May 27, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Christine Lipe’s weight-loss story is truly inspiring. In a little more than two years, she has shed a stunning 180 pounds from her frame thanks to a combination of healthier eating habits and rigorous exercise.


The 29-year-old non-traditional John A. Logan College student is originally from Johnston City. She graduated from Victory Christian Academy in Carterville in 2003, and after spending a decade away from academia, is about to finish an Associate of Arts degree in Music Education and Music Performance from Logan. She will also be pursuing a degree in Accounting in the months ahead. She has not yet made plans beyond Logan.

Lipe said her life changed for the better in January, 2013 when she won a contest for free personal training for life from Brent Brothers at The Den Fitness Center in Carterville.

“He started training me and I lost 150 pounds the first year,” she said. “My weight loss has slowed a lot since then, but that’s because I actually began to live, which I wasn’t really able to do before I lost the weight. Since my initial weight loss, I have gone on to drop an additional 30 pounds for a total of 180 to date,” Lipe said. “My life is completely different now from how it was at my heaviest weight. I’m much happier than I used to be. I’m certainly healthier.”

Lipe said she plans to maintain her level of fitness once she reaches her target weight of 175 pounds by continuing her workouts at the gym and eating right.

“I will still be working with Brent,” she said. “It’s made a big difference for me to have someone to be accountable to. That’s what I would advise others who are trying to lose weight to do. Get someone that you’re accountable to, whether it’s a spouse, friend, or whomever. It doesn’t have to be a trainer, although if you can get one, I would recommend it. That’s been the key for me.”

Lipe has been a member of the JALC choir for three years and has served as choir president each of the last two years.

“I love everything about choir,” she said. “I love being able to sing every day with my friends. I love the relationships that I’ve formed. I love how well we all get along. We’re like family. I’m constantly learning, too. I’ve been singing for years now, but I have only been taking lessons for the last four years.”

Lipe was nominated a couple of years ago by her choral director, Nathan Arnett, to win the Lifestyle Change Award, which is presented at the American Heart Association Heart Walk each fall. Lipe won the award and has served as captain of the fundraising team within the choir each of the last two years.

“I think the AHA does such great work and is such an important organization,” she said. “I love that I get to help them, even if it’s in a small way.”

Arnett said he is proud of his pupil.

“Over the last several semesters, I have seen Christine transform her life, set goals for herself, and attain many of these goals. As choir president, she has led us into many new adventures, including fundraising for the American Heart Association,” Arnett said.  “I have seen her lead groups in the Heart Walk and I have seen her honored as a representation of a healthy lifestyle change. I am so excited to see what lies ahead for Christine.  I tell her often that I hope her time at John a Logan College doesn't end anytime soon. She is an inspiration to her peers and to her instructors.”

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s signature fundraising event for Southern Illinois. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend the event on Saturday, Oct. 3 on the JALC campus.

Team captains and fundraising walkers are still being accepted.

Beth Walker, who is Corporate Events Director for the American Heart Association in Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri, said the Heart Walk is an event with the goal “to inspire and educate us on how to lead healthier lives, recognize our survivors and victims of cardiovascular disease while also funding the AHA’s mission to build healthier lives free from cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

To volunteer for AHA like Lipe, contact Beth Hanner in Career Services at John A. Logan College (985-2828, X 8424) or via email at bethhanner@jalc.edu.

  

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.