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.
Karina Hodge, 43: From 180 pounds to 165 pounds
Former weight: 180 pounds
Current weight: 165 pounds
Pounds lost: 15 pounds
Height: 5 feet, 9 inches
Age: 43 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started with Casi’s Straight Military Style Bootcamp (casisbootcamp.com) in 2011, then in February 2015 she tried again and succeeded. She’s maintained her current weight since last year.
Personal life: “I have four kids. I live in McDonough. I am a hairstylist and makeup artist.”
Turning point: “I had my own salon; my salon was next to Casi’s. … I started, the first time was 2011, but I wasn’t serious with it. I did it and then I wouldn’t finish. Then, all of a sudden, last year I got serious. I did everything I was supposed to do — everything.”
Diet plan: “I follow Casi’s plan.” Breakfast is oatmeal. Lunch is half a grapefruit or leafy greens. Dinner is rice and vegetables with fish or chicken.
Exercise routine: “I exercise five days a week. I run some days, then do indoor step — I do a lot of step. I’m on Casi’s team for kickball.”
Biggest challenge: “The hardest part was eating on time. Because of my schedule and working, it’s hard to eat on time. It really works once you do it, but it is so hard. … The running was hard. I hate running; I still hate it. I enjoy it a little more now, but I don’t like running — I like the results.”
How life has changed: “I am more alert of what I eat and I always want to stay active. I’ve always been an active person. … I always want to be involved in some sort of physical activity. … I am very energetic. It’s amazing the way you feel, the way you look … it’s a lifestyle change.” Part of the lifestyle change, she said, is staying motivated: “It’s not you alone, you have people motivating you. … (Casi) is stern on you. … Doing it in a group makes a big difference. … Everybody has different goals, (but) we are trying to do the same thing; the motivation is like 110 percent from everyone.” While working with a boot camp group helped, her stick-to-it advice includes making a strong personal commitment: “You have to stay focused on it. You have to work hard on it. … I love it (now), I can’t stop — Casi can’t get rid of me.”