Bonis thrives on diet of air
Liz Bonis took her
fathers philosophy to heart.
He always told
me, ‘Do what you love and youll never work a day
in your life.
|Liz Bonis ’88
That explains why Bonis
88 (general dietetics and nutrition care) has no complaints
about the demands of her unique career as a health and nutrition
reporter and radio host. Shes working hard and loving it.
Her schedule is daunting:
Bonis gets up at 3 a.m., hits the treadmill and returns phone
and e-mail messages before heading to WVMX-FM in Cincinnati, where
she co-hosts the Liz and Carson Morning Show from 5:30
to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Later, she tapes health-related
news segments that run daily on Cincinnati TV station WKRC. She
does live radio spots five days a week on stations in several
states, and tapes 60- to 90-second Lighten Up with Liz
Every Saturday, her
hour-long, live radio show, Lighten Up with Liz, airs
in a dozen markets. She produces a newsletter by the same name,
and theres a companion Web site, www.lightenupwithliz.com.
She also does occasional seminars.
If I didnt
love it I couldnt do it, she says, sounding as enthusiastic
and energetic on the telephone as she does on the air. Shes
made time for this interview while driving from Cincinnati to
She speaks of her father
and his profound influence on her life. Austin Bonis taught statistics
in the College of Business. She cites his death from cancer in
1981 as a reason for her interest in health and nutrition.
As a student at RIT,
Bonis helped produce NutriNews for students, and answered
questions about diet at Gracies, the cafeteria in Grace
Watson residence hall.
That was a real
turning point, she says. She realized she could give people
information that could change their lives. Barb Cerio (who
teaches nutrition management) used to say ‘Knowledge is
power, and thats so true. Until you know it, you
cant do it.
It occurred to Bonis
that the media could allow her to reach large numbers of people
with information about nutrition and health. During college, she
worked at a Rochester radio station – for free – learning
as much as possible. After RIT, she earned a masters degree
in communications from Syracuse University.
Bonis began delivering
upbeat nutrition segments on Rochester radio station WHAM in 1993,
and was health reporter for WOKR-TV before moving to Cincinnati
last year to take advantage of opportunities offered by media
giant Clear Channel Communications. Busy as she is now, she would
like to expand into more markets, to reach more people.
Her style is entertaining,
not academic. She provides information, not sermons.
My mission is
to infect your head and your life, to add rather than subtract,
she says. Its about taking control of your life.
Bonis knows from experience
what its like to struggle to make healthy choices. Overweight
as a child, she says shes tried every diet out there
and lost 50 pounds – twice.
dieted for 10 years before I figured out it doesnt work,
she says. I threw out my scales three years ago.
feel a pressure to have a certain look, she continues.
I do feel a tremendous pressure to live what I say.
passionate about something, and people embrace what youre
doing, that makes it all worthwhile. Thats what I love.