Ever since she can remember, Breanna has been stared at and made fun of. It has to do with her extreme obesity. But then her family dares to do something radical. You won’t recognize her afterwards!
Breanna is a 9-year-old from California. While other kids are busy running around during recess, she is on the ground catching her breath. Breanna, at the young age of 9, already weighs almost 200 pounds (90 kilo). It’s as if a normal kid is schlepping 8 bags of potatoes around.
Even as a toddler, Breanna was very overweight. When she started kindergarten, she already weighed about 100 pounds (45 kilo). She is an instant target for other kids in school. “Everyone at school called me fatty,” tells Breanna teary eyed.
Her mother Heidi cannot bear to watch her daughter’s suffering anymore. She decides that the situation must change and resolves to do something drastic: a rigorous weight-loss program. The 9-year-old isn’t left to her own devices, however. The whole family joins in.
Every day father, mother, and even her 5-year-old brother Nathan, walk 4 miles (6 kilometers). No exceptions. “We started doing it as a family. Nothing could stop us, we even went at night, in the rain, in fog. No excuses!” explains Breanna’s mother. The family’s entire diet is also changed: only 20 grams of fat per day with as little sugar as possible. Breanna also runs an additional 75 minutes on the treadmill every day. The result is spectacular!
In less than a year, Breanna has lost a whopping 66 pounds. The days of being called fatty are gone forever. Many of the kids who used to tease her do not recognize her anymore and ask: “Who is the new girl?” Breanna has cast off her old burdens and is happier than ever. The girl that used to stop every few yards to catch her breath, is now on her school's basketball and swimming teams. She is even a cheerleader!
Her mother could not be prouder: “She inspires me on a daily basis. She is an inspiration to the world and all children who are having weight issues across America that you can do it with a pair of tennis shoes and motivation. It’s totally changed the course of her whole life.” Her family’s solidarity was crucial in helping her lead a new and happy life. Breanna’s father advises other parents that want to put their children’s health first: “Don’t be afraid to do the tough love, it’s worth it in the long run. It’s their life that is at stake.”
At a time where 1 in 3 children is overweight in the US, Breanna’s achievement gives courage, hope, and motivation to others. Her family understood that health is our most precious resource and thus supported her the whole way - with a stunning result.
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