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Once a size 18, Michelle Mohr has slimmed her 5-foot, 4-inch frame to a size zero, shedding 100 pounds through diet and exercise.
East County Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 9 years ago

Cover Girl: Michelle Mohr

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

HERITAGE HARBOUR — You may have seen Michelle Mohr running around her neighborhood in Heritage Harbour or hitting the cardio equipment at LA Fitness in the East County.

But, if you walked past any newsstands recently, you may have seen her there, as well.

Not only was Mohr, 27, featured in a special weight-loss article in People magazine, but she also made the publication’s cover — right next to a picture of award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston.

“It was weird for me looking over and seeing it (on the magazine racks),” says Mohr, laughing. “They didn’t even tell me I was on the cover. When I saw it on the newsstand, I was in pure shock, disbelief.”

Once a size 18, Mohr has slimmed her 5-foot, 4-inch frame to a size zero, shedding 100 pounds through diet and exercise.

Now, eating healthily and in proper proportions is second nature to Mohr, who went from eating boxes of Rice-a-Roni and Stove Top stuffing as snacks, to weighing meat, counting almonds and using other portion-control techniques. Her rare indulgences in sweets consist of frozen yogurt or sugar-free Jello, rather than fudge brownies or a decadent cheesecake.

“At first, I felt limited,” Mohr said of the change. “Now, that’s just how I eat. I can’t imagine going back. For me, not to eat this way — it would be weird.”

Mohr says she’d been heavy since was about 5 years old, despite the good eating habits of her parents.

“I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, but I wasn’t determined enough to change it, either,” Mohr says. “I wasn’t active. My portions were out of control.”

But, as Mohr finished college and looked toward her future, she realized her weight was not part of her plans.

“I never envisioned myself as a heavy adult,” says Mohr, the outreach coordinator for Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic and a member of Bayside Community Church. “I saw myself as a business woman, a career woman; she wasn’t heavy. I had to do something about that.

“And I (had) started to feel invisible,” she says. “That was very sad.”

In 2007, Mohr began researching diet and nutrition. She eliminated junk food and started a rigorous exercise regimen.

“I found a plan that would work for me,” Mohr says. “I started to see the weight come off. That was encouraging. I also was motivated by compliments — people encouraging me. That helped a lot.”

A year-and-a-half after she began her dramatic lifestyle change, Mohr had dropped 100 pounds.
Mohr submitted her weight-loss story to a special “That’s Fit” section of about a year-and-a-half ago.

“They published it on the website,” Mohr says. “That was a huge deal. About a year later, I got a random email from a People magazine writer.”

The writer said People had found Mohr’s story online and wondered if she would be willing, if selected, to pose in a bikini.

“That was the catch,” Mohr says.

Not sure if she should take the inquiry seriously, Mohr began researching it online. The writer, she learned, really did work for People magazine.

“I just thought, ‘What are the chances they’re going to choose my story?’ so I agreed,” Mohr says, noting she had to submit a picture of herself in a bikini. “I didn’t hear from (the writer) for a few weeks.”

And, then, the whirlwind began. Mohr had been selected as one of five individuals to have their weight-loss success stories featured in the magazine. Two weeks later she was flown to Los Angeles, where she and the other participants did a photo shoot at a home in Malibu.

“It was gorgeous,” Mohr says of the June photo shoot. “We weren’t even allowed to release any of the photos we’d taken.

“It took some courage, for sure,” she says. “Having been heavy all my life, being in a bikini was not comfortable.”

Back home, Mohr was anxious to see the final product but couldn’t get any confirmation of when the piece would be published. Just a few days before the release of the magazine, she heard the news. She didn’t know she’d made the magazine’s cover — and its table of contents, as well — until she picked up the magazine for herself.

Mohr made her debut on “Good Morning America” Aug. 18, as well.

“It was incredible, very surreal,” she says.

Mohr’s experience has unleashed a passion for diet and nutrition, as it relates weight loss, as well as a vision to help others improve their health.

“I enjoy teaching people,” she says. “If I can do it, anybody can do it. I want my story to help others.”

Mohr has launched, and hopes to make it a tool for coaching others who wish to lose weight, she says.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Sweet rewards
Michelle Mohr used to reward herself with food. Now, she rewards herself with trips, shoes or clothing. Currently, she has a room dedicated to her shoe collection of more than 100 pairs of shoes.

“It’s my ‘awe’ room,” Mohr says. “If I’m going to make a room that’s all shoes, now’s the time to do it.”

Fitness Fanatic
Michelle Mohr jokingly calls LA Fitness her “home away from home.” She’s there, usually, five days a week.

“Working out is a priority,” she says. “I sometimes turn down other things (to do it). My family and friends have come to understand (it’s that important to me).”

At the gym, Mohr spends about 10 minutes warming up, 30 minutes working out with weights and another 30 minutes doing cardiovascular exercise.


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