SEATTLE, Washington (KING) – One picture. It was a simple but life-changing catalyst that made Stephanie Anne Johnson think twice about what she was doing and where she would go next.
“I saw a picture of myself with my boyfriend at my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. I looked at that photo and said I don’t like this. This is not okay,” she remembers.
It was NBC’s The Voice stage that introduced Johnson to millions during season 5. The singer/songwriter from Tacoma is a former cruise ship singer who’s released multiple albums and is still performing locally in Western Washington.
But the feeling she felt after that photograph created a new passion that lives inside of her today.
“She’s the most determined human being I’ve ever met in my life,” said Tam Gronewold, a certified personal trainer who has been working with Johnson. “When she first came she was barefoot most of the time because her feet hurt. Now she’s jumping around with weights.”
The progress, for Johnson, is obvious – both inside and out. In 10 months she’s been able to lose 20 lbs. and 15 inches.
“I had never really worked out before seriously. I’ve done weight lifting before as a class. I did it in college, but I didn’t have the overall fitness,” Johnson said. “Fitness just isn’t getting in the gym and lifting the weights. It’s the form, the proper nutrition and the proper plan.”
But the impacts have gone deeper than looks, she said. Johnson said at 230 pounds, she struggled with crippling depression and a failure complex.
“I feel more positive about my life overall,” she said. “I’m definitely more hopeful for the future.”
A part of that, she said, is being part of a community. She’s working with children a couple days a week as she teaches at The Gig Spot in Gig Harbor. She’s also currently performing in a Musical called ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ through the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
Working out 4 or 5 days a week is helping her keep an active lifestyle on and off the stage, she said.
“Your body can and will do amazing things if you ask it nicely and feed it well,” she said.