Transformation of the Day: Monique lost 25 pounds, and she’s kept the weight off for a year and a half. For her, the journey hasn’t just been about weight. It’s also about introspection, self-love, finding peace, and building a healthy, loving relationship with herself.
What was your motivation? What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
My transformation started from a journey of self-love and self-introspection. My primary motivation was to be the absolute best version of myself. The version of myself I had in my head did not match up with what I saw in the mirror, and so my fitness journey started. Since then, I’ve been working to achieve the vision in my head despite the roller coaster, bumpy ride.
When did you start your journey?
My journey started in November 2017. It took me about a year to lose most of the weight.
How did you change your eating habits?
I lowered my intake of carbs and cut out all refined/processed foods. I ate wholesome carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice. I incorporated lots of vegetables and fruits as snacks. I also drank only water 90% of the time.
I did intermittent fasting, starting with the 16:8 protocol. After getting comfortable, I did various IF protocols such as 18:6, 20:4, OMAD, and fasts over 24 hours (depending on what suits my lifestyle at any given time).
What did your workout routine look like? How often did you workout?
In the first year, my workout was minimal. I did 15-minute dance workouts, squats, and abs workouts 3-5 times per week. In the second year, after losing most of the weight, I joined the gym going 3-5 times per week. Spinning for cardio and weight training are staples in my regimen. I was new to the gym, so I got a 30-day total-body training guide from @fancyfit85, which helped me find my way around the gym and built my confidence.
What was your starting weight?
My starting weight was about 165-170 pounds. Now, I’ve been maintaining at 145 pounds for about two years. My goal is to stay at this weight or even above while burning fat and building lean muscle.
What is your height?
My height 5’3″.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to work from the inside out. Fitness is more about the inside work than physical work. It is about building your mindset and developing self-love for the current version of self while striving towards the ideal self. It’s about healing emotionally, forgiving, discovering you, finding peace, and building a healthy, loving relationship with yourself. A rich fertile inner soil is needed for the production of good physical results.
What advice would you like to share with people who want to lose weight?
Combine your weight-loss efforts with the inner work of self-discovery. Get a journal and write about any and everything, especially on days when you feel lost and confused. Usually, the solution lies within and comes when you ‘write it out.’ Also, celebrate your wins in your journal. It’s the most powerful book you will read for the year.
Secondly, BUILD ROUTINES AND HABITS: Weight loss is not a straight line. It’s a maze. You are going to mess up, you are going to fail but keep going. Take your time, trust the process and be CONSISTENT. Nothing works if we don’t stick to it. A month is not enough. 3 months minimum of constant effort is needed before evaluating successes and failures. The time will certainly pass anyway, so stick to it and don’t rush.
Most importantly, after the first three months, most of the weight loss techniques will become habits. Some of my key habits and routines are weekly meal prepping, and a quick 30-minute prep daily where I pick out my exercise clothes, re-fill my 3L water bottle and make a salad/smoothie all for the next day. It’s more likely that I’ll follow through when all these things are done in advance. My inconsistent days are primarily due to a lack of preparations for the day/week.
Lastly, fall in love with the journey/process. Take lots of pictures and measurements. (I stay away from the scale). Be open-minded. No excuses. Focus on the positives.
Start now and keep going even when you’ve messed up. The time is going to pass anyway.