I’ve been so blessed with the opportunity to interview some wonderful people who have been on the same journey as I have for a while now! Our next story is an AMAZING woman who lives and breathes a healthy lifestyle! Please take a look at the question she’s kindly answered and maybe you, too, can be inspired by her! Please meet my new friend, Michelle Jud, everyone!
1) When did you start your weight loss journey?
I started my journey in the summer of 2010.
2) What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment that it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?
Looking back now, I think it was a little bit of both. I remember being sick of myself and finally fed up with not being able to do anything. My twins were 5 at the time, and I remember being sad at the kind of mother I had been up to that point. I was a horrible example, completely inactive, and I could barely get up and down off the floor to play with them.
When I found out that The Biggest Loser was holding auditions here in Omaha, something inside me said “This is your chance!”. I felt that my life was about to change, although I had no idea what that really meant yet at that time.
3) Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?
I did it with the help of an amazing trainer and an awesome, supportive community of people just like me!
In line at the audition, I met former Biggest Loser contestant, Marty Wolff. He was offering a “beginner bootcamp” for people with 100 pounds or more to lose. Since I didn’t get a call back from the show, I remember thinking that I was still going to do something about my weight. I made my cousin come with me to the info session for the bootcamp. After hearing Marty’s story, I thought that if he could do it, I could do it too! I joined the beginner bootcamp and became good friends with many of the others there who were also bigger like me. After the beginner bootcamp was done, I joined up with Marty’s regular ongoing bootcamp and I have been doing the same thing ever since!
4) How often did you workout when you were losing weight? How often do you workout now?
When I first started, I usually worked out 3 times a week. I also spent the first year of my journey doing races just to prove that I could. Now that Marty has opened Square One (a health club specifically for people of size), I have more opportunities to work out and usually try to hit 5 or more workouts per week. I still enjoy doing races. Just 2 weeks ago I did Trek Up The Tower (a race up 40 flights of stairs) for the 3rd year in a row and managed to beat my best time by almost 3 minutes!
5) Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look for you? Is what you do now to maintain similar to what you did to lose weight?
I just try to stay really busy which helps me control my eating. In the morning I go to one of my jobs, and in the afternoon I go to work at Square One. I usually work out in the evenings, either doing a single class or back to back classes.
Even though I am not yet in the maintainence phase, what I do now is nearly the same thing as I did in the beginning, bootcamp style classes and trying to get in lots of cardio.
6) What types of foods did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are “staples” in your refrigerator?
I really just focused on keeping in my calorie range with as many nutrient-dense, real foods as possible. In the beginning it was a lot of “eat this, not that”, just making small changes and substitutions so as not to be overwhelmed. Instead of pasta, I would have spaghetti squash. Instead of using regular milk, I would use almond milk.
Most recently, we have made a huge change in the way we eat in my family. We are converting over to a clean eating lifestyle, and so far it has made a huge difference! It is definitely not an easy process, but I have started a blog and a Facebook page so that I can continue to learn, and hopefully help others as well. If you are interested in checking it out, it is called Grownup Spinach.
7) What keeps you motivated and accountable?
These days, it is helping others on their journey.
I still weigh in weekly, and I am actually not done losing weight just yet, but what really keeps me going is encouraging people and helping them see that they are stronger than they think they are!
8) What is your number 1 piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys?
It is not a diet but a lifestyle change. However thinking of it that way can be overwhelming. If you start out with small changes it is easily sustainable and will eventually snowball into bigger changes.
The other thing is that you just really have to believe you can do it. I know it sounds cheesy to say “If I did it, anyone can do it”, but I truly believe that.
Finally, I would say, find a source of inspiration and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories. Winning the small battles makes it easier to see that you can win the war.
If you have ANYTHING else that you’d like to add, PLEASE feel free! I don’t want to leave anything out!
I just want to thank Grimmway Farms & Cal-Organic Farms and also you, Courtney, for giving me the chance to tell my story. If anyone is interested in any of my other ramblings, my facebook page is
and my blog is
^Check out her blog!!! You guys will LOVE it!! Doesn’t this lady, ROCK?! I love what Michelle said about this being a lifestyle change & NOT a diet. I think almost anyone who has had success with weight loss preaches the same thing. I’m glad we’re on the same page, girl!
Also…another huge thanks to Grimmway Farms for introducing Michelle and myself. The things this company are AMAZING and they make a difference!!! If you haven’t signed up for a chance to win a trip to the Biggest Loser Resort thanks to Grimmway, click HERE now!