Regina Bartlett wears many hats. She is an accomplished author and blogger. She is a fitness trainer. She is a marathon runner. She is a motivational speaker. But most of all, she is an inspiration. “I’m a wife, mother, avid crafter, and lover of Jesus and tiny dogs everywhere with a story to tell,” she says with a laugh.
Regina’s story began when she took her first step on her awe-inspiring journey to wellness. “I was morbidly obese for 30 years. I never believed I could change my life,” she says. “For so many years I felt like I was alone, and that no one would understand how I was feeling about my weight. I felt trapped in my own body.” Through a gastric bypass surgery and “a whole lot of faith,” Regina was able to lose 250 pounds and achieve her lifelong dream of running the New York City Marathon.
Regina chronicled her amazing transformation in her book Food, Sweat, & Fears. “I discovered that the more open I was about how I was feeling, the more I found people were just like me. We tend to isolate during times of stress, trauma or failure. I discovered that sharing my story - all of it - helped other people share their own.”
“I want people to know that it doesn’t matter where you are now with your weight, or how long you’ve been here. Every single moment presents another opportunity to try again. I’m living proof.”
Knowing how difficult long-term weight loss success can be, Regina continues to shares her life adventures on her blog REGINABARTLETT.COM and her Navigating Weight Loss Facebook page. “These peer-to-peer relationships are critical, especially when so many people still don’t have a thorough understanding of weight loss surgery.” Her blog and book has been read by people around the world. “It’s amazing and humbling to have people find value in what you do. It’s a privilege.”
Regina is equally as passionate about creating healthy - and tasty - food that is bariatric friendly. Her mini-cookbook, Healthy Fare: Bariatric Friendly Recipes and Helpful Guides, is being expanded to a full cookbook this spring, complete with her favorite recipes made healthy. She’s also finishing up her next book, Me, My Fat, & I: A Divorce Story. “It’s about how fat becomes an identity that you are connected to, and the fear and loss of identity when you are no longer what you always thought you were. It’s powerful.”
Even if you’ve never had a weight problem, you probably have had something that has weighed you down. “It causes you to lose your focus, your way,” Regina says, adding that her weight loss story is relatable to many personal struggles. A frequent speaker at Miriam Hospital’s Center for Bariatric Surgery, her message is one of hope. “I love seeing the hope on people’s faces when they hear my story and see that there’s a way to get healthy.”
Regina not only talks the talk on her blog, she walks the walk everyday as a fitness professional. She is the Membership Director at the Ocean Community YMCA, Arcadia Branch, as well as a fitness instructor. “I get to see the best part of my community come together to share health, wellness, and each other at the Y.” She is a licensed POUND trainer, leading cardio classes that uses lightly weighted drumsticks to music. “We have a blast! It’s so fun and high energy
that you almost forget you’re working out.” “I’m most proud of people just walking in the door. I know that feeling firsthand -- it’s the longest walk. Just getting to the gym is something to be proud of. I never take for granted that people come to my class. It
can be the toughest thing they do all day.” Regina’s energy and love for live is positively contagious. She’s active in her church, where you can find her singing on the praise team. After completing her first marathon goal, she set her sights on another childhood dream: becoming a Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate. And she’s currently training for an Ironman race that includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run.
Regina and her loving husband Jeff fill their empty nest from their combined family of six adult children with two very tiny, yet adorable Chihuahuas named Sid Vicious and Taxi Fitzgerald. “I’m fortunate, truly. I get to spend my days doing the things that I completely believe in, and I’m surrounded by love,” Regina says. “I get to laugh and have fun while I work. What’s better than that?”
West Greenwich | 219-2322