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 e-mail Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUCCESS STORY / Katrina Swain, 51: From 196 pounds to 146 pounds
Former weight: 196 pounds
Current weight: 146 pounds
Pounds lost: 50 pounds
Height: 5 feet, 4 inches
Age: 51 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started in June 2014 and reached her current weight in August 2014.
Personal life: “I live in Atlanta,” says Swain. “I have two wonderful siblings and a loving mother and they are all very supportive of my weight-loss journey. I work at an elementary school as a paraprofessional assistant teacher.”
Turning point: “I went to the doctor and she said, ‘You weigh 196’ and I said, ‘200 pounds!’ She said, ‘How long have you been overweight?’ I couldn’t even think, I had been that way so long. She proceeded to pull out this chart … She said, ‘You fall into this category, it says obesity — yes, you are obese.’ … She told me I was in danger of being a diabetic, the results were the numbers were high and that [was] the turning point.” Swain started losing weight on her own but plateaued after only losing 10 pounds. In June 2014, she started Casi’s Straight Military Style Boot camp (www.casisbootcamp.com). “You’ve got to retrain the way you think so she gets in your head; that’s what I needed and some discipline too. I had no self-control — that’s why everything I did on my own didn’t work.”
Diet plan: Breakfast is oatmeal or grits. She snacks on apples or cucumbers and pickles. Lunch is a salad with chicken and dinner is baked or grilled chicken or fish with vegetables.
Exercise routine: “I get up at 4 a.m. just to maintain what I have. I’ll walk or I’ll jog a bit. I do it three to four times per week.”
Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge for me was taking that initiative to register for the boot camp. I didn’t want to do it by myself … then I got a revelation: Who was with you when you [were] neglecting your body? Who was holding your hand? … So you need to sign up by yourself because you were by yourself when you got fat — I’ve got to do it for myself and by myself.”
How life has changed: “[I’ve had] some simple changes and some really big changes. It’s a small thing but it’s big for me: I can cross my legs at the knees … and another thing, tying my shoes from a standing position,” she says. “I smile more. I didn’t know I was depressed, I just thought that was my personality … I’m much happier; I get out of the house more. I am not afraid of hard work because if I work hard, I know it’s mine.”