SUCCESS STORY / Sara Cantrell, 37: From 210 pounds to 163 pounds
Former weight: 210 pounds
Current weight: 163 pounds
Pounds lost: 47 pounds
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Age: 37 years
How long she's kept it off: "I joined Alpharetta Burn Boot Camp in January 2017 as part of a new year's resolution," Cantrell said.
Personal life: "I am an Atlanta transplant who grew up in Pittsburgh, attended college in the Midwest and ended up in Alpharetta to pursue a job. Fifteen years later, you'll find me living … with my husband of almost 10 years and my two young sons, Fletcher and Lincoln. … I am a proud social studies teacher at West Forsyth High School and a 'retired' lacrosse coach."
Turning point: "After working in Fulton County for 15 years, I started at West Forsyth High School this (school) year. This new opportunity, teaching advanced placement psychology, led me to push the restart button in regards to both my work and personal life. We talk about our best self and spend a significant time on stress and health. It made me consider whether I was showing my kids and husband an example of my best self or not." After the birth of her second child in 2014, she was down to 185 pounds but wanted to lose more. "Enter Burn Boot Camp — some of my friends are involved in it. … When one opened in Alpharetta, I decided to try it. Over the years, I had gotten really out of shape. One week at Burn and I was hooked."
Diet plan: "I have tried to eat as clean as possible." Breakfast is Greek yogurt, string cheese, a banana and coffee. Lunch is turkey, carrots, an apple, nuts and one Diet Coke. Dinner is protein and veggies.
Exercise routine: "I go three to five times a week when I can. It is a 45-minute intense, fast-moving, full-body workout. … I modify everything because of a few lifelong injuries.' She adds that every day the workouts are different — the trainers keep her moving and motivated.
Biggest challenge: "I have two kids under 6 and I'm a full-time high school teacher. … Plus, the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers — we always have a few kid-friendly quick snacks that don't sit well with my goals to avoid unnecessary carbs."
How life has changed: "I've been lucky that my husband decided to do this with me. And I keep reminding myself that I'm a role model in both my professional and personal life. I need to be my best self for everyone involved, and exercise is part of that equation now. … We have a commitment to ourselves to have a work/life balance that promotes both physical and mental health. Our boys can see us pursuing these goals and are getting interested, too — you just never know who is watching as you make these changes."
Be an inspiration: If you’ve made positive changes in your diet and/or fitness routine and are happy with the results, please share your success with us. Include your email address, a daytime phone number and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). Write: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org.