SUCCESS STORY / Will LeRoy Grimes, 71: From 289 pounds to 224 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in January 2018, Will LeRoy Grimes weighed 289 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, he weighed 224 pounds. (Photos courtesy of Will LeRoy Grimes)
In the photo on the left, taken in January 2018, Will LeRoy Grimes weighed 289 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, he weighed 224 pounds. (Photos courtesy of Will LeRoy Grimes)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Will LeRoy Grimes, 71, of the city of South Fulton lost 65 pounds

Former weight: 289 pounds

Current weight: 224 pounds

Pounds lost: 65 pounds

Height: 5 feet 11.5 inches

Age: 71 years

How long he’s kept it off: He started in February 2018, reaching his current weight in May.

Personal life: “I am retired from the state of Georgia. My last position was program director of the Alcohol and Drugs Awareness Program,” Grimes said. “I live in the city of South Fulton with my wife of 44 years.”

Turning point: Grimes said his decision to make healthier choices and lose weight was “greatly influenced by the four J’s: Jimmy, John, James and Jessie — my late nephews that passed into eternal rest due to complications from diabetes.”

“After much soul-searching and focusing on the fact that diabetes runs in my family,” he said, “it was time to make a change and elect a healthier lifestyle. I tried losing weight on several occasions, but my desire to eat late at night voided my desire to lose pounds. After talking with my doctor and informing her of my intent to beat diabetes, I started my journey to weight loss. I was also tormented when told that I must stick myself and inject insulin into my veins if diabetes continued. I also consulted my primary insurance company that suggested a program which included walking, counting steps and stairs, plus choosing healthier food choices. The journey was not easy, but my desire was greater. After having my A1C monitored and checked over periods of time, I became successful and have since been taken off insulin. This is one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.”

Diet plan: Breakfast is biscuits, fruit and water with apple cider vinegar. Lunch and dinner are vegetables, fresh fruit and fish, chicken or ox tails.

Exercise routine: “I still walk, run steps and stretch/exercise before starting my day,” Grimes said. “I have inserted walking before bedtime.”

Biggest challenge: “I had to train my mind to stay away from sweets and snacks, especially after 9 p.m.,” he said. “It’s easy to fall into old habits, but a strong mindset can keep you accountable.”

How life has changed: “I am blessed to have changed my lifestyle before the current coronavirus pandemic, which gives me more confidence in knowing that I have a handle on underlying health issues. I am able to move pain-free while feeling more energetic! I am determined to run and exercise with the grandkids, plus attend more games and various activities. I feel great!”

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.