(501) Make Me Over Winners grateful for experience

While their makeover only lasted about eight months, Peggy Stone and Christina Hernandez agree it was a life-changing experience.

Friends, family, co-workers and makeover sponsors were on hand recently to celebrate the (501) Make Me Over winners at a reception hosted by American Management Corporation in Downtown Conway. Peggy and Christina work at AMC, which has been very supportive of their makeover experience.

“I have enjoyed the whole process,” Christina said. “I cannot pick one thing above the other because each person has specialized in their own unique area of expertise. I have loved every bit of it.”

Christina Hernandez.

Sponsored by 501 Advertising and Publishing, Peggy and Christina have enjoyed a makeover prize package valued up to $100,000. It has included a total smile makeover, weight loss and fitness program, nutrition counseling, skincare and nearly anything else needed for a complete makeover. They also received a pedicure and manicure, clothing and accessories, flowers, a limo ride and dinner for two.

Contest sponsors include Dalton Designer Smiles, 24/7 Fitness, US Compounding, Elan, Hurley Chiropractic, Harrington & Co., Walk This Way, Premier Designs Jewelry, Ye Olde Daisy Shoppe, Celebration Limo and Oak Street Bistro.

Looking back, Peggy didn’t realize how involved the makeover was when Christina approached her. “I thought I was getting hair and makeup,” she said, explaining that she looked at Christina at one of the initial workouts and said, “What have you gotten me into?”

Peggy Stone.

“But we knew it would be worth it and it will keep going with what we’ve learned,” Christina said.

Both required extensive dental work, which was provided by Dr. Kyle Dalton at Dalton Designer Smiles. Peggy’s work – which included a bridge and partial – is complete, and now she is not embarrassed by her smile or how her mouth looks when she laughs. “Dr. Dalton made beautiful teeth.”

Christina’s work was more extensive and will require another year and a half to complete.

In addition to their new smiles, both women have accomplished several goals. They have dropped several sizes and no longer require certain medications. Peggy was on medicine for diabetes and had to check her blood sugar three to four times daily.

“I got off my blood pressure and anti-depressant medicine,” Christina said, explaining that she has been on the latter since her mother died four years ago.

While they are excited to share their success, the end of the makeover is bittersweet because their mothers will not be in attendance at the “big reveal.” Peggy’s mom, Barbara Curtis of Batesville, died about a month ago. Peggy recalled her mom would tell her, “Sis, just remember you deserve it, and women should take time for themselves.”

After she died, Peggy was discouraged and not sure she could continue. “But I knew Mom would want me to finish strong,” she said. “I really wanted her at the bottom of those stairs, but it is OK. She’s watching from heaven.”

Peggy and Christina recognize the change in perspective that has taken place inside as well as the changes in their appearance. In addition to more self-confidence, they have gained skills and knowledge to better care for themselves and those around them. They have also discussed ways to continue some of the services they received.

“I’ve learned to take time for myself because I’m important. That’s what I learned from everybody involved,” Christina said. “Before, I felt selfish if I took time for myself.”

Both women are grateful for the experience and appreciative of the makeover sponsors. “Every person has been amazing,” said Peggy. “They’ve treated us in a way we’ve never been treated. They have spoiled us.”

“We’re so blessed by all of it,” Christina added.

Christina Hernandez (left) and Peggy Stone.