My name is Mona Pinon, I have been married to the love of my life for 12 years, and we have 5 beautiful children. My weight loss journey began in February of 2012 after the sudden death of my oldest brother David. I have struggled with weight my entire life, but it wasn’t until David passed away that I knew I needed to make changes, not only for myself but for the health of my husband and children. Tipping the scale at 309 pounds I sought the help of family and friends and turned my weight loss into a fundraiser for the Blue Slide Project, a wheelchair accessible playground in Grants Pass, Oregon. I knew others and the future of the playground were depending on me to succeed and I did not want to let anyone down. Most important, I was tired of gaining and losing weight, I wanted to set a goal for myself and actually follow through. A friend of mine told a doctor at The Women’s Health Center (TWHC) about what I was doing. To hold me accountable, Melanie Turner a Family Nurse Practitioner at TWHC agreed to weigh me for 6 months. I would go every Tuesday and her staff would weigh me and help me through any obstacles I was facing. After my 6 months was up, Melanie wanted to finish the race with me and agreed to weigh me for an additional 6 months.
During this time it was extremely difficult, trying to get rid of the diet mentality, learning to trust myself and learning how to deal with my past hurts and move forward. I had gained the majority of my weight while my son Isaac was in cancer treatments and dealing with the after affects. Isaac was paralyzed at just 4 months old, shortly after his first dose of chemo. Binge eating seemed to be my way of dealing with life’s worries and a habit that was formed at age 8, shortly after my dad abandoned my siblings and I for what seemed like the 100th time. Years later, while on my weight loss journey the pain resurfaced, instead of my usual eat until I didn’t feel the pain, for the first time I was dealing with the feelings and reliving the most tragic times of my life. My journey was an emotional one, I had to deal with my pain, forgive and move on, otherwise I was a prisoner in my own body and mind.
Here is where the new well comes in, Janet Holtman, one of the Wellness Center Managers asked if I would be a team captain for their annual Biggest Winner competition. In exchange for my time, she said I could try the program so I had a clear understanding of the meal plan and really what the Wellness Center has to offer. I was just 10 pounds shy of reaching my goal to be at 150 pounds. The first week I dropped 6 pounds on healthy fresh start, the first 3 days you are detoxing your body. Because I was using slim fast bars as a meal replacement I didn’t realize how much sugar I was consuming. I pushed myself harder than I had before, not only was I consuming more food, I was dropping the weight and learning to keep it off.
Once I reached my goal I was terrified, I always knew how to gain weight successfully and lose it, but never knew how to keep it off. The one on one counseling at the new well empowered me to believe in myself. I now hold the keys to success, I realize that this journey is 100% mental and I HAVE the choice to have a healthy relationship with food. I learned that it was never about the number on the scale and all about my health and wellness. The only thing in life I have control of is what I choose to eat. No one can make this choice for me, I cannot blame anyone if I eat something not so great for me nor can anyone take credit for all my hard work. For the first time in my life, I am starting and finishing, not wishing I was where I wanted to be.
Shortly before the competition was completed I was offered a job at the new well, I was scared because this was the first daytime job I have had since Isaac was diagnosed. It was such a great opportunity, I decided to just jump in and not let fear hold me back. I never imagined my life the way it is now, I never thought I could accomplish so many things with the setbacks I have had. Thanks to the support of so many people, I have successfully lost 162 pounds and have kept it off for 5 months. This is my new well story, what is stopping you from writing your own story?
Certified Wellness Consultant
My brother David and I 2009