Stephanie Mills 69, of Gainesville lost 30 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Stephanie Mills, 69: From 170 pounds to 140 pounds

Former weight: 170 pounds

Current weight: 140 pounds

Pounds lost: 30 pounds

Height: 5 feet 3 inches.

Age: 69 years

How long she’s kept it off: She started in July and reached her current weight in March.

Personal life: “I moved from Austin, Texas, in 1994 to keep my job. I retired in 2000. I worked for the telephone company,” Mills said. “… I was only going to stay five to seven years, but Gainesville is a really neat little town. It is nice on the lake, just a great small town.”

Turning point: “I have bone-on-bone arthritis in my shoulder, I’ve been hurting quite a few years. I tried acupuncture and massage therapy,” Mills said. “I was told about Nancy Masoud, a metabolic specialist with LockedIN Wellness, and when I went to her, the way she explained it, my weight was caused by the inflammation in my body. Even before the weight started coming off, I started feeling better. It wasn’t something I was concentrating on, it was my pain. I would have never gone for just the weight loss. I knew I was overweight, but I was a 69-year-old woman who was still getting out doing what I want. But I did like that she does hair analysis and DNA and tells you what foods you are sensitive to.”

Diet plan: Breakfast is sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onions, with two eggs and turkey bacon. Lunch and dinner are protein and vegetables such as chopped steak, mushrooms and onions.

Exercise routine: “I am not big on that,” Mills said. “I do walk a bit — if I go to the store, I will park at the far end and walk. I try to get my exercise in that way. Even when I had my hips replaced, my physical therapist knew I’m not somebody who is going to do three sets of 20, so when I was getting gas, she would have me do side kicks and it healed perfectly.”

Biggest challenge: “Trying to keep track of what I eat, another thing that helped me was a food diary. I just wrote down everything I ate,” Mills said. “When you have to write down what you’re going to eat, you’re less likely to make that mistake. Through the whole journey, I never gained.”

How life has changed: “I feel great, I have energy and I don’t feel what most people think a 70-year-old would feel like,” Mills said. “I was wearing a size 10, and today I’m wearing size four capris — it’s been so long since I’ve even been that size. I have had strangers tell me ‘You look good today.’ I guess it comes across because I’m not hurting. I had both my hips replaced in 2017. I feel like I could be 35 again. Getting people to support you is a good thing. When people start telling you, ‘You look good,’ they can see a difference. You need to say thank you and appreciate it, just take it in.”