Women on a mission

SANDUSKY Three women have made New Year's resolutions and are trying to keep them.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 9, 2010



Three women have made New Year's resolutions and are trying  to keep them.


• AGE: 32

• MISSION: Lose weight, be happy with body image.

• PROFESSION: First-grade teacher, Madison Elementary School.

• NOTES: Bonner’s been at work on her resolution since before New Year’s and has lost 50 pounds already.

“I already see and feel the difference and that and encouragement from friends and family keeps me going,” she said. “I want to be comfortable and healthy.”

She works out five days a week and avoids fried foods, fatty foods, doesn’t eat after 7 p.m. and drinks lots of water. She also has a personal trainer, Tyra James, owner of Weigh of Life, a fitness and wellness center in downtown Sandusky.

Bonner’s determination comes from God and her biggest motivation to achieve her goal is “to be happy and feel comfortable in my own skin.”

She also enjoys shopping for a smaller size. “I’ve always enjoyed clothing, it’s a lot more fun for me to go shopping now,” she said.

• OBSTACLE: Eating healthy with a busy schedule.

To overcome the temptation of an unhealthy snack or meal, Bonner has recruited food allies and a support team at work and home. The cafeteria manager helps to make sure Bonner gets the nutrition she needs and finds alternatives when necessary. “Everyone does their part,” she said. “The compliments and words of encouragement are a boost to my willpower.”

• PROGRESS: Bonner’s been working toward progressive goals since August and hopes to be satisfied with her new body image by her birthday in the fall. “When I started, I was depressed and discouraged. I told Tyra to get me started, and I won’t stop. I am determined I’m going to get this weight off.”




• Avoid using the word lose.

The subconscious mind is 88 percent of your mind and the conscious is 13 percent. We are programmed to believe anything you lose, you must find. Retha suggests using another word for the goal of shedding pounds.

• Don’t allow yourself to set road blocks.

Repeating the phrase, “I can’t,” like “I can’t seem to make it to a certain weight,” programs your mind to fail and not succeed. Bonner should visualize herself being comfortable with her weight and body image.

• Don’t let dieting be a death sentence.

Retha suggests not being so strict in dieting that food, calorie counting and losing weight becomes an obsession.





• AGE: 24

• MISSION: Kick her smoking habit.

• PROFESSION: District circulation manager at the Register.

• NOTES: Roberts has made the same resolution for several years. She wants to quit smoking, eat healthy and lose weight, but smoking is her No. 1 priority.

She’s tried nicotine gums, regular gum, hard candy and quitting cold turkey, but hasn’t been able to kick the habit she formed at 14.

Serious health conditions suffered by family members who smoke is motivating Roberts to quit.

Her father has emphysema and has lived with a single lung for 20 years. Her grandmother’s health has also declined because of smoking.

Roberts is also concerned of the long-term effects smoking has on a person’s appearance. She isn’t vain, but believes her self-image would improve if her teeth and hands weren’t stained by tobacco. She’s beginning to see the telltale smokers’ lines around her mouth, too.

Her approach is to cut down on how much she smokes. She smokes less than a pack and during an interview said she had one cigarette in the past 24 hours.

• OBSTACLE: Finding a plan that works and overcoming the fear of gaining weight because of quitting.

Roberts is concerned she will replace cigarettes with food and snacking.

• PROGRESS: “I had my last cigarette about a pack ago,” Roberts said. She’s had luck with quitting for several days at a time, although always ends up taking a smoke break a few days later.





• Breathe.

“When people crave a cigarette, the first thing they do when they light up is take a nice deep drag, sending lots of oxygen through their body and to their brain,” Retha said.

She suggests smokers learn how to use breathing to calm and energize them but learning to take deep breaths, pushing the stomach outward, not sucking their stomach in. Put sticky notes all over your work area and home with the word “breathe” written on them.

• Don’t substitute.

Retha feels that hard candy and other tricks merely gratify the smokers hands and mouth with activity. Even worse, nicotine is cured in sugar and many wrappers contain sugar, so smoking becomes a sugar fix too, so hard candy is only a substitution to smoking and reinforces the habit more than breaks it.

• Think of the expense of smoking.

“Remember they’re (cigarettes) are walking away with your pocket book,” she said.





• AGE: 36


• MISSION: Get her GED, work toward a college degree.

• NOTES: Castile wants to finish her general equivalency diploma this spring and go straight to college for massage therapy or nursing school.

Castile’s inspiration comes from God and her motivation comes from the desire to be a role model for her four children.

“There’s nothing you can tell your children when aren’t doing it yourself,” she said. “I want my children to see me go through this so they believe it can be done.”

• OBSTACLE: Juggling home and school. Castile is busy making sure she creates a nurturing home environment while working toward her goal.

“If we aren’t an overall family my children aren’t happy and I’m not happy. If we’re not happy I’m not focused,” she said. A hot meal, help with homework, getting ready for the next day of school and baths before bed keep her busy and studying keeps her up late.

"God, family, school, in that order,” she said. “I’ve been growing along with them.”

• PROGRESS: Castile has completed more than 60 hours of classes and is working toward taking her exams to receive her diploma in March.





• Breathe, again.

Breathing will help her remember and recall information she’s learning over the long term.

• Visualize.

She should close her eyes and see herself getting her diploma and visualize herself in her career field.

Especially before test taking and other stressful parts of going back to school.

• Positive Reinforcement.

Always set yourself up to succeed, “You’re a magnetic for both positive and negative outcomes. If you walk into a test saying you’re going to fail and you didn’t prepare for it, you will,” she said.

Do the ground work and visualize your grade and you will achieve it.




Why does it matter what Retha says?

Retha Martin was guest expert and briefly evaluated the three resolvers' goals before providing advice as a life coach, hypnotherapist and behavioral therapist.

She is trained to work with individuals who wish to change their lifestyle and help patients manage pain, grief and anxiety.

She can be reached at her practice in Berlin Heights at 419-433-5440.



I am emailing to send out a big "Congratulations" to Agenda Bonner. I have had the pleasure of meeting her in Cleveland, OH through her cousin Michelle at several events. Agenda, please keep up the good work. I too struggle with weight and body image; so you have definitely encouraged me to start "being about it rather than talking about it" when it comes to working on my pysical fitness. Thanks for the inspiration!