A recent pic! At my husband's Great Gatsby themed staff party, Jan 2014
At my best friend's wedding, Oct 2013
My furry babies (Dec 2013)
I have 50 pics in my gallery
I've Found That Precarious Balance!
It took me what felt like a lifetime (as a SparkPeople member since 2005) but my body has reached its happy place! Despite taking much longer to reach my goal weight than expected (it's been a moving target), I am a success story. It feels so good to say that! I've made so many changes and truly love the person I've become. Who ever thought that I, the slowest person in my high school P.E. class, would later guide people through training for half marathons? That the girl who used to walk to the ...
It took me what felt like a lifetime (as a SparkPeople member since 2005) but my body has reached its happy place! Despite taking much longer to reach my goal weight than expected (it's been a moving target), I am a success story. It feels so good to say that! I've made so many changes and truly love the person I've become. Who ever thought that I, the slowest person in my high school P.E. class, would later guide people through training for half marathons? That the girl who used to walk to the corner store with her friends for slurpees would end up learning so much about nutrition and taking such good care of herself? I've come a long way, baby!
While at one point I thought I'd like to get down to 145 lbs to see how it felt, I have finally realized that it isn't worth the emotional and mental battles: at 160 lbs, I'm happy, healthy, and balanced. I feel like I've graduated from an angsty struggling teenager into an adult who accepts and loves herself, without needing to be the skinniest girl on the block - just healthy, fit, whole, and balanced. And I am!
My weight loss was slow and halting, peaking just shy of 190 lbs in my teens and clumsily stumbling down over the past decade or so. I trained for months and ran my first half-marathon in June of 2008 and haven't looked back. I was down around 152 lbs in 2007 but moved and developed a more active social life, which eased my weight back up. I seem to balance fairly easily in the high 150's-low 160's. In the first half of 2012 (getting ready for my wedding), heavier weights helped change my body shape more than nutrition – a good reminder of how important it is to include strength training. After my wedding in Aug 2012, I bought a house, moved, and then went travelling for two months, and through all that I ended up back in the mid 160's, climbing back on the wagon (a few times) in 2013. My new commute kills two hours of my weekdays, meaning fitting in exercise is more challenging (although the yardwork, housekeeping, and improvements are all good clean hard work!) I told myself I'd get the bod I wanted, even if it took a little patience, and was surprised to discover over the past year or so that the bod I want is the one I have!
That's not to say I can put my feet up now... A healthy, balanced lifestyle is a continual process of climbing back onto that slippery proverbial wagon. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that giving up is never an option!
For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t known me for long, here’s my SparkPeople progress, from ancient history to present-day. It’s amazing to see so many years summed up in a few paragraphs!
*********** 2005 ***********
Joined SparkPeople at the beginning of my last year of university. Weighed 169 lbs, about 32% body fat. Went to the gym regularly and ate fairly well. Had been losing weight slowly since about 2001, discovered SparkPeople (which was a paid service back then!) and signed up in hopes of getting more motivated and losing the weight once and for all. Down to 160 lbs by the end of the year.
*********** 2006 ***********
Graduated from university. Travelled Europe for 3 months (Greece, Italy, Spain, France, UK). Moved back in with my parents in the suburbs (no sense paying rent while I’m abroad!) Broke up with loser boyfriend. Got my first “real job”. Got back together with loser boyfriend.
*********** 2007 ***********
Broke up with loser boyfriend for real. Got down to 152 lbs, my lowest weight ever. Found a great place to live with a great roommate, but gained some weight back, due to moving back into the city and leading a more “social” lifestyle. Led a team for a number of SparkPeople 5% Challenges. Started running. Ran three 10k races (Vancouver Sun Run 10k - my first real race! 1:10, Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k 1:09, and run-walk paced a friend through the New Balance Fall Classic 10k in 1:31). Rowed for eight weeks with my office team in a “corporate challenge” program. Started half marathon training! Finished the year around 163 lbs.
*********** 2008 ***********
Led my beloved team for a few more Spark 5% Challenges. Joined a half marathon training clinic at the Running Room: LOVED IT. Ran the Vancouver Sun Run 10k 2008 (1:10, with a cold), Scotiabank Half Marathon June 22, 2008 - my first half-marathon ever! (2:26), Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k Oct 13, 2008 (1:04:57), and New Balance Fall Classic Half Marathon Nov 16 2008 (2:15:32 YAY!) Started dating. Travelled to Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and all over Croatia. Lost my job due to economic crash. Enjoyed my time off. Weight stable in the upper 160’s.
*********** 2009 ***********
Got a new job. Participated in a couple half marathon training clinics, ran with the local run club. Raced Harry's Spring Run Off 8k March 8 2009 (45:37 - sweet!), Vancouver Sun Run 10k May 2009 (1:00:20 - so close to my under-an-hour goal!), Scotiabank Half Marathon June 28 2009 (2:06:58 - aiming for 2:10! WOO!), Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k Oct 11 2009 (57 and change - finally under an hour!), and Burnaby Lake Rubber Ducky Half Marathon Oct 18 2009 (with a bunch of friends for one girl’s birthday, 2:17 because a bunch of us got food poisoning at her party the night before!) Led my last 5% Challenge, although I keep in touch with many of those girls to this day. Joined eHarmony. Started dating the man who is now my husband. Did the West Coast Trail (a 7 day backcountry hiking trip) with four girlfriends. Spent two weeks in Peru, did the Inca Trail, spent a week around the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Weight still stable in the mid-to-upper 160’s.
*********** 2010 ***********
Moved out with my roommate and in with my boyfriend. LED / TAUGHT a half marathon training clinic at the Running Room. Trained for a sprint-distance triathlon (UBC Triathlon May 16), but was unable to participate because I came down with a mono-like illness about a month before, and was in bed for three weeks. I was just barely well enough to run alongside my boyfriend for part of the 10k portion of the triathlon he did. Ran Harry's Spring Run Off 8k March 7 (goal: under 45 mins; landed 44:27, a 5:34/km average!!!), Vancouver Sun Run 10k May 9 2010 (goal: pace my cousin through a 70-minute 10k - made it in 1:14), Scotiabank Half Marathon June 27 2010 (goal: 2 hours or bust! Bust. Bad cramps. 2:13. Not bad, considering all the training I missed being sick), Victoria Half Marathon 10/10/10 (goal: have fun. No real training plan. Finished in 2:24), and the Fall Classic 10k Nov 2010 (goal: pace Heather! Finished in 83 min.) Weight still kicking around in the mid-160’s.
*********** 2011 ***********
Down four pounds and close to 160 lbs by springtime. Got engaged in April and buckled down again with some good motivation. Ran the Vancouver Sun Run 10k in April with no real goal, finished in 61 min. Cruised into the 150's and a "Healthy" BMI in May! Led another half marathon training clinic in the spring; training hard and “fuelling properly” - eking back up into the low 160's by race day. Ran the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June (goal: have run, race hard, beat the voices in my head... maybe 2:05? Finished in 2:08:02, just a minute and four seconds slower than my PB. Worked hard!) Lost a few more pounds, down to 156 lbs when we left for three weeks in Austria & Germany in September... a zillion pastries later, I came home with no (real) weight gained: holding 157. Took a bit of time off from racing to focus on weight loss, so I couldn’t use "fuelling to support my training" as an excuse any more. Mixed in strength training again, including in the occasional P90X workout. Was totally consistent and rocked all autumn! Scale was stubborn, but measurements went down! New pants! Faced a few health blips in Nov, was sick for a week or two, but everything settled back down again. December brought low energy and a struggle to get back to my previous healthy habits... and perhaps enjoying the holidays a bit too much! :)
*********** 2012 ***********
Started off the year with determination! 158 lbs, starting a careful exercise plan and taking weekly steps with my diet. Diagnosed with a foot injury, eased back into running, but never ran more than casually, a couple of days a week. I focused on physio/rehab, P90X strength training a couple days a week, and running for fun. I ran the Vancouver Sun Run 10k mid-April (1:07:59!), then settled into a schedule of strength training (mostly P90X) and a higher-protein diet to try to shake things up, ticking down the months until my wedding. Heavy weights and more protein really made a difference in my appearance, even if the scale didn’t change quickly: I saw 153 lbs, almost matching my record-lowest weight! In late spring, my fiance and I tried "paleo/primal" eating for a few weeks. It wasn’t easy, and I still can't quite reconcile its "logic" with what western diet and medicine recommend (i.e. the opposite) but it was an interesting short-term experience with a surprising lack of sugar highs, crashes, and associated grouchy cranky moodiness, and I learned a few new tasty recipes! I’m now unafraid of avocados, coconut milk, and bacon, and don't eat cereal for breakfast every day. Summer was nutty, full of craziness and wedding preparations! By the end of summer, I was just trying to keep myself together. Stress levels were pretty high and I didn’t have much time for exercise. The wedding, end of August, was beautiful and perfect. The fall was busy with work, house-shopping, house-buying, packing, and moving; with little exercise, a couple of pounds crept back on. Then we were off on a proper honeymoon to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Hong Kong for Nov-Dec! I returned just in time for the Christmas holidays: 6-8 pounds heavier.
*********** 2013 ***********
Starting again, although not really from scratch. My starting weight is 165 lbs. I saw a specialist about my feet; after analysis, x-rays and an MRI, apparently my biomechanics are so bad (thanks, bunions) that I likely have a "subchondrial injury or fracture" in that joint. In both feet. Awesome. I very carefully did most of a beginner's learn-to-run program in order to ease back into running, and completed the Vancouver Sun Run April 21 in 1:15. My husband and I are still setting up our new home, and getting used to a new neighbourhood and new (much longer) commute to work. Everything is new and different, but I refuse to let excuses hold me back - it's all about priorities! Life changes, and balance must be achieved, but I won't let my health take a back seat. Unfortunately, injury struck again in late September, and my running was put on hiatus again. My weight, however, stayed absolutely steady all year in the low 160's, with easy balanced eating and admittedly little exercise. I began to wonder if there was really a problem with my weight, or if perhaps I just get fit again, that would do it for me. I think it would!
*********** 2014 ***********
Here I am! Finally satisfied with my weight, just wanting to get back into exercising regularly again. My body is strong, healthy, and balanced, and my heart is whole. Fitness will help me retain my vibrancy and sharpen me up! That's where I'm headed now.
| current weight: 162.6
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Fitness Minutes: 71,843
My immediate goal is get back into a regular fitness regime. While my "ideal" goal weight is somewhere in the 150's, I am happy with my current weight in the low 160's. I think I can FINALLY, after a decade, say I am satisfied and have reached my personal finish line. I'm there! I am proof that growing from a fat child into a fit adult is definitely possible!
I want to slim down, get into better shape and be more fit. I want to be capable of anything! I have some longer-term athletic goals: run a 10-k in under an hour (done!), complete a half marathon (done seven!), do a sprint triathlon at some point, join a rowing team again someday, and continue enjoying new activities. I want to be fit, toned, and svelte - permanently!
I trained for and ran a number of half marathons in the past seven years or so, but quit running (most) races in 2012. I still run but struggle with poor biomechanics (thanks, bunions) that make me injury prone. As there is no cure, just management, I have to take it easy on my feet, which means running moderately for the enjoyment of it and for general fitness, rather than to race. I also enjoy yoga and strength training and have in the past done P90X. I have free weights at home, plus an elliptical trainer and a road bike although I don't use either often. I do yoga once a week at my office. I try to drink lots of water, burn plenty of calories, and eat a proper diet with complete nutrition and an appropriate number of calories. Piece of cake, right?
My name is Monica; I'm a professional living in beautiful Vancouver, BC Canada. In the past I have been too content to push myself for long, even though I know a fair bit about nutrition and fitness. I still struggle with the complacence that plagued me in the past, but I love being active. I just need to do more of it, and eat a little less!
Thank you to my teammates who have never let me down: my chickens Martha and Rachele; Lori, Tiff, Miranda, and the rest of my beloved PDP; the old wagon crew; the girls in my running clinic; Julie, Adrian, my other "athlete-superheroes"; the ever-positive, ever-hilarious Grace; the other faithful friends I've picked up along the way, and of course my biggest cheerleader, my husband. You all mean the world to me!