Marcus Thorpe of Atlanta loses 105 pounds

Former weight: 282 pounds

Current weight: 177 pounds

Pounds lost: 105

Height: 5 feet 8 inches

How long he's kept it off: "I started my weight loss in May 2008 and have steadily lost weight up until January 2010," Thorpe said. "My goal was to reach 100 pounds."

Personal life: "I live on the southwest side of Atlanta with my significant other, Benita Madison," he said. "I am a prosecutor for Clayton County's solicitor general's office."

Turning point: "As a former high school and college football player, I worked out to gain muscle and keep weight on. So at the beginning of 2008, I resolved myself to change my workout habits by decreasing the weight and time I spent on the weights and spending just as much time if not more in the cardio portion of the gym. Once I made the commitment, the pounds have fallen off."

Diet plan: "I owe a lot of the change in my eating habits to the book 'Eat This, Not That!' " he said. His day begins with an egg sandwich and fruit. Lunch is baked chicken and greens. Dinner is chicken with veggies.

“I also make sure I drink a minimum of 2.2 liters of water a day,” he said.

Exercise routine: "I now run up to 4 to 5 miles three times a week, use the elliptical machine once a week, and then have a fun day [of] cardio. All of this goes along with my three days of weightlifting, as well."

Biggest challenge: "Getting started on the running was the worst," he said. "I have never been a long-distance runner because of my athletic past; so training my body to run for extended periods of time was both physically and mentally difficult. But I have found, with the use of my MP3 player and other tricks, I can make it enjoyable."

How life has changed: "Life has changed dramatically," he said. "I get compliments all the time from people I don't know in the gym and old friends from school. Now that I have shed a lot of my football weight, I am also comfortable shopping in stores that others do without having to make special [clothes] orders."

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 e-mail 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, Sixth Floor, 72 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30303; or e-mail ajcsuccessstories