Amy Thomas, 40, of Dacula, lost 134 pounds

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SUCCESS STORY / Amy Thomas, 40: From 301 pounds to 167 pounds

Former weight: 301 pounds

Current weight: 167 pounds

Pounds lost: 134

Height: 5 feet 8 inches

Age: 40

How long she's kept it off: She started in 2008 and met her goal in 2010.

Personal life: "I am married to my husband, Joe, we've been married for 22 years now," says Thomas. "[We have] a dog named Davey, and a dog named Max, one grown daughter and a granddaughter." She is an RN in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and a CHOA Strong4Life volunteer (

Turning point: "I've basically been overweight my entire life: overweight child and an overweight teen," she says. "My mother passed away when I was 15 and I turned to food to suppress my emotions. It continued into my 20's. In December of 2008, my husband, daughter and I decided to go on a family trip to St. John's. When I got on the plane, the seat belt didn't fit." Thinking it was medical, she went to her doctor, who found hypothyroidism; but that wasn't the primary issue. "I soon realized that was not my issue as I was an emotional eater." She decided to try Quick Weight Loss Centers.

Diet plan: Breakfast is fresh fruit, toast, high-protein yogurt or a hard-boiled egg. Lunch is cottage cheese and raw veggies. She snacks on fruit. Dinner is chicken or fish with vegetables and low-calorie bread.

Exercise routine: "I never was an active child, I was never athletic," she says. When she reached 200 pounds, she joined a gym and now works out five to six days per week. She especially enjoys the classes. "I had to force myself to commit to it, I didn't like it." Now she loves going.

Biggest challenge: "Initially, I found I didn't understand how I could get up to 300 pounds in what felt like a matter of days but it wouldn't come off as fast. The [Quick Weight Loss] counselors helped keep me accountable and keep a food diary. It is a daily struggle — this is not a quick fix, it is a lifestyle change."

How life has changed: "I'm a more outdoorsy person — I'm always on the go where before I was more of a couch potato," she says. Thomas is now a volunteer with Camp Strong4Life as a camp nurse and a wellness ambassador for the employee Strong4Life program. In February, she was healthy employee of the month. "I have felt very fulfilled in giving back to Strong4Life ( With the kids, having been in their shoes I know what they are going through." Her advice is "setting small goals and not trying to do everything at once … I had tons of people tell me for years you just need to lose a couple of pounds, but you can't do it for them, you have to do it for you."