075. Find The Answers Within to What You Need with Michelle Bronson

The Do a Day Podcast from Bryan Falchuk

Michelle Bronson believes that not everyone fits into the same box.  Everyone has different lifestyles.  Finding those healthy changes that will become sustainable, consistent and repeatable, that is how you make change happen. She also believes that it is entirely possible to create your own unique pathway to reaching your goals.  And you know what happens along the way?  Many people rekindle an old dream, find a new desire or finally understand their calling in life, that feeling they have felt for so long and ignored.
25 years as a personal trainer has provided Michelle with the opportunity to help people from all different backgrounds presenting with their own individual set of circumstances. The challenges, problems and issues that she has confronted and conquered with her clients keeps her learning, growing on a daily basis.  Michelle is excellent at building strong relationships, listening intently to identify barriers and meeting people where there are at to align them for their next step.
In 2010 she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disease causing your own body to attack your thyroid. This sent her into a tailspin of negative emotions, chronic fatigue and weight gain amongst many other challenges.  Seeking help from a host of medical professionals within a 300 mile radius of her home, she was convinced she could find a doctor to reverse the damage. Exhausting any other options she could discover, she came to accept that this was the way her life would be from now on.  She was a personal trainer who had gained 70 pounds.  A personal trainer that no longer exercised because she was told to not stress her body and let it heal.  A personal trainer who would sleep a few hours on the couch after work and wake up just to go to bed for the night because they told her to rest. Who would hire a trainer that’s overweight and out of shape? Enter the heavy world of self doubt and personal judgement. Not too mention the hypocritical thoughts of “How am I supposed to help other people when I can’t even get control of my life?”  Stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office in January 2019 was the catalyst for her to start taking back the control in her life.  218, 218 pounds. That was the catalyst. That was the day she returned to doing the things that she knew gotten her results in the past. That was the day she gained the trust in herself and learned to listen to her inner voice. 

Key Points from the Episode with Michelle Bronson:

  • Michelle is a personal trainer who owns her own gym.
  • In 2010, she had been training intensely with the strength coach at Gonzaga University, a D1 school with a strong athletic history.
  • During a workout, she realized she did not have the strength to complete a set, and collapsed in tears at her inability to complete the workout.
  • What she discovered after seeing a few doctors is that she has Hashimoto’s Disease, an auto-immune condition where the body attacks the thyroid, a gland that controls the production of hormones that regulate 
  • Doctors did a few things to try to help, including prescribing synthetic hormones to replace what her thyroid couldn’t make anymore, and having her cut all activity and strain from her life.
  • Adding to the context her, not only is Michelle a mother, but her husband travels most of the week for work, leaving her as a single parent on top of a business owner. Cutting out activity and strain were not easy in that setting.
  • Doctors really struggled to get her hormone levels right, so she struggled, and kept trying to find someone who could help. She traveled to anyone within 300 miles of her home, but just wasn’t getting better.
  • Given the lack of activity and her medication not helping, Michelle’s weight went up, ultimately leaving her 70 pounds overweight by January 2019.
  • This sparked a new struggle for Michelle.
  • As a personal trainer, her business is based on her fitness, and people started to assume she couldn’t help them since she wasn’t fit herself. She essentially had no new clients for five years.
  • In some cases, people were saying things about her weight and not wanting to train with her.
  • In others, Michelle may have been inserting her own insecurity and judgment into their minds, assuming they were judging her.
  • Either way, the imposter syndrome was real in her life, and only added to the emotional struggle Michelle faced on top of the very real physical struggle that had become her reality.
  • She shared how she had made some meals that were easy, but not necessarily healthy, for her daughter, and put on a movie or show and went to sleep because of how exhausted she was. This made her feel like a bad parent on top of everything else.
  • I reminded her that she had a very extreme, real struggle, was in it alone most days, and was doing the best she could. And ‘taking it easy’ in her context as a single parent and business owner (with a 1-hour commute each way) is still doing more than many people who aren’t dealing with the physical issue she was.
  • In January 2019, her doctor made her get back on the scale and face her weight head on. When it read over-200, that was a breaking point for Michelle, who hadn’t realized how far it had gone.
  • This caused her self-trust and power to wake up. She had always known herself and her body, and abdicated this after her diagnosis, looking for someone else to tell her what her body needed.
  • No more. She was going to start working out again, and give her body what she thought it needed. And if it was too much, she’d know and would back off.
  • After three months, the scale hadn’t moved, though she kept at it.
  • She went to Mexico for a vacation, and suddenly, weight started to fall off. Perhaps the new scenery versus the situation that had stifled her where she was a sick person struggling with her weight was part of what allowed her to lose weight.
  • After a few more months, as we recorded this episode in October 2019, she had lost the 70 pounds, and was back. And not just physically, but I noted this strength about her that was visible to me as soon as the video connection came up during our interview.
  • Michelle was back.
  • This struggle lead her to want to dig into and share the stories of other strugglers, which she now does with her podcast, “Your 365”, which follows a similar concept to this show and similar philosophy as Do a Day.
  • It goes to show how putting your mind and your heart toward something and staying consistent with it makes all the difference.
  • Not every day is 100% on what you’re trying to do, but if you bring 100% of what you have to that journey, it’s a whole lot better than not showing up at all.
  • Hearing someone’s story of success can be helpful and it can get us thinking like they have it easy. It isn’t easy for anyone. You have to come to the game 100% no matter what.


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