Michele- July Athlete Of The Month 2016
 
My name is Michele, and I’m 29 years young. This is my story…
My original weight was 268lbs… I remember the day I got on the scale, I saw that number and I just fell to the floor and cried on my bathroom rug for a while. My whole life has been a struggle, but I won’t get into that, it’s a pretty long story. My marriage was crumbling after only a year (my ex constantly being unfaithful), I was in my senior year of college for Radiography, on top of a history of depression, ptsd, and emotional eating (from that childhood I won’t talk about). I realized at that moment there are two ways my life could go… either keep spiraling and drowning, or pick myself up off that floor and fight back. As hard as it was, I pulled myself together… I stood up. I walked to the fridge and put my hand on a pint of ice cream… Suddenly a switch in my head flipped on, and everything became so clear. I couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t let the depression win. I couldn’t let my ex win. I couldn’t give up this far into my college career. I couldn’t keep eating my feelings. I wouldn’t. I REFUSED. I still grabbed that ice cream, and I put it right in the trash. I made a promise to myself that I would start putting myself first. I was important. I was enough, and I would dedicate my life to bettering myself, while inspiring others. I changed the food I was eating (I follow a blood type diet), I counted calories, portion controlled, and I got my exercise at clinical internship by moving/lifting/positioning patients for X-Ray in the hospital because I had no time between my studies for the national boards, internship, and lecture class. Along the way, My depression faded, I got involved in some non-profits, clubs and honor societies. I graduated college with honors and president of my class. After that, I took up online dating and after a few dates, I met an amazing guy who loves me for who I am, cheered me on as pick up the pieces, and has showed me that the heart is much stronger at healing then we give it credit… he is my best friend, and one of my biggest supporters. In a year, I had lost 100lbs. To date, I have lost 120lbs. No one could believe the pictures I was posting online, it seems impossible to them, but I am living/breathing proof that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. The word impossible literally spells “Im Possible”, its all in how you look at things. The weight loss has transformed me both inside and out. Even my own mind is blown when I look through old photos. In June 2016, I had skin excision plastic surgery to remove excess skin that was interfering with my workouts, and my mental/body image. I wear my battle scar proudly. It reminds me of how strong I am, how I took back the control of my life, and it has become part of who I am today. Here I am just shy of two years into my journey, and I am almost my goal weight… but ultimately I’m happy with who I am, even if I didn’t lose another pound. At 29, I own my very first bikini! I lost over half of my body weight/fat percentage, bettered my health… how awesome am I?! The promises I’ve kept to myself, as well as the lives I’ve touched along the way are more important to me at this point. But, the journey never stops. I am positive I am playing a part in becoming the change I want to see in the world, and that is my new journey. For that reason, I am a Tampa Echo member of “because I said I would,” a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity. “Because I said I would” encourages and supports making and keeping promises to end suffering, establish peace and build happiness among all. The world faces many challenges. In this adversity, we often hope for miracle solutions, but, sometimes we don’t need a miracle solution. Sometimes we just need people to do what they said they were going to do.
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