Alexandria, La (KALB) - 57-year-old Linda Ayo of Ball, La set foot on a journey to better her health for the sake of her family.
The diabetic chose not to disclose her current weight to News Channel Five, but says shedding the pounds has been an uphill battle throughout her life.
Before her daughter's deployment, she signed her mother up for exercise classes without her knowledge. The initiative was meant to set Ayo on a healthier track.
That track led her to the doors of Ball fitness studio Amy Alvin. Alvin has a passion for fitness where she owns "Body by Amy" in Ball, La.
The fitness instructor says she enjoys working with women and empowering them to lead the healthiest lives possible.
"When Linda came to me, she said I want to do this. I told her I want to do this with you," Alvin said.
On May 23, Alvin and Ayo began a 10-day boot camp. The 57-year-old Ball resident couldn't be more committed to her journey-- she is currently living in the back of Alvin's fitness studio for the next 10 days.
Alvin even prepares Ayo's meals so she can form healthier eating habits. Ayo begins her morning everyday with three one-on-one workouts with Alvin.
"There's times where I feel my body begin to give out, but I push through it because I know my health depends on it and I know my family depends on me too," Alvin said.
In a year, Ayo's daughter will return from deployment and she (Ayo) plans to lose at least 50 pounds.
"I'm more worried about getting to a healthier weight than focusing so much on a number of the amount of weight i'd like to lose," Ayo said. With the support of her family and Alvin, Ayo said the journey to leading a healthier lifestyle has been the biggest challenge yet.
"I still struggle with getting up and down. My goal is to be able to play with my grand babies. With Amy's help, I'm already beginning to see some progress in my breathing," Ayo said.
Ayo is already down five pounds in seven days.
This is only the beginning for Ayo. She believes she can put the dark past of struggling with her weight in the past and each day, take a step towards a bright future of a healthier lifestyle.
Linda Ayo's 10-day boot camp will end on June 1. News Channel Five's Carmen Blackwell will follow up on her journey.
A detailed list of Ayo's diet and exercise plan designed by fitness instructor Amy Alvin, is also available in this story.