#fabfitbooker arlene: how a single mom got her groove back


arlene had always been an active, slender girl who never worried much about her figure. then she had three kids in four years and found herself 86 pounds heavier than she’d ever been. after a few years of yo-yoing, a divorce left her a stressed-out, unhealthy single mom raising three young children. she was eating horribly, not taking care of herself, depressed and exhausted, wondering how on earth she got here. then she had a moment of stark clarity. 

and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom
. arlene sat in a hospital cafeteria, about to dig into a large helping of greasy mac + cheese that would easily feed at least three people. her father had just had open heart surgery, and she couldn’t get the image of him in his ICU recovery room, buried under wires and hooked up to multiple machines, out of her mind. she didn't even recognize her own father. she took a bite of her food and then stopped as it dawned on her that she didn’t want her kids to see her hooked up to these same machines someday. she pushed the mac + cheese away, sick to her stomach and afraid. she knew it was time for a change. she had to emerge from her bud and start blossoming, both for her kids and herself. she would not let her divorce define her. she started making changes that day. 

things didn’t happen overnight, but she took small steps each day, working hard to break her pattern of negative self-talk. then, after finding love again with a positive, uplifting man who not only loved her just the way she was, but also knew his way around the gym, she began working out. she was setting goals for herself and seeing results, but with a move to a new town and her husband often traveling for work, accountability was her biggest challenge.

enter fitbook. with arlene’s penchant for list-making and desire for accountability, it was the perfect fit, helping her lose 25 pounds, and taking her from a size 12 to a size 8. there have been a few hiccups in her journey, but with fitbook by her side, she’s always found her way back.

fitbook in her own words:

“i first found fitbook a little over two years ago. it was love at first page! i had 25 pounds to lose and no one to do it with, so this was to be my accountability partner. i had never journaled workouts or food before, but i quickly figured out this was a great match for me and my list-making personality. i had never paid attention to what i was putting into my body, so this was eye opening to say the least! we have three teenagers, so we were eating a lot of prepackaged foods. i started paying more attention to food labeling and i did NOT like what i found. fitbook is the tool that motivated me to get rid of all the prepackaged junk in our home. now, my whole family is eating healthier. i started making efforts to drink more water and choose foods that would fill out the food groups. it took me 14 months, but i finally lost the 25 pounds!
then I did something foolish. i thought "ah, i've got this" so i STOPPED using my fitbook. within two months, i had put back on 15lbs! disgusted with myself for what i felt was my complete lack of discipline, i fell back into some poor self-talk. but then a friend of mine moved here who was a yoga instructor, and i started attending classes regularly. i set a mantra and goals, which reminded me that i had a new fitbook ready-to-go on my shelf at home, so i hauled it out and got started. and i fell in love again with fitbook.

i was logging my workouts, my food, setting goals and reaching them. i was on FIRE!! then my friend suggested i join a local weight-loss program with her to help lose those last few pounds. again, i put down my fitbook, thinking this new program would provide everything i needed. wrong. i started putting back on the weight i’d lost. in the end, i went back to what I KNOW works for me. i picked up another fitbook, as well as a fitspiration journal and purchased a fitbit. i made sure my faith in God and in myself was part of my morning strength-building.
i know now that i am more than a number on a scale, BUT that i do still need to be accountable for what i put in my body.

i don't get upset anymore when the scale goes up a little. i just know i'll have to rein it in for the coming week. and to steal a page out of your book, i remember that i workout because i love my body, not because i hate iti'm learning, thanks to you, about weighing my food. one thing I WILL NOT be doing again is putting my fitbook away. my Bible, my fitbook and my fitspiration journal are all kept together, within eyesight at all times, and it's going to stay that way!”

like so many, arlene’s initial weight-loss success inadvertently switched her into auto-pilot mode. she figured she had the equation down and therefore felt she was equipped to go it alone. while that may work for some, in the end, arlene figured out she requires the daily accountability her fitbook offers. it keeps her focused, inspired and on-track with her weight maintenance. well arlene, you have definitely blossomed! thank you so much for sharing your story with us! your courage and strength is what keeps us inspired. it’s why we do what we do + love every minute of it.

inspired by arlene's ongoing progress? have questions for our fab fitbooker? let her know in the comments below! wanna be featured? share your story, you #fabfitbooker, you.


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