A year ago, mother of two, Michelle Nicholas, was 20 kilograms heavier than she is today. And in 2 weeks time, she will head off to Africa to climb the highest freestanding mountain on the planet, Mt Kilimanjaro, 5,982m.
Michelle is an effervescent blonde with strong powerful legs, a beautiful smile and an engaging giggle. She is very, very happy. Last week, she paddled 7 kilometers out to sea near Manly...for fun.
Michelle Nicholas at Mt Kosiusko Photo: Michelle Nicholas
She says “Freedom motivated me – I needed to find myself again … to enable myself to do everything. Going Nepal was the beginning – Ama Dablam Base Camp – 18 months ago – I felt I could do anything. I was way out of my comfort zone.”
“I’d never been away from kids. My husband does a lot and I needed something for myself. I needed to be me. I’d dreamt of seeing Mt Everest. And when I did, it was the best ever,” she said.
“Once I’d achieved that I didn’t want to stop. Six months in lead up to that trip I lost a bit of weight but I put it back on. I realised I need another goal to keep it off. I went to Trek Training to keep fit. Then I found out about the Kili goal and that really motivated me to lose weight.”
“I knew I really had to step it up because of the grading of Kili – it’s challenging. It is so much more arduous but I have to live my dream. I am seeing myself on top of Kili.”
Michelle said she could never find time to exercise. But now she’s found a way. Her daughter's early morning swimming forced her out of bed and she got a personal trainer. She is accountable to him with a food diary. She trains 6 days a week, including Trek Training and altitude training.
Michelle says for her weight loss is 70% food, 30% exercise. She says it’s hard to socialise – she tries not to eat out and only has 3 drinks a week.
She says the hardest thing is consistency. For the first couple of months she had a tendency to eat lots because she was starving after all the exercise. She still has little break outs. In the past, she used to use these mini binges as an excuse to keep eating till a Monday. Now, she doesn’t.
After a naughty day, she makes sure the next day is a really healthy food day. “I was always hard on myself, but now my negative self-talk is gone around food. I’ve changed my eating for life – I definitely won't go back to what I was.
Michelle is thrilled with her new body, and so are her kids. She recently wore a pair of jeans she hadn’t worn in years and her 12 year old son noticed and commented. He said “You look great, Mum. I’m so proud of you.”
We will follow Michelle’s journey, along with the rest of the Wild Women On Top Kili team, as they climb Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro early next month.
And if you’re having trouble shifting a few extra kilos, learn from Michelle and get yourself a big hairy audacious goal and dream your dream. You whole family will benefit.
Director and Coach, Wild Women On Top
To follow the journey of the Kili girls, please go to our Facebook page.