Inspirational Women: Michelle Bridges
Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Tell us about your role? What is it and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Every day is different! I’ve just finished a huge tour across six states for my new book Powerful Living, and soon I’ll start filming on location for The Biggest Loser. When I’m not on the move, I’m usually in the office three to five days a week, keeping up the communication with my amazing team and working on projects like new product ranges.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?
I knew very early on that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t exactly sure how! I noticed in high school some of the kids really weren’t keen on joining in on sports, so I thought about how I could get them involved. So, at 14, I pitched an idea to run exercise classes for these students – I’m not sure how polished my pitch would have been, but I got the go ahead and have been in the industry ever since.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path and since then?
There were times when I was really frustrated working in the fitness industry. I thought there were only a certain number of paths you could take – be a PT, be a group fitness instructor, manage or own a gym – and after ticking all these things off my list, I still wasn’t fulfilled and was hungry for more!
How did you overcome these?
There were times when I pulled back from the industry and did other things, like learn more about business. I brought those new skills and creativity back to the industry and kept refuelling that flame. My clients soaked up the advice I gave them in sessions and I knew there had to be more I could do with my knowledge and experience. I had to figure out a way to share this expertise with more people. I started writing columns and pitching TV segments, before eventually getting the call from The Biggest Loser.
In your position (Biggest Loser/12WBT/author) you have helped thousands of people transform their lives. How does it feel to be such a positive influence on so many?
I hear new stories of success – some small, some big – every day, and I’m still so humbled by them! It really does make me so joyous that I’ve been a part of that for them. It’s the best feeling ever, and that’s why I continue to do what I do. I was in a cab the other day and the driver was telling me that his wife did 12WBT last year and he’s never seen her so confident. He was almost in tears telling me about it. Every story just drives me to push harder and further!
You’re the number one health and fitness woman in Australia inspiring many, how do you deal with the pressure?
No matter how crazy things are, I make sure exercise is a priority! It definitely helps me clear my mind. I also surround myself with great people who are the best at what they do. I trust my team completely, so I’m not worrying about every little thing – I know they’ve got it covered.
Where do you find your inspiration, who is it that inspires you?
Jamie Oliver is a huge inspiration. What he’s done with his Food Revolution is amazing, and you can tell he’s stayed true to himself his whole career. My 12WBTers also inspire constantly! The way they support each other and take the tools from the program to transform their own lives and the lives of those around them is incredible.
Your hard work has allowed you to be involved in some amazing projects and endeavours – what do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?
I’ve had to pinch myself a lot of times over the years! Hitting ONE MILLION KILOS weight lost across the country through my 12WBT program was a crazy milestone that I’m very proud of. I also never thought I’d have two Guinness World Records to my name! How awesome is that?! On an industry front, it was a huge privilege to receive the Fitness Industry Roll of Honour Award last year.
What are your goals for the future?
My goal has always been to empower as many people as possible to be the best version of themselves, and I’ll continue at it for the rest of my life. If everything fell over tomorrow, I’d still be doing what I’m doing – helping people with fitness, good nutrition and getting on with their lives.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Be consistent – in all areas of life!