Middleton Boxford Topsfield —
To those who have been stuck at the same weight on the scale for years and just can’t seem to shake those extra pounds, Dawn Bonfanti of Middleton might be able to offer some inspiration.
Last summer Bonfanti was 30 pounds heavier and feeling sluggish. But just 10 months later, she is ready to take to the stage at the New England Fitness competition Foxwoods to compete in her first bodybuilding contest.
The married mother of two grown children, ages 24 and 27, Bonfanti is the general manager of an establishment where delicious food is always within sight. She works full-time at Angelica’s on Route 114 where she started as a food server 18 years ago.
When her mother suddenly passed away about four years ago, Bonfanti recalled she had been feeling a bit depressed, so she joined the Middleton exercise club bodyco on Route 114 and began to follow the Weight Watchers diet program. “The exercise lifted my spirits and I lost a few pounds at Weight Watchers, but it was nothing substantial,” recalled Bonfanti. “I felt I needed more direction.”
About a year ago, she started working with Janelle Nicolo of Body Ambition, who specializes in nutritional consulting and training inside the bodyco facility.
“One of the first things she did was increase my calorie intake . . . all my meals have protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. She plans out balanced meals, sending me an Excel spreadsheet for each day,” added Bonfanti who explained that Nicolo also gives directions with the portions too.
“Once you start this you don’t have cravings anymore,” said Bonfanti who used to be tempted by the wedding cakes and warm rolls and breads that passed by her eyes at Angelica’s. “Now, it doesn’t feel like deprivation, I just don’t feel like I want it all.”
“It’s amazing. I hadn’t been in bikini shape for years. I didn’t have the confidence,” says the five-foot, five-inch Middleton mom who has now lost 30 pounds since last summer. She dropped most of the weight by September-October of 2011 and decided at that time to start training for a bodybuilding contest in the master’s 45-and-over division.
Bonfanti, who is now a svelte size 2, managed to transform her body with regular foods — no supplements, no shakes. But she does eat six substantial meals a day.
And of course, she exercises six days a week. For one hour a day. Right now, she is concentrating most of her exercise efforts on preparation for the competition.
er regular routine involves cross training taking a variety of classes at bodyco where she can spin, go to boot camp or do yoga and other classes as well as lift weights three times a week.
In preparation for the April 28 competition, Bonfanti is following her trainer’s advice with some adjustments in diet and exercise such as giving up her favorite snack, Caboni yogurt with cocoa powder and peanut butter, which she says tastes like a Reesce’s peanut butter cup. And she’s also enjoying some group weightlifting classes, loving the motivation that comes from fellow exercisers.
“I’m trying to lower my body fat to show muscle for the competition so the yogurt was eliminated a few weeks ago,” said Bonfanti who is now adding Chia seeds and wheatgrass to her diet to provide higher Omega 3’s and lots of fiber. Eating wheatgrass tastes like the grass just mowed,” joked Bonfanti who mentioned her husband Lennie is so amazed at the results. “I’ve never been in shape like this before.”
With her new diet, Bonfanti said that she keeps a steady blood sugar level all day and does not experience hunger anxiety at 3 in the afternoon.
White bread, diet Coke and other sodas are no longer part of Bonfanti’s diet. “I feel so much better physically and mentally,” added Bonfanti who works 50-60 hours a week at the restaurant.
Bonfanti is at the bodyco gym at 5:30 a.m. when she works out for an hour a day and sometimes takes an extra class for fun. Her enthusiasm has already inspired her daughter Amanda, who has also lost 30 pounds by following some of the same exercise and diet tips her mother has done.
“You just need direction and structure,” concluded Bonfanti who notes that her trainer encourages to eat every 2-3 hours.
Entered in both a bikini and muscle posing contests, She will compete on April 28 with 12/?? Other women from the bodyco club who range in age from 27 to 51.
The whole thing is to eat healthier, meaning less processed foods, stressed Bonfanti.
Advice from her coach
Bonfanti’s nutrition and exercise coach Janelle Nicolo, who works out of the bodyco studio owned by Steve Tambini, has nine clients competing in the Foxwoods “Fitness New England show.
A graduate of Salem State University, Nicolo received her fitness certification from the American Counsel on Exercise (ACE) and has been offering personnel training for five years as well as fitness coaching for competitive fitness and nutrition plans.
The initial goal for Dawn, stressed Nicolo, was to get healthy and lose some weight — not to get up on stage.
I helped get her on a plan that organized her food choices with a more healthy outlook. Instead of points and calories, the goal is to balance 5-6 meals throughout day. You’ll see changes on inside and outside,” said the nutritionist.
Noting that many people under the Weight Watchers plan save their points until the end of the day, Nicolo clarified that the body can only digest a certain number of calories at a time and it’s better to utilize them over the course of the day.
“After Dawn started to lose weight, we decided on the next goal — to try and get her on stage,” said Nicolo who explained it is all about the journey and conquering that fear of getting up there.”
“So we have focused on balancing out. The judges want symmetry, not just a skinny person. She’s being judged on her physique and it was a multi-step process to get her here.”
As for Dawn’s diet, Nicolo said that she has been “eating clean food, nothing processed. . . mostly lean proteins, whole grains and tons of vegetables and fruit.Never cut out any food groups,” she said. Bonfanti is also drinking over a gallon of water a day. “It flushes out all those toxins,” said the trainer.
Of the nine competitors from bodyco traveling to the Fitness New England event, the majority are in their 30s, and the youngest is 27 and a cancer survivor.
“It’s really nice to see what drives people, and it’s always different. It’s not about flashing oneself on stage, it’s a journey and what you can accomplish,” stressed the Middleton fitness trainer.
Read more: Middleton woman is inspirational – Middleton, MA – Wicked Local Middleton http://www.wickedlocal.com/middleton/news/x1221870939/Middleton-woman-is-inspirational#ixzz20KpDOi8E