Nakeisha Brumfield, 36, of Austell, lost 125 pounds

Former weight: 300 pounds

Current weight: 175 pounds

Pounds lost: 125 pounds

Height: 5 feet 6 inches

Age: 35 years

How long she’s kept it off: “I started my weight loss journey in January of 2002 and have been working every day since then to develop a healthy lifestyle,” says Brumfield. “It is not a diet, but healthy living has become a way of life for me. I am currently at the weight where I look and feel my best.” She reached her current weight in March.

Personal life: “I received my bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from Kaplan University in August 2012,” she says. She works as an application test lead at Accenture and lives in Austell.

Turning point: “In December 2001, I learned I had high cholesterol at the tender age of 24. This was a huge wake up call for me because I know my family history of heart disease,” she says. “My grandmother passed away when I was 13 due to a heart attack, so getting this doctor’s report basically showed me what was in my future if I did not change my lifestyle. In January 2002, my church offered a class called first place that was a nutritional Bible study.”

Diet plan: “Due to cholesterol issues and past issues with high blood pressure, I follow a low cholesterol, lower sodium diet. I typically eat whole grains, fruits, vegetable, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. I do indulge in sweets occasionally.”

Exercise routine: “I do some form of exercise every day, even if it is just a few push ups and squats. In January of 2012, I began running. I ran my first 5K in March of 2012 and my first 10K in March of 2013,” she says. “On Mondays and Thursdays, I participate, and sometimes teach, a full-body workout class at my church. Other days I may do Zumba, kickboxing, calisthenics, circuit training, running, or walking.”

Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge is working out when I’m tired,” she says. “I work out in the evening, so there are days when I have had a long day at work and I really do not want to exercise - I would rather take a nap.”

How life has changed: “Since losing weight, my confidence has gone through the roof. Before, I was the person who didn’t like to draw attention to myself and would blend into the background,” she says. “The biggest things I learned is that once you lose the weight, you have to work almost just as hard to keep it off. When I first lost sixty pounds, I thought that I had arrived, so to speak. I stopped measuring my portions and cut back on my exercising. It didn’t take long for me to gain thirty of those pounds back. That is when I realized that once I reached my goal, that I still have to work to stay healthy.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.