Steve Cathell, 69: From 269 pounds to 225 pounds
Former weight: 269 pounds
Current weight: 225 pounds
Pounds lost: 44 pounds
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Age: 69 years
How long he’s kept it off: He started in August 2015 and reached his current weight in January.
Personal life: “I still work full time,” says Cathell. “I am in the wholesale furniture business. … I’ve been married for 38 years to my wife, Jeanne.” He and his wife have a grown daughter and they live in Marietta. Jeanne was featured in the Success Story column on Feb. 15.
Turning point: “I have been overweight all of my life except for the three years I spent in the military … it seems as though I have tried every diet known to man and then some. Many of them worked, but only temporarily. I would always gain the weight back. … In July 2015, I went for my semiannual physical, and got a stern warning from my physician. He told me that my blood sugar, A1C level, was up significantly. … That talk was a serious wake-up call for me, for I would walk through walls to avoid any daily diabetic medication. At the same time, my wife, Jeanne, was observing the excellent results of various members of our church who had been attending the Sparkle program (www.sparkleanewyou.com). In August 2015, he and his wife started classes with wellness coach Jacynta Harb. “Sparkle has afforded me a lifestyle change that has kept my weight off.”
Diet plan: Breakfast is oatmeal and fruit with toasted sandwich thins. He does not eat fast food. Lunch is at a sit-down restaurant, and dinner is usually chicken or fish with green vegetables.
Exercise routine: He exercises three to five times per week. At the gym, he walks a 5K on the treadmill. He also plays golf. “I have done two 5Ks in the last 12 months.”
Biggest challenge: “Tracking is a challenge.” He uses the myfitnesspal app to track his eating and exercise. “At first, it is fun; after a while, it is work. … If you track what you are eating, you will accurately tell yourself over the last 24 hours where you might have messed up.”
How life has changed: “Together it was one of the smartest decisions we have ever made … the program we’ve been on the past 18 months, it is not a diet as much as a change in lifestyle — it is a change in thinking. … Not only has it been beneficial for our mental health, physical health and stamina, but it has been invigorating and pleasant to see the reactions of … folks who know me. … It has been a wonderful experience, and most importantly a great deal of fun, although challenging at times. … My A1C levels have dropped a whole point, and most importantly, I feel a ton better.”
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.