Real life weight loss: How this woman dropped 130lbs and built muscle in 1 year

Laura Micetich has undergone an impressive transformation, dropping 130lbs and embracing becoming a bodybuilder

Brand New Me: Laura Michetich, aka the Iron Giantess
(Image credit: Future)

At her heaviest Laura Micetich, otherwise known as “The Iron Giantess”, weighed a total of 320lbs. Laura’s weight first spiralled out of control due to her unhealthy relationship with food, including binging on doughnuts for breakfast. However, she's now 130lbs down, building serious muscle and training clients to do the same after discovering the benefits of resistance training.

She told our sibling YouTube channel Truly that at her lowest, she “would shovel as much into my mouth as possible to where I imagined I didn’t want to eat anything ever again. Everyone in my life thought I was the most confident person ever, but inside I was crumbling.”

Laura looked into getting a gastric sleeve procedure, which required her to lose some weight beforehand. But after mastering a home YouTube workout, she joined the college gym and fell in love with bodybuilding, losing over 100lbs in a year naturally. 

Watch Laura's inspiring transformation story here:

She said: “I thought the gym was going to be intimidating but I learned I was really freaking strong.” Laura did six weightlifting sessions a week and then two or three cardio sessions, deciding to move into the industry herself. 

She said: “I was teaching middle school English but I realised that my voice was more impactful in the fitness space - it just clicked.”

Laura now weighs 180lbs and as one of LA’s top fitness coaches with a number of high-profile clients, she has embraced her hated childhood nickname: the Iron Giantess: “I got the name because when I was a kid I was very tall and very big and I felt like I took up too much space. I think that it’s really easy to look back and gloss over things and make it seem like it was really easy. I would say I’m really proud of myself and the girl that tried at the beginning.”

Athletic woman resting with dumbbells

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Training at the legendary Gold's Gym – famous for hosting Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others – Laura found resistance training improved her body composition, the ratio of fat-to-muscle-to-bone in our bodies. Generally speaking, a healthy body composition involves less body fat and more muscle, although some bodybuilders take this to a logical extreme. 

Resistance training either with a barbell, the best kettlebell or the best adjustable dumbbells at home, offers a plethora of benefits even if you're losing weight. A more muscular body demands more calories for maintenance, increasing your base metabolic rate. If you develop a little muscle, your ability to lose weight naturally increases. 

In addition, dynamic movements such as kettlebell swings and burpees tax our muscles as well as our cardiovascular fitness. It's these one-two-punch movements that make these exercises ideal for high intensity training. Our list of the best exercises for weight loss is full of movements that benefit muscle development in addition to burning calories. 

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.