SUCCESS STORY / Carmen O’Quinn, 40: From 288 pounds to 127 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in June 2013, Carmen O'Quinn weighed 288 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in January, she weighed 127 pounds. (Photos contributed by Carmen O’Quinn)
In the photo on the left, taken in June 2013, Carmen O'Quinn weighed 288 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in January, she weighed 127 pounds. (Photos contributed by Carmen O’Quinn)

Carmen O’Quinn, 40, of Canton lost 161 pounds

Former weight: 288 pounds

Current weight: 127 pounds

Pounds lost: 161 pounds

Height: 5 feet 4 inches

Age: 40 years

How long she’s kept it off: She started in 2014 and has kept it off since October 2015.

Personal life: “I live with my husband, Jackie, of 11 years. We have three children. I am a weight-loss coach and I have my own YouTube Channel,” said O’Quinn, who lives in Canton. “I help men and women battle this thing called weight. I help them cross over from failing to succeeding, showing them the simple steps I used to once and for all defeat those pesky pounds.”

Turning point: “In 2014, when our second baby was born, I read a statistic that kids who grow up with overweight parents are more likely to have a weight problem,” O’Quinn said. “I realized, it’s not what I say, it’s what I do. It was the fact that it was my example they were going to follow — not my words.” She started with P90x, stopping after 17 minutes. “But it was 17 minutes more than the day before,” she said.

Diet plan: “I don’t believe in depriving myself of my favorite foods — (deprivation) for me led to binging. So I still eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, just not every day. And I definitely don’t diet,” O’Quinn said. “I simply eat according to my goals.”

Exercise routine: “I work out six days a week from home, 30 minutes a day using Beachbody.com,” O’Quinn said. “Even in the beginning when I started at morbidly obese and couldn’t really do the workouts, the main goal was to just move my body a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Even the worst workout is better than no workout.”

Biggest challenge: “The biggest challenge for me to overcome by far was nighttime snacking and emotional eating,” O’Quinn said. “... If you would have asked me six years ago if I had an addiction to food, I would have surely said, ‘Heck no!’ ”

How life has changed: In 2016, she won the Beachbody Challenge as a grand-prize winner. “Life has changed in so many ways, in ways I never even imagined,” O’Quinn said. “... I can ride roller coasters without fear that I won’t fit. I no longer dread flying and fitting in the seat. I am no longer a mom on the sidelines. I am in the game playing with my kids. We ran a 5K together. I live the active lifestyle I always wanted to but that weight stopped me from. ... But the biggest area — I have gained so much confidence. I have shown myself that I am stronger than I ever believed.”

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Share Your Success: Each week, Success Stories focuses on an individual’s unique weight-loss journey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight-loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email reporter Michelle C. Brooks, ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.

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