Having followed her progress for over a year, we were completely overjoyed when Monique agreed to share her journey thus far with the Eat More 2 Weigh Less fam. She's inspired us for this long, we know you'll feel the same! ~Lucia & Kiki
How long have you been on this journey?
Officially, I’ve been on this journey since January 2012. I’ve had so many fluctuations with my weight since I was a child. From being borderline anorexic in middle school to working out like a machine in high school without proper nutrition; this time around, I figured I would actually try to give my body what it needed and not what I THOUGHT it needed.
When did you first learn that you needed to eat more to reach your goals? What was your original response?
I first learned that I needed to eat more to reach my goals when I hit a plateau for about three months straight while exercising and eating as clean as I possibly could. I felt groggy, tired, irritable and most of all hungry, after counting calories. I thought to myself, “I’ve literally done everything right with a few cheat days here and there, but this scale won’t budge at all.”
How did others around you act about your decision to discard the usual low cal methods for weight loss?
The usual response was “wait… you’re not cutting out anything?” or “how can you eat sweets and still lose?” and the infamous “I’m cutting out carbs because they’re bad for you… you won’t lose anything if you start to eat more calories and carbs than your body actually needs.”
How did your body react to the initial increase in cals?
Two words: Water weight. I felt bloated for about a week initially since my body wasn’t accustomed to the sudden increase in calories. On the plus side, I had SO much more energy to actually workout without feeling fatigued and exhausted all of the time. I finally didn’t need coffee to wake myself up in the morning from a bad nights’ sleep. Plus, I slept like a baby at night, which was great.
Can you describe your typical workout schedule?
I work a desk job, so I try to be as active as possible each week. I also like to keep my body guessing depending on the season and what activity I’d like to get into. One day, I might hike and on another day I may try some hot yoga. It keeps the boredom at bay!
Typically, my week will look like this:
Monday – Body Combat class or upper body circuit training
Tuesday – Spinning class
Wednesday – Body Combat class or lower body circuit training
Thursday – Swimming or yoga
Friday – Rest day (unless I didn’t get some lifting in throughout the week, then I may do a full body heavy lifting session)
Saturday/Sunday – 2 to 3 mile jog/rest day… depends on activities for the weekend!
Has proper fuel affected you in ways other than weight loss? (Good or bad)
Honestly, I’ve been able to see tremendous changes in my body that have nothing to do with the scale. I’m sleeping better, looking leaner, and have so much energy to do just about anything. The greatest thing that came out of all of this is that I’ve learned how to live and have a healthy relationship with food. I’m a huge foodie and have no time to “diet” at such a young age. I get to enjoy my social life and teach others who want to know my “secrets” how to stop depriving themselves in order to feel better about their weight.
Any parting words of encouragement to those who are new to eating more, or struggling with the decision of whether or not to fuel properly?
I usually tell people to try it out for about a month and see if they have seen a difference in how much more they can lift, how much harder they can push themselves during an intense workout session, or just how much better they feel. It seems like a strange idea to eat more when you’re trying to lose weight, but you simply have to trust the process. Don’t let the scale have so much power over you. You shouldn’t have to judge your worth based on a number. Ever.
The best decisions that I’ve made throughout this journey were eating more (especially protein), purchasing a heart rate monitor and buying a food scale. If you don’t accurately know what’s going into your body, the results you want will not come. Most importantly, be patient and learn to live. Life’s too short not to have great meals with the people you cherish the most along the way!
Share your success, no matter how large or small. You never know who you may inspire to hang on just a bit longer. We love featuring results and journey stories in REAL time, not just before/afters. If you have a victory (scale or not) let us know and allow us to share with the fam, by submitting to success@EM2WL.com