Vince Smith, 64, of Atlanta lost 51 pounds

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SUCCESS STORY / Vince Smith, 64: From 208 pounds to 157 pounds

Former weight: 208 pounds

Current weight: 157 pounds

Pounds lost: 51

Height: 5 foot 6 inches

Age: 64 years

How long he's kept it off: Started in January 2014 and reached 161 pounds in October.

Personal life: "I'm married, have three sons and four grandsons. I serve as the executive director of the Gateway Center (, which is a homeless services center in downtown Atlanta. The focus of the Gateway Center is changing lives and ending homelessness." He lives in Atlanta.

Turning point: "I had been diagnosed with diabetes; I could change the future if I got a hold of the present," he said. He joined Weight Watchers but was skeptical. "Oh yeah right — I am going to lose weight by counting points. What seemed nonsensical [at first], I began to look through a different lens. I would see food differently. I would realize I would eat, not because I was hungry, but because I was frustrated … as I would say to the men at the Gateway Center, you are accountable to you — I realized I am accountable to me."

Diet plan: "I began to experiment with different types of fruit I didn't normally eat. I began to eat more vegetables. I began to eliminate fried foods and focus on things that were boiled … I didn't move to a diet of I-just-have-to-eat-salad."

Exercise routine: "A dozen friends went and got Fitbit and we got into encouraging each other in the world of steps … Often times you don't have support because you don't ask for it." In April 2014, he did his first 5K: "I remember being kind of scared that day … Before the year was over, I had done more than a dozen."

Biggest challenge: "This is a lifestyle change every day … This is not something I did it once and then it's over. I have to do it again and I'll have to do it tomorrow."

How life has changed: "For the first time since high school, I'm wearing jeans with a 33-inch waist." he said. "What I thought I was doing was losing weight — I was getting ready for the next chapter of life … In the fall, quite by surprise, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Suddenly there was something in my life over which I had no control … but I did have control over my weight … There is something about that c word — it just blows up in your face … [Weight loss] has changed in the way in which I see myself … I take responsibility regarding my weight and my health … Food is fuel for our bodies, not salve for our souls."