Brandi Laughlin did not always struggle with her weight. When she was younger, she could eat whatever she wanted and never gained a pound. However, after high school ended, Laughlin found that she was beginning to gain about 10 pounds a year, and by her wedding day six years later, was weighing in at 185 pounds. Six months after her nuptials, she became pregnant and gained an additional 35 pounds. About six weeks postpartum, Laughlin decided she’d had enough. “I did not want to be a mom who had let herself go,” she said. She set an initial goal to lose 60 pounds, began modifying her eating habits and even purchased her first treadmill. “I had not run in over seven years,” she said. “And even then, the only running I did was what was required for sports.” Laughlin decided to really get herself motivated by signing up for her first 5k. She says when she first began training, should couldn’t even run for three minutes without stopping, but she pushed forward, forcing herself to run at least five days a week. Less than a year later, she had a 5k race under her belt as well as a 63 pound weight loss!

One year later, Laughlin became pregnant with her second child but was determined to make this pregnancy different. “I continued to run throughout my pregnancy and be mindful about what I ate,” she says. “At five months postpartum, I ran my first ever half marathon. When I entered the chute near the finish line, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.” Accomplished she certainly was. By seven months postpartum, Laughlin had surpassed her goal, weighing in at 135 pounds.

To keep the shape she’s worked so hard for (and take off the additional 10 pounds she still wants to lose), Laughlin runs four or five miles, five or six days a week. She also uses DVDs for occasional strength training and has even been known to throw in a Zumba class when boredom takes over. As far as dieting goes, she says she really doesn’t stick to one. Instead, she allows herself to eat many of her favorite foods that she used to eat, but in much smaller portions. She says, “It’s all about retraining yourself how to eat, portion control and listening to your body’s cues.”

To keep herself motivated throughout her weight loss journey, Laughlin started blogging. Her blog rapidly went from a way for her to document her progress, to a means of motivation and inspiration for every person who read it. “I found a whole community of women just like me that encouraged and believed in me,” she says. “That, in turn, motivated me to keep going. It’s an awesome full circle and without the blog, I’m not sure I’d have been so successful.”

While Brandi Laughlin’s success was not easily achieved, there is no argument that it is well-deserved. She continues to inspire other women on a daily basis through her updates, photos and personal story and never fails to make motivation, whether for herself or others, a priority. Her best piece of advice to other moms out there is to simply stay focused. She says,”You’re not going to be perfect, that’s why it’s called a journey. Don’t let your slip-ups derail you from your goal. It’s hard, but it’s worth it!” Well said Brandi!

For more information on Brandi, visit Mama Laughlin.