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Michelle Pilao, 34, was on a mission to transform her body.
While she never saw herself as overweight, she did overindulge in certain fatty foods that saw her lose confidence in not only herself, but in her role as a personal trainer.
“Back then in 2017, I was eating in excess and not prioritising protein,” she tells news.com.au
“I ate a lot of carbs and fats and loved snacking on potato chips and chocolates.”
The lover of deep-fried foods said she was easily consuming more than 2300 calories a day.
But that all changed after a promise she made to her boyfriend.
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Michelle Pilao, 34, said she didn’t realise how ‘out of shape’ she was until she transformed her body. Picture: supplied
“I said to him at the time. ‘I’m going to be lean this summer, watch.’”
True to her word, she did just that – transforming her body in just six months.
“My boyfriend and his family are all body builders. His dad John Terilli, won Mr Universe in 1982 and I was inspired by their hard work,” Ms Pilao said.
“It’s also what made me want to start my own weight loss journey.”
While her boyfriend loved her body no matter how it looked, Ms Pilao said it was something she wanted to do for herself.
Michelle, from Sydney, went on to lose 6 per cent body fat, while gaining more muscle. Picture: Instagram/MichellePilao
To achieve this, she hired a personal trainer, Sydney-based transformation specialist Andrew Menechian.
“Andrew did not restrict food groups or cut anything out. I just used the 80/20 flexible dieting approach,” she said.
“I lost all the weight eating the foods I love with the help of tracking.
“If I feel like having waffles and chocolate on a Saturday night then that’s exactly what I’ll do. I just make sure that during the day I eat enough protein and fibre so that I can save all my fats and carbs for dessert.”
Ms Pilao said she is still eating roughly the same amount of calories prior to her transformation, but with a few tweaks and adjustments to her portion sizes.
“For example lunch would be pre-workout, pasta and veggies, dinner is air-fried chips, barramundi and veggies.”
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With the help of flexible eating and strength-based training Michelle transformed her bod in six months. Picture: Instagram/MichellePilao
For dessert she still enjoys her potato chips, but this time at one to two serves, instead of eating the whole bag.
Sometimes she’ll also treat herself to a bar of chocolate or an apple pie.
Ms Pilao said she didn’t realise how out of shape she was until she dropped 6 per cent in body fat (BMI).
“I had an OK physique that had potential. I knew I had great legs but wasn’t really confident,” she said. “What annoyed me was knowing that I couldn’t just walk around in a crop top with a flat stomach especially because I was a new personal trainer in the industry.”
The 34-year-old, who became a personal trainer in 2013, said her journey made her a more confident and better coach.
“I knew what the weight loss journey would require from you. The dedication, will power, mindset and consistency,” she said.
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The personal trainer made a promise to her boyfriend that she will change her poor lifestyle habits, and she kept her word. Picture: Instagram/MichellePilao
“I was able to deliver better results for my clients because I had done it myself.
“I could relate to their food struggles and with fat loss.”
To help with her transformation, Ms Pilao, who lives in the inner Sydney suburb of Marrickville, did the German Body Composition (GBC) which promotes fat loss and increases lactic acid.
“It raises levels of growth hormone which results to greater fat loss,” she said.
She also did the 5/3/1 strength-based program which focuses on the basics – squat, bench, dead lift and overhead presses.
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The 34-year-old, who became a personal trainer in 2013, said her journey made her a more confident and better coach. Picture: Instagram/MichellePilao
“Andrew helped me lift my goal of 100kg squats and 140kg sumo dead lifts,” Ms Pilao said.
When it comes to cardio, you can find her on the stair master up to 20 minutes, three to four times a week.
“I am pretty happy with the hard work over the last three years,” Ms Pilao said.
“I have put on so much more muscle – I’m strong as hell.”
And as for her boyfriend, “he is really proud”.
“We have been able to build an even better relationship because I am more happy with myself.”
If you’ve got a transformation story you’d like to share, get in touch with [email protected]
Originally published as PT’s bikini shred eating what she wants