Fit to fat and fit again - Inside Donovan White's fitness journey
Name: Donovan White
Career: VP Marketing & Sales, Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited
Weight Before: 270 pounds
Weight After: 169 pounds
Duration: 1 year
Known as the marketing magnet that has been in the industry for more than 15 years, spanning time in the media when he was at CVM television then National Outdoor Advertising, until later on when he ventured into the telecoms market and joined the team at Digicel before moving on to join the Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited (CCJL) family, Donovan White's DNA has been rewritten to include everything marketing. In fact, at every turn in his life, marketing comes chasing. Since his tenure at CCJL, White's role was revolved around ensuring that CCJL is properly geared to meet customer expectations and to use that platform to create an enhanced experience for the customer. But while focused on career and marketing, the former Kingston College schoolboy athlete failed at one crucial aspect - looking after himself.
At his peak,in the late '80s and early '90s, as a track athlete competing in the 400 metres at Boys Champs, White made light work of his competitors. He was a lean, lanky middle-distance runner. His dream of becoming a pro athlete never materialised, as at the age of 27 he suffered a serious injury. Years of disappointment followed White through his 20s and 30s that saw the star KC runner move from fit to fat. Focused on work and career, White became inactive, bad eating habits developed and he gained so much weight it affected his breathing. At his heaviest, White weighed as much as an entire little league basketball team. He waddled around with some 270 pounds.
Now standing tall at 44 years, White has rediscovered an old love, as he has started running just over a year ago. According to him, "part of being happy is rediscovering a passion that I had since I was 10 years old, which is running," he shared.
The Donovan White story is a story of discovering his proverbial 'mojo'. Before rediscovering the joys of running White's reigns on his life loosened and it began to spiral out of control. In-between working non-stop and ignoring his well-being, he was preoccupied with enjoying his social existence and during this time his weight fluctuated. "I went through a phase where I gained and lost weight rapidly, on and off. In this last phase which was about a year ago, I weighed 270 pounds and it was at that point the light bulb went off in my head." He continued, "I was looking in the mirror and looking where I was in life, what was important in me and wanting to be around long enough for that important part in me to be manifested," he stated.
Being with his children and watching them grow up was something that was really important to the marketing executive and it was at that point that his life changed. "What was important was to see my kids grow up and to be able to enjoy what I work very hard for with them, so September last year, I made a conscious decision not just to lose weight, but to change and transform my lifestyle."
Although White, quite rightly, likes to keep his private life private, he maintains that he is very big on family and the lasting bond that he shares with his children. "The most important people in my life are my three children - Daminik, Neah and my adopted daughter, Makayla. Although White has yet to be remarried, he shares a special bond with the love of his life. According to him, "She helps to bring stability to every and anything I do, so mentally and physically I'm in a happy place."
To get himself back in shape, Donovan walked, jogged, joined a fitness club, enrolled in the gym and changed his diet by watching what he ate and exercising portion control.
Over the course of a year, White has lost a total of 100 pounds and six inches off his waist, and the big guy that he once saw in the mirror is long gone. He has moved from fit to fat to fit again. A struggle many people know all too well. "A part of my weight loss journey was doing 5ks and boot camps," White says. "I actually get nostalgic from time to time because I never thought that I would be athletic again. It's like a high for me every day and I enjoy every minute of it without looking back," he ended.