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"CrossFit Made Me Stronger Than Ever"

Tim Soter

As Candace's weight increased, her energy plummeted. Her family's sedentary lifestyle took its toll as her mom and grandmother were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Candace feared a similar fate, but she wasn't motivated to make a change until she had a frightening wake-up call in 2012. "Seeing my grandma collapse from low blood sugar shocked me into action," Candace says. She downloaded the Couch-to-5K app. Running a mile was a struggle at first, but she eventually worked up to five. Then she bought a Groupon for a local CrossFit gym.

When she walked into the gym, Candace nearly quit before she started. "There were women flipping enormous tractor tires. Talk about intimidating!" she says. But she stuck it out. Her first workout was a killer; she struggled to lift a 45-pound bar during a dead lift. "But the opportunity to set a new personal best each day kept me coming back," Candace says. Today, she can deadlift 265 pounds and run 12 miles. Even better, she has turned her health around. "At my last physical, my doctor couldn't believe how healthy I was," she says.

Related: Try A 20-Minute CrossFit Workout