SUCCESS STORY / Amanda Diore, 32: From 290 pounds to 177 pounds
Former weight: 290 pounds
Current weight: 177 pounds
Pounds lost: 113 pounds
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Age: 32 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started in 2012 and reached her current weight in December.
Personal life: “I am a single mom with four girls. I live in Alpharetta,” Diore said. “I have worked at the Karate Atlanta Dunwoody location for 6 1/2 years. I am a program director.”
Turning point: “My breaking moment, after I had my son … I had a work thing,” she said. “I went to get a nice pair of pants, and none of their pants fit me, not even a stretchy pair. I wondered how this happened? How did I get so big? … I guess what really motivated me, I was told that I had gestational diabetes and I didn’t want to get type 2 diabetes. … When I had the last baby … I had initially lost like 40 pounds. Then I started running. When I started running, I could only run 25 seconds without stopping. … The first time I ran 3 miles without stopping, I just broke down and started crying — I was so excited. Then I ran a half-marathon at Disney World. It took me 2 1/2 hours to run a half-marathon.” She started doing tae kwon do at Karate Atlanta for exercise and to release anger from a difficult marriage — she continued for the mental discipline. “It started for negative reasons, but I made it positive,” she said. “Now, I’m able to inspire other people. … The discipline part … it is so disrespectful (when instructed to hold a pose) to move even for a second. It really pushed my body. … I got a tattoo on my foot that says mind over matter. … Every time I would look down, I could refocus. I am now a second-degree black belt.”
Diet plan: Breakfast is a protein shake. She bags rotisserie chicken, and meat and cheese roll-ups to eat throughout the day along with fruits and vegetables. “I do not eat huge meals,” she said. ” I eat small portions throughout the day.”
Exercise routine: “I go to the gym every night,” Diore said. ” I stretch for about a half an hour. I will bike 23 miles a night.” She also does weights by alternating muscle groups.
Biggest challenge: “I would say the biggest challenge is breaking your routine,” Diore said. “You say ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’ and then you get sick and you fall off the wagon. You need to push through, and no matter what, get back on.”
How life has changed: “I feel better, obviously,” Diore said. “I feel that I look better. I definitely have more confidence. I have been able to help others. I do challenges at work like 60-day challenges and someone lost 25 pounds. They came, they listened and they did what they had to do. You can choose to quit or you can choose to keep going, and I just didn’t quit.”