Be an inspiration: If you’ve made positive changes in your diet and/or fitness routine and are happy with the results, please share your success with us. Include your email address, a daytime phone number and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). Write: Success Stories, c/o Patty Murphy, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUCCESS STORY / Andrea Walton, 59: From 195 pounds to 140 pounds
Former weight: 195 pounds
Current weight: 140 pounds
Pounds lost: 55
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
How long she's kept it off: She started in January 2013 and reached her goal in October 2013.
Personal life: "I am an executive support analyst with Accenture," she says. She is married to Donald Jones (Success Stories -December 18). They have adult children and live in Stone Mountain, Ga.
Turning point:"My turning point was when my physician laid out facts and statistics related to health issues connected to obesity in black women, in particular," says Walton. "It was a real wake-up call. Now, I have a better understanding of the statistical probabilities that come with being overweight. I did not want to be part of those statistics … My weight-loss journey began on Jan. 19, 2013. This was my first meeting at Weight Watchers … The weight-loss battle continued during the month of February. I gained weight and my resolve was shaken. On March 16th, my weight was 191.6 pounds and I seriously considered quitting Weight Watchers and giving up. On the other hand, I knew I had to do something and continued to go. During these meetings, I learned you must be accountable, exercise portion control and make healthy food choices if you want to succeed. I was not a quitter. Once I incorporated accountability, portion control and healthy food choices plus exercise into my daily routine, I began to see results."
Diet plan: "The Weight Watchers' point system has helped me track my daily food intake," she says. Breakfast is an egg-white omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheese. Lunch is a salad. Dinner is steamed or sautéed vegetables.
Exercise routine: I take MARTA or an Express Bus to work. I get off at the Capitol or Georgia State University and walk to my office at Spring and 5th Streets everyday – three plus miles. I am committed to doing this. This is the best time of the day to exercise plus it gives you time to think about the day ahead and what you want to accomplish. On the weekend, I climb Stone Mountain with my husband or run. Getting rid of the 50 pounds helped me run the five miles around Stone Mountain in 52 minutes — my personal best.
Biggest challenge: "I'm a snacker, so changing my snack habits was the biggest challenge," she says. "I eat the snacks that I like, just not a lot of them. I don't have to eat the whole box."
How life has changed: "I definitely have much more energy and now I am able to keep up with my husband on his Stone Mountain hikes. More importantly, my mental outlook has improved dramatically and I absolutely love shopping for new clothes."