Trey Bonner likes to say he and his wife Jenn are “half the couple, living twice the life.”Three years ago, they started to lose weight. Jenn dropped 187 pounds in 15 months, and Trey lost 105 in 8 months. The Bonner’s methods included being on the Medifast weight loss plan. The meal replacement program includes a selection of more than 80 products such as shakes, bars and pancake mixes.
During the weight loss process, the Bonners received support and encouragement from a certified optimal health coach with the “Take Shape for Life” program. Now they are both serving in that same role for others.
“He was there to support us and provide a listening ear,” Trey said regarding their coach.
The Bonners, 39, are the parents of Hayley, 17, and Ava, 7.
The weight loss was the result of a “perfect storm,” according to Jenn.
“Trey has an autoimmune disease, and I was tired of being who I was,” she said. “I was watching Ava and knowing if she followed in my footsteps, she would have self-esteem issues during her childhood and teenage years.
“Our little girl does not remember us being obese,” Jenn added.
Maintaining the weight loss has required a mental shift, according to Trey.
“It will be a challenge for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We are not going back to where we were.”
The Bonner’s weight loss was included in the May issue of “O, The Oprah Magazine.” It included a photo of Jenn and the story of the couple’s success.
That coverage occurred after someone from Medifast approached the editors of the magazine.
Jenn, who grew up in a small town in Wyoming, said the December photo shoot in New York was surreal.
“There were people in the fashion industry telling me I looked fabulous,” she said. “It was very confidence boosting. I walk into a room now, and I’m not being judged on my weight.
“My family is extremely proud of the [profile in the] magazine and what we’ve done to change our lives,” Jenn added.
That coverage can be viewed online at www.oprah.com/style/5-Style-Tips-for-a-Newer-You/2.
“Her personality has really blossomed through this,” Trey said.
He said there are “ripple impacts” to others’ health when people lose weight. The positive effects can result in friends and family members and friends of friends and friends of family members focusing on their health.
“It is like a ripple in a pond,” Trey said.
“Our goal is that America gets healthy,” he added. “We are in a sad state.”
The Bonners applaud the efforts of the “Camas and Washougal on a Diet” program, which encourages healthy eating and participation in various fitness activities. The yearlong program, which started in May, also includes a friendly competition between Camas Mayor Scott Higgins and Washougal Mayor Sean Guard to encourage weight loss and inspire their communities.
“Any effort that someone can make is fantastic,” Trey said. “I’m excited for the opportunity for the community to change.
“We just have to want it — the change, the health, a different way of life,” he added.
To maintain their current weight, the Bonners continue on the Medifast program. They are both training to run in this year’s Portland Marathon in October.
Trey has never run a half-marathon or a marathon. He will be raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Last year, Jenn raised $1,000 for the Children’s Cancer Association when she ran the Portland Half-Marathon. This year, she is hoping to raise $2,000 to $5,000 for the same organization.
“My goal is to always be race ready,” Jenn said.
“We will always have our issues,” Trey said. “We work through it as a team. We’re determined not to go back to what we were — unhealthy and unhappy.
“Our goal is to slide into the grave at age 110 and say ‘what a ride,’” he added.