Jonda has an amazing transformation story. She conquered the all-too-familiar and typical yo-yo diet story we all seem to face in modern society.
Somehow in the midst of all the wealth of information, we lose sight of the simple things that seemed to come so naturallywomancolleagues to people in generations gone by.
Jonda is an intelligent and powerful professional women who struggled with weight management like most of us did.
I'm honored to have been part of her journey and success.
What I love so much about Jonda is her down to earth honesty and her work ethic; she is always willing to roll up her sleeves and get it done with no excuses. I guess that is what made her successful not only in her fitness transformation but in her professional success as well.
I had the amazing opportunity to interview her with many of my fitness colleague's from around the world. We all met at the beautiful Naggiar Vineyard to chat with Jonda:
Here is what Jonda has to say in her own words:
I was born 3 weeks past my due date and weighed in at 9lb 3oz. My mom tells me I stayed in there to get fat. As a child, I was taught to clean my plate sometimes finding myself alone at the table because everyone else had already finished.
Please don’t misunderstand. I had a wonderful childhood with a loving mother and father who wanted nothing but the very best for their children. They taught us not to be wasteful; thus the clean your plate rule.
Do you know how much food you put on your plate when you are hungry? A lot. Especially if it is something you like! As you might imagine, I became overweight tipping the scales at 155lbs and standing 5’ tall in 5th grade.
My father struggled with weight. He stood 6’ tall and fluctuated between 200-300lbs most of his adult life. He was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers so when I decided that I didn’t want to be a fat kid anymore, I asked him to take me to Weight Watchers and he did.
I completed the program and hit my goal of 119lbs. I maintained my new body through high school and into college. I married, became pregnant with my first son and tipped the scales at 187lbs in February of 1988. I was able to lose all of the weight by May of 1989 graduating college at 127lbs.
I began a career in Financial Services and life happened. The pounds crept back…2 or 3 here…another 2 or 3 there. In 1995 I gave birth to my second son topping the scales at 225lb.
Guess what? My son weighed 8lb 7oz and I left the hospital weighing 215lbs! Baby fat? I think not. I was desperate. I had never weighed this much before and vowed if I ever lost it to never gain it back. I starved myself down to 190lbs then joined another weight loss program and lost the weight yet again. Life continued.
I divorced in 1999 and later remarried. My husband was 6’ tall and weighed 160lbs soaking wet. He had never struggled with weight a day in his life. Not long after we met, he told me that his first thought when he saw me was “she could lose 15lbs”. I replied, “Funny. I thought you could gain 15lbs!” We laughed about it but it became a very sensitive issue.
At one point he asked me, “Are you going to be on a diet for the rest of your life?” I remember telling him that I had fought weight all my life and that I probably would. In 2007 I weighed 154lbs. I was scared. I didn’t want to lose my husband so I purchased yet another weight-loss program and lost 32lbs…again.
I know. I sound like a broken record. By 2011, I weighed 180lbs ... again. I was miserable and desperate. I needed something to work and work fast so this time I took pills and shots. Good lord. What was I thinking?! I managed to lose 25lbs but I knew there had to be a better way.
In 2012, I came across John’s story about his sister Lisa. I was fascinated with the research he had done on the chemical in our body that controls weight-loss and how this chemical differs in men and women.
My analytical mind ate it up! No one had ever explained it like this before. The calorie deficits, the benefits of eat-stop-eat, and maintenance days made perfect sense to me. I purchased the program, read all of the material, and looked over the workouts.
I even connected with Roberta Saum on Facebook and read her inspirational posts but with everything going on in my life, I couldn’t get it all together so I decided to master the eating portion of the program before adding in the workouts. The program worked right up until I stopped working the program!
My dad became ill and died later that year at the young age of 75. I couldn’t understand how his parents managed to live into their 90s yet he was the first and youngest of 3 children to pass. My dad died of NASH disease, which is the non-alcoholic version of sclerosis of the liver. I began to read and educate myself.
For 46 years I had walked this planet with little to no knowledge of how our bodies work. Once I realized that everything that crosses my lips must pass through my liver to be cleansed of toxins, I decided to take responsibility for my health. I became a vegetarian and decided to eat little to no processed foods.
Yes I love animals but my decision to remove meat from my diet was based more on how the FDA allows farmers to infect our food supply with poison. They say you are what you eat. Actually, you are what you eat, eats. Every steroid/hormone/chemical the animal consumes whether from food or vaccines poses a threat to our health. Our bodies cannot function efficiently when it is full of toxins so the liver works overtime to remove them. It makes sense then that if I limit the junk I ingest my liver should last longer.
I began to read labels at the grocery store. I decided against ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is found in nearly every processed food on the shelves today, and Aspartame, which is found in everything else.
Mind you, this is coming from a girl whose main vice is sweets. I couldn’t possibly eat real sugar and butter. That stuff makes you fat! Does it? I added them back into my diet because they are a far better choice than HFC or Aspartame. I ate vegetables and cheeses I had never heard of and liked them.
I felt better than I had in years but surprisingly I wasn’t losing any weight. I truly expected to lose weight by eating fruits, vegetables, cheese, pasta, and bread.
Good choices but not the answer.
After my second marriage ended, I went into a period of reflection. Over the next several months, I grew both spiritually and as an individual. I came out a different person; a stronger person. I didn’t know it right away, but I was ready.
Ready to be free from my past and make a change for the better. Little did I know that my journey would lead me to northern California where I would meet Roberta Saum! I had read about her success and actually connected with her on Facebook but never in a million years did I ever expect to meet her in person.
All of the information from Roberta came flooding back to me. I peppered her with questions and she answered every one of them.
My God. What an inspiration that 5-foot woman is!! If she could conquer weight loss/management at age 50, by God I could too!
How could I not give this program that made perfect scientific sense a try? I had tried everything else! I committed to myself. This time, I was losing weight for me!
I committed to Roberta. Everything she suggested, I did to the best of my ability. I committed to the VT14 Contest. From the very beginning, I played to win.
I started 2 weeks before the contest asking questions, learning the basic exercises, and adjusting to working out fasted which I never thought I would be able to do but is now my preferred way to workout. When the contest started it was game on!
I worked out 5 days a week moving through the basic 12-week program. After 4 weeks in my body was changing. I wanted more so I increased my workouts to 6-7 days per week and ordered a fat burner stack designed specifically for women with extras to help our bodies function efficiently. Message Roberta and she can help you with this.
I increased my water intake to 100 oz per day and my protein to 100g per day. Eight weeks in I was finished with the basic program and was getting stronger. Roberta suggested I move to the Final Phase, which I did without hesitation.
I was a little anxious that I might not be ready but I was. John and Brad’s program is not thrown together. There is a rhyme and reason for the exercise, the order, and the reps. Each day prepares you for the next. It was incredible. I pushed myself to pick up a heavier weight every 3-5 days. I could do it! I also dialed my calories back to 1000 on deficit days. I had been eating 1150-1200 which is a good deficit day but I could not believe the difference those 150-200 calories per day made when I shaved them off.
My one regret is that I did not do this from the beginning. With one week to go, I launched Slim in 7. I ate the extra calories even though it scared me. I removed the foods each day as suggested, added the water, and followed the specific workouts for that week. Monday/picture day arrived and I worked out with no water. Again something I didn’t think I could do ... I’ve learned I can do anything I set my mind to. I got a small black coffee on the way home and sipped it throughout the day while I snacked on frozen white grapes.
With the photo session over and pictures submitted, I wasn’t sure it was enough to win but I knew in my heart I had given it my best and that I was a winner whether I won the contest or not. You see. I never ever have to go back. I am now armed with the knowledge of how my body works. If I pick up a couple of pounds I know exactly what to do to get rid of them. To say that makes me happy would be an understatement.
To be successful at weight management, you have to love yourself. I don’t care if you don’t like how you look or don’t like how much you weigh, you have to make yourself a priority and start doing things for you. People may say you are selfish but they would be wrong. Each of us must take responsibility for our health and our excess weight that contributes to poor health.
I’ve been asked what would I say to someone who has a lot of weight to lose. Commit to the program for 12 weeks. Give it 110% and then give your body a short break, maybe 2-4 weeks. Continue to work out a minimum of 3 days per week so you don’t lose muscle tone and practice maintenance at your then-current weight.
Then, commit for another 12 weeks and repeat the process until you have reached your goal weight. By setting realistic goals for yourself, you are more likely to reach them.
I had a wonderful support system during my transformation. I am more than happy to do the same for you. If there is anything I can help you with on your journey to a healthier you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.