On a Mission to Become Lighter, Fitter and Stronger

CABOT, AR -- Rebecca Privitera thought she would be overweight her entire life. When she was in Jr. High school she could only wear plus-size clothing because she weighed over 200 pounds. After she graduated, it only got worse. She ballooned to 381 pounds and her health got worse. At the age of 16 she was hospitalized with a blood clot, but that didn't stop her from eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As she got older, her blood pressure skyrocketed and she was forced to take
three different medications to treat it. She also became depressed. Her doctor told her that she could “stroke out” if she wasn't careful, so she was put on bed rest for
six weeks. “I can remember sitting at home and eating Sonic and things like that and seeing everybody around me having a good time, but I honestly thought that that
wasn't the lifestyle I was supposed to have. So I just kind of let life pass me by,” said Privitera.

The turning point in her life came in May of 2011, when her mother-in-law talked her into doing a 5k race. “I wanted to quit the whole time. It took me an hour and 14
minutes and I finished in last place. I was just ashamed that I was 29 and in such poor health.” But instead of going home and returning to a life of sitting on the couch,
she pulled out an old workout video she had purchased. “I was like, well, we got to start somewhere.” It wasn't easy, but eventually she made progress. The workout
video led to her going out and walking, even if it was just for ten minutes. She then started doing the elliptical machine. But she didn't stop there. She bought even more
workout videos and started eating healthier foods. And to keep her motivated, she posted her progress on Facebook for everyone to see. “Weight loss is really hard for
anybody; no matter if it’s 20 pounds, 50 pounds or more, it’s hard. So, the more encouragement I got, the more I wasn't afraid to show people what I was doing.”

Her determination and dedication paid off. “I didn't make a deadline for this. So I started in June of 2011 and I lost the first 112 pounds within a year. I lost the next 100
pounds within another year and then I lost another 60 on top of that,” said Privitera. In a span of nearly three years, she lost a total of 221 pounds. “My goal was to
just get under 300 pounds, so to be standing here today at 160 pounds, I’m pretty excited.”
Her journey resulted in huge following too. In addition to her Facebook posts, Rebecca posted her progress on Instagram and now has 20,000 followers. She also posted
her story on Team Beach Body’s website, the same company she bought her workout videos from. As a result of her story, she won a number of contests including a
monthly contest in which she won $1,000. She then won a quarterly challenge. Now, she’s one of four finalists in a national competition in which the public votes. If she
wins, she gets $100,000.

Since losing all that weight, Rebecca has run a number of races, including two half-marathons. She also decided to return to the site of her first 5k. She finished in just
over 34 minutes! She’s now a licensed trainer and certified in Turbo Kick. Her goal is to lose ten more pounds. But she also wants to help teens and young adults who are
still struggling with being overweight. “You don’t realize how far you've come without looking back to where you were.” And where she was- is a place she never wants
to return to- or forget.

If you’re inspired by her story and want to help her win the national Team Beach Body Contest click on this link and vote for her.
Voting ends on June 2, 2014. The winner will be announced on June 21, 2014.

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