People Helping Each Other

Losing It: Anna Wright

Aids Health Foundation

Where would I even begin? If I had to be honest, I would say that it was in February 1999 that I felt like my life had traveled to a point of no return. Here I am, sitting in a hospital waiting room for hours with my then two-year-old son, impatiently waiting to be discharged after his MRI. Honestly, we were waiting there for at least two hours before a team of doctor’s entered the room and gave me the news that would change my life forever.

My son Austin was diagnosed with a highly malignant Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid tumor of the optic nerve. Oh, yeah, and was given 2 to 8 weeks to live. Fortunately for me, with excessive radiation treatments, I was given seven months to say, “Good-Bye”. I sometimes still beat myself up for putting him through so much, just because I wasn’t ready to let go, but what kind of mother would I have been if I didn’t even try? The mental tug of war during that time in my life came with a price that I never expected, morbid obesity.

My son passed away in September of 1999. I couldn’t fit any of my clothes, my physical features had changed, and the scale said that I was 80 pounds heavier. I had never been here before, and I didn’t have the first clue as for how to shed that weight off my body and regain control of my life. Within a decade of disbelief and denial, I tried everything from gym memberships to meal supplement programs and nothing worked. I even mustered up the courage to audition for a weight-loss show called the Biggest Loser; four times. Who say’s that the fourth time can’t be the charm? I’m actually happy that I didn’t make it the other three times, because I wasn’t mentally ready to change my life. The Biggest Loser, with the assistance of Jillian Michaels helped me do just that. Having the opportunity to be on that show helped transform my mind and my life into something so powerful that even obesity could never again have control over.

Anna Wright before and after.

Losing the very first challenge that would have guaranteed me a spot on the ranch was an eye opener for me. I suddenly remembered that I was still someone’s mother. I didn’t just lose a child, but my oldest son had lost a brother and to some degree a mother too. I wanted my son, Ulysses to know that no matter the adversity, you can triumph over any circumstance. So because of this, I fought my way back to get that second chance on the ranch by losing 39 pounds in one month at home. This accomplishment just made me a target for my teammates to use game play to vote me off after only one month on the ranch. Still never giving up, I worked out almost everyday for at least one hour, I’d take group fitness classes, just to change it up a little, I’d maintained eating clean, and I would reminded myself everyday how important it was that I live a happy healthy lifestyle. I did all this, while working a 40-hour a week, sedentary job. I would find every way I could during the workday to incorporate physical activity during my shift. I’d take the stairs instead of the elevator, and would take power walks outside during my breaks. Pretty soon, my coworkers would ask if they could join me. Delighted by their interest and support, I only became that much stronger and encouraged. My reasons for regaining my life became more of a reality than ever. I was now a representative for everyone and anyone who wanted to change their lives for the better. It was time to pay it forward. I would begin to accept invitations throughout the country to motivational speak and share my story; I became an AFAA personal trainer and a Zumba instructor; and I went back to college to finish my degree in Social Science.

We can’t go throughout life without experiencing some type of hardship or pain. Sometimes events are just out of our control, but we do have a say as to how we can rise above it. Personally, I’m a representative of God’s light, and I place my faith in Jesus Christ. Because of my faith, I will continue to help others recognize their issues, aide in picking themselves up, and encourage them to continue fighting, never giving up. Since my transformation to a “Better Me”, I’ve lost close family members, I’ve had knee and foot surgery, I’ve gained weight and lost it again; but this time it’s different for me. I know now, that no matter what, I will survive.

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38 Comments on Losing It: Anna Wright

  1. Excellent, encouraging article. I love that Anna didn’t give up and is using both her positive and negative situations to help inspire and motivate others. Congratulations on your victories.

  2. You’ve been an inspiration to me my entire life. Love, love, love your ability to tell your story in attempts to assists others in healing from their painful times in life. Truly a selfless and caring woman. God will indeed, take you as far as you want to go in all of your endeavors.

  3. It takes a strong and Godly person to continue to stand and achieve what you have done. I can’t even come close to imagine what you have gone through! Continue to strive and stay prayed up. I’m proud of you!

  4. Great piece! I loved that her coworkers got involved in her efforts. I wish my office environment was that supportive.

  5. I appreciate you sharing such a heart felt story! As a person who also struggles with fluctuating weight, this gives me hope and reminds me that no matter what is going on in life, im ultimately in control. Blessings to you Anna Banna!

  6. So proud of you Anna. Thanks for sharing your story, you are such an inspiration to me and others. God has more in store for you. Much love.

  7. Such a inspiration!! She’s a fighter and I love her outlook on things. This Journey is not easy by any means, but she gives back and helps othere

  8. You have been through a lot & still came out strong. You are more than a classmate or friend but a mother figure I look up too. I hope the best for you❤️

  9. Just reading this gave me flashbacks because I remember everything you went through and how hurt we were when Austin passed away. But you give me courage, you give me hope and you’re kind of a hero to me. No matter what the challenge is, you always accomplish your goals. You always find a way or make one and I couldn’t be anymore proud of you and who you are. This story is extremely inspirational. It’s the story of a fighter and I am blessed to Met you and seen this journey and be apart of it. Amazing Article.

  10. Such a great article. I’d witness all these events in Ann life personally . Life adversities. It was some painfulsnd happy moments. To personally call my cousin to discuss or create action plans of the loosing weight process. I still struggling at times. This article has just increase my efforts again. Thanks cousin

  11. This is a beautiful story. So many times in life we stumble in hardships and forget about everything else most times to our detriment but Anna found her why again which is so inspiring! Be blessed!

  12. This is such a great survival story! It’s truly been an inspiration to grow up watching you, knowing all you’ve had to overcome in life. Love you!!!

  13. Your story is still amazing to me Anna. Working with you & working out with you was a blessing to me after I relocated to a new state. Your courage, your determination & your strength to carry on & even help others reach their goals is commendable. You are still doing a great job! Stay focused. Much love,

  14. She has always been a grinder and motivator. She had always been beautiful inside and out, what an amazing story! I love my Anna!

  15. You are the poster child for Perseverance. I’m so happy and proud of you for many reasons. I love how you recognize the problem and took care of it. Your weight was just a byproduct of the circumstances that was surrounding you at the time. But you didn’t let those circumstances overtake you, nor did you let the weight overcome you. You picked yourself up dust yourself off and rolled up sleeves and you put your shoulder on the wheels of those circumstances that was causing you not to be eternally happy and pushed and you fought back. You didn’t arm yourself with excuses and denials, instead you armed yourself with truth.
    Truth of our Savior, The truth of yourself, and the truth of your resolve. Again I’m very Happy and Proud of you my friend. And I’ll always be one of your biggest Chreeleader.

  16. What an inspiring story. You are an inspiration to all letting us all know that with pain comes great things. It goes with the saying ” what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger “. Thank you for sharing your incredible story.

  17. That’s awesome! Triumph after tragedy is always the greatest challenge. You are amazing for finding yourself in the midst of the heartache & inspiring others! Continue to move in God’s love and light. Blessings!!

  18. I personally know Anna and she is one of the strongest women I know! I remember thinking after the show Biggest Loser, she came home and became a “workout monster” lol. She was always running in marathons, hiking up mountains, in work out classes.. she didn’t stop! She is truly a fighter and an inspiration!

  19. Thank you for being brace and sharing your story Anna. You are an inspiration to me. I miss you in group class. Let’s continue transforming to a ‘Better Me’ = we CAN do it!

  20. Your strength and perseverance melts my heart. Through it all you still flourished and kept God in the forefront. What a beautiful inspiration you are. Continue to thrive my sister. Your story could save someone’s life that may be going through something the same or similar. You will always have a beautiful angel watching over you. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  21. So inspiring! So encouraging! Truly the strongest woman I’ve ever met. This makes me so proud of Anna

  22. Excellent, encouraging article. I love that Anna didn’t give up and is using both her positive and negative situations to help inspire and motivate others. I would love to hear hear do some motivational speaking.

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