Bikini-clad Bradenton woman on cover of People magazine after 100-pound weight loss

Manatee grad Michelle Mohr featured in 'summer slim-down special'

wtatangelo@bradenton.comAugust 21, 2012 

BRADENTON -- Michelle Mohr, dressed in a blue bikini, has landed on the cover of People magazine.

The Bradenton native can be seen smiling next to super-celeb Jennifer Aniston on the current issue of the magazine read by millions.

People chose Mohr, along with four others, to be part of its "Summer Slim-Down Special."

"I was in pure shock when I saw it," the 27-year-old told the Herald. "I had no idea I would be on the cover."

The magazine discovered Mohr after reading a story online about her dramatic weight loss. People then flew her to Los Angeles in June for a photo shoot and interviewed the Manatee County resident about how she dropped from 210 to 110 pounds.

"At first I thought it was a hoax," Mohr said Monday shortly after leaving Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic in Bradenton, where's she's the outreach coordinator.

In addition to landing on the magazine cover, and the two-page special front (pages 68-69), Mohr occupies all of page 71.

Holding a green inner-tube pool side in Malibu, she has on a hot pink bikini and beige wedge sandals.

"Oh my goodness, it was incredible," said the class of 2003 Manatee High School alumni. "They really gave us the star treatment. It was just like you see in the movies with wardrobe and the photographer encouraging us by saying, 'Beautiful, gorgeous!'"

Mohr tells People readers she was "always the fat kid."

Pizza, fries and nachos were a typical lunch.

Then she'd come home from school "and eat a box of stuffing that could serve a family of four!"

But after graduating from the University of South Florida in 2007 she "read magazines, watched videos online and tailored (her) own plan" to lose weight.

In addition to dieting, she goes to the gym five times a week.

"It took a lot of perseverance," Mohr said. "There were definitely points where I got disappointed but just kept at it and really developed a passion for food and nutrition."

The magazine lists her as 5 feet 4 inches tall, single and "Hometown: "Bradenton, Fla."

"I'm definitely proud to be from Bradenton," she said.

Mohr serves on the leadership committee of the Manatee Young Professionals, a program of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

"What an inspiration she is to everyone," said Jacki Dezelski, vice president of community development at the chamber of commerce. "We're so excited for her, it couldn't have happened to a nicer person." To coincide with the issue of People that hit newsstands Friday, Mohr appeared in front of a national audience on the ABC program "Good Morning America."

On Thursday, she's scheduled to make an appearance on "Daytime."

"Everything has happened so quick it has been a whirlwind," she said. "But it's also been fun beyond my wildest dreams."

Mohr recently launched the website www.foodsmartie.com.

"My plan is to be a nutritional adviser and a diet coach," she said. "The most important thing to me is how I have become an inspiration to people."

Wade Tatangelo, features writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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