Falfurrias, TX

Bio: As an advocate for migrant and seasonal farm workers, and past president of the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association’s parent affiliate, LeeAn is always out in the community speaking to people about the struggles of migrant workers and the importance of education. In 2011, she traveled to Washington, D.C. for a National Head Start conference attended by President Barack Obama. But at 5’6 and 263 pounds, LeeAn said she feels self-conscious in front of crowd. “When I get up to speak, my weight is a real disadvantage. I feel like a lot of people judge you by the way you look,” she said. A mother of two, LeeAn reached her peak weight of 370 in 2010 and began eating better and going to Zumba classes. She laid off on the soda, chips and fast food and started eating chicken, fish and vegetables. Her efforts paid off; she lost more than 100 pounds. Losing the last 60 pounds, however, has proven tough. “I feel like right now I am on a plateau. I am kind of stuck. But I am hoping that if I kick start it up a little bit, something will give,” she said. When her mother read about H-E-B’s Slim Down Showdown competition in a company magazine, LeeAn thought it could be the boost she was seeking. “My sons already tell me, ‘Mom, when you hit the track, we are going to be right there with you,’” said LeeAn, who is looking forward to the day she and her husband can dance to Spanish music without tiring so easily.

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