My name is Rebekah and I'm a 39 year old wife and mother to a toddler. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at 16 years old and by 20 years of age I gained 50 lbs and was later diagnosed with hypothyroid and full blown type II diabetes. 

In 2009 we found out I was pregnant after being told it would NEVER happen. By October I had preterm labor and was giving birth to a son we had to let go of just 25 minutes later. 2 years later we had our daughter but I was put on bed rest, pumped with hormones and stitched to keep her. Through this journey I have gained weight. 

At this time I am 250 pounds on a 5 ft 2 inch frame. My highest topped 263 lbs just after having our daughter.  During the loss of our son, I took an interest in triathlons. One reason was to let go of bottled up anger and sadness but later it took on a new journey of it's own as a goal to overcome the fear of living or accomplishing things that became scary to me. 

Last year, my husband turned his life around after watching Dr. Gupta's report about preventing and reversing heart disease with the documentary called "The Last Heart Attack". It took my then 38 year old husband from fainting spells, high blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and changed his life forever through a plant based lifestyle. He is 50 lbs lighter and is enjoying life with our 2 year old.  

It's been 2 months and 10 pounds later (250 lbs) "I" am on that new plant based lifestyle with hopes to STILL accomplish my goal of training and actually FINISHING a triathlon. I'm not only doing this for my husband and our daughter, I'm doing it for our son, I'm doing it for my health and I'm doing it to overcome the fear that has stood in MY way of LIVING. 

I am told that being an athlete of any kind on a plant based diet is close to impossible. Through Dr. Gupta's report I have found plenty of plant based athletes but not a whole lot of trainers or dieticians in my area who are familiar with training on a plant based diet. 

I've been told to "lose weight" and while some of the physicians and dietitians I've come across do not have the know how to TEACH this healthy lifestyle change, I know that "I" am the one who is totally responsible for MY health and well being. 

In November, I decided to enter CNN's 2014 Triathlon Challenge and made a video hoping to be one of the chosen to achieve my dream of a Triathlon and my goal of getting off my insulin pump and living a healthy lifestyle so I can grow old with my husband and we can set the example for our daughter so SHE won't ever have to go through what her father and I have.  Though I didn't get chosen, I chose to seek out information from my local Tri group to see how much it would cost to get a bike, the gear, etc. to make this a reality even though I wouldn't have the backing of CNN. 

By the grace of God, I was approached by 2 different trainers and several athletes with encouragement and idea's.  One of which was an offer for 100% support after seeing my CNN Video of which includes a local coach who is plant-based (a hidden gem), a bike and gear. I have become a Lifestyle Ambassador for the Bike Shop (Bikeloft N.) and have begun a whole new journey here in my own backyard.

Because my husband and coach believe in me, I will EXCELL because I want to LIVE free from fear, I want to stop watching my family from the sidelines and BE with them. Finally, I want to overcome this unhealthy me to offer a new legacy to my children and their children. My focus is to overcome a history of health issues and reverse type II diabetes with hard work and VICTORY so that I can reach that finish line with or without Dr. Sanjay Gupta by my side and high five my husband and daughter for finishing a long and hard journey triumphantly! 

I want each reader to know that it's possible to change your life by eating healthy and exercising. You are NOT alone! If I can do this, so can you!

Love & Hugs,

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