Wife, Mother, Grandma, First In Family: Monica Lillibridge


I believe you have to really want something for it to stick. I want to look a certain way and feel a certain way and nutrition is the answer, for sure. That's why I chose First In. I could see that FIN wasn't just another lose weight in 12 weeks kind of plan. It was about leading a healthy life in every aspect. ”

Tell us a little bit about yourself... ​

I am Monica Lillibridge, from Missouri.

My daily is working for a general contractor who  I have  been fortunate enough to be with for over 25 years.

My husband and I have been married for 28 years with one daughter and  two cute grands.

Currently we reside with a quirk husky named Zelda  and a geriatric,  OCD Border Collie named Jon. 

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

In the past I had worked with other nutrition companies and had good results but was not in a good place mentally with food.  I let some of my progress slip away and sort of “forgot what I knew”.

I knew Joshua Citron from working with a previous company.  He had a few social media posts about  First In Nutrition.

One click led to another and I could see that the coaches for First In Nutrition weren’t just churning out precut meal plans, or macro numbers like some other companies.

Also, you could see that these were all people who were actually living the very lifestyle they were helping others to do.

I liked that and decided to jump in. 

Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.

As I mentioned earlier, I was already familiar with tracking food and had good results, but after a couple of years I let those results slip away from me.

I am a very driven person who doesn’t believe in motivation. That never truly lasts in my opinion.

I believe you have to really want something for it to stick.  I want to look a certain way and feel a certain way and nutrition is the answer, for sure.

For me losing weight is not the hard part, gaining muscle and body composition is the hard part.

That’s why I chose First In.

I could see that FIN wasn’t just another lose weight in 12 weeks kind of plan. It was about leading a healthy life in every aspect. 

What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?

Being at the age where menopause was starting to kick in, I looked around and listened to female friends and other gym members exercising every day, restricting food in unhealthy ways, but not seeing results.

Constantly being tired and feeling weaker no matter how much I exercised, the fatigue was terrible.

Not enough sleep and when it did come, it wasn’t quality sleep. Not recovering well from my training.

A touch of depression and a small dose of anxiety over things I had no control.

I didn’t want to just say “Well, I’m middle aged. This is just how things are.”  I heard that from so many people.

I needed to get myself together, for good, for forever. 

What was the journey like and what changes did you make?

I started changing my own vocabulary regarding foods.

No more vilifying foods as “dirty” or as a  “cheat meal”. There’s no such thing. There’s just food. No foods are off limits.

During this journey, I have also found other areas of my life that needed improvement.

I train less and am looking better than when I trained twice a day. This correlated to more free time to spend enjoying other areas. 

How do you feel after making those changes?

The physical changes I have experienced include much better body composition.  Strength and recovery are markedly improved as I am eating in a consistent manner to fuel my training and my recovery.

This has all translated into other areas of my life.

I just feel happier daily now!

It’s amazing how much being in control of your nutrition sets you up for success in other areas. It’s a mindset shift that carries over. 

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

Honestly, my immediate family says very little about my transformation.

I wouldn’t say they don’t notice. I can tell that they do, but they just don’t comment.

Some of them still don’t understand how it works and I think it makes some people uncomfortable with their own choices.

I get some questions from time to time which I am more than happy to answer.

If any of them decided to take the plunge and join, it would thrill me.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

I love to workout and look forward to it daily.

I currently do the majority of  my training  in my own little home gym every morning at 4:45 a.m., mixing up power lifting with some hypertrophy and interval training. 

What does being First In mean to you?

There are so many first responders, fire fighters, and military members in the group. I am in awe of these people and inspired by what they do daily.

To me being First In means no backing down,  doing what needs to be done.

That’s what they do every day.

I try to be my own version of First In by showing up and doing the work every day regarding my own nutrition and training which makes me fit to be a better wife, employee, etc. 

What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?

I was already familiar with weighing and tracking since I had previous experience with that, so that part wasn’t foreign to me, but I know people do struggle with this as it can be new and scary  territory.

The coaches and First In Family are always there to answer questions and help out.  

Absolutely not finished!

When you think you are finished  is when you stop improving.

I like to always have a goal on the horizon, something to work towards.

At present I have a few weights I’m training to hit  on deadlifts and bench press before the end of the year and I am getting back into running with possibly a  1/2 marathon in the future. 

What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?

1. Put your trust in your coach. They know what they are doing.

2. Meal prep is key. Batch prep as much as you can one day per week so you won’t find yourself hungry.

3. Don’t listen to negativity. Don’t entertain it for a split second from your family, friends, or yourself. Being negative does zero good.

4. You may feel like this is hard when you start. Change doesn’t happen without some level of discomfort and change is what you are seeking, right? Stick with it!

5. Take time for yourself.  Walking, reading, napping, yoga, pampering. Treat your body well and it will reward you. 


Any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

One thing I always say about every choice in life is “As long as it was worth it.”

For me, this decision has been more than worth it!

Taking care of your health is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.

Invest in yourself and the returns will be obvious.


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    Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.