In the photo on the left, taken in December 2017, Shawanda Bradley weighed 260 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in November 2018, she weighed 175 pounds. (Photos contributed by Shawanda Bradley)

Shawanda Bradley, 41, of Decatur lost 88 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Shawanda Bradley, 41: From 260 pounds to 172 pounds

Former weight: 260 pounds

Current weight: 172 pounds

Pounds lost: 88 pounds

Height: 5 feet 4 inches

Age: 41 years

How long she’s kept it off: Started in 2017 and reached her current weight Oct. 31.

Personal life: “I’m originally from Florida — that’s where my family lives. My son he is 23 years old and he’s in the Army, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. I’m a very proud mother,” said Bradley who is trained as a medical assistant and lives in Decatur.

Turning point: “The day I went to the doctor, it was in 2017, that’s when they did some bloodwork,” Bradley said. “They said I was borderline type 2 diabetic. My sugar was high, it was affecting my eyesight. That’s when I was really like you need to stop playing around, this diabetes is something serious. I wear glasses. That’s how I knew all of a sudden things were looking blurry. … I had no choice but to try and lose some of that weight. I kind of lost weight before, but I really wasn’t motivated. I suffered through depression and isolated myself from the world.” She heard about personal trainer Carla Fields with Carla Fields Fitness Inc. “I got involved with her. … I was seeing changes in my weight and I was feeling good about myself,” she said. “My son was grown — it was time for me to start loving me and start focusing on me.”

Diet plan: Her day starts with a protein shake with kale, spinach and fruit. Lunch is a grilled chicken salad. Dinner is usually protein with vegetables.

Exercise routine: She does personal training three times a week.

Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was to keep that weight off,” Bradley said. “… When I found out about Carla, that was my chance. By working out all that depression, anger and stuff that I had — that helped me. So, forcing myself, because some days I didn’t want to leave my room, I didn’t want to go anywhere. To force myself to go work out was very hard. Once I got out and did it, I felt good.”

How life has changed: “My eyesight, it ended up going back to normal,” Bradley said. “After I lost the weight, my A1C went down to way below, and I am not even borderline diabetic anymore. … I’ve got a new body now, and I want to keep it up and just have some fun. I am now motivated to keep it off. … I know how it is when you have the weight and it depresses you. Once you see the results you ain’t going to want to look back, you will want to keep it off. You’ve got to motivate yourself, make little stickers that say you can do this. If you can’t love yourself, how you gonna handle what’s going on around you? You’ve got to take care of you. You have to want it. You really can’t help nobody if you don’t do nothing for yourself.”

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