A woman named Brooke Oden is the owner of one of the most inspiring weight loss transformations we have ever seen, not just because she was able to lose weight, but because of the illness she managed to overcome.

When we saw her transformation on Instagram, we knew we had to find out more. After recovering from a brain tumor and life-saving surgery, most people could forget about their weight loss goals and get a better figure forever, but Brooke managed to get back on track.

An inspiring story of weight loss and overcoming

“ In 2011, I was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumor. I gained over 100 pounds in 3 months due to the devastating news. After I had brain surgery to remove it, I lost 40-50 lbs. However, after 5 years of blaming my weight gain on my brain tumor, I finally decided to do something about it. 

It has been 8 months of healthy eating, cardio and being self determined and dedicated. There are days when it is difficult and you want to go back to your old ways, but then I remind myself: “ I love what I see in the mirror and I would not change that for the world! 

I will never go back to the old me. It’s a lifestyle change, but if you make up your mind and get over all the things they tell you you can’t do, then you’re worth gold. You owe it to yourself to be healthy and to be the best you can be.

Never settle. Solve it and be awesome, do it for you. It is always a process, since life is nothing more than processes and goals only serve to keep moving forward.

How did you gain weight like this?

I had no change in eating habit. My body began to change on its own to over 100 pounds of weight gain and in 3 months. I didn’t really notice a difference until I put on my size 10/11 jeans one day and they didn’t fit at all.

When did you find out you had a tumor?

I found out I had the tumor when I was nursing. Knowing that this was not normal, I made an appointment with my doctor. Without getting any results from him, I proceeded to an endocrinologist. I went through an MRI and a CT scan and there they found the tumor in my pituitary gland.

What did you feel after the diagnosis?

It was a relief to know exactly what was wrong with me and that my weight gain was not caused by me and my normal eating habits. It was a medical problem and I just wanted it removed and fixed.

How difficult was it to get back into a normal routine?

Since it took me 5 years to get to where I am now, it was difficult. I constantly blamed the tumor and after removing it, my life could have returned to normal, but I blamed the tumor instead of myself. Although it was the cause of the weight gain, I now had the ability to lose it on my own if I wanted it bad enough.

Finally, one day when I walked into the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and re-evaluated what I wanted from myself and from life. From that time on, everything changed. My mindset changed, my eating habits changed, my exercise regimen changed, and I started to change.

Were there any problems that continued to affect weight gain beyond diet?

After removal of the tumor, no. Before the extraction, no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight. After a year or so with no progress, I gave up and settled for that, I thought ” this is my life .” She was always going to be a great girl and that was it. After the removal of the tumor, I went to work in earnest for 5 years and here I am. It took me 8 months to lose 80 pounds and I am very proud of myself and how I feel and how I look. It was a long and difficult journey, but I did it!

The daily struggle to do the right thing and eat well is always there, but I don’t let it define me. What defines me is my strength and my persistence and my discipline for myself. I am so happy to have my life back.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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