One Women’s Transformation

MLCOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout this month we will hear stories from many amazing women about their strength and perseverance.  In honor of all the strong women who have conquered their own health battles I am sharing  with you a story about a wonderful women who fought for her own health and won the battle that she had been fighting for many years.  I hope you enjoy her honesty and words of wisdom as she explains her one year transformation.

I’m a full-time Healthcare Administrator by day and a part-time Lifestyle Director, which consumes an additional 30 hours of my time monthly.  Much of what I do is leading by example and in all honesty, I recognized that I was not setting very good examples.  I allowed myself to gain, lose, only to gain again, an average of 40 pounds over the past decade.  I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life but usually within my 20 pound “comfort zone” range.  Yes, I convinced myself that it was okay to have a 20 pound comfort zone range just to make myself feel better about being overweight because there was always going to be “someone” bigger than me!

Working as a healthcare professional and being overweight added up to me being a hypocrite!  You cannot promote health and wellness if you yourself are not a prime example.  I recognized that my weight gain was serious and I had to take immediate action to reduce my body fat and regain my health.

I started eating healthier and began to exercise again in September of 2012.  I did notice gradual changes then in December of 2012 I saw Dr. DeClaire for knee pain and he explained that I had minor arthritis and some physical therapy and strength training would help but I would also benefit from weight loss as well.  Losing weight would take some of the strain off of my joints/knees and strengthening would allow my body to overall feel better.  I took his advice and began physical therapy.

After a few more months on my own I became frustrated and knew I needed the help of an expert.  Good thing for me, I was surrounded by them and all I had to do was get started.  I’m a true believer in seeking the help of professionals because there’s a reason why each expert chooses his or her profession and it usually has to do with something he or she is passionate about!

I sought the advice of our Director of Health & Wellness for MOVESTRONG; Kinesiologist, Adrienne LeGasse Montgomery.  I began to work one on one with Adrienne, receiving proper guidance on fitness, nutrition and motivation.  She educated me as to “why” I was not losing weight even though I was eating healthier.  Adrienne informed me that I was eating the wrong amounts of healthy food and I was not eating a balance of the right combinations of healthy food, also known as balanced meals or snacks.  Her advice and hours upon hours of working with me and beside me has paid off!

It took me one year, with Adrienne’s professional guidance, and my continued dedication, to go from a size 18 to a slim size 9/10 and I lost just over 48 pounds!  I became a new and improved version of myself.  All because of Adrienne’s advice!  I simply followed her lead and did what she asked me to do because I was desperate to feel and look better!  I was motivated to be healthy again and to set a prime example for our patients and my co-workers!  I also promised that I’d invest in myself instead of all the other things I had been investing in over the years to “cover up” my body!

I call Adrienne’s program, “The Adrienne Effect” because the fat melted off and my muscles became stronger, as did my willpower!  The money I had invested in myself was nothing compared to the money I had wasted over the past 20 years on diet pills, supplements, diet frozen food, pre-packaged food, and Spanx!

I’m proud and elated to announce that those days are over and I’m here to tell you that the ONLY way to lose weight PROPERLY is to combine exercise with proper nutrition AND because I did not do that in the past is exactly why I FAILED so many times!  Consuming pre-packaged foods (frozen or not) teaches you NOTHING about shopping or preparing healthy food for yourself or your family.  In my program with Adrienne; learning how to weigh and measure my food was not easy at first, it was actually frustrating but I wanted to CHANGE and GIVE UP my bad habits in exchange for new, healthy ones.  I now have a new Lifestyle that has also influenced my youngest daughter who lives with me.  Together, we have a new found love for life!

If you’re going to invest in anything, invest in your health!  You are worth it!  You can spend hours making excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t join MOVESTRONG but after that one on one, face-to-face session you will begin to realize there’s many reasons why we turn to experts in our lives and losing weight is definitely one of them!  We didn’t gain the weight overnight so it’s going to take time to get it off.  We also have to be educated on proper nutrition because even the most educated people have no idea what they are putting into their bodies these days!  I no longer allow food to control me, I CONTROL my food.  I see food as fuel rather than something that only has to taste good or make me feel good, emotionally.  Food is not for our emotions, it is for our bodies and if we do not fuel it properly it will fail us sooner than later.

Life is full of choices and becoming a MOVESTRONG client was one of my FAVORITE and WISEST choices for my body, soul, and health I have ever made!  I am forever grateful to Dr. DeClaire for his suggestion to lose weight and to Adrienne for her professional guidance with making that happen!


Michelle Cunningham

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