Week 1: Monica Wants Fit Check-In

Welcome to week 1 of Monica Wants Fit where I chronicle my journey to fit and healthy every Monday. The good, the bad, the ugly…and the occasional donut.

I feel like I’ve been catfishing you all. All my lovely headshot photos on social media are from 2009, which is consequently the last time I felt I looked good in a photo. (With the exception of a cute selfie or 2 from my Vegas trip in December 2013):


^^ Me 20 pounds ago!

I didn’t write about weight loss in 2014 for a good reason—there wasn’t any!

Here’s a rundown of 2014 in the life of Monica’s weight loss journey:

  • I gained about 24 pounds, putting me at my heaviest weight ever and up over 100 pounds since my wedding day in May 2009.
  • I flew 3 times and felt uncomfortable every. single. time.
  • I was/am afraid to go on vacation to a theme park because I’m afraid I won’t fit into the rides.
  • I went up a pant/dress size.
  • I was exhausted just literally standing on my feet for a few hours at a work event to the point of tears.
  • I had zero energy, felt introverted, depressed, angry, bitter.
  • I have INSANE new stretch marks on my upper arms, around my armpit area, and the sides of my stomach on top of all the OLD stretch marks. I will likely never be able to wear sleeveless tops or a bikini. This hurts my heart.
  • I couldn’t squat down without awful knee pain.
  • I drank almost no water daily.
  • I ate out 3-5 times a week, if not more.
  • I drank alcohol almost daily.
  • I vehemently avoided taking photos, giving presentations, shopping, and looking at myself in the mirror.

I figured I’d be real with you all. That up there is a list that would land me an early death.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Instagram lately and have come across some of the most inspirational before and after weight loss accounts, as well as the accounts of other people in the midst of their journey. That’s when a light bulb went off for me—I don’t have to watch other people accomplish things…I can do it, too. I’ve started and stopped this journey a hundred times before, but I just feel like this might be the time it sticks. I’ve reached a point where I have to do something. It’s bad when you start googling to learn about weight loss surgery. I do not judge anyone who has had weight loss surgery, but I don’t want that for me.

When I’ve done this before, I go CRAZY hardcore for about a month, lose steam, quit. This time, I’m not putting myself on a super low cal diet, I’m not forbidding anything (although I am cutting down on bread/processed sugar a lot), and I’m aiming to workout 5 days a week for at least 40 minutes. My workouts are 3 days of lifting heavy + 2 days of cardio. I’m tracking everything on My Fitness Pal (friend me by clicking here) and chronicling my journey/DIY adventures over on Instagram.

Week 1 for me ended on Friday, January 2, and I lost 4.2 pounds! Yay! I know that sort of weight loss won’t happen each week since it’s a lot of water weight, but I’ll take it for now. My weigh-ins are every Friday morning. I’m also trying to mentally tell myself that the scale isn’t THAT important, so I’ll take measurements at the first of every month.

My challenges this week:

  • Going back to work after 18 days off.
  • Drinking enough water. I’ll do great one day and then slack the next. Consistency is key!
  • Hitting my macros—my carbs are high, so I need to add in more lean protein.

If you have any tips or suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comments section. And if you believe in prayer or good juju, please pray that I have the strength to finish this journey for once and for all.



  1. marty (A Stroll Thru Life)
    January 5, 2015 / 4:13 pm

    Good for you. I have to lose 30 lbs so I will be right with you. I am going to hit the gym and the diet too, so good luck to both of us.

  2. tinab158
    January 6, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    A new year…a new you, inside and out. 🙂 I have been a professional dieter my whole life…up and down on the scale…oy! Last year, I switched to a "Primal" or "Real Whole Foods" way of life, and I think I've finally figured out the meaning of life. That may be an exaggeration, but I feel like a new person. I eat real. whole. foods…anything I want. I don't count calories, as long as I keep it real and stay away from all processed foods, the weight comes off and stays off. I did kick up my water consumption…100oz a day. I stay away from refined sugars and grains and have tons of recipes to cure my nightly sweet tooth. I don't go to the gym, and I really should kick up my cardio, but I do tons of yard work and house work every day…hey, it all adds up. 🙂 Taking charge of your life can be so liberating…2014 was my year. Good luck, Monica…you can do it!

  3. Anonymous
    January 6, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    Sending you positive vibes and determination to help you on this journey. I know you're going to do amazing!I just had a "let's get real" talk with myself to ring in the New Year and while working on my goal setting, I came across this mini-book. If you have a couple of minutes it's a quick read and really helped me to get my mind right.http://sparkpeople.com/10

  4. Mari Corona
    January 6, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Happy New Year and best of luck on your goals!

  5. Anonymous
    January 7, 2015 / 12:39 am

    Love this blog post! Love your honesty. I've had a terrible year for weight loss or should I say weight gain… can't wait to see how you go.

  6. Becky
    January 10, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    I hope my comments do not post twice, but my previous comment seemed to disappear. First, I wanted to say that I found you through your tutorial on staining cabinets. I can't wait to try it out on something.Second, I admire your desire to get healthier and wanted to suggest the method I primarily used. It's Trim Healthy Mama: http://www.trimhealthymama.com/. I've lost 162 lbs, and slightly more than 2/3rds of that loss has been since utilizing THM. I did stall during the second half of 2014 due to some incredibly stressful events, but while maintaining the basic eating principles, I managed to maintain the weight loss even without being able to continue what had become my regular exercise schedule. It does take some getting used to, there is a learning curve, but once you have it down, it's really easy. If this comment links to my (sadly neglected) blog you can see the before and after pictures of me.I know that everyone is different, but I thought I'd throw this out for your consideration.I wish you much success!!

  7. Aimee | Irresistible Icing
    January 24, 2015 / 5:10 pm

    Monica,I recently discovered your blog and I am so happy that I did. As I sat here reading this post, I felt like I could have written this myself. I've struggled with weight my entire life. I lost a ton right before my wedding in 2010 and felt beautiful . . .probably for the first time ever! I fell into a deep depression after my wedding and gained it all back and then some. I've been on an ongoing weight loss journey and have learned so much but still have my days where I'm struggling. It's a journey but it is doable as long as you want it bad enough. I'm loving ALL of your posts, your style, and your story. I hope we can chat more! You are a beautiful girl and believe me when I say that you CAN do this. It's a daily decision and choice and some days are easier than others. I'm cheering you on!!

  8. Flyover Pilgrim
    March 10, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Hi, Monica. I found your blog through pinterest.I came to the comments to suggest you look at Trim Healthy Mama for your health goals…and I see it was suggested already by Becky in January.Let me tell you, I was at the end of the proverbial rope, and somehow found THM in January. I don't remember how I came across it. Anyway, I have been following it (NOT perfectly) since January, and have lost 19 pounds. My husband is on the boat, too, since he sees what it's done for me.I am 58 years old, and have had chronic pain for decades. After stopping the sugar, flour, processed 'foods,' my knees do not hurt, my chronic pain is gone, the brain fog has lifted, and for the first time in my life I truly believe I can reach my health goals. You are so much younger than me, I KNOW you can find your goals fulfilled by following THM. Try it, please.Best regards, FP.