What an honor to be asked to share my testimony with you! My name is Brandy Hopkins and my family and I moved to Tell City two and a half years ago. A few years before we moved here, my mother, on top of a lot of other health issues, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. As I had for years, I continued being her main caretaker. Alongside caring for her, I worked full time as a social worker on an Alzheimer's/Dementia Unit and was raising four kids. Life was crazy to say the least! During that time, I slowly began putting myself on the back burner, as most mom's tend to do. About 2 years after my mother's diagnosis, my husband began having health issues himself and within the year discovered that he, too, had cancer. Again, my health at this point was the least of my concerns. (In all reality, it should have been at the top of my priorities.)
Also during this time, two of my kids graduated from high school and I helped moved them off to college. I really became pretty numb to myself. I Just continued putting one foot in front of the other. What else was I to do?
When we moved to Tell City, I had noticeably gained weight. I felt horrible. Every night when I laid down to go to sleep, I just felt awful. By now, my husband had under gone major surgery, chemo treatment, and was in remission. (I will note that he is still in remission today!) My mother, however, was continuing to decline to the point of needing 24 hour care.
I had heard about the Biggest Loser program from people in my church and became very interested. I was ready to make a change. I had been reading lots of information on health and cancer and knew I had to do something, not only for myself, but for my family as a whole. In the fall of 2013, I joined the BL; I don't remember which season that was right off. I instantly connected with my teammates. I was welcomed with encouragement and understanding. I was a part of something that would play a major role in forever changing my life. After my first season, I lost 24 lbs! From there I continued to work until I hit my goal of 60 lbs lost ten months later. I can say that, to date, I have maintained my goal. Through each rough moment, I always reminded myself of one of my favorite verses from Philippians 4:13... "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength." Without my faith, I would never have made my goal. This past April I ran my first half marathon, something I never imagined I would do! Although my mother did not live to celebrate that milestone with me, she did see me reach my goal weight and was one of my biggest cheerleaders.
I've learned it's not a weight issue that's the real issue but a lifestyle problem that must change. It's all mental. Your mind will quit way before your body!
So, if you think that you want to join in with this great group of people and make a life-long, lifestyle change, don't hesitate one more minute. Sign up today! You will be forever grateful you did. I am excited to be a part of the coaching team for my first time this upcoming season! I will encourage you anyway I can!! YOU CAN DO IT!!