Making a lifestyle change not just following a diet

Monica wasn’t always a person who loved eating healthy and exercising. It wasn’t until she was 42 years old that she found her real passion in life: running.

After having three kids in a span of eight years Monica couldn’t control her weight, let alone stay away from the countless snacks her young children were constantly eating. Those eating habits are what always killed a good diet for her, along with her lack of love for exercise.

“Exercising always felt like a chore. I used to watch my daughter run in her soccer games and I saw her joy for it and I just thought she was crazy!”

After countless failed attempts at sticking to a diet, Monica decided this time it would be different. On Jan. 2, 2012 she signed up for Weight Watchers. Little did she know this commitment would change her life forever.

Two months into her “lifestyle change” she had already shed ten pounds. Her rapid weight-loss kept her going back week after week and helped her stick to planning out her meals everyday. It was in her second month she found her passion for something she never expected: running.

Running was never a question for her. Monica never played sports as a kid so she never recalled even trying to run around. She knew if she wanted to lose weight and trim down her figure, exercise had to be involved. So her daughter at the age of 13 encouraged her to start.

“I love running. I always loved running so I wanted to help my mom love it too,” Megan Lord said.

Once Megan introduced her mom to a light jog it was inevitable that she would start to share this passion with her daughter. It wasn’t until summer though that the two participated in their first run together but that wasn’t the only one they did together.

Mom & Megan’s Race History

-July 4, 2012: Pitman Freedom 4 Mile Road Race in Pitman, NJ

-August 11, 2012: 5K Beach Run in Wildwood Crest, NJ

Besides the runs they did together, Monica also has ran by herself. She was selected to be one of the thousands who ran in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 5, 2013. The run was 10 miles long and she finished in 1 hour 49 minutes and 19 seconds and was extremely proud of it.

The whole reason she started this journey was to reach a goal weight (which she chose not to share). But, on Jan. 13, 2013 she reached that goal weight. Now she focuses on maintaining her weight and possible losing a bit more weight.

She said, “Even though I reached my goal I still want to keep up with it. This really is a lifestyle change not just a diet.”

I asked her for any advice to someone who thinks it’s impossible to lose the weight. Monica said, “I thought it was impossible, I’m 43 years old I thought changing my habits now was a lost cause. But with support from my family and friends I finally lost the weight that I’ve wanted to lose for so many years. I’m not an expert to be giving advice but I would say definitely add exercise if you want to succeed. All of my previous diets didn’t work but when I added in a run every morning before work that’s when the weight really started to come off.”

Monica’s journey is tracked below in a timeline created in dipity!


Take the Insanity Challenge

It is official I have taken an extreme challenge to get beach body ready. If you didn’t already guess it…I am taking the Insanity challenge. Insanity consists of a 60-day program where you work your entire body in ways you never expect you could. Personal trainer Shaun T is the inventor and person on the DVDs talking you through all of the movements.

The DVDs are priced at $119.85! That is extremely pricey especially on the college kid budget but luckily for me my brother bought the program.

I never believed in at home work outs simply because you easily can slack off and not do that. With the Insanity program you may not want to do it but taking a peek at all of the success stories is so much motivation to keep on going. Personally I just keep reassuring myself that 60 days isnt’ really that long and that it will totally be worth come July.

I would strongly recommend the Insanity program to anyone out there. It is a combination of cardio, conditioning, and of course strength. I love the program even though it kicks my butt everyday.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Yoga Inspired in Pitman NJ is perfect for any level of yoga


If you follow my twitter @healthyhabitsbk you would know I tried yoga for the first time this week. I was petrified of going and looking silly since I never practiced yoga before. But, I felt the completely opposite. Yoga not only is relaxing it is fun and really easy.

I found Yoga Inspired online. It’s a small studio in Pitman, NJ ran by Denise Ashcraft.

My first class I went to was called Evening Blend Yoga and the instructor was Malini Patel. She was excellent. It was really nice and comforting that she made sure the beginners, like myself, didn’t feel out of place or awkward doing different moves. She gave a great piece of advice, that was to listen to your body. If a movement hurts simply don’t do it! That made a huge different in knowing my limits in yoga.

I enjoyed the class so much I signed up for two weeks of unlimited classes. I signed up for my second class for today. It was called Sunday Reboot Yoga. I had to wake up early to go but it was so worth it. Taking a yoga class was such a great start to my day and I am so glad I did it. Today the instructor’s name was Laura Maron. She was also great at catering to the beginners strength as well as the more advanced students in the practice.

I would strongly recommend to try yoga at Yoga Inspired! The have plenty of classes to take at a variety of times. Yoga Inspired is featured in Pitman, NJ at 51 South Broad Street. It is in the old bank next to Guillermo’s Restaurant. I really enjoyed it and hope you do too.


Exercise: Zumba Fitness for Dummies

Exercising in front of people was never a thrilling thing for me. I prefer to exercise alone in my own home and maybe have a friend or two join. And I especially enjoy exercising when it involved dancing. Who doesn’t love to dance and burn a few calories at the same time? So, I went to my local GameStop and bought Zumba Fitness for Xbox Kinect. The one I bought was the original version. I bought this one because it was the cheaper out of the wide arrangement of fitness games.

Zumba Fitness for Xbox Kinect

Zumba was always something I wanted to try but felt weird busting a move with a group of older women that I didn’t know.

As soon as I got home I put it in the Xbox and started playing. The set up was easy and pretty much self-explanatory. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get started playing uploaded to Youtube by Howcast Tech & Gadgets.

When I was getting started I played a few of the tutorials. I would definitely recommend doing the tutorials. I feel like it helped me get a grasp for what a class would be like without having to do the full class. Then I attempted a full class and like the woman in the video said for every move you get perfect you get bonus points! Getting bonus points can always be a rewarding thing but the voice in the game encourages you to keep going by telling you just how great you’re doing! The game was a little hard to get the hang of and extremely exhausting. But, I felt like it was a great work out. I really enjoyed playing and with a group of people you know it can be even more fun!

Diane Villone said, “Zumba is a great exercise tool. I’m burning tons of calories and learning new dance moves while exercising!”

The Zumba website shows a 90-day challenge that I am thinking about trying. Although they tell you to use the Zumba Rush game I may just try it using the original Zumba Fitness game. The 90-day challenge involves playing the game for 90 days and also making healthier choices for meals. I am definitely going to give this a try and I will let you all know just how Zumba helped me in 90 days!

I hope you give Zumba Fitness a try!