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A woman who learned important lessons about nutrition and overall happiness while on national television will be the featured speaker at Healthy Woman's third anniversary.
 
Abby Rike Biggest LoserAbby Rike, who was a contestant on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and lost 100 pounds during her experience with the show, will speak Thursday, Oct. 17 at Siloam Springs Regional Hospital's Healthy Woman third anniversary event presented by Community Physicians Group.
 
The celebration will take place in the Qualla Ballroom at the Cherokee Casino.
Rike said she hit "rock bottom" in terms of physical and emotional health after the death of her husband and two children in a car accident in 2006.
 
"Going on TV is definitely not something I thought I would ever do," she said. "I truly hit rock bottom. I was miserable. I was tired all the time."

Rike said she remembers Feb. 13, 2009, as the day when she felt her absolute worst. She had met Vicki Vilcan, a previous contestant on "The Biggest Loser," and began to follow her online diary. She found out about a casting call for the show and decided to try out.
"I thought, maybe if I physically felt better, I would start to feel better emotionally, too," she recalled.
She said the production schedule of the show was the most uncomfortable part of the experience for her, as she was constantly aware of the cameras around her. However, she said the lessons she learned while on the show were worth the discomfort.
"Number one, I learned I was much stronger than I knew, and it was OK to need people," she said. "The second thing was I learned a vast amount of information in regards to nutrition."
 
Rike said she had to come to terms with redefining her life — a difficult step for a woman who loved being a wife, a mother and a teacher to high school students in her Texas town.
"I had to figure out, who is Abby without these roles, who did I want to be," she said.
At the Healthy Woman event in Siloam Springs, she said she will speak on the possibility of knowing joy despite going through painful experiences.
 
"I'm so excited," she said. "I love the Healthy Woman program, because it focuses on whole health. The whole world is hurting, and I get that. Despite all that, I know we can know joy and live our absolute best life."
 
In addition to hearing Rike speak, attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a copy of abby rikeher book, "Working it Out: A Journey of Love, Loss and Hope" the evening of the event.
Rike said writing the book was cathartic and surreal. She worked to undergo extended interviews with a colleague from the high school where she taught for 13 years.
Rike said though the experience of being on "The Biggest Loser" changed her life, she acknowledged that challenges remain.

"It doesn't make everything perfect," she said. "I'm a normal person and I have to make good choices and manage stress with the different tools I've been given."
For general admission ticket holders, cost is $25, there will be a Women's Expo starting at 5 p.m. followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner. Rike will speak at 7 p.m. and a book signing will follow around 8 p.m.
 
For VIP ticket holders, cost is $35, the Women's Expo will begin at 5 p.m. and then a special VIP reception with Rike will take place at 5:30 p.m. In addition to having the opportunity to meet and visit with Rike, the reception also will feature an exclusive book signing, hor d'ouerves and special gifts for those in attendance. Then guests will be able to transition to the dinner around 6:30 p.m.
 
Both general admission and VIP ticket holders will receive a Healthy Woman goodie bag the night of the event.
 
Tickets may be purchased by calling Aimee Morrell at (479) 215-3125 or online at SSRH.net/HealthyWoman.
 
 

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