I once thought living life to the fullest meant incessantly eating the food that I wanted. And at first, yes, it was enjoyable. Drinking a lot of flavored sodas and eating unlimited rice was satisfying. Whenever I crave something to eat, I always gave in without any sense of portioning, control, or exercise – just full blast eating.
So there I was, age 24, always sweating, wearing a size XL shirt and 38 sized pair of pants. I was fat. Actually at 22o lbs with my height of 5’5, I was obese. I was extremely jealous of my fit friends and I was losing confidence with strangers, and worst, my friends.
This was when I realized I had to change my life. Last October, I started counting my calories. My friend, who had a similar weight loss journey, helped me out by giving me tips and such. Aside from that, I did my own research – finding out my own daily calorie intake (which apparently was around 2000 at that time) and how my much I needed to deduct for weight loss. I had a target of 140 lbs which was right for my age and height.
I had a big problem though. Being used to a sedentary lifestyle, I wanted to lose weight without doing any exercise. My friend and gym guru told me that that if I wanted a healthy body, I had to do it right and basically flush my whole sedentary lifestyle down the drain.
With his incessant persuasion, I started to exercise daily on a stationary bike (since we had one at home). I started with an hour of cycling everyday and carefully increasing my daily hours. On weekends, I would bike for 3 hours especially if I had nothing to do all day. It was a challenge at first but eventually my body became accustomed to the work that an hour of cycling became somewhat of a walk in the park.
The dieting, similar to exercise, was also quite difficult at first. I had to focus, resist urges, and be in constant control of my cravings. Though I ate frequently (5-6 times a day), I still counted my calories. I also had my cheat days too.
After two months, I went down from 220 lbs to 190 lbs. By the third month, people started to compliment my body. Some even asked if I was doing drugs or if I survived a disease. On the fourth month, the changes were extremely noticeable. My friends, upon seeing me immediately respond with the colossal “Ampayat mo na!!!” (You’re so thin!) or “Anong ngyare sayo!!” (What happened to you?) greetings. Needless to say, the validation made me feel good about myself and inspired me to continue with my weight loss journey.
By January, I was 150 lbs – 10 lbs shy of my target weight! Still a long way to go though as I want to build more muscle in the gym too. But the journey doesn’t end when I reach my target weight. Exercising regularly and eating healthy is now part of my lifestyle and it should be part of yours too.
WEIGHT LOSS TIPS
Arm yourself with knowledge. Do you research. Find out the basics of weight loss. There are also tons of forums out there you can join if ever you want to ask someone. Other sites would also be extremely helpful in your own single player diet campaign. Find out what will make you fat and avoid them at all costs. After doing your research, you’d know the things that will make you fat. Just avoid eating or drinking the following:
a. Anything FRIED. Frying significantly increases both calorie and fat content of food. This includes your favorite fried chicken meals.
b. Starchy Food. Potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potato. Gym guru taught me that these immediately become fat upon consumption.
c. High-sodium food. Well, sodium doesn’t really make you fat. It just retains water. You might’ve lost weight already but since your body retained water, you’ll stay the same weight in water.
d. Sugar. Excess sugars in the body that are not used in exercise become fat. So I find it better to stop consuming too much sugar. This does include refraining yourself in eating muffins, rice, or drinking Frappuccinos. You can have these during your cheat days.
e. Sodas. Similar to the item above. Sodas have a lot of sugar. I drink the zero calorie ones whenever I crave soda every now and then, but since it made me crave more food and slows down metabolism at the same time, I eventually added this on my foods-to-avoid list.
Make a list of what you eat daily or weekly. This allowed me to identify the meals that hindered me to lose weight.
Cut down calories when eating out– Be tactical when it comes to portioning. Whenever I have something that I really want to eat, let’s say a Big Mac, I immediately cut it in half and give the other half to a friend of mine. Whenever I’m at Starbucks, I order an iced skinny mocha (skinny drinks use nonfat milk), or my own blend of Iced Americano – 3 pumps of sugar free syrup (although it’s best to have it just plain black, I just can’t stand the bitterness hence the sugar-free syrup).
Have cheat days. We are human and we crave delicious food. This is perfectly normal. Once in a while, whenever I see freshly cooked Mcdonalds French fries on our table, I grab a handful of these and gobble these like a monster.
But don’t use it as an excuse. There are times I reason out too much by saying I deserve a fast food meal because I’m stressed or whatever. Do not give in to these justifications.
Mix it up. Keep your body guessing to avoid plateaus – change exercise patterns, slightly increase or decrease the amount of food that you eat. It may seem like a cat and mouse battle but if your body keeps on guessing on how much you’ll be eating or how much you’ll be exercising, it won’t be able to adapt to constant changes, and you’ll keep on losing weight.
Get enough sleep. If you want to lose weight fast, EXERCISE.
Enjoy the benefits of a good and healthy body. The best thing about embarking on this fitness journey is that I no longer get tired easily climbing the stairs or going on long walks. I also love the comments I hear about my improved body. But more than that, I love feeling healthy and being able to enjoy life more. Life is short, as they say, but with my new look and lifestyle, I feel I can make the best of it and indeed have a good and full life.
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