While gasping for air I told my 4 young children that mommy was going to sleep and daddy was on the way.
The day Gabi Rose uttered those words to her children, she was pulled over on the side of the road, gasping for breath during a serious asthma attack. It was a moment that stayed with her long after she regained consciousness. Admitting her weight was causing serious medical setbacks forced her out of the fog of denial. Being alive to take care of her children became her prime motivator.
Now, 168 pounds later, she has not only slimmed down, she’s helped her entire family adopt a new healthy lifestyle.
Shortly after the incident on the roadway, Gabi saw a picture of herself that initially she didn’t recognize. “I saw a picture of a morbidly obese woman sitting on the beach with a baby in her arms staring back at me,” she described. “I was mortified when I realized that the woman in the picture was me.”
Gabi worked in the health care field and had access to “medicinal, health and nutritional symposiums.” She became a student of health, studying the science of nutrition and fitness. She discovered the food her family was consuming was not only fattening, it was downright toxic.
Throwing out the soda, packaged foods and eliminating the weekly drive to the fast food window wasn’t initially well-received by her family, particularly Gabi’s husband, who had grown accustomed to their eating style. When they got married, Gabi and her husband spent time together by, “sitting on the couch, eating unhealthy food and watching TV,” she explained. “We never worked out or exercised and developed extremely poor eating habits.” Though she felt tremendous push-back from her family, Gabi knew her husband and daughter (who were also overweight), would benefit right along with her, so she pushed on.
Gabi admits the initial phase of her lifestyle change was the hardest. She was a full time working mother of four, and would often have to take them to the gym where she participated in spinning, Pilates, step classes and boxing, anything to keep her moving. When she got tired of one exercise, she switched up the routine and tried something else.
She remembers the day she slid under the 200-pound mark. “It was bittersweet. I couldn’t remember the last time I weighed less than 200 pounds. It seemed like a lifetime ago,” she revealed. “That night, my 5 year old daughter wrapped her arms around me and said, ‘Wow mommy I can connect my hands. They fit all the way around you now.’ Tears of joy streamed down my face and I finally knew my efforts were starting to pay off.”
Though she’s maintained her weight for over seven years, the thing that gives Gabi the most pride, is that she’s been able to help her husband, daughter and other people in the community. “I want to educate the public about the truths and hidden dangers in the stuff we eat and drink. I believe I have been given a second chance, and I want to share it with the world.”