Height: 5 feet
Age: 38 years
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How long she's kept it off: "I have kept it off for about a year and half," says Kohanim.
Personal life: She is a Northview High School language arts teacher and debate coach. She is married and lives in Roswell.
Turning point: "In brief, I started my weight loss journey three years ago. I worked out irregularly that first year because I was exhausted after working two jobs. So by the time I hit the gym in the evening, I had little left to give to my workouts…My diet consisted of yo-yo and guilt. Then, I won teacher of the year at my school, and they posted my picture with the award. They posted it to Twitter, the school TV show, Facebook. It was everywhere. I saw that picture and was mortified…I talked to my father and asked for some advice. He told me about the 15-minute rule: 'Go to the gym and workout for 15 minutes. If you still feel like not working out, go home. If you go home after 15 minutes, you are not allowed to beat yourself up about it. You tried. You weren't feeling it. Try again tomorrow.' I followed the 15-minute rule. My workouts went from once or twice a week to five days a week."
Jordan Kohanim weighed 190 pounds at age 36 when this photo was taken in 2015.
Diet plan: "Cutting out sugar was the biggest transformer for me." Breakfast is an egg-white omelet with veggies and coffee. She snacks on veggies and nuts. Lunch is grilled chicken and gazpacho. Dinner is grilled chicken with veggies.
Exercise routine: "I get up at 4:30 a.m. …to get to OneLife gym. I call us the Dawn Patrol. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging…I exercise six days a week." She started with the elliptical and moved to long-distance running which relieved anxiety. "Now, I am working on building muscle…I do HIIT training (high intensity interval training) three days a week and weight training with plyometric warmups."
Biggest challenge: "My biggest challenge was the plateaus…My body had become attuned to long-distance running and was trying to slow my metabolism in order to put the weight back on. There is a great deal of research about how your body tries to regain weight after a large weight loss unless you vary your routine. So, I had to change it up."
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How life has changed: "I have so much more energy now. I work two jobs, so I sometimes go from 4:30 a.m. in the morning until 9 p.m. at night. So too, a debate coach has long hours. I used to be exhausted after those long days. I'd come home, flop on the couch and eat junk and zone out—reeling from how tired I felt. Now, I have more energy…I enjoy doing things more because I am not so tired."
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, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks, email@example.com.