Linda Fondren transformed her life of poverty and disempowerment to one of success and returned to Vicksburg determined to make her hometown a healthier place after Mississippi was deemed the “unhealthiest state” in the nation for several consecutive years. Linda started Shape Up Vicksburg in 2009 to help residents of her hometown lose weight by offering free fitness and nutrition classes and creating a community-walking club.
For her persistent efforts and the impact on her community, Linda was chosen as a Top Ten CNN Hero of the Year for 2010. She was also selected, among distinguished leaders such as First Lady Michelle Obama, as one of The Grio’s 100 History Makers in the Making and was named 2011 Woman of the Year for the City of Vicksburg.
In 2014, Linda published her first book, Shape Up Sisters, to spread her message and offer help to a wider audience. Shape Up Sisters is a practical, inspirational and accessible guide – a get-healthy prescription for everyday women with jobs, families, and real-life obstacles.
Linda owns and manages Shape Up Sisters, a local health club for women. She is a public speaker, certified health coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor.