She continues to amaze us week after week.
When we heard about Abby Rike, "The Biggest Loser" contestant who lost her two children and husband in a 2006 car crash, we just couldn't imagine how she could even go on. But every week, she continues to inspire us as she not only survives, but thrives. Abby shares how she triumphed over tragedy with momlogic.
ML: You are such an inspiration to us, Abby. We are all rooting for you on "The Biggest Loser."
Abby: Thank you so much. Being on the show has indeed been an absolutely amazing experience -- something I obviously never dreamed I would be a part of!
ML: Did you always have a weight issue, or was it something that you just struggled with after your family tragedy?
Abby: I have struggled with weight for as long as I can remember. I did put on some weight after the accident, but it is something I always struggled with.
ML: How have you managed to keep your integrity amongst all the drama on the ranch?
Abby: My journey is maybe a little different. I stay out of nonsense as much as I can. I rely on people I trust and love on the ranch, same as I would do in real life.
ML: When we heard you had lost your kids and husband in a car crash, so many of the moms around the office said that if we were in your shoes, we simply couldn't go on. How do you find that inner strength?
Abby: If I had heard the story before it happened to me, I would have thought the same thing -- that I couldn't go on. My family was my top priority. They say where you spend your time and your money shows your true priorities, and my family was my top priority by a zillion percent.
An experience like what I've gone through forces you to ask yourself: "Do I really believe all the things I thought I believed?" And the answer is yes, absolutely, I do. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that I will see them again, and that God is all I have known him to be. Faith has gotten me through. There is no way in my own power I could handle it on my own. I don't pretend I am perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a peace that precedes all understanding.
ML: Do you have a strong support system?
Abby: I have wonderful parents and family. We are pretty private people by nature, so when I was going through "The Biggest Loser" audition process, I asked for their blessing. My mom said, "If this is something you need to do, you know you have our full support."
ML: What do you say to the moms out there who feel they don't have time to work out?
Abby: I firmly believe that children come first and families come first -- I'm sure that the majority of mothers feel this way. But you have to take care of yourself so you can be the best mom you can be. That could mean finding an hour to go to the gym, or taking a walk around the block with the kiddos. It's paramount to being a great mom.
I prided myself on being a great mom. But now I think I could have been much more than I was if I was physically fit. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but I think I could have been a better mom and wife if I would have known.
ML: Do you have any tips for moms out there who hate to exercise?
Abby: This is what I've learned: There really is an exercise out there for everyone. You might think exercise is this horrible thing or it's boring, but there are so many things you can do! You're not just handcuffed to the elliptical or the treadmill. It's about incorporating things you truly love into your day.
I've been dealing with a stress fracture, so I've had to be creative. I love being outside, so I do a walk/jog outdoors. I love to spin. I love combat class -- I'm giddy every time I go! There are classes and things you can find that you'll actually like. Just don't give up!
ML: Besides the weight loss, how has "The Biggest Loser" experience changed you?
Abby: I always felt like my life mattered before the wreck: I was a great teacher, and
I was a great wife and mother.
And then after the wreck, every role as I knew it was gone. My husband and I taught at the same school together, did the grocery shopping together, and were the best of friends, coworkers, and soulmates. We personified everything you want in a marriage. We were constantly doing fun things with our daughter, Macy, and then our son Caleb came along, and literally life was perfect.
I felt like everything I did was a waste of time after the accident. Eventually, I thought: "I can't feel like this for the rest of my life ... like I am just taking up space." I tried going back to school, and then going back into the classroom. It was like salve on the wound, but didn't bring true healing.
I never knew feeling so much better physically would be this emotionally healing for me. I've had so much support. Physically, I feel so much better. I am soaking up every moment of this journey, and I'm doing really well. The world has just welcomed me back with open arms. It's wonderful.
ML: Anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Abby: I think being a mom is the most important thing in the world, and that never goes away. I am still a mom, and always will be.
You go, Abby! You're our inspiration!