Ashley Johnston took a walk in Blount County Saturday and a crowd followed.
Johnston, runner up in the NBC television weight loss challenge show “The Biggest Loser,” led the second annual Moving Together: One Step Closer Walk.
Johnston, who weighed 374 pounds when starting “The Biggest Loser,” said she came to the event with hopes that a lot of community members would join her. “I just want people to know that I started there, and I now weigh 190 pounds and can run a mile. It’s not impossible. You can walk. Walking is a huge deal. I just want people to know that if I can do it, then they can do it.”
To help increase awareness of this public health crisis and promote healthy choices, the Blount Memorial Weight Management Center hosted the fun-and-fit community event. More than 140 other participants joined Johnston in the walk, and she signed autographs for their fans and talked with them about their weight-loss journeys.
The event included activities for all ages, including children’s activities, music and a one-mile walk.
Funds raised through this event support local efforts to help people move one step closer to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Blount Memorial bariatric coordinator, registered nurse and certified bariatric nurse Dana Bradley said she was glad to have Ashley Johnston at the event because she is very inspirational. “Many of us saw Ashley’s struggles with weight loss on ‘The Biggest Loser.’ She is from our area, and I feel that people can relate to her. Her motivation and dedication to becoming healthier inspires a lot of people.”