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‘Inner beauty makeovers’ empowering

Triumphant Transitions coordinator LaTrice Edwards (left) Julie Lewis both Gary johands prayer kick off Love Fitness Empowerment Day Sojourner Truth

Triumphant Transitions coordinator LaTrice Edwards (left) and Julie Lewis, both of Gary, join hands in prayer to kick off Love and Fitness Empowerment Day at Sojourner Truth House in Gary, Ind. | Jeff Addison~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 8, 2013 2:06PM



After seven years of treating women in transition with outer beauty makeovers, Triumphant Transitions founder and director LaTrice Edwards decided to treat a group of women clients from Sojourner Truth House to an inner beauty makeover with a Love and Fitness Empowerment Day.

Triumphant Transitions Inc. was established Valentine’s Day, 2005 as a faith-based organization with a purpose to “Change Lives One Makeover at a Time.” The annual event has served more than 300 clients in Gary, Merrillville, Indianapolis and Chicago, including Hurricane Katrina survivors and clients in transition to successful independent living.

Held Feb. 18 at Sojourner Truth House, the extended Valentine’s Day event included self-esteem and empowerment and fitness sessions with Edwards and her special guests.

“I decided to make 2013 a health empowerment initiative because I know and know of too many young people dying from strokes, heart attacks or diabetes. It is great to look good on the outside, but if you don’t take care of yourself from the inside, it is not going to matter,” Edwards said.

After leading the women in prayer and a pep talk, Edwards introduced them to YWCA Jazzercise instructors Frieda Graves and her nephew, Chandler Trout. With a little coercing, some of the women got on stage and did a “light” version of a Jazzercise routine.

Trout told the ladies that Jazzercise and a change in eating habits worked for him as he’s lost more than 70 pounds working out with his aunt. They later passed out business cards inviting the women to a free Jazzercise class at the YWCA.

The women then participated in two Triumphant Transitions Life Empowerment workshops.

Dr. Tammye Matthews of Restored Inc. in Chicago, is a naturopathic doctor and life coach who teaches detox classes, and holistic health and wellness classes. Matthews said when she chose a holistic health lifestyle three years ago she had high blood pressure, fibroids and weight gain.

“I was 60 pounds overweight,” she said. She added that she was inspired by a friend whose mother had lupus.

“My friend made changes and so did I. Many of us have the mindset, ‘if my mother had an illness then I’m supposed to have it, too.’ We no longer have to believe in that,” she continued.

Matthews also had the women chant positive affirmations celebrating their beauty, strength, power, intelligence and creativity.

After lunch, Zumba instructor Niki Whitehead Woods, of Gary, led the afternoon workout, followed by a motivational session from minister Renee Jones and her husband Kim Jones, of Houston.

Julie Lewis, of Gary, said she was glad she came to the event.

“At first I was not coming. Dr. Matthews definitely taught me about holistic health,” she said.



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