According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012.
Breanna Bond was once counted among these children. At just 9 years old, she was weighing in at 186 pounds and had become the target of bullying at school, where she was called crude names.
Breanna first began to pick up extra pounds when she was just a baby, and by the time she was in kindergarten, she weighed 100 pounds. Her pediatrician at the time told her parents, Heidi and Dan Bond, that she would eventually ‘grow into her body’, but as she continued to gain weight, they began seeking other opinions. They had everything from Breanna’s thyroid to her blood sugar tested, but they all came back with normal results.
As time went by and Heidi noticed that breathing had become a struggle for the 5th grader, she decided to take matters into her own hands and do everything in her power to help her daughter shed all the excess weight. Not one to single her child out, Heidi put the entire family on a strict exercise routine and they adopted a ‘zero tolerance for excuses’ policy and adhered to it. They began walking the 4-mile trail near their home on a regular basis, regardless of what the weather was like outside. The proactive mom also changed the household eating habits completely, by cultivating a diet for them all that limited fat intake to 20 grams or less per day, and they began consuming as little sugar as possible.
Breanna admits that the hardest part of these life-changing adjustments was just walking in the beginning because she wasn’t used to the physical activity. But before long, she had dropped 37 pounds. She went from not being able to keep up with her friends to spending an hour on her in-home treadmill—25 minutes of that time spent running.
She has now joined a swim team and also plays basketball. In just one year, she dropped 66 total pounds—a lofty feat for even the most determined adults. According to Heidi, her daughter has proven that all you need is ‘a pair of tennis shoes and motivation’ in order to do what Breanna has done the natural way.
The best part of this for Breanna is that she can now participate in sports and keep up with her friends when they play. She can move more. What parent wouldn’t want that for their child?