Local woman's fitness journey goes viral

By  | 

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Before Leneathra Reed began working out in November, she weighed in at 626 pounds. Since she’s begun training with her instructor, Frank Harbin, she’s lost nearly 30 pounds – under the 600 marker for the first time in over two years.

Reed decided a little over two months ago she needed to make a change in her lifestyle when she was struggling to move around at work and in other daily activities.

“I would stop in the hallways, pretend like I was talking to like other coworkers just to mask that I couldn’t breathe,” Reed said.

Although Reed was having issues getting around at work, her biggest motivation for stepping into the gym was her 23-month-old daughter, Kenlyn – worried about how prospective health issues might affect her ability to parent.

“That’s my heart and I just can’t see anybody else raising her so I have to do this for my daughter. And just looking at her smile and watching her light up looking at me, that’s enough for me to keep going anyway.”

Three to four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes a day, Harbin oversees Reed’s cardio and strength training at Total Body Transformation Gym in Meridian. In addition to the weight loss, Reed says she feeling more energized.

“It’s helping a whole lot, I can get around at my job a lot better, too,” she said. “Even those few pounds that I’ve lost, I can tell the difference in my back. I can actually breathe better”

Harbin has also noticed a difference in Reed’s self-esteem at the gym.

“She has more confidence in herself now,” he said. “Which, at first, she was worried about people watching her – people saying things. Now
she’s just taking it in stride.”

And Reed’s weight loss journey has garnered followers from across the globe. Harbin uploaded a video to Facebook of one of Reed’s workouts which has been viewed over 50 million times – many viewers reaching out with words of encouragement. Harbin has since been streaming Reed’s sessions.

“No matter when we go live, the whole wor – ya’ll don’t understand – the whole world is motivating this woman,” Harbin said.

The world might be motivating Reed, but she’s using her workouts as an opportunity to motivate others.

“Why not get up and get off of my behind and show people that just because you’re big, that does not mean – that does not mean that you have to sit there and just take it.” she said. “When you admit that you have a problem, and you admit that it’s something that you need to get up and do something about, you can do it.”

Reed’s time in the gym is also being supplemented with a balanced diet.