With every step, press and squat, Ayanna Lyons is moving closer toward her goal of losing 100 pounds.
The 16-year-old junior at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts wears a size 24 and weighs about 300 pounds.
But she says it's time to change.
“People would say slight things, but wouldn't get to me - it's me wanting to change myself to better myself,” Ayanna says. “I'm getting in shape - I'm trying to you know live a healthier lifestyle.”
Ayanna jump-started her mission three weeks ago on an episode of the Anderson Cooper show.
He connected her with fitness instructors in D.C. who are training her at least twice a week at City Fitness Gym.
“Physical changes can come if have motivation and you can see they're willing to do the work- not shying away from anything shown them,” says Tom Brose, a CrossFit coach and a fitness instructor.
Ayanna's mother, Cherie, and sister Monet are making it a family effort.
“We push each other - help each other out - you can't just do it by yourself,” Ayanna says.
Cherie is motivated by a family history of high-blood pressure and diabetes.
So she's cooking healthy meals at home, and packing smart lunches for the girls.
And while Ayanna's journey is just beginning, in the first weeks, changes have already begun.
“I told her, I said, ‘you looking a little smaller there girlie,’” Cherie says.
Ayanna, Cherie and Monet plan to start attending fitness classes in addition to their training sessions.
ABC7 will follow Ayanna's progress and keep you updated.