I Have Fat.

The other day I was killing time on Facebook, and Shay (former contestant on The Biggest Loser) posted something that stuck with me. To my core.


So, apparently, I’m not fat, but much like the LOLCATS, I haz fat because I haz cheeseburgers.

Lots of them. Lots of fat. Blah.

This year, I started my New Year’s resolution with great promise. I was eating well, exercising, and was generally positive. I ate about 1600-1800 calories a day, fell in love with Turbo Fire, and was super PSYCHED. I lost about 16 pounds, felt proud, happy. Then came crazy work stuff, and then came awful ankle injury. I never bounced back after that, but you know what did bounce back?

The weight I friggin lost.

As of today, I’ve lost 1.2 pounds this year. If I were to break that down into a weekly average, it’d be the equivalent of a sneeze per week. A SNEEZE, Y’ALL.

I don’t know the root of my problem, exactly. I believe it’s part laziness—I have a really stressful job (like SO STRESSFUL) and want to veg out in front of the TV when I get home and drink wine and eat white cheddar Cheetos. I believe it’s part habit—I have a habit of making poor food choices. I believe it’s part social influence—happy hour, anyone? I believe that I have the power to change, yet don’t. Why?

But the biggest part is information overload. I’ve read books that state that wheat is the devil and impedes weight loss. I’ve read that eating animal protein will cause cancer. I’ve read that eating nothing but animal protein will help me lose weight. I’ve read that diet soda is the culprit. I’ve read sugar, plus wheat, is the spawn of satan and should be avoided at all costs. WHAT DO I DO!?!

All these things create a crazed Monica. I’ll start off my day with a no/low carb plan, but then I’m thinking…wow, all you ate was eggs, butter, and bacon, Monica. That’s bad. For lunch have a soup, salad, and sandwich with lots of carbs. And repeat. I start with one thing, and end up doing another. I don’t stick to any plan at all.

Madness. Complete and utter madness. Recently, I went back to Zumba classes for a month, but my calves were in a helluva lot of pain, so I quit. Not worth a potential injury. I’m thinking of starting Turbo Jam again. I love that exercise program because I get to punch. A lot.

There’s something wrong with my brain that doesn’t connect properly, I’m telling ya. This doesn’t have to be so hard, so why am I making it hard? But it is hard. We all know that. I haven’t narrowed down what works for me. What’s not working for me is this extra weight. Above everything else, even health (though I do care about health),  I just want to shop in normal stores. I hate being out with a friend, and they do the whole, “Oh you would totally fit into the clothes there, I do! Well let’s go in anyway and you can watch ME shop for the clothes YOU can’t fit into, ok?”

And you want to punch them in the throat. Does it look like I fit into the clothes at Ann Taylor? Or Francesca’s? Um, no. Sadly, no. And I know my friends probably could care less about my size (and I have amazing friends), but I am so tired of this. And also? Lane Bryant is so darn expensive. Dear lord. I need to lose weight so that it’s not the only option anymore.

My question to you, my readers, what do I do? What would you do if you were me? Pick a plan, stick to it? Do a hybrid? Please don’t tell me moderation because I obviously still don’t have that whole concept down.

Here’s a photo of my skinniest weight in the past 4-ish years taken a month before my wedding.

I wish I would have worked harder to maintain that oh-so-perfect weight.


Bottom line—something has got to give.

Too bad I can’t just give my fat away.



  1. kara
    November 4, 2013 / 2:58 am

    So I don't know if you've ever heard of Lyle McDonald, but he's one of the people who I trust for honest, factual, no BS information on weight loss and fitness. One of the things he tells people all the time is "Quit reading things on the Internet. Quit changing your plan every 5 minutes. Quit trying to please everyone. Just pick something and do it and quit f-ing around/" That's the thing I have to tell myself all the time. I'm one of those people who will read and research myself into paralysis and then get frustrated when I can't make anything work. And really .. Lyle is right. Pick one thing, anything, and do it. Every time I've followed that advice, it's worked. Every time I've strayed from it, I've bogged down. For what it's worth.

  2. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 3:02 am

    Yes! I need to quit reading things on the Internet. I swear I am part of like 5 groups on MyFitness Pal that literally contradict each other. Should I pick the plan I find the most feasible to my dietary needs and preferences? If I followed every plan, I'd literally eat nothing. Thanks for your advice–it totally makes sense!

  3. katrina2475
    November 4, 2013 / 3:24 am

    I can relate to so much of this. I get to the point where I feel this desperation to figure out something. Anything! I've decided to start over from scratch. I'm going to switch from MyFitnessPal to LoseIt to see how I like their setup. I'm going to just take a more simplistic approach. Less junk and processed food, more real food. I really need to ditch the Diet Coke and drink more water. Worst case scenario, I will at least be healthier even of the fat decides to stay attached to my butt.

  4. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 3:31 am

    Desperation…yes! I feel you, and I know how frustrating it is. It gets overwhelming, and I just end up without any progress. I think starting with less junk and processed food is a great start. I'll be doing that very same thing right along with you. Hugs!

  5. AC
    November 4, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    I'm going to give you a heartfelt, honest answer to your question "what do I do?"You need to give up. Give up making excuses, give up bad nutrition, give up choosing what you want right now over your long term health, and give up rationalizing poor choices.The whole thing is much simpler than youre making it. You already know you need to eat well and exercise. There is no other way.Nutrition: eat simple, and clean. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protiens, good fats. That's it. Have a cheat meal or two if you really feel deprived. Track everything so you are accountable, and so those cheat meals don't turn into cheat days or weeks. Drink water, lots of it.Exercise: it doesn't matter what you do as long as you move your ass. Lifting weights will get faster results–if you don't know how get someone who does to show you. Sleep. Don't let stress from work or life take it from you. Worrying about things never changes the outcome. This whole idea of choosing a plan that best fits your lifestyle is a contradiction. You have to be willing to change your lifestyle to change your health. I'm not saying you can't be social. I am saying you have to stop making excuses for poor choices. You can do this Monica–I've watched you accomplish amazing things, and youre an incredible woman. Do it for yourself.

  6. Colleen
    November 4, 2013 / 1:26 pm

    Hi Monica – I feel your pain. I may not have a weight problem but I have an anxiety problem. I pray each day that it just goes away. People will tell me to stop worrying or workout to get rid of the pain but it's just temporary fix to a deeper issue. Sometimes we just have to accept who we are. We all deal with life stresses in our own way. I would not personally pick anxiety as my choice but the way my brain works this is what I'm dealt with. My mother had a weight issue for all of her 75 years. In my eyes I don't see her as overweight. I see her as a wonderful person that I'm lucky enough to call mom.I do have to tell you one thing. She went to see a man in Boston called Yefim Shubenstov about two years ago. My mom lost 45 pounds and has kept it off. She can not figure out why it worked for her. It doesn't work for everyone one but she is one of his successes. You're a beautiful young woman. I hope you can see that. Take care,Colleen

  7. Thiago
    November 4, 2013 / 2:42 pm

    That is so cool! When I was looking to buy candle lanterns online, this would have been perfect. Our results were still pretty good, but this wouldn've been awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ky G (@KrickettwithaK)
    November 4, 2013 / 2:46 pm

    You are definitely in my head right now!!!! I get into this cycle of being so fed up that I say "this is it, today is the day I change" and the next day I'm so frustrated and disgusted by what I see in the mirror that I get down on myself and eat everything in site out of that frustration. Grrrrrrr. I've recently calculated my BMR and tried to do research on that because my MFP number was even lower than my BMR and a sedentary state….I'm all confused. I too read too much and get so impatient with the process.

  9. tinab
    November 4, 2013 / 3:08 pm

    AC couldn't have said it better. I've been a professional "dieter" all my life…up and down…up and down. A few months ago, I decided to stop "dieting" and to just eat food that was better for me.Like you, I have read conflicting reports about what it good for you and what's bad…it's enough to make your head explode. Seriously…I found a good Web site that has helped me make the transition… http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz2jgmBMHm9. It's based on eating "primal"…and it's very similar to the Paleo way of life. Good oils (think coconut), proteins, veggies, some fruits, dairy and nuts. It's not as difficult as you might think. Sign up for his emails and you'll get daily instructions/ideas for a week. It's a great way to learn about the diet (altho' it's not a "diet"…it's a way of life).One big thing I've learned is Diet Coke (my fav) is a no-no…and I'm willing to bet, all the "diet foods" you've been eating to lose weight, have caused to to stumble and gain weight. I know it did for me. The pasta and rice in those pre-made diet meals…wrecked havoc on my insulin and and stopped me from losing weight. Sad…I've wasted all those years trying to follow Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, The Basic Food Groups we were taught in grade school. :(I have stopped eating sugars, faux sweeteners, grains (bread, cereal, pasta). What I have learned from Mark's Daily Apple is that you should base your food intake on the 80/20 principal…meaning, if you follow the rules 80% of the time, you can not follow the rules 20% of the time. It sorta gives you the ok to cheat…or have that slice of pizza..IF you want. Most of the time, I don't want it…but just the fact that it's ok if I do….keeps me legit. Does that make sense?I'm fairly new to the primal way of life, but in 3 months I've lost 30 pounds…without much effort really and without 3 hour workouts at the gym. I just move…I walk a little…walk my dogs…take care of chores around the house…nothing more than I did before…yet the weight has melted off. I shake my head in disbelief…it's been this simple all along. Best of luck…..hugs to you…

  10. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 7:03 pm

    Yes, I totally understand! You do so much research that you end up not progressing forward. I do think knowing your BMR is a great thing though–with that knowledge you can set a baseline target goal, etc. I think when we feel like this, it's best to get back to the basics of eating well and eating fresh ingredients. 🙂 You can do it!

  11. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Colleen! I hope you find a way to manage your anxiety. Taking it a day at a time is sometimes what works best, right? Hugs!!

  12. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 7:16 pm

    You are both totally right, and AC…I appreciate the tough love. Truly, I do. I feel like I'm at the put up or shut up stage, but I am still wandering through the fog of the information overload I've digested. Besides soda, my main nemesis is sugar. I think I can slowly cut back on baked goods, pastas, and bread in favor of veggies, fruits, etc. then I can hopefully make some forward progress. I guess I just needed to hear that this really doesn't have to be all that complicated! I suppose I need to cut back on my random late night health related Google searches that brought me to this mess. I appreciate all of your comments, support, and suggestions.Primal/paleo principles are definitely something both the hubby and I have considered, so I'll be checking out that website. 🙂

  13. tinab
    November 4, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    You will find following the Primal/Paleo way of life isn't as restrictive as you might think. I prefer Primal, because I like dairy (milk, cottage cheese, cheese, etc) and that seems to be the major difference between the two.And, if you're like me and you like muffins and after-dinner desserts…you can find tons of healthy Primal/Paleo recipes on Pinterest. Instead of flour, you'll use almond or coconut flour and instead of white sugar, you'll use honey or maple syrup. Oh, and you can eat dark chocolate…woot! woot! You won't miss a thing…promise. I just discovered this cookbook…and made the blueberry muffin recipe listed on the Amazon page. Each muffin has about 125 calories and 4 carbs….crazy, eh? http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Easy-Paleo-Comfort-Foods/dp/0373892802And check out the recipes on Juli's blog, http://paleomg.com/ Seriously, this girl has game and she has the best recipes…and who knew those kind of foods were actually GOOD for you.:)

  14. denise @just_denise
    November 4, 2013 / 8:31 pm

    Awesome! Congrats and the room looks amazing!

  15. Monica Benavidez
    November 4, 2013 / 9:05 pm

    Thanks so much, Denise! 🙂

  16. Rocio Chavez
    November 4, 2013 / 9:49 pm

    Just left a comment on the style challenge – great decor, fab pics and cutest doggie ever!! Congratulations it all looks gorg 😀

  17. KelleyJo
    November 5, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    When I am struggling with information overload, and what to avoid, I make myself shift gears. Instead I think, "What can I give my body right now?" Then I am thinking differently. Healthy choices are a gift we give ourselves. So, if I am not sure what to avoid, I think, what can I give myself: How about some healthy fiber: fruit! How about some calcium: yogurt! How about some protein and grains: turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with some healthy pesto spread. How about some vitamin C: tomatoes on my taco. Keep the nutrition facts simple, similar to what a fifth grader would know about food, and give yourself the gift of good things!

  18. A. Jackson
    November 6, 2013 / 1:37 am

    Pee Wee approved, and gorgeous!