With a 5-month-old son and her husband deployed, Brittany Burges, now 22, found out she was pregnant again. The discovery sent her into a tail spin.

“I found out I was pregnant again two weeks after he left,” the young mom said. “It kind of all started to build up from there.”

Burges said she found comfort in the refrigerator and started gaining weight.

“I was over-indulging in food," she said.

Shortly after the birth of her second child, Stella, in 2013, Burges was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

“I was a stay at home mom to two small children. I had no car, no friends, no hobbies or outlets and my husband was always gone,” she said. “I hit the point where I was just screaming at my kids 24/7 and I was at the point where I thought I actually might hurt them.”

Not wanting to lose her children or her marriage, and with no family in the area to turn to for help, she knew something had to change.

“I broke down. It was the scariest time of my life,” she said. “You can lose yourself so quickly and it’s a slippery slope.”

Working out became her outlet and the gym, her safe haven.

Since she started going to Heritage Park Fitness in September 2013, Burges went from 195 pounds to 165 and a size 16 to a size 8.

“I come to the gym six days a week and I drop off my kids at the daycare center the gym has,” she said. “Everyone needs to carve out time for themselves. Everyone also needs an outlet, be it arts and crafts reading or fitness. We all need something for us.”

Now focused on losing inches and getting toned up, Burges wants to run her first 5k within the next few weeks.

“I watched my mom struggle with her weight and I never wanted to allow myself to get to 200 pounds,” she said. “At 195 pounds I was close, and I know it’s so hard to come back from that.”

Knowing that burning calories is only half the battle, Burges has overhauled her fridge and pantry.

“There is no soda or sugary foods in my house. I don’t want my kids to even know what soda is,” she said. “I want to pass down good eating habits to my kids. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, I grab an apple and I’ve never looked or felt better.”

To inspire others on their own weight loss and fitness journeys, Burges created a Facebook pages called FitBrit where she posts photos tracking her own progress.

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Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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