Weight Loss Success Story: Donesha Bolden

I am so excited to share Donesha’s weight los success story with you today! Donesha used to weigh 215 pounds.  Now, she weighs 142 pounds.  She now looks like this:

Success Story Donesha before and after losing weight

73 pounds gone for good!  Doesn’t she look amazing!  She is a fellow teacher who lives in Atlanta!  She was featured in our local Atlanta paper and was recently featured on The Huffington Post!

And now, she is here to share her story with all of you!  Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your job, etc…

My name is Donesha Bolden and I am a 33 year old educator in Atlanta, Georgia. I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey and later moved to Alabama where I finished high school. I attended Alabama State University for 1 &1/2 years and later transferred to Troy University (Dothan Campus) where I graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education.
I relocated to North Carolina and started my first teaching job. I was very comfortable living in North Carolina until my mother was diagnosed with cancer and was given a time frame to live. At the time I was attending North Carolina Central University working on my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction so I would travel over 600 miles back and forth to help my family care for my mother.
Life was hard but I was making the best of a bad situation. I had joined the local YMCA and started taking part in Zumba and high impact aerobic classes. I started gradually losing weight. I was weighing 220 pounds and I had gotten down to 190 pounds. My plans were to finish school and move to Atlanta so that I could be closer to my mother but she didn’t live long enough for that to happen.
A year after my mother passed I made the move to Atlanta without a job or any prospects. I was living with my aunt in Alabama and spending nights with my best friend in Atlanta when I was able to search for a job. I was away from the gym all summer and didn’t take notice to the fact that I was gaining all of the weight I had worked so hard to get rid of.
School had started and I still didn’t have a job but that didn’t stop me. I had a nephew to care for so there was no such thing as quitting! I had been raising Nehemiah since he was 5 years old. A week after school started I was asked to interview for a job in Bankhead and I was hired. At that point I was weighing 215 pounds and so much into fashion that I didn’t see my weight climbing out of control.

How long did it take you to get to your ideal weight? Are you there now?

My coworker placed a flyer in my box that gave educators a special on joining her sister Tissilli Rogers IFBB Pro’s Boot Camp and that was the turning point of my life. I was located in Decatur at the time but I worked all day in Atlanta, drove home, cared for my nephew and then drove back to Atlanta to train with Tiss. I was HALFWAY determined to lose the weight.
I was attending the workouts but I was not changing my lifestyle outside of the gym as Tiss had suggested. I would lose 3 pounds here and 5 pounds there but it wasn’t consistent. Thinking about the illnesses that had attacked my family and wanting to be around to raise my nephew I started to get serious about training with Tiss. In October 2011 I allowed Tiss to take the most embarrassing photos of me and place me on her detox. I felt bad when I saw the photos of how I looked when she was assessing me and knew that it was time to “Train 4 My LIFE!”
I gave Tiss 110% inside the gym and decided to start doing insanity outside of the gym. I completed the insanity 60 day program & worked with Tiss at the same time and I lost 30 pounds. I was really feeling great about myself but I had set a goal of 160 and I wasn’t there just yet. Tiss set a weight goal of 150 for me, ten pounds lighter than my goal.
There were days that I wanted to give up but I focused on why I started and that kept me going. I started following meal plans designed by Tiss especially for me and I started to see RESULTS!! At 174 pounds in May 2012 I was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution for my weight loss. My families as well as my coworkers were excited about my accomplishments.
I was still focused on the goal that I had set for myself so I kept working. In November of 2012 I reached my goal of 160 pounds & on March 6, 2013 I achieved my trainer’s goal for me of 150 pounds. Today I am 142 pounds and enjoying LIFE!!

Weight Loss Success Story Before and After Photos

What was your motivation to lose weight?

I wanted to live a healthier life and with everything that has happened to my loved ones I knew I had to get serious about getting rid of this weight! The results that I was getting from working out really gave me the push I needed to keep going.

What made you decide to start your weight loss journey?

At the age of 37 my cousin was found dead in her bed one morning by her 3 children and two days later my grandfather lost his battle with prostate cancer. It was a year later that my aunt found out that her daughter had died from hypertension. When I was working on my undergraduate degree my uncle fell dead in church of a heart attack. Last year my cousin age 36 started her battle with breast cancer and WON but my aunt lost her battle to lung cancer. Several of my aunts have diabetes and or high blood pressure as well as my younger sister and at that point I decided that enough was enough!

What kept you on track losing weight?

I have a great trainer that is always in touch with me about my goals. She has really turned into a great friend that gives it to me straight at all times. Other people started watching me on this journey and I never want to let them down although I might fell short at times I wouldn’t give up.

Weight Loss Takes Time

Tell us about a typical day in terms of eating and exercise.

I am in the gym twice a day at the least.
Mon-Fri: 5:00 am-6:30am
Tue/Thur: 5:30 with my trainer
Mon, Wed & Fri: 5:00 pm-7:00pm Cardio & Weights
Sat: 9:30 Tread and Shed with my trainer & then more cardio/weights after that
Sun: The Ladies that I workout with meet up for some type of cardio and ab workout
I eat fish/chicken, veggies, fruit and water…water….water…water and water!

What is the biggest difference you have noticed because of your weight loss?

It amazes me how I can transform my body through exercise and weightloss. My thighs have always beeen LARGE and they have really started to change and look lean & healthy.

Weight Loss Before and After Photos

What advice can you give to others struggling to lose weight?

Don’t give up! Always remember why you started the journey! It will be rough days but keep pushing past them!!!

How do you keep the weight off in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I eat clean 90% of the time and I am consistent with my workouts.

Give us a quote or a motto that you have used to keep you focused.


My newfound love is running and I hope to run my first race this summer. 
I can honestly say I LOVE working out & I love encouraging others through my Facebook & Instagram. I don’t have time to exercise I MAKE time to exercise. It’s a pleasure to see people write me & say that I inspired them to make that healthy change! I figure this is just the beginning & I’m ready for the things to come. I hope my story inspires someone & encourages them to stay on track!

Wow, Donesha!  I can only speak for myself but you have inspired me and encouraged me to stay on track!  You look amazing.  All that hard work has paid off!  If you want to follow Donesha on Twitter or Instagram, you can find her @drdsmb

Are you looking for some motivation to stay on track?  Join us in our new Dietbet game that starts next weekend.  EVERYONE who loses weight wins part of the pot.  Will you join us?

If you are already at goal weight or close to it and want to be featured as a success story, click the link HERE.

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About Jennifer Swafford

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher who is trying to lose 100+ pounds. She has certainly learned how much It Sux To Be Fat and is here to motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.