Olivia Brown

"I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. 5’2 is not the ideal height for extra pounds! While I wouldn’t say I was ever incredibly overweight, I always have felt like the short “chubby” girl surrounded by all my taller skinny friends. Lets put it this way, I rarely leave the house without a pair of minimum 3 inch heals or wedges on! I’ve tried everything from pills, to shakes, to juicing, to crazy diets and even starvation. Even, though very embarrassed to admit, contemplated bulimia at times! I moved back to Austin in June of 2014 from Pittsburgh, PA where I belonged to a barre studio, did yoga and dabbled in a little jogging here and there. While I did notice slight changes, I was not consistent or made a conscious effort to change my lifestyle. Work has always been my excuse. I have an extremely high stress job that involves a lot a travel and entertaining, making it very challenging to maintain a normal eating and workout routine. I think when it really hit me is when I came back to Austin last summer. It was boat and pool season. I found myself constantly trying to lay down, or keep a towel or t-shirt over my midsection due to embarrassment of excess weight. I had to do something. I’ve always enjoyed jogging as part of my mental therapy. While I had been jogging more often, about 3 days a week, it wasn’t making earth shattering changes. In August, my girlfriends bribed me to sign up for a half marathon by making it part of a trip to Vegas. I knew I needed to start strength training. I’m not into hard core “cult” type exercise or heavy weight lifting; it's aggressive. Not to mention, I’m way too self-conscious and clumsy as all get out. But there was no going back, there was no way I was not doing the marathon. I may be a lot of things but quitter has never been one of them! My best friend belongs to MOD and invited me to a class. That is when the true transformation began. I became a member in September 2014. I changed my eating style to the 80/20 rule. Clean eating Monday morning through 5 pm on Friday nights, no rule weekends. I made myself run 5 days a week and attend 3 MOD classes a week. Within a FEW weeks, I was starting to get the question all of us, men included, treasure and can never be asked enough: “Have you lost weight?” I have since become a MOD junkie. I made a commitment. I made a conscious effort to change my lifestyle. Work and being on the road was no longer a barrier. The only barrier all along had been me. By January, I lost 25 LBS, 4 sizes, saw my first size 0 (that’s right, 0) and now have 2, shiny half marathon metals hanging on my mirror. Its not just about the weight and how I look. Ok, lets not kid ourselves, it is a majority of it! However, it is also about wellness both mentally and physically. Wellness and health are commitments. Commitments we make to mentally, physically, honor and take care of ourselves and bodies. I committed to take MOD 3 times a week and continue my jogging and eating habits. MOD is now part of my life, part of my routine. Marnie and her crew are amazing support systems. They take a personal, non-aggressive, no “cult” pressure approach. They know their members, their journeys, and lives. They aren’t just instructors, they’ve become friends. I’ve tried some other barre studios in the past. MOD just feels like home. Everyone asks me “What did you do? How did you do it?” MOD is my number one answer. I threw my excuses out the window and made a decision to change my lifestyle. I made MOD part of mine. What’s your excuse?"