I was an athletic teenager growing up and unfortunately. like many before me, I took up smoking as a means to “relieve stress” when I was 18. I gradually went from a casual smoker to a heavy smoker who smoked up to a pack a day. Ironically, I still enjoyed being active, however, my bad habit eventually caught up to me. When I turned 25, my metabolism slowed down, my endurance started fading and I started packing on the pounds. At my heaviest I weighed 198 pounds and it became clear to me I had to quit smoking and start treating my body with some respect. I was lethargic, overweight and unhealthy. In late December 2013, I caught a bad flu which left me bed-ridden for a few days. It was during this period I thought it would be an opportune time to quit. However, after getting back on my feet, I attended a New Year’s Eve party only to find myself caving into smoking after a three-day hiatus. Big mistake.

January 1st, 2014, was the worst hangover I had ever experienced and I attributed it to smoking 100%. I officially quit that New Year’s Day and have not looked back! I have my lungs back and I’m full of energy!

I came to Bodies by Design through a strong referral, who told me their training was second-to-none. What I needed was a kick-start to my new lifestyle as a non-smoker. My first couple of weeks training with Jessie were tough on my body as I was not used to circuit training. As soon as the first inch came off I knew the painful planks and my diet plan were worth it! I have finally gained control of my body and I am motivated to train a little harder every day.


Monique during her 5K run!

One of my best friends had invited me to run the Harry Rosen 5k Spring Run-Off for Prostate Cancer in Toronto. It seemed like a tall order as I had just recently quit smoking and was fearful of chest pains and shortness of breath. I agreed, as I used to run with her competitively in high school. Then I joined BBD and with the added support of Kris and Jessie I knew I was committed to achieving my goal. I ran the 5k in just over 35 minutes, despite having my tights falling off underneath my track pants throughout the run! It was an incredible run and after finishing I only regretted not training for the 8k instead because I
now know I could do it!

I feel empowered every time I am able to simply inhale and exhale deeply and push through my exercise. Whether it’s a push up or a plank, I now feel empowered by simply using my lungs to their fullest! As a smoker, I wasn’t able to take a deep breath and was constantly burdened by smoker’s cough. Now I have a stronger mind and body and a healthier immune system.

My next goal is to concentrate on my upper body strength and be able to do 25 pushups. I am getting married in the fall and I want to look lean and mean in my wedding dress! My advice to others is to read about nutrition and what you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you are armed with knowledge, your mind leads and the body follows. Take your training seriously as the first month will be tough. Stretching works wonders! Once you start seeing results, you will believe in your commitment and be more likely to continue for life!

Monique M

Client Special Achievement.