Community leaders take on a healthier lifestyle - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Community leaders take on a healthier lifestyle

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Jessica Bowman – email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Heart Challenge put on by Singing River Health System and The American Heart Association challenged several community leaders to live healthier lifestyles. Now, the final results are in,

Medallists were named after completing a 12 week fitness challenge that helped them shed the pounds.

"I lost 12 pounds," said Dorothy Shaw.

"I lost 24 pounds," said Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry.

Mayor Fortenberry left with a gold medal. Out of eight participants he lost the most weight.

"What I'm most proud of is that I dropped my blood sugar by 59 points, dropped my blood pressure from 140 over 90 to 116 over 70."

Mayor Fortenberry said he was determined to lose the weight and it was not just about coming home a winner.

"In the middle of the 12 week challenge, I lost my dad to a heart attack. And five days later, I lost my brother that's a year older than me to a heart attack. And so I really took it serious. I mean, I want to make it a lifestyle change. I want to be around for my children and my grandchildren," said Mayor Fortenberry.

A lifestyle change is also what Northrop Grumman Director of State and Local Affairs Dorothy Shaw wanted to accomplish. And she did. Shaw won the bronze medal in the competition and said she feels fantastic.

"It was an exciting time. It was something totally different for me because I don't exercise and I'm a chocoholic," Shaw said.

Shaw said she walked 30 minutes per day, five days a week and continued to stay motivated. All the participants together lost a grand total of 83 pounds.

"It worked for me and it could work for anyone," Shaw said.

The silver medalist winner was Richard Chenoweth, who owns Scranton's Restaurant in Pascagoula.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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