Weight Loss WooHoo! to Joan (lost 90 pounds)

Name: Joan Minnery (THINspiration)

Age: 45

Occupation: Music Educator and Dramatic Arts Teacher

Where she lives: Brantford, Ontario

Height: 5’2″

Weight: 184.5

Pounds Lost: 90

How long it took to lose the weight:   One year

I usually feature people here once they’ve reached their goal weight. Joan is different in that she is still on her weight loss journey. But what she has reached is her goal of getting healthier and taking back her life. And for that, Joan most certainly deserves a Weight Loss WooHoo! – just FatFighterTV’s fun way of celebrating healthy weight. 😉

Wake-up Call:
In August 2010, I was tipping the scales at almost 300 pounds. My health was dangerously catapulting out of control and my self esteem was at an all time low. Both factors were filtering into my professional life. I am an entertainer/event director and also teach music and dramatic arts. Many of my productions involve strenuous activity and long periods of stamina. I was a morbidly obese woman leading the life of a thin person and it had caught up with me. I had one staggering health issue after another.

I underwent a two hour medical test for an inner ear imbalance due to the fact that on top of pancreas issues, severe acid reflux and vision ailments, I was now experiencing horrific attacks of acute vertigo and continual nausea. During the examination, I had a violent physical reaction and ended up being covered in bodily fluids, vomit and fecal excrement. I sat up from the table in a freaked out state of embarrassment and disorientation and cried, “Joan you didn’t sign up for this.”

Over the next few weeks, I was sidelined preparing for a music festival that I run, all the while realizing I was inching closer to death. I was in agony both physically and emotionally until August 27th, which was the first day of the Rock of Ages Festival in Brantford, Ontario.

Something happened – the proverbial “AHA” moment. Whether it was just the realization of so many people depending on me or my brother John reaching from heaven, at 6pm on August 27th, I WOKE UP!!! I walked upstairs to my bedroom, stood in front of the mirror and vowed from that moment that I would NEVER EVER look OR feel like this again. THIS time, I was listening. My Journey Began!!!

How Joan shed the pounds:
After recognizing and accepting that my love affair with food was preventing me from having a love affair with myself (or anyone), I needed to find MY mode of exercising. The sanest choice for ME was walking. It was easy, cathartic, and I was able to hum, sing, and talk to myself, while enjoying the crisp night air, which was a tonic for me. At first, the routine was a challenge, but eventually, the walks became less strenuous and I was pushing for longer distances. I walk at least 45 minutes to an hour every day. I also find that my body craves the exercise, much like I used to crave KFC. Now as I am on my route, I walk right past KFC!!! In April, I started Zumba and doing Dance Fit; I am LOVING IT.

I’m not going to lie – restricting my food intake required a lot of will power. I ate a LOT and I ate non-stop ALL day. I love carbs and I was a binge eater. I snacked and nibbled and gorged. There was no denying the reason I was fat; it was because I ATE.

My changes were simple:

* Stop drinking Coke (which ran through my veins).

* NO more deep fried foods.

* Increase water intake.

* No indulging in chocolates, cookies, chips or any of the “good” stuff.

* Limit my gorge fest of milk.

* Cease ALL visits to the drive-thru at McDonald’s, unless choosing healthy alternatives.

* Eliminate eating past 8pm.

* Add green and color to my diet in the art of salads, veggies and fruits.

* Add nuts and fiber to my plate and my snacks.

* UP protein, LOWER carbs and limit them to the morning or afternoon.

**** Most Importantly… GET MOVING.

And the results were INSTANT.

I didn’t start to be thin; I started to be well. I had done weight loss programs before with mixed results. I’ve always placed far too much emphasis on getting to a certain weight and watching the scales closely. This time, I needed to focus on getting fit and obviously, weight loss came with that. What was happening on the scale never played a part of my journey. It was what was happening to me inside; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Those positive elements combined with the obvious outer transformation were and are constant reminders that This Fat Gal Is Winning!!!

Tips from Joan:   
Put Down The Fork and Get Moving!!!

Joan’s Weight Loss WooHoo! :  
Having my health issues totally eradicated. Being able to dance again and not feeling winded or having a red face all the time from the high blood pressure. My son’s biggest wish was to put his arms around his mom again – THAT was feasibly the biggest WOOHOO!  Mind you, one of my heartbeats not being able to keep his eyes off of me is a definite added bonus.  🙂


So glad you have your health back, Joan! Let us know what happens with that “heartbeat” of yours, okay? 😉

See more weight loss success stories here… on the Weight Loss WooHoo! Wall of Fame.

If you know someone who deserves this honor, just let me know here.


  1. Jody - Fit at 53 August 22, 2011
    • Anonymous August 24, 2011
      • FatFighter August 25, 2011
  2. Joan Minnery August 24, 2011
  3. Dr. J August 25, 2011
  4. Joan Minnery August 25, 2011
  5. Stephen September 8, 2011
  6. Anonymous March 20, 2012
  7. Joan Minnery April 19, 2012
    • FatFighter April 22, 2012
  8. Sheila July 30, 2012