In the photo on the left, taken in July 2016, Leigh Steel weighed 178 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in August, she weighed 150 pounds. (All photos contributed by Leigh Steel)

Leigh Steel, 60, of Alpharetta lost 28 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Leigh Steel, 60: From 178 pounds to 150 pounds

Former weight: 178 pounds

Current weight: 150 pounds

Pounds lost: 28 pounds

Height: 5 feet 10 inches

Age: 60 years

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

Personal life: “I’ve been married 17 years with two kids, ages 16 and 12, and our dog, Targa, who is 7. We also foster puppies through Bosley’s Place,” Steel said. “I retired from AT&T in 2008. I live in Alpharetta with my family and mother-in-law.”

Turning point: “In September 2017, I noticed a lump in my breast. It was malignant but fortunately caught early,” Steel said. “After researching various treatments and two lumpectomies, I decided against chemo, radiation and estrogen blockers, and decided to go with alternative treatments. … I incorporated about 32 ounces of fresh, cold-pressed organic vegetable juices daily from my local juicer. … I ate mostly organic and non-GMO everything I could find. I reduced sugar intake and meat, and increased vegetables. Once my stomach shrunk, my serving-size reduced naturally.”

Diet plan: “The biggest change was my diet,” Steel said. “I am now 90 percent vegetarian, with an occasional wild-caught salmon or grass-fed organic beef. … I was amazed at how the weight fell off. I learned how detrimental our diets can be to our health.”

Exercise routine: “I have room for improvement here. I really don’t enjoy working out,” Steel said. “I will occasionally walk, do yoga, and once a week, I work out with my trainer and another partner, which is fun.”

Biggest challenge: “Finding the time to fit in all the alternative treatments. … Mentally wondering if my choices are right and if the cancer will appear again,” Steel said. “… My driving force was, of course, my breast cancer diagnosis and the choice I made to treat it nutritionally along with other alternative treatments.”

How life has changed: “I believe the new way of eating is now a lifestyle, and I don’t think I will gain the weight back,” Steel said. “I’m very conscious of choosing green cleaning supplies and beauty products that don’t contain harmful chemicals as well as looking to integrative, functional health choices first to treat our family. Moving forward, I will continue this healthy lifestyle of eating and continue learning about how important nutrition is. I am trying to teach my family the same. If I was 40 years younger, I would seek a career in naturopathic medicine as they learn about the importance of nutrition in medical school and use food as medicine. … After my two lumpectomies in January 2017, I continue to be monitored by a naturopathic oncologist. I recently had a clear MRI, so I feel very positive about the future.”

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