December 29, 2015 12:02 PM

Courtesy Sarah Beasley; Gabrielle Revere

Growing up, Sarah Beasley thought being overweight was part of her DNA.

“People in my family were like, ‘Oh, everybody else is big so that’s just going to happen to you,’ ” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

She drank seven cans of soda a day and never incorporated fruits and vegetables into her diet — and things got worse six years ago when her husband Michael, 29, deployed with military.

“I stayed up late, all sad, and I’d eat a whole can of chocolate icing,” says Beasley, 27, who at 5’5″ eventually tipped the scale at 260 lbs.

When the mom of three realized she could no longer keep up with her children at the park, she finally decided to change. A friend introduced her to the Beachbody home workouts. After her very first session in 2013, she says, she immediately felt better.

“I lost 50 lbs. that first eight months,” she says.

For more amazing transformations and the hottest Hollywood slimdowns, check out PEOPLE’s Half Their Size issue, on newsstands now.

Gabrielle Revere

Now, since dropping 120 lbs., Beasley gets up at 5:30 A.M. to do the workout six days a week and works as a Beachbody coach to help other people get healthy.

The stay-at-home mom says losing the weight not only improved her life, but also her kids’ lives.

“Before, they didn’t get to do as much because of the way I was feeling,” she says. “I was holding them back — and me back.”

“Things are so different now. We go on hikes as a family or play baseball in the yard,” she says. “Life is so much better.”

—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone

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