Erika

Patient Leader

I began my journey as a obese mother of two tipping the scale at 240 pounds. I assumed that it was just part of life to be a fat wife & mom; it was just a normal progression of life. I battled through all the misconceptions, gimmicks, and depression to finally discover that living healthy does not reside in a bottle, billboard, or infomercial. I did not recognize, at that time, that I was depressed, embarrassed by the way I looked, and was not setting a good example for my children. My only goal, at that time, was to try and lose weight so that I could be healthier for my family. I always chuckle when people ask how many months it took me! I was only able to focus on one day at a time it took two years to finally lose and control my weight; and over four years to transform my body. I did not just want to be a smaller version of myself, I wanted to be toned and re-shape my body. From my struggle, I developed a class, Fitzone By Erika, that is based on my experiences of what fat feels like with a support system for success that includes strength training. I know how it feels to be fat and understand personally what my participants are going through. Too many workouts have people thinking it has to be quick and that old school motto of, "no pain, no gain." Being fat, which I was, enabled me to develop a vision of helping encourage others in my community which was all I have focused on. SOME PEOPLE HAVE STREET SMARTS, I HAVE FAT SMARTS. I understand the struggle, the depression, the tears, the blind faith, and the shouts of joy for each weight loss milestone reached, or frustration of those missed. My goal now is to encourage people and to help them discover their inner beauty so they can truly transform ALL parts of their lives. With no blueprint or vision of what I expected to accomplish in the field fitness, I have been blessed be grow in my community by those around me in a grassroots movement mobilized by believing in others and truly caring. My community has supported my vision and it has grow to a place where other want to listen to me and I am humbled by that. It is amazing what one can build when monetary goals are not the focus. With the outreach, I created a website to encourage, share healthy information, and to connect with my community online, which now includes people outside of Toledo! I am also building outside of the "brick and mortar of the gym" with a local, monthly guest spot on a local television show, Rebecca Regnier's Full Plate sharing the gift of health; through writing, and as a featured writer for a local health magazine, The Minority Health Publication, I am able to further share and encourage my community ; ad through various walks, panels, and speaking engagements I am able to encourage anyone that healthy living is not a size but a way of life; and I do it as my community giveback. Most think I make a lot of money in what I do, I don't, it is truly a giveback because health is a priceless gift. With that, I wanted to help motivate and inspire Toledo, which is the 7th fattest in the country, by bringing Ms Ernestine Shepherd, the World Guinness Book Record Holder, to Toledo to help motivate and inspire my community to get moving . All the events were at no cost to anyone and I was encouraged by community with the help I received. I believe healthy living is goes beyond 30 day challenges or quick fixes; I believe in the power of people. My goal is to continue to build a presence that empowers all ages, genders, and fitness levels to believe in the power of healthy living. I have been asked to speak not only at events focused on those my age or fitness level, but also to the youth, elderly, and even males. I am honored to be able to express healthy living in a variety of forums as a way to outreach to my community. I want others to know healthy living goes beyond hitting the gym and skipping meals; I believe in the investment of you! It has NEVER been me alone, all I have been able accomplish has been through the help of my community and I am excited and focused to continue to giveback! All things begin with your health...

This Health Activist has a sincere and true passion to help all those around her be the best they can be, physically, mentally and spiritually. Her approach is client-centered and friendly. Her experience, strength and hope is well received because of her genuine enthusiasm. We appreciate Ms. White's encouragement and motivation.  — Joie

Erika is so ecstatic when she is teaching. She encourages you & makes jokes when you can't push any further. She has funny stories throughout the workout, which also make you realize that even though she is phenomenal she is just like you & I.  — Tasha

She is real. Once overweight herself she has demonstrated how to take control of your life while still living to the fullest. Motivates by teaching what she has learned and demonstrating it in her daily life. Excited, encouraging and welcoming. True real hero.  — Lindsey

Erika motivates everyone.around her to.keep a healthy.lifestyle. She is.also involved in.community health programs including contributing to the local Toledo.minority health paper,an avenue which promotes minority health.  — seyi

Erika has numerous positive, inspirational, informational post  — Kelly

Erika is very positive and always has kind words of encouragement for everyone. She is highly motivated and her energy and motivation is contagious. She speaks about her faith, friends, family and and that is quite humbling. She is a great instructor and friend.  — Kellie

Erika is a true inspiration to others. She uses her personal story as her motivation to help others. Her classes are not only fun but also educational. She teaches you the right way to lift weights and the way to do certain exercises. Erika doesn't just teach the class, she works out with the class. Her workouts are challenging but fun and when you want to give up she says something to push you further. Even after class she sticks around for questions or just to simply talk. Erika always has a positive attitude especially when it comes to health. I am not only blessed to have her as a gym instructor but also a good friend. I am glad to be able to nominate her for such an awesome award!!  — ShaCara

Erika always has useful tips and information to share. Her website and other publications always has interesting articles to read and her quotes on facebook are uplifting.  — ShaCara

Erika has been a personal inspiration to so many in Toledo who are trying to learn to get in shape. She donates a lot of her time and energy; she really cares a lot about everyone she "touches". There are many in the fitness field but very few who care enough to continuously give back and says thank you! Thank you Erika!  — Bernice

My mom is a beautiful and inspirational person! She does not only inspire me to be a caring and positive person, but also to stay fit and healthy! She is my personal role model, and I work everyday to be a future Erika White.  — Jasmine

From writing in a local health publication, to sponsoring her own fitness show, to teaching classes, to brining Ms Ernestine Shepherd to Toledo, participating in health fairs, supporting other local fitness instructors, to keeping everyone engaged through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Erika is a positive health role model who does what she can to bring healthy living to our community!  — Tasha

Erika is a kind and caring person. I love her spirit. She is pretty, smart , and funny. I enjoy her classes. She makes exercise so much fun! I love her!!!  — Barner-Truss

Erika

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