Weight Loss Stories

MARI GARNER went from 215 to 160 pounds

> Current weight: 160 pounds

> Pounds lost: 55

> Height: 5 feet 6 inches

> How long she’s kept it off: Seven years. Began Feb. 1, 2000, and reached current weight in 2001.

> Personal life: “I own the c (www.thebootcampcompany.com) in metro Atlanta ,where I live with my husband, Chris, and two dogs, Abby and Lucy,” Garner said.

> Turning point: In 1998, Garner’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer; six months later she passed away. “The loss of my mom introduced me to loss, but at the same time to the importance of living,” she said. “By the time I graduated college, started my adult life and then lost my mom, I had reached an all-time high of 215 pounds. In January of 2000, I knew something had to change.”

> Diet plan: “My goal is to eat a higher protein diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep my body healthy and to be able to recover from teaching several workouts a day,” she said. She starts with egg whites, double-fiber bread and a banana for breakfast. Midmorning she has a snack of cottage cheese and pineapple. Lunch is usually a salad with grilled chicken or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread. Midafternoon she has a high-protein snack, and for dinner she eats fish several times a week.

> Exercise routine: While teaching boot camp and fitness classes, Garner works out five to six times a week, several times a day. “I run twice a week on my own and try to get in at least one kickboxing class a week,” she said. “But I always take at least one full day off completely from exercise to let my body repair itself.”

> Biggest challenge: “I struggle with my weight every day,” she said. “I have an athletic build and tend to carry a bit more muscle than most women, so I work every day to keep my body lean, by eating fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein.”

> How life has changed: “What I like best is that I can go into any store and just take a size medium off the shelf and purchase it. Not to mention, there is no greater reward than trying on a size 8 and having it be a little bit too big,” she said. “Although my food bills have increased, my self confidence has also increased, which has allowed me to feel more sure of myself and allows me to excel in my career as a motivator. I now have the ability to help other people see that anything is possible and to help them reach their goals.”

Source: AJC

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