The Mother Who Made a Change

The Mother Who Made a Change

Riley Heafy-DeAngelis, Writer

As a widowed mother of two teenage girls, Grace De Angelis, has a lot on her plate. She does everything she can to keep her children doing well in school, sports, etc, while also managing everything going on in her life. The way she grew after the passing of my other mom, Erin, is inspirational. 


Grace is a teacher, tutor, coach, team mom, girl scout leader, and most of all, an amazing mother. With all of her activities piled up, she never had much time to stop and think about herself. When 2021 started, that all changed. 


She started attending The Maxx Challenge here in South Windsor. She started her first 10 week challenge at the beginning of the year. “When I got the call that I was given the 10 week challenge, I ran right to Marshalls to get workout clothes and started right away the next morning.”


“I woke up everyday telling myself I have to go to work. I have to make my kids breakfast. I have to get them ready for school. But at no point did I say I have to take care of me”


Grace started waking up at 6 am every morning and going to the gym. Never would she complain and stay in bed pushing it off to the next day. She started changing her diet, bringing home healthier foods for me and my sister everyday. She was becoming fitter and happier day by day, losing over 20 pounds in her first month at The Max!


My mother has always been very supportive through everything I do, and just as we were getting ready to leave for Florida in May for one of my cheerleading competitions, The Max Challenge car pulled into our driveway to announce her as the winner of the 10 week challenge. “My daughter was there, that was the best part. She was looking at me like I was crazy, but she posted that picture everywhere, she was so proud. That’s what made me happy.”


She has become a poster person for the gym, being one of their greatest transformations. She inspires not only me but also many others in our community by showing that you can turn hardships into new opportunities. She became a new person throughout this new journey and I am so proud of her. 


“That’s what makes it worth it. My kids now look at me as someone they are proud of.” She tells everyone in a recent speech at the gym. She finishes with, “It takes one day for you to decide to make a change to choose you. Let today be that day.”