The Fluffy Little Editor That Could

Four months ago Zack Arnold contacted me with the idea for Fitness In Post, and I was so out of shape I barely made it to the meeting. It was my wake up call because the truth is, a lot of editors feel like crap and no one talks about it. I didn’t realize how bad I felt until Zack approached me about his fitness group. It was the kick in the head I needed. I was living a very sedentary lifestyle. With kids, long commutes, and working in dark rooms, I was exhausted by the time I would get home at night. I could not walk up a flight of stairs without panting, and I could not run at all. I felt as pathetic as it sounds. There is nothing comfortable about being out of shape, having no muscle tone, eating badly, fighting carpel tunnel pain in my wrists, having stress headaches all the time, exhaustion, and being easily susceptible to burnout. Also, I got sick all the time and barely saw sunlight. Oh, the life of an editor.


I had a really hard time my first month of the challenge group. I struggled with fatigue and trying to find time to exercise within my work and family schedule. My heart rate quickly shot up while walking at a slightly faster than normal speed. The first time that I did the Power 90 workout routine from Beachbody, I could not do any of the jumping jacks or hops. I could barely do the knee to hand leg raises for more than a few seconds. It was a huge wake up call to my low fitness level. I also had a sneaky IT band injury pop up due to weak leg muscles which made walking difficult at times. A couple of weeks after I started Power 90, I was able to get through the jumping jacks at a slow pace (Woohoo! Achievement Unlocked!). Soon after that, I got sick with a cold and could not do any workouts for an entire week (insert inappropriate language here). This was about the 4th week.


The first workout that I completed after being sick was the best workout that I had in a long time. I was full of energy and able to get through my Power 90 workouts without issue. The second month I was slowly getting stronger and able to do more Power 90 and treadmill workouts. I decided to improve my fitbit leaderboard stats and started walking in place for hours at a time when I would get home from work. I was doing better with my Power 90 workout, and I found that I was now burning less calories with each workout because my cardio level was improving. It was about this time that I felt strong enough to try the P90X3 workout program. My heart was a lot stronger and I wanted a bigger challenge.


Throughout June and July, I continued doing P90X3 six days a week, integrated interval running on a treadmill (increasing both my distance and speed over time), and kept pushing my upper body strength using a pull-up assist bar. In addition to the structured workouts, I did lots of walking in place during my spare moments. I use Shakeology every day and my diet has drastically improved. My energy levels have skyrocketed, my moods have improved and my headaches are gone. The pains I had from editing and bad posture are gone. My overall quality of life has improved and I feel like a different person. I am able to focus better while editing and get my work done faster with less stress. Gone is the grumpy editor that sits on my shoulders whispering snarky things in my ears! I worked my butt off to get to a healthier place, and I’m still working hard.


Now I am continuing my training to prepare for The Zombie Run Obstacle Course (yes, I said zombies), my very first Spartan Sprint, and the Star Wars 10K at Disneyland. When I commit to something, I go all in. I still have a ways to go before I can perform in these races at the level I would like, but I’m going to train hard and see what happens on race day.

So who’s coming with me to the Spartan Sprint in December!!!!!


I am an editor that works in television and independent features, and I am no exception to the perils of post-production. No sunlight, no exercise and lots of sitting and staring at screens for years was wrecking my body and mind until I finally decided to do something about it. I have never been very athletic but I do have a history of dance performance. I believe long-lasting change for myself can be achieved by taking my exercise and health one step at a time. I don't need to lift 200 lbs but I want to feel strong. I don't need to run a marathon but I want to be able to do an obstacle course like a big kid in a playground. I want to have energy and focus so I can edit like a ninja wearing sparkly glitter sneakers (there's a story behind that). I am part of Fitness in Post because I want to enjoy life and feel good about it and I have no intention of leaving my post production career and all of its challenges.

Comments 5

  1. Monica, if I may, I want to “borrow” your great phrase “kicked ass to kicking ass” for some challenges of my own. Congratulations on your great progress! Loved the blog.

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  3. Hey Monica-

    Wow, I’m so impressed and inspired by your story! Do you have any tips on how you fit it in your schedule? As an editor I work from 9am-10pm every day. I can’t exercise at night because then I can’t sleep, and I can’t get up any earlier and still get 7 hrs sleep with my commute. I’d love to hear how you managed your time. Thanks so much for your story!

  4. Great story Monica. Keep up the pace!
    We all suffer, but few have the courage to talk about it, no less, do something to change the rut.

  5. Very inspirational. It weird how you feel like your the only one experiencing something then you find out others are going through your struggle as well

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