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RISMEDIA, Jan. 17, 2007-Wake up tomorrow and start your life over. A few years ago Real Estate Apprentice Grand Prize Winner for Season five, Dawn Heinemann did just that. The difficulty of tying her shoes and even walking down the block was so frustrating that she got on a stationary bike and rode for two minutes. At 260 pounds, the two-minute workout was exhausting.

"I had had enough. I had a moment of clarity," said Heinemann, who was thin in high school but started gaining weight in her late 20s and early 30s. "I said, I'm either going to die from complications of obesity, or I'm going to change my life."

After her workout, she curled up into a ball on the floor feeling humiliated, but she committed to riding for three minutes the next day. And she kept that up, progressing slowly but surely, and also eliminated unhealthy food choices. From 2001 to 2002, she lost 120 pounds.

"Some of my old supervisors didn't recognize me," said Heinemann, 41, who is now an outstanding rookie real estate agent in Tucson, Arizona. After keeping the weight off and taking up running half-marathons, she is now coaching walkers to train for a 5K event.

"Everything is falling into place, and I feel like I am right where I should be, all is right with the world," says Heinemann.

Recently she had her running photo splashed all over the morning Arizona Star Newspaper being featured in the Accent (Lifestyle) Section. "My phone has not stopped ringing, people I haven't heard from in ages are emailing and calling me, and several have already signed up for the Commit to be Fit Program I am involved in, even before I give my presentation," says Heinemann.

The Commit to be Fit Program is something Heinemann got involved with at her local hospital that is designed to help people get off the couch and start a walking program, and then end up by walking their first 5K.

"Its all part of my work/life balance that I wanted so badly, and now I've got it. What a great way to get involved in the community as a real estate agent and give something back at the same time," added Heinemann.

Heinemann, an active and smart-working rookie, currently has transactions in escrow, is actively working with three sets of buyers, and has others that will be buying in the next 3-6 months. Heinemann said that she also has several buyers interested in one of her client's $3 million listings! "Life Is Good! I'm happier than I have ever been, and I absolutely love what I do, even with all the challenges that come along with my new real estate career," added Heinemann.

"It's just amazing how Dawn's life has improved," said John Corbett, who owns All About Running & Walking Store and will lead the 5K training walks from his store. Corbett, who began running just over a decade ago after learning his cholesterol was 306, finds Heinemann's story inspiring. "What I'm hoping will come across . . . is that it can – not to be overly dramatic – change your life."

Heinemann plans to show a photograph of herself before she lost the weight. "It's weird. It's like looking at somebody else." She does not have many photos because she always made sure she was the person taking the picture, so she would not have to be photographed and face her weight. "You learn all these little tricks," she said. But she doesn't need them any more. Heinemann runs, practices yoga, lifts weights and still goes for a ride on her trusty stationary bike where her journey began.

"Dawn Heinemann, exemplifies an outstanding example of overcoming adversity and bringing others along on the ride," says Dr. Martin Oliver, deputy executive director of the Real Estate Apprentice Grant Foundation. "We knew that Dawn was a winner when we picked her, and every day you can see her victory begin to manifest a little more," Oliver added.

Highlights in the Real Estate Apprentice Grant Program 30 month history, where Heinemann got her Grand Prize Winner's Grant composed of $70,000 of real estate products and services include:

Processing over 11,000 applications from new licensed agents in almost all 50 states.
Proving product and service grants to rookie's worth over $1,000,000/year with no strings attached or pay back required.

Enjoying extensive media coverage with over 100 stories published nationwide including radio interviews.

Having September 1st proclaimed Real Estate Apprentice day in Kansas.

Special thanks to Jennifer Duffy health, nutrition, and fitness reporter for The Arizona Star for her original interview and contributions on this article.

For information on sponsorship opportunities within the Real Estate Apprentice Grant Program contact Dr. Oliver at 949-600-7188 or by e-mail at