Bruce Williams, 72, of Atlanta lost 53 pounds

Bruce Williams weighed 215 pounds when the photo on the left was taken in 2015. In the photo on the right, taken in May, he weighed 162 pounds. (Photos contributed by Bruce Williams)

Combined ShapeCaption
Bruce Williams weighed 215 pounds when the photo on the left was taken in 2015. In the photo on the right, taken in May, he weighed 162 pounds. (Photos contributed by Bruce Williams)

SUCCESS STORY / Bruce Williams, 72: From 215 pounds to 162 pounds

Former weight: 215 pounds

Current weight: 162 pounds

Pounds lost: 53 pounds

Height: 6 feet

Age: 72 years

How long he's kept it off: He started in April 2017 and reached his current weight in June.

Personal life: "I live in Atlanta in the Buckhead area. I am single and retired," Williams said. "I am retired from several careers, first as an economist. I left corporate America and had a canoeing and kayaking school where I taught for 18 years before retiring again."

Turning point: "I sold my business about five years ago, and my lifestyle changed. I became rather sedentary, and since I was no longer outside most of the time during the summer, I put on a lot of weight. But it was a combination of several things: I didn't look or feel good, but also there were some health issues. I had high cholesterol, and my doctor advised me to lose weight and get exercise. I guess that was one of the things that started me on this diet. I didn't have a lot of energy, so I really wanted to get back into shape."

Diet plan: "I follow a modified Mediterranean diet," he said. Breakfast is cereal with fruit. Lunch is a salad. Dinner is lean meat or fish. "I eat a lot more fish than I did before," Williams said.

Exercise routine: "I do a spin class a couple of times a week at LA Fitness and a bicycle ride a couple of times a week. I am trying to get back into some strength training to complement that," he said. "My goal is to do something every day."

Biggest challenge: "My biggest challenge is doing something every day. In other words, when I am not doing spin class, just getting out and doing some walking and staying moving during the day is a big challenge," he said. "I love to read, so I tend to spend more time on the couch than I would really like to. The diet itself has not been a huge challenge. I do count calories, and that is where MyFitnessPal comes in. Besides the fact that I am stubborn, it is kind of a game — it has actually been fun in that sense."

How life has changed: "I'm more active," Williams said. "I really no longer canoe and kayak, but I am starting to really get into bicycling. I used to do a lot of bicycling 35 years ago, and now I have started doing that again. I live near Lenox Park. … (Recently,) I got on my bicycle and rode 10 miles in the park. The thing about doing whitewater kayaking is, I have to find people to go with. I have to put the kayak on the car and drive to North Georgia. Bicycling you can do by yourself and it doesn't require a lot of planning. I have a lot more energy, and I have a different outlook on life. I hope someone will be inspired — it has been a good experience for me."

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,