My name is Michelle Shu, and I am a health coach and fitness enthusiast. My mission is to help people nourish themselves so that they can show up fully in every area of their lives.
This is the story of how I got here.
I had a complicated relationship with food.
I didn’t care much for my health in my younger years. Through high school and college, I was an outcast who suffered from low self-esteem and poor body image. During that time, I often used food for comfort. When I felt sad, I reached for a muffin. When I felt lonely, I found solace in a bar of chocolate. When I felt disgusted by the weight I put on, I munched on french fries and washed them down with a side of guilt.
Thankfully, things started looking up after I graduated. I landed a high-paying technology job, found friends who accepted me as I was, and I met the love of my life. But my eating habits kept going downhill fast. What started as enjoying an occasional beer turned into a routine of binge drinking every weekend. Long days at the office ended with stuffing my face with takeout and hiding the evidence in shame. My paychecks went toward fancy restaurant meals and I fell out of the habit of preparing food at home.
I backpedaled hard into extreme diets to try to reverse the damage. I eagerly adopted whichever paleo, low carb, superfood fad that was most popular at the time. However, dieting never worked for me. I never lasted more than a month. I failed over and over until I realized that my food choices were not the root of my problems — I was the root of my problems. Food was the way I chose to comfort myself, deal with insecurities, and escape hard feelings. Overeating was a pit I stumbled into before I learned to value myself.
I grew into myself through fitness.
I initially started exercising to lose weight, but I kept exercising because moving my body turned out to be a great way to relieve stress. While overeating only delayed the inevitable flood of negative emotions, working out actually alleviated them.
At first, I struggled to stick to an exercise plan long enough to progress. My fitness journey involved a lot of falling off the wagon whenever life got busy. But after many failed attempts, I eventually fell into a consistent routine. I chased the endorphin highs of long runs outside. I gradually learned the proper way to lift weights. Yoga and CrossFit challenged me to explore new forms of movement. Somehow, I transformed from a person who was lazy and depressed to a person who was disciplined and resilient.
I was hooked, and I wanted to see how much more I was capable of, so I decided it was time to take my food choices more seriously. I put my head down and researched the science of nutrition and behavior change. I got certified as a nutrition coach. I applied what I learned to change my body composition. To my surprise, I was able to shed fat and gain muscle. But more importantly, I shed shame and gained confidence. This experience taught me the true power of nutrition.
Now I combine art and science to help others.
I look to evidence-based strategies to give clients the results they are looking for. I lean on psychology to help people create habits that stick.
I also recognize that the best strategies go well beyond the science. People aren’t equations to be solved — they are humans to be heard and understood. I draw on my own experience, along with those of colleagues and clients, to create changes work in the real world.
Everyone is unique and has their own personal hopes, feelings, and struggles. It is a privilege to be a part of each person’s exploration of what being healthy means to them.
- Precision Nutrition Nutrition Coach (Pn1)
- Precision Nutrition Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Certification (Pn1-SSRC)
- Working Against Gravity Certified Nutrition Coach (WAG)
- NASM Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT)
- CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
Pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition and Registered Dietitian credential