A mom-of-one has revealing how losing 60 pounds has given her the strength and energy to juggle motherhood with a busy career.
English teacher Monique Rose, 25, from the Bronx, New York, used to weigh 195 pounds and wore a size 10-12.
She now weighs a svelte 135 pounds and fits into a tiny size 0, but has revealed her main motivation for slimming down wasn’t her looks.
Transformation: Monique Rose, 25, from the Bronx, New York now weighs 135 pounds (right) after losing 60 pounds, pictured left weighing 195 pounds
Motivation: The English teacher has revealed how being a better parent to her son, KJ, gave her the motivation to slim down to a size 0
Gym bunny: Monique says she used to avoid social situations because of how she looked before losing weight (left) but after she changed her mentality was able to take control
After recognizing her weight was holding her back from being the best parent she could be to her son KJ, now three, while also studying for her Masters’ program, Monique decided to make a change.
‘I juggled a busy and strenuous life as a graduate student, teacher, mother, and writer, feeling disappointed, depressed, and discouraged. I lost my confidence and my self-esteem gradually diminished,’ she explained.
‘I turned down girls’ nights and date nights. If I did go out, I sat and watched other woman happily enjoy life because I was feeding myself negative thoughts like, “I do not fit in.”‘
It was at this point in 2015 that Monique decided to take control of her health and fitness, and shared that she used social media as a tool to find out information from ‘fitness moguls’ she admired.
She went through phases of cutting out her favorite foods like oxtails, French fries, and cheese cake, and started using workout DVDs like p90x at home.
Monique also kept a log of her ‘weight loss journey’ by taking pictures of her body on her phone.
However, she struggled to stick to a plan and frequently reverted to ‘old habits’ saying she ‘constantly slacked off’.
By the time her son was seven months old, Monique had only lost 10 pounds and, unhappy with the result, she started researching nutrition and fitness properly.
‘The first step was getting past rehab stage,’ she recalled.
‘That’s the stage where I wrote a list of my unhealthy habits, pasted it on the wall, and fought temptations of doing them again.’
She then enrolled at her local Planet Fitness gym, but says she only ended up going once or twice a week.
It was actually only when she eventually started to engage in at-home exercises, replaced juice with water, and regulated her portions that she started to see some real change.
False start: Monique says she struggled to stay on track initially, losing only 10 pounds in the first seven months (left) but once she became ‘accountable’ was able to commit (right)
Rehab: Monique has come up with her own fitness and diet program called Mo’s Five Step Challenge and now offers advice to others
Slim fast: Monique says she lost five pounds in the first week of starting the program she designed, pictured left in 2015 and right, in 2017
Menu: She also drinks four and a half liters of water a day, consumes her last meal by 7pm, and replaces one meal per day with a vegetable juice
Energized: Monique says she now has more energy and confidence compared to when she was heavier, pictured left in 2015 and right in 2017
Monique felt herself become mentally stronger and started to maintain what she calls ‘Mo’s Five Step Challenge’, an online subscription service that offers nutritional advice, meal plans and workouts.
It entails drinking four and a half liters of water a day, consuming her last meal by 7pm, eliminating simple carbs from meals, replacing a meal with a natural vegetable or fruit juice and engaging in home workouts for 30 minutes a day.
‘I was astonished that I lost five pounds a week,’ said Monique.
‘My energy levels and confidence increased as my clothes size decreased. It wasn’t easy so I found creative ways to stay motivated and started to share them on my site’s blog.
To help her stay motivated, Monique also bought clothes in a smaller size and set a date for when she would fit into them.
She also held herself accountable by writing down her inconsistencies and unhealthy habits, and created social media pages dedicated to health and fitness, and revealed that she hopes these can help others struggling with their weight
‘I had to transform my mentality in order for my body to change. Mental strength gave me physical strength to persevere,’ she added.
Her passion now? ‘To help others achieve this goal of transforming their body by adjusting to a healthy lifestyle, without products, a gym, or medication.’