Regional Director Tonya Todd is a personal trainer at a local gym in Illinois. Through ViSalus and her online Challenge Group, she helps people all over the country from Alaska to Iowa lose weight and get fit. She’s helped more than 160 people lose 3,000 lbs. and has dropped over 110 lbs. herself.
Yet Tonya’s proudest moments stem from working one-to-one with a 12-year-old boy named Jassim—better known as Jazz.
Jazz came to Tonya with a big goal, to lose 50 lbs. and learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle.
“I was emotional about losing weight, but I was ready to do something. I was ready to change my life,” says Jazz, who has lost 20 lbs. over multiple Challenges.
Living the Vi Life Takes Dedication
Tonya and Jazz take a balanced, holistic approach to nutrition and exercise. Jazz keeps a food diary where he records his meals and snacks to stay accountable. He typically starts his day with Vi Crunch and incorporates Vi-Shape as well. He’s ditched the junk food and now enjoys healthy alternatives like salads and fish. Jazz even helps his mother in the kitchen, setting a good example for his younger siblings on how to prepare healthy meals.
With training scheduled two times a week, Jazz does not take any shortcuts when it comes to putting in the work it takes to shed the lbs. Tonya and Jazz practice tabata training, which is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that lasts just four minutes, but is super intense. The structure works this way: 20 seconds of intense workout followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeat for eight rounds total. Workouts can include pushups, squats, sit-ups and more. Tonya drills Jazz with resistance sprints and wall sits and Tabata training helps him improve endurance and speed.
“I do healthy things now. I know how to choose the right foods and I get plenty of exercise,” says Jazz. “I’m trying to encourage people, and especially kids, to lose weight and not give up on their dreams.” Another personal goal Jazz dreams about is becoming a professional football player, which requires the kind of discipline he is developing now with Tonya at his side.
Moline Joins the Vi Community
Jazz is one of now 21 other children impacted by the transformational power of Project 10™ Kids in the Moline school district where he attends middle school. This is where Vi Promoter Dana Van Gilder comes in. She is the owner and operations manager for a popular gym trio, and Tonya works at one of the local gyms. Dana was hugely instrumental in getting the district’s superintendent, teachers and nurses on board regarding Project 10 Kids, which has donated over 1,000 meals, drinks or snacks to children and helped raise awareness among Moline families about healthy living.
“As a community, we have to make the daily decision to eat right, get exercise,” says Tonya, adding, “It’s not about a quick or temporary fix. It’s about long-term commitment and lifestyle changes.”
This town may be small, but its voice is growing stronger each day as more and more children are exposed to Project 10 Kids and The Challenge through Tonya, Dana and their leadership team.