THRIVING AFTER ADVERSITY: FEATURING MARY MCKEE

My name is Mary and I would consider myself just an ordinary wife and mom. This is my story of hope
and healing.

It is hard to put into words my journey over the past 5 years. I will begin with letting you know that
recovery is possible, and I am living proof of it.  I am currently in recovery from binge eating disorder, depression and a form of PTSD. I often think back on how I let myself get to my lowest point. A point where no one knew what I was dealing with on the inside because I had gotten incredibly good at masking it. The toughest battle you will ever fight in your life is the battle within yourself.  There was once a time, in my darkest hours, I believed I would be held prisoner by my depression until I eventually surrendered to it completely.

I want to share with you about how I got to that point in my life. For some it may seem trivial, but for
me, it engulfed my every thought and it completely broke my body down.  I am a proud mother of three beautiful children ages 14, 7, and 3. In late 2014 my husband and I decided we wanted to try for our third baby. We figured it would be effortless considering I did not have any trouble conceiving with my previous two kids. Unfortunately, it was not that easy this time around.

It took us two years to finally get pregnant with our sweet clomid baby. These two years took a huge hit
on me emotionally and physically. There are several details I could go into, but to keep it simple, we
ended up doing 4 rounds of clomid. At that point I had been poked, prodded, and tested for so many
different things. I felt less and less like a woman with each negative pregnancy test. The intimacy of my
marriage was fleeting fast and those were the longest two years of my life. I had honestly started to give
up hope and did not think our last and final round of clomid would work, but to our surprise, we finally had a breakthrough!  Suddenly I started feeling like myself again, but this quickly faded when I started having major gallstone issues during my pregnancy. The pain I endured from this was crippling and unbearable and I could not do anything about it until I had my baby. I suffered for 7 months with this excruciating pain and I was so strained by the end of my pregnancy. To add to the stress, my baby had what is called Single Umbilical Artery. That meant monthly, and eventually, weekly anatomy scans on her. I will fast forward to the summer of 2017. 7 months after giving birth, the gallbladder pain seemed to have disappeared but then I was rushed to the ER. I knew something was terribly wrong and I could tell my body was shutting down. Long story short, I was admitted in for emergency gallbladder removal. It resulted in two different surgeries. I almost did not wake up from the last surgery because I reacted negatively to the anesthesia which caused an ICU stay.

After this sequence of events, I kept reliving brief moments I could remember from all of it. This
completely haunted me. It clouded my thoughts, my emotions, and my reactions. I started to turn to
food as my safe place. I wanted food to comfort me. I hated my body. I quite literally hated everything
about me. For a year I suffered in silence and alone in my own head.  April 24th of 2018, I woke up and just decided it was time to take my life back. I was done letting the events of my life control me. I realized strength is born in the deep silence of long suffering. That is when I discovered weight training. I started going to the gym every single day as my form of therapy.  Whatever emotion I was feeling at that time, I would use lifting to work through it. I started to track my macros in order to teach myself about food, and basically teach myself how to eat again. I know that sounds silly, but this is where my breakthrough began. I started my fitness Instagram account in August of 2018. I first created it to document my journey for a few people here and there. It has turned into so much more than that. I have learned there are some amazing and strong women in this world, and many of them can relate to my story. Being able to connect and hopefully inspire other women is truly a dream I never even knew I had.

Now in 2020, I have a restored appreciation for the beauty of life and all that surrounds me every day. I am truly thankful for the moments in life when I can be present again and enjoy myself to the fullest. I take in the happiness that life offers to me and I share these moments with others. I can be in the ever-fleeting moments again. The eating disorder thoughts and noise get quieter and quieter every
single day. Life is beautiful and recovery is both possible and so worth it. Life is a true gift and it is not
something I take lightly, even if one person is touched or inspired by my story, then it is worth telling.
“Hope is the thing with feathers… that perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words and
never stops at all.” ― Emily Dickinson

 

Instagram: @marymckeefit

16 replies on “THRIVING AFTER ADVERSITY: FEATURING MARY MCKEE

  • Ray A Ward

    My brave sister thanks for sharing this is such an awesome story of awakening to self. So many people just set and suffer. Thank God you found your moment of clarity.

    Reply
  • Mallory frick

    Love this message, so inspiring for others to see what is possible with dedication and courage!!! You are beautiful inside and out!!

    Reply
  • Ann Hyatt

    You have come a long way. A great inspiration to so many. You should be very proud of yourself. I know I am.

    Reply
  • Kristi

    Mary-your story is the story of many of us women. Your healing is healing others every single day! And that my friend is the best means of comfort there is!
    You’re kind, you’re beautiful, you’re strong and most of all you’re loved 💕

    Reply
  • Tara Ann

    That had to be hard to talk about. So proud of you Mary! I love your honesty and it’s wonderful that you woke up one day and decided to get your life back. So brave of you! I admire that so much. I’ve been doing that since September and wow it’s been a journey! Thank you for sharing! Xoxoxo

    Reply
  • Jose

    You’re such an inspiration! Your hard work and dedication has jumped over many obstacles and you’ve done it! I admire your hard work and research that you’ve done to get your mission accomplished! This is proof that one doesn’t need a fitness coach but more a role model and self love, dedication and the internet. Great job!

    Reply
  • Won D.

    Mary, your strength, tenacity and perseverance is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of hope. Love you girl! ❤️

    Reply
  • Robin Loeffel (@erro_fit)

    You are beautiful, Mary! Inside + out! So thankful you allow us to walk alongside you in life!

    Reply

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