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.
Vickie Crabtree, 61: From 320 pounds to 178 pounds
Former weight: 320 pounds
Current weight: 178 pounds
Pounds lost: 142 pounds
Height: 5 feet, 3½ inches
Age: 61 years
How long she’s kept it off: “I began Weight Watchers in March of 2014. I reached my goal weight of 180 pounds in March of 2016,” Crabtree said.
Personal life: “I am a widow with four children, two grandchildren and two dachshunds. My husband of 38 years died of cancer in 2010. I am a homemaker and Primerica Financial Services representative.” She lives in Snellville.
Turning point: “There are several things that contributed to my taking action. One was not being able to put on my own socks, as well as … knee and back pain; but the thing that got my attention the most was when my youngest daughter told me that she was afraid that I might die, too. I had no idea that she lived with that fear. She had lost so much when her dad died, and the thought that I was causing her to fear that she would be left with no parent was a wake-up call to me — I had to do something. What made it work was my determination that I would not fail.”
Diet plan: Breakfast is grits, turkey sausage and fruit, or bacon, egg and toast. Lunch is a salad or soup and sandwich. Dinner is protein with vegetables.
Exercise routine: “I do double high-energy water aerobics classes two days a week.” She walks two days a week as well.
Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was simply getting started. 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. But my why became bigger than my why not and I overcame that fear. My biggest challenge now is to not fall back into the old habits that got me so overweight … and remembering: I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” She continues to attend meetings for accountability.
How life has changed: “Wow — where do I begin? There are so many things that I can do now that I couldn’t do before. I feel so much better physically and emotionally. Seeing the admiration in my children’s faces, who have never seen me this small in their whole life. … I hide less and engage more. … Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge.”