Lovey Jackson-Craddock is a regular at the gym.

And she has been for the last 25 years.

The Bennington woman first started working out at the Butler-Gast YMCA at 35th and Ames because of health issues. She had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and was dangerously close to a diabetes diagnosis.

Through regular exercise, she was able to drop about 35 pounds and get her health issues under control.

“I’d rather be back and forth to the gym than the doctor,” Jackson-Craddock said.

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Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I started working out about 25 years ago because of health issues. Maintaining is very hard, but I’m able to do it.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: It all depends on the day. Sometimes, I’ll go in and do weights, the treadmill or elliptical. A lot of times, I’m back and forth doing the different classes. I’m there five to six days a week, sometimes twice a day.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: Maintaining my weight. I’ve lost probably 35 pounds.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: My biggest accomplishment is maintaining my weight and keeping my cholesterol and blood pressure down. When I had all the health issues, I wasn’t able to do the things I can now. I’m able to get out more and do more with my family.

Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

A: The toughest hurdle was getting my weight under control. The way I accomplished it was changing my diet and working out. There were big changes (to my diet), like eating baked foods instead of fried foods and not eating fast food. Once I gradually started making that change, I started to see a difference in my health. I felt a lot better.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: It’s a place that I really love to go to. I look forward to going there. It’s more than just going and working out. You get to meet other people and talk to them about their issues.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: When people play their music and they don’t have earbuds in. It makes it harder for you to get into your workout.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: I’m a dancer with A Step Above The Rest, a group of hip-hop line dancers. I love church and am very involved in church.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: I love to wear bright clothes, fluorescent clothing and shoes. It kind of motivates me and lifts my spirits. When I look good, it makes me feel good.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a fitness journey?

A: Don’t give up. Take it one day at a time and keep moving forward.

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