A special diet and fitness helps her prevail
Name: Mindy Michelle
Quote: “Live like there’s no tomorrow, dance like there’s no one watching, sing as if no one is listening and love as though you’ve never been hurt before.”
Background: Mindy Michelle was born and raised in a safe, secure, small town in Alabama. “The town was so small, everybody did know everybody,” says Michelle. “They knew what you were doing before you knew what you were doing.” Although fitness was never a large part of Michelle’s youth, she did often go on canoeing trips with her father.
The Challenge: At the age of 15, Michelle’s life took an unexpected turn. “I was in the shower and leaned over to put my hair in a towel and the next thing I knew I woke up in an ambulance,” says Michelle. She had had a seizure. Michelle was diagnosed as being hypoglycemic and was instructed to control her diet. The seizures continued for the next six years. At the age of 21 her neurologist diagnosed her with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. For years she took medications that chronically fatigued her to the point where she was asleep more than she was awake. In 2007, Michelle, her husband and son moved to Arizona. Her prognosis was switched back to hypoglycemia from epilepsy. During tests doctors discovered a small hole in her heart. As long as Michelle could control the migraines, she wouldn’t have to undergo surgery to repair the hole.
The Turning Point: Michelle joined a local gym and began following a six-meal-a-day plan prescribed by her dietician. “In April of 2009, when I began paying attention to what I was eating, following my meal plan, eating cleaner and working out more, is when I started to see some changes,” Michelle said. “It felt really good to have energy for the first time in a long time.” In early 2010, she competed in her first figure competition and placed first in her class.
Staying Motivated: “I still enjoy going to the gym,” says Michelle. “I just go and do my workout and focus on what I am doing there. In a weird way it is relaxing for me.” Her new diet plan gives her more energy as she continues to strive for a natural way to treat her migraines.
Goals: One of Michelle’s short-term goals is to continue fitness competitions. Michelle is looking into becoming a dietician so he can help others. “With all the years that food has played such an important part in my health, I would love to understand it more and be able to help people whether it is with a case like mine, or to help lose weight or maintain weight,” says Michelle.