SUCCESS STORY: Where are they now? / Jacynta Harb, 50, of Marietta

Credit: Photos contributed by Jacynta Harb

Credit: Photos contributed by Jacynta Harb

‘We only get one shot at this life, so we might as well make it count.”\’

Editor’s note: Jacynta Harb was originally featured in a December 2006 Success Story. Success Story recently followed up with her to see where she is now.

When she started: She began in January 1999 and reached her goal in June 1999.

Age: 50 years

Personal life: “I reside in Marietta, Ga., in the east Cobb area. I’m grateful to be married to Scott for 25 years this July. I have two amazing sons, Jacob, 23, and Ethan, 20. We were blessed with a daughter, Sydney Grace,13,” Harb said. “I am a health and wellness coach and the proud owner now for eight years of Sparkle Wellness and Fitness in Roswell.”

The lifestyle change: “My turning point was looking in the mirror and not liking what I was seeing and feeling discouraged,” Harb said. “I had always been a joyful person. I was losing my sparkle and wanted to gain confidence so I could regain control of both my emotions and lifestyle habits. I wanted to be living my best life, so I made up my mind to transform. I started self-monitoring my food daily. I was paying attention to why I was eating and doing a ton of self-introspection. I was getting to the root of my choices and making small improvements consistently. ... I was overjoyed when I reached my optimal healthy weight loss of 40 pounds, but I am even more ecstatic that I have successfully maintained it for 23 years — it was a catalyst for me to begin my own wellness company.”

Changes in eating: “My focus now is on real, whole fresh foods that fuel my body,” Harb said. “I have reduced dairy and gluten significantly.” She plans for desserts rather than letting emotions impulsively guide her food choices.

Jacynta’s steps to change

  • First, I knew that to change my life, I would need to change my mindset.”
  • “Second, I knew that I would need to enlist others that were like-minded.”
  • “Third, I cultivated and grew an entire company around people investing in people.”

Exercise routine: “I love to exercise, still can’t believe I do,” Harb said. In 2019, she acquired her American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer certification through Kennesaw State University’s College of Professional Education. She currently exercises six days a week, teaches classes and does two races per month.

Biggest challenge: “I embraced the challenge (of changing my mindset) as an opportunity to blow my own mind,” Harb said.

Jacynta’s top tips for others

  1. Make it count: “In the small things, like having fresh fruit and veggies ready to eat, and in the big things, like going for a fearless goal like starting a business. ... We only get one shot at this life, so we might as well make it count.”
  2. Eat real food: “Fuel your body and mind with real food that your body needs.”
  3. Move your body: “All movement counts. Everyone is in a different place physically, but your body is designed to move.”

How has life changed? “Radical changes all around,” Harb said. “My family is healthier and appreciates the efforts of my encouragement. Their food choices have drastically improved as well. ... My education in nutrition science and exercise has increased tremendously. ... The biggest change of all in my life is that I am living a fulfilled, joyful, grateful and sparkly life every day — and that woman I am looking at in the mirror today is confident.”

Seeking readers’ stories of lifestyle changes: We’re looking for stories about changing health habits. While The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific programs, we include names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. If you would like to share your story of a lifestyle change, please contact reporter Michelle C. Brooks and include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). You can email her directly at: