Tanisha Mitchell from Too Fat for Fifteen Interview

Weight loss shows on tv have been popping up all over the past few years. Competition based shows seem to be the most popular. The formula to these shows? Throw in a ton of overweight people, some famous trainers, some difficult challenges, and sit back and watch the drama unfold. I have watched all of these programs due to my extreme interest in the subject of fitness and health. However, one show in particular has always stuck out to me. The Style Networks Too Fat for Fifteen. This show follows students around during their experience at the well known Wellspring Academies. http://www.wellspringacademies.com/

From their website “Wellspring Academies are residential weight loss schools for overweight children, teens and young adults ages 11 – 25, and are among the world’s most effective programs for weight loss. At our campuses inCalifornia and North Carolina, Wellspring students benefit from weight loss outcomes that are among the best documented for any non-surgical weight loss program. Wellspring Academies have helped hundreds of students transform their bodies and their lives”.

The style network decided to follow some of the students around and document their experience. This was different from all of the other lose weight reality shows. This showed promise. True struggles of young people who truly wanted to change their life. They focused on 5-6 students at a time. I can remember the first time I saw Tanisha Mitchell. You could see the pain in her eyes, the insecurity, the fear of the whole experience. I remember instantly wanting her to succeed. I knew she could succeed. Weighing in at over 500 pounds, I could not even begin to imagine the strain on this young lady. I was instantly hooked.

Over a year later Tanisha is still working hard on her goals and dreams. She was nice enough to answer these questions for our Grace Got Healthy Readers!

1. What was your highest weight?
My highest weight was 510lbs



2. What is your goal weight?
My goal weight is 160lbs

3. How much weight have you lost?
I have lost 280lbs.



4. What does your workout schedule look like?
I try to get at least 30 mins of activity a day. I do the Eliptical and run when the weather is nice, and also I do Zumba, P90X, Yoga, and Pilates.

5. What is in your fridge right now?
Right now in my fridge you’ll find a mix between the food I eat and the food my parents eat. For mostly fat free things (milk, yogurt, cheese), fruits and vegetables. 

6. Most favorite healthy meal?
My new fav meal is a recipe I tried recently for low-fat spinach and parmesan turkey burgers. Yum!

7. Favorite workout song?

I can’t choose one fav workout song. I have a whole play list dedicated to working out. A crazy mix of Glee, Beyonce, Lil Wayne and Gavin Degraw.

8. Do you ever have a cheat meal or go off plan?
I have never made the conscious decision to eat something off program, but occasionally I have found the wrong nutritional info for something. I ate it, only to find out that it really had over 20grams of fat in it. That’s big because normally I don’t eat that in a day.

9. I know you like to read. What are you reading currently?
Currently I am reading about 5 different books. From Alice In Deadland and Huger Games to Watership Down and The Wolf & The Dove.

10. Do you keep in touch with Haley and Carsyn? (two lovely ladies from the show).
Hayley Bailey & Carsyn Lee Nash are my friends for life! We skype as much as our schedules allow, but we are always texting. I love them very much!

11. What was it like being filmed at your all time highest weight? Did
you have anxiety about it?

When I agreed to be filmed, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into! I had/have always been a super private person, so it was not easy to let cameras in.

12. Do you keep in touch with Coach John T, or Coach Nicole? How have
they helped you on your journey?
I am able to keep in touch. Both John T and Nicole have helped me more than I can put into words, but I will say that I owe each of them a lot!

13.What is your favorite mantra?
I have 3! 1. The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step 2. Live ,Laugh, Love and 3. When life gives you lemons, make grape juice! Then sit back and let the whole world wonder how you did it!

14. Does your family support eating more healthy now?
My family is definitely more open to eating healthier now, especially when I do the cooking! Most of the time, if they don’t have to cook their happy to eat anything I give them.

15. How has your health changed since starting this journey?
My health has definitely improved! I feel lighter and like I am capable of doing anything!

16. If you could give people any piece of advice on starting this
amazing journey, what would it be?
I’d say that starting is always the hardest part of any journey and that it won’t be easy, but in the end definitely 1000% worth it!

17. What do you want to do when you get older? Is it nutrition/fitness
driven still?
I would really love to study Psychology/Social Work.

18. What was harder for you. Changing physically or mentally?
Mentally! For the longest time I was in denial about the changes that were happening to my body. It took awhile, but I learned how to love the person I was looking at in the mirror.

19. Favorite moment from filming “Too fat for 15”?
My favorite moment from the show is actually one that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor, so no one ever actually saw it. It was a Mud Run race that I ran with John T, Nicole, and Sasha. It was so hard and looking at the course I didn’t think I could do it. But we did! And it was so amazing!

20. How do you feel knowing that you are a role model to people
I feel good. Knowing that sharing my story has helped so many people, makes it worth how hard it was to allow the cameras to follow me. 

Thank You Tanisha! You are a true HERO!
To contact Tanisha–


12 thoughts on “Tanisha Mitchell from Too Fat for Fifteen Interview

  1. I watched the program “Too fat for fifteen” in the Netherlands and you’re so strong Tanisha. You’re my favorite. I believe you will be a great psychologist or social worker once, you can inspire other people and you know what is means to struggle. Good luck and a big hug from here!!

  2. Tanisha, I’m overjoyed to see your updated picture. Wow!!! I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing and was unable to remember your last name. Happy to say that today I was able to obtain info. May GOD continue blessing you and wish you the best in life. Please keep updating so that we may all enjoy your reaching your goals.

  3. Hi Tanisha, I cannot even begin to tell you how much you have moved my heart. Right from the start your inner strength and determination just jumped through that TV screen. I especially loved the episode where you went to Washington… and I said to myself.. THIS is one very special young lady. I can just see you and Michelle Obama working on some “Healthy Eating” programs to motivate both tne nation’s school children AND even us oldsters. You have shown us all what shear determination and patience can do.
    You have the kind of CAN DO attitude that is infectious. Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration and a REAL Hero. Hugs and Blessings, a fan for life. : ) Faith

  4. You are such an inspiration for kids that need to get healthy. I loved watching the show and seeing how proud you were of yourself. I wish you only the best in the rest of what will be a long and happy life!

  5. How crazy, I actually worked for Wellspring for 2 summers as a Personal Trainer at 2 different camp locations and aaaalmost worked at the Academy but got a better opportunity up in Boston. Small world!

  6. Hey Tanisha

    im in Botswana-Africa an i like watching too fat for fiffteen show, you are my favorite,
    you are really an insipiration an um so glad that u were able to achieve so much,


  7. Hi I’m from Malta I like your show and you was my favourite for your determination and for your high goals you had please answer back I’be happy to be friends with you

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