(Tonia Phillips takes group exercise class with Shannon Burbridge. She is married with two grown sons. She has had several careers, a social worker, sales person and finally a school bus driver for special needs preschoolers.
She has yoyo dieted for most of her life and never exercised until until two years ago. Now she loves the "new" her and hopes to inspire others, regardless of age, size or fitness level, to take control & get healthy and fit!)
Here is her story...
I retired to Ponte Vedra Beach two years ago and decided to join a gym to get healthy. I started with three classes a week and soon increased to five times a week. Still, after one year I had not lost any weight. What was the missing link?
Last November I went to a new doctor, and I told her I wanted to lose weight. She provided a weight loss package plan for me. I thought it was cute that she believed me. The plan included the same old same old, diet and exercise. What caught my eye was an app called Lose It. I downloaded it and entered all the required info. I entered how much I wanted to lose per week ( 2 pounds was the max). It lets you know how many calories you can eat per day and when you will reach your goal. I was really excited that I could lose 62 pounds by July! Totally doable.
Shortly after I downloaded the app, my son told me he was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him. This was the final push I needed! I started looking at mother of the groom dresses and I knew everything I saw would not look the same in a plus size. I decided I was going to to lose weight for the wedding.
I began my new eating habit right after Thanksgiving and didn't weigh myself until Christmas Day. I thought if I weighed myself too soon I might get discouraged. I cut my portion sizes in half and was amazed that I still felt full after meals. I was relentless! In less than 1 month I lost 7 pounds! I never thought it would be possible to eat a cup of pasta instead of a half pound or a sandwich made with one slice of bread instead of two, but that has become my new normal. I didn't give up any particular food or eat anything special. I ate everything I used to, just less of it. I even could drink alcohol but I realized it would be better for me to have an apple than a glass of wine so I chose wisely.
By May I had lost 40 pounds. My doctor slowly lowered my my blood pressure medicine and I now am medication free. What an unexpected benefit!
I finally reached that goal (67 pounds in 293 days) this past weekend!
I have 10 more months to go until the wedding. I have given away some of my clothes that no longer fit and plan to go shopping for that dress!
Side note from Shannon: This woman has such a joyful smile and beautiful energy. I was so inspired by her story and her commitment. I hope her story inspires everyone to take control of their health and well-being!