From age three to forty-six, I was morbidly obese. In September 2009 I weighed 320 pounds, was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and had a number of pulmonary embolisms. One episode landed me in the ICU for ten days. My magic doctors told me I was lucky to be alive as one out of three people die from this condition.
When I got home from the hospital, my neighbor, who used to work at the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County, suggested I check out the Y. I joined the Y and started coming to the Y a couple days a week to get in the pool and just move around. Soon I was coming seven days a week in addition to changing my eating habits, and I was losing three to five pounds a week.
I am the Principal of GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School. As I was improving my health, I knew it was time to improve the quality of our school lunches and so we began integrating healthy lifestyle choices into the program. No question, God was intervening.
My friendships grew at the Y and I was becoming very connected. I started taking Pilates, Muscle Flex and Boot Camp classes. In August 2011 I met my future husband, Tony, and we got married in October 2012. The Minister at our wedding happened to also be a Y member.
Because of the Y, I am inspired and have inspired others to exercise daily. To date, I have lost about 56% of my body weight and have endured two skin removal surgeries. Without the Y, I would still be morbidly obese. I went from being a single woman to becoming a wife, mother of two, and have a home filled with cats, dogs, fish, shrimp, and ferrets. I pray for God to heal my body, my mind, my spirit and my heart. That encompasses everything for me.
– Mary Sue