Andrea Spann, 44, of McDonough lost 45 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Andrea Spann, 44: From 210 pounds to 165 pounds

Former weight: 210 pounds

Current weight: 165 pounds

Pounds lost: 45 pounds

Height: 5 feet 5 inches

Age: 44 years

How long she’s kept it off: Spann started in April 2013 and reached her current weight in the fall of 2014.

Personal life: She studies accounting full-time at Clark Atlanta University and lives in McDonough.

Turning point: “I had fibroids and I looked seven to eight months pregnant. I went to the doctor and she said I needed surgery. I lost 20 pounds right after the surgery; there were over 25 fibroids and they were not small,” she said. “After, my energy level went back up, I was ready to become active again. That was the turning point for me.”

Diet plan: “I was eating uncontrollably too. I was tired and drained and I was eating to get energy.” She started with five meals daily. Breakfast is half a grapefruit. Snacks are vegetables. Lunch is a salad. Before workouts, she has half a sweet potato.

Exercise routine: “When I had the surgery, I was so tired,” she said. She wanted to do Casi’s Straight Military Style Bootcamp (www.casisbootcamp.com), but knew she had to prepare her body for it. “I did the Beachbody Rockin’ Body Dance workout for an hour.” Once she had endurance, she signed up for bootcamp. Now she works out five to six days per week.

Biggest challenge: Juggling planned workouts with family and friends is her biggest challenge. “It’s other people,” she said. “I am usually consistent about everything … I don’t see that I should put my fitness on the backburner — this is a job, it is not recreation … I will just tell them I have to work out tonight.”

How life has changed: “I just feel more motivated to do things. I had a major surgery and I came back stronger than before. I never had high cholesterol or high blood pressure — no medical conditions other than the fibroids. Now having had the surgery, I feel better than I have ever felt. I want to do more things like getting my degree.” Her advice is to stay focused: “Just because someone offers food or brings it, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Tell them you can’t — it’s for health reasons … Make sure you have a plan even when you leave your house, make sure you have an apple in your car or a granola bar. That way you don’t go and get French fries because they are a dollar. That dollar is costing you, maybe not in your money, but it’s costing you health-wise.”

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