When she realized the clothes she wore after having lost 125 pounds following weight loss surgery weren’t fitting anymore, Michelle Robins knew she had to change her relationship with food once and for all.
Robbins’ unhealthy relationship with food began when she was only six years old. Her father passed away that year, and she started using food as a coping mechanism.
“I started sneaking food, especially at friends houses,” she remembers. “I would go through their pantry and hide food in my pocket.”
As a teenager, she got a job at an ice cream shop, and over the course of two years, gained 50 pounds
Yo-yo dieting for years
In her 20s, Robbins tried all the fad diets she could. She hired a nutritionist and two different personal trainers but every time she would lose any weight, soon after she’d end up gaining it back.
After years of yo-yo dieting, she decided to take the plunge and have weight loss surgery in August, 2014.
At her heaviest, Robbins weighed 350 pounds. 16 months after undergoing surgery, the now 33-year-old had lost over 100 pounds.
“Losing 125 lbs after weight loss surgery was very freeing,” says Robbins. “I was doing things I never thought possible.”
She completed her first half marathon, was finally able to ride roller coasters again, and was feeling better than ever.
While she felt accomplished and proud for a while, her enthusiasm started to wane and she gained back too much of what she’d lost. The scale measured 45 pounds to be exact. Not able to fit into her post-op outfits anymore, Robbins grew disappointed and angry with herself.
“I had said I’d never gain weight like that again – but I did, and it felt awful,” she says.
She knew things had to change and this time around, things were going to be different.
This time she decided she was going to take her time to get it right. She joined Weight Watchers later in 2017, and in the span of three months, was back to her healthy eating habits again, and has since canceled her subscription. “I’ve been doing fine on my own for the past five months,” she says.
Once her eating habits were back on track, she started working out regularly again. She began using the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Eventually, Robbins worked her way to lifting weights. Now she lifts five times a week.
To anyone wanting to make important changes in their lives and are looking for long term success, Robbins recommends taking baby steps.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, she continues. “Change one thing at a time until you feel comfortable with changing something else.”
Through her experience, Robbins has learned how to turn her perceived failure and disappointment into a catalyst for change. As challenging as it’s been, it’s helped her grow as a person, too.
“The mind is a powerful thing, and when it wants something bad enough it can sabotage you or greatly help you,” she says.
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