Follow up Interview with Bikini Competitor Michelle Hogan

It’s been a pleasure to interview so many women on the subject of competing and getting to know them through my blog.  While the majority of the women I have interviewed have had positive experiences, some have not been so lucky post=competition.  You hear and read lots of things on the internet and see videos on YouTube of women who have had suffered metabolic damage, eating disorders, and rebounding by gaining back more weight than they may have originally lost.  Of course, not all women have these stories.  But I think it’s very important for every female to read these interviews so they can get the whole story of the life of a competitor.

I am in the process of doing follow-up interviews with some of the women who have been kind enough to tell me their story to see how they’ve been doing since their competitions.

This month, we catch up with Michelle Hogan.  You can find her original interview by clicking here.

FFTF:  How did you eat and train after your competition?

After my show I didn’t really know what to eat so I just kind of kept doing what I was doing. That was about 1,100 calories…terrible! My show diet, was starvation. I plugged my calories into a site to see what they were before a doctor appointment that I had scheduled…about 800/900 a day. Not including what I was burning working out for 2 hours. Where do you go from there?

FFTF:  What was your mood and behavior like in the months after your competition?

It was awful and I was missing some serious signs. In August I started very rapidly putting on weight, literally felt like it was over night. I was not and have never binged. The weight was coming on because my body was telling me it was starving. That was my main issue that promoted me to schedule a doctor appointment. I was feeling crappy in so many other ways but I just didn’t pick up on those signs; tiredness, short tempered, grouchy, joint pain, achy-ness, etc. In the beginning of October I had a doctor appointment that I was eagerly anticipating in hopes for some answers as to why my body seemed to be freaking out. I had gained about 15 pounds at that point. Yes, 15 pounds of fat, not water and most of that came on suddenly.

FFTF:  What medical treatment did you seek as soon as your realized something wasn’t right?

I saw a doctor that specialized in athletes, Dr. Eric Serrano. I had extensive blood work done and hormone testing. He tested my blood sugar that day which was 102…borderline diabetic! I found out I was pre-menopausal, pre-diabetic, insulin resistant (the main cause of the weight gain), I had no B12 in my system and my hormones were at negative levels. The cause he said: overtraining and dieting for too long. 

The insulin resistance has made my body turn anything that I ate into fat. I was still eating very clean and you’d be surprised that fish, vegetables etc would turn into body fat but it does when you are insulin resistant.

 FFTF:  What are you doing now to help get your body back on track?

I am now taking hormones and they are amazing! I have been on them since mid October. My period came back 2 weeks after I started treatment which had been gone since last January. My chiropractor has saved my life, literally brought me back from the dead as he puts it:) Lots of supplements including herbs for adrenal fatigue. I have stopped measuring my food and weighing myself. That was killing me. I’ve cut my training way back and I have learned how to enjoy myself and eat like a normal person again. I’m not sure what my calories are at because it was more important that I stop weighing and measuring my food. I was counting myself at 1600 Calories back in October but that was to make sure I was eating enough. I had to teach my body to eat again and I did gain more weight but a lot of that had to do with the hormones as well and side affects. I know 1600 sounds pitiful to most people but when you come off of something like this you have to start over. I was drinking Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar before each meal to keep my blood sugar down. That worked tremendously. After 1 week of apple cider vinegar my blood sugar went from 102 to 80. Now, February, I have weaned off of it because I did a purification program and have found I have been able to manage my sugar now that I have cleaned up, so to speak.

FFTF:  How are you doing emotionally and mentally with all of this?

It’s a very long process to get well and I have been very patient. I did what I was told to do, listened to my doctors and trusted that they would get me on the right path. I had such a hard time looking in the mirror for a while:( I had NEVER had so much body fat. But, now that the hormones are working and my body seems to be functioning normally again the weight is coming off. My friends at the gym, even some that I didn’t really know, have told me how much better I look now with some weight on. I think that I went as high as about 135-140….my show weight was 106!. I am down to about 120…naturally:) Eating clean, following the doctor’s orders and getting well.

It has been a nightmare but an eye opening experience.

FFTF:  Do you think you’ll ever compete again?

No. There would be too much at stake to have this happen again. People have invested a lot of time in helping me, I couldn’t disrespect what they have done for me by putting myself in the position again that got me here. I just want my muscle tone back, my leanness, but not starving. I want to be happy with how I look, be healthy and confident. I’m getting that back. My trainer asked me the other day what my goals are for this year and I looked at him in all honesty and said “I want to be healthy. That’s all I want and that is my goal right now.

Michelle is currently seeking a new coach to help her get back on track and recover from the damage that was done from her diet and training.
For anyone else out there that thinks they might be in need of some diagnosis or feedback from an experienced professional from your competition experience, you should seek out a medical professional, just like Michelle did.  Do not SELF DIAGNOSE yourself.  Do your research, get your hormone levels tested, and get your body back on track.

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