The Journey: Samantha shares her story, struggle with weight loss and body image


By Samantha Brazie, The Journey

My name is Samantha and I am excited to start writing for The Paper about something many people struggle with … weight loss and body image. I’m not offering medical advice or telling you what to do. I just want my life journey (internal and external) and experiences to help someone on this same path.

I have been in this community for more than 21 years and have worked all my kids’ lives – in restaurants since I was 17. When my youngest was born, I started my bachelor’s degree. I later earned my master’s degree in 2014. I am proud to work at Progressive Heating, Air and Plumbing, a local business that is celebrating 25 years in business.

My family has a strong history with obesity. My mom has been over 500 pounds most of her life. I have tried everything from starvation to almost every ‘diet’ possible. Everything works in the short term. All of it has to do with what you can stick to as a lifestyle change. Blah, blah, blah – right? Seriously, it’s true.

Hard work = results, but when serious stress circles back, I usually go back to my old habits. This is not about eating fast food constantly. This is about not being aware of the type and quality of food I’m putting in my body. I’m not talking about sitting on the couch all day. I work like a crazy person and always have. This is about functional movement.

I was ashamed of myself all the time, and even though I was smiling, I always felt people were talking about me behind my back. I didn’t want people to make allowances for my size or ability to move at a certain pace. I didn’t want my friends to have to wait for me as I climb the stairs or not to do what they wanted because my feet hurt too bad to walk around.

So the way I dealt with that was to avoid anything that pushed myself physically … and always told myself I’d meal prep Sunday or how I was dealing with the hand I was dealt. There was always an excuse or reason, depending on how I looked at things.

When John Winters approached me through Instagram @samantha.brazie, and asked if I would be interested in writing in The Paper, I was hesitant; I am nowhere near where I want to be. But he believes that my successes and failures are successes. I agreed to help other people see that they’re not alone.

The press has come a long way in their portrayal and acceptance of plus size women, but what about having more understanding that men and women alike are not cookie cutter and EVERYONE has a journey – that they deserve to be treated as a human being and respected for who they are inside?

Accepting people as they are does not mean they should not continue to fight to be the best version of themselves possible. It means that hating yourself because of how you look is not a solution. And others being negative based off physical appearance is NOT okay. I am honored to be able to share my journey with you and hope you can find a nugget every month that helps you or someone in your life have hope.

Contact info: [email protected]

Samantha through the last 10 years.

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