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Lexington family's journey to losing pounds together

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT)-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 66.2% of Kentucky adults are overweight and many admit to getting no physical activity at all.

Amber Philpott has the story of one Lexington family's journey and their refusal to be a part of that statistic. Why they made the decision to get healthier together and in turn saw the weight drop.

Shannon and Steven Smith are a bit competitive, but pushing each other to near failure has been what it took to change their lives.

In the last few years the Smith's have been on a journey together.

That journey is one that involves marriage, four kids and also gaining and losing weight.

Shannon Smith has lost 85 pounds while Steven has lost a whopping 150, combined the couple is down some 240 pounds total.

The Smith's pursuit to lose the weight came in the form of two different wake up calls.

Doctors told Steven if he didn't lose the weight, a number of health problems could be in his future and Shannon took notice when she overheard her daughter talking about her school pictures.

"Look how bad I look in this picture and I could hear her say the things that I had said," said Shannon Smith.

It was time for a change for this family, no gimmicks or fad diets.

"We said this was going to be a lifestyle change, people don't like hearing that, it kind of scares them," said Steven Smith.

For Shannon it meant getting in the gym, a place she wasn't comfortable being.

Steven joined too, giving up his vice of soft drinks.

"There was a contest at our gym sort of a Biggest Loser one, I ended up losing 50 pounds in two months, but I was really committed," said Steven Smith.

The Smith's were also committed to changing the family way of eating and that meant giving up convenience and junk.

"I am ashamed, we probably ate four to five times a week easy fast food," said Shannon Smith.

Now its about eating healthier at home, and making better choices.

Shannon says she tries to drink a gallon of water a day and as for the kids she doesn't even buy juice anymore.

So far the Smith children have bought in and even the family pets enjoy healthier snacks too.

Dog treats have been replaced by carrot sticks something Shannon says was an easy switch.

For the Smith's their goal wasn't about losing weight, that was just the perk of getting healthier.

Shannon says being realistic was key for her.

"When I set out to do this I never said I am going to eat another french fry, I will never eat ice cream again because I am setting myself up for failure."

The Smith's say they are by no means the poster family for losing weight, but if being lighter on the scale, gives them the benefit of being able to have more energy for their children then that truly outweighs those lost pounds.

"I feel like I can connect because I have been where so many people are, if I can do this you can do it."

Earlier this year the Smith's were honored by the American Heart Association for their efforts to live a healthier life.

Both Shannon and Steven are still committed to being healthier.

We asked Shannon to share her family's top tips to eating healthier.

Smith Healthier Living Tips:
-Choosing ground turkey over beef
-Snacking on fruit when craving sweets
-Apples with peanut butter has become a huge hit for a healthy snack
-Instead of ordering pizza out, try making your own-the Smith's like spinach and feta
-Drinking water has become a staple, the Smith children know they can have one non-water item a day


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