Healthy Awards® Hero: Sara’s Mind & Body Transformation

Our new Healthy Awards® program is more exciting than ever—and to celebrate its launch, we’re giving special shout-outs to members who’ve made incredible strides in hitting their health goals. From dramatic weight-loss transformations to stories of persevering against unthinkable odds, we’re truly inspired by their experiences—and their rich relationships with our store Health Enthusiasts. 

This story is told by Mara Bourque, a Health Enthusiast at The Vitamin Shoppe in Destin, FL.

I met Sara when I started at The Vitamin Shoppe last year, but her and her husband first came into our store about three years ago. They had just moved to Florida from a small town in Tennessee and had never heard of The Vitamin Shoppe. That day, after the gym, Sara’s husband suggested they check out the store.

Surprised to learn we sell much more than vitamins, Sara immediately zeroed in on our protein pancake mixes. She loves pancakes!

I’ve learned a lot about Sara’s journey over the last few months. She’s one of the most inspiring and remarkable women I’ve come to know. Not only has she transformed her body to achieve incredible goals, but has also recovered from a life-threatening illness with great strength and determination.

Sara’s Story

As a teenager, Sara was super-skinny. Not a fan of meat and unable to tolerate most vegetables, she developed some pretty bad eating habits and couldn’t gain weight.

However, that changed in her early 20s, when she started to quickly gain weight, jumping from a tiny 85 pounds to 150.

About six years ago, Sara started her fitness journey and started going to the gym to shed the weight. Since she loved cardio, her husband encouraged her to try a high-intensity fitness program they could do together, and she got completely hooked!

From there, Sara knew she had to change her eating habits. Knowing she would never become much of a meat or veggie eater, Sara was delighted to come to The Vitamin Shoppe and learn that she could add protein and nutrients to her diet in other ways. Chocolate-covered protein bars? Sara was in.

Sara Veal flexing

Now, protein bars and meal replacement shakes are staples for Sara. The convenience of these snacks and shakes keep her from making poor food choices throughout the week. She’s even swapped soda for more nutrient-rich energy drinks!

Every Saturday, Sara takes a day off from the gym and treats herself. Without fail, you’ll find her enjoying her favorite pizza.

A lover of routine, these daily habits have become a huge part of Sara’s life.

Last year, though, Sara’s routine was interrupted by a life-threatening illness. After having a severe reaction to an infection, her body started to shut down.

But, to no one’s surprise, Sara’s positivity and commitment to fighting and being her very best shone through. Not only did she conquer her illness, but several months later, she competed in her first-ever athletic competition!

Heathfully Ever After

Sara tells me that The Vitamin Shoppe has totally changed the way she eats and takes care of her body. I’m so glad we could have such an impact on her life, but it’s truly her we admire.

Sara Veal and Health Enthusiast

Sara inspires us all with her incredible determination to be her very best in everything she does.  She’s healthier now than ever before and hopes to continue her fitness journey to strengthen her body every day. Her remarkable health and fitness victory is truly worth celebrating!