Monica Pen

Brand Communications/Co-Founder of KFKF Bakery

“Don’t complain about things you can change,” was a quote that changed my life in the summer of 2016.

What first began as a positive mantra for fitness, morphed into a virus that took over every aspect of my life. I felt guilty for not making any effort to transform myself -- especially knowing how miserable I was from all the weight I gradually gained after high school.

Growing up as a young asian woman, it is generally accepted that your elders will inevitably comment on your weight. You’re not petite enough, not smart enough, not successful enough. And as if the societal pressure from the asian community didn’t already chip at my self esteem throughout the years, comparison through social media sure did. It was self inflicted bullying, digging a deeper hole where I was controlled by my insecurities.

After months of self pity and feeling depressed, I finally accepted my circumstances and the unhealthy image I had of myself. I tried being a cardio bunny for a few years, starved myself, binge ate, bought expensive waist trainers, fit-teas, and diet pills that promised instant results, instant happiness, and instant validation. However, It wasn’t until I began lifting weights did I actually see results; sculpting my body with weights transformed into finding passion for powerlifting and lifting heavy -- realizing that food is fuel and essential to getting stronger. I then became an athlete for KFKF and competed in a couple of exhilarating powerlifting competitions, testing my strength physically and mentally.

During this time, I also owned a small mom & pop donut shop called Class One Donuts. Despite growing up in a donut shop for sixteen years prior, I never truly appreciated being surrounded by donuts until a few years ago. Trust me when I say, I definitely took advantage of it! We started doing events with KFKF which led me to find a community of donut lovers like myself.

Through Kinda Fit Kinda Fat, I discovered an amazing, diverse and supportive community of people from all walks of life -- regardless of age, gender, color, or size.

The KFKF Tribe is inclusive and welcomes everyone, providing a safe space for you and I to do more than just pursue our personal fitness goals. For you and I to realize that at this very moment, we are enough.. And always have been. We are not solely defined by a number -- whether that number is on a scale or a clothing size.

It shouldn’t take an “after” photo for us to truly be happy with ourselves. Our journeys are unique; filled with nonlinear struggles and triumphs. ALL are significant and an integral part of who you are today. And the best part? That you are not alone. I’ve learned the hard way that external validation is only a temporary band-aid. True happiness and genuine fulfillment comes from within, from waking up every damn day and consciously choosing to strive for a better version of yourself.

With love and sprinkles,
Monica, CEO and co-founder of Kinda Fit Kinda Fat Bakery