Ali Bonebrake decided it was time for a change when she didn’t like the results she received from a series of blood tests. A member of VIDA Fitness & Spa in Washington, D.C. since July 2015, Bonebrake turned to Cat Taylor, a registered dietitian at the club, for help.
“The first couple meetings were great,” recalled Bonebrake. “The scariest was when you get on those special scales that tell you your body fat. Those numbers can be really overwhelming. It’s also very helpful to track your progress along the way, but at first, it’s very difficult to wrap your head around.”
Bonebrake’s job, working with policies at a health care company, requires her to spend countless hours networking at lunches, dinners and receptions. This made it difficult to eat healthy. And as a previous vegetarian, Bonebrake sometimes found herself eating just the bread at restaurants if vegetarian options weren’t offered.
At times, Taylor and Bonebrake would sit down with Bonebrake’s weekly restaurant schedule and research what she could consume at each luncheon.
But soon after signing up with Taylor, Bonebrake decided to slowly start introducing meat back into her diet. She doesn’t recommend this to every vegetarian who is hoping to lose weight, but it was a method that worked for her personal journey.
“It was my decision [to] start eating meat,” said Bonebrake. “I was doing things like Weight Watchers, and you’re always hungry because you’re filling up the limited calories you’re allowed with mostly carbohydrates. It was very hard for me to think of a way to get the protein I needed and feel full. So I was always hungry or miserable or eating too many carbs. I knew everything I tried before wasn’t working and I really wanted to try something new.”
Bonebrake and Taylor worked very slowly to start introducing meat back into her diet, and her body was receptive to it. Then she had a health crisis that required surgery, making working out impossible for a short time.
Knowing she typically gained weight when she was most stressed, Bonebrake was worried this would happen while she recovered. But she said the fact that she maintained weight, and even lost a little, was a testament to her nutrition program.
“Ali is one of my favorite little success stories,” said Taylor. “She’s lost quite a significant amount of weight in the seven months we’ve worked together. She just renewed a package. We’ve still got some weight to lose, but we’re really on a great track, and we’re kind of at that point now where she’s been going to the gym.”
Since working with Taylor, Bonebrake has lost 40 pounds, but her journey has never been driven by numbers on a scale or percentages. Instead, her goal is to focus on making healthy choices every day.
“I can’t believe I waited this long to do it,” said Bonebrake. “I would tell people [to] stop thinking about it and just do it. It is money well spent. It’s for your health. You only have one life. You need to focus on you.”