|Can you believe this is the same person? Monique's transformation only took a year.|
"Honestly look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe and ask yourself, 'Is this my best me? Is this really who I am? Is this what I want to look and feel like for the next 40 years?' If not, stop with the lame-ass excuses and do something."At 40licious, we love stories of personal transformation. Today we're thrilled to have a Q & A with Chicago-based TV and radio host Monique Caradine about her 40licious physical reinvention. You can see more pictures here.
What was it about turning 40 that made you want to transform?
By the time a woman turns 40, she’s what I call a real “grown-ass woman.” At that point, she deserves to be her most confident, most adventurous, most secure, most successful, most sexy and most satisfied. Enough with settling for less. This is the time of your life where you need to feel free to be your best self. In my opinion, it’s when life really begins! Unfortunately I’ve seen too many women view this age as the beginning of the end. They see themselves as “middle-aged” and begin to buy in to all the negative connotations that come with that.
Yes it’s middle age, but I asked myself at 38, when I was headed down the fat road, “is this really the way I want to go into the next half of my life? I started to feel myself slipping into middle-aged mediocrity and I didn’t like it. So I decided that at 40, I wanted to be my healthiest, most energetic, most beautiful ever in every way. I simply refused to just accept the idea of “letting myself go” like so many others. More than that, I wanted to be an example to other women of what 40 can really look like!!! At 40, I wanted to walk into a room and OWN it. Thanks to a lot of hard work I do!! I also own the playground. I can also play basketball, skateboard, run and hang out with my son and nephews. That’s the way life should be!
What was the hardest part about getting into shape?
The hardest part about getting into shape was committing to it. I worked with an amazing trainer who was committed to helping me, but when we first started working out, I came to it half-assed. He basically told me to stop wasting his time if I wasn’t going to go full throttle. So I made the commitment. I worked with him twice a week including on Saturday mornings at 7 am (WTH!!). Now you know there were Saturdays when I cussed him from sun up to sun down because I didn’t want to do it, but I did. It was hard because I swear, he trained me like a pro-football player. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff he made me do. I would literally break down in tears because I thought it was too hard. Then, I would think about my husband, son and my future. I could either keep going down the fat-ass road or get healthy and feel great every day and look good too. I chose the latter and kept working.
Most of my life, stuff has come easy to me. I’ve been known to quit when stuff gets hard. When it came to getting in shape, this was one of the hardest things I’ve done and stuck with even though it was hard as hell. Now, I can bench press almost 100 lbs. I am so fierce!!
A lot of women in their 40s have so many competing interests, such as families and careers. How can they make time to do what you did?
Working out became a part of my schedule, just like other important meetings or appointments. I just refused to miss a workout. On workout days, I would just tailor my day so that I would have no excuse to miss it. Even my clients understood that Thursday was a workout day! That strategy worked. The key is planning ahead and sticking to the plan. I also was fortunate that my husband was extremely supportive. He saw my commitment and he saw my results and gave me the freedom to do what I had to do.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to get into shape after 40?
Honestly look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe and ask yourself, “Is this my best me? Is this really who I am? Is this what I want to look and feel like for the next 40 years?” If not, stop with the lame-ass excuses and do something. Regain control. Just because you are 40+ does not mean you have to join the frumpy-and-dumpy club. Commitment is the key. Start by being active everyday, whether it’s jumping jacks, squats, doing the treadmill with 5-pound weights in hand. Just do something. Also, a trainer or accountability partner is helpful as well. They’ll challenge you and push you beyond your boundaries.
What's the best part of being 40 for you?
Freedom from insecurity! I’m a grown-ass woman so I don’t sweat the insignificant stuff that creeps into my thoughts or my life. I have a millionaire mindset. I feel good in my skin and I embrace my imperfections. I am in love with me and I thank God for every aspect of my journey. At 40 I am bold, fearless and fabulous!