She’s the woman who has got Australia on its feet.
Gracing our screens back in 2007 on The Biggest Loser, she's been key to transforming so many lives.
But today, the camera is on Michelle Bridges, and she is telling her full story.
Monday’s episode of Australian Story took us through the journey of a young girl obsessed with health and fitness, who went on to create a multi-million dollar empire based on a simple motto; “Just freakin’ do it”.
The brunette beauty became a trainer on the Australian version of the US reality show, The Biggest Loser in 2007.
From the moment her relentless drive and can-do attitude hit the small screen, her life was thrown into the public eye, which, of course, opened up channels of both praise and criticism.
“[The Biggest Loser] has all sorts of critics who say, ‘You’re putting these people up to be insulted or laughed at or made the butt of a joke,” she said of the public’s reaction to the show.
“I think it might be seen that I have this agenda on people who are overweight or people who are deemed fat. Honestly if you are happy where you are, genuinely, more power to you,” she went on.
“But I can tell you now, I am yet to have met someone who is morbidly obese and happy.”
In the telling segment, Michelle also dished about the moment she began her love story with fellow TBL trainer, Steve Willis AKA The Commando.
“When I first met him, he was pretty much straight out of the Army, virtually. So he was very intense back then. And I remember thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’” the mother-of-one said with a laugh.
“For a long time, making season after season of The Biggest Loser, we were just friends. It was more of a communication connection that I think drew us together in that sense, rather than anything physical,” said Steve on his now-partner.
“We both came together at a time when we were both pretty raw and in a place of: ‘Wow, what's happening to our relationships?’ Steve has three beautiful children. They're in my life and I'm in theirs.”
The program didn’t touch on whether or not trainers began their relationship whilst with their previous partners; however it did reveal that Michelle’s ex-husband, Bill Moore, was not ready to pull the plug on their nine-year marriage.
“That was a very difficult time. I felt that I didn't want to leave the relationship. I didn't want it to end but Michelle had sort of… for her, she wasn't in the same space.” he said.
He explained that their romance had begun to “suffer” when her fitness empire took off, both nationally and internationally.
“It was everywhere and inevitably our relationship was suffering from it. And really, in hindsight, we probably both chose the business over the relationship.”
“Maybe that was the baby that we didn't have.”
See Michelle's former husband's emotional confession in the video player below. Post continues...
The No Excuses Cookbook author also bravely opened up about a time she was sexually assaulted at the age of 18.
“I was just looking for a part time job. I went in for an off-the-cuff interview at a restaurant, and the next thing I knew, the guy was attacking me and basically trying to rape me,” she said.
“In my head I thought, ‘This is just not going to happen. This is not my story’. I absolutely fought back with everything I had.”
“I got out, I ran all the way to the police station. The man ended up going to prison. I realised ‘I can’t carry this thing around, because if I do, it means he still has control’. So I had to at some point, let it go.”
Today, Michelle juggles her time between her demanding schedule as an Australian fitness icon and her adorable son Axel.
Speaking of her bub as the “best thing” she’s done with her life, she also opens up about the lost relationship with her estranged father.
“Having a child has just been the best thing I think I've ever done - and I've done a lot,” she began.
“You start thinking about family and family members and you know, what's happened in the past. I don't really have a relationship with my Dad. My Dad would now know that I've had a baby and that he's got a grandson. So I think: ‘Gosh, you know, should I introduce Axel to him?’ And that probably would be a really nice thing to do."
She spoke of how her son and his health has inspired her to make a difference when it comes to the nutrition of Australia's next generation.
“Having Axel has really made me think about how I can use what I've learnt about health and fitness to make a better life for kids like him,” the 45-year-old began.
“I'd like to tackle the junk food industry the way that the tobacco industry was tackled 50-odd years ago. We're now seeing children that potentially have a lifespan shorter than their parents. Never before have we ever seen that globally.”
“I'd like to get out there and start fighting the fight for others who can't fight the fight."