How This Mom of Five Got Stronger, Inside and Out

DailyBurn Weight Loss Success Stories: Nancy Berry Idoni

Get inspired by these DailyBurn success stories, which showcase real people who committed to fitness and saw results that were way beyond average.

It wasn’t until after she’d overcome an eating disorder, become a mother to five children, divorced, moved cross-country and remarried that Nancy Berry Idoni got to a happy place with her weight. But when she finally did, the feeling was great. “I just feel strong. I feel mentally strong, which is really good because the stuff I had to go through in the past, it was a lot of struggle,” Idoni, now 49 years old, says.

Growing up, Idoni remembers being the only one in her family who struggled with weight. She carried an extra 10 pounds on her frame throughout her childhood. “I remember going on trips and we’d stop and all get ice cream, and they would make me have a V8,” she says. “As I got older, and was on my own, I couldn’t wait to be away from family and just eat all the things I wasn’t allowed to eat when I was growing up.”

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That mentality took a toll on her body. In her early 20s, the 5’5” Idoni remembers getting on the scale and feeling shocked when it read 170 pounds. Not knowing what else to do, she tried to skimp on calories — only to wind up overeating later. Eventually, this turned into a cycle of binging and purging. Though never officially diagnosed, Idoni developed what she now recognizes as bulimia and anorexia, even turning to laxatives at one point.

“I remember having to go to different stores so the employees didn’t see me buying all the boxes of Ex-Lax,” Idoni says. “…I was taking 30-something tablets a day and it wasn’t even doing anything at that point.” It wasn’t until Idoni’s then-husband caught on to her habit that she was able to wean herself off the pills and slowly start to recover.

Focusing on Family

It took becoming pregnant with her first child for Idoni to realize it was time to commit to staying healthy and leave her disordered habits behind. Though she didn’t seek medical attention, she wishes she had gotten help from professionals during her recovery. “I worked through it on my own because I didn’t know what else to do… But if [had gotten help], I probably would have been much better off,” Idoni says.

“One of her biggest challenges was learning to grocery shop to feed her family of seven.”

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During each of her pregnancies, Idoni gained about 50 pounds. Though she lost most of the weight each time, she says she was always about 20 pounds overweight. “I wasn’t really into exercising; I was too busy taking care of kids,” Idoni says. “By the time I had my fifth child, I didn’t look bad but I wasn’t where I wanted to be.” Not long after the birth of her youngest, her marriage failed, and she and her children moved from Tennessee to Idaho.

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A self-proclaimed sweets-lover, Idoni says she’d snack on chocolates and candies throughout the day. She never felt she had a good grasp of proper portion sizes, and wasn’t a stranger to mindlessly munching chips and other unhealthy snacks. “I kept myself OK-looking, but I wasn’t eating what I needed to or exercising regularly,” Idoni says.

Getting Stronger with DailyBurn

A few years after the move to Idaho, Idoni met her current husband, and decided it was time to feel better about her body. She resolved to start working out, and in April 2014, she discovered DailyBurn’s free 30-day trial.

“I started with Cardio Sculpt and I liked it right away. I remember going to work and being like, ‘I’m so sore and I did all these squats!’” Idoni, a dental hygienist, says. Resolved to revamp her diet, too, Idoni started using NutriSystem in an effort to learn more about portion sizes. After a few months using the pre-packaged meals, she felt confident enough to manage her diet on her own.

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Along the way, one of her biggest challenges was learning to grocery shop to feed her family of seven without blowing her budget. “I’ve found that cooking things by scratch takes a lot of time, but you get a lot of nutrients and it’s pretty cheap, so I buy a lot of dried beans, because it can go a long way,” she says. “We also use a lot of potatoes and rice, and I try to get things on sale and buy in multiple when I can,” she says.

Learning to Love Weightlifting

“It’s always kind of my fear that if I put on weight, I’d be a failure.”

With her workouts leaving her feeling powerful every day, and her eating habits in a good place, Idoni started to lose weight — and was able to progress to harder workouts. The newest addition to her fitness routine: strength training with DailyBurn’s Live to Fail program. “I really, really loved Live to Fail — that was the first time I really ever used free weights.” As she lost more weight, she loved the muscle definition that lifting gave her. She also turned to DailyBurn’s Black Fire program with Bob Harper for tough workouts that left her feeling sweaty and strong.

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Now 35 pounds down, Idoni is focused on building more muscle tone and conquering her second 10K race. She’s also excited to be a healthy role model for her five children — noting that it was difficult to overcome the disordered thoughts she’d long had about eating. “It’s always kind of my fear that if I put on weight, I’d be a failure but I have to get that out of my mind because it’s not about anyone else except for myself,” Idoni says.

Though it’s been a long, hard journey, Idoni says she feels better than ever. “My advice would be to take it day by day. I have to tell myself, ‘Think about whether you’re actually really hungry,’ or if it’s just an emotional thing,” Idoni says. “That’s how I deal with things, doing it day by day and trying to not be too hard on myself.”

To learn more about DailyBurn or to try a free 30-day trial yourself, head to DailyBurn.com.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week.