SUCCESS STORY / Brenda Williams, 68: From 140 pounds to 120 pounds
Former weight: 140 pounds
Current weight: 120 pounds
Pounds lost: 20 pounds
Height: 5 feet 2 ½ inches
Age: 68 years
How long she kept it off: More than a year. She started in August 2015 and reached her current weight in December 2015.
"I live in Marietta; I have two grown daughters and two wonderful sons-in-law. I have two grandsons, 11, and 8, and one beautiful, red-haired, blue-eyed granddaughter. I used to work for Johnson Ferry Baptist Church as a ministry assistant for 10 years, and I directed weddings there for 14 years. I retired about two years ago. I've been married for 48 years to my husband, Jeff," says Williams.
Turning point: “My daughter and I felt like we’d like to lose a little bit of weight. I feel better at 125 pounds.” She started in August 2015, attending meetings with wellness coach, Jacynta Harb. (www.sparkleanewyou.com), and by December 2015 was at goal. “It’s been 15 months and I have maintained. I feel it’s real important with my journey to track what I am eating.”
Diet plan: Her day begins with a Shakeology shake with added spinach, blueberries and peanut butter. Lunch is a salad or a wrap. Dinner is always a protein, a salad and a vegetable.
Exercise routine: “I work out six days a week and work out for 45 minute at a time with cardio and strength training … I’ve worked out pretty consistently for probably the last eight years or so. I have ramped it up from two to three days per week and now it’s six days a week. I work out first thing in the morning I do that and then start my day. I lay out my workout clothes on the bed the night before. … I put them on and go.”
Biggest challenge: “I don’t think I have had the weight problem a lot of people have had. It is very easy to get yourself out of control. Once you get yourself into control, it feels so good it really spurs me on. On special occasions, I do indulge. I know the next day I can whip myself back into shape — I’m not rigid about it.”
How life has changed: “I like wearing smaller clothes. I do love to shop. … The eights and 10s are completely gone. I am wearing a size four, some twos but mostly size four. I was mostly a size eight before, but I was verging on the 10s. I had been that way for probably two years or so. Clothes can hide a lot. People would say, ‘You don’t need to lose weight.’ I knew how to hide my weight by the clothes I wore. As you get older, it gets harder to lose weight. I just got the tools I needed.” Her tips for others include: “just eat healthy, and exercise, and drink lots of water, and you’ll be successful.”
Be an inspiration: If you’ve made positive changes in your diet and/or fitness routine and are happy with the results, please share your success with us. Include your email address, a daytime phone number and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). Write: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks, email@example.com.