Fitness and wellness coach Monica Jones’s perfect day in DC

In DC Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.

Movement is Monica Jones‘s healing modality. The DC-based fitness and wellness coach battled ADHD, body dysmorphia and acute bulimia in her teens and early 20s. She recounts telling her mother and sister what she was going through and the shame she felt: “I stopped hurting myself with poor dialogue, and eventually I was able to put an end to purging within the next four years,” she says.

Movement gave her a reason to take care of her body so that she could perform better. “It really became a habit to celebrate my body, and it helped me to continue to show up and share my experience with my clients and online,” she says.

Her healing journey has fueled her pursuit to see communities of color, especially women, live well. “I learned in my own journey that fitting in or fighting to be accepted would never be as rewarding or impactful as creating and nurturing these spaces of our own,” she says.

After years of coaching classes at gyms throughout the city, she started her own website in 2020, where clients can book sessions as well as register for Hustle and Flo, an eight-week course that takes into account a woman’s unique biological makeup — menstrual cycles, hormone fluctuations, cravings and energy levels. The curriculum was constructed from her experience with premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

“I became a trainer because there has been a lot of discrimination and gatekeeping in the wellness space from minorities, and it’s drastically affected the health of our families,” says Jones, who also teaches weekly classes at Urban Boxing Navy Yard. “I knew if I learned, I could help my family and community improve.” She’s also an Under Armor athlete who is often featured in the company’s global marketing campaigns, and has had brand partnerships with PopSugar and Ouidad.

It’s no surprise that the Navy Yard resident’s commitment to wellness extends into her ideal day in DC, which is largely spent working out and training with her boyfriend, LaCadre Howard, who happens to be her boxing coach.

I love Monday because it feels like a new opportunity. I feel like we can create opportunity at any point in time, but I like turning people’s mind-sets around about Mondays. It’s about embracing our own pace — Monday is a great opportunity to disrupt societal norms and do that for ourselves.

Ideally, I wake up at 6 am and go outside for a walk. I moved to Navy Yard specifically because I wanted to be in a very walkable neighborhood. I would walk either toward the Capitol or down to Yards Park on the Anacostia River. Taking a walk has been huge for my mental health. After the walk, I would stop by Somewhere and get myself a decaf latte with oat milk. Then I would head back home and make breakfast. I’d have egg whites and oatmeal with sunflower seed butter or maple syrup.

Then I usually like to work out around 9 or 10 am, so I would go over to Urban Boxing to hit the bag, or I might pop over to boombox because I know both of the owners over there. Typically, I would stay at the gym for 45 to 90 minutes because sometimes I’ll do a mixture of my boxing, lifting and conditioning. Post-workout, I would come back home and create some content for Instagram, blog posts or develop a podcast episode. Then I would get another meal in me before another workout. I like doing MightyMeals; it’s a meal pre subscription service. The meal would be either chicken or salmon, sweet potato, brown rice and some sort of veggie. Next, I would head over to MADAbolic on H Street and do whatever workout I didn’t do in the morning, so either a lift or I would box with my boyfriend.

Then I would head to the Whole Foods on H Street, take any client calls and help people set up their training plans for the following week. Next, my boyfriend and I would head to Swahili Villageand I’d order grilled goat, kachumbari salad and chapati flatbread.

After, my boyfriend would drop me off at Lydia on H and I’d have drinks with my girlfriends. when RedRocks on H Street shut down, I was heartbroken, so Lydia has become my new RedRocks. I would order a black leaf martini. Then we’d find another spot on the @jointheMvemnt app with great music, and that’s how I would end my day.