Media Whirlwind and a Resolution with Shape


Where do I even begin with everything that has happened over the last week?

I never thought that when I posted about me deciding to pull out from a story with Shape that it would go completely viral on the internet. I posted only to explain the situation, never for attention, never to bash Shape, and never because I felt like I needed to whine. (yes, there have been people who said I did it for those exact reasons) I just felt like I owed my readers an explanation and wanted to start a conversation.

And start a conversation I did….WOAH.

I can’t even keep track of all the places my story has shown up, but it has been all over the world quite literally.

It all started last Tuesday when I had interviews with several websites including BuzzFeed and Yahoo Shine. Huffington Post reposted my blog, Refinery29 did a interview, you could find it on Cosmo’s website, and even E!News.

I had gone viral. The views on my website went through the roof and crashed my blog several times.

And that was just the beginning.

Wednesday was more phone calls from The Today Show in Australia, Good Morning America, HLN, and NBC’s Today. I was busy on the phone trying to get travel plans made, rescheduling travel plans, and setting up times to do interviews.

Then it was off to Chicago to meet up with Mr. B who had flown in from Minnesota (he was there for work). I cannot tell you how great it felt to finally see him after everything that had happened. He is my rock and after feeling so overwhelmed with everything, I needed his hug. (Seriously cannot sing enough praise for that man!)

It was a late night in Chicago filming for Good Morning America. Which was done in a hotel suite at like midnight.

Suite where GMA was recorded

Suite where GMA was recorded

After that we hit the hay for a busy day in Chicago on Thursday.

Thursday started off with watching my story on GMA, then breakfast before anything else. we went to Wildberry’s and I had this amazing waffle!

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We got to relax at the hotel for a short time before my LIVE interviews with HLN and then The Today Show in Australia. Those were interesting to do and you can tell I was super nervous during the HLN one. I was super happy with the Today Show in Australia one though.

Interviews were done and after talking with the editors at Shape, we were taken to the airport to catch at flight to New York! We got in late and headed to bed since the TODAY interview would be happening early in the morning. There wasn’t too much sleeping on my part since my mind was racing with everything that was going to happen the next day.

Friday arrived and it was off to TODAY! There was hair and make-up with the cast of Mama Mia and a quick chat with Bahar (editor-at-large from Shape). Then we were taken upstairs where we waited for our segment.

This is what happened:

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I am so happy that it all turned into this. When I posted the blog post, I wanted a conversation to happen and wanted to spark a change in magazines today. That is exactly what happened. I’m excited to now be working with Shape to feature women who have gone through an extreme weight loss and showing their readers what can happen not only physically, but also mentally when doing just that.

This is a good thing.

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I want to say thank you so much for all of your kind words through all of this! The positive response I have received has been overwhelming and I can’t even keep up with all the comments, emails, and messages. Thankfully the positive has far outweighed the negative, which is great to see. You guys rock and made this small-town girl feel pretty amazing over the last week. I’m glad to have been the girl who brought this conversation to the mainstream media and to have so much support throughout it all!

As for the negative people, sorry that you feel the need to bash people who are doing great things for this world. Nobody has time for that.

I will of course keep you updated with everything that is to come! Along with a more extensive, fun look at the day Mr. B & I spent in the Big Apple!

As always, share your thoughts below!

And remember, keep it kind. I appreciate honesty, but do it with tact. I do reserve the right to delete anything that doesn’t adhere to this.

(Links are included for most of my online/TV appearances)

  • Vanessa Johnson

    Can I just say how much that I honestly love that you’ve done this? I remember when I first started dreaming about losing weight, I just thought my body would somehow end up being like the people that I see on tv. I’ve lost 185 lbs and it looks nothing like the people see on tv, it’s saggy, loose skin, and sadly, I love it. It’s real, and the loose skin reveals my journey and where I’ve come from. Thank you!

    • A friend of mine recently introduced me to the term “Life Marks.” That’s exactly what our loose skin is, our life mark of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. No shame in loving it! <3

  • Vanessa Hicks

    awesome!! such great news! i shared your story on my blog and all on my social media! You are an INSPIRATION and I cant wait to see what the future holds for you!

  • kim r.

    I think this is incredible and just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself and believe in yourself that great things can happen. I am so happy for you Brooke!!!

    • Yes, I have proven to myself that be you and good things happen. The doors that have opened have been incredible! And thank you!

  • You look great on TV. I’m so glad your story went viral & Shape did a complete 180 and will now show what real women look like after losing significant amount of weight. You are a TV star!

    • Hair and makeup people do wonders! πŸ˜‰ I’m glad it all turned out like this, never thought it would.

  • Ioli Cttlnc

    Thank you for posting your story to us. I’m from Mexico. I’ve been overweight since age 7 and my skin has been as loose as a piece of dough as long as I can remember. I’ve done the yoyo dieting all my life and I think that’s what made my skin even looser already with not that much weight off and I am so afraid of loosing the amount of weight I need to loose (40+ lbs,,, I know it sounds like a joke but it’s not) because I’m sure my skin will fall to the floor (if I feel unattractive now… I’m sure I’ll feel worst with the weight off). You’re totally right, there’s nothing wrong with showing your real body. You are a total inspiration to me. I’m so glad I found you at this very moment of my life when I started a diet and I am confronting these demons right now πŸ™‚ My best wishes to you and a big hug!

  • Laura Melville

    Great Work Brooke!! I look forward to the article which will be more in tune with more women than the skinny model ones!

  • Isn’t it crazy how things turn out sometimes? Things happen for a reason, and your story needed to be shared. I love that you emphasized that you wanted to make other people feel like they’re not alone- because so many of us feel like that sometimes (especially with weight loss!).
    You looked so strong, beautiful and poised in all of your interviews and it has been such a JOY to see you all over the media. Love ya, girl!

  • Whosthatlady?

    Great job! I love that you brought this conversation to mainstream media and I love that you are being celebrated for it. We are all rooting for you and continue to wish the best for you!

  • Marie Sousa

    First, you look gorgeous in your interview! Personally, I think its cheap of Shape to blame the free lance writer and use her as a scapegoat. What happened to accountability?? Since they never ponied up and said, I’m sorry, we were wrong….I get the impression that the only reason they’re doing this is to try and salvage what few readers they have left since magazine sales overall have tanked and readers have largely gone online. I say you use the wind beneath your wings right now and take your story to a magazine people actually take the time to read.

  • Jennjilla

    Way to go! I think you did great on tv – I would’ve been so nervous!

  • Karen Fazioli

    I think it’s fantastic! Congrats on the weight loss and getting the article in Shape magazine!

  • Jennifer Huff

    I’m so glad I found your story. Thank you for showing all aspects of losing weight, that you don’t turn out perfect and that that is ok and we can beautiful in our new bodies. You are beautiful and you make me want to love myself more through this weight loss journey!

    • Love yourself everyday! You’re making healthy choices because you do love yourself! Keep kicking ass!

  • What a week! And through it all, you handled it with such grace. SO proud of everything you’ve done. <3 ya!

    • Thank you! I truly believe that I was given this because something knew I would be able to handle it. Not without the help of friends like you though! I owe you a drink or 3 for everything! <3

  • So absolutely amazing. A friend of mine on facebook was re-posting this and I felt utter pride to say, I knew that girl BEFORE she was famous. πŸ˜‰

    You ROCK and I believe you found your true passion.

    • <3 <3 Thank you, Shannon for always being a cheerleader in my corner! I'm so grateful for my readers who have been around awhile!

  • Can’t wait to read about your day in the Big Apple! What a stir you created, and this can only mean good things for you and your career as a WW lecturer/counselor! I see great things in your future!

  • I am so excited about the change you made happen. You are truly an inspiration and way to go Shape for showing the world the beauty of real weight loss!

  • Chelsea

    You look so composed and beautiful in that video! I have a lot of weight to lose myself, and one of my worries has always been what will my skin look like if I lose all the weight. Seeing you confidence has made me feel so much better- I’m beautiful now, and when I lose the weight if I have extra skin, its not something ugly to hold me back or something to be ashamed of. Thank you for bringing an issue that is never addressed out of the dark and into the light!

  • Brianna

    SO proud of you! What a crazy whirlwind and you handled it so well. I’m sure this relates to so many women out there. What you have done is amazing, and you totally deserve to have all of this happen.

  • Alys Bomia

    Your family is so very proud of you! We have rooted you on in this journey and you are simply amazing! You have truly inspired so many people by standing up and letting your voice be heard! I am truly honored that you are my daughter! Love you bunches and keep inspiring and always know we are cheering you on!

  • Angela Sherman

    I saw your story on the Today show. I was quite upset about the situation, and I can’t believe I never wondered why a picture like yours hasn’t been in Shape before. I really enjoy the magazine and have been enjoying it more lately as they have had more women of color and middle aged women on the cover– which is awesome. But I heard your story and was sad that someone from Shape sent you that email asking you to send in a picture with a shirt on. It really is great that your experience has gotten the deserved attention and that they will show ‘real’ women. We need to see reality. We see so many fake images, images that are not possible to live up to. Thank you for speaking up!

  • Awesome job, Brooke. I make sure I teach my clients that you are more than just a number or how your body looks like. It’s frustrating to know that media portrays women this way and you’ve stood up for all of us. I’m proud of you, even if I don’t know you. πŸ™‚

  • DJ

    Wow. If only I had HALF the confidence!!! Way to go girl. Simply inspirational. <3

    • I haven’t always been this confident! It still takes some work some days! You can do it too! Just tell yourself you’re amazing and it’ll all work out!

  • Jasmine Robertson

    As someone who has followed your blog and you for a while, I was so proud to see this blow up the way it did. You are such an inspiration to so many and this just ratcheted it up a notch. I loved logging on to facebook and seeing the repost of your blog post from all over. Not to mention it was on the popular board on pinterest. You have definetly shined a light on this issue and handled it amazingly well!! You rock!!!

    • Thank you, Jasmine! It was crazy, but I was chosen to do this because something knew I’d be able to handle it so well. I’m glad to hear you thought I did! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole Siegl

    It really is incredible, about your story was also reported in the German media. The statement of Shape I find really ugly, You’ve done a lot and are proud of you and your body. Why you should hide him then. It pays homage to the truth and your fight with the kilos! Keep it up! You now have a reader more πŸ™‚

  • Bella S

    Brooke I am so happy that you chose to show the real you, not the fake and photo shopped versions we always see. I prefer the honesty and will be following your blog every day. Society makes us believe we have to be stick thin, no wrinkles and no imperfections. We all have imperfections and should never be ashamed to show them. Thank you!!!

    • I only know how to be the real me. πŸ™‚ It is WAY too tiring to be someone you’re not. And thanks for reading!

  • Brooke, I want to thank you for sharing your story! When I
    saw the Huffington Post entry about Shape magazine on Facebook I shared it on my End Emotional
    Eating FB page and got more hits than ever before! I speak to women every day
    in my therapy practice about their struggles with food and weight which is all
    too often accompanied by poor body image and low self esteem. Their challenges
    are only exacerbated by our culture and media that promote unrealistic false
    and harmful standards and messages to young girls and women. I will continue to
    cheer you on from afar with great hope and desire for your continued success.
    Thank you for helping me in my own personal struggles and for providing me with
    your shining example to share with my clients!

    • πŸ™‚ Thank you, Carol for sharing my story! I hope that your clients benefited from it!

  • Brooke, I am so happy that you are raising awareness on what real weight loss and moving towards a healthier lifestyle looks like after such an amazing weight loss! Congratulations on all your accomplishments – I am also so happy that you sparked a much needed conversation in the media on what women’s real bodies truly look like (opposed to the monolithic photoshopped image projected by the media)! You are amazing, beautiful and inspirational!! I’m very glad that I came across your blog via your viral internet whirlwind! Take Care and looking forward to your final article in SHAPE! Oh and btw, that waffle looks freaaaking deee-lish!!!! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you, Ceara! Hopefully this conversation continues forward!

      And I have dreams about that waffle. Lol

  • Brooke, I think you’re an incredibly brave woman!

  • umagurl

    While I originally posted a more negative review on your stance, I am happy that you are getting this message out there. And to do an article in shape about life post extreme weight loss is awesome. Congrats!

    • Glad to have changed your view a bit! I know that not everyone agrees with me, and that’s okay. Life would be rather boring if we all agreed! πŸ™‚

      I’m glad the message is getting out there as well, because I think it needs to be talked about. As you know, there’s a lot that goes on when losing a lot of weight.

  • YairaCastro


  • EricP

    Brooke, firstly I want to say thank you for being amazing! I am glad that someone like you can show so many others such wonderful life lessons. I am a father of a 12 year old impressionable girl, who I would like to think wouldnt be over worried about appearances. I also am happy to see that you’ve made the changes that you wanted to make and for you and not the pressures of society. Now I feel I have to comment on how I got here and how that makes me feel. I watched a discussion on Fox news (theres my first problem, but I only followed a link to learn more) and they were commenting on how “She should’ve covered up, Shape should have stuck to their guns.” ect ect. I believe that you have done the right thing, sticking to your guns. I also find it disgusting that Fox would air such crap but at least it was only opinions. (Even if the opinions were wrong. HA!)

    • Oh Fox News….did they blame my body on Obama? πŸ˜‰

      People always have an opinion and I’m glad that most of them have been positive just like yours. I hope that your daughter feels beautiful everyday, because she deserves that. <3

  • Loretta Lennen-Sharkey

    i think that you did an amazing job losing weight. I must admit, however, that when I saw your picture, I gasped. I don’t think it’s realistic for you to think that your bikini shot would have made it into any magazine. If my stomach looked like that, there is no way on this planet that anyone other than my husband would get to see it. You probably won’t post this, as all I see on here are gushy, positive comments, nothing realistic.

    • The reason you see so many positive comments is because that’s the majority of the responses I have gotten. They are realistic and if you are going to bash people for being positive, then please keep your opinion to yourself. Be kind.

      I don’t see a problem with myself in a bikini. I love my body and think I’m beautiful. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s fine. I don’t do if you for.

    • botenana

      Wow, bitter much?

    • Stephen Michaels

      I find it very depressing that you think only negative comments about
      Brooke’s body would be ‘realistic’. What a sad person you must be.

      • Loretta Lennen-Sharkey

        Not sad at all. Like I said, she did an awesome job losing the weight, but her body is not aesthetically pleasing to most people, and if everyone on here would be honest, they’d have to admit their true first reaction upon seeing her midsection.

  • Thank you, Nicole! I’m glad to see my story made it your way!

  • I did this for people in your situation! I hate that it is so hard to find any media coverage showing the real effects of a large weight loss. I hope that the Shape feature will only be the beginning in changing things!

    And good luck to you on your journey, you’re worth it!

  • I came into your life at the right time, crazy how that works out isn’t it? You can do it and you’re worth it! Good luck to you! <3

  • <3 Thank you for all your support, Lauren!

    We need to see each other soon!

  • Bonnie MGD

    Well, I just spent the last couple of weeks reading your blog from beginning to present. Holy shitballs. I had been worrying about loose skin as I’ve been on my own journey and your story had popped up through Huffington Post. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a REAL after photo. Thats what happens after such weight loss (my own mom being the first example of loose skin after major weight loss I had seen), such weight loss is to be celebrated!

    Thanks for inadvertently inspiring me to finally make my weight loss blog posts PUBLIC, I had them all marked private since I started it in Feb up until this past week. Keep on keepin’ on, lady. Obviously, you got this. πŸ˜‰

  • Shae

    I wanted to let you know I did a blog post about you. Now while I was not in agreement with you I still really commend your journey and I hope that my post does not offend in any way. I think the beauty of blogging is sharing our own opinions and I wanted to share my opinion on your story.

  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s the great thing about the world.

    I do wish you would have asked for my permission before posting my photo though. Or at the very least include a link to my post so people could read my side of the story.

    • Shae

      Your blog is credited on the photo but I will also go in and add a clickable link to your blog!

  • I had just written a blog post about my issues with looking like ME in a picture and shortly afterwards read about your story. You are an inspiration. Thank you!

  • LP Hunter

    I came onto your blog through the fotographingfatkid’s site. Your stand against Shape is amazing. I will say, though, that I hate that the magazine threw the freelance reporter under the bus i order to save face for the magazine. She was certainly the go-between and I am sure she felt bad about having to relay their message to you. But, I think that you handled the situation with grace and class!

  • Stephen Michaels

    Thanks for raising awareness, Brooke, you look great. I really hope you use some of your considerable influence to also stand up for the freelance writer who ended up being the fall guy. When I was a young journalist, I went for a job interview at an agency that would not name their client outright, but said it was a syndicated women’s health magazine – and at that stage Shape was the only syndicated women’s health magazine in my country. At the preliminary stage, they asked some absolutely outrageous questions about my body, claiming it was because I had to be an “ambassador” for the brand. (The job was one behind the scenes – editing. Wtf?) I was fit and healthy and had all the right habits, but didn’t fit the physical specs. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. The successful applicant, by the way, didn’t have my qualifications, I found out later. Not saying they chose her for her body, but it was weird. She happened to be a model…
    Women’s magazines across the board are outrageous, and are notorious for abusing their journalists as much as they do their subjects. Please spare some of that wonderful energy for this freelancer who was in an incredibly difficult position and will probably be losing a considerable amount of income now, because of this disgusting and mercenary media machine that we are all part of. It is wonderful that you are putting up such a strong fight, but I can’t help feeling that in the end, the only ones that will keep winning are the magazines that peddle their own feminine ideals that the rest of us keep lapping up. Unless, of course, we can force them to reform at the top – and not just make empty gestures by amputating the odd fall guy.

  • LaShyGirl

    Thank you for standing up for those of us who have lost tremendous amounts of weight whose bodies don’t meet some predetermined ideal. All bodies are worthy of admiration and praise no matter what shape or size they are.

    You are truly inspiring and look fantastic!

  • Kim

    Thank you for this! It is not easy to find a positive article about loose skin. I am 30 pounds in to a 100+ pound weight loss journey, and one of my concerns has been loose skin. I am trying to push all the negative thoughts out of my head and just appreciate my changing body. This helped me very much. You look great and are an inspiration πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad that you found my post about loose skin. I agree that there’s not enough talk about it in a positive light. Keep appreciating your body! You’ll be amazed at the things it can do as you go along your journey!!