Sonya Jones

Big Changes for a Former Athlete

"Before I lost the weight, I struggled with normal, everyday tasks. It was hard to walk up a flight of steps, bend over and tie my shoes, and it was very difficult to do my daily job as an elementary PE teacher and coach. I was constantly embarrassed by my weight and I felt like a hypocrite because I was supposed to be a model of health and wellness for my students. However, I felt like an embarrassment.  sonya

I knew I had to make a change in 2013 when I was photographed coaching in the state tournament (See photo). Here’s the story of this picture: It was 2013 and I was coaching one of most talented groups of softball players I had ever coached. This team had 10 strong 8th graders, and we, and an entire community, believed that we could win the State Championship. This is the State Quarterfinal game, and we are down 5-2. If we lose, we go home! 

Here’s the situation ... runners at 1st and 2nd, my centerfielder is up, she jacks the ball to the right center gap. Two runs score, and I’m waving her from 1st to 3rd. She is the tying run in this State Finals game. My right arm is waving her around ... what is my left arm doing? It’s pulling at my shirt because, subconsciously, I am worried about how I look. When I saw that picture in the paper, I knew that something in my life had to change. I knew that I had allowed this to control me for far too long in way too many ways.

My goal in making a change was to feel better about me all the way around. I wanted to be proud of myself for the first time ever. I wanted to stop hiding the embarrassment and work towards finding a whole new me. 

I made several changes. The major two were diet and exercise. I worked out consistently and I decided to start eating 3 meals a day and have 2 snacks.  I made sure that my meals and snacks were within my calorie budget, and I am no longer a mindless eater, but a mindful eater. I eat pistachios nearly every day. I have one ounce a day because they taste great, have so many health benefits, and they take me awhile to eat. It makes me mindful. Pistachios have been instrumental in not just taking off 100+ pounds, but keeping it off! I am a huge fan of pistachios and am so thankful that they help me stay the course in my journey of health and wellness."