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, c/o Patty Murphy, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUCCESS STORY / Cynthia Doby, 50: From 162 pounds to 125 pounds
Former weight: 162 pounds
Current weight: 125 pounds
Pounds lost: 37 pounds
Height: 4 feet 11 inches
Age: 50 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started September 2009 and reached her goal seven months later.
Personal life: “Me and my family live in Jonesboro. I have three grandkids. I am a daddy’s girl, very close to my father. I work for Delta Air Lines,” said Doby. She’s also a squad leader for Casi’s Straight Military Style Bootcamp (www.casisbootcamp.com).
Turning point: “I could feel myself overweight … I was beginning to sleep, sleep, sleep,” she said. When her cousin invited her to boot camp, she tried it. “I know I like to look good like a diva. I always like to wear my arms out and my legs out. If I want to look this way when I get older, I need to work at it now — it only gets harder as you get older. That day I loved it … I could feel it was tightening up in my abs. I thought, just imagine if I can feel it this soon in my stomach and I do it the next day and the next day — I was very determined.”
Diet plan: She eats five small meals daily. “When I started boot camp, I never ate oatmeal. It looked very disgusting. Now I love it.” She also has green days, eating only green vegetables all day. Dinner is often grilled chicken on top of sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers. She does not eat after 6 p.m. and drinks water all day.
Exercise routine: She exercises an hour a day five days per week. She also plays team sports including kickball and flag football. “Only one hour a day makes a big difference in your life.”
Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was how was I going to be able to eat right,” she said. “I was so addicted to cheese puffs. It was a big challenge of letting that go. That was a very hard challenge to me. I know that I had to do it to be able to reach the goal for me and my family. I didn’t stop immediately — I started to wean myself off …”
How life has changed: “It has changed my life a whole lot … my self-esteem has always been high but it has gone to another level. … Energy is over the top — I am non-stop,” she said. “My legs, my shoulders, my arms are very strong now. I am a ticket agent; I check the bag and lift the bag. I don’t have (any) problem with that. … It was my program with Casi that is what got me to believing in myself. … It is a blessing to have something like this (that she gives) to the community.”