Sole Story: Making Strides for Health

Everyone has a story. For some it’s a story of wanting something more, for others it’s a story full of tears, heart and determination. Our series “Sole Stories” will give you a glimpse into what drives women to change their lives and their “soles.” Nona shared her story from obesity to losing 50 pounds and her story isn't finished yet.

Sole Story: Making Strides for Health

Nona Britton

NONA PURPLE - PINK

My story started in 2012 when I decided I wanted to make a change in my eating and my level of activity after fasting and prayer. I had struggled many years with being overweight. While my blood work numbers were okay, my BMI was not.
I was considered obese and that was a jolt for me. I had another reason. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family and my daughter was getting bullied at school about her weight. I had tried all kinds of diets and exercise, but had no lasting results. I felt powerless as the scale kept climbing. How could I help my kids if I could not help myself?
The company I work for supported us in being healthy so in January 2012 I was able to participate in the Weight Watchers At Work series. It helped teach me how to eat, what not to eat and how to eat sparingly. I lost 40 pounds. It is vital in my story because in the weekly sessions Weight Watchers taught me to be accountable for what I ate. With weekly weigh-ins, tracking my food was important so that see what foods I should and shouldn't be eating. After getting off the plan I gained a little over 20 pounds back, falling back into bad habits and not consistently working out.
At the beginning of January 2014, I was determined not to go all the way backward. I started going back to the basics. Eating to plan and working out. I lost some weight again, but I knew I needed more consistent workouts and to increase my level of activity. I wanted to set up my workouts and commit to a full five days of good physical activity that challenged me. I heard about a group called Black Girls RUN!. I found the local running group in Florida, BGR! Central Florida. April 2014 was a game changer. I started with Black Girls Run (BGR!) and the encouragement and inspiring women were all I needed to kick myself into gear. My BGR! ambassador stayed with me my first two days and helped me with running intervals.
At my highest I was 273 pounds and now, since being with Black Girls RUN! consistently for six months and running 4 to 5 days a week, I have lost a total of 50 pounds ( 34 pounds down since running with BGR!) It has become a part of my life. On a recent vacation I was still exercising and swimming in the hotel gym.
Nona before race Celebration of Running 2014
My son even recently joined me for a 5 mile interval run/walk.  I completed my first 5K with running intervals in August 2014 at the Celebration of Running event. In October 2014 my daughter and I completed the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk together, her first 5k.
I want to thank Michelle Filmore Maxwell, a BGR! ambassador. She was so supportive and encouraging and helped me even when I struggled. I started with 30-second intervals of running and 3 minutes of walking and now I am up to 2 minutes running and 2 minutes of walking.
Never again can anyone tell me African-American women don’t support each other, because I know some sole sisters who have a heart for others and give their free time to uplift other ladies. All of the Central Florida ambassadors are there for us, giving their time, encouragement, tips and pacing with us on the pavement. I salute and honor them all. My journey continues and I am moving forward. I thank God for what he has done to improve my heath and giving me the strength to get more fit, and the right connections.



Toni Carey
Toni Carey

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