Dick Jones, 53, of Alpharetta loses 72 pounds

Former weight: 220 pounds

Current weight: 148 pounds

Pounds lost: 72 pounds

Height: 5 feet 8 inches

How long he's kept it off: 14 months. He started in April 2007 and reached his current weight in April 2008.

Personal life: "I have been married for 27 years to a wonderful woman, Peggy." They live in Alpharetta and have two grown children, Jennifer and Jeff. He is the director of business development for Frazier & Deeter, LLC.

Turning point: "In the fall of 2006, I had an annual physical," says Jones. He weighed over 220 pounds, smoked, drank heavily, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was eating 3-4 cheeseburgers per week. His doctor urged medication and diet. Jones decided to go from burgers to Boston, as in marathon. A friend and seasoned marathoner, Mike Wien, agreed to help.

Diet plan: Breakfast includes a banana with a cereal bar and juice. Lunch is a turkey sandwich or salad with chicken. Dinner is fish or chicken with vegetables or a chef salad. He avoids red meat and processed sugars.

Exercise routine: "I run 5-6 days per week, averaging 30-40 miles a week doing my training runs. I also ride my bike 3-4 days per week and average close to 100 miles per week," he says.

Biggest challenge: "Probably the biggest challenge was last year when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy," he says. "Running kept my priorities in focus by letting me work through my feelings... She is doing great now and will be walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day in the fall. I plan on being at the finish line cheering her on."

How life has changed: "Two years ago, I can honestly say I was a middle-aged, overweight, beer drinking, couch potato," he says. "My own doctor did not recognize me at my last physical." While efforts to lose weight in the past stalled, "this time my lofty goal of qualifying and running the Boston Marathon kept me motivated," says Jones. On April 20, Jones ran the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 29 minutes, finishing in the top 30 percent of runners around the world.