N.S. woman uses 115-pound weight loss to help inspire change in others
Each year, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get fit.
January brings packed gyms and yoga studios, but as the snow melts away and the flowers begin to sprout, many people have lost their resolve to shed those unwanted pounds. One Nova Scotia woman made the decision to get healthy and stuck to it and, now, she’s inspiring others to do the same.
Seven years ago, amateur body builder Donna Gillie was sitting at work when she decided to change her life.
“I was just sitting at my desk doing work and sitting was uncomfortable. So, at that point I knew I had to start doing something. I had to start being active,” says Gillie.
At her heaviest, Gillie weighed 230 pounds.
“Now, today I weigh 115, so I basically lost half my body weight,” says Gillie. “If I can do it, anyone can.”
The 29-year-old says, initially, she didn’t change her diet, instead she focused on getting active. She signed up for a gym membership and began going five days a week, taking an assortment of fitness classes.
“Even the people I saw in those classes, they gave me inspiration every day because maybe they started where I had. I got to hear all of their stories too,” says Gillie.
At 180 pounds, Gillie says she hit a plateau. That’s when she started eating healthier and working with trainers. However, she says that most important thing is to surround yourself with positive people.
“The negative people or situations are just going to bring you down and prevent you from getting to your goals,” says Gillie.
Gillie recently inspired her friend and co-worker Sophie Lemoine to start competing.
“When I did the competition prep, I only lost about 15 pounds and I found that really difficult,” says Lemoine. “So, to think about losing over 100 pounds, that's just really impressive, all the work and dedication that must have went into that.”
There's been setbacks along the way, but Gillie says the key is to get right back to working at it.
“Money can't buy you the body that you want, you have to put in the time, effort and dedication, just keep consistently trying,” recommends Gillie.
Gillie says she still allows herself some indulgences when it comes to food and advises people not to put positive or negative labels on what they are eating.
“You can't limit yourself socially either and a lot of the time food and social activities run hand and hand. You just can't get carried away and always go back to what you know,” says Gillie.
Gillie’s advice for anyone who has made fitness and weight loss a resolution is to just get started – stop saying tomorrow and get moving today.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Donna Gillie