Participant of the Month: Ariana


When Ariana’s grandmother learned that her 9-year-old granddaughter was developing insulin resistance and would be prescribed medication, she rallied the support team together.  She wanted to do everything she could to stop the disease process in its track and make sure Ariana would be healthy.

The family listened to the treatment teams’ advice to cut out excess sugar, eat plenty of vegetables, stop frying food and stop drinking juice. Ariana took more dance classes. And when she did a repeat blood test, she no longer needed to be on medication! This goal was reached because everyone in the family participated.

Ariana said it wasn’t hard, but her grandmother noticed that at times Ariana struggled with this new way of eating.  Along with modifying her diet, Ariana continued to exercise at the BRC.  Ariana fondly calls the BRC trainer Ebony “a pusher”.   Ariana explained that Ms. Ebony “pushes me, but I love it.”

Ariana further explains that “To whom much is given much is required”.  To Ariana, that means that if someone gives you the opportunity to do something you should push yourself and try your very best to succeed.

Participant Spotlight: Rushell Walker


Almost two years ago, a mother and daughter set out on a journey to better health and well-being. At the time, Rushell did not like herself very much. She couldn’t fit into the clothes she wanted to wear. She had a hard time playing and exercising, feeling out of breath when she moved around. Her weight made her feel distant from other kids who didn’t share the same, frustrating experience.

Rushell’s mother was also going through her own struggles with weight. After she gave birth to her son, she was unable to lose the weight. At over 300 pounds, she was was burdened by all the things that came along with being morbidly obese. She couldn’t walk down the street or up stairs without becoming out of breath.

So together, mother and daughter decided to make a change. Rushell was referred to Live Light Live Right.  She started exercising with the program. At first, it was difficult to be in the program. She wasn’t used to moving around so much, nor to the feeling of exercising and having sore muscles. Then things started to change for Rushell. She started to feel energized, stronger, and the fatigue wasn’t as pronounced. She was able to wear some of the clothes that she had longed to wear. She lost 20 pounds. She started making friends. Pretty soon she was taking other exercise classes at the Y.

Rushell’s mother knew she needed to make changes in her own life as well. She decided that she would have bariatric surgery. Along with bariatric surgery, she incorporated daily exercise and eating healthy. It wasn’t an easy journey, but the journey was transformative. She lost 100 pounds, and her outlook on life has turned around completely.

Rushell’s mother wants to let all the families who are considering change to know that change isn’t easy, but the benefits are well worth the struggle. She encourages everyone to rejoice in the small changes, make changes as a family, and celebrate every step you take towards a healthy life.