Betsy Ayala, 34, gave birth to a baby girl named Bella in 2013. Mere months later, Ayala discovered texts that not only revealed her husband was cheating on her, but that he and his mistress had been mocking her for her weight.
The Texas woman, who weighed 264 lbs. at the time, says she was trying to get into shape when she discovered the cruel messages.
“I found out my husband was cheating on me with a co-worker,” Ayala told the outlet Honey. “I had been with him since I was 17 and pretty much devoted my life to our relationship and him.”
“I was devastated,” she added. “I found out through some messages I read on his Facebook where they were calling me a cow and fat and just trashing me and my whole world fell apart.” The new mother was heartbroken.
“I didn’t know what to do with myself at the time. I was still over 100 kgs (220 lbs.) with a six-month-old and everything that I had worked for had just vanished,” she said.
Remarkably, Ayala was able to channel the feelings of betrayal into determination and drive. She started small, cutting out sugary snacks and began working out with her sister and doing Zumba, expelling pent up anger in her gym sessions.
Fast forward to 2017, Ayala has lost more than 100 lbs. and is now an Herbalife wellness coach for others trying to lose weight. Today the single mom says she’s thankful for the whole heartbreaking experience.
“Now I honestly feel that what he did was a blessing because otherwise I would have been the way I was forever.”
“I prayed all the time for my life to change and my prayers were answered just maybe not in the way I envisioned but I got a second shot at a fresh start and I’m grateful for that,” she said.
While Ayala’s cheating ex-husband may have given her body transformation the original jolt it needed, the mom eventually changed her attitude about getting into shape.
“I would cry after every workout and it was then that I decided that this would not define me and I was going to change for me and for my daughter. I wanted her to be proud of her mom and I wanted to be an example for her,” she said.
Ayala hopes to transfer her love of working out to her children, something she herself didn’t have as a child.
“I was always the chubby kid,” she said.
“I never played sports or wanted to take in physical activity because I was overweight. I did get bullied in school and got picked on. I think for me eating was like self-medication.”
Ayala’s story and journey has garnered a lot of attention. She now has more than 81,000 followers on Instagram and is doing the rounds on U.S. television — she was recently interviewed by talk show host Steve Harvey.
You know what they say, success is the sweetest revenge.