SUCCESS STORY / We need to hear about your successes

We’re looking for stories about how readers improved their well-being

Success stories inspire all of us, and that’s why The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is looking for readers to share how they lost weight, changed their lifestyles for better health, and overcame the odds to improve their well-being.

Many have done it in the past for this weekly feature.

‘More possibilities in life’

When Crystal DeBerry, 40, of Mableton lost 140 pounds, life became physically easier. “Weight loss has caused me to see more possibilities in life, and it has given me more faith in myself. Anyone can have the same results I have had, as long as they are willing to put in the work to heal themselves. I think the biggest thing is you have to realize that this is a lifestyle, it doesn’t quit, it doesn’t have an end date, it is literally determined by how you live your life day today,” DeBerry said when she appeared in this column in June.

‘Fitting in exercise in a busy life’

Bibiana Marlar, 54, of Marietta got schedule-savvy to keep working out. “Fitting in exercise in a busy life can be challenging,” Marlar said. “During the past school year, I tried to do at least two bike rides a week, but that did not always work out. ... I typically ride between 13 and 28 miles on the hills in Marietta, including riding up Kennesaw Mountain. ... For this school year, I am trying to get three bike rides in every week. It means preparing dinner the day before so I can ride before dinner and riding in the dark in our neighborhood once it gets dark earlier,” said Marlar, who shared her story in September.

‘Steeling your mind to make a change’

When Jermaine Pittman, 32, of Smyrna lost 52 pounds, he learned the first step is the steepest. “The first major step is one of the hardest steps we all have to make as human beings — steeling your mind to make a change. You have to steel your mind to say I’m going to do this, results or no results. In this world, the true and only competition is yourself,” said Pittman, who shared his story in April.

‘Doing all kinds of things in their later years’

For Dean Barnard, 70, of Buford, making a lasting lifestyle change meant age was just a number. In December 2019, the former high school state champion wrestler returned to the mat in his 60s. He competed in Poland and earned the gold in the United World Wrestling Master’s World Championship. “You get into the arena and find people who are doing all kinds of things in their later years,” said Barnard, who was featured in April.

To submit your story, please contact reporter Michelle C. Brooks and include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (in JPEG format). You can email her directly at: