SUCCESS STORY / Maddie Hames, 26: From 178 pounds to 148 pounds

When you started: Maddie Hames started in May. “I am still striving to be better every day, so I would not say I have reached my ‘goal’ but I never had an exact goal,” Hames said. “I set out to get myself physically and mentally healthier after my last baby, and I continue to work on that every day.”

Age: 26

Height: 5 feet 1 inch

Total pounds lost: 30 pounds

Starting weight: 178 pounds

Current weight: 148 pounds

Personal life: “I have been married for five years now and have three beautiful children. I have been a stay-at-home mother for almost two years now since I got pregnant with my last baby, who is now 1,” Hames said. “My husband and I recently went into real estate and have started our own business.” She lives in Moreland.

The lifestyle change: I had postpartum depression after my last baby was born, and it did not start getting any better until after I started my health and fitness journey,” Hames said. “... I passed Onelife Fitness (onelifefitness.com/personal-training) in Newnan many times going into town and decided to give it a try.” She started meeting with a personal trainer twice a month.

Change in eating habits: “I have definitely paid extreme attention to my protein intake, making sure I get in 100 to 150 grams per day,” Hames said. “I eat three meals per day but make sure to fit in a few healthy, high-protein snacks throughout the day to keep me full and on track so I do not make the mistake of snacking on junk when I am hungry.”

Maddie’s steps to change:

1. Plan it out: “I plan out each week’s menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) the week before the next. I make sure to get all my groceries by Sunday and set aside time on Monday to meal prep for the week.”

2. Lay it out: “Laying my gym clothes out the night before and waking up in the morning to immediately put them on made it happen for me.”

3. Log it: “Logging my food and my exercises.”

Exercise routine: “I average four days per week,” Hames said.

Biggest challenge: “The biggest challenge has been worrying so much about staying within my calories. While that is a very important part of this journey, it can also be stressful and unnecessarily consuming,” Hames said. “I try to stick with telling myself ‘eat what you want, add what you need,’ and that helps me to reach my nutritional goals while also allowing me to enjoy a doughnut every now and then.”

Maddie’s top tips for others:

1. “Don’t focus so much on what you can’t have. Eat what you want, within reason, but add what you need.”

2. “Make yourself get dressed, make yourself get in the car, and get to the gym — whether you feel like it or not. Whether you think you had a good workout session or not, you made progress.”

3. “Drink your water and get your protein in.”

How her life has changed: “Changing the way I eat, the way I get my body up and moving now, and being able to see how many pants sizes I’ve gone down has completely changed the way I think of myself now,” Hames said. “... It is easier for me to overall just be able to jump up and play with my kids. My self-confidence has changed for the 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). You can email her directly at: ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.