Remembering Rose Misner

Rose Misner

Rose Misner passed away on May 30th, 2017. She joined the Y after winning a CBC contest in 2011. The below story was shared in 2013. We will miss seeing Rose at the YMCA. 

It’s hard not to be inspired by Rose Misner.

A year and a half ago, she was scared to step on a scale, scared to go to a gym and scared to walk with her friends.

At the time, Rose weighed 338 pounds. She was, in her words, “the queen of sedentary life.”

Not anymore.

In fact, Rose hasn’t just lost her crown. She’s smashed it to pieces, and dropped somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 pounds.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve hit 100. I was weighing myself every few days, which was just ridiculous. So, in April, I stopped,” she says. “At that point, I’d lost 94 pounds. I’m not going to weigh myself again ’til September. But I can tell I’ve lost more.”

Whatever the number is, Rose’s journey to get there is just as incredible.

About 18 months ago, CBC’s Live Right Now held a contest for two six-month gym memberships in Saint John. The deadline to enter was noon on a Friday. Rose got her entry in 10 minutes before the deadline

“I had no intention of even winning that contest. I actually entered as a joke,” she said. Next thing you know, Rose found out she’d won. It was a call she’ll never forget, in part because of a prayer she’d said about a week before.

“I’m a person of faith, and I remember saying ‘Lord, I’m tired of failing. I’m tired of trying and failing. I’m tired of not trying. If you don’t do this, I quit.’ she explained. “I think it actually took a miracle from God, because I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Even after she won, Rose didn’t rush off to the gym. She procrastinated and thought about giving away her membership. She had tried a crash diet before. It didn’t work. She’d tried exercising at home, but got discouraged and quit.

This time, something was different. “Here I was with this gift,” she said, “I said ‘don’t be an idiot, do this.’ My first goal was to show up.”

She did. And now, three times a week, you’ll find Rose at the YMCA – on the treadmill, doing weights, or working with an exercise ball.

“I remember, I was scared out of my tree to sit on that ball,” she explained. “At 330 pounds, I thought, what if it breaks, what an embarrassment.” But Rose tried it and never looked back.

“The thing that has impacted me the most, no one was judgemental. The trainers worked with me and said we’ll find a way for you to do it.”

Along the way, Rose thought long and hard about having weight loss surgery. “It helps you control what you eat. But in 12 to18 months, it doesn’t work,” she says. “It would’ve been the easy way out. But I said no, I can do it on my own.”

Turns out, she’s right. Rose is happier, has more energy, and more self-confidence. “Heck, I even bought myself a bathing suit,” she says. “Before, I used to have to order a lot of my clothes online. Now, it’s so fun to go to a store and buy something that fits.”

She drinks more water, eats more fruits and vegetables and has cut back on her portions.

“I used to eat ’til I was stuffed. Now, I eat ’til I’m satisfied.” she says. “And if I need something else, I pick something wise.”

Rose admits she still likes a bit too much chocolate now and then. But she works it off, sometimes by walking up a big hill to her house.

“The first time I did it was in the winter after I’d missed my bus,” she said. “It took me half an hour, but I did it.”

And she’s not done yet.

“I’m the most unlikely person to be in this spot but I’ve come too far to stop.”

It’s probably fair to say, Rose Misner isn’t scared anymore.