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Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

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ByCrossFit May 9, 2020

Athena Perez grew up in an abusive home in which her stepmother used food “as a weapon.”

Perez was regularly made to go without food, she was often fed only bread and water, and she was even forced to eat until she vomited, creating an unhealthy relationship with food. Eventually, food became her “best friend in the world.” Perez weighed over 400 lb. by 18 and eventually reached a max weight of about 450 lb.

“I was awake and breathing, but I was half dead,” Perez says.

So large that she couldn’t make it upstairs, Perez started sleeping in the living room. She knew she needed to do something to avoid early death or bariatric surgery and its many side effects.

Perez started CrossFit slowly at CrossFit Lakeville, where the coaches helped her reclaim her life. Since starting CrossFit, Perez has lost over 175 lb., gotten off painkillers and joined a powerlifting team at CrossFit White Bear in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She attributes her success to “having a place that felt safe.”

She admits: “I let the word ‘CrossFit’ scare me from walking into a place like this sooner.”

She hopes to share her journey with others who might ask themselves a question: “Is (CrossFit) for me?”

Perez’s response: “Hell, yeah!”

Comments on Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

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Andrew Hendel
May 10th, 2020 at 9:33 pm
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

Sooo awesome. Well spoken and well done Athena and CrossFit Lakeville.

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Kevin Hepp
May 10th, 2020 at 5:51 pm
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

What an amazing person. A very inspiring story for us all. Please provide another update down the road so we can continue to see this amazing transformation. Great job Athena.

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Christian Rhea
May 10th, 2020 at 5:23 pm
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

Inspiring story - thank you for sharing this Athena. CrossFit is health and you are proof.

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Roxanne Hazen
May 10th, 2020 at 3:46 pm
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

I started 4 years ago and lost 70 lbs. I am with you it works. Still going it is my life too!!! Good job girl!!!

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Mark Doyle
May 10th, 2020 at 5:56 am
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

an impressive lady, I'm very pleased for all her success, thank you for sharing your inspirational story

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Grant Shymske
May 10th, 2020 at 12:47 am
Commented on: Famished, Force-Fed, 450 Pounds — and Finally Fit

This is such a powerful story, this is why we become coaches. Thank you for sharing your story Athena!

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