Many times, life without challenges is a life without change.
Growing up in a military family, Mary Donahue lived in many places until the family settled in San Bernardino, California. Mary recalls her adolescence as “typical teenage years” indulging in junk food and poor health choices. Years of bad eating habits as an adolescent led to yo-yo diets as an adult. This, coupled with the stress of the corporate world, caused Mary to become obese and diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2010.
Despite the warning signs, Mary was in denial that anything was wrong with her health. Shortly after her diagnosis, she went into diabetic shock and was found on the garage floor by a family member. She was rushed to the hospital and due to her dangerously high sugar and blood pressure levels was put into a medically induced coma for several days.. While in the coma, she heard the doctors telling her family that if she didn’t change her lifestyle, she would be dead within six months. Once she was stabilized, Mary was determined not to fall into the same bad habits that led both her parents to a premature death.
Soon after she was discharged, Mary joined a nearby gym and vowed to be healthier. After three months of rigorous training, Mary lost 30 pounds and continued to lose weight totaling over 100 pounds in 14 months. In November 2011, a fitness instructor approached Mary and convinced her to teach classes since she spent so much time at the gym. She started off as an Aquatics Instructor and eventually earned a group exercise certification. By 2013, Mary was off all her medications and says, “I get checked every three months…I’m still considered a diabetic, but I control my diabetes with diet and exercise. I love to exercise and getting paid makes it even better!”
In addition to the passion she had for health and wellness at this point, Mary was just as passionate about choosing her clientele wisely. She noticed that people over the age of 40 (especially women) were either not trained properly or ostracized by people outside of that age group. Thus, that is why she started her own company called, “Donafit,” where Dona in Portuguese means “mature woman” and it tied in nicely with her last name!
Mary went on to discover NCCPT on her own and considers it one of the greatest catalysts behind her career. In 2018, before she officially became certified, Mary says, “Lindsey (my counselor) kept me focused and wouldn’t let me give up. If it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t be doing any of this.” Currently, Mary holds a Senior Fitness and Weight Management certification through NCCPT and in addition to working at the gym, she trains at various senior citizens’ facilities.
Preparing for the future, Mary plans to focus on being a mobile fitness instructor and work with clients one on one. She says, “I do it so people can reach their full potential. My career and lifestyle are truly fulfilling and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
For more information on Mary Donahue or to connect with her personally, you can reach her by phone or email at the following:
Article written by: Hamed Hamad