As a young adult, Franny Cochran battled a severe eating disorder in hopes to be “a normal-sized person.” She states, “For years I maintained my weight through methods of binging and purging. After getting married and starting a family, I realized how important it was for me to take care of myself. I wasn’t just looking out for me anymore. I needed to do something and I needed a new way to do it but I couldn’t figure out HOW.” And as a self-proclaimed “chunky kid,” Franny says that weight was always an issue. “I was overweight for as long as I could remember. I was a chunky kid, an overweight teen, and super obese adult. After having my second son, I was the heaviest I’d ever been and completely unhappy with myself. I tried the diets. I tried the shakes. I tried the pills. I tried the videos. I tried everything I could think of to drop the weight as quickly and as easily as I could. It wasn’t until I realized that losing the weight required more than an “easy fix” was I able to turn my life around and lose over 100lbs.

This is Franny’s story.

What made you decide to change your body and your life?
One evening I was cooking in the kitchen when my then 4 year old came up to me and put his hands on my stomach and shook it. He giggled and said, “Mommy, you’re fat.” While he didn’t mean to hurt me, it was a horrible blow to my ego. That was the moment everything changed for me. That evening I found a documentary on Netflix called Hungry for Change. I was hungry. I was desperate. I needed change and I needed it RIGHT THEN. After watching the documentary, I was so inspired to change my eating habits that I went and cleaned out our entire pantry and refrigerator and rid them of all the junk food. I threw away what was trash and hauled a trunk load of the rest to my parents’ house. I changed everyone’s diet in the house to mimic that of a “clean” diet and in my first month of changing my eating habits, I lost almost 30 pounds!

What kept you motivated?
I fell in love with how it made me feel. There was nothing more satisfying to me than showing myself I could do something I once thought I couldn’t. Each milestone, every personal record, every pound lost was a notch in my victory belt.

What steps did you take to begin your transformation?
My first step was completely changing my diet. I lost almost 30 pounds by switching to a “clean” diet before I ever stepped foot into a gym. Once I had dropped some weight and felt comfortable to get more active, I joined a local fitness boot camp. I barely made it through half of my first class but I was determined to stick with it. After a month of classes, I hired the instructor to be my personal trainer and just added to my list of active hobbies from there.

How did being overweight affect your life? How are things different now?
I didn’t realize how much my weight limited me until it wasn’t a factor anymore. I hid behind my weight and used it as an excuse to not do things. EVERYTHING is different now. The way I feel. The way I look at life. The way I live life. Everything has changed. My quality of life is so much better that it’s made me to want to help others experience the same kind of transformation. My husband and I just opened our own fitness studio, The Muscle Cave, offering the same type of fitness classes and personal training that I used to lose weight. We offer up to four fitness classes a day designed to burn fat, build endurance, and changes lives for the better. My transformation is now my passion and I get to share that passion with everyone!

What does your diet look like?
Depends on the day, honestly. While I do my best to eat clean the majority of the time, the reality is, life happens. I pretty much stay on point during the week and let my hair down over the weekend. Some call it cheating; I call it balance. I’ve learned it’s OK to enjoy food. It’s not OK to be controlled by it.

What are some suggestions you have for aspiring transformers?
Like Nike says, “Just do it.” Don’t think about it. Don’t try to rationalize it and don’t put a bunch rules on yourself. Fall in love with the process. Appreciate the losses AND the gains. Everyone’s journey is different. Don’t limit yourself to how you think it should go. Let it be what it is and never give up. Above all else, ALWAYS be proud of yourself. You are your greatest asset. Own it.

How has your transformation helped you grow?
It’s shown me that I am so much stronger than I could have ever imagined, mentally and physically. Strength is more than a muscle. It’s a mindset.

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