Michele Lynn—Believed She Can… and She Did!
This is another post in a series of sharing your inspiring stories in my quest to take over the negative news media by sharing positive, inspiring stories from others who are…
doing what they can, with what they have, where they are.
I met Michele on Facebook after I saw this inspiring photo on a mutual friend’s page. Both the changes she has made in her life and the saying Believe you can…. and you will caught my eye. Overcoming the obstacles in her life didn’t happen overnight… the day by day journey took a few years and continues today.
Congratulations on making positive changes in your life Michele!
You are an encouragement to me and others. You’ve shown that with wise choices, hard work and time, major changes can happen. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Here is Michele’s story.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Michele Elbertson and I am 25 years old. When I was 23, I weighed a whopping 398 pounds and wore a size 28/30 clothing. I hit a breaking point in my life. I was teased and tormented about my weight my entire life, and at age 23, I had enough of it!
Tell us about the changes you made in your life.
On April 15, 2009, I underwent Lap Band Surgery. A band was placed around my stomach which extremely lessened the amount of food I was able to take in. Let me make it clear that the Lap Band was not an easy fix. It was a tool that I used to help me have portion control with my eating. You can “use or abuse” your band. I know some who assumed the band was an easy fix, and ended up gaining weight, or had difficulties which lead to further health issues.
It’s hard to make changes, how did you do it?
I was focused, determined, and ready to lose this weight! It took about two years, but I lost 170 pounds. I had begun running and even competed in my FIRST half marathon in 2011!
Since then, I have raced in 12 half marathons, numerous 5k’s, and I am currently training for my first full marathon! These are all things I would have only dreamed of prior to the weight loss!
What ongoing changes have you had to deal with?
In January 2012, I realized I had tons of excess skin that was getting in the way of my exercising. There was too much skin for it to go away with exercise alone. I was developing rashes and infections within the excess skin, and was fully approved by my insurance company for an Abdominalplasty (tummy tuck) in August 2012.
My doctor does not perform simple tummy tucks (cuts from hip to hip). He performs abdominalplasty’s, which cuts hip to hip, as well as lifting my buttox and gets rid of my “back fat”. I had the surgery a few weeks ago and I’m currently recovering, so far I’m 24 pounds lighter from the day I entered the hospital! I still have approximately 35 pounds to lose before I’m at my ideal weight, but I can and will get there!
What goals do you have for yourself in the future?
In the future, I hope to continue to lose weight and have my arms and chest re-constructed. My breasts have dropped from the weight loss, and my arms have become droopy and saggy. After the final reconstruction, I hope to continue to encourage others who are going through the weight loss process and be a strong support system for them!
Michele Elbertson is a preschool special-needs teacher. When she’s not teaching, she’s either baby-sitting or exercising. In her free time, she enjoys going on vacations to Walt Disney World and spending time with friends.
Ask questions or leave notes of encouragement below or feel free to contact her via email with any comments or questions. firstname.lastname@example.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*More of Your Inspiring Stories
Chris Kaag—Doing What He Can, Because He Can!
Troy Roland—Hockey and Running, Because He Can! Running at Age 72 and Age 84—Because They Can!
Living Each Day Well–Because She Can
Running Truly is for all Ages Beverly Shantz, Living and Laughing—Because She Can! Roni Noone does Fitbloggin’—Because She Can!
Consistency Helps Dawn do Anything—Because She Can!