Former weight: 197 pounds
Current weight: 133 pounds
Pounds lost: 64 pounds
Height: 5 foot 8 inches
How long she’s kept it off: 10 months. She started in July 2008.
Personal life: “I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 21 years,” Mitchell said. She and her husband have two boys and two girls ages 18, 15, 7 and 5. “I am now seriously considering and researching the requirements of becoming a personal trainer,” she said.
Turning point: “There were many factors that catapulted my journey,” she said. “My mother-in-law was on life support at the time, and her nutrition and fitness were a large part of her illness.” Mitchell was also celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary, and her 20th high school reunion was coming up.
“Lastly, I had a list of health problems as long as my arm,” she said.
Diet plan: “I started with Weight Watchers,” she said. “I drank six Cokes a day. I also had high sugar, migraines and 11 kidney stones.” Now, her day begins with steel-cut oatmeal. Lunch is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
She snacks on almonds or fruit, and her favorite dinner is grilled tilapia with brown rice and vegetables.
Exercise routine: “I started out doing walk/run sessions. I would walk 3 minutes and run 1.” She now runs races regularly, including half-marathons.
She also works out at Gold’s Gym, where she lifts weights and takes classes.
Biggest challenge: “In the beginning, I would say that my biggest challenge was my family — not that they weren’t supportive, it was actually the opposite,” she said. “They sang my praises so much that I didn’t need to lose weight. … I was the perfect wife and mother to them just the way I was.”
How life has changed: “I’ve never been athletic, so this is all new to me,” she said. “To start, there is the confidence. The whole strong-woman-I-can-do-anything feeling is pretty awesome, too, I must say.
“I’ve learned that I have to do this for me. Of course, I want to be healthy for my family; however, my family isn’t the one putting the running shoes on my feet or driving past the Chick-fil-A when I really want a peach milkshake.”