Four years ago, Angel Pyle was living proof that thin isn't necessarily healthy.
Her frame remained tiny, despite poor eating habits. She had no muscle.
A trip to the doctor - a "medical wakeup call,'' she calls it - forced her to rethink her life.
"I was extremely unhealthy,'' she says, looking back now. "I just ate junk food. It was bad, bad. Not a single vegetable passed through my lips.''
Pyle has reshaped her body and her lifestyle the last three years around staying fit. The 40-year-old mother of two from Genoa Township says she quit a six-figure-salary job as the sales manager for a real estate developer to devote herself to fitness full-time.
She's getting a license to be a personal trainer, in hopes of helping other women. She's writing a book about her journey, scheduled to be published later this year.
To validate her newfound passion, she competed in the NPC Junior Michigan Bodybuilding and Melissa Frabbiele Figure and Fitness Classic in Detroit on June 2.
"I was the runt of the bunch,'' she says. "These girls were much younger and had been training for many years. I felt honored to be among them. It was the thrill of a lifetime.''
This weekend, she will show off her new physique in the Great Lakes-Ironman Natural Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness contest at the University of Michigan-Flint campus.
Skip Sanborn, the owner of Lady of Livingston Fitness Center off West Grand River Avenue in Brighton Township, has been impressed with Pyle's metamorphosis from skinny to sculpted. "She went from barely lifting a 2-pound weight to 20 pounds. She has done a total transformation,'' Sanborn says.
In March, National Fitness Hall of Fame & Museum founder John Figarelli was so taken aback by Pyle's story, he made her the hall of fame's first honorary member. The hall, created in 2004, is based in Minooka, Ill.
Pyle works out nearly every day, and regularly visits her nutritionist and posing coach. Ken Pyle calls his wife "the most dedicated person I've ever met.''
"She just shines when she walks in the room,'' he says. "She has a lot more confidence in herself.''
The lifestyle changes have trickled down to her family. Her daughter Aspen, 10, recently ran her first 5-kilometer race.
When offered a trip to Dairy Queen afterward, Aspen turned it down.
Jason Deegan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 810-844-2012