Williamson County Woman Loses 150 Pounds In One Year

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By WSIL Manager

WSIL -- A Williamson County woman in a lifelong battle with obesity is sharing her story of struggle and triumph.

When she's not at work or school, you'll find 27-year-old Christine Lipe at the gym. The Carterville facility has become a second home, but just a year ago, Lipe's life was very different.
 
"When people look at that before picture they'll say 'That doesn't even look like you, I don't even remember you looking like that,'" explains Christine.
 
A year ago this month, in a desperate effort to save her, Christine's best friend entered her in a contest for free personal training.
 
"I don't even know what life would be like right now if he wouldn't have picked me. If I had kept going that way I would've died early," Christine said.
 
Christine has been overweight her entire life and at 26 years old and 443 pounds, she was the heaviest she had ever been. Suffering aches and pains, headaches and heart palpitations, she knew something had to change. 
 
Personal trainer Brent Brothers was reaching a turning point in his own life. Someone very close to him had survived cancer, and he decided to pay the good fortune forward.
 
Out of 26 submissions, Christine's story stood out to him and the training began. 
 
"I still remember til this day the first time I ever put her on the floor. She was so nervous and so scared, and she cried because she couldn't get back up at the time," Brent said. 
 
A lot of things have not been easy for Christine over the years, simple things many of us take for granted.
 
"Theater seats do not fit people that size, so I was either just on the person next to me or I couldn't fit at all."
 
Beyond the health problems and inconveniences, there's the inescapable emotional trauma. Christine recalls a visit to a water park. 
 
"I was laying on one of those lounge chairs and these girls walked by and they were just staring the
whole time, and I tried not to let it bother me, but of course it did."
 
As far as diets and workouts go, if you can name it, chances are she had tried it and failed.
 
"There's a lot of people out there that, you know, they want to do it, but they just won't do it, they won't get up off the couch and do it. It's easier to be lazy," said Brent.
 
But Christine is far from lazy, and with Brent's guidance and her persistence, she's learning just what she's capable of doing. In the past year she's lost nearly 150 pounds.
     
Still, looking back at where she started brings her to tears.
  
In a Facebook post she jokes that she's lost an entire person, but what she's gained is priceless - a new lease on life and a confidence she hopes to pass on.
 
"I want other people to know that they can do it too."
 
"I think Christine's story will show other people that hey it can be done," said Brent.
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