Children: Two, ages 14 and 18
Occupation: Business Analyst and business owner
Many people turn to food as a source of comfort when they struggle through hardship and loss. Lynne Andrews made a different choice by turning her grief into a passion for health and fitness, eventually losing more than 50 pounds.
During the holiday season of 2014, Andrews found herself relocating back to Memphis to help her siblings care for their mother. While going over her family health history, Andrews realized many of their ailments came from preventable diseases like congestive heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. It was then that Andrews decided to take control of her health and set a good example for her daughters. Her mother soon lost her two-year battle with myeloma cancer at the young age of 64.
With both parents deceased, a failed business, and an exhausting divorce behind her, Andrews began her quest for health at the age of 39 weighing in at 177-180 pounds. Having failed with diets and gimmicks in the past, she chose to do the opposite — working out and eating right. She slowly started making small changes to her diet, eliminated stressors in her life, and began walking. “I came to realize that walking was an excellent way for me to relax and get out my frustrations.”
As Andrews saw results, she began to study health and fitness as well as natural cures for common issues. Through these methods, she whittled her way down to 150-155 pounds. Once there, however, she reached a plateau. She began to seek out other healthy and fit individuals to share knowledge, advice, and inspiration. Andrews soon found her way to trainers Kevin “YorkFitness” Brown and Kevin Reed. Since working with Brown in March
2015, Lynne has surpassed her weight loss goals through clean eating and exercise. He also coached her to compete in her first fitness competition — something she never dreamed she would do. On the day of the competition, Andrews weighed in at 130 pounds. It was the first time in her life wearing a bikini, which she did on stage and in public. “Competing in the Dexter Jackson Memphis Classic was empowering, and I hope to get on the stage again,” she said.
Andrews has been through a total transformation over the past two years and is on her way to achieving her next goal: competing in the Dexter Classic in 2016. She plans to be better prepared by building more muscle to compete in the figure category.
Andrews’ story is one of overcoming hardships and grief and turning them into something positive. “What I’ve come to realize is that the healing cannot start until we pick ourselves up and begin loving ourselves better and fighting for our own happiness,” she said.
by Christin Yates
Photo by Michael Webb