SUCCESS STORY / Lou Lou Gassett, 77: From 171 pounds to 135 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in 2018, Lou Lou Gassett weighed 171 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, she weighed 135 pounds. (Photos contributed by Lou Lou Gassett)
In the photo on the left, taken in 2018, Lou Lou Gassett weighed 171 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, she weighed 135 pounds. (Photos contributed by Lou Lou Gassett)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Lou Lou Gassett, 77, of Powder Springs lost 36 pounds

Former weight: 171 pounds

Current weight: 135 pounds

Pounds lost: 36 pounds

Height: 5 feet 5 inches

Age: 77 years

How long she’s kept it off: She started March 31 and reached her goal this month.

Personal life: “I’m single,“ said Gassett, who lives in Powder Springs. “I’m a former elementary school teacher, and I taught in DeKalb County Schools from 1965 to 1998. ... Two weeks ago, I adopted, Carl, a 7-year-old cocker spaniel, from Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue in Kennesaw.”

Turning point: “The corona virus lockdown began mid-March of 2020,” Gassett said. “I knew if I didn’t change my ways I’d binge-watch TV, stuff my face, drink wine and have a pity party. I knew that at the end of our isolation, my scale would think two of me had stepped on — I was determined that wasn’t going to happen. And then a little God wink happened: I received a message from Jacynta Harb, a wellness coach, that she was taking her Sparkle Wellness program virtual, and I couldn‘t sign up fast enough.”

Diet plan: “I’m not one of those people who can eat the same thing every day,” Gassett said. She alternates between three choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which include grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood and vegetables. “I try to eat the rainbow,” she said.

Exercise routine: “I aim to exercise 1 hour each day — that’s including getting in 10,000 steps. I’m an avid tennis player, I play three to four times per week. ... I’m also taking high-intensity interval training classes — this one has been a game changer for me, I’m more energized.”

Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was ridding my pantry and refrigerator of all the unhealthy ingredients so I could eat clean,” Gassett said. “... My other challenge is planning my meals and prepping.” She uses divided glass dishes for meal prepping, and when it comes time to eat, it’s more visually appealing. “If you’re hungry, you’re going to get something to eat,” she said, “so you’ve got to plan ahead so you can reach for something healthy.”

How life has changed: “I’m able to do things I never believed I could,” Gassett said. “I am stronger. I have greater endurance. ... I look forward to medical checkups. I have had blood pressure and thyroid medications either reduced or eliminated.” Her tips for others include focusing on positive self-talk and keeping mentally strong. “Joyful,” she said. “That’s my word for the year.”

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