It's never an easy task to shed extra pounds, whether the waistband of your pants is just a little snug or your goal is to cut your dress size in half.
Losing 100 pounds or more is an incredible feat, requiring dedication and a burning desire to completely change one's life. We have shared the stories of a handful of Atlantans over the past few months who have achieved such a goal, transforming their life.
Kylee Fulton, age 36, lost 210 pounds in just over one year. The Suwanee mother of three made the decision to begin living the life she had always wanted following the birth of her son in April 2015. A 90-day juice fast initially caused the weight to drop, after which she transitioned into 1,200 daily calories of veggies, fruit and protein. Two days a week at the YMCA turned into six, lifting weights and doing Zumba for cardio.
Fulton said her greatest challenge was a mental one: trying to keep food out of her thoughts.
"After two months, though, something just clicked and it was like my mind and body rewarded me for my focus and it just became easier," she said.
The mental battle was a tough one for Snellville resident Vickie Crabtree as well. She began her weight loss journey in March 2014 and reached her goal weight two years later, losing 142 pounds.
But first she had to get past the fears and doubts she kept throwing in her own way.
"My biggest challenge was simply getting started," Crabtree said. "I had lost and regained weight, plus some, so many times that I was afraid. ... I just couldn't face the possibility of weighing even more than I did."
These days, she does water aerobics and walks. Like Fulton, protein is a staple in her meals.
"I feel so much better physically and emotionally. I hide less and engage more," Crabtree said.
Gino Marotta of Lawrenceville started to lose weight the day after his 39th birthday, with a goal to drop 115 by his 40th.
He ended up losing 118, but who's counting?
He'd been over 300 pounds for most of his adult life and was inspired by his best friend's recent 100-pound weight loss. He found that the first step was the hardest.
"The biggest challenge was finding the discipline to get started," Marotta said.
At least twice a week, he spends 30 minutes on intense cardio. Weekend workouts consist of an 8-mile hike/run at Stone Mountain Park.
"The normal cliche 'I have so much energy' is totally true," Marotta said.
Kassie Bohanon of Acworth has not only gained energy but lost even more than just weight with her 156-pound loss. She no longer has Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea or high cholesterol. As with others in this group, the feat required her to focus on the next pound she wanted to lose, not the entire amount. She does a combination of cardio and strength training, along with hot yoga, five or six days per week.
"I am so much more confident than I was before losing the weight," Bohanon said. "I now have the confidence to try new things and enjoy my life."