Hello Laura ! Could you introduce yourself in a few words (your name, your age, where you come from, your scolar path and professional career…)
Hi there! My name is Laura Micetich. I’m 26 years old. I was born in Canada and spent most of my adolescence in the southern United States. I returned to Canada to pursue a degree in political science and philosophy, and later education, at the University of British Columbia. I currently teach grade 6 English in Jackson, Tennessee.
« I was always a chubby kid with a love of food and a dislike of being told to run. I was always chubby »
Can you tell us more about your story regarding your weightloss ?
Haha, well I was always a chubby kid with a love of food and a dislike of being told to run. I was always chubby, but during high school, I was over 200 pounds. Through college, poor food choices and lack of exercise added another 100 pounds. Clinically obese and weighing over 300 pounds, I was teetering on the edge of pre-diabetes. I had hypothyroidism and blood pressure problems. The fat around my midsection made me an almost inevitable candidate for heart disease.
When did you start going to the gym ?
I’d always had waves of trying to get my health under control, but nothing stuck. After trying and failing to get a handle on my health numerous times, my weight had become a serious enough concern that I began researching what weight loss surgery would entail, I realized I’d need to be in a safe BMI range for the procedure and that I’d have to change my lifestyle drastically following the surgery. What initially began as an attempt to implement those necessary changes quickly grew into an intense love of health, fitness and nutrition. I started going to the gym, lifting weights and eating a clean diet tailored to my body’s needs
On Instagram, you are sharing your evolution with your community. Do you have a secret, a specific method when you are training ?
Not at all. My only real formula was a healthy, relatively clean diet and weightlifting. When I started, my main focus was on weightlifting and that’s remained a constant.
As you said, changing your lifestyle doesn’t only goes with working out a lot but also with eating healthy ? Did you made some big changes with your diet habits ?
I did. For a while, I was eating whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I chose. When I decided to make a change, I went clean turkey. I was fortunate to be living in Vancouver at the time and had access to amazing seafood (my favorite), so I turned to a diet of mainly clean proteins like fresh tuna and green vegetables like broccoli and kale. Slowly, I reincorporated other elements back into my diet in moderation.
« Once I was already loving making my changes for myself, I saw no reason to pursue surgery »
Have you always been sporty ? Or is it a lifestyle you have adopted when you decided to loose weight ? ?
I played soccer and other sports throughout primary and secondary school. I absolutely love sports, but my weight seriously impacted both my passion and my ability
Are you trainning everyday ? Can you describe what a typical week at the gym looks like for you ?
I train in the weight room about 6 times a week. I’ve found a blend of weightlifting and bodybuilding that I really enjoy and have been flowing between the two throughout my journey. I’ll throw some cardio in there to spice things up, but weightlifting is my love.
You chose not to do surgery along with your weight loss process. Why did you made this decision ?
I had fallen pretty hard and fast for the weight room. I was so excited when I started that I didn’t want anything to derail my newfound enthusiasm. I was also petrified. The seriousness of weight loss surgery is rarely discussed. Because my real issues with food stemmed from wanting to eat large quantities in one sitting, what we refer to as binge eating, the repercussions of surgery seemed very serious. I knew that, without the surgery, a slip up might keep me at an unhealthy weight or making losing weight difficult, but after the surgery, a slip up could be incredibly dangerous. Once I was already loving making my changes for myself, I saw no reason to pursue surgery.
« Struggling because of my weight was my ultimate vulnerability. »
When you start going to the gym, were you afraid of others people eyes ? How did you faced it ?
When I started, yes, I was very intimidated. Struggling because of my weight was my ultimate vulnerability. I walked into my college gym with the mindset that, in the weight room, you’re supposed to struggle. It’s supposed to be challenging. If you aren’t or it isn’t, you aren’t working hard enough.
Do you have some advice to give to our readers who want to practice at the gym but do not dare because they fear other people judgement ?
If I were giving one piece of advice for gym-timidation, it’s this. Go in there and be humble. If you’re just starting, go in with your head down, ready to work. Good people will never judge you for starting… for trying… for working. Go in there and grind. If you have questions, ask. Ask the guy who grunts during his sets. Ask the man who still looks jacked at 70. Ask the woman who pushes the same weight as the guys. They won’t judge you. They all starred somewhere. If you’re nervous to try something, watch someone else do it a few times first. If you’re tired, rest. We all rest. But go in there and work. Attitude is everything. Don’t go in and grumble that you’d rather be anywhere else. Respect that, to some people, this is their church. To some people, this is where they find their motivation, their determination, even just their sanity. Some people aren’t there to lose their love handles. Some people are there to find their peace. Don’t act like you’d rather be anywhere else… like it’s a waste of time. I know that tendency well. I’ve done it. And I’ve learned. Respect the grind. Even if it’s not yours yet. Maybe, just maybe, it will be soon.
« I train in the weight room about 6 times a week. »
On Instagram, you share your trainings and your evolution with your 228k followers. What made you wanted to share your experience on social networks ?
At first, I had a silly account with faceless pictures to keep track of my own progress and stay motivated. I really hoped nobody would see that account. One morning, I woke up and had gained a few hundred followers over night. Those followers started to ask how I’d made progress. My follower count began to grow pretty rapidly and I received many requests to include my face and more of my story. As a teacher, I recognized the need to share quick, easily digestible, honest information about both the process and the struggle of regaining your health.
Regarding your community, we can imagine that it is not always easy to manage so many followers. How do you organize yourself to combine your trainings, your personnal and professionnal life and your social networks ?
It’s been busy. I’m a full time teacher and when I’m not working, I’m usually training. I fit Instagram in between those. It’s a nice blend of my love of health and my love of education. I’m just thankful I’m getting to balance my two passions every day.
We guess that on social networks, surfer’s comments can bereally violent. How do you do to deal with negatives comments ?
I’m not great with criticism, but I’ve changed the way I approach kindness and tolerance because of my interaction with rude or hurtful comments.
« admitting that you’re struggling with your health also removes a huge burden. »
Do you have some advice to give to all the girls who would like to share their story on Instagram but don’t dare to go for it ?
Sharing your story is terrifying. It’s the ultimate act of vulnerability, but admitting that you’re struggling with your health also removes a huge burden.
Do you have some tips to stay motivated in all circumstances, for your trainings but also to eat healthy ?
Prepare. Always anticipate things being crazy or busy. Have go-to choices at local restaurants and fast food places. Keep a cooler with healthy dry goods in your car. Prepare.
What is your favorite playlist when you go to the gym ?
I’m usually listening to some 90s hip hop in the gym. My number one list includes R Kelly’s Ignition, 50’s Candy Shop, Ginuwine’s Pony mixed with some Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Tupac… anything that was played at a bad middle school dance in the early 2000s.
Besides sport, do you have some passions ?
I love film. I grew up working in the industry in my spare time and I’m always excited for little opportunities to get back to it.
« When I started, I’d always say to myself, « Just try. Maybe nothing changes. Maybe everything does. »
What are your projects and your goals for the futur ?
Right now, most of my goals are about remaining healthy and helping my students grow. Someday, I’d like to merge the two loves through public speaking or lecturing to young adults and adults about body image, self love, and health.
You already have an Instagram account and a Youtube channel. Do you consider creating a blog ?
I have a few blog posts up on my website, theirongiantesslife.com. I think over time, I’ll post more there.
To conclude, do you have a mantra you like to bear in mind that keeps you motivated and that you like to share with us ?
When I started, I’d always say to myself, « Just try. Maybe nothing changes. Maybe everything does. » I still find that helps me shake things off and get back to work.