Age: 47 years
How long she's kept it off: "I started in March 2014," said Bell, who reached her current weight in June 2016.
Joyce Bell weighed 158 pounds when this photo was taken in 2014.
Personal life: "I have one son and I'm the proud grandmother of one grandson. I'm a full-time nurse with JenCare located in East Point, Ga. I attend Berean Christian Church. … I also host a free Inspired Body community workout every Saturday … followed by a health and wellness seminar. I am currently a cardiac nurse, fitness model and military veteran who served in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm." She lives in Lawrenceville, is the owner of InspiredBodybyBell and is a national finalist for the 2017 IsaBody Challenge. Her website is www.inspiredbodybybell.com.
Joyce Bell weighed 132 pounds when this photo was taken in September.
Turning point: "The major turning point in my fitness journey began when I as a cardiac nurse learned that I had been diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation. By 40 years old, I needed a heart valve replacement or I was facing death. During a conversation with my brother on my decision to not have the surgery, he said that I was being selfish for refusing; however, I decided to take matters into my own hands and change my lifestyle for the better. I haven't looked back since."
Diet plan: "I follow a healthy meal plan system by eating food high in nutritional value such as chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables. I do meal prep at the beginning of every week with these types of ingredients."
Exercise routine: "I exercise regularly and often, alternating between two days of strength training and five days of cardio."
Biggest challenge: "One of the biggest challenges is not eating junk food or drinking flavored margaritas like I did often before I started."
How life has changed: "Since I made the decision to take control of my health and fitness, my life has changed phenomenally. I've overcome the inability to do high-impact exercise due to my heart condition, and now I'm helping others work out. I've become a fitness model, featured in several magazines, news and media publications. I won a master figure pro title in body building, started a successful business and I've been enabled to travel across the world to different countries to help others and share my journey with them. One mantra I use is that 'Everything is figureouttable.' … You deserve to have a life and body you love. … My aim is to use the platform this fitness journey has created to make a positive impact in the lives of others by helping them and showing them they can also overcome health challenges they have."
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 email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.