MariGold Ambassadors: Ryan Smith

I grew up healthy and athletic, with a zest for life!

I never once thought about my weight, my body, or my appearance.  I only thought about PLAYING!

I always loved LIFE, I lived it FULLY and  I had a strong faith and passion for my relationship with God.

LIFE WAS GOOD!

It wasn’t until after I married at age 19 and began to try to have children, that I started to struggle with my weight and body image.

After several miscarriages, I sank into a deep depression.  I didn’t want to leave my home. I didn’t care what I looked like nor did I want to discuss any of the pain I was feeling.  I stifled it all.

In addition to that, my marriage was crumbling and I was burying my misery with each bite of food I put into my mouth.

I felt imprisoned. I hid from the world.

There was nothing that could satiate the pain and the dissatisfaction I felt within my soul.

I began searching for ways to climb out of the deep valley I was trapped in only to stumble and fall right back in.

Finale Weigh In

I thought that having a child would be the solution to my gloom.

After pleading with my husband, he finally agreed to adoption. It took almost a year of paperwork, FBI background checks, etc., before we travelled to Guatemala to meet and bring home our beautiful six-month old daughter, Hannah. She was (and is) absolutely perfect!

When Hannah turned a year old, I became pregnant again. This time the pregnancy was successful and I gave birth to my equally breath-taking beauty, Selah.

All was well, albeit chaotic, as I tried to manage two infants on my own. My husband was working overtime like crazy so that he could provide for our new family of four and I was rarely leaving home. The financial stress coupled with the stress of being a new mother began to take their toll.

I began to get bigger and bigger.

After I watched the first season of the “Biggest Loser” air on NBC, I immediately thought, “This is it!!! If I can get on this show, I will get this weight off and I will finally be happy!”

I prayed and begged God to help me get on the show.

Using my love for music, I sat down and wrote a song to the tune of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” to sing to the judges. (Divinely inspired…*insert silly eye roll emoticon. Ha! Ha!).  I changed the lyrics to express my struggle and desperation. They went something like this…

Why do I feel discouraged? Why can’t I lose this weight?

Why can’t my big butt manage…  to put down the plate?

The carbs and sugar call me… They whisper in my ear…

Just open and eat and I promise not to go to your rear…

Just open up and eat me and I promise not to go to your rear….

Much to my amazement, they loved me and picked me for the show!!  I was thrilled!

Biggest Loser Lineup

When filming began I weighed  225 pounds (my heaviest was actually 255).  I dedicated myself and worked VERY hard during the show!

I lost 18 pounds in week one, 2 pounds in week two,  5 pounds in week 3 and 5 pounds in week four.

In week five I was voted off.

When I got home, I knew I had to do whatever it took to lose weight and be ready for the finale!

The problem was, I didn’t think I’d learned enough in just one month to make it happen.  That lack of confidence was paralyzing!  I was completely frozen.

I decided I HAD to get moving!

I joined a gym that was about 45 minutes away.

My entire day began to revolve around the gym.  In the mornings I would take my babies with me, work out for 90 minutes, drive back home, feed the little ones and put them down for a nap.  After their nap, I’d pack them back in the car, drive back to the gym and train for another 90 minutes before coming home for the evening!  I did this every single day!

About twenty days prior to the finale, I still weighed in at 167 pounds.

I felt huge! I was convinced I had to do something more dramatic!

 

I stopped eating for twenty daysTWENTY DAYS!  I DIDN’T HAVE A SINGLE MORSEL OF FOOD.

I drank vegetable juice and water only managed to drop another 20 pounds…THE HARD WAY!

I walked into that finale weighing in at 147 pounds!  I felt so beautiful and proud of myself!

I had done what it took to be a success for my final moment in the spotlight.

This is the point that things began to get scary.  In focusing so intently on dropping weight for the show finale, I’d given very little thought to what it would be like “afterward.”  The dramatic weight loss was great, but the way I arrived there was not sustainable.  I had no idea how to keep the weight off once I got back home?

For the next year or two, I bounced back and forth from eating healthy and exercising to starving myself.  My own expectations of a “magic” number on that BLASTED SCALE were sabotaging me!  I couldn’t figure out why the weight was coming back?!

Again, desperation and frustration seemed to be the catalyst to decision time.

I was going to the gym but I hated it!

I knew I had to do something FUN! I knew I wanted to PLAY and I wanted a gym that would be female-friendly…

 

So I decided to open my own…and it was a hit!

Business was GOOD but my marriage on the other hand was not. Not long after opening my gym, our marriage fell apart and we divorced.

I began to dive further into my work, teaching 21 hours a week of high intensity “fire & ice” classes.

Since teaching these classes was very hands on, my weight just melted OFF!

Soon, I re-entered the dating world, and thought I was living the life!

About a year after my divorce, I met a gentleman who quickly swept me off my feet.  I was madly in love! Our relationship was filled with passion and CRAZINESS! We became one another’s drug! Unbeknownst to me, however, I wasn’t his only drug of choice.  I soon discovered he had a long history of criminal activity, drugs, theft, and abuse.

While I was “free-spirited,”  I wanted NO part of drugs or anyone involved in them.  Our arguments over this issue heightened and turned into full blown fights.

I was the recipient of broken fingers, a broken nose, blackened eyes… I was dragged through my home by the hair until my scalp bled, my belongings were destroyed, my money was taken….you name it!

The more I resisted, the more volatile he became.

He was relentless in his pursuit of drugs and in his pursuit of me.

When I became pregnant, the abuse worsened. When I was eight months pregnant, he slashed my tires and even tried to kill me on several occasions, attempting to electrocute me while I was bathing!

It just went on and on.

I knew I had to take a stand and keep him away from me and my girls but I didn’t want to!  I loved him like I’d loved no other.

I just wanted him to get help and be a good respectable man.

Eventually, I got fed up with all of his lies, broken promises!  It was one nightmare after another.  It just became too much.  I didn’t want Esther, my third daughter, growing up in a volatile home with a father who beat her mother and passed out into plates of food at the dinner table.

When I finally had the resolve, I had him arrested when he attempted his last break-in.  I was granted a five year order of protection and quickly moved my daughters to a safer place.  I hid with my daughters in some housing projects until I could get us back on our feet.

In the madness of that relationship, I lost myself, my identity, my business and everything I owned.  We were on the verge of homelessness.

The Lord always rescued us, though often it seemed to be at the very last minute.

Time after time, He pulled me out of one valley after another.

I began praying for Him to give me direction and while He always proved faithful, I knew that I had to jump out of the “boat” and take responsibility for my life.  With His help, I had to take the actions necessary to provide for my daughters and our future.

I found myself re-enrolling in college and pursuing nursing.  Even though I wasn’t sure if that was the direction I should go, I knew I had to continue to move forward.  I focused on soaking in as much knowledge as I could.

With every baby step, I determined to become a better version of “me.”

I went back to church and began working on my relationship with the Lord and sought biblical counselling for all of the pain I’d never dealt with over the years.

I began to pray for the Lord to restore my fitness business… which He did!

Within a year of taking that first step out of the “boat” my daughters and I were able to move out of the projects and into a rental home and I was able to re-open my business!

I continue attending school and graduated this past May!

Through the struggles and pain in my life, I learned that God always had a reason and a purpose.

First of all, I was drawn closer to Him.  I learned humility and at the same time found a strength I never knew I could have.

Finally, a passion began to grow in me!  A strong desire to help people holistically;  mind, body, and spirit!

My clients are all women and I love each and every one of them!  

In using my imperfections, my stories, my MISTAKES, sharing my deep wounds and the lessons I’ve learned, I’m able to relate to them on a much deeper level.  I can now connect in ways I never could before.  I can LOVE them in a way I never could before.

I firmly believe that that our greatest joy can grow from our own brokenness and failures.  We simply must choose to use them instead of letting them use us!

I pray that my passion for helping others is evident and contagious!!!  I pray that people are encouraged to live authentic and JOY-FILLED lives through my testimony.

Finally, I pray that as I use my passion for helping other women face their brokenness and failure through fitness, I will leave a legacy that lasts way beyond my short life here on earth.

Ryan Smith

Owner,Foxey Moxey Fitness

Note:

By the way, life is GOOD! In January, I married a wonderful man I have known for several years who has a daughter of his own.  He patiently allowed me the time to grow, to talk about all that I had been through, and to heal.  Becoming a “better version of me,” will be a life-long journey. However, through seeking the Lord, getting the help I needed, and taking responsibility for my own life, I was ready for this man that I might have missed had I not gotten “out of that boat.”

Comments

  1. Vicki Smith

    I want to say that as Ryan’s mom, I am so proud of her and what she does for other women. I attend her class myself 3-4 times a week and she shines with joy as she motivates each of us to push past what we “think” we can do in our minds and reach that next level. Her daddy and I prayed so much for her during some of the worst times of her life (and ours as well). The Lord brought her through and now her business thrives because, while it is still a wellness/fitness program, it is founded on the Lord and its’ purpose is to glorify Him.

  2. Barbie Dyer

    Words cannot express how grateful I am for the courage of Ryan Smith. Because she stepped up and let God have control she has changed my life and the lives of so many. When I joined her class I was ready for a body transformation but I got much more than that. I got health happiness and the ability to love myself in a way I never had. Her honesty and her story helps me to share my story and be free to be God created me to be. She truly is the real deal

  3. rich

    Great story, keep up your spiritual momentum, by foloowing the commandment ogf GROWING IN GRACE AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.

    If you need a church for spiritual food try this one http://www.beracha.org or 713-621-3740. and ask them to send you a catalouge. The books and tapes are all free. It is truly a church operating under the principle of Grace for over 70 years. No charge for ANY of the study materials and they have over 11,000 hours of tapes and CDs.

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