Meet Michelle

I'm 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 45 years old and living in Marin County (Northern California) with no children, 1 child, 2 children - Marek, born in 2009 and Myra born in 2010. They are roughly 18 months apart. Their father and I aren't together as a couple, but we're together as parents.



I started this blog in 2007 to chronicle my weight loss journey. Of course when I started the blog I had no idea what it would become. For years it was my anchor, my weight-loss lifeline, repeatedly bringing me back to the question of what I wanted and what I needed to do to get it. Eventually it also became a way to inspire others, which now brings me a huge amount of personal satisfaction. The idea that anyone would read my story and believe that they too could achieve (what felt like) the impossible - it's one of the things that keeps me blogging. The other thing is the knowledge that I can regain the weight if I don't stay vigilant - my blog keeps my head out of the sand when it comes to relapse.

I'm a licensed psychotherapist and  have a private practice specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for behavior change (including weight loss). My practice was born out of my own learning process during my journey and extensive clinical training in how to change habits. I bring much of what I learned working with clients and also recognize they are finding their way, which will likely be different from mine. I enjoy this work immensely.

My hobbies include reading, watching movies (I love foreign films, documentaries and dramas), music, thrift store shopping, cooking, and camping. Since getting in shape I've developed a whole new set of interests and hobbies - hiking, running, triathlon, swimming, cycling, weight lifting and learning all I can about the journey of weight loss and, more important, maintenance over the long term.

My general philosophy is that we each have to find the path that works for us. For me, I had to find a way that included all my favorite foods - I don't eliminate anything from my diet - but still allowed me to reach and maintain the weight that felt right for my body. I've learned that what works for one phase of the journey might not work for another and, from that, I've changed my position on certain topics over the years. A good example is weighing/the scale. I formerly believed the scale was a menace and we shouldn't weigh ourselves more than once a week. I'm now entirely on board and weigh myself almost every day. The catch is, I had to break my emotional relationship with the scale and begin seeing it only for what it is, one piece of data. A useful piece, but only one piece.

When it comes to food, I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't adopt any diet that we can't maintain for the long term. Extreme diets to lose weight quickly, only to gain it back when you return to your routine eating, are a waste of time and, worse, demoralizing. I'm a huge fan of exercise and physical fitness, it's been a transformational part of my journey. But it didn't happen right away for me and when it did, it started very slowly. Again, we each have to find the way that works for us and some people won't exercise at all, and that's ok.

Hopefully there's a theme here - find what works for you. And this idea is central - because you're doing this for YOU. My internal desire for a different life, a healthier body and a higher degree of life satisfaction is where I find my power. It's not about willpower or never-ending motivation - it's about never giving up - even in the absence of willpower or motivation. Even when I'm down (or up, in the case of the scale), I never stop thinking and focusing on my goals. I hope to never stop fighting the good fight, the one that leads me to being the best woman I can be.

For the history of my weight issues visit Where My Journey Began.

17 comments:

  1. I love your new website design and logo.

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  2. Hi Michelle

    I am 26 years old, I married
    very happy to meet you
    But I am Vietnamese, and my english is not good. If my comments will make you feel funny, please help me fix grammatical errors. Thank you very much: D

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  3. Hi Michelle,
    Two things:
    1) Thanks for a very inspirational blog!
    2) I just love your logo! Whoever made it is a genius. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, she is! Joie is her name and you can find her here: http://joieart.deviantart.com/

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  4. Hello Michelle
    I've just come across your blog. What attracted me was your logo! I live in Waterloo, Ontario [60 miles west of Toronto} & my husband & I have travelled to your area 3 times in the several years. Our fourth trip to Sausalito, Big Sure & Half Moon Bay is set for September. I've started a blog a month ago to chronicle my weight loss of about 60 pounds which I hope I will achieve by next year when I turn 60. I look forward to reading through your various posts.

    Regards.
    Teresa

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  5. Love your site! Such an inspiring story. I have a background in counseling, and I am now pursuing life coaching. I knew I needed to get my life more balanced before I could help others. I am excited to read more of your posts. I have lost about 75 pounds so far, but I still have a ways to go.

    Leslie
    www.weight4baby.com

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  6. Michelle - I would like to use with permission your photo of Emerald Lake in conjunction with my book titled Close-Up View of Froebel's Kindergarten: Frank Lloyd Wright at the Drawing Table. Wright had planned a Colony of homes on the lake as well on land; exactly what your photo shows as the building site. Thanks. wallyrogers@froebel-wright.us
    Please get back to me and I can provide you more information about my studies. www.froebel-wright.us Wally Rogers, West Lafayette IN 47906 765-404-6493

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  7. Nice to meet you, Michelle! Your story is inspiring and I'm sure a great motivation for many people out there starting out on the same journey. It's reassuring to read about real people who have put in real time and real effort into achieving their goals, especially with all the weight loss propaganda out there. I myself started a healthy lifestyle blog a while ago, when I realised I needed to make a change in my life if i wanted to be happy with myself. It has been a great help for me, and I hope I will someday be able to motivate and inspire people as you have. Congratulations!

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  8. Nice blog, ma'am.

    Peace ~ Bear

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  9. Can i get the regimn to follow ur footsteps

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  10. Really nice blog. I have one question. Did you use any skin tightening creams during the weight loss or after the weight loss.

    I started my weight loss program and wanted some tips.

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  11. You are so beautiful!! your smile is great forewer!!!

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  12. Love your blog. Hoping to hear more from you. I am 100-pounds heavy right now, and I've started running/jogging/wogging/walking to get healthy. It just makes me feel better to be outside and active. I love reading your posts, because you are on the other side of the journey I'm just beginning (check out my first race story at http://www.theskinnysoul.com/?p=1514). I am very far from being able to run a marathon, or even a half-marathon, but it's where I'm trying to go :)

    Anyway, thank you for being inspiring, and keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you Jamie! It's not always easy but you'll feel better and better the further you go.

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  13. I'm a huge fan of your blog and also live in Marin County. I own The Osso Good Company and I would really like to contact you directly. Please email me at: meredith@ossogoodbones.com
    Thanks!

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  14. Hello, Michelle. A friend of mine forwarded a link to this site and I have to admit, I'm blown away with your progress over the past decade. You are a true role model and testament to hard work, effort, and the desire to succeed. I'm launching an online personal training service in September as a result of a complicated yearlong change in my body resulting in a hysterectomy last year. But as a Certified Personal Trainer I am back on track and ready to make a difference in the lives of others. Congrats! on "maintaining" your incredible transformation. I wish you all the success life brings your way. Rose

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If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle