Age: 64 years
How long she's kept it off: "My current weight-loss journey started in March 2017 and is ongoing," said Brooks, who reached her current weight in January.
Personal life: "My husband and I have been married for 26 years. We live in Marietta, near the Chattahoochee River. We have two rescue kittens that have brought fun and lots of love into our home," Brooks said. "I am a risk manager with a global company."
Turning point: "My weight was beginning to result in injuries, stopping me from doing some of my favorite activities. I wanted to be active and share experiences with others in my life. That wasn't going to happen on my previous path," Brooks said. "I hired a wellness coach, Jacynta Harb with Sparkle Wellness at Sparkle a New You. She helped me focus on overall wellness to achieve weight loss and maintain it."
Diet plan: "I worked with Jacynta to learn and adopt a new approach to eating," Brooks said. Breakfast is an egg with spinach or kale, fresh fruit, and coffee with almond milk. Lunch is chicken, beef, pork or fish — usually leftovers from the previous night's dinner — with vegetables and fruit. Dinner is the same protein options with vegetables; for dessert, she indulges in dark chocolate.
Exercise routine: "I do weight training and cardio three times a week at Fitness Together in East Cobb," Brooks said. She does stretch pack once a week at Fitness Together. In the spring and fall, she has tennis matches and practice each week. On weekends, she walks with her husband on the boardwalk along the Chattahoochee River.
Biggest challenge: "Injuries were my biggest challenge before and during my journey," Brooks said. "That has dramatically changed as I've lost weight and improved my overall fitness." She said her secrets to success in overcoming her challenges were "coaching and accountability — having a wellness coach provided both of these for me."
How life has changed: "My energy level and confidence are much higher. My flexibility and balance have both significantly improved," Brooks said. "I experience true joy in trying new activities." Her tips for others on the journey include: "Surround yourself with your very own success team — people that support and encourage you on your weight loss and maintenance journey." And she warns not to compare and despair: "Measure your progress toward your goals without comparing yourself to others." Her future plans? "I'm looking forward to traveling with my husband, playing more tennis and enjoying the opportunities that life brings," she said.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.