You’re in for a real treat for this week’s Physique of the Week! Some might know her as Bodybuilder Ninja that was featured on American Ninja Warrior, the girl that is outlifting all the guys at the gym or from her fast growing Youtube Channel; Eat Not Diet!
Meet Mimi Bonny! Mimi has been an avid weight lifter for 14 years and is now the Founder & CEO of EAT Not Diet, a “no one diet works for all” philosophy-driven resource that guides clients to explore their own unique strategy to eat for life. Her accomplishments include being a two-time nationally qualified bodybuilder in the NPC Figure Division, NBC American Ninja Warrior, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Certified Coach Practitioner in Lifestyle Wellness, Isopure Nutrition’s “More Than Muscle” Semifinalist, and Body Transformation Contest winner for Hydroxycut Nutrition and Muscle & Fitness Hers. She has also been featured in Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Magazine and FLEX Bodybuilding Magazine.
Let’s get started!
HealthGreatness: How did you get started in fitness?
Mimi: I was dating a guy who was really into fitness so I was open to trying it out. After I realized how naturally strong I was, it became a hobby, a habit, I became addicted and then it turned into a way of life. My number one question at the gym was “What are you training for?” I wasn’t training for anything and that’s when I discovered the world of Bodybuilding and said “What? There’s a sport for this?!” I looked at photos of bodybuilders and thought I could do that and the rest is history.
HealthGreatness: How has fitness changed your life?
Mimi: The funny thing is, now my #1 comment at the gym is “You put me to shame” in regards to the strength that I have for my size and in some cases, my strength even surpasses men. Progress is addicting! It feels so good to look back on a journey to see where you’ve come from and how slow, steady, and consistent work can reap astounding results. Fitness gives me something to work on every day, a sense of accomplishment in performance, and helps me towards building a masterpiece body. It instills discipline, focus, a tough mindset, and those endorphins gives you feel good hormones to take on the day! It’s really the key to my energy so working out has also turned into my coffee. Lastly, I’ve found the mentality from the gym to be so beneficial and applicable to reaching goals in all other areas of my life.
HealthGreatness: So you started EAT Not Diet, can you tell us a little about that and why do you want to spread this movement?
Mimi: EAT Not Diet is my philosophy that there is no single diet that works for everyone. I suffered from extreme weight fluctuations going on many fad diets and to the extent of a medical condition where I blew up like a human balloon with 33lbs of fluid in between my organs! I could’ve died if fluid got into my brain.
I’ve not only found a healthy way to eat for life but I’m also known for my appetite! The best diet is one that people can stick to and still achieve the body they want. My way of eating is a combination of 4 different diet concepts out there. I want to help people stop the madness of trying the next short-term diet fix. I want to be their trailblazer to help them explore and find their own unique way to eat for life that’s sustainable!
My goal is to help people understand enough about weight loss and personal change strategies so that they can be self-sufficient and inspire others to be better.
I’ve created DIY videos and a holistic experience that incorporates bodybuilding prep elements, fitness nutrition, psychology, and lifestyle wellness that looks at your other aspects of life from financial goals to relationship goals because health & fitness is a cornerstone that can significantly impact almost all of our goals.
HealthGreatness: So you were a contestant on American Ninja Warrior!!! How did that come about and how did you train for it?
Mimi: Yes, it was such a surreal experience! My co-worker suggested I try out for it so I thought why not. I had no idea I would actually be one of the 800 selected out of 50,000+ applicants!
Unfortunately, I only had 2.5 weeks of training for this. I was doing bodybuilding by day and ninja by night. I started off modifying regular weight lifting exercises. I was doing towel grip, fingertip, and weighted pull-ups. I was practicing single leg squats on top of a kettlebell for balance. I had to overcome so many fears and make progress in a matter of days. My bar work started at CrossFit learning how to fall down a bar, playgrounds to do laches aka “swing jump” across monkey bars and then I had the scariest 3 hours of my life at an obstacle course gym. I somehow even went on a 3 hr roadtrip with a ninja warrior, his son, and a guy who builds obstacles in his backyard to train with well-known seasoned ninja warriors including Michelle Warnky, 2nd female to make it over the Warp wall!
HealthGreatness: Sorry you didn’t do so well your first time. How does that make you feel?
Mimi: I felt so upset ever since I got out of that water! It haunted my nightmares. I couldn’t believe I fell on the log obstacle and had no idea it could take me out. I also feel like I let everyone down who supported me throughout my journey. Even Under Armour sponsored my gear and supported me for my run so I feel very defeated.
Despite the failure, I am in good spirits. Failures is where it starts and I did horribly the first time I competed in bodybuilding. We all have to start somewhere. That sense of defeat only fuels my determination to get better so it doesn’t happen again. I’ve never trained grip strength so I’m excited to get some freakish grip strength and strategically compete next time at a lower bodyweight. I will make an epic comeback!
I can’t thank American Ninja Warrior enough because I feel truly blessed to have such a rare experience and especially for the start of a new journey! This has given me a new sense of self and I think it’ll be so fun to bring the “bodybuilding” into “ninja.” I am taking this on as a personal challenge to become the best Bodybuilder Ninja!
HealthGreatness: What do you want to accomplish in the next couple of years in your fitness career?
Mimi: I will become a Pro IFBB Bodybuilder in the Figure division and I want to embody and represent Bodybuilder Ninja! I believe the only thing that changes from year to year is the people you meet and the experiences you have. I’m on a journey of all sorts and I’m thrilled for what’s to come!
HealthGreatness: Do you have any advice for people who want to start living a healthy lifestyle?
Mimi: First, honestly ask yourself why you want to start living a healthier lifestyle. Self-awareness is key to so much! There has to be a big enough “why” to help drive and reinforce your everyday actions. Your reason for wanting to be better should be worth your effort. The key to long-lasting results is to start with small gradual change that you can effortlessly incorporate into your daily life.
Follow Mimi’s journey!
Photos by: Rob Klein