It’s been another busy couple of years for Cheadle Hulme’s pocket rocket PT, Michelle Brookes of Desired Physique. First, that self-built Grand Designs-esque home plus bright and airy gym space. Then, using her own first-hand experience, she devised an initiative to help women deal with painful and debilitating endometriosis. There’s a shiny new website to match – have a read. Her no-nonsense approach and kick-ass motivational skills continue to drive her PT business forward. Michelle can do it all. As the saying goes, ‘this girl can’.
Known as Shell, because, she says, “Michelle feels like I’m being told off by my mum!” she’s happily married to lovely Cheadle Hulme lad, Stu. Stu runs Brooktech Engineering and “loves nothing more than a good project”. Together they love to travel the world, as well as enjoy everything Cheadle Hulme has to offer (not least the Hesketh and the John Millington), make new friends and, generally, live life to the full.
Desired Physique is now so much more than just personal training. Desired Physique is a unique business, which helps endometriosis sufferers live a happier, healthier life. Shell now enables women to control their endo symptoms and effects, not be controlled by them.
Shell’s determination to make a difference grew from her own battle with the condition. She suffered twenty years of relentless, excruciating and crippling pain; sleepless nights; zero energy and horrific bloating. Even fainting, vomiting and inability to walk. Never let anyone say endometriosis is just PMS, women’s problems or ‘time of the month’.
In constant pain, weak and bloated, Shell saw countless medical professionals. No real help or even answers came. Dismissed as simply having a low pain threshold, or told it was all in her head, prescribed pain killers – even advised to use a hot water bottle – it’s no wonder Michelle was depressed, angry, and frustrated. It’s clear why it really matters to Michelle that other sufferers aren’t made to feel like that. That they aren’t belittled, ignored and left to suffer in silence.
After what seemed a lifetime, Michelle was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. Her diagnosis took twenty years – even now, it’s usually seven. Diagnosis was almost a relief – a reason for everything. It also brought more frustration. Shell had two operations to remove the endo tissue. Each time it grew back. Each time, the symptoms returned with a vengeance.
Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the womb (endometrium) grows elsewhere in the body. It commonly affects the ovaries and fallopian tubes but can grow throughout the pelvic region and beyond. Endometriosis can affect women of any age. It can have a huge impact and potentially cause adhesions or ovarian cysts – even infertility. There is no cure.
With nowhere left to turn, Shell took matters into her own hands. She began a mission to research and find ways to help herself. As a highly-qualified PT and Nutrition coach, Shell already knew how best to exercise and eat for optimal health. Delving deeper, she started to discover how to help endo sufferers.
Armed with knowledge and experience, Shell has devised a 3-tier approach. This focuses on nutrition, exercise and stress management working in harmony with hormones – eating the right foods, exercising correctly and resting, all at the right times. Every case and every client is different and so Shell tailors the programme to the individual. For Shell, the difference has been staggering. She rarely experiences the intense pain, the bloating is gone – and mentally, she’s at the top of her game. Michelle is more than an inspiration to her clients. She genuinely cares about every individual she works with and moves Heaven and Earth to get their desired results. She’s on a mission – and when Shell’s on a mission, you can bet your life it’ll be Mission Accomplished.