Weight loss is a difficult subject, no more so than when you’re the one tipping the scales. People make assumptions. They’re judgmental; they can be cruel. Imagine dealing with the world’s harsh gaze, coupled with your own self-doubt and negative thoughts. Then imagine that a) you’re a twin and b) your twin sister is not only underweight, she’s the child your own mother called “the pretty one.” That was life for Mary, who appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005 with her sister Ruth to tell her story. When OWN checked in with the pair in 2014 for a “Where Are They Now?” segment, they found out that Mary had begun a weight-loss journey— but she was inspired by the most tragic reason.
It wasn’t just Ruth who expressed concern over her sister’s weight. Mary’s teenage son had also tearfully expressed his concern over his mother’s overeating. Like any son, he was worried that he could lose his mother due to her bad habits. Tragically however, it was Mary’s son who would meet an untimely end. He was killed in a car accident at the age of 19. Like any mother would be, Mary was absolutely devastated. The sorrow was totally crippling, and for a year and a half, she barely moved from the edge of her bed. Ruth sat faithfully by her side, not knowing what else to do except to be there for her twin.
Then one day, Mary knew that it was time to stand up. “Enough is enough,” she said. And she knew it was time to carry out her son’s wishes and get help. 124 pounds later, she says she’s got a long way to go but is “still going.”
Watch this incredible story to see how she found hope, and for a reminder that the best time to start is always now.