May 30, 2015

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Fondren to sign book Saturday

Published 11:14 am Friday, May 9, 2014

Linda Fondren

Fitness guru encourages healthy choices, positive thinking

With an affinity to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle, Linda Fondren kicked off a 17-week weight loss campaign on Oct. 17, 2009, called Shape Up Vicksburg. The cumulative weight lost by participants in the community was 15,000 pounds, and in 2010, she was named a CNN Hero for her efforts. Now, the local celebrity and health advocate has written a book, “Shape Up Sisters!” which she will be signing Saturday at Lorelei Books. 

“I wrote the book to get people inspired and motivated,” said Fondren, who says her desire to help others start leading healthier lives came after one of her sisters died in 2006.

Mary Washington died from a brain tumor, writes Fondren, but said it was obesity that took her life.

“When Mary confessed on her deathbed, with profound regret, that obesity had robbed her of the ability to live her 54 years to the fullest, I knew I had to do something to help women like her pursue a new path,” Fondren said.

“Most people across this country think they can’t afford to lose weight. They think they need to join a program that costs a lot of money or they think they need their own personal trainer and private chef, like all those celebrities they see on TV They think they need special, magical food or supplements —gimmicks, and they just can’t afford that,” she writes.

What they need is a plan, said Fondren.

“Your current health is not due to lack of time or money. It is the result of a series of choices you have made year after year,” she said.


“Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the illusion of not having time that we waste even more time,” Fondren said.

“The main reason you do not make fitness and healthy eating a priority is because you are putting energy into too many other things that do not benefit you long-term.”

Fondren said to take energy spent watching TV or talking on the phone and channel it into self-motivation.

Once one makes the choice to lead a healthier and more positive lifestyle, “it’s like the whole world opens up, Fondren said.

“You can accomplish anything you put your mind,” she said.

Fondren suggest starting with small steps towards achieving a healthier lifestyle.

“Quick fixes don’t work,” she said, “slow and steady wins the race.”

Fondren said her book, “Shape Up Sisters!” focuses on getting the right mindset offering readers motivation and encouragement to help empower them to take control of their physical and mental well-being. The book includes several chapters on using “Mother Wit” -— that which Fondren calls common sense- — healthy shopping tips, exercises, recipes, a fitness plan and it also includes accounts from individuals and a chapter on Fondren’s own personal story.

Being healthy is different for each person. For some it might mean just being able to roll around on the floor with your grandchildren or to dance, and to accomplish those goals one must adjust their lifestyle, she said.

“The only way positive change can come into your life is if you seek it out, make it a priority and embrace it,” said Fondren.

The book signing will run Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at 1103 Washington St. For more information, call 601-634-8624 or

If you go

Lorelei Books has scheduled a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at 1103 S. Washington St. Local resident, Linda Fondren will sign her book, “Shape Up Sisters!” For more information, call 601-634-8624 or