Fit, happy and confident, Michele Levesque was an obvious choice for our June cover. “Being a fitness model is more than just being fit and taking beautiful pictures,” she says. “A fitness model for me is a role model – someone you look up to, who inspires you, and someone you can relate to.” We wholeheartedly agree!
Having always been athletic and competitive, Michele dipped her toes in everything from skiing, to mountain biking, gymnastics and soccer. She even competed at Canada’s nation level in track and field, with dreams of going to the Olympics. But her Olympic dreams were dashed when plica syndrome in her knees threatened her ability to walk. “The doctor told me I could end up in a wheel chair if I kept going, so I gave up my dream of going to the Olympics,” she says. “Actually, it’s funny how life works sometimes, because I wouldn’t change a thing. I ended up competing in fitness and it was a life-changing experience for me.”
Fit & Fun
Michele maintains a lean physique throughout the year, taking just a couple of weeks to get photo-shoot ready. Since stepping off the competition stage, Michele has embraced a more moderate approach to her diet. “I see more and more competitors trying to maintain a low off-season body fat percentage. It creates body issues – and I’m the first to say I went through all that,” she says. “I’d eat until my stomach would explode, then try to burn it off the next morning and go back to a low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat diet. It’s not very healthy.”
Now, Michele has more fun with her food, and experiments with new ingredients in the kitchen. “I maintain my weight, I don’t fluctuate as much, and I don’t wake up feeling guilty because I emptied the peanut butter jar.”
Michele has also started experimenting in the gym. For a new challenge, she’s taken up CrossFit, and she’s been looking to add a yoga to her routine, too – just as soon as she can find the time!
Her splits for the week:
Monday: Leg day, plus high-intensity interval training in the morning, and a brisk 2.5-mile walk with her basset hound, Luigi, in the evening.
Tuesday: Shoulders and biceps in the morning, and a six-mile run in the evening.
Wednesday: CrossFit in the morning, and 45 minutes on the StepMill in the evening.
Thursday: Back and triceps in the morning, and a six-mile run in the evening.
Friday: 45 minutes on the StepMill in the morning, and CrossFit in the evening.
Saturday: A full-body workout in the morning.
Sunday: Rest, and long walk with Luigi.
Tell us about the tattoo…
“I know a lot of people have life events that relate to their tattoos. Not me! I just picked something that wouldn’t freak my parents out too much. I did that when I was 17,” she says. “Why on my stomach? Because I never knew I would spend eight years of my life posing in a bikini!” she laughs.
What’s in her gym bag right now?
- Lip gloss – “I am a lip gloss hoarder! They are everywhere – in my purse, gym bag, jeans pocket, car, washing machine. I mean everywhere!” she says. “I have so many shades of pink, it’s not even funny.”
- Lemon Cake–scented lotion
- Caramel Vanilla body spray
- Juicy Fruit gum
- Bottle of water
- iPod with two extra earphones – “I can’t work out without music!”
- GAT Muscle Martini sample packs
- Natural almonds
- “Oops, just found another lip gloss.”
Words of Fitspiration
“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh
“That quote keeps me going if ever I doubt myself,” says Michelle. “For a long time, I lacked confidence, felt I wasn’t good enough, and didn’t believe in myself. I think we all have a powerful force inside us just waiting to come out if we believe we’re strong enough.”