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Mary Sponsler

Cancer and multiple surgeries hasn't stopped her from training hard, dropping considerable body fat and transforming her body.

Mary Sponsler

Written by Mary Sponsler

My name is MaryRae and my story began with a lump in my thyroid. We later found out it was cancer, and to date, I've had two surgeries on it. 

The day I was released from my first surgery was the first day of the rest of my life. I was 33 years old and at my heaviest weight of 240 pounds. My initial journey was hard, and it took me almost exactly one year to lose 110 pounds. I cried more than I ever thought possible, and I had more victories than I ever thought possible.

At first, I didn't follow a program. I lowered my calories and did what I could in the gym. The weight started to come off, slowly but surely. Once I became a little more confident, I started Shortcut to Shred. I stopped losing weight as quickly, but my body was transforming.

My starting body fat was 30+ percent. About 10 months in, I was down into the low 20s. But my journey is far from over. I hovered — and continue to hover — at about 16 percent.

Once I started to get serious about gaining muscle, I started to count my macros. By following Dieting 101 and some trial and error, I found a ratio that works for me. I have done a couple different programs that I love: Shortcut to Shred, Super Shredded 8, and Six Weeks to Sick Arms. They have all been challenging, but well worth it.

I have been at this for just over three years. During this time, I've had many, many setbacks, including two cervical surgeries, brain surgery, and some girl surgeries. Instead of letting this get me down, I used it to make me stronger.

My current weight is around 138 to 142 pounds. I am so happy with my progress, but I know I still have a ways to go before I get to where I want to be. I am three weeks post-op from my second neck surgery. My doctor says I'm doing amazing because of the athlete in me, something I never thought I would be called.

I am starting the Beginner to Advanced program as soon as the doctor will let me. I do not want to end up back on the operating table, so I am taking it easy. My motto is to have more good days than bad. I know I can do this, and with the support of the JYM Army behind me, I can do anything!


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