“I may not lift heavy weights, or free weights but I do the best I can with what I am able to do. I am living proof that no matter what condition you are in, you can work your way back to better health through proper nutrition and exercise.” says Mike Mistretta. While losing over 170 pounds, lets take a moment and just think about that one more time… while losing OVER 170 pounds and dropping from a 60inch waist to a skinny 38, Mr. Michael Mistretta took back control of his life, and we wanted to help him share his story.

Mr. Michael Mistretta’s journey all started July 2013, weighing 368 pounds and a body fat percentage of 62.8%. If this wasn’t enough of a hurdle to overcome, Michael was also battling diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure – a cocktail that could easily persuade the average person to give up on their health, but not Michael. What better way to find out how Michael did it then to ask the man himself!

Becoming a healthier Mike
2013atthemovies“I was holding my baby granddaughter, and realizing that due to some potentially life threatening illnesses, and my weight being out of control at 368 lbs, there was a good chance that I might not be alive for her wedding.”
Said Michael. Having diabetes, chronic sleep apnea, and very high blood pressure Michael knew medication alone was not the answer.

Although he could barely walk (with herniated discs and chronic nerve damage), Michael knew if things didn’t change soon, something bad was going to happen. Personal health only affects the individual, right? It’s called “personal health” for a reason, but what Michael realized was the habits he was forming would not only affect his “personal health” but affect the relationships and the emotional health of his family members.

Those who love us want the absolute best for us. They can’t exercise and eat healthy for us, we have to do it ourselves. What’s your trigger? For Michael, his granddaughter helped him realize that his health was far more important than simply “personal”. Who in your life are you practicing healthy habits for?

Challenges right off the bat
IMG_2556One of the biggest challenges Michael experienced was the limited amount of weight he could lift. His arms and legs were strong, but his herniated discs and chronic nerve damage in his back and right leg limited his ability to lift heavy. Using free weights was out of the question. Michael had no choice but to rely on machines. “I had no problem leaving my ego at the door, and appreciated the machines, for they allowed me to lift without risking further back injury.” Michael said.

We all start somewhere. For some of us this may simply mean walking around the office a few times a day. For others it could mean jogging for 15 minutes everyday. A little more – a little better, is all we need for change. We
don’t need to climb a mountain to lose a lb. What small challenge are you going to conquer today? For example: Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Teaching the old you
IMAG2739While talking with Michael I asked, “What would you tell your old-self, knowing the things you do today?” His answer although common, really hit home. Michael said, “Forget the other 99 times you tried and failed. Learn from those mistakes, and don’t listen to the “nay-sayers,” just follow your heart. You know what to do. One life, one chance. Now just go for it!”

One life, one chance… So simple, yet so true! There’s nothing we can do about our past. The only variable we have any control over is our future. Michael harnessed his passion for life by taking on one small step each and every day. Why not stop what you are doing right now… that’s right STOP, and write down just one healthy habit you would like to work on for a week.

Having a hard time thinking of one? How about simply drinking 3 glasses of water in between each meal? Whatever your healthy habit may be, trust Michael when he tells you that small habits lead to life changing results.

The winning mentality
IMAG2735“Goals for the future? My goals keep changing,” says Michael. “The ones I set out to do 18 months ago have been achieved, but while I celebrate each success, I see and feel there’s always room for improvement. I want to lose more body fat and gain more lean muscle, and it’s a work in progress.”

“I don’t believe in perfection, as much as I do in consistency. While I believe in personal bodybuilding, I don’t compete with anyone else. The only person I compete with, is the face I see in the mirror. This is not a phase for me, this is for life.!”

If you could have seen the look on Michaels face when he said it was “about consistency and not perfection,” you knew he was speaking from the heart. He is a man on a mission with a passion that far exceeds the hurdles that have been placed before him.

What keeps you moving? “I really don’t have to psyche myself into wanting to go workout. You have to love it, and I definitely love it!” Michael says.  He then explained it to me like this: “Think of the guy who plays golf every chance he gets. He doesn’t have to find motivation, because he looks forward to going – because he loves it. I look forward to every workout. I love the entire experience of eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, going to the gym and giving it my all! I am not trying to be Arnold, I am just trying to become a sustainable, healthier, leaner me”.

The benefits beyond the physical transformation
IMG_2538“Good habits are contagious, and you can’t help but take what you learned, and apply it everywhere else. Transforming my body has helped me achieve the drive and determination to tackle all goals in life – with vigor and excitement!” Michael said.

Mr. Michael Mistretta has proven to those who may have little faith in themselves; there will ALWAYS be opportunity for change!

Final thoughts
On behalf of Labrada Nutrition, we want to thank Michael for taking the time to sit down with us. His continued efforts and support for the Labrada Nutrition family has always been appreciated. Next time we are in Arizona, we will be sure to toast each other to a protein shake!

1. What’s your trigger? The importance of having the reason to for change. Like Michael we all need a reason to change. For yourself, for a loved one, or a future loved one you have yet to meet. Find your trigger for change.
2. Mind over matter! Everyone’s journey is unique! It’s not always an easy path. We have to stop comparing ourselves to others. Once we accept the fact that fitness is a lifestyle choice and not a race we can
overcome anything!
3. Consistency is perfection, without ever reaching perfect.
4. Best time to start a new healthy habit? RIGHT NOW!

Mike’s Stack:


  1. Maryann Thomson


    August 16, 2015 11:37 pm

    What an inspirational story! Your success will inspire others to continue on their weight-loss journey and not give up even in the face of failure! Thank you for sharing this incredible journey!