When Rachel Habegger made the decision to lose weight by starting an online fitness campaign, she didn’t realize she would be doing it with the added stress of a serious medical diagnosis, debilitating headaches, and a spinal tap. Some people might’ve used the circumstance as an excuse (a valid one) to push back the start of a new rigorous exercise routine but Rachel didn’t. Once she made the commitment to herself, as well as the online trainer, she fought through the pain and forged ahead, eventually losing 85 pounds.
As a former cross country and long distance runner, Rachel had once been fit and healthy, but after the birth of her first child, Rachel failed to lose the additional weight, then gained more with her second, and her third. Eventually, Rachel stopped running on the pavement altogether, but she was still running away from something in her past. “I was an emotional eater,” she said, “and also trying to hide behind my weight as a sexual assault survivor.”
One day, Rachel was shopping and noticed she was having trouble walking the distance of the mall. This, coupled with her insulin dependence from gestational diabetes (a gift from her third child) led Rachel to look for a solution to her weight problems. Then she discovered the, “online docudrama and weight loss support group for moms in social media,” Mamavation. Shortly after being accepted into The Mamavation Moms group, Rachel was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri (a condition that mimics a brain tumor and causes pressure inside the skull). Though she required a spinal tap and medication that often, “Kicked my butt and made it hard to work out,” Rachel completed two Mamavation weight loss campaigns. Her doctor credits exercise and weight loss with her amazing progress and recovery.
To keep the weight off, Rachel continues to work out every day, sometimes running or doing the circuit training moves she learned through Mamavation, though she admits there is one exercise routine she curses. “I am still not a fan of burpees but they got me where I am today.”
Recently, Rachel was playing tag with her kids when something dawned on her. “I realized how much I was missing out on by sitting and watching them play but not actually playing with them,” she said. “It was in that moment that I also realized how far I had come and need to go! I now play with them outside everyday.”
When asked about her future weight loss goals, Rachel was adamant about her overall well-being, “I want to be healthy regardless what the number on the scale is.”
Advice she would give to other people trying to lose weight? “Everyone has to start somewhere. I have been where you are. Do what you can, while pushing yourself a little bit more everyday. It’s not going to be easy, but it is definitely going to be worth it! Be proud of every victory, no matter how big or small!”
June 22nd, 2013