Hello, my name is Makunda Newton and if I could have a few minutes of your time I’d like to take you on a journey of my life and how it leads me to this point. I am a 36 year old mother of 4 great children and I have a husband that I’ve been with for 12 years. We just recently renewed our vows under the direction that we are adding God into our marriage. 12 years ago we met and married and moved in together all in the same year and very fast and for the wrong reasons. We turned to lives that weren’t all coming up roses, we had no respect, we had no love, and we had no foundation. All those things are not the ideal marriage of what Christ speaks of. We quickly added children to the equation, every year or two, there was a child. What we didn’t know was that we were learning to sugar coat our marriage and make believe it was something it wasn’t. It became real hard and there were many times we were on the verge of divorced. I became very depressed and I started to gain a tremendous amount of weight. I stop taking care of myself; I had no self-worth or self-esteem. I felt once again that no one loved me. I say again because I am a victim of child molestation and rape. I have always been taken advantage of and that tied into my depression and my feelings of that I’m not worthy or that I’m not anyone. I had weighed 150 pounds for all my high school years and even the first few years or my marriage until the depression kicked into high gear. The scale just kept going to the left and no more right. J I was even trying to convince myself that I was big and beautiful but that didn’t last for long. I at one point became 310 pounds and there was nothing beautiful to me about that. I decided to lose weight but just to gain it back.

Moving on, my family and I began to start experiencing hard times. We had lost jobs, we were behind on rent and bills, and we were way in over our heads. My husband became ill with a disease that had attacked his liver, so he was in and out of work. I was going to nursing school but that wasn’t bringing in the income. We were evicted from our home in November of 2012 and that’s where it really all started going south. I had no discretion about food or weight. We were literally homeless for 2 months with every day task of trying to come up with money for a hotel room for that night because all the shelters were full for a family of 6.

On January 21st 2013, my family and I got on our knees and prayed for the first time as a family and it was very emotional. We cried and held one another so tight. The next morning we woke up and called the homeless hotline as usual and low and behold they had a vacancy for a family of 6. We were so excited and quickly gathered our things. We became clients at the City Union Mission family shelter. In March we became clients of the New Life Program. It is definitely a New Life for us. We have been here in the shelter for almost 9 months and I’m here to tell you, there is a God and he can change your life. We are drug and alcohol free, we are learning all kinds of life skills that can be useful to making better future decisions, we are even getting career development courses.

In August of 2013 I decided to make the decision it was time to lose weight. I’d had enough. I got off the pity party and started doing it. I started with walking and cardio, and then it moved to power walking and cardio and weight training. I am challenging myself more and more which brings me to wanting to do a marathon. That always been my goal -to do a full marathon one day. I did my first 5k in September of this year and it was amazing. I wasn’t first and not even second. I was 150th out of 230 but that was ok because in my heart I was first. I finished it and that was what my goal was. I want to finish and every time get better and better. I want to run one day as well. I am going to achieve my weight loss. I have a great doctor who is very encouraging and we have a goal set for my weight and if I achieve this goal I can possibly be a candidate for the extra skin removal surgery providing Medicaid will pay for it. I am so excited and I just want to be happy and healthy and be around for me and my family. I am loving the new me. I started out in August weighing 298 pounds. On this day of October 10th, I weigh 266 pounds. I am excited to know that I am fortunate enough to be blessed to do my second race, an 8k this time coming up in November. I am on top of the world. Thanks to the Kansas City Track Club and all those that made it possible for me to be able to apart of the Cliff Hanger. I love you and my family does as well. Thank you for your time and wish me luck.

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