Update 2016: It’s been a little over a year since we shared Monique’s story. She’s not only stayed on track but she’s lost 10 more pounds and gained lean muscle. Check out her update.
“I’m down to 169 pounds, but I’ve basically stopped looking at the scale since I’ve began stacking on muscle. Although the scale has not changed much, those inches are definitely still coming off. Here is my before and my updated progress photo. I pray to continue inspiring women to be the best version of themselves that they can!” – @mosfitness.journey
Aug 2015 – Weight Loss Story of the Day: Monique lost 41 pounds this year. After the results of a doctor’s visit revealed that she was facing high cholesterol, rising blood pressure and pre-diabetes, she knew that she had to take action. Being a researcher by training, she took the time to figure out what would work for her in terms of eating and exercise. Her hard work has certainly paid off. Here is what she shared with us about her journey…
After visiting my primary care physician last year for a physical, she went over the numbers from my blood work, as well as my overall health score. My cholesterol numbers were creeping up, my blood pressure was through the roof, and she told me that I was borderline diabetic. The most ridiculous diagnosis that was on the paperwork she handed me was that one of my chronic conditions was “obesity”. I sat in my car and cried. I remember growing up with family members who had Ziploc bags full of medications to get them through a day. I refused to allow my inability to commit to lifestyle changes cause me to poison my body with meds for the rest of my life.
My motivation became wanting to see a healthier me, to come off of my hypertension medication and most of all create a positive lifestyle that my three daughters could emulate. Also, many of the people I started my original journey with (I started and stopped tons of times over the last 5 years) were hitting their goals and looking fabulous, whileI was still stuck in a size 18/16 and still running from cameras and refusing to buy clothes. After my physical I thought to myself; “I could’ve hit my goal 10 times by now if I would just stick with it!” The success of others inspired me to make the necessary changes and to push past my comfort zones.
I changed how I ate very slowly. I’m a researcher by training so I utilized my gift to do some much needed research before embarking on my journey. I listed out what foods I needed to eliminate, to add in, and those I needed to modify. It was a painstaking process but I stuck with it. I removed sugar very slowly as I have a really bad sweet tooth and I didn’t want to binge or rebound. I then removed fried foods, processed foods, sauces, breads, sugary drinks and simple carbs. I added in lean animal protein, complex carbs, sprouted grain breads (Ezekiel), lots of fruits and veggies and tons of water!
In the beginning, I stuck to a Beachbody program that was a hybrid of P90X and TurboFire (to all that are familiar). It gave a good mix of workouts for every part of the body. We have an excellent gym at the college where I work that is free of charge. Each semester they offer 4 weeks of free one on one personal training so I jumped on board with that as well. I had an excellent trainer who also is a student at the college. I took the workouts we did and continued to do them even after the 4 weeks were up. The school’s gym also offers many weekly group fitness classes such as Women on Weights, Belly, Butt, and Thighs (my personal favorite), Fitness Boxing and something called Anything Goes, where pretty much…anything goes!!! I also added on swimming, running and a lot of HIIT workouts from home. After much research, I’ve now been able to create my own workouts which are an excellent mix of HIIT training, cardio, strength training, running, swimming, etc. I change them bi-weekly so that my body does not have time to adapt and at least 2 days a week I do two a days.
I stand at an average height of 5’5”. My starting weight was 220 pounds, wearing a size 18 pant and size 16 dress, depending on the designer. My weight fluctuates on a daily basis but hovers around 179 pounds. I’m currently in a size 12 pant and size 10 dress. So, I’ve lost somewhere around 41 lbs. I no longer using weight as my gauge as there are way too many parameters that affect our weight on a daily/monthly basis. I have moved to using measurements, clothing fit, and how I feel. These three things are much more accurate for measuring progress. My fitness journey began January 2015 and I’m still in progress. My goal size is a 9 as it puts me at a healthy weight and size. However, I’m not against going lower. At this point, it is more about how I feel than how I look.
It has taken me some time to really begin to love myself, every curve, dimple and dip. I use to think I had to look perfect like celebrities and models; but honestly, I had to realize that there is no one perfect body…just my own perfectly imperfect self. My goal is to become a personal and group fitness trainer to help others fight their own battle. I ultimately want to focus on training women over 40 as I’ve realized that it is much harder to lose weight in my 40’s than it ever was in my 20’s and early 30’s!
My advice to others is to not give up! Even on your worst days…don’t give up!! I have been fighting this war for many years and I finally was able to put all the pieces together to be successful. The first thing is to get your mind right, remove stressors and plan…plan…plan. Schedule your workouts like you schedule an appointment and don’t let anything or anyone interrupt that appointment. Plan and prepare all of your meals for the week. The easiest way to derail weight loss is to not have all of the tools in place to help you be successful. Find partners that will hold you accountable as well as workout with you. Also, don’t be afraid of trying new things. There is an endless amount of programs out there that will fit your time constraints as well as your fitness level and preferences. Lastly, run your race. Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s end. Write down and post your goals and make them realistic to what you wish to accomplish on a monthly basis.
Please follow my journey to better health on Instagram @mosfitness.journey. My hope is to inspire as many I can to a better way of life!