Mom's Inspiring Moment After Losing More Than 200 Pounds


Asia Ford refused to quit a 10K road race in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday despite struggling. Her story then (above left) and now (Photo by Facebook/Asia Mystory Ford). 

She finished dead last, but Asia Ford’s 10K race in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday was a triumph.

Though the mother-of-three started struggling at mile 4, she refused to quit. With the help of her son and a police officer holding each hand, the 35-year-old continued putting one foot in front of the other until she made a photo finish so inspiring that images of her success have gone viral and (perhaps even more remarkably) prompted her tween to proclaim that he’s proud of her.


Asia Ford is helped across the finish line of a 10K race by her son, Terrance Fugett, and Lt. Aubrey Gregory (Photo via Twitter/Mayor Greg Fischer)

“Looking at her and how she used to be and how she is now is inspirational,” Ford’s son Terrance Fugett, 12, tells Louisvile’s WAVE-3 News. “It makes me want to push harder to do the things that I want to do in life.”

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That sentiment alone is enough to please Ford, who tells Yahoo Parenting that she’s been striving to help Terrance, her older son, Ronald, 15, and daughter T-yona, 11, learn healthy habits along with as she’s shed more than 200 pounds over the past two years.

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At her heaviest, she weighed in at 474 pounds. “I have always struggled with my size,” says Ford, who works as a customer service rep for Time Warner Cable. “I was born 12 pounds, 11 ounces and my weight has always been a mess. Battling it has been like being on a roller-coaster.”

Two years ago, when her husband at the time lost his arm to diabetes, Ford says, “I saw my kids were stressed out about it and I thought kids don’t need to stress about this.” She tells WHAS-11: “I woke up. I couldn’t allow them to be on this earth without my help and the only way I would be able to help them is if I helped myself first.”

The mom tells Yahoo Parenting that was when she came up with a plan to turn the tide. “I had to talk to my boys because boys and men, their metabolisms explode compared to women,” she says, adding that her daughter, T-yona, has Blount’s disease, which often confines her to a wheelchair and makes physical fitness a challenge. “So we had discussions about how we could help ourselves and my daughter too. She was going through so much, I had to figure out how to save her from going through what I’ve gone through with my weight too. I want to help all of my kids so they don’t feel deprived but know how to eat.”

Healthy meals and an exercise plan followed. T-yona “always wanted to dance so I enrolled us in a Zumba class,” says Ford, who also joined a boot-camp group. Exercising often six days a week, her weight started to fall off.

“My son, Terrance, is the one who has fought me about eating healthy,” says Ford. “He doesn’t like Brussels sprouts. But he’s the first one saying, ‘Mama, don’t forget about that race.’” And it was Terrance who held her arm as she trudged across the finish line on Saturday with zero energy and pain in her knee that she’s says needs to be replaced.

“I just knew that all of those times that we went to the doctor’s office and the doctor told us what could have happened, I wasn’t going to let that happen to me,” Ford tells WHAS -11 about her drive.

The photo of Ford that the mayor posted was viewed more than 2.4 million times on Imgur and shared more than 4,700 times on Facebook, where it also received more than 23,000 likes.

The fact that she’s become the poster mom for never giving up is “overwhelming but amazing,” Ford tells Yahoo Parenting. “You start out your day and don’t think that you’re doing anything for anybody else but your kids, but I realize now that my situation is affecting people.”

A woman even messaged Ford to say that the 10K photo inspired her to get out of bed for the first time in years. “Today she got up,” Ford says. “We forget that you don’t have to do extreme races to be active. Even if you can’t do that yet, you can stand up, start there. I learned the hard way about getting in shape,” she ads. “But thank God I learned it.”

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