Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Age: 38 years
Weight loss tips from our 'Weight Loss Success Stories' through the year. ELISSA BENZIE/ EEUBANKS@AJC.COM
How long she's kept it off: Started November 2015 and reached her current weight in October 2016.
Personal life: "I'm a school librarian at an elementary school. I am married with an 11-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter," says Farmer who lives in Hampton.
Turning point: "I lost weight in the past, and once I had gotten to a point where I would accomplish, I would get comfortable, stop exercising, and stop watching my food. Gradually, I'd put the weight back on. I have done that several times through the years…I guess it might have been October 2015, and I happened to see a post on my Facebook timeline for Casi's Straight Military Style Bootcamp; I don't know how it popped up on there…Typically, I wouldn't have been interested in something like that, but I was ready to try something to jump start my weight loss."
Diet plan: "Casi taught us to eat…five to six small meals per day so we would shrink our stomach back to normal size." Breakfast is grapefruit, oatmeal or boiled eggs. For other meals, she eats lean meats, vegetables, and quiona or brown rice. "I usually try to stay away from the carbohydrates and the bread and pasta."
Exercise routine: "I will shoot for five days a week. When I am not in boot camp, it varies. One thing I like about boot camp is it is not variable. Even though I have to make myself go to boot camp…It helps me get those workouts in." She also does zumba classes, hip-hop dancing classes or walking on her own. "If I didn't have a supportive husband, it wouldn't be possible to do boot camp, so I am grateful for that."
Biggest challenge: "I would say slipping back into old habits… I have never agreed with the fact that once I switched to healthy foods that I stopped craving bad foods. I still want those bad foods. I don't understand people who say they lose the desire for those things."
How life has changed: "I am definitely more active…I have had a desire to explore more outdoor activities. I've been to Stone Mountain. I do a lot of walking around local parks and neighborhoods. I want to start hiking — I can't believe it. I just want different forms of activity… I am realizing it takes time, and I am relishing my progress. I am not just waiting to reach my [ultimate] goal, but embracing the changes along the way. I am still working toward my goal, and it has been over a year. I don't want to be unhappy with the state I am in now…I could reach that goal and still be unhappy. I think I have the confidence to be happy now."
Joy Farmer before photo; weight in photo: 298 pounds; age in photo: 36 years; when photo was taken 2015.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.