My name is Michelle Whitehouse, and I’m 42 years old. I have been fairly private as to what I have been up to over the past year but thought I would share my journey with you. I was generally in good shape throughout my teens and younger adult years until I hit my late 20’s and early 30’s. Throughout a 15 year span, I had gained and lost weight on a regular basis, only to gain a massive amount of weight between 2010-2012 without really acknowledging it. Dinners out, socializing with friends, and eating because it was there.
“Meeting Michelle for the first time at the studio, and learning about her transformation journey was definitely one of the highlights of my shoots prior to the Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic Competition. Michelle is a complete spectrum of inspiration, athleticism, elegance, and mind power.” – Ali Sohrab, Photographer, Status Fitness Contributor
“MICHELLE WHITEHOUSE IS A COMPLETE SPECTRUM OF INSPIRATION, ATHLETICISM, ELEGANCE, AND MIND POWER.”
It was a family barbecue that I attended in August of 2012 where pictures were taken. My mom came over to our house a week later to show me the pictures she had developed from that day. As she showed me the pictures, I was shocked at the image staring back at me, as this wasn’t me- except it was. That day I stood on the scale and weighed in at 236 pounds. I was wearing a size 18 (tight) pushing a 20. This was 50 lbs more than when I was 9 months pregnant with my boys. My BMI was in the ‘marked obesity’ range. That was it; I told myself and resigned myself to losing weight for good.
WHEN MY MOM SHOWED ME THE PICTURES, I WAS SHOCKED AT THE IMAGE STARING BACK AT ME, AS THIS WASN’T ME- EXCEPT IT WAS. THAT WAS IT; I TOLD MYSELF AND RESIGNED MYSELF TO LOSING WEIGHT FOR GOOD.
I wanted to become stronger and a better version of the Me that I knew I could be. It shed light on depression and anxiety issues I had been dealing with but didn’t want to acknowledge. Since that day I haven’t looked back. I focused on dietary intake for the first year, then in 2014, I joined an amazing gym. I started doing classes on a regular basis and became stronger not only physically but mentally as well. I was inspired by the wonderful people that trained there and was amazed at their dedication. After about a year I had this crazy idea of potentially competing in a bodybuilding competition. I know, crazy right?
I STARTED DOING CLASSES ON A REGULAR BASIS AND BECAME STRONGER NOT ONLY PHYSICALLY BUT MENTALLY AS WELL. I WAS INSPIRED BY THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE THAT TRAINED THERE, AND WAS AMAZED AT THEIR DEDICATION.
I did a ton of research and discovered that they have different categories and found a category I think I am most suited for. I honestly had never really lifted weights in a scheduled fashion. Could I do this? Could I commit to something as structured and as regimented as this? The answer was “Bring It On.”
As I knew nothing about this sport I decided I needed a coach who could guide me in the right direction, one who could educate but most importantly inspire me to reach my goals. Tamara Knight has been an incredible support and now I look at food and training in a completely different way. There are actually no magic pills, lotions, or magical potions! I also have not had surgery in any way – just sheer will and dedication to the diet and training regime provided to accomplish something I thought I never could. I’ve learned that the duration of an athletic contest is only a few minutes, while the training for it may take weeks of hard work and self-determination, and discipline.
I DECIDED I NEEDED A COACH WHO COULD GUIDE ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, ONE WHO COULD EDUCATE BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY INSPIRE ME TO REACH MY GOALS. TAMARA KNIGHT HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE SUPPORT AND NOW I LOOK AT FOOD AND TRAINING IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY.
I have found lifting weights healing and almost meditative. It has given me clarity on days I am ready to pull my hair out, it provides me with a different perspective on situations I cannot control whether it’s related to my profession as an RN, or family life dealing with teenagers. I am sad to have not found this in my younger years. I will be competing in the Leigh Brandt muscle classic on the 19th of March. My goal is to get up on that stage and look like I belong up there.
“THE APPLAUSE SOON DIES AWAY, THE PRIZE IS LEFT BEHIND, BUT THE CHARACTER YOU BUILD UP IS YOURS FOREVER. “
I have actually never had a photoshoot done before! This was my first experience and I have to say that I felt very comfortable with the process. Ali made me feel at ease immediately and I just followed his guidance. One of my favorites quotes is: “The applause soon dies away, the prize is left behind, but the character you build up is yours forever. “- author unknown
THIS WAS MY FIRST EXPERIENCE AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT I FELT VERY COMFORTABLE WITH THE PROCESS. ALI MADE ME FEEL AT EASE IMMEDIATELY AND I JUST FOLLOWED HIS GUIDANCE.