P.E. class is getting easier for eleven year old Katelynn Marshall. She jogs in place and completes her sit ups. At the same time she's losing weight. "Nine pounds and my target is about 90 more," proudly said the pretty young girl.
The Carpenter Elementary fifth grader is breaking old habits. "I used to just watch TV, drink sodas, eat chips. The only time I would get exercise was when I was going from the couch to the refrigerator to get something else to eat," recalled Katelynn. Exactly what Katelynn's coach, Sarah Ferrell discouraged everyday in class. So when Katelynn came to her for help she was overwhelmed. "It brings tears to my eyes when she comes to me and tells me that she wants to lose weight because I'm very encouraged that I'm not being the mean old P.E. teacher that everybody thinks that I am."
No, the mean ones were often other children. Katelynn's mom Arlena Marshall frequently comforted her daughter. "She used to come home crying, upset because kids would call her fat and make fun of her." Katelynn is candid about what it's like to be an overweight child. "It's bad. People look at you different because you don't amount to nothing and it makes you feel like you don't matter." Katelynn didn't like the feeling at all. "I just felt that I couldn't hang on to being fat anymore. I had to lose weight, so I just couldn't take being big anymore. I needed to feel better about myself."
The turning point came when Katelynn began researching nutrition and learned that obesity kills. Katelynn said, "I got scared, so I just said I just got to lose weight because I don't want to die."
So a lifestyle change began in her own backyard. Katelynn explained, "I have this slope kinda like a hill and I run up and down the hill to get momentum." She's now got so much going for her that nothing is getting in the way of this confident young lady. Katelynn is wanting to lose enough weight to participate on the track and swim team. She also has inspiration of being on the teen show, 'Endurance'.