How woman shed half her body weight, working off 95kg
WEIGHING in at 183kg, Michelle Rayner looked at the scales and realised she needed to drastically change her lifestyle.
That day was the start of her journey to becoming a fitter and healthier version of herself.
That was two years ago, and in that time the Toowoomba woman has lost an extraordinary 95.5kg, more than half her body weight.
Ms Rayner had a gastric sleeve operation in October 2017, and lost about 20kgs in the first few months.
But she realised weight loss wasn't as simple as that and she needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle if she wanted to continue to lose weight and keep it off.
"At 183kgs I needed help, I could finally see I couldn't do it alone," she said.
"You know in yourself when you have tried all avenues and just cannot get to the end goal.
"Surgery is a major thing and it has to be used correctly - as a tool in your journey.
"Hard work after surgery is the ultimate answer to weight-loss surgery.
"I'm now eating more healthier options, I stay away from soft drinks, chips and lollies.
"I also limit bread purely as my stomach is small and it fills so quickly. I eat a lot of eggs, veggies and seafood."
She said from the outset it was never about how much weight she could lose.
"I just wanted to be a healthier version of me, I wanted to be around longer for my nieces to love me and be more present in my life," she said.
"I've always been happy, confident and outgoing. My weight never defined me and I always gave my all to everything I did."
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Ms Rayner said her husband had been a huge support and her friend Koral Morrison had played an important part in kick-starting her love of fitness.
"We started working out, she helped me get a exercise plan together," she said.
"It was slow and steady at first, she helped me learn new exercises and supported me through workouts under her house in her home gym."
In June 2018, Ms Rayner joined a Toowoomba gym but felt it wasn't the right fit for her.
It wasn't until she met her new boss and now friend Penny Dowling that Ms Rayner joined Fierce Fitness where she trains five to six times a week.
Gym owner Danielle Gardiner said she was incredibly proud of Ms Rayner.
"I think she embodies all things fierce, just as many of our other members," she said.
"At the end of the day, only you can decide to do it for you. This is what Michelle has done and all credit to her."
Ms Rayner also blogs and records her experience on her Facebook page Better Than Yesterday.
She shares progress shots, recipes and motivation for herself and others.
"I post about myself, I am very honest and tell it how it is. The good, the bad and the ugly," she said. "I also use it to motivate people as I have people tell me all the time that I inspire them. Which is amazing, mind blowing really."