Sharonda Madison, 41, of McDonough lost 115 pounds

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SUCCESS STORY / Sharonda Madison, 41: From 280 pounds to 165 pounds

Former weight: 280 pounds

Current weight: 165 pounds

Pounds lost: 115 pounds

Height: 5 feet 5 inches

Age: 41 years

How long she kept it off: She started December 2013 and reached her goal January 2015.

Personal life: "I am married for seven years, and I have the pleasure of raising my niece, 16, and nephew, 18. I work for Georgia Legal Services Program as a secretary for over 10 years." She lives in McDonough.

Turning point: "I have been battling weight for over 20 years," she said. "The turning point came when my doctor told me that I was borderline diabetic. Although I was active, I stayed tired all of the time and my body would constantly ache. It was the winter of 2013 that I decided to do something about my weight."

Diet plan: "I do not eat food from restaurants, but I make all of my meals daily. I eat three balanced meals and two snacks in between. I completely eliminated sugars and fried foods from my diet, and I only drink water with my meals, adding Crystal Light," she said. "In the morning times, I'll have a small omelet or some oatmeal; in between snacks, I'll have an apple or a protein bar … My lunch is bigger than my dinner." Lunch is a sandwich or just like dinner, some lean protein and vegetables. Mid-afternoon, she has a protein bar.

Exercise routine: "I exercise five times a week, alternating between cardio and strength training. My cardio consists of either walking on the treadmill or doing the P90X video. My strength training consists of doing squats, doing sit-ups and planks, and also lifting weights for my arms."

Biggest challenge: "My biggest challenge is staying consistent with the exercise routine that I have set for myself. Sometimes I don't seem to have enough time in the day to do my exercise, so I have to push myself to do them at night, even if I am tired."

How life has changed: "Life has changed for me dramatically. I am now able to stay motivated without constantly feeling sluggish. I can go outside and play football with my family without giving out within the first five minutes. What is even more exciting is being able to purchase clothes at a much cheaper price — it is exciting. My family has been a great inspiration to me. They have motivated me to continue on even when I wanted to give up. The key is having a made-up mind and not get discouraged when the scale seems to stop moving."