Nine years ago, Brady Braden was 70 pounds heavier, out of shape and eating way too many processed and sugary foods. Then one day he went to the doctor and stood on the scale. “Between the numbers and his ‘encouraging’ me to lose a few pounds, I decided it was time to make things happen.  I have always been aware of the complications that being overweight or obese can cause.  The visit to my doctor was a true wake-up call.”

The Catch
When most people make a commitment to lose weight, they steer clear of all the foods that tempt them. Braden’s path, on the other hand, ultimately took him straight into a pastry kitchen. In April of 2009, just four months after graduating from The French Pastry School, Braden opened BTrue Bakery. Located in Chicago, The type of bakery Braden operates, however, doesn’t pump out trans-fat-filled cream puffs or overly-refined donuts. Every single pastry Braden creates is all natural, whole grain and heart healthier - something his customers are particularly fond of right around Valentine's Day.

“I come from a baking family.  I’ve spent many hours in the kitchen with all members of my family from many generations.  I decided to start converting my age-old family recipes to remove any ingredients that are processed or hormone-added.  That meant real butter, real eggs, raw sugar, whole wheat flour and more tasty ingredients.  Over the years I was able to convert (mainly through trial and error) most of the recipes into a healthier option.  I knew it was still a cookie or brownie, but it didn’t have all that other ‘stuff’ in it that my body doesn’t need.”

Finding Fitness
Before Braden, now 32, put on all the weight that he’s since lost, he was actually quite active. A swimmer in high school and an active kid, he was “never really into actual ‘fitness.’” It wasn’t until he got to college that he really started to put on weight. Braden attributes his weight gain to nothing more than unhealthy eating and not enough activity.

That was then – this is now. Today you’ll see Brady not only working out, but teaching fitness classes most days of the week. Braden gives credit to a friend who helped him become completely immersed in fitness.

“A good friend brought me to my first Spinning® class.  The Instructor was awesome, I hurt for days and I hated every second of it.  The next day, I woke up ready to do it again.  I knew myself well enough to know that I needed a STRONG motivator to get me to the gym.” Braden continued taking Spinning classes for a while, then focused on becoming a Spinning instructor. “I figured there was no better way to get me into the gym than risk being fired if I didn’t show up.  Happily, it worked perfectly.”

True Advice
When it comes to any advice, Braden’s got a few gems.

  • Be Honest! So many of us fail because we are not honest with ourselves or others about what realistic goals should be.  Great Goals give Great Results."
  • "Be Curious! If I hadn’t taken that Spin class (and I was terrified before my first class), I may well never have lost the weight.  We need to always explore things that are new to us and learn."
  • Be Proud! Even with the occasional set-backs or plateaus we may experience, a negative attitude will just make things worse.  I always say, it takes 44 muscles to frown and 4 muscles to smile.  Save Energy, Smile!”

What’s on your i-Pod, Brady Braden?
Braden admittedly listens to wide variety of music. On his i-Pod, or in his classes, you might find yourself listening to:

1)    Anything by Radrigo y Gabriela
2)    Any sort of “Bollywood” Rock
3)    Aerosmith: Back in the Saddle (a natural fit with 1 & 2, right?)