Weight Loss Success Stories: Michele Lost 171 Pounds After Seeing Herself On TV
Height: 5 feet, 5 inches
Before Weight: 289 pounds
How I Gained It: There were two reasons for my weight gain: I was an alcoholic and I was depressed. Drinkers don’t care what they eat after they get their buzz on, and I ate and drank whatever I wanted. I was also very stressed — I had bills pilling up and looked toward food and alcohol for comfort.
Eventually I hit 289 pounds. I was never heavy growing up; it was only later in life that I stopped caring about my health. Plus, I was always in relationships with drinkers, which never helped.
Breaking Point: My family was on ABC’s Wife Swap in 2005, and seeing myself on TV was a shock. I realized then that I had to change my eating and drinking habits.
How I Lost It: Life was hard for me after being on the show, but a few months after watching myself on national television, I decided it was time to straighten my life up.
I began by putting together my own low-fat and high-fiber diet that will guarantees anyone weight loss. However, I don’t believe in the word diet, because there is no “miracle diet.” It’s all about eating healthy foods and getting in the nutrients our bodies need — it’s a lifestyle change. I changed the way I was eating, cut my calorie intake and started keeping a daily log.
I made a point of eating foods enriched in fiber, which kept me full throughout the day and helped me cut down the amount of calories I was eating. I also made sure I was eating lots of protein because protein is needed to build muscle. I learned that women tend to consume way too much salt on a daily basis, so I became educated on which foods were high in salt so I could watch my salt intake, as well.
I also started doing regular cardiovascular exercise. I was 289 pounds, so I couldn’t do much at first, but I started with 10 minutes on the treadmill a day — now I do five miles a day, but it took many little steps to get to that point.
It worked! It took me about a year to get down to 120 pounds, and I’ve managed to maintain that for the last six years. I live inTaylor,Mich., and everyone to this day still asks me how I lost so much weight.
But life isn’t about being skinny or reducing the numbers on the scale, it’s about finding out who you are as a person and having the confidence in yourself to achieve your goals. We all can’t hide behind our insecurities — we need to face them.
My journey was about more than just weight loss — it was a spiritual and mental journey as well. Once I started to take control of my life, my faith was restored, and the grace of God helped give me the courage and motivation to tell my story.
After Weight: 118 pounds
Michele is currently working on a diet book that she hopes will inspire others.
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