A fter finding herself in the emergency room with heart related issues, alumna Desiree Richards made a new start — losing more than 200 pounds. Richards said, "I use to pray that God would do a miracle and take the weight off of me. I believe that my weight loss journey is a testament that sometimes miracles come in different ways than we expect."
In September of 2013, while attending SAGU, Richards was rushed to the emergency room due to a racing heart rate. After doctors restored her regular rhythm, the risk of diabetes and heart disease triggered a life-style change.
At one point weighing almost 400 pounds, she signed up for TITLE Boxing Club in Arlington, Texas, began eating healthy, and started her journey.
Richards says, "I would say one of the hardest things was just stepping foot into the gym. I figured people would laugh at me and I was afraid. However, I knew I needed to make a change if I wanted to live a long and healthy life. "
She began working out four times a week. Now, She works out six days a week: four times at TITLE and two weight resistance workouts using a weighted vest and weighted gloves. She is continuing to look for ways to improve and become better than she was the day before.
Food became a form of comfort during difficult times. Richards said, "The life of someone severely overweight is hard physically, mentally and emotionally. All of that changed as I lost weight." She learned the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using good judgment when it comes to her eating habits.
Richards graduated from SAGU in 2012 with a degree in Pre-Professional Counseling. Upon graduation, she enrolled at University of Texas–Austin (UTA) and graduated with a master's in social work. She is now working on her clinical social work license.
Richards says, "I feel blessed to be inspiring others to change their lifestyle's like I was inspired by my friends and family. I recently began a gofundme page for skin removal surgery to take away the excess skin after losing the weight." She continued, "I'm also following a body building plan and working to build muscle. Ultimately, I am healthy and that has always been my goal."