Work, children, relationships…life happens. For many of us, we run around and around taking care of so much…except one of the most important things of all – our health.
BlackDoctor.org has had the pleasure of interviewing September’s Fit & Fabulous winner, Monica Miller, who once found herself caught up in that same unhealthy cycle that so many of us face today, but found a way to finally break free in the best way possible – one day at a time.
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BDO: Well first, congratulations on being September’s Fit & Fabulous winner!
MM: Thank you for the opportunity! I’m very excited about this!
BDO: So, you look great, and I’m curious about how your health journey began.
MM: Well, a few different things happened around the same time. First, I had a health screening, which was required by my insurance. Prior to this, I’d suddenly been feeling lightheaded and shaky. I found out that I was prediabetic, and that my overall health needed improvement. My doctor asked me to describe what I’d had for breakfast that morning. I’d had a blueberry muffin and some orange juice. My doctor sat me down and talked to me about my health. She was the first doctor to have an honest discussion with me about my health and my weight.
The second part of this is that I was the matron of honor at my sister’s wedding. I barely fit the dress. As a result of all this, I had a little breakdown.
I have high blood pressure and diabetes in my family, and I had to admit to myself that I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
I ended up having a conversation with my husband. We’re very good at communicating with each other, and he’s the sort of person to always to tell me that he thinks I look beautiful, and I’m fine the way I am. But during this talk, he essentially said if you’re not happy, then change what you don’t like. I knew he was right.
All of these things helped give me the push I needed.
BDO: When did you first start your health journey?
MM: I started in June of 2011, and have been going strong ever since. I actually posted my one year anniversary on a great fitness app called My Fitness Pal.
BDO: How did you get started?
MM: One of the biggest problems I had to tackle was that I had a big sweet tooth. It was nothing for me to grab a latte and a blueberry streusel muffin for breakfast.
While I was deciding to change my health habits, I coincidentally found My Fitness Pal. I swear by it because you can log calories, it’s extremely accurate, and it has a huge database. I logged everything I ate, my goals, everything. On that first day of logging my food, by lunchtime, I only had 200 calories left in the day. My first thought was “OMG!” I was in shock by how much I was eating.
BDO: So, it was pretty difficult in the beginning?
MM: It was extremely tough when I first started, and I kept thinking about all of the things I couldn’t eat. Then I discovered that, if I exercised, I could earn extra calories. So that was an incentive. I already had a gym membership – I just wasn’t using it. I started by walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes a day, twice a week. By the end of that, I was exhausted. Next week, I worked out for three days. Eventually, I felt so much better when I got done. Then, I started taking classes, such as a Power class, which is a circuit strength training class with weights. There were all sorts of people of different sizes, so I felt very comfortable. I tried other classes, and found that I really enjoyed doing Zumba.
Now I feel like it’s a treat to go to the gym. I put it on my calendar, like an appointment.