Tabatha James, 39, of Alpharetta, Ga. lost 82 pounds

Tabatha James, 39, of Alpharetta, Ga. lost 82 pounds

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, ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.

SUCCESS STORY / Tabatha James, 39: From 230 pounds to 148 pounds

Former weight: 230 pounds

Current weight: 148 pounds

Pounds lost: 82

Height: 5 feet 8 inches

Age: 39

How long she’s kept it off: She’s kept it off for five months. She started March 2012 and reached her current weight in February.

Personal life: “I have been married for five years, and I have a 16-month-old daughter. I am a SAG-Eligible actress (www.tabathajames.com),” she says. “I also work as a paralegal … and a writer for Examiner.com.” She and her family live in Alpharetta.

Turning point: “I had a scary moment after my pregnancy. Due to lack of sleep and dehydration, I was almost three months post-pregnancy, and I was out running errands with my husband when I fainted and had to be rushed to the ER,” she says. “The doctor told me I needed to be getting more rest, staying hydrated, and taking better care of myself … so I did exactly that.” She started by reducing her caloric intake and keeping a food log. “I was still eating like I was pregnant.”

Diet plan: Breakfast is Greek yogurt, fruit, almonds or almond milk and black coffee. Lunch is a protein bar with a low-calorie frozen meal, a prepackaged salad or soup. Dinner is grilled fish or chicken, steamed veggies and frozen yogurt.

Exercise routine: “My exercise routine consists of strength training and cardio, three days a week for thirty minutes, early mornings, around 5 a.m., before I leave for work,” she says. “This workout blast kick-starts my metabolism for the day and gives me a burst of energy. The routine varies, but the exercises I do include: planks, push-ups, plank-twists … squats, aerobics, dumbbell curls, and abdominal exercises.”

Biggest challenge:“I was very athletic before my pregnancy and I was also doing Krav Maga before I got pregnant,” she says. She was frustrated “because I wanted to be back to my old self quickly, but quick weight loss is not the answer, nor is it realistic in maintaining a long-term healthy weight and lifestyle. Once I got into my daily routine and stuck to it, I started seeing results.”

How life has changed: “I believe I am healthier and happier. I just booked a national print and television spot for Design Essentials natural line, and I know that if I had not taken the steps that I took, I would not have achieved this job,” she says. “I am a praying woman, and I believe that the scripture Habakkuk 2:2 is totally true. It basically means to write out your goals and wait patiently for them to come to fruition. I think by prayer, meditating on scriptures, and listening to sermons from my pastor … I was able to stay focused and motivated, and with God’s help, I achieved my goal.”

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