Betsy Ayala, a 34-year-old from Houston, Texas, has an incredible story to share. In 2013 Ayala and her childhood sweetheart husband went on to have a baby girl, Isabella. On the surface, they seemed to be a happy family. But six months later Ayala’s life came crashing down around her.
In fact, Ayala had a pretty rough deal during and after the pregnancy. After all, Ayala gained weight during the pregnancy and was around 260 pounds after giving birth to Isabella. Moreover, she went on to struggle with postpartum depression, which only worsened her weight issues as she took to self-medicating with food.
However, Ayala had experienced problems with her size ever since she was young. Plus, throughout her 20s, she often weighed more than 200 pounds. “I was always the chubby kid, I never played sports or wanted to take in physical activity because I was overweight,” she told the Daily Mail in December 2016.
“Instead of dealing with the real source of my anxiety I would eat and then that would become the source of my anxiety and I would eat some more,” Ayala continued. Indeed, Ayala felt that she was in a rut that she just couldn’t get out of.
Still, she always had her devoted husband, who constantly told her that she looked good and even encouraged her to eat unhealthy food. The couple had been together since Ayala was 17 years old, and his negative guidance meant that she kept piling on the pounds. But nothing could have prepared her for what happened next.
When Isabella turned six months old, Ayala’s life flipped upside down. Yes, while she had been busy dealing with her postpartum depression and anxiety problems, something terrible had been going on that would transform her life forever.
Shortly after Christmas 2013, Ayala found out that her husband was involved in a secret relationship with one of his co-workers. Sadly, Ayala realized that he was having an affair when she looked at his Facebook messages.
“At that point, my whole world fell apart,” Ayala said. After all, the man she had built a life with since she was a teenager was cheating on her. But what she discovered next was even more devastating.
Not only was her husband cheating on her, but he and his lover were also mocking her behind her back. In fact, as she trawled through her husband’s Facebook messages, Ayala found numerous cruel comments about her appearance. Yes, they were trashing her for being fat.
You can only imagine how Ayala felt when she read Facebook exchanges in which the pair referred to her as a “cow” and a “fat f***.” She was both heartbroken by the betrayal and devastated by the insults.
So, after realizing that her marriage was not salvageable, Ayala decided to make a big change in her life. She later told People of her mindset at the time, saying, “This is not going to define who I am. I don’t want to be the way I have been all these years.” And so she got started on a special revenge.
She hit the gym – hard. At first, Ayala and her sister did Zumba a few times a week and stuck to a high-protein diet. Before long, though, Ayala was also running regularly and even lifting weights nearly every day.
In fact, her determination to transform herself was so strong that she became almost unstoppable. And just over three years later, Ayala was an incredible 103 pounds lighter. Still, she admitted that it wasn’t an easy journey.
She told the Daily Mail, “I would cry after every workout and it was then that I decided that this wouldn’t define me and I was going to change for me and for my daughter.” Indeed, Ayala’s main focus was always on becoming a good role model for Isabella.
After all, she had been trying to eat more healthily even before she discovered her husband’s infidelity. With the support of her brother, this had already helped her to lose 30 pounds. But it was her shocking discovery that provided her with the drive to completely transform her body.
Moreover, Ayala developed a much more optimistic outlook on life after reaching a healthier weight. “I’m happier, I’m confident and most of all I’m positive,” she said. What’s perhaps even more impressive is how she feels about her ex-husband now…
Yes, Ayala is adamant that she didn’t lose the weight “to get back at him.” In fact, she said that she did it for herself and little Isabella. And, showing incredible forgiveness and maturity, Ayala has even described her ex as “an amazing father and a great friend.”
Ayala went on to say that she views her husband’s misdemeanors as a “blessing” without which she might never have changed her eating habits. “It took me a while to get to that place of forgiveness,” she admitted. “But what he did was about him and not me.”
Ayala’s 100-pound weight-loss story, together with her progress photographs, are truly inspirational. She said, “Going through the struggles, you come back stronger than ever, because those things that happened to you, happen to you for a reason – for you to grow and learn.”
Ayala now has close to 60,000 Instagram followers and makes it her mission to inspire others to take positive life changes. Yes, alongside gym selfies, Ayala regularly posts inspirational quotes to encourage her community to continue with their own journeys.