Man Uses His Story To Inspire Healthier Lifestyle

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(Southaven, MS) Richard Neal Came to DeSoto County to help make it the healthiest place in Mississippi.

Neal is part of a program sponsored by the Community Health Council to help get people moving.

Paige McKinny is doing it with her friends, ”Sports and stuff, that always helps, going after school with your friends and being in clubs like that. We all get together and work out and stuff."

At a "Fat Tuesday" event, students got to learn about healthy options for exercise, and even what makes up healthy food.

It’s something that helped Richard Neal lose 240 pounds in just 18 months, ”Good, whole, natural foods that the good earth gives us every single day can satisfy you the same way that bag of chips can and takes just as long to just opening the bag as it does to be slicing an apple."

Healthy food isn’t always easy to find in rows and rows of chips.

That’s why the Mississippi House approved a bill to set up a loan program to help retailers put more fresh food on their shelves.

It would apply in Counties like Tunica and Marshall with few fresh food options.

Students at the Tuesday event will take the ideas they’ve learned here and bring them back to their schools to motivate people the way Neal did them.

”It’s identifying a lot of new ideas for our school to get us involved in fitness and everything. I like it,” said McKinney, who says what she learned here, will making fitness and healthy food more fun for more people.

Neal will also appear at Hernando’s Gale Center Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8pm, to share his story, and even work out with residents in the city’s “fit club."