A woman in Summerville, S.C., is thanking a police officer for giving her a seat belt violation ticket during a traffic stop. Why? Because it inspired her to lose weight. Janette Colantonio remembers the drive home from school that triggered a state trooper to pull her over. ”I saw the blue lights behind me and I pretty much knew what the ticket was going to be for,” Colantonio said.
She was driving without wearing her seatbelt, an instant $25.00 penalty in the state. Colantonio had not worn her seat belt for years. At 408 lbs, the seat belt wouldn’t cover her frame.
She remembers trooper Mark Amos being a kind man, but he still issued her a violation ticket in March of 2011. A year and a half later, Colantonio asked local authorities to help her find the trooper so that she could thank him for issuing her the ticket that inspired her to lose 200 lbs. ”I’m sure there’s a lot of things that led up to that point, but that ticket was like reality in my face,” she said. “And I don’t know if I would have done it as quickly if I didn’t get the ticket.”
Although the trooper didn’t suggest that she lose weight, Colantonio believes by issuing the ticket, trooper Amos gave her the extra push she needed. She immediately started dieting, exercising, and studying healthy eating habits. ”I never believed I could lose two hundred plus pounds in a year and a half, especially without surgery or pills,” Colantonio said.
Trooper Amos hopes Colantonio’s journey will inspire others “It happens a lot with South Carolina’s obesity rate,” Amos said.”Hopefully she’s going to set a prime example what you can do and how you can better yourself.” Colantonio’s husband reveres his wife as an inspiration. “That you don’t need to be heavy.
Anybody can change,” Matthew Colantonio said of his wife’s drastic lifestyle adjustment.”Anything they want to change, you just have to have motivation to change it.” Colantonio’s goal is to get down to 145 pounds. As she continues to lose weight, she wants people to join her by motivating folks through her Facebook page.