Stephanie and Brian Robins have been a couple since July of 2000 and married in November 2010. They live in Arizona with their teenage son Chris and their two dogs. Together they own and operate Robins Plumbing, Inc.
Stephanie had been obese since very early childhood, and Brian also struggled with his weight, mostly as an adult. Stephanie reached an estimated 380 pounds at her heaviest, while Brian topped out at approximately 270 pounds.
Stephanie suffered a traumatic childhood. She was raised by an abusive, drug addicted mother and spent most of her childhood homeless, living out of cars and hotels, and moving around from place to place. Never having experienced the security of a stable home, food became her comfort and stress coping mechanism. This resulted in Stephanie living with obesity since the age of 6. Her weight became her barrier to keep people away and unable to hurt her. She remained codependent to her mother well into adulthood. Stephanie’s father was never part of the picture, having divorced her mother at the age of 2, he did not take an active role in her life either as a parent or financially.
Brian also had some difficulty in his childhood. Growing up in a family of eight on a minimal income often meant Brian had to eat very quickly in order to have a chance at enough food for his growing body. This lead to poor eating habits as an adult, still racing to finish his plate and not paying attention to whether he was full or not. Brian was abandoned by his birth mother at the age of 12. His father remarried to a loving stepmother who had 3 children, giving a total of 6 children in the house. At the age of 16 Brian became a teenage parent and was quickly forced into adulthood. He worked many hours to provide for his son on the meager salary he could earn as a young father while still completing high school.
As most couples do, Brian put weight on right along with Stephanie once they were together. Brian adopted Stephanie’s poor eating habits, along with his own while also enabling her in an effort to keep her happy. Some of these bad habits included IHOP every morning for breakfast, fast food for lunch, frozen or processed food for dinner and snack food every day. There was usually a bag of Oreo’s between them in bed each night with a big glass of milk. Poor eating and exercise habits led to Brian being the heaviest of his life. Together they attempted diet after diet Atkins, The Six Week Makeover, Nutrisystem etc., suffering the all too well known yo-yo dieting effect. None of these diets lasted long, and eventually all led to binging and putting on more weight than when they started. They also took all the diet pills readily available on the store shelves. Stephanie even went as far as to have lap band surgery in April of 2009. After Stephanie had not lost weight during the first four months with the lap band, they both came to the realization that something had to change. Having been a cash patient ($20,000) for her surgery quickly brought this point home. There was no magic cure to obesity.
Together, as a couple, Brian and Stephanie worked to change their lifestyles which included changing eating habits and incorporating exercise. Weight loss is so much more than calories in and calories out. Many of the changes Stephanie faced were emotional, not just physical, changes. Working together as a couple to get through these challenges has brought them even closer together as a couple. As a result Brian lost 70 pounds, and Stephanie has lost 230 pounds, and they both have kept that weight off by keeping the lifestyle changes as a priority in their lives.
Dieting and exercise alone – and this cannot be stressed enough – does not take weight off and keep it off. Stephanie had successfully lost a dramatic (100+ pounds) amount of weight three times in her life. Many will agree more than 100 pounds of weight loss is dramatic, but keeping it off and getting to an actual healthy weight, took so much more than counting calories and getting on the treadmill. Food addiction is serious, and should be treated as such. She had no idea and neither did her loved ones that she had a food addiction. Most people do not realize they have a food addiction, and are in denial. Food is not all or nothing, the way that drugs, alcohol and gambling are. You have to eat every day of your life in order to survive.
Brian and Stephanie want to help others experience the happiness that they have both achieved by working together. They are here to help motivate and inspire others while they go through “Our Journey to Weight Loss”. They want to share their failures and successes with others in hopes that it will help on their journey to a healthy and happy life.