Photos: Before: Ruven Afanador. After: Ben Baker

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Michelle Trotter
Then: 217 lbs.
Now: 202 lbs.

I said In last April's issue that I wanted to get down to 165 pounds. I've been eating better and training hard, but the needle on my scale has moved very little. Of course there's a part of me that's very frustrated I haven't reached the goal I set. But even though the weight hasn't come off the way I'd hoped, I still feel like I've accomplished something.

Since last year, I've developed a much healthier outlook on life and especially on my body, thanks to Camilla Mager, the therapist we met during the challenge, who's helping me sort out my eating issues. For the longest time, I'd identify certain foods as "good" or "bad" and view myself through that lens, too. Camilla has encouraged me not to look at things that way. She's also working with me on finding my voice. I think that in trying to be a good wife and mother, I kind of lost myself. I've got two little kids, and I'm often up with one of them in the middle of the night, then sleep-deprived the next day. I just finished nursing my youngest. But now, every day, I try to take about an hour to do something just for me.

I learned this past year that I'm really tough on myself. I've always thought, You'd be great...if you lost the weight. I know that's not true, but it's hard to let it go. I've made a lot of progress this year toward being more realistic. I spent many years in the modeling world, so I know what it's like to diet and exercise like crazy to get down to a goal weight. But at age 45, I don't think extreme or high-impact exercise is right for me. Lots of walking, yoga, stretching, and toning are what feel best. At this point, I feel strong. I feel happy. Real life is imperfect, and losing weight has been extra tough. I haven't lost sight of my goals; I just think I'm a work in progress.


Be Flexible
Twice a week I take Gyrotonic, which is like a combination of Pilates and strength training. It's all about stretching and being kind to my body.

Stay Focused
I meditate for ten minutes every morning, usually while I'm putting my kids down for their nap. I may have to do it while my son is falling asleep in my arms, but it works for me.