How Michelle Overcame Eating Disorders and Lost 100+ lbs
I was drawn to Michelle’s story not only because of its face value (She lost over 100lbs!!), but because she’s open about the struggles she has had on her journey.
Struggles a lot of us can relate to.
Michelle is also a great example of someone who knows that health & fitness is not just about adding years to your life, but life to your years.
Below she shares about her awesome journey to where she is today.
Why did you decide to transform your body?
My mom was an obsessive dieter who was raised by an obsessive dieter, and so on.
Years of crash diets (you name it, I did it) left my body weak, my metabolism destroyed, and my self-esteem completely vacant. I literally HATED myself and even attempted to take my own life several times.
My mom died of cancer when she was just 42 (I was 17). At 24, I weighed over 225 pounds, had 2 very young kids, and went to MD Anderson for a screening since I was considered high risk for cancer.
There was a radiologist there who said my lifestyle (obesity, sedentary living) was the main cause of my risk and if I didn’t change it then it would be a question of WHEN I got cancer, not IF.
I thought of the fact my mom had never taken care of herself and wasn’t around to see me get married or see her grandkids.
I can’t stop cancer from striking, but you can bet I’ll do my best to present a formidable foe should it come after me.
What was the diet plan or strategy that guided your transformation?
It was misguided at first, to be sure.
It actually wasn’t until I picked up weights that I began to truly become intrigued with what the body could do as opposed to how it looked.
Until then, I just wanted to be “skinny”. But after about a year of weight lifting and eating terrible, I went back to school for nutrition and haven’t been the same since.
Did exercise play any role in your transformation? If so, What?
Yes! Heavy weight training, hands down.
Did you find you became obsessed with food?
Yes. When I first became a trainer I was food obsessed, even to the point where my diet consumed me. I didn’t eat any white foods and carbs were the devil.
I think I felt superior from my restraint as well, like I was “in control”. There were a couple of years I think food became a bit of a god. I would label foods as “good” or “bad” and eat accordingly.
I learned all I could about nutrition. Nutrition and food are 2 very different things. Often times when we embark to change the body out of hatred, we lose the enjoyment of food altogether, and we cannot survive like that.
Education is really what saved my life.
What’s one mistake you made during your transformation?
I can only list one?!?! Lol.
Really, I think the obsessiveness that comes from wanting immediate results is the biggest mistake I made and the biggest mistake anyone can make.
Reach out for help, learn all you can, and cultivate patience.
Which aspect of your journey has challenged you the most?
Up to a couple of years ago, the most challenging aspect has been socializing and not feeling like a freak.
I always thought enjoyment was out of the question. I would limit food intake (which is fine, just don’t obsess) or eat beforehand and avoid food altogether at social gatherings.
Human beings bond over breaking bread together.
Does that mean we have to eat the WHOLE cheesecake when we go out with our friends? NO. But it frees us to bond, have a couple of bites, and enjoy the time together.
What are your future plans with health and fitness?
Well, right now I use my platform in health and fitness to not only inspire others to be healthy but also to inspire others to help those less fortunate. I travel the globe working with victims of human trafficking and raise awareness on modern day slavery.
Competing on the big stage is still on my mind! Honestly, it sounds cheesy, but I would love to compete in a figure competition when I know I am ready to bring my best and healthiest.
And of course, I would LOVE to change the world with healthy living! There is no perfection, so I would love to be the voice that helps others reach goals to become the healthier, more vibrant versions of themselves.
To that end, I see fitness as a means to change the world.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to change their bodies?
It takes all of these things.
Make small changes that will stick and try to focus on one thing at a time.
Maybe this week you tackle drinking more water (half your body weight in ounces is a great place to start) and once you’ve mastered that, move on to the next thing. Success is made up of daily habits.
Secondly, get help! If you can afford it, there are trainers and nutritionists (Please check certifications and specialties beforehand though) who can see you face to face or even online.
I have clients worldwide and it’s pretty cool with the technology we have now. If money is tight, find reputable blogs and resources that emphasize HEALTH above all.
Your weight will rise and fall, but wellness can be with you for a lifetime.
Disclaimer: Your results may vary and Michelle’s were largely due to her dedication and adherence to her calorie/macro protocols.