A mum of three who lost seven stone in three years says her love of exercise helped her through the trauma of two miscarriages.
Michelle Richens spoke out about how she battled back from experiencing tragedy and began attending the gym up to four times a day.
After making changes to her lifestyle the mum dropped ten dress sizes – from size 22 to size 12.
Michelle now loves nothing better than keeping active, and says exercise has helped her overcome a difficult period in her life.
She said: “It is like a drug to me when I go running.
“If I didn’t do that every day, then I would feel like I’ve failed in myself.
“You’re supposed to have a day off the gym, but I don’t!”
Michelle, from Lancashire, has dropped from a size 22 to a size 12 in recent years, reports Lancs Live.
Despite the trauma of two lockdown miscarriages, Michelle, who has a two-year-old grandson, is determined to continue to boost her self-confidence and says women like her can do the same.
She is determined not to keep silent about her miscarriages - and even did a dedicated run at the gym to tie in with last month’s Angel Babies Virtual 5k Walk.
“I did it for myself,” she said. “People don’t really speak about miscarriage in general, but it does affect a lot of women.
“It’s just nature. I kept that T-shirt and it helped me.
“I used to believe this happened as it was my fault - it wasn’t.
“Women who go through this are just unfortunate, but you have carry on.”
Despite beginning her remarkable weight loss journey before the pandemic, Michelle says she increased her working out regime after her first miscarriage in March 2020.
With her older son Harry now 20, and daughter Georgia at college, the stay at home mum, who also has a nine-year-old son Charlie, dedicates her spare hours to the gym – attending several times a day as well as an eight-minute run there and back.
“I would be lost without the gym now,” she says.
“I can go three or four times a day sometimes, about 45 minutes a time.
“It was just after the miscarriage I put my mind into something else and it kept me going.
“Basically I cannot go a day without my running.
“Even if I fall ill I have to go. I’ve got a bit more confidence in myself.
“Nobody has the perfect body.
“I wear headphones when I go running.
“I run for the music and then I go to the gym and I do everything there.
“I don’t have trainers at the gym or anything.
“People do message me saying they sometimes don’t have the confidence to go to the gym because they’re scared, but you’ve got to overcome that.”
Michelle eats different meals to her children, who, as she puts it, still get their chicken dinners and aren’t pushed into joining her at the gym.
She has cut out a lot of fat from her diet and says portion control is vital, however her treat of choice is perhaps unconventional – a potato, cabbage and bacon bubble and squeak which she tucks into several times a week.
“I do really like it, but it has your veg in it too,” she said.
“Before I just used to eat what I wanted and didn’t think, and didn’t do as much exercise.
“It’s just different now because obviously my body has changed from when I was big.
“I don’t want to go back to that. I’ve got a lot of energy.
“When I go running I really want to get people walking to hurry up! I can chase Charlie to school.
“I’ve had people coming up to me and saying have you got a gastric band or have you got cancer?!
“When I used to be fat I used to think you can never lose weight, but you can. Sometimes kids can be cruel as well when they see you running. I stop and say I’m 40 years old; some ladies can’t run.”
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