In 2007, Brooklyn's Michelle Perl was struck with tragedy. Her mother, sick with cancer, passed away. But in her mourning, Perl decided to do something. She decided to change.
The 25-year-old tells Nintendo Power, "I wanted to make a vow of personal improvement to my mother, so I decided to target the one problem that had been causing me great distress for years — my weight."
Besides hitting the gym and watching what she ate, Perl began using Wii Fit to help get in shape. She also covered her room in photos and pictures of Samus Aran, Metroid's heroine. She dropped 110 pounds and went down 15 jeans sizes, enabling her to fit in the skin-tight "Zero Suit" she constructed.
"My most powerful source of motivation to keep going was Samus Aran," Perl says, noting that Samus is a iconic character for women because of her strength. For Perl, it was a fictional character that made her inner strength tangible.