SUCCESS STORY / Gemina Stroud, 35: From 166 pounds to 135 pounds
Former weight: 166 pounds
Current weight: 135 pounds
Pounds lost: 31
Height: 5 feet 2 inches
Age: 35 years
How long she's kept it off: She started in March 2012 and reached her current weight in July.
Personal life: "Originally from Atlanta, I'm an Auburn University alum," Stroud says. "Currently, I live in Stockbridge, Ga., and work at Fox Sports South [as a traffic coordinator] in Midtown."
Turning point: "I began graduate school [for a master's in business administration] in 2008," she says. "As a result, I started eating on the go more, and working out less. I saw that I was gaining weight and would always say that I would begin exercising and eating better tomorrow. Tomorrow turned into three years, and before I knew it I was 30 pounds overweight. I saw a picture of myself that brought me to tears. I decided that day to start where I was — cold turkey."
Diet plan: Breakfast is a fruit smoothie with almond milk and whey protein. Lunch is grilled or baked salmon, a green vegetable and brown rice. Dinner is a fruit salad and she drinks a gallon of water daily.
Exercise routine: "In the mornings, before work, I run with a group called No Woman Left Behind - Keep It Moving! (www.nowomanleftbehind.net). I run three and a half miles at least three days per week, with or without the group," she says. "On days that I don't run, I box. In addition, while watching my favorite television shows, I do crunches, leg kicks and other floor exercises."
Biggest challenge: "Being at social gatherings with people that don't understand the level of difficulty that I faced throughout this weightloss journey can prove to be very challenging," Stroud says. "I've made sacrifices, in order to get to the next level, but they're always encouraging me to treat myself to certain dishes and drinks. I have to remind them that treating myself is what got me where I was."
How life has changed: "I've gained clarity about my life's purpose and direction," she says. "I have control over my thoughts, and I have a closer connection with God. The physical, mental and spiritual aspects of my life have aligned together for the good. My motto is [a Napoleon-Hill Foundation quote]: A positive mental attitude is a sustained commitment that requires personal discipline — the same kind of discipline that is required to stay in shape and maintain your physical health. It is a commitment that must be reinforced daily, or it is soon forgotten and cast upon the scrap heap of good intentions." (http://www.naphill.org/posts/tftd/thought-for-the-day-sunday-august-5-2012/)
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 Holly Steel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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