How lucky were we to have our very own beauty queen grace our EWL stage?! Witnessing the transformation of the spunky, energetic Miss Brandi was an absolute blessing, and I am beyond thrilled with the opportunities that lie ahead for her. Our year with Brandi (much of it in AZ with the Powell Pack!) was never boring as she kept us all entertained with that hilarious and adorable personality of hers…even going so far as to refer to us as the “Obamas of weight loss” over the year! Silly Brandi. 🙂
When Brandi started gaining weight as a young child, she became self conscious and quit doing one of the things she loved most – pageants. For those of you who watched (and can see these pics), you can see how DROP DEAD GORGEOUS this girl is. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. Sadly, the numbers on the scale kept rising while her self esteem kept falling. Brandi masked her insecurities with food and hid behind makeup, hoping people would focus on that and not her weight. Her dreams were all but forgotten as she gave up and quit trying. With our help, though, this sweet Georgia Peach shed her unwanted pounds, and was able to morph into the person we knew she could be all along.
I love and miss Miss Brandi, and am excited to hear what she has to say about the past year and where she is headed!
Heidi: The Half Ironman…OMG…I will remember that day FOREVER. Such a huge accomplishment for you. Tell us all how it feels, AND (sorry can’t resist) if there is a full Ironman in your future!!
Brandi: After completing the Half Ironman I felt like I was floating on a cloud. There is nothing I can’t do if I just push myself to the limit, continue believing in myself all the way through to the end, and weather any storm that may come my way. I’d love to attempt a full now that I’ve completed a half!
Behind the scenes – During the last leg of the triathlon in New Zealand, Heidi came out of nowhere asking Chris, “Is she walking? There is no time for walking!” She kicked off her sandals and ran over to me to push me along. I was tired in every way imaginable but Heidi reminded me why I was there and how important this milestone was not only to me, but also to my journey, and that I get to write the ending. We laugh about it now, and I’ve dubbed her “The pit bull in a skirt”! We all need the fight of a Heidi Powell pumpin’ in our veins! This woman is a beast at everything she does!
H: Brandi – I hope you know how much I stinkin’ love you. 🙂 Like I said…a day I will never forget. Watching you cross that finish line was emotional in so many wonderful ways. I am beyond proud, and hope you remain proud of yourself.
H: After the finale, you paid us a visit in Arizona to get something pretty special inked on you. How does it feel to have your own version of Chris’ vision tattoo on your wrist?
B: It is always an honor being around the Powell Pack! I feel like I just put on the biggest shoes ever, by getting this tattoo; however, I don’t back down from challenges and these are some shoes that I feel blessed to try and fill! I believe in the theme of transformation (keeping promises and maintaining your integrity), and those are the two things that keep me going. The way I see it, as long as I have this tattoo and I am motivating and inspiring others, I will continue to motivate and inspire myself! It’s a win/win situation!
H: Before your journey started, you said “When you stop dreaming, you give up, and I stopped dreaming a long time ago.” Have you started dreaming again since your transformation?
B: I dream EVERYDAY now! There is something about pushing far past the limits that you place on yourself! It shows you that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to, and if there is something in this life that you want to do and it’s not quite working out for you, don’t quit…write the ending the way YOU want to see it! It’s your life, you write the story.
H: For anyone reading this that only dreams of doing a half Ironman, what tips or advice do you have to share?
B: It’s never enough to just “dream.” At some point you have to start doing the work it takes to get to where you want to go. I can’t say, “I wish I could complete an Ironman,” and then everyday I wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. I have to train like every other athlete does. Reminder: Dreams + Work = Actions conquering fears!
H: Training with Thad Beaty from Sugarland, and Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, must have been quite the experience! Did you have any idea that they would be a regular part of your life?
B: NO! I feel so very blessed! I was blessed to have the experience of Chris and Heidi being in my life, and I knew this was a life long friendship from day one, but to add Thad and Nina to the mix is surreal! We text and check on one another, and hold one another accountable for whatever goals we’ve set for ourselves! These are amazing people and I feel so honored, lucky, blessed, and humble at the opportunity to just say “hello” when I want to! God is Good!
H: What’s next for Brandi?
B: I am working on getting more makeup jobs in television/film! That has been my dream job for years and instead of talking about it, I’m doing the footwork to get there now. It may take some time, but I won’t ever quit on this dream! I’m also coming out with a blog “BEaUty Mark” where the underlying theme is the beauty of transformation. I think we tell ourselves during the year that we have to fix everything in one year or else… But as humans, we have so many things to work on mentally, physically, and emotionally that we could never change that in one year. You can throw a huge dent in it, but there is still work to be done, and I’m sharing that part of me with the world! I’m imperfectly perfect and that’s ok! Who’s perfect anyway?
Brandi – I have no doubt that you are destined for great things. Keep dreaming and don’t ever give up on the things you want most! I love you SO much!!!!!!