Look at Me Now: Holly Ackerman Celebrates 65-Pound Weight Loss



The number 65 holds many meanings. It’s a common speed limit, a traditional age to retire, the minimum grade to pass a test. It’s even the international calling code for Singapore (now you know).

To Holly Ackerman, 37-year-old Lexington mother of two, the number 65 represents success.

To commemorate its 15th anniversary, Lexington Family Magazine launched the Fit Family Challenge last year and selected four area families to get fit, eat right and lose weight. And to do it in public.

The Ackermans were one of the four families chosen to receive help from a local personal trainer and a supervised weight loss program.

Holly and her family were paired with trainers Morgan E. Rawlings and Susan Wagers from Flex Fitness.

The Ackermans met the trainers twice a week beginning in January 2013 .

In April, after more than four months of undergoing changes in diet and physical activity, the four families were honored at Lexington Family Magazine’s Summer Camps & Activities Fair. This marked the culmination of the Challenge.

Holly and her daughter Sarah, 11, continued to follow the program, meeting with Flex Fitness trainers twice per week through September 2013.

Beginning in October the family joined the Beaumont YMCA.

She and Sarah work out two to three days per week, splitting their time between cardio and weight training to get the maximum benefits. They use free weights for 20-30 minutes and do cardio for 20-30 minutes.

“Weight training really helps because building muscle burns calories longer,” Holly said.

They continue to meet with Morgan once a month to do a measurement check and to get some new workout ideas.

Holly also walks up to two miles at a moderate pace several days per week at work.

The program obviously works – Holly has lost 65 pounds since she started the program a year ago.

“I am healthier than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said.

Holly tracks her calories with a smart phone app, makes healthier decisions when eating out and tweaks recipes by swapping out unhealthy ingredients.

She allows herself treats but less frequently than before starting the Fit Family Challenge.

A typical meal at Chick-fil-A before consisted of a chicken sandwich, fries and a drink.

Now Holly opts for a grilled sandwich, salad instead of fries, and diet coke or water.

“The funniest thing is being called, ‘Tiny,’” she said. “I’m wearing a size in clothes that I haven’t worn since my freshman or sophomore year in high school – and I’ve been out of high school for 20 years.”

The Ackermans found the extra boost they needed in the support they received from Lexington Family Magazine’s health and wellness experts.

The Ackermans now understand that fancy equipment and big gyms aren’t required to see results.

Holly notes that her family’s greatest success is coming away from the Fit Family Challenge with the knowledge and tools everyone needs to maintain a new healthy lifestyle.

“I wanted to say thank you for choosing our family for the challenge,” Holly said.

“Lexington Family Magazine gave us the chance, Flex Fitness gave us the tools, and with both of those, my family is on a completely different path than before.”