In the photo on the left, taken in August 2016, Yolanda L. Goodson weighed 283 pounds. (Photo Credit: Andria Lavine Photography, www.alavinephotography.com). In the photo on the right, taken in August 2019, she weighed 201 pounds. (Photo credit: Jeanette for I Am She Boutique grand opening, www.iamsheboutique.com).

Yolanda L. Goodson, 43, of Atlanta lost 82 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Yolanda L. Goodson, 43: From 283 pounds to 201 pounds

Former weight: 283 pounds

Current weight: 201 pounds

Pounds lost: 82 pounds

Height: 5 feet 7 inches

Age: 43 years

How long she’s kept it off: “I began my weight-loss journey in January 2018 and reached my current weight in March 2019,” Goodson said.

Personal life: “I am single with an 11-year-old fur baby named Samuel,” said Goodson, who lives in the College Park area of Atlanta. “I work as a clinical administrative coordinator for an insurance company.”

Turning point: “My weight has fluctuated since I was 10 years old. When I reached the age of 40, I began to feel pains that I had never felt before, and a doctor told me it was because of my weight,” Goodson said. “To have the quality of life I would like to have when I am 50, 60, 70 and beyond, I knew I had to make a change in my weight.”

Diet plan: “I’ve had to cut the calories,” she said. “Smaller portions are how I’ve been able to lose the weight and keep it off. Protein shakes have helped to stave off the cravings for unhealthy snacks.”

Exercise routine: “I do some form of exercise at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes … definitely at the gym,” Goodson said. “I am a member of Olympus Gym on Virginia Avenue. It is open 24 hours, seven days a week, which fits into my schedule. I mostly do cardio such as the elliptical, treadmill and bike — but I also incorporate weight training.” She also incorporates the great outdoors in her workouts: “I walk or jog on those beautiful days for fresh air or when I don’t feel like going to the gym.”

Biggest challenge: “I have cravings for sweets at bedtime,” Goodson said. So instead of satisfying her sweet tooth, she reaches for carrots, celery sticks and apples. “I find that biting into something crunchy takes the unhealthy cravings away,” she said.

How life has changed: “I simply feel better, inside and out. I feel more balanced,” Goodson said. She’s still setting goals, including increasing her stamina, but her main goal includes “to one day run — not walk or jog — the entire Peachtree Road Race.” When eating out, she recommends being mindful of the goal: “There’s always a healthy option whether eating in or dining out. Always strive for the healthier option.” She recommends losing weight for the right reasons, for yourself and not others: “I’ve made getting healthy all about me so another person’s opinion (of me) does not matter. … Lose weight for you and only you — not to be accepted or loved by someone else. Accept and love yourself enough to get healthy and stay healthy. … When you begin your weight-loss journey, let nothing and no one stop you from reaching your goal. Begin it and stick with it.”

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