Readers were invited to share their stories of transformation while overcoming difficulty for the chance to be awarded the Best Self Atlanta Magazine Courage Award created by House of Payne Personal Training at the 2016 Lee Haney Games. Eric Montgomery’s and Miranda Karasch’s continued dedication to becoming their best selves is why they are the winners of this year’s Courage Award.

Eric Montgomery - BSA 1116

Eric Montgomery

Eric Montgomery’s journey to health began in 2012. He had just turned 53 and found himself on a myriad of prescriptions.

“I weighed 234 pounds and wasn’t involved in any type of physical activity. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and as much as I wanted,” says Montgomery.

Realizing the severity of his condition, he decided to make a change. “I started slowly with light cardio and weight routines,” says Montgomery. Eventually Eric ended up losing two inches off his waist and dropping down to 212 pounds.

He then went on to enter a FitTrip Challenge—a 12-week fitness and nutrition contest conducted by Corporate Sports Unlimited. “During the contest, my body fat percentage dropped from 17.8 to 13.1 percent. I lost 11 pounds of fat and gained three pounds of muscle,” explains Montgomery. To his surprise, he emerged as the men’s winner for his gym, 191 Resolution Fitness, and winner of the 2016 Achievement Award.

“I am no longer a high-blood pressure or high-cholesterol patient. I am down to one pill for diabetes, taking insulin only as needed, which is not that often. That’s my story of inspiration and success,” says Montgomery with pride.




Miranda Karasch - BSA 1116Miranda Karasch

In December 2014, Miranda Karasch was the heaviest she’d ever been. “I was tired, stressed out and severely unhappy,” says Karasch. She decided to dedicate a year of her life to focusing on improving her fitness and health.

“I wish I could say I fell in love with the process immediately, but I didn’t. It took four months of working with a personal trainer for something to start shifting,” says Karasch. She began to gain momentum. “I wanted to get better, get stronger, lift more—and I got sick of listening to my own excuses. My mental transformation began and, soon after, so did my physical one.”

Even the heart-breaking end of her 13-year marriage couldn’t slow down her progress. “The gym became my safe place. Training was my one constant, my therapy,” says Karasch. In May of 2016, she was offered the opportunity to expand her business to the state of Georgia. Her biggest concern? Finding a new gym.

“Deciding to invest in me to become the best version of myself strengthened not only my body but also my mind and my spirit. The best part is that I’m not done and I never will be,” says Karasch.

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Face & Body Southeast Spa Conference & Expo - BSA 1116

Face & Body Southeast Spa Conference & Expo’s Atlanta launch last month was a hit; over 1,000 estheticians attended to advance their skin and body care education. Dozens of presenters included top Atlanta skincare gurus Erin Madigan-Fleck of Naturophoria on pigmentation issues and Institut DERMed’s Lyn Ross on problematic skin conditions. Anti-aging serums, lash extensions, chemical-free products and skincare supplements were major trends we spotted on the Expo floor.  Professionals, mark your calendars for next year’s show, October 7- 9, 2017!


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Lasik - Marietta Eye ClinicIf you’re tired of wearing glasses and contacts day in and day out, LASIK might be the solution. As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to ask questions before deciding if it’s right for you. Dr. Andre Cohen of Marietta Eye Clinic helps to answer some good questions to get you started.

How does LASIK work?

LASIK is a procedure that uses a specialized laser to treat errors in the eye, improve your vision, and reduce, or eliminate, the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. Essentially, LASIK changes the shape of the cornea, the transparent layer forming the front of the eye, which controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye.

Marietta Eye ClinicAm I a good candidate for LASIK? 

Until you come in for a consultation, we won’t know for sure. The truth is that the majority of people who meet the age and general health requirements and have a stable vision prescription may qualify as a good candidate.

So, even if you’ve been told you were not a good candidate in the past, you should consider a second opinion from an Ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK and other refractive procedures. For example, previously, you may have heard “You can’t because you have astigmatism.” However, these days, with advanced iLASIK technology, people with astigmatism, or other vision imperfections, may qualify too.

Am I ready for LASIK? 

Generally, you need to be at least 18 years of age to qualify. You also need to have a stable vision prescription to be a good LASIK candidate. I can track your vision and let you know if your eyes have stabilized.

Who shouldn’t get LASIK? 

There are certain vision prescriptions LASIK simply doesn’t address and certain eye and medical conditions that prevent potential patients from getting LASIK. In most cases, I can recommend other alternative vision correction procedures to help correct your vision.

I highly recommend scheduling a free consultation to find out what will work best to improve your vision. My team and I look forward to helping you see your world like never before!

To schedule your free LASIK Consultation, please call 678-784-0230.

Sponsosred by: Marietta Eye Clinic | 895 Canton Rd Marietta, GA 30060 | (770) 427-8111 |

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IV Therapy - BSA 1016



The thought of needles might make you squirm, but the benefits of intravenous (IV) therapy might give you courage. Not only does IV therapy offer direct hydration, it is also said to lift energy levels, reduce bloating and restore electrolyte imbalances after exercise. Replenish by NomadMD offers combinations of IV therapies to boost overall health, assist with fitness performance and recovery and fight signs of aging. Choose one of their packages or select from á la carte options to create your own winning combination of vitamin therapies.

Details: 549 Amsterdam Ave. NE #6, Atlanta;

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WellStar Health System was recently recognized for its advancements in workplace culture. WellStar is the only Georgia-based organization listed in Diversity MBA magazine’s “50 OutFront: Best Places for Women and Diverse Managers to Work.” By offering thorough workplace training on cultural customs and norms, WellStar ensures every patient is treated with dignity and respect.

Dr. Navneet Dhillon - BSA 1016

Georgia Cancer Specialists welcomes Dr. Navneet Dhillon as the latest addition to their Canton office. Dr. Dhillon is board-certified in medical oncology, internal medicine and hospice and palliative care, and has particular interest in breast cancer and melanoma. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research.

Now serving more of the North Metro area, Y Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has opened a third practice location in the Preston Ridge building adjacent to Avalon in Alpharetta. The 3100-square-foot, contemporary-themed destination is scheduled to open this Fall and will also be home to a Dermani MedSpa. The location will offer patients the convenience of having a plastic surgeon and professional estheticians available to create custom treatment plans.

Dr. Dana Neacsu - BSA 1016Dana Neacsu, MD, has opened a new integrative and functional medical practice in Sandy Springs. Medical Creations Integrative Medicine uses a combination of conventional and alternative medical practices to help patients. Dr. Neacsu completed a fellowship at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and was awarded the Joseph T. Trubiano Award for Professionalism in Medicine.


Perimeter Orthopaedics is pleased to introduce its newest team member, Dr. Yolanda Dr. Yolanda Scott - BSA 1016Scott. Dr. Scott is a physiatrist who specializes in interventional spine procedures. She focuses on musculoskeletal injuries as well as chronic spinal conditions and has a background in physical medicine and rehabilitation.


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The Griffin CenterThere are many myths about hair loss, but one of the most pervasive is that it affects only men.  This common misconception can be particularly dangerous, because it perpetuates the idea that women’s hair loss is something to be ashamed of or hidden, so it can prevent many women from seeking out the help that they need.  This is just one of the reasons why, after forty years in business, hair loss specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis have formed The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss, the first center of its kind in Georgia exclusively devoted to addressing the unique issues associated with women’s hair restoration.

Before and After - The Griffin CenterHair loss in women is actually far more common than most people think.  According to a recent survey of 800 women conducted by Wakefield Research, nearly 40% of the respondents who were over the age of 18 had already begun to notice early signs of hair loss or thinning.  Further, these numbers increased dramatically among older respondents, with more than 50% of those aged 58 and older and more than 60% of those aged 65 and older reporting that they had also experienced the same problems.  When compared to previous estimates, these results suggest that the number of women experiencing hair loss in the United States has increased from an estimated 30 million to over 46 million, more than a 50% increase in the last ten years.

Even though women’s hair loss can be just as common as hair loss in men, it usually presents differently, and can be produced by an even wider variety of causes, including common genetic pattern baldness, hormonal changes, physical stress from surgery, illness, anemia, or rapid weight loss, or even the side effects of certain common medications or damaging hair care practices.  Diagnosing and addressing the various forms of hair loss that can occur in women will often require specialized tests and advanced hair restoration treatments.  At The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss, we are able to devote the necessary time and attention to fully diagnose the specific causes of each patient’s hair loss and to formulate a customized treatment plan that satisfies their individual hair restoration needs.

Sponsored by: The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research | (404) 256-4369 |

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Kett Cosmetics - BSA 1016Airbrush makeup isn’t new; in fact, it’s been around for years. But, the products have changed! Airbrush makeup formulas have evolved right along with the growth of digital media—from YouTube to Instagram to HDTV and high-res photography. Airbrushing applies makeup in a superfine spray that creates a smooth finish with a minimal amount of product. Kett Cosmetics airbrush system has become a favorite among makeup artists for its range of colors, staying power and customizable palettes that make highlighting and contouring a breeze. It looks amazing in photos, which makes it ideal for proms, weddings or really smokin’ selfies! For anything that’s happening outdoors, airbrush is the way to go: it’s water resistant and requires little or no touch-ups, which is why it’s often used on actors during film shoots.  Airbrush makeup is also a great alternative for anyone with light scarring or tattoos requiring coverage. The next time your special occasion requires some extra-special glam, consider trying airbrush … it’s worth it!


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Madison James - BSA 1016

If you are a football fan, then THIS is your season! But, if you’re not careful, all that tailgating can sideline your diet.  So before kickoff, make sure you have your own game plan ready. To keep it fun, gather a group of friends and form tailgate teams. Keep score with interactive challenges—such as “points” for bringing healthy dishes—and organize active games to play while waiting to cheer on your favorite teams.
Other ideas to keep you in “fan”-tastic form:

1. Get there early! If you arrive early, you’ll be less hurried and have first choice at the food, which can help you make better selections.

2. Save those calories for treats you really want. Don’t graze on the spread; make conscious choices.

3. Eat before you go. This will cut down on mindless snacking.

Follow these tips to score a touchdown for
your health!

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Kiehl's - BSA 1016

Kiehl’s new Apothecary Preparations program uses a comprehensive skin consultation and analysis to create a personalized, targeted skincare concentrate system. Natural ingredients like vitamin A and sunflower seed oil address issues like redness, wrinkles, rough texture, large pores and dullness. Head to Lenox Square for Kiehl’s concentrates tailored exclusively for you.

Details: Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta;

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The Puff Cuff - BSA 1016

Put down the flat iron and let those natural ringlets hang free instead with The Puff Cuff. From loose waves to tight spirals The Puff Cuff is the only hair clamp created for thick, curly and textured hair. Designed by Atlanta native Ceata Lash, The Puff Cuff makes for effortless styling that minimizes hair damage.


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