Wanda Cagle Gray, 59, of Cartersville, lost 65 pounds

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, ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.

Success Story

Wanda Cagle Gray, 59: From 200 pounds to 135 pounds

Former weight: 200 pounds

Current weight: 135 pounds

Pounds lost: 65 pounds

Height: 5 feet, 5 inches

Age: 59 years

How long she's kept it off: "I started my lifestyle change on May 27, 2014. … I reached 128 pounds by September, 2015." At 128 pounds, she felt she was too thin, so she maintains her weight at 135 pounds.

Personal life: "I've lived in Cartersville all my life," Gray said. "I am a Realtor with Asher Realty (asherrealty.com) and married to Steve Gray for 25 years. I am a retired teacher from Cartersville Middle School, where I worked as a physical education teacher and as a guidance counselor."

Turning point: "I saw that [before] picture of me in March 2014, and I'm standing in the group and I was the fattest one and I could not believe that I was that big — it shocked me. … I started [trying to lose weight] 10 years ago, but my mind was not with my mouth and my hands and my feet. I had to get my mind right and Jenny Craig (jennycraig.com) helped me 10 years ago, but I gained it back. I decided to go back, and it worked for me. I am diabetic, I have high cholesterol and I have high blood pressure. I was a 10-pound baby, so I have a fat gene. It does make it hard, but you can beat it — it's just a constant thing."

Diet plan: "It's the best food, I'm eating it now and I'm on maintenance." Breakfast is coffee and toast, lunch is chicken salad. Dinner is spaghetti squash with an entrée such as chili or spaghetti sauce. "I did a budget of how much I went out to eat and how much I spent on food for a month and I spent so much less on Jenny Craig."

Exercise routine: "I walk all the time. … I walked 30 miles four times this past year. … I didn't like to walk at the beginning, but I love, love, love it now."

Biggest challenge: "My challenge is when there is food at my house. … I want to eat chips and dip. I can't eat five chips with dip, I want, like, half the bag — that is the challenge for me. Buffets are the devil, so I don't do buffets."

How life has changed: "Now, I'm a younger, sassier person. … I finally allowed God to get me on my journey. I didn't want food to control me. … I call it holding me accountable for my behavior. … Being tired, unhealthy, and feeding my body foods that were not healthy were not honoring him. This is a continued challenge for me each day."