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By - Monica

My Fitness Journey

I’m a firm believer that if you make one positive change in your life, other good changes will follow. Case in point: Since I started taking small steps to eat healthier, I found myself with a desire to become more invested in a healthier lifestyle. I needed to get in shape again after my pregnancy.

I started off by changing the junk I ate by trying to keep it all out of my shopping cart–can’t eat it if it’s not in the house! I started buying tons of fresh produce which in itself felt like an accomplishment. I went ahead and added multigrain bread into mine and my kids’ diets (since my hubby is a white bread kinda guy–he’s not making the switch!

I also swapped out white rice for brown and stopped buying red meat–we’re sticking with chicken and fish as much as possible. I only made small changes but started feeling the positive effects within one week!

I’ve been documenting most of my meals through SparkPeople.com so I know what I’m putting in my body and am conscious of what a normal calorie intake looks like. Within just a few weeks I stopped craving junk food, especially sweets.

I noticed I have more energy and am sleeping better, which are things that have been bothering me for months. These physical changes in my body led me to want to take it up a notch, so after almost 2 years of not exercising (bows head in shame), I went ahead and joined a gym!

I’m now in my late teens but suffer from Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis in my knees, so I also decided I’d rather exercise as an alternative to taking medication for pain management. The pills were working but making me groggy which I just didn’t enjoy. With the added energy from better food choices, it was the perfect time for me to start an exercise regimen and get stared at again at school…

Even though I don’t have an incredibly large amount of weight to lose, I am still overweight. At 5’0″ and 150lbs, my BMI is 29.3, only 0.7 away from being considered obese. To be in the “normal weight” range (18.5 – 24.9), I should weigh no more than 127lbs. The reliability of BMI is fading out however and supposedly Waist to Height ratio is a better indicator. My ratio is 65%, which anything over 58% is considered highly obese. Even though I don’t think I’m highly obese, according to this ratio, I should have a waist size of 29 inches. My goal is to be around 32″ so maybe it’s not THAT far off!

My Weight History:
In my mid-teens, I was always in the low 100′s– heck I was even 98lbs when I entered High School! I had a lean but muscular body, athletic type but didn’t play any sports. I could eat whatever I wanted with no repercussions–ate french fries in the school cafeteria every day for lunch–it was great! When I was 16ish, I went on the birth control pill to regulate my periods and within only a few months I gained 30lbs. Crazy! Ever since then, I’ve hovered around the 140′s.

Now I realized my weight gain and I decided to make the switch to healthier foods. Luckily, the way I’m eating now has helped me maintain that 150lbs and not gain but I refuse to accept this as my body! I have always carried my weight in my thighs and now after two pregnancies, I have a nice belly pooch to add to it all. I am not looking to get super skinny, but I at least want to look healthy and feel comfortable in a bathing suit, even if it IS a one piece! The only way to hide these legs is pants!

The Goal:
My plan is to incorporate my healthy eating with cardio and some strength training. I will be taking a few classes at the gym, mostly low impact because of the bad knees, use some of the machines and I plan to live on the elliptical since I don’t find it painful (like running or the treadmill) I want to workout at least 4x a week. I’ll watch my weight, my workouts and probably once a month I’ll check my measurements (arms, thighs, waist, etc.) since that might be a better indicator of any loss.

Start Date: Sept. 1 
Goal End Date: Dec. 9 (My birthday!)
Goal Weight: 125lbs
Goal BMI: 24.4 (Normal Weight)
Goal W2H Ratio: 53%