weight loss story to share.Let's dig in -
Brandy grew up in Bartlesville, OK, one of 5 siblings. She married her high school sweetheart on Valentine’s Day of 2003, and they wasted no time starting a family.
“I have 7 children, all between the ages of 5 and 13. I was pregnant for the entire first 7 years of my marriage!” she recalls.
But following her back-to-back pregnancies, Brandy found her weight creeping up to an all-time high.
“I didn’t have a chance to lose all the baby weight between each pregnancy, so it eventually caught up with me.”
In 2015, when Brandy was at her heaviest, she weighed in at 275 lbs.
“I was very unhappy with myself. I had no energy, and I hid away from the world by staying home all the time. The times I did go out, I wore lots of layers of clothes in an attempt to hide my body. I was so self conscious! I constantly compared myself to other women.”
Brandy even started comparing herself to her sister, Ashley.
“She's much smaller than me...and I hid it well, but I hated how unattractive and flabby I felt standing next to her.”
But instead of letting her self-consciousness get the better of her, Brandy opted to take control of her weight by making some important lifestyle changes.
“I decided that I owed it to myself, my kids and my husband to be the best version of myself: healthy, happy and full of life.”
Brandy started by making changes to her diet, eliminating most processed foods and sugars, which was difficult while trying to cook for a family of 9.
“I started eating actual foods - lots of veggies and lean meats. I had a serious addiction to chocolate, so I worked hard to eliminate that from my diet.”
In addition to healthy eating, Brandy realized she also needed to incorporate an exercise component into her new routine, but nothing was keeping her motivated.
“I tried going to the gym, lifting weights, running on the treadmill, doing lots of in-home exercise (Beach Body), etc., but could never stick to anything. I just didn’t have the right mindset.”
One day, Brandy’s sister, Ashley, sent her a link to a Crossrope 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
“I was definitely intrigued, but I wasn’t sure if I’d actually be able to jump rope at my weight.”
On top of that, Brandy hadn’t jumped rope since she was a kid. But despite her hesitations, she joined the challenge and dove in head first.
“I bought a cheap jump rope off Amazon, and the first time I tried jumping, only got 3 jumps in! But I kept it up, and got better and better every day.”
At the beginning of the challenge, Brandy decided to join the newly-formed Jump Rope Fitness Community to meet like-minded jumpers that would help her remain motivated and accountable.
“It was so nice to come into such a supportive group of people. Sometimes, you just need that little extra ‘boost, and everyone there is so encouraging. I’ve gained so much from my interactions with community members.”
After seeing so many of her fellow jumpers post about Crossrope, Brandy decided to buy a Crossrope Starter Set of her own for the remainder of the challenge.
[caption id="attachment_3823" align="aligncenter" width="700"] The Crossrope Starter Set is the perfect introduction to weighted jump rope training.[/caption]
“Using Crossrope for the challenge workouts - being able to switch from light to heavy ropes - was a real game changer for me. It’s truly the one form of exercise that I actually find to be fun, which makes it easy to stick to. There are just so many things you can do with those ropes!”
With lots of encouragement from her family and the Jump Rope Community, Brandy completed the weight loss challenge, and ended up taking First Place for Female Weight Loss Transformation!
“I was just blown away, and so proud of myself. It was exactly the jump-start I needed in my weight loss journey! But I never could have done it without the support of my family and fellow jumpers.”
9 months, 3 Crossrope Weight Loss Challenges and a Limited Edition Set later, Brandy has now lost a total of 45 pounds (and counting). When asked what her advice is to others struggling with weight loss, she says:
“Put your heart and mind into it. Just find one thing and stick with it. I don’t really know how to tell someone to change their mindset, but that’s exactly what it boils down to.”
Jumping rope is now a family affair at the Friend household. Brandy’s husband, though himself unable to jump rope due to injuries sustained in the military, is constantly coaching Brandy and challenging her to do more. (And he even built a special jump rope rack to keep all her Crossropes neat and organized.)
“My husband will say, ‘I bet you can’t do 300.’ And then I do, and I feel even more motivated to push myself. And my kids love jumping with me too! Not so much when I'm doing a Challenge because I need to focus, but lots of times on the weekends, we'll just go outside and they all try and outdo me with the jump rope. It's so fun and one of our favorite things to do together.”
And though Brandy doesn't eat sweets as often as she used to, she still likes to indulge occasionally on cheat days and enjoys Friday night movies with the whole family.
“My guilty pleasure is definitely sweets! Nothing is better than sitting and watching a sappy romance movie with a big bowl of ice cream and chocolate syrup (and don't forget the almonds)!”
Bonus - Brandy was nice enough to share her delicious Turkey Kielbasa Stir-Fry recipe. Get it here.
And just like Snow White, Brandy Friend is also enjoying her happy fairy-tale ending. While steadily working toward her goal of 185 lbs, she has been experiencing a huge increase in energy, which allows her to spend more quality time with her kids
“I owe my weight loss success to the great challenges and amazing ropes Crossrope creates, but also the constant support and encouragement I receive from the Crossrope community. Everyone is so amazing and I like to think of them as my Jump Rope Family.’”
Thank you for sharing, Brandy, and congratulations on all your weight loss success! We are all so proud of you.
Got questions for Brandy?
Leave them in the comments below!