Miravone Dorough is the NEM group leader for Bolingbrook, IL. She first started working out with the NEM-Joliet group and was encouraged our regional manager, Ashley Gentile, to start a group in Bolingbrook since she had strong ties to the community. All of our leaders have a personal story that led them to become leaders in their hometowns, this is Miravone’s….
What is your personal story?
Growing up in an Asian community has its ups & downs. Asians have no filter. I was told constantly by non-family members that I was too big for an Asian girl..my Chinese pediatrician told me I was “too chunky”. Interestingly enough, he also diagnosed me with major depressive disorder at an early age. I based my self worth on what I looked like but never saw anything “pretty” in the mirror. College was rough. I ate my emotions & gained the typical Freshman 20, had a plethora of medical conditions & overly medicated, couldn’t run down the block, walking across campus was a big no-no, and I even CHEATED in my “jogging” elective (haha true story).Fast forward- entered Naturopathic school & paid attention to everything I put in my body. Off all medications. Slowly started restoring my health inside. Got married to my love in 2009,pregnant in 2010, & miscarried in 2010. I sank to my lowest of lows. Just when I thought I was getting “there”. Gained 20# & took 8 months to grieve. Then Ryan & I took control of our health. Entered p90x & more focus on our diet while still both finishing up grad school. I lost 15# & graduated with my first doctorate.Got pregnant 2012. Super paranoid. I was determined to be extremely healthy inside & out. When I found out we were having a girl, I started REALLY working on inside. I didn’t want her to feel what I’ve dealt with my whole life. I wanted to be an example of self confidence and finding worth in God more than society & your appearance. It’s as if I lost majority of my insecurities and low self esteem when I gave birth. Gained 30# & lost 45#. I went from a size 12 (almost 14) to a size 4-6 but more importantly, I can look in the mirror and see more positives than not. The best part is that my gets to witness this new version of myself and that is the true reward.
A lot of women say that kids ruined their bodies but in my perspective, my body changed but for the better. She is my inspiration to exercise, eat very well, & NEVER call myself FAT.
God changed my heart & Estella saved me!
How has being a NEM changed your life?
I have met an AMAZING group of woman that not only inspire me by their hard work and dedication, but have found some inspiration in me. I was always the slowest on the soccer field, most self conscious in PE class, and hid behind my books and good grades. It is often scary knowing that so many women look at me as the leader of a group like NEM, but it has kept me really accountable for my own healthy eating and fitness!
What is the most fulfilling part of being part of the NEM community?
Witnessing hard work turn into amazing results emotionally and physically in our members. We have women of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels and they all work equally hard. It’s so inspiring. The other fulfilling part that is equally amazing is being an example to our children. My daughter asks when we can go exercise and loves to mimic exercises at home.
Tell us more about your recent charity effort?
We joined efforts with NEM-Joliet to raise money for a local women’s and children’s shelter (MorningStar Missions in Joliet). We called it “Moms helping moms” and we reached out to friends, family, and the community to raise at LEAST $500 but we exceeded that goal by raising $1,400+! We pledged to run the BIG Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K on March 29th and got a total of about 8 moms to participate. The awesome part is a couple of our moms participated in their FIRST ever organized race so that was really inspiring too.
What suggestions would you have for people struggling with their health?
The hardest part is starting. We always emphasize using each other as accountability to make working out the most fun and rewarding. So I would say, pick a goal, pick a friend, and do it together. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal like a marathon, but pick something tangible! My first goal was to finish a 5k and that blossomed into what I’m doing now- leading a NEM group, working out 5-6 days a week, and training for a half marathon! You gotta start somewhere!
Changing your eating habits and increasing your activity doesn’t just transform who you are physically and emotionally, but it truly resonates into the lives of your children, spouse, and community!
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Giving back to their community.
Miravone posing with the Director of Development of the shelter (where the donations were sent).
NEM Bolingbrook and Joliet Illinois Group and preparing to run!