SUCCESS STORY / Seanta Johnson, 41: From 421 pounds to 286 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in September 2019, Seanta Johnson weighed 421 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, he weighed 286 pounds. (Courtesy of Seanta Johnson)
Caption
In the photo on the left, taken in September 2019, Seanta Johnson weighed 421 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, he weighed 286 pounds. (Courtesy of Seanta Johnson)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Seanta Johnson, 41, of Marietta lost 135 pounds

Former weight: 421 pounds

Current weight: 286 pounds

Height: 6 feet 4 inches

Age: 41 years

How long he’s kept it off: He started in September 2019 and reached his current weight in September 2020.

Personal life: “I am married with two young kids, ages 4 and 3. I work for a national wireless provider,” Johnson said. “I live in Marietta, but originally I’m from California.” He shares his passion for keto on YouTube at Cooking With Thatown2 and cookingwiththatown2.square.site.

Turning point: “Besides the back pain, I had a conversation about the keto diet with three different people. ... I went home and just looked up some information. ... Then, my wife randomly signed me up for a physical. ... When I went to the doctor’s office, I didn’t realize I weighed that much,” Johnson said. “I told the doctor about keto, and he said: ‘I don’t recommend it. It’s a fad and normally people yo-yo on it.’ ” With a return appointment for three months, he decided to give keto a go. His bloodwork to measure diabetes, the A1C blood test, dropped from 7.4 to 6.4, and he was down 57 pounds. His doctor said, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” Nine months later, his A1C was down to 5.2, putting him out of the diabetic range. “It’s definitely a lifestyle change,” Johnson said.

Diet plan: “I try to pick some protein, low-carb veggies and healthy fat for each meal: avocado, avocado oil, nuts, full butter or Greek yogurt,” Johnson said. “The fat is what keeps you full.”

Exercise routine: “I didn’t do that much exercise on the diet,” Johnson said. “I started doing some exercise around January and February. Most of my weight loss was done with minimal exercise.” He’s now in a Facebook group with friends. “We post pictures of us sweating, doing walking, light workouts, gardening, running after the kids.”

Biggest challenge: “I would stay sticking to it. ... There was a time in February/March of last year, the whole month I lost no weight,” Johnson said. ... “Then it all started to pick back up again.”

How life has changed: “In the past, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere,” Johnson said. “... Being able to run around more, exercise and run around and play with the kids — just quality of life. ... Your taste buds change. ...That was the main reason I started the YouTube channel. All the information about the diet is online, but I just started making the videos because the hardest part for me was finding something to eat. I look for recipes and I’m always thinking how I can switch it up?”

ExploreRead previous AJC Success Stories

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.