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The Doctor Said I Couldn’t, so I Did: The Road to a Better Me


As 2015 rolls in, many of us are looking forward to a fresh start. If you’re hoping to turn your health around and wondering how you can finally achieve your fitness goals, we’d like to congratulate you as early as now. The journey to a better you starts with wanting to take the first step – as what Rona Samson, a distinguished fitness figure and fiancée of It’s Showtime host and athlete, Eric Tai, has proven.

Lifting a Heavy Weight 

Four years ago, Rona’s doctor in the United States said she won’t be able to run again or wear heels with her weight of 260 pounds. At 29, Rona was also suffering from fatty liver, high blood pressure, plantar fasciitis, and sleep apnea.

This may seem the end of the line for some people, but not for her.

Shedding the Pounds 

With nothing to do after a patella fracture in 2009, eating became Rona’s only exercise and excuse. The weight gain, however, continued even after she had fully recovered.

While some people simply want to look better, Rona’s motivation went beyond appearances. “My goal then was never really focused on how I looked, it was about how I wanted to be able to do the things that I used to do and love.”

“I made a move towards change. I started to do walking, and then tried out an elliptical machine. Soon, I bought a treadmill at home, since I was shy to go to the gym. I began with 20 minutes of cardio or whatever was tolerable to my pain level. As the days passed, 20 minutes became 25 then 30, and so on,” she recalled. She also tried other activities, including boxing, crossfit, and Pilates.



When Rona moved to the Philippines, she got into strength training with a personal trainer. Finally, she did what her doctor said she wouldn’t be able to do anymore. Rona ran a 10-km race.

Rediscovering Eating 

Having a healthier eating habit played a huge role in Rona’s weight loss journey. She learned to read labels and spent time researching for healthier meals. “When I go shopping, I have to pay extra for health-conscious food items, but back then, preparing them and cooking them always presented a challenge.”

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Fortunately, her discovery of Detoxify Bar helped her stick to her diet. “I shared with them my journey. And I was excited that their menu matches my three principles – their food is mindful of the carb count, no salt, and no bad oil used. Best of all, their meal plans have taken out the guesswork in preparing meals. So me and Eric just eat there everyday.” She added that Detoxify Bar also introduced her to juicing. “I tried it [juicing] before but it did not taste right. When I tried their juices, I knew then I had spoken too soon.”

Staying on Track

After losing about a hundred pounds, Rona now spends one to three hours everyday for exercise. Her remarkable weight loss journey helped her understand the struggles of those who want to lose weight, but couldn’t. “I’ve been there before. People are prone to say, ‘This is okay na; there is no more chance that I will lose this weight.’”

If you’re planning to become fit for 2015, Rona has this to say: “Let it become a habit. Give it a try – say, two weeks of honest effort. If the routine is getting tired or dullsome, find a way to make it new again.” The same goes with your diet. Although sticking to a set meal everyday may be convenient, trying out other healthy meals make eating more fun and exciting. She shares, “Say for this week, we order Rosemary chicken – which me and Eric love – along with something different, like mushroom soup. Then it becomes a new culinary experience again.”

The road to a healthier you is long, but rewarding. Being at your heaviest shouldn’t stop you from trying to shed the pounds. Your reasons for staying healthy must go beyond looking good. For Rona, it was wanting to be stronger – not just as strong as she was in the past, but stronger than she had ever been.

What’s yours?

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