Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope [NOOK Book]

Overview

DESCRIPTION:
In 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident. Devastated and numb, she shut down. For nearly three years she walked through life like a spectre, present in body only. As she descended, so did her health.
Fortunately, Abby was not alone. She had loving parents, supportive friends, and a faith that continued to sustain her. Little by little she found the ...
See more details below
Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

DESCRIPTION:
In 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident. Devastated and numb, she shut down. For nearly three years she walked through life like a spectre, present in body only. As she descended, so did her health.
Fortunately, Abby was not alone. She had loving parents, supportive friends, and a faith that continued to sustain her. Little by little she found the courage to return to life. Joining The Biggest Loser proved a catalyst for the physical and emotional changes she needed to make. In fact, against all odds Abby gained strength, courage, wisdom, and continued her steadfast relationship with God. Instead of anger, she found herself slowly but steadily healing. She lost a hundred pounds but gained hope.
In this riveting book, Abby tells her story--from her joyous life before the accident to the unbearable pain that followed it and her eventual emergence as a woman reinvigorated by her faith in God. Today Abby's resilience and positivity are a testament to the power and importance of faith in the darkest hours.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rike—star of the eighth season of The Biggest Loser—tells all in this honest, openhearted tale of tragedy and healing. She married Rick Rike in July 2003: "So began our journey together in the greatest partnership that ever was." Their dream ended on October 13, 2006, when Rick; Abby's daughter, Macy, 5; and their two-week-old son, Caleb, were killed on a Texas road. "I was never angry," she says, but healing was another story. She went back to work three months later, joined a poker league, earned a master's degree, and moved to Louisiana. After nearly three years of struggle, Abby made it onto TBL. "The person on that scale was broken, and that's what I was there to fix." Despite being eliminated, she continued to work out and eventually lost 100 pounds. Abby's journey from tragedy to health (and thinness) is inspiring, the details of TBL fascinating, her exuberance and passion invigorating. Letters between Abby and Rick, as well as Facebook entries and eulogies, are included. (May)
Dr. Rob Huizenga
"WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"
Jillian Michaels
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."
Jill Kelly
"Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."
-Jill Kelly
"Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."
-Jillian Michaels
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."
Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk
"WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"
-Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk
"WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"
-Dr. Rob Huizenga
"WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"
From the Publisher
"Abby Rike's story is not easy to wrap your mind around. She suffered a loss that seemed impossible to move forward from, but she has not only moved forward, she has thrived. She came to the ranch wanting to find her purpose, she now lives that truth and proves that you can too. After reading, WORKING IT OUT, I felt like I knew Abby's family and had walked those agonizing steps with her. I look at that smile that radiates from within her today and know that the transformation I was lucky enough to be a part of goes much deeper than her appearance."—-Jillian Michaels, trainer for The Biggest Loser and author of Master Your Metabolism

"WORKING IT OUT is a powerful message of hope over despair - with a lot about weight loss to boot. Abby, a resilient woman who beautifully chronicles her climb up from the depths of despair, has a personal message for all who've let themselves go: 'the scary thing (was for me) to continue living out my days in the mindless, emotionless, purposeless state in which I'd been living. Some things are worse than death.'"—-Dr. Rob Huizenga, Associate Professor of Medicine UCLA

"Deeply moving...yes. Inspirational...absolutely. Life changing...without a doubt. Abby Rike's story is birthed from the depths of human tragedy. But her hope and joy radiates in the midst of her tears and fears. After reading this beautifully visceral and compelling story, you will not be the same."—-Jill Kelly, author of New York Times bestseller Without a Word

"WORKING IT OUT is no starry eyed Pollyanna faith story. This is real, raw and refreshingly hopeful all at once. I truly couldn't stop reading once I started. Abby Rike grabs you, invites you into her story and gives you hope that your story can end well too. Because Abby is uncompromisingly real with you, she gives you permission and even inspiration to get real with yourself, your issues, your disappointments and your potential. If you need someone to show you the powerful person who lives within you, then you need this book. You will not be disappointed!"—-Jennifer Rothschild Author of Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself and Lessons Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith Not by Sight

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609419288
  • Publisher: FaithWords
  • Publication date: 5/4/2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 182,929
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Abby Rike was a high school drama teacher before the 2006 accident that changed her life. After losing her two children and husband in a tragic accident, Abby fell into a deep depression, resulting in a significant amount of weight gain. After a stint on The Biggest Loser, where she lost 100 pounds and gained a new perspective on life, Abby quit her teaching job and now travels around the country speaking full-time to a variety of different groups about her physical and emotional journey.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

1 Into the Depths 1

2 A Light in the Dark 9

Part 1 The Caterpillar Stage

3 Boy Meets Girl 15

4 Growing Pains 39

5 Team Rike 62

6 Baby Huey 69

Part 2 The Cocoon Stage

7 Don't Bring Green Beans 83

8 Filling the Time 108

9 When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em 123

10 Rock Bottom 153

Part 3 The Butterfly Stage

11 Treading Water 173

12 The New Me 212

13 I Don't Know Much, but I Do Know This-A Letter to the Reader 241

Acknowledgments 255

Appendix: Letters from Abby and Rick 259

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Working It Out

A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope
By Rike, Abby

FaithWords

Copyright © 2011 Rike, Abby
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446575034

CHAPTER 1

Into the Depths

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our despair, against our own will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

—Aeschylus

I am standing on the side of the road. It’s as though my feet are planted in the ground, planted in cement. And I’m just waiting. No one will tell me anything. The dreadful scene that lies around the curve ahead remains a mystery for now as I’m frozen in place, standing like a statue at the defining moment of my life—eerily controlled while the life and love I’d cherished slips from my grasp. The intense combination of the red, white, and blue lights from the multitude of emergency vehicles penetrates my vision so severely I am overwhelmed by the visual assault. These are the lights that embody emergency, rescue, and often tragedy. Only this tragedy—my tragedy—has left us with no one to rescue.

My heart beats as if it wants out of my body, as if my heart knows it belongs in the van with the three people who had filled it with the joy of a truly perfect love. I ask the unavoidable question piercing my soul: “Is there a white van in the wreck?”

“Possible family member” is the emergency responder’s reply into his radio.

“I need to know if there’s a white van!”

And then simply, “Yes.”

Friday, October 13, 2006, began as a calm and quiet day of precious hours shared between a mother and her brand-new, beautiful baby. And I knew beauty. I had watched it grow and radiate from every part of my daughter, Macy, for almost six years. I had witnessed the beauty of her innocence and the gift of her vivacious spirit. And now we’d been blessed once again with our blond-haired, blue-eyed, nine-and-a-half-pound perfect baby boy. The past eighteen days spent with Caleb had been absolute bliss. Caleb represented our hope for the future, and Rick and I savored the joy he added to our lives.

He was the only boy, Mommy’s handsome “feller” (as I so lovingly called him), PaPa’s fishing buddy, Daddy’s little Longhorn, and the most wonderful completion of our family.

In those moments with my new family of four, I was acutely aware of the blessings that had been showered upon me. Not once did I take what I’d been given for granted; they were my purpose, my joy, my truth, and my everything. My roles as wife and mother were everything I’d ever wanted, and I would not have traded lives with another human on the planet.

That particular Friday I wasn’t feeling well. Aside from the normal fatigue every new mother faces, my chest felt unusually tight, and I was running a low-grade fever. Nevertheless, I wasn’t too ill to miss time with my delightful son. With my husband Rick, a teacher, and Macy at school for the day, I had time alone with Caleb to play and treasure those fleeting moments of a child’s infancy. Sitting on my bed with him in my lap, his head at my feet, I talked to him and cuddled him as we studied each other to our hearts’ content.

When Macy and Rick eventually came in from school, I was immediately captured by Macy’s excitement over what she described as the best day of her life. As part of fire safety week at school, she had climbed onto a fire truck and embraced that occasion with the unbridled zest for life she brought to every experience. She went on to tell us about a sweet little boy named Mcguire who wasn’t in her class but had made her feel special by knowing her name. As I watched her trademark red curls dancing around her jovial face, she ran off to draw a picture of herself and Mcguire each wearing a crown, poised in a whimsical carriage.

Meanwhile, Rick and I discussed whether some of the symptoms I was having warranted a visit to the emergency room. Deciding I should go—better safe than sorry—we agreed that we didn’t want Caleb exposed to any potentially harmful germs lurking in an ER waiting area. Rick would take him, Macy, and our two nieces, Madelyn and Maryl, to an open gym while I sought medical attention. I kissed Caleb and then Macy. I walked over to Rick standing behind our counter and kissed him, then went out to the car. Darting out from the house, Macy ran toward me as I was about to leave. From the car I called out, “Baby girl, you have got to get back in the house. You cannot just run out of the house!”

She replied, “I just wanted one more hug.”

And then she stood in front of the car, wrapped her arms around herself, hugged herself, and said, “I love you!” I watched that exceptional child run back into the house, then pulled out of the driveway.

I’m at the emergency room and of course there’s a long line. My name has been on the waiting list for almost an hour. I determine that my family—my life—headed in the opposite direction on their fun outing together, have surely arrived by now. I call Rick to check in and to my surprise he doesn’t pick up. Weird. He always answers his phone. I call back. It rings and rings and rings. Voice mail. I call again. It rings and rings and rings. Voice mail. I know that more than enough time has passed for him to have arrived at the open gym, so I place a call to my ex-sister-in-law’s house, where Rick was to pick up our nieces. I get right to the point. “What time did Rick pick up the girls?”

“He hasn’t picked them up. I just went ahead and took Madelyn and Maryl.”

And the feeling that something is horribly wrong begins to rise up from the pit of my stomach. Every fiber of my being knows that there’s been a wreck. What I don’t know is how bad it is.

I’m not completely conscious of my legs as they carry me to the front desk of the emergency room to explain that something has happened to my family. But somehow my body successfully reaches my car and I’m driving—fast. I’m driving and crying and praying out loud. “Please put angels all around my family. Please. All around them.”

Five miles past our house, on the two-lane highway we’ve traveled so many times as a family, the sun begins to go down in the sky and a barrage of flashing lights comes into view.

Please put angels all around my family.

The onslaught of lights is almost too much, as I recognize the telltale signs that something truly terrible has occurred. I watch as uniformed officers redirect traffic around the blockades they have positioned, but I will not be redirected.

Please. All around them.

I pull over to an open space and get out of the car, standing there with my emergency room bracelet on. The frantic words escape my mouth. “I need to know if there’s a white van!” I hear the “Yes” in reply. But my life is in that van. My life is in that van. Panic-stricken, I turn to the man beside me and ask, “Is it bad?” No one will make eye contact with me as the lights continue to flash and engulf my senses. The curt answer I am met with barely registers.

“Well, both of the cars caught on fire.”

WHAT?! And I see the fire trucks, but no one will tell me anything. I call my mother who is on a trip with my father in Florida with the Trinity Valley College board of directors. I cry out with a torrent of incomprehensible explanations of the events unfolding before my eyes.

Approaching me from a distance, two stone-faced officers are coming with the news. I am vaguely aware of the phone still at my ear when each officer takes one of my arms. And from the mouth of a wonderful man named Officer Clint Pirtle—the only man to make eye contact with me—came the most horrific statement ever to reach my ears: “I’m so sorry. We found no survivors.”

I drop to my knees, only to get right back up and plead, “Well, I need you to keep looking!” Surely they just haven’t found everybody yet. And then I remember the phone in my hand. “Mother, he said they’re all gone. He said they’re all gone.”

As Officer Pirtle takes the phone from my hands, I am left with the wave of numbness that has begun to infiltrate my body and mind. I instantly know Officer Pirtle’s words are true; I know that they are gone. I know that I will never see them again. Without the benefit of denial, I’m left on the side of the road with only myself—truly broken, violently severed from the life I’d known only hours earlier. And just as if a limb has been severed from my body, shock takes over quickly, and I don’t feel the pain right away. As I absorb that everything precious to me is gone, my mind becomes flooded with the knowledge that I have nowhere to go, no one to call, and nowhere to be.

Sitting on the back of an ambulance beside a young paramedic, I think back to that frantic drive toward the unimaginable place in which I now find myself. I prayed that God would put angels all around my family. I just didn’t mean this way. I turn to the unassuming paramedic and am overcome with the urge to tell him our story. I tell him, with an eerie calmness, as though I haven’t just been told that every member of my family is dead, “I have to tell you how wonderful my family was.”

And as I explain that I’d had the most perfect husband, and the most perfect five-year-old daughter, and the most perfect two-week-old son, that precious man stands there and listens. I wonder aloud, “How could this be real when they were just going to open gym?”

And that wonderful man, a complete stranger, stands there and listens. A female paramedic joins us only to leave minutes later, unable to handle the words I feel compelled to share. But he never leaves; he stands quietly, offering no inane platitudes meant to comfort me.

As my ex-sister-in-law arrives on the scene and I get into her car, I am starkly aware of my complete solitude. I recognize the face of Ronnie Daniel, justice of the peace and the man here to fulfill the unimaginable duty of declaring my family dead. He comes to me and says, “Abby, I’m so sorry. If I could take their place I would.” And he means it. He truly means it. “Is there anyone I can call?”

No, I think. I don’t have anybody to call. It’s just me. My parents are on their trip in Florida; my brother is at a football game in Georgia; and my husband’s not answering.

I leave the scene with my ex-sister-in-law and head to my house—our home—to pack some things. I have no reservations about returning to the house we shared as a family. It is truly a home in every sense of the word: a place of safety, love, and comfort. It is the happiest place on earth to me. As I enter the house, I am greeted by balloons saying “It’s a Boy!” I pass Caleb’s stroller in the living room and walk into our bedroom, robotically filling a bag. My face is strangely dry; I am without tears. I walk out the door into an existence I cannot comprehend. Just like that, at one fell swoop, I know that I’m no longer a wife to the most amazing man I’d ever met. No longer a mother to the two most precious children in the world. Where do I go? What now?



Continues...

Excerpted from Working It Out by Rike, Abby Copyright © 2011 by Rike, Abby. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inspirational!

    I couldnt help but to feel a kinship with Abby as I read her incredible story of love and loss. Sadly, many never experience true love but it was amazing to read her love story. It made me appreciate my own love and my amazing son more than ever. I could also identify with her on her weight loss journey. I was on this same path at nearly the same time. I, like Abby, lost 100 pounds and completely appreciate life in a whole new way. I wish Abby a life of love and joy along with the amazing memories of her wonderful husband and two sweet babies.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Such a geniun person

    I remember seeing Abby on The Biggest Loser. She was such a wonderful, honest person on the show. It is so nice to see that she has come through this and turned her life around. Most of us would not have been that brave. Good luck to you Abby!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    No perfect words to say

    This book is a true inspiration to me. When i read "being a christian doesnt mean life will be easy and it could possibly be harder" (almost quoted exactly) read into me deeply. I've questioned and wondered almost daily how God could let life constantly feed me severe happenings and complete heart devastation way more times than normal. This story helps me see that happiness is still in the midst during the worst times of our lives if we just reach for it and grab it. Thank you Abbey for putting your world on paper, which is so very hard to do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Very inspiring!

    I felt that parts of the book were a little slow but you need this back ground info. The amount of strength that Abby has is amazing. To read how she continues her life after the accident with such faith makes up for the slow areas. It is inspiring how she stained true to her faith and realized God didn't do this but her was there for her is a great testament to Abby. Great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Love

    This was beautifully written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Insir Inspir Verrrrry good!

    Well written and motivating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    A Journey

    I highly recommend this book it is a must! You won't be able to put this book down! I give this book a thumbs up! What courage and strength it took Abby Rike to share her story. Its part of the healing process not only for herself but for others. I found this book to be very moving in so many ways. We are all on a journey where there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Could't Put it Down!

    An inspirational story about life, love, family and faith! Thank you Abby for having the courage to write this book and share your story with us!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    A beautiful story - so uplifting!

    This book has truly touched my life - Abby Rike - one of the strongest women I have ever heard about - truly amazing. A must read - you'll cry, you'll laugh, and you'll be uplifted through a beautiful faith when you are finished. Whether you are a religious person or not - you truly will feel the "power" when finished with reading this heart-touching story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Sad yet encouraging!

    I was very excited to read her life story after watching Abby on the Biggest Loser. I think she is very strong in her faith and that was a huge encouragement to me. We can live through the hard times and even live a happy life. I would recommend this book but did find some areas a little slow. All of the letters from her husband were fun to read but at times I found some of the letters from students hard to get through. I would love to have heard more of her own words and advice and ultimately more on her weight loss in general.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Highly Recommend!!!

    If you want to be inspired, read this. If you want to witness pure child-like faith, read this. If you want a true example of 'hope in the darkest hour', read this. Be prepared to have your life changed, it did mine in the very best way. I am blessed because of Abby Rike.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is beyond good , it is EXCEPTIONAL

    Abby's story is one that will touch the core of your very being. It is not just a book it is a message to LIVE life and not merely survive. Not many people can write about such a loss and dark place and not make it all about them selves or a woe is me plea, Abby does not once make you feel sorry for her, in actuality she motivates you to cherish life, cherish people, and to be the best you can be. IF after reading this book you do not hug your children tighter each night, top feeling sorry for your circumstances and take the steps to choose a better life and make the things that matter a priority, then you probably don't have a pulse! YOU will WANT to give this book to your friends, your family, people you see on the street who just need hope. I am forever changed and will always think of how precious life is in every moment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    An Honest Look at Working through Grief and Suffering

    If you have watched The Biggest Looser you have probably heard of or seen Abby Rike. Abby competed on Season 8 of The Biggest Looser, and this book is her story. For those looking for a book on weight loss (which I wasn't), this book may very well be a disappointment because it's not about weight loss primarily. What is is about, though, is so much more - and it is worth the read. In 2006 Abby lost her husband, five year old daughter, and two-week old son in a terrible car accident, leaving hear all alone. As she tells the story, she lived in an ideal world with a wonderful family. The book is more about dealing with the loss of her family than anything else, and, as someone who has experienced an untimely death of a loved one, she very accurately explains the grieving process so many of us have gone through, and the feelings we encounter. Yes, grieving is hard and life is difficult and bad things happen - we can all accept that - and there is the whole stages of grief thing we all know about. But what Abby discusses with such honesty and openness is what she felt from other people and their failure at times to support and care for her. She discusses the struggle to make it appear as if everything is just fine when it's really not, and the almost impossibility of finding someone on whom to open up to that won't judge you, won't try to explain away your pain, won't go running when you come near, and will be willing to just listen and not say something stupid in response instead of just staying silent.

    The book does talk about her weight loss journey and her time on the show, but the bulk of the book introduces you to her family, their deaths, and her grieving process - in fact, you are 2/3's of the way through the book before weight becomes a major issue and The Biggest Looser is really mentioned (she downplays the weight issue so much that when it does come up it's almost as if it comes out of no where). Again, this is not a book about weight loss but a book about grieving, suffering, and learning to live in a fallen and broken world. She is honest in saying she's not there yet and she still has rough days - which, unless you've experienced the untimely loss of a loved one you can never fully understand - but she is willing to share her journey in an honest and open way.

    Perhaps the best chapter in the entire book is the very last one, the one entitled "A Letter to the Reader". Here she gives an update on where she is now, she overtly shares her faith in Christ, and acknowledges that we don't always understand or know what will happen. My only disappointment with the book is that it didn't feature her faith more openly, particularly earlier in the book, but it is something she remedies at the end. Overall I'll give this book 3/5 stars.

    Note: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review of it. I am disclosing this to comply with FTC regulations.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)