Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Clovis girl reaches weight goal

Breanna Bond celebrated reaching her target weight Tuesday by attending a swimming practice.

Breanna weighed 186 pounds when, with her Clovis family’s help, she began losing weight more than a year ago.

On Tuesday, she weighed 110 pounds.

It wasn’t surprising she spent the day moving. The 10-year-old has swam, walked and jumped the weight off — along with eating a healthy diet.

Breanna’s mom, Heidi Bond, said they might plan a big weight loss party down the road, but they didn’t want her to miss out on swim practice. It was Breanna’s fourth physical activity of the day.

I first interviewed Heidi and Breanna in August 2012, early in her weight-loss effort, for a story about obese children and how they were slimming down. Since that story, Breanna’s been interviewed on local television, CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and most recently, on The Biggest Loser.

It’s all sort of surreal, Heidi Bond said.

“We really had to fight for every pound,” she said. “But now that it’s here, the journey didn’t seem so hard.”

Below are excerpts from the August 2012 story about Breanna.

Date: Sunday, 8/19/2012
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page: A1
Edition: FINAL

Origin: Barbara Anderson The Fresno Bee
Valley children show obesity can be overcome.
Text: Bouncing higher and higher on a trampoline, Breanna Bond reached out, touched her toes and flashed her mother a grin almost as wide as her outstretched arms.
The midair move marked another fitness milestone for the 10-year-old Clovis girl, who seven months ago weighed 186 pounds and was so out of shape she struggled when stooping to tie a shoe.

More than 50 pounds lighter and limber, Breanna showed off her trampoline skills on a recent afternoon. “Look, I’m going to do a flip, ” she said, turning upside down and landing on her feet.

“She just inspires me every day, ” Breanna’s mother, Heidi Bond, said of her daughter’s efforts.
Bond, the Clovis mother, has taught Breanna how to make a low-fat pizza and other healthy meals.

For Breanna — who dropped 56 pounds in seven months — the family’s diet had to change, Bond said. They could no longer have dinners of enchiladas, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Instead, they switched to chicken breasts, couscous, fresh steamed squash with no butter and salads with lemon juice for dressing.

Breanna is limited to a daily fat intake of 20 grams. While it sounds harsh, Bond said, it’s really not. For example, she can have cereal with fat-free milk for breakfast and low-fat pizza slices with fruit for lunch. For dinner, there’s chicken tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and low-fat cheese on steamed tortillas.

Without the diet change, Bond said, Breanna would weigh more than 200 pounds today. In kindergarten, she weighed 100 pounds, and each year since had gained 20 pounds, reaching 186 pounds by age 9. Now, at 130 pounds and 5 feet, 1 inch, she has 15 more pounds to go to reach her goal weight of 115, Bond said.

Bond said she’s had to adhere to a strict exercise routine right along with Breanna to keep the 10-year-old on her weight-loss track. But that can be tough, she said, because she’d never “exercised a day in my life.”

And don’t expect children not to complain, Bond said.

Breanna balked when the family began taking a 3.8-mile walk four nights a week. The walks chafed her legs and she struggled to keep up.

Breanna said she wanted to quit. “I could barely move when I was heavier.”

This summer, mother and daughter walked six days a week for 50 minutes at a time and ran for 10 minutes. They walked another 25 minutes in the evening and ran for 10 minutes. Breanna also did two other activities five days a week. The recent bouncing at SkyWalk Trampoline Arena counted as one of those.

And she’s joined a competitive cheer team — something she never considered at her heavier weight.

Breanna still occasionally grumbles about exercising, but Bond doesn’t budge. She has motivation to keep her daughter moving. Breanna’s paternal grandfather died at a young age of diabetes.

“I want to see Breanna be a mom, ” she said. “I want her to be a grandma. I don’t want her to die early.”

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