As a child, Laura Micetich was given the nickname “Iron Giantess” as she was taller and bigger than her peers. “They thought it was a compliment, but I thought it was the worst name in the world,” she says. In a recent episode of Truly’s Brand New Me, Laura explains how her low self-confidence manifested in binge-eating, leading to her weighing 320 pounds at her heaviest.

“I would turn my brain off and shovel as much of this into my mouth as possible, to the point where I imagined that I didn’t want to eat anything ever again,” she says. “And then, about 20 or 30 minutes later, I would start again and finish the rest of it.”

Once she realized she needed to make a change, Laura started doing workouts at home, following videos she found on YouTube. “I made a promise to myself that by the end of the week or the month, I was going to be able to get through the whole YouTube video without resting,” she says. “When I got through the whole video, I immediately walked across campuss, signed up for my college gym, and fell in love with bodybuilding.”

While she expected to find the gym environment intimidating, Laura was pleasantly surprised to learn that, at 6’1 and 320 pounds, she was actually incredibly strong. She was soon doing six workouts per week, consisting of 90 minutes of weights and 20 minutes of cardio. Over the course of the first year, she lost 100 pounds, and she now maintains her weight at approximately 180 pounds.

After losing the weight and discovering a passion for fitness, Laura decided to pursue this as a career, and she now uses her own experiences to help other people set and achieve their own health and fitness goals.

“I think that it’s really easy to look back and gloss over things and make it seem like it was really easy,” she says. “I think a lot of the time we just have to be willing to keep struggling and keep fighting for ourselves, and recognizing that this battle wasn’t the only battle… I’m really proud of myself and of the girl that tried in the beginning.”

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