A Milwaukee mother of nine has turned tragedy into triumph.
Twice a month, Bridgett Wilder, a registered dietitian, finds the time to serve her community at Milwaukee’s, Walnut Way through free cooking classes.
“The participants were looking to lose weight, some of them were looking to desiring to learn about concepts to reduce their risk of disease and some of them just came out of curiosity,” said Bridgett.
Her, Healthy Food, Healthy Family classes are backed by the American Cancer Society.
“There’s not always access to healthy food and safe places to play and be physically active outside,” said, School Health Specialist with the Kohl’s healthy families Program at the American Cancer Society, Kim Abell.” It’s why Bridgett’s is one of eight healthy initiatives in Milwaukee funded through a Kohl’s grant
“That was an opportunity for me to engage with a community of people where they may not have access to certain things,” said Bridgett.
Successfully helping herself and others maintain a healthy lifestyle, through her own nutrition consulting company, comes after several years of heartache.
Losing her mother at 62 to cancer, and burying her 6-year-old son, who died from a rare brain disease.
Three years after that, Bridgett became a widow at just 36-years-old, losing her husband to heart disease.
“I was left to raise nine children alone, ages 16 to four months.”
Thirteen years later, Bridgett says she’s taken the pain of her past and turned it into power, but it all had to start from within.
Through regular exercise and a low carb, low sugar diet, Bridgett has lost 160 pounds.
“I am no longer classified as a diabetic because of me changing the foods that I ate,” said Bridgett.
A renewed mindset that’s keeping her children at their healthiest while potentially saving lives in her own community.
“I live by the strategy that health is wealth and if you can eat your way into poor health, you can eat your way into improved health outcomes.”