Local mom fights for healthier lifestyle following family hardship

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Local mom fights for healthier lifestyle following family hardship: Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on March 9, 2018. (WPVI)

Whether it's divorce, losing a job or a losing a loved one, life's hardships can take more than just an emotional toll.

One local woman fought back after facing tragedy and she's lost more than 30 pounds in six months.

Cierra Butler, 31, packs a powerful punch. But this super mom never knew how strong she was until she was forced to find out.

"More than anything, I need prayer more than anything I need prayer," she said.

In a 2015 YouTube video, Cierra shares her 6-year-old son, Ahmad, is battling brain cancer.

It wasn't a fair fight and sadly, Ahmad died just 9 months after his diagnosis.

It's now been two years and his ashes sit along-side his favorite stuffed animal.

After his passing, Cierra battled depression. With that came weight gain and she felt too tired to do anything with her other children.

So when her uncle, James Long, opened a 9 Round kickboxing studio in Philadelphia, she took it as a sign.

"I was like you know I am just going to do it," she said.

Long says the 9 Round workout is about getting fit, not hit. It's a 30-minute circuit with 9 different stations and trainers included.

"When I started, I was out of breath, the first week I kept saying I'm not going back, I'm done," recalled Cierra.

But she kept going and started to see results. Then she slowly changed her diet too - less sugar, more lean protein, and vegetables. In 6 months, Cierra has lost 34 pounds, documenting her progress on Instragram.

"To see her keep going and to see the pounds coming off, it just excites me and that's why I do what I do to help people," said James.

Cierra still has her tough days, but she keeps going with inspiration from her angel.

"He still motivates me because I'm like someone so little going through all of this and he always smiled, he kept a smile on his face," she said.

Cierra says she tries to live her best life possible to honor Ahmad and so she can be there for her other three children, her husband and extended family.

She tells others to find your purpose or motivation to get healthy.



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