Weight now: 123 lb
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Occupation: Teaching assistant and personal trainer
Tip for newbies: “Plan ahead!”
For Michelle Kruk, it was her then¬–eight-year-old son that inspired her to shape up her physique 37 pounds ago during a shopping trip. “Mommy, you have jiggly arms like a grandma!” he told her. After that, there was no going back for Michelle.
She ditched her membership at a women’s-only gym, where she previously stuck to cardio and half-hearted machine circuits, and split the cost of a personal trainer with a friend. After losing the first 20 pounds with her pal, Michelle joined a local running group, ran a half marathon with friends, and spent more time getting active with her kids.
As a working mom, Michelle says that planning skills can make or break fit family habits. That’s why she spends one day per week pre-cooking healthy meals and snacks, and jumps out of bed “before the rooster crows” every morning to fit in a 5 a.m. weights sessions.
Between cleaning up her children’s lunches (“I learned how to make healthy Pizza Pops so they wouldn’t feel deprived!”), taking part in family 5K runs, and participating in “any activity that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch,” Michelle has taken pride not only in her own transformation, but in the love for movement that her kids have picked up. “Having my 12-year-old daughter, Julia, understand that looking skinny does not mean you are healthy is so rewarding,” she says.
Strutting on stage during her first fitness competition, Michelle couldn’t imagine placing first in her category without her family’s support, understanding and even their brutal honesty. “I am so proud of who I have become. And I know that my family and friends are proud of what I have accomplished as well.”
Michelle’s Clean Chocolate Mousse
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp natural cocoa powder or carob powder
- 1–2 drops caramel Stevia