“A ROAD LESS TRAVELED” Spotlight on Michell.
No two weight loss journeys are the same. What works for one may not work for another. But one common trait shared by those who have successfully lost weight is PERSERVERANCE. Dedicating yourself to your goals is not easy, but Michell has made her transition look effortless. To date, she is down 70 pounds naturally! I had the opportunity to speak with this amazing woman, let’s see what she had to say:
Heyyy! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible weight loss story with us, you look great! Please tell us how you got started.
Thank you! When I first started, I began working out gradually 3 to 4 times a week. I didn’t start meal prepping about a month into my weight loss. In the first month it was hard to lose weight because I’d eat good during the week but ruin it over the weekend. That’s when I decided to start meal prepping and eat better over the weekend, only having a cheat meal on a Saturday for dinner with a few drinks. I meal prep for 4 days in advance, along with my husband’s meals. In my meal prep I make chicken breast or ground turkey, brown rice or potatoes, and lots of veggies.. Eventually, I began working out to 4 to 5 days out of the week. I did around 40-55 minutes of cardio and 20-35 minutes of weight lifting. At 252lbs. I had a lot of body fat to lose, so I did more cardio than weight lifting when I started. I would also go online or on Instagram for health tips, workout tips, and healthy recipes. One thing I started doing all the time was cooking.. I never really cooked before because I usually was always eating fast food, or just making quick meals at home that were the worst.. I also began drinking more water, green tea, and flavored water infused with fruit to give it a little flavor.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey thus far?
In the beginning it was hard making this an actual life style. In the past I would start a diet, lose some weight, then go back to my old ways and gain it all back and then some.. Getting it through my head that this was going to be a new me and I wasn’t going back to how I used to be was hard…The second hardest thing was not comparing myself to other people’s weight loss journey’s. I would feel as if I was losing weight really slow compared to others. But in reality I was losing about 1 to 2 pounds a week, which is perfectly healthy! I realized that no matter how slow, I am still getting closer to my goals, and that’s something to be proud of.
Since I’ve been involved in an active lifestyle, I’ve noticed that people have been quicker to “fit-shame” me than they were to “fat shame” me, ridiculing the things that I eat or how often I exercise, yet comforting my obesity when I was overweight. Have you ever experienced this?
Yes!! I wasn’t sure if I was the only one.. It can be really annoying because people will sometimes say things like, “all she eats is salad.” When I still get to enjoy lots of other yummy food, besides salads all the time. Or some people act as if all I do is workout…When I was over weight my dad would make comments on how much food I was eating or how me and my husband should watch what we eat, while he’d be eating pizza or whatever.. Now that I’ve lost weight my parents offer us junk food all the time, and say it’s ok to eat. Or they make comments about how we only eat “healthy food.” I feel people assume that we never get to enjoy junk food again. When I still do, just not as much, and in moderation.
What has been the most rewarding part of losing weight for you?
The most rewarding part is feeling so much better about myself! Having more confidence. Also knowing that I have my health back! I used to have high cholesterol and now its back to normal. Just losing the weight alone can feel very fulfilling, being able to accomplish my weight loss goals made me realize I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s a very empowering feeling! I feel I have also become a more positive person.
How does it feel to be the source of inspiration for other women to take control of their health?
It feels awesome but also unreal! Sometimes I forget how big I used to be and don’t always see myself as inspiration to others, because I feel like I’m just your average girl!
What does a typical workout consist of for you?
I usually workout 4 to 5 days a week. I do about 35-45 minutes of cardio. Along with 30-50 minutes of weight lifting. For cardio I usually do the stair master or I use the elliptical and set the resistance up high. Or sometimes I do some kick boxing training with my husband. When I lift weights I usually focus on one or two muscle groups, such as my legs and glutes, or my biceps and triceps for example… Afterwards, when I get home I make sure to have a protein shake.
Do you have any funny stories that have occurred during your journey?
Not so much funny stories… Two different incidents at the gym I did get two random people who came up to me, who have noticed how much weight I have lost and just wanted to come up to me and congratulate me on my weight loss. It’s a great feeling to know that a stranger who doesn’t even know me, has noticed how much work I have done to get where I am.
Do you have any words of wisdom for my readers that are currently struggling to stay committed?
If you are struggling to stay committed, I’d suggest looking for some motivation. It can be from someone who has lost weight, someone you can relate to. There are so many motivational stories out there on Instagram that have helped me get that extra motivation. Or you can buy some goal jeans or a top, you’d like to fit into someday. Simply getting your health back and feeling better about yourself can be plenty of motivation. My family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks.. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted for myself, and that’s what would’ve happened if I didn’t change my lifestyle…Also, you may need to re-evaluate your diet, many people start fad diets or very restrictive diets, making it a lot harder and unrealistic to stick with.
To see more of Michell’s progress, please follow her on Instagram: Iriedready .