I cannot remember a time when weight was not an issue for me. Even when I came to fitness, by a series of most fortunate events, I still struggled. Then one day, I came across Oxygen magazine with the most beautiful smile on the cover. That was my first introduction to Tosca Reno.
I was enamored by her down-to-earth attitude and good natured ability to tell it straight. I loved Tosca’s point of view and quickly gobbled up ALL the Eat-Clean Diet books. I dropped 104 pounds, but also found myself. My true self, which I had kept hidden under layers of fat and self doubt. I always thought I had nothing to offer this world.
Upon dropping the first 50 pounds, I became obsessed with fighting. Why? Well, I discovered I liked to hit things…a LOT! It gave me back my power to which I had always been resistant. My personal favorite discipline is old fashioned boxing. The ring is a great place to get out your aggressions. I also love MMA conditioning keep my body in fighting shape and keep my kicks strong. I hold a certification in MMA conditioning and take my clients through the ring on a regular basis. There is a feeling of safety that accompanies a fighter. Now, I travel the globe teaching victims of sex trafficking and human exploitation how to defend them, and they too can gain back their power.
I recently returned from a trip to Chisinau, Moldova where I was privileged to work with youth from the city as well as staff from the Beginning of Life Center. In Moldova, women are thought of as weak. I continue to support and work with BOL in the fight to change a nation. I will return to help train more staff members and even help them open a gym. They realize the benefit of physical movement and the empowerment it offers.
When I was teaching in Chisinau, a young lady looked at me puzzled and asked “Why do you do this, fighting?” I replied by asking if she had ever hit anything. She had not, and I told her “You never understand until you do”. A bonus? Really hot arms!
Yes, I lost over 100 pounds, but the most important part is what I have been able to DO after that. It’s not always what fitness can do for you, but what you can do with your fitness. So, my question to you is this: what are you allowing to hold you back? Weight loss is one small part of the puzzle. Bigger goals and dreams are waiting for you to take part. What will you do to make the world better through fitness?
Michelle Carlson, NASM-CPT, CES, MMA CS
You too can join the fight against sex trafficking and violence against women by contributing to Michelle’s Fitness Centre for Survivors and read more from here at Beauty Mark Ministries.