Belinda Morgan, 56, of Atlanta lost 71 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in 2009, Belinda Morgan weighed 210 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in June, she weighed 139 pounds. (All photos contributed by Belinda Morgan)
In the photo on the left, taken in 2009, Belinda Morgan weighed 210 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in June, she weighed 139 pounds. (All photos contributed by Belinda Morgan)

SUCCESS STORY / Belinda Morgan, 56: From 210 pounds to 139 pounds

Former weight: 210 pounds

Current weight: 139 pounds

Pounds lost: 71 pounds

Height: 5 feet 4 inches

Age: 56 years

How long she's kept it off: "In January 2019, I weighed 180 pounds. I started my lifestyle change on March 1," Morgan said. "By June 1, I got down to this size."

Personal life: "I live in southeast Atlanta. I am a pre-certification nurse for an insurance company," Morgan said. "I have three grown daughters — they are all successful with graduate degrees — and four grandchildren." Her nephew Eric Morgan appeared in Success Stories on July 16. "I'm so proud of my nephew — he's doing really good," she said.

Turning point: "My daughter took a picture of me and I thought, 'I have got to do something.' I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure … and my blood sugar was constantly at like 200. I knew the medication was just a Band-Aid, not a cure," Morgan said. "I took a holistic approach. I joined LA Fitness. … I started reading and trying to educate myself." She started a strict 500-calorie plan. "I was amazed at this meal prep, 500 calories are a lot of food. … I came up with a whole new recipe. I used garlic juice and shallots," she said. "I couldn't believe how good this food tasted."

Diet plan: Her day starts with a green shake. Midday, she has peanut butter. Lunch is the same as dinner, usually chicken or fish with vegetables.

Exercise routine: "I exercise seven days a week," Morgan said. She does weight training, walking and cardio. "The beauty of it is I love what I do," she said. "It's fun, it's not a drag. It's second nature — like brushing my teeth or washing my face."

Biggest challenge: "My biggest challenge used to be I couldn't cope. I would allow life experiences to get me depressed. … I always liked to walk, but I allowed the depression to come over me," Morgan said. "I learned how to let go and let God — I started praying, I would tell myself every day, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

How life has changed: "For years, I suffered with depression, and I was in bad relationships. Then my grandkids came along, and I thought, 'I have a whole new life,' " Morgan said. "The love these grandbabies give is unconditional. … Now, I'm happy inside, empowered, motivated and just in a good place. … I was diagnosed diabetic type 2, and my A1c was like 7.8. It went down to 5-something, and my doctor said you are no longer diabetic type 2 — stop taking your medicine." Her advice to others: "You have to realize you are worth the time. You have to be willing to invest in yourself. In the beginning, you have to talk to yourself. You have to say, 'I got this, I can do this' — you have to be your own homegirl."

Share Your Success: Each week, Success Stories focuses on an individual’s unique weight loss journey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks,