[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Cailyn Blonstein” align=”alignnone” width=”500″][/media-credit]
Cailyn Blonstein, a junior journalism major, was recently recognized for her weight loss journey on the hit talk show “Good Morning America.”
In June 2014, Blonstein decided it was time to make a lifestyle change. Motivated by her parents and friends, she began eating healthier.
Cutting carbs, junk food, fast food and ice cream, Blonstein’s weight fell off very quickly; she lost 20 pounds in the first three weeks.
“I was overweight my whole life and everyone had wanted me to lose weight,” Blonstein said.
Along the way, Blonstein’s biggest challenge was dealing with plateaus. As she got closer to her goal weight, she noticed that no matter what she did, she would stay at the same weight.
To help herself stay on track, Blonstein used what she calls a “treating herself” method.
When she lost 10 pounds, she would buy a $10 shirt in a smaller size. Right before she reached her 70-pound milestone, she treated herself to a $70 Victoria’s Secret shopping spree. The added bonuses kept her motivated.
Today, Blonstein is approaching the 16th month of her weight loss expedition. She has discovered that before she lost weight, she was a much less outgoing, spunky girl. She was more modest and reserved.
During the last 16 months, Blonstein has learned who she is, and because of that, her personality, how she views the world and how she reacts to things has drastically improved.
Blonstein was very public about her journey. She posted pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in an effort to reach out for support.
“I feel like [losing weight] is such a taboo thing. People don’t know how to get help, people don’t know how to talk about it and I didn’t want that. I wanted people to see that I was struggling and I wanted help,” Blonstein said.
She was open to receiving pointers and wanted advice, however, she knew it was possible that people would disagree or give her hate for it, but she didn’t care.
“I did this for me, not for anyone else,” she said.
Blonstein wasn’t alone throughout her entire experience. Her father, Bart, joined her in losing weight.
“I was following what she [Cailyn] was doing. My goal is to get to my high school weight. I’m about eight or 10 pounds away,” he said.
Bart was Cailyn’s personal chef. He made her eggs in the morning and chicken salads for lunch nearly every day.
“It was a good feeling. It made her happier; it made both of us happier, to do it together,” Bart said.
This past August, Blonstein tweeted at “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson, expressing her thanks to her for inspiration and to give her a fourteen month update. Johnson then screenshotted Blonstein’s tweet and posted it on her Facebook wall.
Along with the screenshot, Johnson wrote something along the lines that Blonstein thinks Johnson inspired her when in reality, it was the other way around.
After the exchange, Blonstein began gaining Twitter followers and receiving comments from people across the nation. The next day, Johnson tweeted at Blonstein, asking her to email her. She then asked for Blonstein’s story, curious how she became overweight and what she did to lose it.
Johnson then asked Blonstein if she would be interested in promoting her new book, “The Shift,” on an episode of “Good Morning America.”
Blonstein was hesitant at first. She has little experience being in front of the camera and didn’t particularly like speaking in front of people. However, with a little push from her father, Blonstein decided she couldn’t turn down such an incredible opportunity.
On Sunday, Sept. 13, Johnson and her crew arrived at the York Hill campus. Many of Blonstein’s friends arrived on scene with cameras, filming and taking pictures.
[media-credit name=”Photo courtesty of Cailyn Blonstein” align=”aligncenter” width=”500″][/media-credit]
Senior Jenn Porkka was present when her friend made it to the big screen.
“I’m really impressed with how Cailyn [Blonstein] handled herself the day GMA came to interview her. She was so upbeat and ready to take on the day, so she had everyone in a great mood,” Porkka said.
Blonstein said her favorite part of the entire experience was when Johnson surprised her. She had no idea Johnson would come to Quinnipiac. Blonstein said the entire situation was very surreal. Many people asked her if she had to fake being surprised for the cameras.
“You can’t fake that kind of happiness,” she said. “It didn’t feel as big of a deal as it was. I knew it was a big deal, it just still hasn’t clicked that I was on TV in front of millions of people.”
She was thrilled to meet the person who inspired her entire journey. Tory Johnson even gave her a $500 gift card to The Gap to buy a new wardrobe.
“I couldn’t help but be proud of Cailyn because she was overcoming such a milestone. The fact that she shared it on Good Morning America made it almost surreal,” Porkka said.
Following the interview, Blonstein was offered to apply for a summer internship with “GMA.” Blonstein hopes to lose about 35 more pounds.