Welcome About Us WHAT WE DO BECOME A MEMBER Membership

This is page is dedicated to the hardworking members of LBE.
Each month we will choose one member that has exemplified what we are all about. Making and meeting goals, losing weight, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle is what we are looking for in each member. This special M.O.T.M. will be chosen based on all of the above criteria. Along with recognition on our site, each M.O.T.M. will receive a "special gift" to encourage him/her during their weight loss/healthy living journey. 

Timeka Whitehead, NJ
*Winner of 2 AMC Movie Tickets*

My name is Timeka and I have struggled with my weight all my life. I was a chubby kid and when I became active in sports the weight poured off! Once I stopped sports, I led a sedentary life and the pounds came on strong. I have tried everything, but never stuck with it and now health problems have plagued me. LBE came when I was at my breaking point. The motivation I get inspires me, even when I fall off the wagon. THANKS LBE!!

Ramona Arrington, VA
*Winner of 2 AMC Movie Tickets*

monaseptoctmotmI am married with two beautiful boys. In 2009, I gave birth to my youngest son and during the pregnancy, I was 250 lbs. After birth, I dropped down 235 lbs. I decided that my weight loss journey had to begin because I was the biggest I had ever been in my life.

In August 2009, I started eating healthier and running at least two miles 3 to 4 times a week. Trying to juggle a 6 month old, a 3yr old and a husband was very hard. I had to really stay focused and start to love me. Since my journey began, I have fallen a few times. But to stay on target, I keep my "fat" picture in my face to remind me not to go back down that road.

I have currently changed my workout regimen due to my work schedule. I have now lost a total of 45 lbs. Working out and eating right is not what I do, it is a lifestyle. I just take it one calorie, one pound, and one day at a time. 

Jayden Freshwater, MD
Age: 9
Upcoming 4th Grader
*Winner of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 for PS3*

JAYDEN FRESHWATER's mom wrote:july_motm_(2) 
Jayden is a vibrant, jovial 9 year old. He enjoys singing and playing video games. Most of all, he enjoys quality time with his family and friends. He had a very difficult late Spring. He had a lot of difficulty with his asthma and allergies resulting in him spending a lot of time out of school. When I took him to the doctor in May, he weighed in at about 118 lbs. We were in and out of the doctors all through May, June and July. By mid July he weighed 125 lbs. The doctor suggested he lose 25lbs to get to his age appropriate weight. This was a wake up call because he was gaining weight at rapid speed.
Jayden has wrestled for the past 2 years and lost an average of 8 lbs during each season. The wrestling coaches suggested that he sign up for football but I was like: "Naw man. That's too much time." Jayden did not express an interest either. So this past school year, he was beginning to play football outside. A few of his wrestling teammates were football players so I suggested the idea to him again. He was resistant. There were some football clinics so I thought I would take him and see what would happen. After 1 night of football clinic he was PUMPED!! One problem; in order for him to play on one of the teams in his age range, he would have to weigh between 95 lbs and 120 lbs. So he was weighed by one of the coaches that tried to recruit him and he weighed in at at 138 lbs. WOW!! So this meant he would have to lose 18 lbs by the end of August just to get on the team. Not to mention that to get on this particular coach's team, he couldn't weigh more than 95 lbs. So the mama bear came out and said "Oh no! That's too much. Thank you all for your interest and encouragement but we will pass." BUT Jay interrupted me and said "Mom, I can do it! I ain't scared! I can work it off!" So I agreed to let him do it with the exception of a commitment from him. So we went home and devised a plan consisting of healthy food and exercise. He was participating in Fitness and Swim Camp during the day so he was being active there too. He loves swimming so much!
When football practice started, he could barely go down one end of the field without stopping to take a break. He was complaining about his asthma and just being tired. His teammates and AWESOME coaches continued to encourage him. He was restricted from all carbs, sugars, and white flour in his diet. He started drinking diet green tea, eating fruits and veggies, and protein meats.
To date, Jay has 3 more lbs to lose. He is not at the back of the line any longer. He is running the laps and sprints and comes in 1st or 2nd at the front of the line. He's in great shape. His body is changing, but most of all his attitude has completely changed. He is reading labels and way more health conscious than ever. He has until the 23rd of August to lose the weight and there's no doubt in his mind that he can do it! He says that practice is only getting easier. His theme for this summer has been "Whatever I put my mind to, I can do!"
With the help of LBE, I was able to jump start some recipes and routines at home. I let him read Mikel's texts. Even though he says, "Man she's tough", he gets it. He has pushed himself and is determined more than ever. Thanks LBE!

JUNE 2011
Christie Lofton, NC
*Winner of 2 AMC Movie Tickets*

One Sunday in March, my Assistant Pastor said to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself "I love you" because if you don't, nobody else will.  He also said that if you don't like what you see, that you have to do something about it.

My weight has been a yo-yo for the past 4 years.  After listening to that sermon, I said enough is enough.  I told myself that it's time for me to get my weight under control.   April 18th was the official 1st day of my journey.  I started slowly exercising by walking 15 mins a day during my lunch break at work.  My husband gave me the Zumba DVD set for Valentineís Day as a gift.  I started doing my Zumba. 

In addition to working out, I started to become more aware of the food I was eating.  I actually take the time to read food labels.  I have greatly limited my sugar, sodium, and fat intake.  I drastically  increased my water intake as well.  People ask me if I am on a diet and I politely tell them no.

I am proud to say that I have lost 18lbs since beginning my journey.  I am 1l lbs away from meeting my short term goal.  I am so thankful to LBE for the love and support.  I would like to say a special thank you to fellow LBE members Sh'Rhonda Sawyer and Tricia Speller Williams for giving me that extra motivation when I am tired.

MAY 2011
Sh'Rhonda Sawyer, NC
*Winner of 2 AMC Movie Tickets*


You may look at my picture and say she doesnít look like she needs to lose weight.  Why is she in this program?  Well, Iím about to change your mind as I allow you to enter into my weight loss journey.

First let me start by saying, according to my health insurance carrier, my BMI was boarderline to being overweight.

After my last child I went into post-partum depression.  I realized that I started eating more than what I should have been.  Within a yearsí time, I went from a size 5/6 to a size 10.  When I tried to put on a size 7/8 and couldnít wear it, I realized that I was on my way to self destruction and this sent me deeper into depression.  I have always been one that lost my weight immediately after having a child, but this time it was not that way.  Realizing that I had a problem that was increasing my weight, made me realize I had to do something and do it quickly.  It didnít just cause problems with my weight, but I started having problems with my blood pressure also.

I started working out every once in a while. But it wasnít working because I wasnít being consistent.  After reading posts by our LBE leader, Mikel, I would always respond and ask questions.  Finally she asked me why I hadnít joined LBE.  After that, I decided to join.  The encouragement from her and the different members keeps me motivated and focused.  Receiving the texts, newsletters, a chance to consult Mikel for information needed and many chances to win prizes makes reaching my goals fun.

Since joining LBE, I have lost 7.5lbs and trying to reach my goal of at least 10lbs in order to get back down to a size 8.  Once I reach that goal I plan on maintaining my weight by eating healthy and continuing to work out as I have been doing since joining LBE.  It hasnít been an easy journey because I am a full time mom, full time student, full time employee, full time church member, and a wife.  But the most important thing I have discovered is that in order to continue to do all of these things, I have to take care of me first.  Taking care of me means living a healthy life style and maintaining a healthy weight.  Iím on my way to a better way of living and Iím doing better because I know better!

Thanks Mikel and LBE!

APRIL 2011
Tonya Norman, NC
*Winner of 2 AMC Movie Tickets*me_002


I was content being the cute big girl. Life for me was good. I was active, healthy (no high blood pressure or diabetes) and my size didn't hinder me in any way. But the words from my doctor hit hard..."You're too fat, Tonya. Lose weight or die young, simple as that!!!!" It was that day I learned I was morbidly obese, (In my mind, I'm saying no way that's me!!! My mobility is good, I'm not housebound...so who does he think he's talking about). After getting over the shock, I learned that everything my doctor said was indeed true! My BMI was 68 and I was almost 200 pounds overweight!

During an IM chat with one of my sorority sister (itís so much easier to text or IM than talk on the phone), I told her I had to lose weight. It was at that moment that she told me about the Leaders By Example website and how the site/members had been instrumental to her during her weight loss journey. I joined LBE on January 20, 2011 and had my first consultation with Mikel, our wellness coach. She gave a very sympathetic ear BUT asked me bluntly how committed I was to making this lifestyle change! She said if you are committed to eating healthier and exercise then I'm committed to being the support/resource you need to get you to your ultimate goal! It was that day the partnership began between LBE and myself as I vowed to work towards becoming a healthier me!!!

I changed my diet, eating 2000 calorie, not eating after 7pm, incorporating exercise and I'm having the time of my life. I look forward to going to the gym and participating in the classes (Zumba & Kettle bell fitness are my favorite). I never was a cook. Living single with no children was my excuse to eat every meal out but now I enjoy cooking at home and trying the different recipes found on the site or shared by the members. I look forward to the daily motivational text we receive from Mikel (somehow I receive them exactly at my weak moment) and it is the right amount of courage that makes me bypass the snack aisle. I love the interaction with the BBM group. We laugh at ourselves and each other but are that instant willpower that make each day a success.

To date, I've lost 29 pounds (1 pound away from my first mini goal of 30 pounds), My BMI is 60.1 and I've shed 37 inches. I'm just amazed at the transition my body is making!!!

I can honestly say joining LBE was the tool that finally made weight loss click for me. Mikel and the group are fun BUT they keep me accountable and focused! But what I love the most is the instant contact...LBE is only an email, text message, IM, or Facebook post away!!!

I've accepted that my weight loss journey will be a long one but I don't mind...I'm having a blast with my LBE family!!!!

MARCH 2011
Tiffany Thornton, AL
*Winner of $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card*


My journey isn't anything special, but it is mine. I literally awoke one day, and was tired of being "FAT". Yes....I said it..."FAT". I am 37 years old, single, with 2 boys. I have always loved life, just not mine. Since the second Sunday in January my life hasn't been the same. I started eating clean, started going to a fitness boot camp, and became physically active.....and most importantly,  I learned to be responsible enough to know I had no business abusing food the way I was. I am an addict, and I am on the road to recovery. I found LBE, and it has been an asset, and an inspiration to me. I can do this....that's what I tell myself often, I am doing this! I have lost 26 pounds, and I wanna lose more!! I almost lost my Mom, and ended up losing my only brother in the last couple months. I feel broken....but this time....this time....I am gonnna put myself back together. "Define yourself, for yourself, or get caught up in other peopleís fantasies...and eaten alive"-.A. Lord. I love this quote....and I am loving me. Thank you for this honor, It gives me more motivation to get to my "finish line".

Chantel Cherry, NC
*Winner of $20 AMAZON.COM Gift Card*


I am a 32 year old mother of three and my weight loss journey began when I was 12 years old. I have never been "thin" and that has never been my goal. My goal is to stick to a healthy lifestyle change and being commit to myself daily, as I commit to those around me. Leaders by Example, has given me the tough love and dependability that I have needed. The goals that we all have in common help me realize that although this is my unique journey, each member is traveling to reach the same destiny of health and well-being. I have lost a total of 30 lbs. and have 55 more to go to reach my first goal. It seems like a long way to go but I have already accomplished so much I have to keep pushing. Thanks to Mikel and Leaders by Example for helping me stay focused and motivated!

Essence Uzzle, VA
*Winner of $25 Foot Locker Gift Card*


I guess my journey may be a little bit different from others.  I have always been what most people would consider to be an average weight.  My weight was never really an issue for me until after I reached my 30's.  Since then, work and kids took priority and I neglected the one person that I should have been taking care of first, myself.  I would like to thank LBE, especially Mikel, for all her encouragement throughout my journey.  I have to admit that I hate to diet and exercise because I can never stick to it.  But with the encouragement and support from LBE, I have changed my eating habits, recently lost ten pounds and have been able to keep the weight off. Thank you so much!

Shannan Morris, VA
*Winner of $25 Bed Bath & Beyond  Gift Card*


For many years, I was self-conscious about my weight.  While friends were shopping at the so-called ďskinny stores,Ē my options were limited to Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, and the plus-size sections of department stores.  Nevertheless, this did not prompt me to make any changes.  One day I had a very serious conversation with one of my aunts in reference to a weight-loss challenge, as she desired to lose weight, as well.  I had reached 180lbs. and declared that I would NEVER, EVER reach 200 lbs!! 

Apparently, that declaration was not strong enough for me to make changes, as I continued my uphill pound-for-pound climb.  I had heard about the freshman 15, but I had NEVER heard of the freshman 40!  Needless to say, over the next few years, I was gaining weight at such an alarming rate that I lost track.  I was outgrowing clothes and just replacing those with larger sizesÖ..18ís turned into 22ísÖ..22ís turned into 24ís and 26ís.

The final straw that broke the camelís back did not occur until September of 2008 when I stepped on the scale at a doctorís appointment, only to discover that I weighed an outrageous 280 lbs.  No need to use expletives or make excusesÖ.I had dug this hole all by myself!  I immediately thought about the 180 lb. mark that I had reached right before I vowed never to hit 200.  Here I was at the 280 lb. mark and vowing never to hit 300!  Finally, something that prompted me to make changes!!  In addition, I got engaged in November of the same year and there was absolutely NO WAY that I was walking down an aisle in a plus-sized wedding gown. 

I began working out at least 4-5 days a week and made a drastic change in my eating habits.  With the sense of urgency and the motivation I needed, I had lost a total of 51lbs. by my wedding day which was in November of 2009.  To date, I have lost a total of 69 lbs. and am grateful for the motivation and encouragement provided by LBE to continue this journey!!    

Lekisha Crouch, NC
*Winner of $25 Express Gift Card*


My weight loss journey has been an ongoing process since childhood. Like many others, I have tried many diets and fads over the course of my life to lose weight. I became serious about weight loss when I ballooned up to 192 pounds in 2007. That was a significant amount of weight on 5'3 female frame! With portion control and exercise everyday, I lost 25 pounds over the course of six months during that year. Over the next few years I have tried to maintain that weight loss and work towards losing the last 25 pounds, but falling into old habits slowed me down. Since becoming a member of LBE, I have been motivated to reach my ultimate weight loss goal and stay on track. With the motivation of my LBE fitness/wellness coach I am now training for a half marathon and have lost 8 pounds in the past 3 weeks by doing to what works... portion control, six small meals a day, lots of water and EXERCISE!!! Thanks LBE Team! 

Latisha Lynch, NC
*Winner of $25 Borders Gift Card*


I have always been a little "thick" but after having two children in two and a half years, my thickness got out of control. I decided January of 2010 that I was going to make a healthy lifestyle change. Since then I have going through my weight loss journey. It has been good some times and not so good other times but its truly been my unique journey and I know that I will be successful because quitting is not an option. I have learned so much through this and I an grateful for the process.

Lataja Lovicks, MD
*Winner of $25 DSW Gift Card*


My weight loss journey started in 2005 and since then it has been an uphill battle to keep off the 100lbs that I once lost. After getting married and starting a family, I gained 50lbs. I have been struggling with those 50lbs for three years. When I joined LBE, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. However I have actually enjoyed getting the words of encouragement everyday by text and verbal motivation from my long distance personal trainer.When I started out, I knew that this journey was not going to be easy. I have my good days and bad days, but I will beat this. This is my fight and I will be victorious!

Raniesa Gray-Johnson, VA
*Winner of $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card*


Last year was VERY challenging for me and my family. After many trials throughout the year, we ended up getting flooded out of our house in November. The stress of it all caused me to gain weight like you wouldn't believe!! Since I have NEVER been on a diet, I knew this was going to be a guaranteed failure for me, so I decided that it was time the the kids and I started leading healthier lifestyles. Eating healthy meals, leading more active lives, and getting the rest we needed to stay healthy.

I threw out the pork, the red meat and ALL of the canned food!! My mom thought I was crazy and said that it would never work, but I knew this was the best choice for my family. Diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension run rampant in my family, so teaching my children healthy habits now is essentials to combating these diseases in the future. My children now only eat lunches packed from home to take to school. This way they have an active part in planning their healthier meals. We have completely eliminated pork, greasy foods, and carbonated drinks from our diet and surprisingly do not miss it. I ONLY make fresh or frozen foods: homemade spaghetti sauces, fresh spinach, corn and broccoli. This helps me better control the amount of sodium and other preservatives in our foods. And we all engage in vigorous exercise at least 3 times a week. Both of my children are in team sports and when I can make it to the gym, I run 3 1/2 miles while they are practicing. I don't use "not having time" as an excuse, I pull and make time where I can get it. LOL.  I even cut all my hair off and went natural!!  LOL!!!  AND I AM LOVING IT!!!!!

This is the best and easiest decision I have ever made for my family.  And there is no going back for us!!!

JULY 2010
Rhasheedah Carter, FL
*Winner of $25 AMAZON.com Gift Card*


After graduating high school I got married and shortly after began having kids. One day I looked in the mirror and the 125lb. cheerleader was 314lbs. I could not blame the dryer for shrinking my clothes. I was fat, not "cute" like my husband said, and I did not need to "just buy a good bra" like my grandma said.

 I have finally started putting my health first. I have lost 18lbs. and have a long way to go but I am headed in the right direction. Thanks for your motivation and the honor for being selected as Member of The Month.

JUNE 2010
Takiyah Bailey, VA
*Winner of $25 AMAZON.com Gift Card*


Well I started my journey last year, however I got out of it what I put into it.... nothing! So in January I made a promise to myself to be healthier even if I didn't loose a pound! So I prayed and asked God for his strength and will power. With help from God and a few accountability partners, I have managed to loose 29 pounds! I reached my short term goal to be under 200 by July 1st.

 I have acquired a taste for healthier foods and the junk I use to eat actually makes me sick to my stomach. I am loving my new lifestyle and look forward to working out, most days twice in one day! I had about a month period where my weight loss came to a halt but being that my change was to remain healthy, I made it through and the weight just began to fall off from anywhere between 4 to 10 lbs in 2 weeks! 

So for anyone who says you can't do it,you can with faith in God and yourself and a few accountability partners! But you gotta want it with all your heart! You deserve it so just do it!!
Loving life under 200lbs!!! 

MAY 2010
Kadija Baffoe-Harding, MD
*Winner of $30 Ribbon Gift Card*


My weight loss journey started years ago, when I was in high school. I have always been what my family likes to call "fluffy" but I started to really pack on the pounds when I was around 15 or 16 years old.

I have never been one to be very physically active so working out wasn't something I was very excited to do. Off and on, on and off year after year I struggled to achieve a consistent workout regimen.

Over the years I have perfected just about every type of workout there is, Yoga, Pilates, Step, Zumba, and the list goes on and on. But I found that no matter what I tried I could never keep my focus. Finally, I realized that I am the type of person that needs to be held accountable for my weight loss. I need someone to answer to about how much I gain or lose, how often I workout, the type of foods that I eat and any and every aspect of losing weight. So I got a physical trainer in Mikel and one that I see daily and I started to enjoy working out. I started to need it everyday and I would miss it when I was unable to do it.

I am FAR from perfect and I am no where near my goal, however, I never give up on myself and my achievements. The only advice I can offer anyone is to stick with it. I pays off in the long run, not just for your physical health but it is also an escape from the everyday. Get up and do something get active. If I can do it ANYONE can. 

APRIL 2010

Jennifer Goetz, VA
*Winner of $30 Ribbon Gift Card*

There are many experiences that lead me to this journey and this path. Honestly, Iíve seen too many unhealthy lifestyles for my own good.Thereís a point when you take a look around and say enough is enough and I reached that point. Iím disgusted at our societyís views of health, nutrition, and fitness. Iíve come to the conclusion that many of the ailments we see today are the result of poor diets, lifestyles,
and lack of caring for our bodies in very basic ways.

Our future is within our hands Ė itís our world. Forget what everyone else is saying! I truly believe we each have so much power and potential for great and awesome things, but we often fail to capitalize on our own abilities. For me, itís all about leading by healthy example Ė an example I want to set for my family and those around me. I am confident in my ability to pursue what I want in life and if I want it bad enough, nothing (and nobody) will stop me. That is the attitude I carry with me and itís extremely empowering.

We are the creators of our own journeys and we must find the strength to begin. Reducing and eliminating barriers to our own success and ridding ourselves of the negative influences in our life are the first steps. Our happiness and our lives depend on it!

MARCH 2010
Maya Guy, VA
*Winner of $30 Ribbon Gift Card*


MAYA GUY wrote:

"I am a 34 year old mother of 4 beautiful children. I realized that I needed to make a change for myself, my children and my husband. Weight loss is a constant struggle, but I have found hope in knowing that there is support for regular people like me. I have learned to embrace the wonderful world of fitness while on my weight loss journey and am now a very active mom. I took a leap by becoming a certified instructor to teach various exercise classes in my community. Currently, I teach Turbo Kick four times a week and have been certified for almost a year. I hope to gain certification in other formats as well as become a personal trainer. My goal is to lose an additional 20 pounds but mostly to attain a specific level of fitness that I can keep AND look like I do now when I'm 45! Thank you LBE for all of your encouragement!!! I'll be sure to Pay It Forward!"

Damond Nollan, NC


Tricia Speller-Williams, NC
*Winner of $25 AMAZON.com Gift Card*


"I have always struggled with my weight as have most the women in my family.  I started accepting the fact that I would never be a size 6 or even 12.  This was my reasoning behind not exercising and not eating healthy foods.  But over the years, my weight got so out of control that I was out of breath from doing even the smallest of tasks.  I kept telling myself that I would ďstart fresh on MondayĒ dieting and exercising, but there was always an excuse so that Monday seemed to never come.  Or either Iíd start and then quickly lose motivation, again resigning myself to the thought that I was just meant to be this size.  I finally decided enough was enough when I saw the number on the scale.  I had hit an all time high and was so unhappy with what I had become.  I made up in my mind to kick this weight loss plan into gear, because if not, I might not make it to that fresh start on Monday.  I had previously signed up on LBE and received all the text messages that Mikel sent and they started motivating me more.   I realized that I wasnít in this on my own and there were people I could turn to for support.  I completely changed my way of thinking about food and started becoming more active.  Just doing those simple things helped me to lose 11 pounds so far this month!  Even with that small amount, I feel a differenceÖand while my journey is FAR from over, I now feel I have the tools to lead to a better me.  And I donít have to wait until MondayÖ.my fresh start is right now!!

*If you are interested in becoming a member of LBE. please fill out the membership form on this site and someone will contact you within the next 24-48 hours.*

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