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 Patty Murphy, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks, email@example.com.
Jessica Dudley, 59: From 225 pounds to 140 pounds
Former weight: 225 pounds
Current weight: 140 pounds
Pounds lost: 85 pounds
Height: 5 feet, 3 inches
Age: 59 years
How long she's kept it off: "I've maintained weight loss since September of 2015," Dudley said.
Personal life: "I'm married, an empty-nester, personal trainer, coach, triathlete and artist." She's the assistant manager at C3 Fitness and blogs at findyourfood.org. She lives in Lawrenceville.
Turning point: "Like so many, I've struggled with my weight on and off for most of my life. I would lose all the weight and gain it back. … I know when I remove sugars, processed foods and starches I feel better, food (cravings reduce) and I can control it and lose weight. That led me to really seek to understand why food had this impact on me. … I went from just surviving to thriving. I had energy and control with food. … Ten months after I started this journey, I arrived at maintenance. This is where I usually lose it, (thinking) I can go back to everything I love … but inside I knew where going back would lead to: weight gain, loss of energy, being held captive by controlling, addictive carbs and back into surviving."
Diet plan: "I no longer eat breakfast; I fast and wait to eat when hungry." Lunch and dinner are proteins such as fish, chicken or steak along with veggies and sometimes a sugar-free dessert.
Exercise routine: "In the summer months, I'm very active: I run, swim, bike and hike recreationally. I also teach spin class twice a week. In the winters, I swim and spin."
Biggest challenge: "My biggest goal is to keep my focus in maintenance."
How life has changed: "I went hiking with a friend who was overweight, out of shape and held captive by the very foods I'd left behind. She had Type 2 diabetes and was a cancer survivor. We often hiked trails, not mountains. We climbed Mount Yonah. She didn't think she could do it on her knee replacement and I just knew we could. I (encouraged) her struggle the whole way, while talking about the mission field God placed upon her heart. … Being a woman of faith, I started to ask God myself about this. Obesity is not only trapping us in disease, it's robbing us of our confidence to do the things God has placed in our hearts."
About the Author