Holly Middendorf started a journey three years ago, and Oct. 17 her ship made port in Wadena.
The Long Prairie native who graduated high school in Osakis, attended M. State-Wadena and recently moved with her family to Clarissa, opened Pure Gold Nutrition on Jefferson Street.
Courage and perseverance are two qualities the mother of two has called upon in herself since deciding 198 pounds did not suit her 5-6 frame.
"It's been a fun journey to have people ooh and ahh over you," Middendorf laughed. "It's a fun journey, and I wouldn't take any of it back."
Pure Gold is actually a club. Middendorf orders her soy-based products for club members after she determines what they need and how much. For customers that cannot take soy-based products, she can also offer whey-based. One of her shakes is the equivalent of a meal and she says her teas will help supply energy.
"Before I got pregnant I was very small, only about 120 pounds or so, then I got pregnant and thought I could eat the world. Then I had him and realized I had an issue."
Has she fallen from time to time? Oh yeah.
After giving birth to her first son Middendorf did not lose much weight, but after her second son arrived she knew she had to buckle down.
"After that, I said 'I just can't do this anymore', so I had to find something," said Middendorf, who lost 35 pounds in three months.
Middendorf admits her weight still fluctuates, but she is proud that she has been able to be an inspiration to others.
"I had other people who were continuously coming to me and asking me 'well how did you do it', and I helped them," she said.
Middendorf herself acknowledges the help of Teri Mikel, her coach from Long Prairie, who helped her take her weight loss seriously and pointed her at Wadena.
"They are very healthy products; we offer teas that are natural, and they help with your energy," Middendorf said.
They talk about alcohol, drug and tobacco addictions, but Middendorf believes she knows of a substance found in nearly every home that is the strongest of all - sugar.
"For me, sugar is the strongest addiction there is," Middendorf said.
The first day she was open for business she had 46 customers. Three days later, after a small advertising campaign, she served 56.
Middendorf has a wide variety of shakes and teas at her business next to Lyle's Shoe Store. She can prepare a plan for her customers or order the products for them.
"I do know it makes you feel better about yourself, mind over matter," Middendorf said.
Middendorf named her business after a passage from the Book of Job.
"When he tests me, I will come out as pure gold."