In the photo on the left, taken in December 2015, Beth Sherwood weighed 248 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken this month, she weighed 169 pounds. (Photos contributed by Beth Sherwood)

Beth Sherwood, 47, of Kennesaw lost 79 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Beth Sherwood, 47: From 248 pounds to 169 pounds

Former weight: 248 pounds

Current weight: 169 pounds

Pounds lost: 79 pounds

Height: 5 feet 1 inch

Age: 47 years

How long she’s kept it off: She started Aug. 16, 2018, and reached her current weight this month. “I still plan to lose an additional 30 to 40 pounds,” Sherwood said.

Personal life: “I’m married. I’m currently a stay-at-home mother,” Sherwood said. “However, I worked in the financial services industry for 12 years until my son was diagnosed with autism. My focus changed in August 2010 in getting my son the help he needed and still do so currently. My son is now 15 years old, and my daughter is 7 years old.” She lives in Kennesaw.

Turning point: “I received an email around August 2018 from wellness coach Jacynta Harb on how her Sparkle A New You fall semester of group wellness coaching classes would soon be starting. I made the decision at the time that I was ready,” Sherwood said. “I had to make drastic changes because I wanted to live. When I say I wanted to live, I truly wanted to participate in life. I’ve been on every diet known to mankind since the age of 11. I was put on Weight Watchers when I was in fifth grade. I was the youngest in the whole meeting. I also attended several summer weight-loss camps for adolescents deemed ‘fat camp.’ If it was out there, I tried it. … I never learned anything on how to lose it in a healthy way, nor to keep it off.”

Diet plan: Breakfast is eggs. Lunch is a salad with protein. Dinner is protein with lots of veggies. She snacks on fruit and nuts.

Exercise routine: “I absolutely love to exercise, not only for the health benefit but because of the stress relief that it brings to my life,” Sherwood said. “Between my two gym memberships with Burn Bootcamp Kennesaw and Planet Fitness in Kennesaw, I work out six to seven days per week between cardio as well as weight training.”

Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge is emotional eating and facing the feelings, compared to numbing them with food,” she said. “Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I still see that 248-pound person. I have to consciously stop and look at the progress I’ve made.”

How life has changed: “I would say that my confidence level, as well as my self-worth, has certainly increased,” Sherwood said. “… It’s been a big adjustment in my family dynamics as I used to put myself last, especially being a parent to a special-needs child. His needs especially overrode mine. Another major secret to my success is that I’ve forgiven myself for getting to 248 pounds in the first place. What came with that forgiveness is that it’s OK that I’m not perfect, and that was a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders.”

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