Losing & Winning Local Entrepreneur Maintains Healthy Lifestyle, Inspires Others By Ruth Furman
Above: Michele’s daily workout. Right: Prior to weight loss.
ichele Rothstein makes her living with balloons, a symbol of lightness and fun. She twists the primary-colored tubes into animals, hats and costumes. She’s as effervescent as her airy orbs, delighting in entertaining others through her party planning business, Balloons With a Twist. But Rothstein was once far from light,
in body or spirit. And weight was a lifelong struggle. She says her parents sent her to “fat camp” when she was in 6th grade. In high school, she stood 5 feet 8 and weighed more than 200 pounds. Humor was a selfdefense. “I was always the funny girl, the first one to poke fun at herself before someone else could.” In college, under a doctor-supervised
program, she managed to lose some of the weight, dropping from 260 to 180. But it didn’t last long. She binged on sugar, pizza and fast food. By age 34, Rothstein weighed 359 pounds. “I got to a point where I was so heavy that I was afraid that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning,” she says. “I had reached rock bottom, and I was ready for a change. … I knew
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