Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bonnie's Story - Can you do this too? Of course you can!

Do you often think to yourself that weight loss is impossible? 

Do you ever feel like giving up? 

It's true that weight loss is a hard road but its defiantly not impossible. My friend Bonnie is proof that it can be done. I hope you enjoy her story.

You can find her on twitter: @TeachyBon and follow her BLOG
    1. Why did you decide to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one & lose weight?
    2. How and what changes did you make? 
    3. What have been the hardest and easiest parts of this journey?
    4. How has your life changed?
    5. what advice would you give to others trying to become more healthy.
Before Pic: 

I was not always overweight. On the contrary, Big Bonnie was not the norm. I was skeletal as a child, skinny in high school. I was always active. I played outside, rode my bike, took dance and gymnastics classes. My mom kept healthy food in the house. We had treats, but they weren't the norm. Trauma in my 20's introduced me to food as a comforting friend, and wow did we hit it off. When I graduated high school, I was 135 pounds. By the time I was 28, I was over 220 pounds.

I was constantly out of breath. My feet ached. My knees hurt all the time. Fat from around my neck would push on my neck at night and wake me up. My hips hurt from laying in bed when I woke up.

I was always a talker, always funny and ready with a joke. My jokester personality went out of control – because if I'm funny, maybe you won't notice that I'm fat.

Well mean questions from friends and family hurt me. Who can blame them? I gained a huge amount of weight in a very short time. They had every right to be concerned.

I tried Atkins, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers... every diet plan known to man. Nothing worked. I lost 9 pounds on Weight Watchers, then slowly gained it back. Weigh ins turned into tearfests. I was trying so hard. Why wasn't this working? I stopped going.

In 2009, I lost 14 pounds in yet another attempt to lose weight. At the time, I thought – lame, Bonnie. 14 pounds in one year – who cares? However, that year set a strong foundation for what was to come in 2010. Throughout 2009, I made very small changes. Carrying a water bottle with me everywhere. Switching to fat free flavored creamer in my coffee instead of tons of cream and sugar. Cutting back on alcohol. Tiny changes I could live with, and not feel like I was denying myself. Those 14 pounds were enough to take me from a BMI of obese, to just at the line for overweight.

For Christmas that year, I received a Wii Fit. I knew that the Wii Fit was going to change my Mii (a little avatar version of me) from the skinny self I created, into a more realistic version of myself. I dreaded it. Sure enough, just like in life, my skinny Mii ballooned into a chunker. I got a little teary. It was like watching it happen again.

My big joke was that I was allergic to exercise. I wasn't really sure what I could do with myself anyway. A few years back, I made an attempt at yoga, but my body got in the way. Walking hurt. But, I could play for 30 minutes on my Wii. I remember waking up sore, but a new sore than I usually woke up with.. I weighed in on my Wii every day. To my amazement, the weight was coming off.

If I was going to exercise, I didn't want to ruin it by continuing to eat junk until I was sick. I needed to make more changes, but I didn't know what. I started reading EVERYTHING about weight loss and food I could get my hands on. I got an air popper, and quit my nightly bag of Movie Theater Butter Popcorn. I bought FRUIT and ATE IT before it rotted.

I learned that my daily lunch - microwave “diet” meals have too much sodium, so I quit them. I found ways to make quick, easy healthy dinners at home, and stopped ordering take out or hitting the drive thru for dinner every night.

January, February, and March passed. I had some really rough things happen during that time, but instead of eating my feelings I exercised them. The Wii was getting easy! I started the Couch to 5k running program, and the pounds continued dropping even faster than before.

I know for many people, weight loss is a struggle. I have to be honest – once I started going, for me it wasn't. I look back at my weight loss though the year, and it was very steady and stable. I had one meltdown one time, because I was sick of brown rice, grilled chicken, and vegetables, for dinner each night and I missed Taco Bell and Chick Fil A. At this point I learned moderation. I don't need a 12 nugget super sized meal. A kids meal will satisfy me, and not leave me feeling deprived. I know that many people completely cut out fast food – that isn't me. I eat everything I want to, I'm just reasonable about it. I felt amazing, it was worth it to me.

I've lost almost 70 pounds total from 2009. All of the materials I read warned me to prepare myself – my life wasn't going to magically change from losing weight. It would be the same, I would just be smaller. But, my life has completely changed! How could it possibly be the same? The girl that is allergic to exercise, and the girl training for a half marathon can't live the same life. My Mii is small again. I run 3-4 times a week. I go to boot camp and kickboxing weekly. I am infinitely more fulfilled, I am happier than I thought I could be. I am confident. I am still funny, still the same jokester, but not quite as obnoxious about it now. It's okay if you notice me for me.. I'm a pretty cool person, and I don't need to distract you from anything.

Can you do this too? Of course you can! I have two friends that I know of that I have inspired. One has lost 65 pounds, and the other has lost 20. I'm honored to be a part of their journey. Start small! Find little changes that you can live with. Swap out 1 thing in your lunch for a healthier choice. Drink more water. Find an exercise you can do. I always wanted to run, but when I started, I was in no shape to. I had to work my way there. It might be Wii Fit, it might be walking. We all start somewhere and there is no shame! The shame is in wasting time, wasting your life being miserable. I deserved more. I was worth more. You are too!

After Pic:


fitegicplanners said...

Thanks so much for sharing her story - I read her blog and she's one heck of a gal. What I really find special is that she took her journey one day at a time, each day making small changes that added up to huge success.

Bonnie C. said...

Alan, thanks for sharing my story!

Fitegicplanners, thank you for your kind comments. The small changes took a while to add up, but I hope that means it will be easier to keep it off!

Yum Yucky said...

you are awesome, girlfriend! And gah! I remember those "diet" micro meals I was so fond it. No no no. Not a good thing. LOL!

Emily said...

I feel like I am reading a post about myself! Thanks for sharing Bonnie! I am trying to get back to normal and out of my lazy weight gaining rut.

Zineb said...

Alan thank you for sharing Bonnie's story! So inspiring!! Now I wish I had a Wii =)

Bonnie C. said...

Thank you for the sweet comments! :)

Reeti Jamil said...

holy cow, it's amazing how u've slimmed down! you smile and flaunt your body so fabulously, who could tell that you had a harsh past life when one sees you in your present state? i hear people saying that once weight loss incurs, it does not change one's life. ahh, why should we believe in such falsehood? we are incurring weight loss for change... significant change which is bound to happen if we work for it. Not only do we have new clothes in our closets, but we also have a more confident mind set which helps us with others areas of our lives.

jenn@slim-shoppin said...

Great story! You look great!!! I've lost 30 pounds, but have been stuck there forever - you've inspired me to keep going!