Black Health

How Hurting Comments Motivated This Woman to Lose 90 Pounds


For sure, motivation can arise from the most unexpected places. For Peggy Pullen, the push to cut weight came from a precisely surprising source: an unfriendly comment from a child at a swimming pool.

“I was called a hippopotamus,” Pullen, 48, recalled the scenario in November 2014—she realized she had to change. “In front of everyone. The hardest thing was the look on my kids’ faces. It was not just me who felt humiliated, it was them, too.”

By then, Pullen, a mother of four children, weighed over 200 pounds. That day, she went home and cried—too embarrassed to even facing her own family.

She says “I was just bawling. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to come out of my room or anything. I really had to do something. I knew I needed to make a choice which my children could learn from.”

Pullen had tried to shed her weight before using pills and fad diets, but nothing really worked.

“I knew that diets did not work, so I was not going to use it anymore,” she continued. “I needed to be challenged.”

For her, the solution was joining a 12-week program via ‘’ that enabled her figure out how to work out and what to eat. She found support from other guys in the program—who were also trying to reduce weight and who had shared their stories online.

Step one was: posting her “before” photos.

“I posted my picture and all those people began to show their support.”

She had to control her cravings for carbs and sweets. As a new member at the gym, Pullen felt unwelcome and was even bullied.

“When you are extremely fat, and you want to go for weight lifting with the cool guys—they own the machines,” Pullen adds. “You aren’t welcome… They laugh at you. They don’t like a fat old lady in their space. So they bully you.”

But she, stuck to her routine and in 10 months, Pullen was down to 120 pounds. For her, lifting weights and clean eating is what worked. Now, she weighs 110 pounds.

“One of the biggest secrets I [noticed], before I got fit, was ‘I was always so tired,’” she explains. “Junk food makes you very tired. Today, I eat healthily, and whenever I’m hungry, I eat protein first.”

“You’ve to get a support group — it is the most crucial part of your transformation,” says Pullen.

Since even when you think that you can’t do it, others do it, and ultimately, the feeling is contagious.

“It is something which clicks inside of you,” pollen finalized. “And you begin to believe in yourself.”

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