About our Cover Model: Tina Brice

By Annette Pinder

Tina Brice grew up in Amherst with her parents, older brother, and younger sister. Her dad Walter Hobson, now deceased, grew up near Memphis, moved to Buffalo as a teenager, and dreamed of owning his own business. “He met my mom, Bonnie, who was studying business administration, and they turned out to be a perfect match,” said Tina.

“To save money to start his own business, Dad drove the metro bus, often sleeping on the bus, and driving the next shift. He saved enough money to purchase a laundromat with an apartment over it, and then purchased a dry-cleaning plant. At one point, my parents had eight dry cleaning locations, but eventually decided to keep only the original Hobsons Dry Cleaners at 875 East Delavan in Buffalo, which has been successful for the past 50 years. The medical logo for Hobsons was created because of my father’s service as a medic in the army in Viet Nam following high school. Despite never attending college, my dad became one of the most successful Black businessmen in Buffalo.”

Tina has been a dental hygienist for over 22 years, and currently works at Jauch Family Dentistry in Amherst. “I see many patients who fear going to the dentist, which is unfortunate, because few people understand the relationship between your dental and physical health. This is especially true for people who have periodontal disease. I encourage people who fear coming to the dentist to talk to me so that we can work together to help overcome their fears.”

Tina and her husband Harvey met in England at Harvey’s brother’s wedding. “We were both dating other people at the time, but met up again when we were both single. We knew immediately that we wanted to see more of each other, and flew back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K. about every 4-6 weeks. Luckily airfares were much more affordable then, and we’ve been together for over 20 years.”

One of the most significant experiences in Tina’s life has been her weight loss journey. “In 2016 I was heavier than I’d ever been, and at 5’3, weighed 185 pounds, and my boobs were humongous.” Tina underwent breast reduction surgery in June 2016, which removed six pounds of excess breast tissue. She says, “Imagine four sticks of butter to a pound. I was carrying the equivalent of 24 sticks of butter on the front of my body. It was really hard.” The surgery helped motivate her further. “I lost 40 pounds through calorie-counting, walking, and exercising at the gym.”

At around the same time, Tina’s husband Harvey began his own weight loss journey, lost over 70 pounds, became a prolific runner, and started a program called 75 Hard Challenge. The program’s six major rules are: 1) choose a diet and stick to it; 2) no cheat meals and no alcohol; 3) drink a gallon of water daily; 4) take a daily progress photo; 5) perform two 45-minute workouts daily, with one outside, regardless of the weather; and 6) read 10 pages a day of a self-improvement book. If you screw up, you have to start over from day one. Harvey challenged Tina to do 75 Hard with him, and she lost an additional 20 pounds. To support Tina’s efforts, Jauch Family Dental hired a personal trainer, Chris Cloutier, to work weekly with Tina, their office manager Mary and Dr Jauch himself. “I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful practice to work for,” says Tina.

Now 60 pounds lighter, Tina enjoys creating, exercising, gardening, walking her rescue dogs Belle and Brandi, and practicing self-care. “My husband and I eat clean and count the nutrients we put into our bodies, knowing they give us more energy. I walk six miles a day, and Harvey is in Checkers running club.” Both Tina and Harvey’s children, Gage and Jaden, are proud of their parents’ accomplishments. Gage is a senior data analyst at M&T Bank and Jaden is studying fashion and textile design at Buffalo State College.

What is Tina’s best advice for anyone wanting to embark upon a weight loss journey? “Don’t make dramatic requests of yourself. Start by moving more today than you did yesterday. Change one thing. Choose fish and veggies for a meal, instead of a burger. Think – I didn’t get fat overnight. I’m not going to get skinny overnight. So, pick something and do more than the day before. If you walked to the corner today, walk around the block tomorrow. Think, what if today’s the day you didn’t quit?”