Stephanie Mills 69, of Gainesville lost 30 pounds

In the photo on the left, taken in January 2019, Stephanie Mills weighed 170 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in April, she weighed 140 pounds. (Photos contributed by Stephanie Mills)
In the photo on the left, taken in January 2019, Stephanie Mills weighed 170 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in April, she weighed 140 pounds. (Photos contributed by Stephanie Mills)

SUCCESS STORY / Stephanie Mills, 69: From 170 pounds to 140 pounds

Former weight: 170 pounds

Current weight: 140 pounds

Pounds lost: 30 pounds

Height: 5 feet 3 inches.

Age: 69 years

How long she's kept it off: She started in July and reached her current weight in March.

Personal life: "I moved from Austin, Texas, in 1994 to keep my job. I retired in 2000. I worked for the telephone company," Mills said. "… I was only going to stay five to seven years, but Gainesville is a really neat little town. It is nice on the lake, just a great small town."

Turning point: "I have bone-on-bone arthritis in my shoulder, I've been hurting quite a few years. I tried acupuncture and massage therapy," Mills said. "I was told about Nancy Masoud, a metabolic specialist with LockedIN Wellness, and when I went to her, the way she explained it, my weight was caused by the inflammation in my body. Even before the weight started coming off, I started feeling better. It wasn't something I was concentrating on, it was my pain. I would have never gone for just the weight loss. I knew I was overweight, but I was a 69-year-old woman who was still getting out doing what I want. But I did like that she does hair analysis and DNA and tells you what foods you are sensitive to."

Diet plan: Breakfast is sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onions, with two eggs and turkey bacon. Lunch and dinner are protein and vegetables such as chopped steak, mushrooms and onions.

Exercise routine: "I am not big on that," Mills said. "I do walk a bit — if I go to the store, I will park at the far end and walk. I try to get my exercise in that way. Even when I had my hips replaced, my physical therapist knew I'm not somebody who is going to do three sets of 20, so when I was getting gas, she would have me do side kicks and it healed perfectly."

Biggest challenge: "Trying to keep track of what I eat, another thing that helped me was a food diary. I just wrote down everything I ate," Mills said. "When you have to write down what you're going to eat, you're less likely to make that mistake. Through the whole journey, I never gained."

How life has changed: "I feel great, I have energy and I don't feel what most people think a 70-year-old would feel like," Mills said. "I was wearing a size 10, and today I'm wearing size four capris — it's been so long since I've even been that size. I have had strangers tell me 'You look good today.' I guess it comes across because I'm not hurting. I had both my hips replaced in 2017. I feel like I could be 35 again. Getting people to support you is a good thing. When people start telling you, 'You look good,' they can see a difference. You need to say thank you and appreciate it, just take it in."

Share Your Success: Each week, Success Stories focuses on an individual’s unique weight loss journey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. 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, 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,