In the photo on the left, taken in 2017, Gina Malik weighed 277 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in June, she weighed 240 pounds. (Photos contributed by Gina Malik.)

Gina Malik, 38, of Roswell lost 70 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Gina Malik, 38: From 300 pounds to 230 pounds

Former weight: 300 pounds

Current weight: 230 pounds

Pounds lost: 70 pounds

Height: 5 feet 3 inches

Age: 38 years

How long she’s kept it off: Malik started last summer and reached her current weight this month. “It is very slow, where for some people it comes off a lot faster. … As a mom, there is not much sleep, I am trying to get more sleep. I am still losing.”

Personal life: “I’m married, a stay-at-home mom. I have a 5-year-old and 3-year-old.” She lives in Roswell.

Turning point: “We had just moved here in 2016. … I have tried all the diets, I wanted to lose weight. I had even thought about doing a (gastric bypass). I am so thankful I did not. … When I started at OneLife Fitness, I had a knee injury. I struggled to walk across the room. When my knee got strong enough, my trainer started me with squats. I hadn’t done them in 20 years since my college soccer days. … The weight loss has gone slowly, but that is the best part about it. My mom passed away in April. The weightlifting is what is getting me through — it pulls my mind away from it all. It is a true gift and blessing.”

Diet plan: Breakfast is usually an egg and Greek yogurt. She also has chicken broth with collagen. Lunch is a salad with salmon, and dinner is stuffed peppers or stuffed zucchini.

Exercise routine: “In the beginning, I was coming seven days a week. Now, I lift weights four days a week and do cardio and stretching. I got into power lifting — I got into it with OneLife Fitness. A year ago is when I pulled my first dead lift. I did my first competition in February, and I got two national records from the Global Powerlifiting Alliance.”

Biggest challenge: “I think being a mom we’re so conditioned to put everybody before ourselves. There are a million things every day in our lives for not going to the gym and not putting ourselves first. I always want to put my kids first, my husband first, they are so important to me. If I am not healthy, I am no good to them. … Now, I don’t make those excuses … and I am so thrilled I changed it — my life is for the better.”

How life has changed: “I feel great, I feel healthy. … I can run with my kids and keep up with them — it is so life-changing. When we first moved here, I had that knee injury and I couldn’t go on my daughter’s first field trip, it was to a pumpkin patch, and I had to miss that — they are my biggest joy. I am so happy that my husband picked the gym, he hand selected it. They forever changed my life. … I can do a 314-pound dead lift and I lost weight doing it, but I am gaining beautiful muscles as well.”

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