Update May 2016 – Donna is celebrating her 10 year weight loss anniversary and she’s written a book about healing from food addiction and transforming her life.
“It’s been 10 years since I started my journey to lose 100 pounds. In 2016, I ran my first marathon at Disney, continued to teach boot camp classes that motivate women like me, and was recently nominated for Chattanooga Tennessee’s Best of the Best Trainers. In 2011, I shared my story in Ebony Magazine and since then I have written a book about my battle with food addiction! We all have addictions and mine were Chocolate chip cookies. My book is called Smoking Cookies: A Real-Life Guide to Conquering Food Addictions and Transforming Your Life. My goal is for God to use me to empower women to move for a lifetime and feel their best! I’m a former fat girl who understands the struggles of being teased and being able to find that “starting point”. I love who I am ten years later! God is good.”
Weight Loss Transformation of the Day: Donna lost 95 pounds, going from a size 24 to a size 12. This dynamic Radio/TV personality has taken her personal triumph and turned it into a movement to help women lose weight and get healthy. Read all about how she lost the weight.
I’ll never forget Labor Day 2004. It was a day with family, food, and lots of laughter. I’ll never forget that day. Kids in the family were playing outside and I was STUCK inside. Why??? Because I was still eating my second plate, too tired, and too lazy to get outside and enjoy life with the rest of my family. I knew right then that I had to change my mindset because I had an addiction. Yes, food is an addiction. Sone people drink alcohol, some people smoke cigarettes. I used to SMOKE A PACK OF COOKIES every night! LOL…Labor Day was the day that changed my life forever. I knew that I had a wonderful personality inside ready to come out. I wanted people to see something besides the girl with the “pretty face” wearing a
I was the kid that was teased in school and the overweight Radio/TV personality in the public eye. I wanted to LIVE and that’s when the journey began. I spoke with my mother and my then eight-year-old son. I told them that I needed their support! I wanted to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF! My mother and I joined a weight loss program and began working out together. She has lost 100lbs also! My son would be at the gym working out and cheering us on. I had then lost 50 pounds! Yes!! Then another life changing event happened in my family. A close relative was battling cancer for years. We would have talks about my weight loss, because she also struggled with obesity for years. I told her I was thinking of being a fitness instructor for plus size women. She then gave me words that changed my life. ”Donna, when you teach, take the time to talk to women about how they can change their lives and why they over eat!” I listened and I began teaching thru healthy lifestyle coaching! My relative passed from Colon cancer and I remembered her words and was reminded that God called me to do more! I realized I had a platform in media, that I could use to encourage other women like me!
I began working out at D1 Sports Training. My son Brandon, 14 at the time, suggested I teach there. My response, “No Brandon, those people are too athletic there…But do you think I can do it? “ He said, “Yes Mama, I know you can!” I began my own program in 2010 at D1 Sports Training in Chattanooga; Donna’s D.I.V.A.s (determined individuals valuing activities) workout classes. I had several people that told me it wouldn’t work. “Black women won’t workout! Women don’t have time, they have families!” However, that was untrue. My first class had 65 women from all walks of life; mothers, wives, daughters, career women, blue collar. We all had one goal….to LIVE, to lose weight, and invest time for us. Through my mom’s encouragement, the trainers at D1, my son’s motivation, Donna’s D.I.V.A.s and realizing I’m worth it, I’ve lost almost 100lbs. I was a size 24 and now I’m a size 12! (height 5’11″). In April 2011, I WAS FEATURED IN EBONY MAGAZINE!! People ask me how long has it taken? I have decided to take things slow! There’s no rush because I don’t want to gain it back like before. I have lost 25lbs per year and have practiced maintaining it and then I go on to the next loss.
I started working out 10 years ago and I began with Weight Watchers and now I use My fitness pal. Now, I make better choices. I focus on eating in moderation instead of elimination and I give myself treat days! I workout 5-6 times a week and I have ran 2 half marathons. I am really into Cross Training at D1 Sports Training. We flip tires, push buggies, sprint, etc. I am now an athlete and I’m doing all of the things I couldn’t do when I was overweight! Occasionally I do other classes but I love the hardcore fun stuff! God has been good!
I know I can only continue this journey if I help others. I have motivated over 2,000 women to move so far in Chattanooga, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Nashville and my goal is to get 100,000 women nationwide to move for a lifetime. My advice is to be patient, have a support team, forgive yourself if you fall off, push away from the table and get your POWER back by hitting the gym (learn to love it) because you are WORTH IT!