Weight-Loss Moms Transform Their Lives

fit-familyWas Lexington Family Magazine’s Fit Family Challenge a success? Just ask Shelley Hopps, who has lost 40 pounds since January and is now a size 4.

At Starbucks, people say to her, “I don’t mean to offend you, but you look 10 years younger.”

Take offense? She loves it.

Or how about Holly Ackerman? As of mid-September, she had lost 48.5 pounds since January and says,

“This is the most physically fit I’ve ever been in my life.”

Results like that exceed all expectations, said editor John Lynch, who announced the Challenge last October  to commemorate the magazine’s 15th anniversary. He also vowed to try to lose 15 pounds himself.

“I’ve lost 12 pounds and I’m now more fit than I’ve been in 20 years,” he said.

“But what’s more gratifying to us about the Challenge are the results of Shelley and Holly. It’s incredibly gratifying to see people tackle a difficult issue and have success.”

The Fit Family Challenge began in January after four volunteer families were selected and vowed to try to get fit, eat right and lose weight.

For four months, the families received assistance from Family Practice Associates and its weight loss program, along with the help of local personal trainers.

Their progress was chronicled in the magazine and they were honored at the magazine’s annual Summer Camp Fair in April.

A year after the Challenge was announced, the magazine asked for a progress report. The results have been dramatic.

Before the Challenge, Shelley Hopps “didn’t do anything.” Now, she runs three to four times per week, has joined The ROC, Immanuel Baptist Church’s Recreation & Outreach Center, and never takes the elevator.

“I’m still running and exercising,” she said. “All the little things add up.

“Fad diets don’t work. You have to change how you’re eating, how you’re living. Your kids have to adopt it, too.”

That’s also true for Holly Ackerman and her kids. Holly and her daughter Sarah have continued working out once a week with their trainer, Morgan Rawlings at Flex Fitness.

She has developed a workout routine that is easy to duplicate.

The Ackerman family has also joined the Beaumont YMCA where Holly and Sarah work out twice a week.

According to Holly, this is a massive change. She and her husband, Wilson, who also lost 25 pounds, “wanted to do this for the girls, to set a better example for them,” she said.

“I’m really proud of myself for staying with it.”

The Fit Family Challenge was “absolutely” a success for her family, Holly said.

“You all gave us the push we needed, that extra oomph.”