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‘I have to tell you something. Your baby doesn’t have a skull.’ She squeezed my hand. Tears welled up in my eyes. I waited.’: Mom loses child to anencephaly diagnosis, ‘He was born smiling, so peaceful’

“I finally gave in and made the call. I cut the doctor off. ‘My water just broke.’ Right there in the middle of my kitchen. His tone quickly changed. ‘Get to the hospital ASAP.’ We were snowed in, at the worst possible time. The woman at the desk asked me, ‘Are you pregnant?’ I wasn’t sure how to reply. Do I explain, ‘Yes, I am in labor with my dying son,’ or just let it alone? They wheeled me into the operating room. ‘Oh you just had a baby! Congratulations!’ Those words stung very deep.”

‘I’d be single and a virgin forever. ‘The boys called me ‘big girl.’ I’d never be able to be naked in front of a lover.’: Woman loses 115 pounds after drug addiction, traumatic childhood, ‘I regret nothing, I finally had an opportunity to blossom’

“‘Are you using drugs again?,’ one of my professors asked me. I am a recovering drug addict, who lost 115 pounds and changed my entire life. I had a girl assume I was sick, a close friend expressed to me that I ‘took the easy way out.’ The smaller I got, the more attention I got, the more confused I was. I had sex for the first time after my dad died with a guy who blocked my number the day after he took my virginity. I wanted to stop hating myself, I wanted to be genuinely happy.”

‘You better stop, or we’ll haul you off to the loony bin with the REAL crazy people.’ My father was in a drunken rage.’: Woman overcomes eating disorder from childhood trauma, ‘I’ve found strength to set that baggage down’

“Conditions at home reached a fever pitch. My father was laid off again, my grandmother moved in with her hoard, and I became sick. I tried my hardest to suppress that cough, barricaded with my little brother in my room, holding him back as the sounds of my father’s drunken rage filtered from the kitchen. My grandmother turned cold, hateful. ‘You’re old now. You aren’t cute and you have a bad attitude.’ The chaos was too much to bear. So I stopped eating.”

‘I have stretch marks, saggy skin, a weird fat fold around my C-section scar. I don’t really love myself. This has to stop.’: Mom insists weight does not define us, cannot keep letting ‘my imperfections consume me’

“I can’t pass this on to my daughters. I can’t have them looking at their bodies in search of flaws. I don’t want them to put all of their worth in what they see in the mirror. I want them to know, what I still am trying to convince myself. We might have fat, but we are not fat. This is not WHO we are.”

‘I wouldn’t care if I didn’t wake up,’ I texted my husband. I planned to ram my car into the cement pillars under the overpass.’: Woman battling depression reminds us to ‘take it one day at a time’

“My husband got a new job so we could see each other more. Things were going well until one day I randomly got extremely depressed. My husband left for work and I started thinking, ‘You’re fat, you’re ugly, no one loves you, and you aren’t going anywhere in life.’ I grabbed my keys, hugged my cat, got in my car, and started driving down the highway. This was it, this was the day I was going to commit suicide.”

‘He had a stranger over at my house where my kids sleep. My entire 10-year marriage was a lie.’: Woman credits husband’s infidelity with life- changing weight loss

“In one night, I found out I weighed over 400 pounds. I also found out I was pregnant and losing a baby in one breath. That moment was a severe wake-up call I needed to change my life. I didn’t realize how much my husband’s infidelity had affected me until I stepped on that scale. I left him without a car and without a plan.”

‘I came home to my husband moved out and my key next to his wedding ring. It was so crushing. As soon as we got back from our wedding, he shut me out.’ After split from ‘dysfunctional relationship,’ woman turns her life around and becomes full-time health coach

“When I was 15, I started drinking 2-4 drinks a night. At 21, I ate most of my meals at bars. Before I knew it, I peaked at over 200 pounds. But the more I got healthy and lost weight, the more it drove a wedge between me and my fiancé. ‘Don’t get too skinny,’ he said. He wouldn’t talk to me and it was really frustrating. I felt like he was discrediting my work. My relationship was built on negativity.”

‘Doctors told me I was ‘lying.’ I hadn’t started my period. Before I took the birth control, I took a pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE!? We bought 5 more tests. All of them were positive!’

“I was having vivid, strange dreams. A neighbor said, ‘Are you pregnant?’ I said ‘no’ and cried. A switch flipped in me. I became crazy emotional. I was having day dreams about drilling a hole in my head or cutting it off. I went to doctor after doctor. They all said that it was because of my weight.”

‘He locked me in the basement for days. I had asked him to help with baths for our kids. Then he took his own life.’: Woman reclaims self-worth after husbands’ suicide

“I kept wondering how I would get out. He must have decided the kids were too much to handle on his own. I sat in ICU while he was declared brain dead and thought about everything that happened. I felt sadness, anger, shock. The biggest emotion I felt was relief. I no longer had to fight to be respected. I felt free.”

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