Maintaining a healthy weight and making the appropriate lifestyle choices is a constant struggle for many women. This ongoing battle with fitness and nutrition hits close to home for Kontrol Magazine writer Tonnisha Deonn as she has faced many trials and tribulations along her lifelong health journey. Over time, Deonn has learned to fall in love with fitness and has now dedicated her personal and professional life to spreading the word about the power of sweat. Deonn recently chatted with PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT about her body transformation and passion for breaking a sweat. Read on to get to know the woman behind the Tonnisha Deonn Fitness brand:
1. As a child, did you struggle with your weight? If so, what factor played the biggest role?
I was always overweight as a child. I started to gain weight at the age of 5. I am the youngest of my siblings and getting what I wanted whenever I wanted created a problem.
2. To date, you’ve lost over 150 pounds! Was there a specific moment that you realized that you had to take control your health?
Growing up I was loved by my peers and was really confident. I knew that I was overweight but I accepted the “big friend” role and kept it moving. My attitude towards my weight would shift when it was time to shop. I always hated that I couldn’t wear what I wanted. The only other time I felt negative about my weight was during one special visit to the doctor. I was on the scale and for some reason, it froze. I just stood there looking at my weight and for the first time, I felt ashamed. I knew that I had to make a change and feared for my health.
3. Can you describe your typical workout routine?
When I began my weight loss journey I was super intimidated by the gym so I would only walk on the treadmill. I slowly but surely started to learn more about fitness and fell in love with it. On a typical day, I go for a morning run and then head to the gym to lift so that I can continue to tone my body.
4. What dietary changes did you make to achieve your weight loss goals?
At one point I went a little crazy and ate the same thing every day. I had to learn about nutrition and had to stop being scared to eat. I became a pescatarian while attending college at Georgia State University. I was a pescatarian for 5 years then decided to become vegan last year. I started a vegan challenge last year and never looked back.
5. How did you stay mentally focused during your healthy transformation?
My weight loss journey has been a struggle. I was able to keep going because I was (and sometimes still) very hard on myself. I have just now learned how to take pleasure in the process and love myself through it. I have lupus so sometimes it’s hard but I keep it pushing. Honestly, when I need motivation I’ll think about my goals, someone I admire, or someone going through tougher times than me.
6. As the Fitness Contributor for Kontrol Magazine, your stories inspire other people to live better. But, who encourages you to continue your health journey?
I am inspired by a lot of different female personal trainers from Instagram and personal trainers that I know personally. Brandi Mallory has a special place in my heart because she taught me to love and accept myself. I had to realize that I’ve been beating myself up and not loving myself enough. I am learning that there is no such thing as perfect and that I need to enjoy myself and my journey.
7. You are also a personal trainer. What has been the most rewarding part of pursuing this profession?
I get to love on people. I get to be there for them on their good and bad days. I love witnessing them progress and accomplish goals.
8. You also have your own fitness website called Tonnisha Deonn Fitness. Why was it important for you to start your own platform?
The people that followed my weight loss journey always asked me questions. I noticed that a lot of people had misconceptions about fitness and health. I was encouraged to open up to people and blog even though I thought I wasn’t “ready”. I love my blog because people can relate to me and be encouraged by my posts.
9. What advice would you give to other women who want to lose weight and live a healthier life?
Be kind to yourself! The goal is to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle not to lose yourself.
10. Are there any songs that inspire you to go harder when you’re breaking a sweat?
I listen to rap when I want to go hard. I prefer female rappers or any rap song that makes you want to dance.
11. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT is everything! PGS is a sisterhood of beauties that come together to promote fitness and health. PGS means loving yourself from inside out and encouraging others to do the same. We are in this together!