Inspirational Story, How Donella Lost 30 lbs in 14 Weeks

By May 26, 2012 18 Comments

Donella when starting 14 weeks ago

I would like to share with you a story of one of my Fit Fun Bootcampers, that had the courage to do something that very few others I have met have wanted to do.  Basically she approached me and asked me to put her on my website for 1000’s to see each day as a way of keeping herself accountable as she went through her transformation.  Here was her exact email:

Morning Dustin,

“I was thinking if you could use me as one of your something like a poster child (I can’t think of another name for it). I am really ready to be fit and I could be and I would like to be used so I can be an inspiration to others. I was thinking that way I wouldn’t be able to make any excuses because I would have a purpose. Just a thought I am really working hard and would work as hard as you need me to and will come as many times a week and twice a day if I had to. Just let me know what you think about that. I know I would be a perfect fit for that position.”


I gave it some thought and spoke with her in person to make sure that she would really try hard and be committed, since it would look really poorly if I had monthly updates on her and things weren’t changing.  She assured me that she would do what needed to be done.  She had been coming for awhile before, without seeing much results besides getting a little fitter, but she was very passionate to let me know things were going to be different.

I asked her for a food journal, she told me she thought she was eating pretty good.  Here was her food journal…

Friday –

Breakfast – 1pk of Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal (maple & brown sugar), large coffee 8 creams/sugar

Lunch – Filet O Fish

Dinner – Smoked Turkey Sandwich w/Dijon mustard and tomatoes

Snacks –celery w/peanut butter, Nutra Grain Bar,  apple

64oz of water

Another Picture when she started


Breakfast- banana, 4 slices of oven roasted turkey breast, large coffee 8 creams 8 sugars

Lunch- no lunch

Dinner- 2 sm pieces of catfish filet w/corn meal batter)

Snapple tea w/lemon

32oz water


Breakfast -2 Scrambled Eggs

Lunch- none

Dinner- Beef egg foo young patty

64oz water


Breakfast- coffee (8 creams /8 sugars)

Lunch-3 slices of oven roasted turkey w/broccoli and cheese (green giant)

Dinner- ground turkey (just the meat)

Snacks – banana and peanut butter

64oz water


Breakfast- banana and coffee w/8 creams and sugar

Lunch- steak out of a taco salad w/guacamole & sour cream

Dinner- 1 slice of pizza hut (pepperoni & bacon)

Snacks –nutra grain bar and a glass of v-8 splash tropical blend

64oz water


Breakfast- fiber one bar, 2 scrambled eggs w/onions large  coffee (8 creams 8 sugars)

Lunch- none

Dinner- 5 hooters wings w/ranch sauce

2tsp of peanut butter, banana

64oz water


Breakfast- 1pk of Oatmeal (maple & brown sugar) w/ a banana cut up in it  large coffee (8 creams 8 sugars)

Lunch- smart one

Dinner- 2 grilled chicken wings and grilled ground turkey burger

Snacks- apples slices w/peanut butter

64oz water

 OK… Here was my response when I saw this…


Alright you came to me to help me transform your life and your body.  I am going to be 100% honest in this email.

I hope you take this and start to make the changes, especially that you are putting yourself out there so publicly.

here it goes…

This is one of the worst journals I have ever seen.  It is pretty amazing that you haven’t had any major
medical problems, because you are poisoning your body and hardly giving it anything to work with that
is good for you.

We need to take massive action and right now.  Some of this is going to be painful and you will feel bad
and have headaches, but within 7 days you will be fine, I promise.

1.  Stop drinking coffee…  Go cold turkey.  The amount of crap you add to it is awful, so forget moderation and get it out of the house.  At a later time, if you want to drink coffee black one cup a day that is fine, but not for now.

2.  Eat 2 whole organic eggs and PLAIN oatmeal for breakfast.  You can add some fruit to it if you would like… berries are the best.

3.  No more bananas, they are extremely high in sugar, apple, pears, berries instead.

4.  I am putting a limit of 2 eat out meals per week.  NO MORE FAST FOOD!

5.  If you don’t know how to cook, sign up for some cooking lessons.

6.  Don’t eat anything that is breaded or fried.

7.  Eat at least 4 meals per day, ideally 5 though.

8.  Eat 5 servings of vegetable per day

I look forward to seeing a much better food journal next week.


Here was her reply back… Notice her openness to change and her strong desire to be better.  That is so key!


So absolutely no restaurant food? Is that what you are saying? I can’t cook on the oven but I do a lot of baking in the oven. I am glad you requested my weekly meal plan because I never knew I was doing anything wrong I thought I was actually getting better at what I ate (minus the fast food).  From here on out I have absolutely no excuses. I just had to scrambled eggs w/onions and cheese (was that okay) I got your email when I got to work this am so I didn’t know about the organic eggs.

I am in the process of writing my blog and I am going to take my pictures  

My weight was 247 and I haven’t done my measurements yet (will do that today)

Anything else I should be doing?

Thank you so much Dustin

So Began Donella’s Journey With This Blog Post...

It took me awhile to write this because I didn’t know where to start and what I was going to write about.

I am the typical mother of four beautiful children ages are Venita (24), Michael (22), Chris (21) and my precious angel Omani who is 6.

Well I started struggling with my weight when I had a 7lb baby boy (and I have Chris to thank for that) I was at my heaviest weight which was 212lbs. I have done the pills, weight watchers and tons and tons of failed diets always losing something but then eventually gaining the weight right back.

I have put my life on hold because of my weight I am so unhappy and so miserable but on the outside looking in you wouldn’t even know it because of learning how to hide my feelings. When I talk to people about my weight they always say “you’re not fat” but in my mind I am huge and I hate myself so much.

One day a year ago I decided enough is enough and I decided to join the boot camp but one day I just stopped going.  Honestly I can’t even tell you why I stopped going and the crazy thing about that is I was still paying.

I don’t go out I don’t date because of my own insecurities my self-esteem is so shot I am embarrassed to even admit this publicity. The crazy thing about this if people I know read this they will be so shocked because I am such a people person and they will be like they never knew that about me.

Donella 14 weeks later and 30 lbs lighter!

My wakeup call was recently I just realized I deserve better I deserve so much more because of my big heart and if I wanted to be happy I had to make changes for me and for no one else. I started back going to boot camp faithfully and this time there was no stopping me. And one day my youngest son sent a text saying how proud he was of me that brought tears to my eyes that my son that was away at school noticed my drive and wanted to cheer me on from that group text (cause he sent it to my other children) another text came in from my daughter saying she was just thinking that so at that point I knew I couldn’t give up.

My respond to them was that I have been so depressed that was why I only went to work, didn’t date and was sometimes so hard on them for no reason sometimes. I told them that I wanted to get better because I didn’t want to grow old alone and didn’t want them to resent me when they got older.

I also shared my weight with them (251) and promised I am going to make changes mentally and physically. My son asked me “are you sure? Did you weigh yourself on a clinic or gym scale?” and my answer was “were else do I go besides the clinic (because I work at one) or the gym? Lol).

So here I am know no turning back have been coming for 3 weeks straight started not on a Monday but in the middle of the week a Wednesday the day didn’t matter because I was ready to make a change right then and there and I did. If you know me I am not a morning person that is why I choose morning because I didn’t want any excuses on why I couldn’t make it in the evenings and going mornings has been great for me and if I do miss a morning class I just make the night one.

I am now like an Amtrak train no one can stop  me now not even my worst enemy who has been myself. I am determined to make a change and that change is happening now.

Donella Edward

42yrs old

Me (Dustin) Here Again…

Donella 14 weeks later and 30 lbs lighter!

Wow that is so powerful and I appreciate you sharing this Donella.  It has been a total of 14 weeks since she recommitted to this program.  The plan was for me to post this right away and then follow up once per month.  Well I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain so I apologize, but I will make sure from now on, for awhile at least, we get monthly updates.  So what has Donella done in the past 14 weeks?  She has dropped 30 lbs and is well on her way to her 100 lb (or so) weight loss goal.  She has been so consistent and it has been great to watch.

But what is far cooler than her weight loss is how she has changed as a person.  I am friends with her son Chris (who is a D1 starting football player for Iowa), and a couple days ago I asked him what he thought about his mom.  A huge smile came on his face and he couldn’t stop gushing about how proud he was of his mom and how much happier, confident, energetic, and adventurous she has become over the past couple months.  He said it has changed the whole family.  Not only that, Donella is now doing her best to inspire some of her friends to join her on this journey.

I have goosebumps writing this, because it started with one decision.  That decision was that she DESERVED a better life for herself and for her family.  That one decision fueled by determination and consistency, will no doubt continue to push her toward her goals.

Before I wrap this up I want to share an email I got from Donella 6 weeks ago…

Just wanted to let you know that I have lost another 3lbs and also to tell you that I signed up for a 5k for 9-22-12 race for the poor it’s a charity through the St. Vincent De Paul Center.  When I was younger I did summer camp through them in Chicago so it means a lot to me. I downloaded the couch to 5k application on my phone so I started training with that yesterday.

Dustin here again…

Donella, we can’t wait to hear from you in a few weeks about how life is changing for you, the challenges you still face, and what is next for you.  🙂  Keep up the great work.

If you can relate to any part of Donella’s story and would like to live a life the you DESERVE and don’t know how to get there, I would like to invite you to join me in a 42 day journey that will be filled with successes and challenges.  It is called the Little Black Dress Project and we have about 200 people from all over the world who are participating together.  If you live in the Madison and surround areas, you can come to one of our 11 locations the cost of a Starbucks coffee per day.  If you want to join us virtually, the investment is just over $2 per day.  To learn more and sign up click this link.  The starts May, 29th, 2012 so you need to sign up ASAP.