Before and After: Monique

by TrainerMomma on August 25, 2011

Meet Monique.  She’s turned around her health, her confidence, and lifestyle.

beforeandafter Monique

BEFORE: Monique

Name: Monique Kamosi
Age: 24
Height: 5’8″
Total lbs lost: 77
How long did it take you to lose the weight? 2 years (with a pregnancy thrown in the middle!)
How long have you kept it off? I’m still in the process of losing, I have about 10-15 more pounds to go.

The Weight Gain
I was always unhappy with my weight, but I gained a lot in college and even more after I got married. I think I just didn’t really know how to change, and I often turned to food for emotional support. I ate too much of the wrong foods and I wasn’t very active. I also think I didn’t believe I could really ever lose weight, so I didn’t give it much effort.

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AFTER: Monique

The Turning Point
I weighed the heaviest I ever had in my life on my wedding day in December 2007, and I hated hated hated my wedding pictures. You’d think that would have been enough, but no!  I went on to gain nearly 20 more pounds before I finally told myself “ENOUGH!!” I was unhappy with myself, my husband wasn’t exactly thrilled with my extra weight, and when I finally accepted that it was up to ME to make the necessary changes, everything just kinda fell into place. We joined a gym and I lost 30 pounds before I became pregnant with our son. Those 6 months were a huge turning point in my life, and my pregnancy went incredibly well. I only gained about 13 pounds and I lost it all by the time my son was a week old. I realized that I never, ever wanted to go back and that I was going to be the most important influence in my son’s life. I wanted to give him a healthy mom and the healthiest start on life possible. So once I got the clearance from my doctor, I started exercising again and continued to eat well. Since he was born I’ve lost over 60 pounds and my lifestyle has changed completely.

The Food
I don’t eat dairy because it caused my son digestive problems during breastfeeding, and I’ve found that my body just functions better without it. I also eat meat very sparingly (I’ve gone on several vegan stints, and I’m not ruling it out as a future possibility), and I try to avoid sugar most all of the time.

An ideal day with look something like this:

Breakfast: A quart of green smoothie, a scrambled egg in a whole wheat tortilla, oatmeal with almond milk, banana & dried cherries, or homemade granola. When I’m in a big hurry I’ll eat Cheerios or Kashi GoLean with almond milk.

Lunch: A big salad made from an entire head of romaine, plus a can of tuna, a chopped fugi apple, 2-3 fresh chopped chives, and rice vinegar sprinkled on as ‘dressing’ (I eat lots of other kinds of salads too, but this one is my current fave).   Sometimes I’ll make a pita wrap with homemade hummus and tons of vegetables or sometimes homemade veggie soup.

Dinner: White beans and short grain brown rice with pesto sauce and veggies (like roasted asparagus or roasted brussels sprouts), a small piece of fish with several cups of steamed/roasted/sauteed vegetables, or vegetarian tacos. These are just a few examples, but dinner always includes a lot of veggies.

Snacks: 1 whole wheat tortilla w/ almond butter and an apple, a smoothie with garden of life raw protein powder + almond milk + banana + frozen mixed berries, veggies dipped in hummus, a piece of fruit, etc.

The Workout
I try to be active every day but Sunday. My favorite workouts are spin classes and yoga, but I’m trying to incorporate more weights and I want to start running more often. I also like to hike, swim, play tennis, and do home workout DVDs. An ideal week will include about 4 days of hard cardio, 2-3 days of weights, and yoga a few times.

The Challenges
Going to social events where there aren’t healthy options and still making good choices; exercising consistently (sometimes I’m hardcore, other times I find it’s a struggle to stay motivated, especially in the wintertime).

For the most part, it hasn’t been overwhelmingly challenging. I’m so much happier now, I truly never want to go back to my old lifestyle. Whenever I’m feeling a slump coming on I try to eat even better and go to the gym without thinking about it (before I have a chance to give myself excuses).  When I need a real boost, I look at my folder of ‘Before & After’ pics on my laptop.

Of course I have off days and off weeks like anyone else, but I’m in a totally different place now and I just can’t handle being unhealthy like I used to be for very long periods of time.

Tips
I really love sparkpeople.com for tracking food (I don’t do this much anymore, but it was essential for me in the beginning).  They offer a great community of support.

Keeping my thoughts centered around healthy things has been key for me.   I am constantly reading blogs and books on health & fitness to keep me motivated and learning new things.  I like reading fitness magazines at the bookstore sometimes for inspiration.

I’m a total planner – I love planning my workouts and meals in advance, and I love trying new recipes!

Making new friends who also lead healthy lifestyles has been a big help for me.  I keep a private health blog with some friends to help us motivate and encourage each other, and I also recently started my own fashion/fitness/food blog so that I can try to help others learn how to achieve a healthy lifestyle, too.

Lastly, two of my favorite health books that really pushed me in the right direction are The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Healthy at 100 by John Robbins.

The Rewards
Being able to look good in pretty much anything I want to wear! I have more confidence and more energy, my skin is clearer, my digestion is better, my husband is happier, and I’m proud to be setting a good example to my son of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. I love feeling like I’m worth the extra care I give my body — I’m a much better wife and mom when I feel like I’m at my best.

I also love the compliments. :)

Thanks Monique!  Find more Fit Momma Before and After stories here.

If you have your own Before and After story you’d like to share with TM readers, please free to email me and I’ll send you some questions to answer about your experience.

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{ 15 comments }

1 Brenda Espy August 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

Very inspiring, and you look fantastic!! Love the cute outfit!! Thanks for sharing.

2 heather August 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! You look great- you don’t look like you need to lose any more weight!

3 Ann August 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Damn girl! You look really really good!!! Yay for you! And how awesome that you are setting such a good example for your son!

4 Vennesa August 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Monique, I love that you lost the weight the right way- eating healthy food and exercising. Congratulations!!

5 TrainerMomma August 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Me too! These are the types of stories I love to pass on. No crazy fad diets, no pills, no shots, just healthy living.

6 Carrie August 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Good work, you look fabulous!

7 ErinK. August 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Wow! Is all I can really say. I can so relate to this. Great motivation. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

8 Stephanie August 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Awesome job Monique! You are so inspiring!

9 Kay August 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Inspiring story.

10 Cynthia August 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Just wondering how you feel about HAES?

11 Chelsea August 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I am right in the middle of a story very much like yours. You look amazing! Thank you for the inspiration for me to continue (it’s been a hard week).

12 Michelle Williams August 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thank you for the inspiration!!! I’m really needing some right now!

13 TrainerMomma August 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm

HAES (Health at Every Size) does have a great message. I like the idea of being at peace with our bodies and honoring them by treating them right. Heck yes. However, the fact that a healthy weight leads to a longer life and less health problems in the long run cannot be discounted. I’ve always maintained that weight loss is simply a side effect of healthy living. As women, weight loss is often our #1 goal (I’ve been there, done that). However, after living many years with these healthy habits I realize that there is soooo much more to appreciate than a number on the scale. Health is what I’m after. A healthy weight is part of that, which is why I do posts on that topic here on TM.

14 Sherise August 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Wow, what an amazing accomplishment. Way to go!

15 Vennesa August 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Good Luck Chelsea! I hope to see your success story on Trainer Momma as well!

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