Imelda Mongillo


At what point in your life did you decide “enough was enough”?  What prompted you to start on your fitness journey?

On my 46th Birthday in July of last year, I finally reached the point where I really hated the body I was in and wanted to feel great AND look great.  Enough was enough; I made a promise to figure out how to finally get healthy.  After going the gamut of Breast Cancer treatment during 2012 and the early part of 2013, I was left with a bloated body yet thankful for having my life and being able to see my children grow up.  At the same time, after not being able to taste and eat much during treatment, I lived with the mentality of “Living to eat” and that meant eating everything in sight.  I joined Body Construct November of 2015 and began training with Lori-Ann.  I fell in love with the boot camp program where we lifted weights or used body weights during an intense circuit workout for an hour.  It was hard keeping up but I felt energized by being at Body Construct, Lori-Ann’s hard-core motivation and the other women who worked out alongside me.  I felt since I was burning 600 – 1,000 calories a work out I could eat anything I wanted.  Wrong… although I stopped gaining weight I wasn’t losing any either.  Plus given the various medications I was on it was not going to be easy to lose weight.  I continued to consult with Lori-Ann and she finally said “You need to do the 90-day Challenge” she continued by saying, “If you stick to it, it will transform your life, it’s not an easy program but if you need the tools to know what to do this will be it.”  I couldn’t’ wait for Lori-Ann to begin the program in March of 2017.  I was sold on the 90-day challenge and was one of the first to sign up as soon as she opened the registration.

Do you have a particular food-based vice?  One which you find difficult to say no to?

My food-based vices are many.  I love to eat good food and drink wine.  From a food standpoint, pizza, burgers, fries and all desserts I find very difficult to say no to.  And the wine (or most alcohol) I find hard to just have one glass when hanging out with friends or family.

What inspired you to hire and work with Lori-Ann Marchese?

I had been a part of Body Construct and trained with Lori-Ann for a year and a half.  Over the course of that time I would consult with Lori-Ann on what I was doing wrong since I couldn’t lose the weight and have the few muscles I gained make an appearance, in other words I did not look toned.  I finally accepted what Lori-Ann always told me that it’s not all about how much you work out but what you put in your mouth.  I was definitely eating more than what I was burning in the workouts.  At the same time, I saw Lori-Ann go through her pregnancy journey and was inspired by her will power to eat healthy and her ability to continue to work out during those 9 months.  Lori-Ann shared she was going to repeat her 90 Day Challenge which she had last done in 2015.  She was going to start the challenge in March of 2017 after her baby was born and she received the green light from the doctor to work out.  Lori-Ann suggested this may do the trick for me, IF I was dedicated to the program and did not cheat.  The challenge, which you had to graduate to the next level every month would give me the tools to understand how to use food correctly, the type of foods to have and correct portion sizes.  And there was no alcohol what so ever in the plan.  Plus, Lori-Ann was going to do the program as well.  I was sold and ready to sign up!

Do you prefer group-based sessions or solo one-on-one sessions?  Why?

I have found Body Construct to be unique and a very special place for Women.  I am happy to say I am a BC girl for life.  I can’t see myself going back to a traditional gym or a one-on-one training session type program.  The workouts are challenging, it’s never the same thing and you know your body is getting the best workout possible.  The type of group based sessions at BC is something that I treasure and look forward to going to every time.  Plus, I am glad it is tailored to a women’s physique and it’s only for Women, that is something very special to me.

How would you describe your experiences so far with Lori-Ann?

My experience with Lori-Ann has been a journey.  I remember the first few days at Body Construct.  I was in love with her style and boot camp style programming right from the first trial session.  I fell so in love with the program that I signed up for a year right after the trial class and after we spoke for an hour.  She took the time to listen and respond to my concerns.  Even though I was going to be part of a group I knew she would take the time to listen to me as an individual.  Once I signed up it took me about 6 months to get my endurance up and feel like I could complete a class without crying or feeling like I wanted to throw up.  Ironically, I loved the challenge and Lori-Ann’s hard-core style of training.  She has instilled in us to not give up and stop complaining, only good things come from hard work.  She is very knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition and even some of the medical aspects given her dental hygienist background.  I completely trust Lori-Ann with my fitness and nutrition journey, it is only because of her and her programs that I have been able to transform my life.  I am grateful every day to the friend that referred Lori-Ann to me.  BC girl for life.

How has your life improved?

My life has improved tremendously.  I a new person, I am more fit than I was in my 30’s when I got married and weighed 115 lbs.  Not only did I lose 28 pounds, I gained muscle, I look toned and fit.  It’s a huge difference than just losing the pounds.  I feel strong, I look strong AND I am strong and most importantly I know I am healthy.  My doctors were all amazed at the transformation and they could see the change in my various blood levels.  I now have the tools I need to maintain this new me and eat for a healthy life.  I want to live to see my kids graduate college and see my grandkids.

What’s your favorite time of the day to exercise?

I prefer a morning workout.  However, if I can’t get into the gym in the morning I’ll do evening.  I will rearrange my schedule to make sure I get in at least 3 workouts with Body Construct and Lori-Ann a week.  I just recently started working full-time again.  I knew the workouts is not something I would give up, so you bet I’m up at 4:45 in the morning to make the 5:45 am workouts during the week!!

Do you have a favorite exercise?  One which you dislike the most?

I hate, hate, hate burpees… they are so exhausting and hard.  Plus given my breast cancer treatment it’s hard for me to do, I don’t do the push up but I still detest them.  I still push through and do them though as many as that workout demands.  Anything with squats are my favorite exercise, I can feel the burn in my thighs and I know my legs (and booty) are getting shaped.

What advice would you give anyone who may be contemplating a lifestyle change?

My advice to anyone wanting to make a lifestyle change is you have to want it bad enough and you have to want it for you.  You need to make a commitment to yourself and not listen to anyone else.  If the drive and dedication is not there for you, it won’t work.  I tried many times yet I wasn’t committed to me, I kept saying “oh, it’s ok if I cheat this one time”, “I’ll start tomorrow”, etc. I was only failing myself.  I felt disgusted and was willing to do anything, I mean anything to change.  I realized there are no shortcuts.  I gave up desserts, pizza, burgers, fries and the wine from March 17th until July 8th.  I initially missed it but was so proud I stayed with the program and now I a better person for it, inside and out.  You have to be committed to you!!

Publisher/CEO at Training & Fitness Magazine. Fitness, Fashion & Beauty Photographer with a perfectionist complex.

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