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How This Mum-of-Two Dropped Two Pant Sizes and Reduced Her Fibromyalgia Flare Ups on the 8-Week Program: “They’re less frequent and less intense when they do occur, and much more manageable”

  • An Australian mum has transformed her life by quitting sugar 
  • Michelle O’Brien has long battled chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and PCOS that affect her quality of life
  • In 2022 she made a decision to improve her health and wellbeing 
  • She reduced inflammation and lost weight by following the 8-Week Program challenges, meal plans and recipes
  • She even got her family involved in the cooking process!

An Australian mum-of-two has revealed how she significantly reduced her fibromyalgia symptoms and dropped down two pant sizes in just two months as a result of her decision to quit sugar.

Harp and Banks creator Michelle O’Brien continued her health journey with the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program in 2022 – from her battle with fibromyalgia to many years of severe PCOS symptoms. The mum of two revealed how community support and good food were essential to her achievements.

Michelle lives with fibromyalgia, having been just a teenager when first learning about the condition, the mum of 2 daughters; a 12-year-old and a 2-year-old, has been on a long journey of discovery, facing numerous blockades and challenges that are par for the course when it comes to fibromyalgia.

“I get a lot of hand pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, joints in general tend to flair and I’ve noticed in the last 2 weeks, really heading into this last section, a lot of that inflammation is reduced – it’s not gone, it’ll probably never be gone if were very honest that’s the nature of the beast,” she says.

“But the flareups have reduced, they’re less frequent and less intense when they do occur, and much more manageable. That’s been the most surprising thing because nothing else has ever really done that for me.” 

The key to her success was surprisingly simple – healthy, wholesome and tasty meals from the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, along with consistency and dedication to her health.

“My period has seemingly regulated which is great. Which I did expect; when I’ve done similar programs that’s been the result, so having that consistency has been incredible this time, I saw that result instantly, it’s something that came through within the first few weeks.”

She also noticed a change in how her clothing fit, despite not setting out to lose weight – Michelle reveals it was an added bonus that came with quitting sugar.

“So, happy story, I’m two pant sizes down,” she says. “A lot of that is bloating, which comes really heavily to people with those other lovely things we talked about earlier, from a fibromyalgia point of view.”

Michelle followed the IQS meal plans and found a number of creative ways to tailor the dishes to suit her and her family. Here’s a little peak into her experience with the food on the program.


Unexpected hits: “When I read the recipes for the first week I was like ‘oh mince for breakfast, are you sure, what is that?’ but that turned out to be one of the family favourites, really enjoyed that one,” the Aussie mum says.

Adding her own twist: “We love, particularly in the warmer months though it’s been raining up a storm around here, we still love the warm weather and we like to get out and matt loves to smoke meats, so we adapted the brisket and pulled pork to be able to do that, so we continued to do the things that we liked but using those recipes for an adaption of that.”

Classic fave: She also shares her love for the plentiful soup recipes on the program, stating, “I’m a bit of a soup queen so all the soups were *chefs kiss*.”


Before embarking on the program, Michelle was struggling with severe chronic pain, and juggling the many responsibilities of her work, her Instagram platform and her beloved family – she says was looking for a program that would help her stick to her health goals.

“I knew that being able to use a program like the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, I could use it in line with my platform, share some knowledge and trial and error, but I was also going to hold myself accountable to actually going through and committing to the end.”

For anyone else in the same boat, Michelle advises a consistent and self-compassionate approach.

“I’d advise with anything like the 8-Week Program to just go into it with an open mind and don’t put too much pressure on yourself – putting pressure to be perfect in the program, that’s not what it’s about,” she says.

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