Age: 44 years
How long you've kept it off: "I began with Nancy Masoud, weight-loss and metabolism specialist, (www.lockitinweightloss.com) July 20th and reached my goal at the end of November," Herring said.
Personal life: "I have been married to my best friend, Mike, for the last 15 years," Herring said. "We are raising a son and daughter and as many boxer dogs as we can handle. … I am a teacher at East Cobb Christian School."
Turning point: "The craziest thing I have always said about myself is that I have 'reverse' body dysmorphia," she said. "In other words, even at my heaviest, I would look in the mirror and think, 'I look pretty good!' Now that I have lost the weight and get reactions from people, I think to myself, 'I look the same as I always have. … I have lost weight to compete in pageants and to help in my battle with infertility, but it has always come right back on. After the birth of my daughter, I had an emergency hysterectomy, which threw my body into a hormonal tailspin. I had just about decided I would always be heavy. My last doctor's appointment turned the tide, though, because I was told either lose weight or go on cholesterol medication.
Diet plan: "I knew I was going to need one-on-one support and accountability. I also wanted to have my underlying hormonal issues addressed. I actually found who I was looking for when I read an AJC Success Story one Wednesday. … Something in her story spoke to me," she said about finding Masoud. "I eliminated gluten, dairy, fats and certain types of fruit and vegetables that were causing an inflammatory response in my body."
Exercise routine: "I did not exercise, I repeat, I did not exercise. … That way your body burns that fat right off," she said. "Now that I am in my maintenance phase … I lift weights three times a week and walk to tone up."
Biggest challenge: "Setting your mind to it is always the hardest part. … I teach my students in science that our brains literally create new pathways each time we learn something," she said. "Knowing that the brain is laying down a new good habit pathway for all this work I've done helps me believe that I can keep it up."
How life has changed: "I get to enjoy the clothes-buying experience," she said, adding that her cholesterol dropped. "I am able to run around with my third-graders and not feel like a creaky mess. … I have a strong faith, so this change has made me feel better for myself, not really about myself. … Believe that you can do it. No matter what path you take."
Share Your Success: Have you lost weight successfully with a healthy lifestyle change? If you would like to share your story with our readers, please include your email address, a daytime phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.