#APOPFNF Profile: Michele McDonnell

11791877_10207622051775909_1532661210_nName: Michele McDonnell Age: 47

Subject: Weight Loss

Advice: Never let food become an obsession. I know it's comfortable and it makes many of us feel better, but in reality food doesn't change a thing. My challenge to you is to directly deal with the problems you have in life.

11830223_10207622048095817_282289182_nMichele's Story: "I was slightly overweight most of my teen years and young adult hood, but I never wore a size bigger than a 14. Then, nine years ago, I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I was 38 years old. I was married and had a 6 year old son. This is when everything got out of control. I gained weight like crazy and was wearing a size 20. Finally, treatment was complete and I entered remission. I lost some weight and returned to a size 14 again, but I still wasn't quite happy with the way I looked and felt. I went back to work and--you guessed it--began stress eating. I would eat large bags of peanut M&Ms with a side of a grande Starbucks coffee. I also regularly drank a lovely bottle of imported beer with dinner. I had no idea these things were some of the main reasons I was gaining weight and I continued these habits for four years! It was only when I got laid off that I realized I gone up a few sizes; I was wearing XL  woman's shirts and size 16-18s again...

11791877_10207622051775909_1532661210_nTwo years ago a friend gave me the final push I needed to begin a healthier lifestyle and after all these hurdles--fighting cancer, working a stressful job and getting laid off--I am proud to say I've lost 46 pounds! How you ask? I started walking --lots of walking-- and changed my eating habits bit by bit. I began eating smaller portions and integrating healthier foods into my daily routine. Now, I wear a size 8-10 and medium tops; I've never wore such small sizes in my life and it feels fantastic. I love the new me and wouldn't trade her for the world."

Do you have an inspiring health or fitness story? Comment below or share on social media using the hashtag #APOPFNF (APOP Fitness Nerd Family) with a reason you should be featured in our next #APOPFNF profile! I will be adding a new profile every other Sunday so get your entries in now :)