Girl, 9, Loses 66 Pounds After Getting Bullied At 186 Pounds: How Did She Do it?
How does a nine-year-old girl lose 66 pounds?
Breanna Bond was one of the 12.5 million obese children in the United States. But for a girl of nine she loses 66 pounds in the most grown-up way possible: diet and exercise. In other words, she used self-discipline and hard work, which are hardly the cornerstones of childhood.
But she had no other choice.
"Everybody at school would call me names," she told ABC radio. "They would call me fatty, they would call me fat head."
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Beyond the teasing, her mother Heidi worried about the nine-year-old girl's health. As a 25-lb baby, family joked she would grow up to be like her dad, a strapping 200-lb, six-foot man. When she was just 14 pounds away at only nine-years-old no one was laughing. Heidi began working on a diet and exercise plan that eventually helped her nine-year-old girl to lose 66 pounds.
Heidi got her whole family involved in the process, making everyone walk a four-mile hiking trail near their home everyday.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," she told CNN. "There were times where she refused to move." But in the end, "a little tough love to save the rest of their life" was worth it, she said.
She also followed a version of the traffic light diet, a diet plan recommended by physicians because it is easy for children to understand. It breaks foods down into three categories: Green foods are foods containing <20 calories per average serving. Yellow foods are staples of the diet that provide most of the nutrition and red foods, which are foods high in fat and simple carbohydrates, i.e. junk food.
Giving kids choices is a key to their weight loss success, according to Dr. Denise Wilfley, director of the Weight Management & Eating Disorders Program at Washington University School of Medicine. She told CNN it's best for parents to avoid acting like the "food police" in order to prevent power struggles. She encourages parents to identify why their child wants to lose weight, i.e. "I want to run faster" or "I want to stop getting teased," and use that information to help motivate their child.
Breanna Bond is a nine-year-old girl who lost 66 pounds with the help and support of her entire family. Her mother made everyone walk the hiking trail with Breanna, and she started to prepare healthier meals and keep junk food out of the house. SHe also started to work out 90 minutes everyday, just like her daughter. Nine-year-old Breanna is down to 121 pounds after losing 66 pounds and is close to her target weight of 115 pounds. Heidi said the family will go into "maintenance mode" when Breanna gets there so that healthy eating and exercise are a part of everyone's daily lives.
In the meantime, Breanna is enjoying her time as a member of the swim team, basketball team and competitive cheerleading team at her school. The nine-year-old-girl who lost 66 pounds is even inspiring her classmates to get healthy too. One friend followed her workout plan over the summer and lost 20 pounds.
"It's changed her whole life," Heidi Bond told CNN. "She's able to be a kid for the first time."
For more information on what foods are a part of the traffic light diet, click here.
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