The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Dave Bruno


Author, Working it Out (Faithwords, 2011)

NBC's The Biggest Loser contestant, Season 8

Former school teacher

Undergrad: Steven F. Austin, TX

MA, Texas A&M


Abby Rike: Working it Out

By The 700 Club - INTO THE DEPTHS
In October 2006, Abby had just given birth to her second child, a son named Caleb. Her husband, Rick, was the love of her life. “He was my soul mate,” says Abby. “We did everything together.”  Macy was her vivacious 5 year old daughter.

On October 13, just two weeks after Caleb was born, Abby’s world turned upside down. She hadn’t been feeling well, so Abby decided to go to the emergency room to get checked out. Rick decided to take the two kids on a family outing. When Abby tried to call Rick to see if the family got to their destination, he didn’t answer the phone. Abby got the feeling something was terribly wrong so she left the hospital.

Five miles after Abby passed their home, she saw flashing lights. “Please put angels all around my family,” she prayed. Abby was frantic and asked emergency workers if there was a white van involved in the accident. “Yes,” one of them said. Shortly, a police officer told Abby they found no survivors.

Shock quickly took over and Abby, then 34, says she felt numb on the side of the road. “There was nowhere to go, no one to call, and nowhere to be,” she says. In the days following the wreck, no one could understand how Abby was doing so well. A few days later, after the funeral for her family, Abby says the humanness of grief hit her. “I was completely alone and heartbroken as I walked around my parents’ backyard.” She cried out to God. “Lord what do I do? What do You want me to do with my life?”

At the time of the accident, Abby says she was overweight and still holding onto pregnancy weight. At 5’4’, Abby weighed 260 pounds at her heaviest. After the accident, Abby says she lost a little weight and got down to about 215 pounds.  “The second year was worse because it was like, Okay this is how my life is really gonna be,” says Abby. She decided to get her Masters degree and got a job teaching freshman English. Because she devoted her life to working on getting her degree in a year, Abby says her health deteriorated even more. She eventually joined a gym but physically Abby felt at her worst. “It is a miserable way to live just getting through the day,” says Abby.  She hit rock bottom at this point, 2 ½ years after the accident.

When her friend told her about The Biggest Loser auditions in Texas, Abby decided to go. She was selected as a contestant for Season 8 and weighed 247 pounds. “My choice to apply for TBL was never about aesthetics,” says Abby. She lost 47 pounds during the show before getting voted off. She lost another 53 for a total of 100 pounds in time for the reunion show. “I learned that health and wellness have so much to do with healing,” says Abby. “Losing the weight made me a more complete person.” Once she was a size 20/22, today Abby is a size 6. 

“I choose to accept God’s love and strength and hope that He is able to use this terrible tragedy for good,” she says. Abby believes the real reason she survived this personal tragedy is through God’s grace. “I could have been mad at God,” says Abby. “But hatred, anger and bitterness are not going to bring my family back. Feeling sorry for myself is not going to make my life count. If I had chosen to go down that path, I may as well have been in the van.”

After the show, Abby had to stay the course. She worked out and continued to eat right. “Your mind is so much clearer when you eat whole foods,” says Abby. When she started TBL, she hated vegetables. Today Abby speaks full-time at churches, businesses and schools. The message she shares is universal: taking care of yourself so you can live your purpose. “The biggest thing is that in the midst of suffering… I am like every other human on the planet. I quit trying to do it on my own strength, and I learned that God is everything He says He is. It was when I had nothing that He could be my everything. And as long as you think you can do it in your own strength, you don’t have faith,” says Abby. 

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