Laura Micetich, a twenty-seven-year-old teacher from Los Angeles, California, grew up knowing she was chubby. She was chubby as a child and would go on running adventures to keep up with her active little brother. Even everyday activities like eating dinner together or playing outside in their Tennessee home were fun because they took place among nature, which made everything seem healthier than what adults had expected from these things at the time.
When Laura was younger, she had a fondness for good foods that are more sophisticated than the standard kid-friendly fare. This love of food soon spiraled out of control when she became a teenager and began hoarding cookies in her bedroom because it would be too difficult to resist the temptation at home or school boundaries.
“I became increasingly aware of my size in middle school,” Laura explained. “I’d grown up participating in many sports: competitive swimming and horseback riding, soccer, basketball, tennis, cheerleading. You name it, I tried it. I loved competition… but I hated cardio.”
Not only was I heavier than many of the girls at school and on my teams, but I was taller, looming over them at almost six feet before the end of middle school. Needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb and I knew it.
By the time she was in high school, Laura’s distaste for cardio and frequent trips to the refrigerator had caused her spot on the soccer team. That’s when it became clear: this can’t continue any longer or else she’ll both be left without a sport she loves so much! Luckily enough there were camps out there with weight loss programs geared towards helping people who want better lives too – like herself.
“For the first time in my life, I felt surrounded by peers – heavy kids who struggled with the same issues I did. I spent those months learning about nutrition and health, playing every sport I could get my hands on, and participating in every hike, run, and activity I was offered.
That summer, I also had my first encounter with weightlifting. I learned that my size, while socially unacceptable, also made me incredibly strong. I came back from camp with a newfound love of health and fitness; however, as summer faded, so did my resolve.”
Laura’s life was a series of bad diets and lazy days. She started out at Fat Camp, but lost interest in the activities and soon piled her weight back on again. It wasn’t until college that she discovered exercise as an outlet for stress relief; unfortunately, this only served to make matters worse with all those pesky ‘freshman 15’ pounds adding up quickly before Laura knew what hit her!
As Laura researched weight loss surgery options, she had an epiphany. Even if the process demanded extreme lifestyle changes that up until then we’re unwilling to make- there was no panacea -she would have been working for her goal! This sudden realization changed Laura’s life. She made a promise to herself to end the cycle of destruction she’d set. She began by simply forcing herself to make healthier choices, one day at a time.
“That April, I gave myself a challenge – thirty days of increased activity and a healthy diet. No binging. No skipping. No cheating. For thirty days. I started at my university gym with a very simple system: lift weights for a specific body part for as long as you’d like and then do about 20 minutes of low intensity cardio. Walk on the treadmill at an incline, use the elliptical, ride the bike.”
Laura committed herself to a healthier diet and exercise routine, lost weight but never told anyone about her transformation until it happened. She used the Instagram name “The Iron Giantess” as she documented this journey that would lead to an even better life for Laura.
“I loved every moment of it. In that first month, my aches and pains reduced substantially, I was no longer out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs, and I felt better than I had in years. It only took a few weeks to realize I didn’t need to go under the knife. I needed to get under the bar.”
Laura’s healthy life is an inspiration to many. Her online following has grown dramatically, and she spends time with them answering questions about how they can improve their own health through exercise or diet changes in order to live happier lives. One year later, Laura had lost 100 pounds, finished her teaching degree, and had fallen in love with fitness and health.
“That summer, coming full circle from the defeated kid at fat camp, I stopped training to lose weight and started training because I loved it.”
Now, Laura is down 115 pounds and has refocused her life to include being fit and healthy. She’s also joined a modeling agency in L.A., dedicated to breaking the stereotype of skinny girls vs fat ones! Laura’s story is proof positive that weight loss starts in the brain! With a sense of self-love and hard work, anything can happen.
Please share this inspiring story with others who might need this important reminder.