Chastity Davis was 365 pounds when she gave birth to her third daughter. On her 4-foot-11 frame, the extra weight meant an extra-scary situation just days after the delivery. The 34-year-old started having trouble breathing.
After running tests, the doctors discovered that not only did Chastity have fluid on her lungs from giving birth, she also had a clogged artery. Shortly afterward, she visited a cardiologist and found out that her artery was 50 percent clogged. She also realized everyone else visiting her doctor was much older than she was.
But the seriousness of the situation didn't completely sink in until her follow-up appointment, when her cardiologist told her she would die if she didn't lose weight fast.
"Do you want to be around for your children?" he asked. "You're not going to wake up one morning and that one day is soon."
Because her life depended on it, she had a gastric sleeve surgery, which brought her down to less than 300 pounds. But she still had a long way to go.
So after her surgery, she started implementing healthier food choices and exercise in her life. But her life only really changed when she got to walking. And we mean some serious walking after joining GirlTrek, the largest nonprofit and health movement dedicated to getting black women and girls to develop a daily routine of walking, she started heading out at 5 or 6 in the morning to walk about five miles — every day.
And a few years later, it's clear all that walking really made a difference. At 41 years old, she is now down to 137 pounds and is healthier than she's ever been.
"Since my gastric sleeve procedure, it has definitely taken a lot of hard work to get to my current weight and I refuse to go back where I was," she said. "A lot of times in life we don't want to deal with what's hard. But I chose to deal with it because it's even harder on your children and your husband when you've left this earth before your time."