September 05, 2023

Our Summer 2023 Beyond the Challenge Winner, Michelle!


My health journey isn’t really all that unique. As a teenager and really into my early 20’s, I have had a terrible relationship with food and exercise. I had terrible body image issues and thought a lot of food was bad and that you need to workout to work off the bad food you ate; you need to limit your calories to an unhealthy and unsustainable amount. That is all until I was introduced to CSE in 2016 after having my first baby.

I have learned so much from CSE. You can eat delicious food and lose weight. You can eat a good amount of calories and lose weight. The number on the scale doesn’t matter. I found success with my health journey that year. Then I had my second baby in 2018, and I knew I had the tools to lose the baby weight and find a healthy lifestyle again. I enjoy my pregnancies and I gain weight. I lost the weight and then some. I was my healthiest self and I loved the feeling I had from eating right and exercising.

Then I kind of lost myself again. My husband was deployed in 2020 and when he returned, we decided to try for another baby. We got pregnant and then I had a miscarriage. It was a tough loss mentally and physically. We decided to try again and right when I was about to give up, I found out I was pregnant; I had my little girl a little over a year ago.

I knew I wanted to find myself again and find the healthiest version of me. I knew that by eating right, exercising, and taking some time for myself, I would then be a better mom, wife, employee, and friend. It isn’t always easy. I don’t always want to workout and I don’t always want to cook and clean, but I know that with consistency, I will be happier. I am not perfect. I eat less healthy foods and have lazier/off days. I believe in the motto progress over perfection.

I love showing my children a healthy lifestyle. My boys do gymnastics and have an active lifestyle. They have learned at a young age that it is good to fuel your body with healthy food that will make our bodies happier and stronger. They love the majority of the meals and other parents will know that with a four and seven year old, that’s not always easy. I love the knowledge and self-love I have learned from Clean Simple Eats and will forever be grateful for Erika and JJ for this program they have created.

This challenge, I have lost 8 pounds and 5 inches overall. Over the last 11+ months, I have lost 70 pounds and 8 inches off my chest, waist, and hips. That’s a third of my body weight! Now I am no longer trying to lose weight, but to gain more strength and muscle. I’m excited for the next challenge to see what I can do.

Link copied to clipboard!




Each season we host a free 7-week, community-based health and fitness challenge. We work hard, get our sweat on, and work together to motivate each other to reach our goals.

Learn More