Shining Star: Beverly Thomas

Shining Star: Beverly Thomas

A mother of three from Steubenville was able to find herself through fitness.

Now she's inspiring her daughters and motivating other moms to get moving.

Beverly Thomas never could have guessed that she'd go from Zumba student to Zumba teacher. But, now the business owner has created a sense of community focused on fitness and family.

Those around her can’t say enough about her.

“I think it's her spunk,” Shaylyn Cain said. “She has so much spunk about her.”

“You just want to be with her,” Erin Dennis said. “You want to be around her.”

Thomas, who founded Bodies by Bev in Wintersville and Weirton, emits an energy that's contagious.

“I can be dead tired, but if I walk in here, I'm ready. Let's do this! It's passion, I love it,” she said.

Others are picking up on that same passion and seeing results.

“I've weighed over 280 pounds,” Jennifer Litman said. “I've lost 70 pounds since November.”

“This was two Christmas's ago, and since then I've lost about 70 pounds, and she inspires me,” Cain said. “She inspires me every day.”

Several years ago, Bev needed some inspiration herself.

She lost both of her parents when she was just 19 and 20 years old.

“I kind of fell into a deep hole of despair,” she said. “I drank a lot. I was very unhappy, and that's why I gained the weight. I was just very unhappy … lost. So for me, this it helped me build a better relationship with myself, my family, my husband.”

Now, knowing what it's like to be in their shoes, Bev works to make others feel stronger physically and emotionally.

“I have women who come in who are thin, they're not here to lose weight, they just need something,” Bev said. “They've gotten divorced, or they've switched jobs or just a bad place in their life. Men too. They come here, and you feel like you're a part of something.”

“She changed everything,” Dennis said. “I was stuck in a rut. I had no idea who I was and I came. I know who I am now. I 'm not just a mom, I'm not just a wife, I'm me. And she's just a complete inspiration.

“This is, it's home. This is my fit family."

This week’s Shining Star is showing others how to overcome their struggle with a little sweat and a lot of support.

Bev teaches Zumba and leads a class she created called beatboxing, a class so popular, she started a second business in Weirton.

She also volunteers her time at various health fairs and events throughout the Ohio Valley.

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