SUCCESS STORY / Jeannie Harris, 59, of Sandy Springs: ‘Go all in!’

The photo of Jeannie Harris on the left was taken in December 2018. The photo on the right was taken in November, after she reached her goal. (Photos contributed by Jeannie Harris)

Credit: Photos contributed by Jeannie Harris

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The photo of Jeannie Harris on the left was taken in December 2018. The photo on the right was taken in November, after she reached her goal. (Photos contributed by Jeannie Harris)

Credit: Photos contributed by Jeannie Harris

Credit: Photos contributed by Jeannie Harris

Jeannie Harris, 59, of Sandy Springs: “Go all in!”

When she started: “I started mid-April 2021 and reached my goal by mid-August 2021,” Harris said.

Personal life: “I live with my brother, Richard, and my husband, Reggie. We have four adult children in the Atlanta area,” Harris said. “I work from home as an insurance regulatory consultant with long days of sitting in front of a computer.” She lives in Sandy Springs.

The lifestyle change: “I’ve been about 10 pounds over my ideal weight since age 40, but I was OK with it thanks to my wonderful husband who always thinks I look fine. I had never dieted but relied heavily on exercise to control my weight,” Harris said. “Then I gained another 12 pounds during the pandemic, mostly due to work-related stress. Those last 12 pounds went straight to my waistline, and my clothes didn’t fit well. I knew from reading this column that Nancy Masoud, a metabolic specialist at LockedIn Wellness, could help me. I didn’t want to diet on my own and become frustrated — I need someone to hold me accountable.”

Change in eating habits: She follows a customized plan. I ate quite a bit more protein at every meal along with fresh vegetables and reasonable portions of fruit,” Harris said.

Jeannie’s how-tos:

1. Get help: “I recommend following a plan developed by a trusted professional. Because I had so much confidence in Nancy, it was not a big hardship to eat the nonprocessed foods she recommended. The only challenge was making good choices at social events.”

2. Moving toward maintenance: Once she reached her goal, Harris transitioned to more foods. “Overall, this experience has greatly improved my ability to make good choices regarding portion control and healthier foods.”

3. Keep at it: “I’ve been able to maintain my goal weight while attending frequent social events and eating the same foods as everyone else.” During the week, Harris follows a high-protein plan.

Exercise routine: “Before the pandemic, Orangetheory Fitness kept the weight off and I loved going three times a week,” Harris said. “In September 2020, my husband and I started lap swimming, and I now swim up to 1 mile (70 pool lengths) twice a week. I walk at least 30 minutes every day and enjoy hot yoga weekly.”

Biggest challenge: “During vacations and busy weekends, the weight loss sometimes slowed down because I like to enjoy life by eating and drinking with others,” Harris said. “I’m not good at denying myself something I really want, but this process has made it much easier for me.”

Jeannie’s top tips:

1. “Go all in! Dabbling in various weight-loss techniques is not fun and can be frustrating. Select the best possible plan and stick to it.”

2. “Have a support group or a professional, where you check in regularly regarding your progress. The guidance from experts is so important.”

3. “Find whatever motivation works for you. For me, it was the desire to have my clothes fit well. I’m too cheap to buy new clothing.”

How has your life changed?: “I’m able to enjoy running again, and I’ve enjoyed wearing the smaller sizes in my closet,” Harris said. “It was like gaining a whole new wardrobe for free! It’s also nice to have lost the inches from my waistline; everything fits better.”


Seeking readers’ stories of lifestyle changes: We’re looking for stories about changing health habits. While The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific programs, we include names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. If you would like to share your story of a lifestyle change, please contact reporter Michelle C. Brooks and 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 Michelle C. Brooks directly at: ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.