Age: 42 years
How long she's kept it off: She started in February 2016. She reached her current weight in May 2016.
Personal life: "I live in Peachtree City. I have a son, Maalik. He is in college, he is 19." Her career is in education.
Turning point: "I'm the empty nest diva. I have had to devote all my life to my son with swim meets and driving him everywhere. Now that he is in school, his freshman year … I had decided that I had gained too much weight. Last year in January, all of my clothes were way too tight and I was frustrated. I decided to do something about it. I started running with Black Girls Run. I was running with them but I wasn't doing the eating, the diet part." She searched Facebook for boot camps and found Casi's Straight Military-Style Bootcamp. My first day of boot camp, it changed my whole life. Now I am on a journey of fitness."
Diet plan: "I eat every two hours." She eats clean: grapefruit, fruit, spinach and kale. She also eats veggie burgers, baked chicken and vegetables. She snacks on granola. When she is craving ice cream, she reaches for frozen yogurt. "I have weakness for certain food. … I try not to deny myself or I might binge on it. The challenge is to not eat too much of it."
Exercise routine: "I am running five days a week, a minimum of three miles. Now, I am training for a half marathon." On weekends she will run longer distances up to 10 miles. "I have been increasing mileage for the half marathon until I get to 13.1 miles. Casi and her team leaders really taught me how to run."
Biggest challenge: "The biggest challenge is sometimes my work schedule because I have to be to work so early. Even with Casi's boot camp at 5:30 a.m. I had to get up at 4 a.m. and that was a big shift. I like working out in the morning.
How life has changed: "I lost the weight so that I could get back into my clothes, that was the initial issue. Now, I still can't fit into my clothes because they are too big. I gave a lot of clothes away, I am slowly building back a work wardrobe. I have more fitness clothes than work clothes. I am several sizes smaller than I was. I am feeling better about myself. All of these 18 or 19 years, my motivation was for my son. Now my motivation is for me. I come from a family that has diabetes and high blood pressure, there's cancer and dementia, and I don't want to inherit those health issues … a healthier life has mentally made me feel better, at least I am doing something about it."
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.