Since I was a kid, I had always been fat. During my teens, not only did I grow in height, I also grew in width. Looking through my childhood photos, I grew bigger every year. I was very spoiled with hearty meals and junk food because my mom would always buy me boxes of chocolate milk and other sugary treats and I would eat them all up in a week or less.
When I was in grade school, I was 160 lbs. And I was just 8! I had to wear adult size clothes and my school uniform were always custom made because even the largest size the school had wouldn’t fit me. So I grew accustomed to those yearly visits to the tailors and to those shopping sprees in the men’s section for clothes. I had no idea that I was unhealthy. All I knew was that I loved food and I would eat as much as I can.
When high school came, I grew even heavier. In my sophomore year, I weighed 280 lbs with 51% body fat and a waist line of 56 inches—I was just 15 years old. I was so heavy that the scale would literally go back to 0 every single time I would step on it. It was a wakeup call—I decided that I need to change my lifestyle if I want to live longer.
Gone were the days when I could finish a box of pizza, 2 servings of lasagna, a bag of Lays, and a liter of DIET Coke on one seating. I crash dieted (though I don’t recommend such) for 4 months and I lost 80 pounds in an instant. Due to the sudden loss of weight, I had extra skin almost everywhere. I stopped the diet when the school started. With that, I also began to eat properly. I spent hours researching what to eat and watching documentaries on food. I counted the calories and watched what I ate; checking the nutrition facts at the back of food packets and cartons became my thing.
However, I became very strict with my diet to the point I had bulimic tendencies. I would binge eat on my favorite meals and later on feel guilty about it. Sometimes, the guilt was too much that I would end up throwing it all up. I then figured out that I need an outlet, a distraction – that’s when running became my passion. I would run for 1 hour every day after school. It became the highlight of my day since I always looked forward to it. It made me happy, plus it ended my bulimic tendencies. I eventually lost 50 pounds in 4 months.
Today, I am 19 years old weighing 150 pounds with 33% body fat. I am now focusing on building muscle in order to decrease my body fat mass. I have weight trainings 4 days a week and do 2 cardio sessions in any of those days. I still count my calories and keep a food diary at hand. I’ll admit, I’m still strict with my diet but I have 1 day wherein I would indulge and eat my favorite food such as ice cream and cereals. And for once in my life, I fit into to a size small or even extra small.
Weight Loss Lessons and Tips
1. Everything is entirely up to YOU – You are in control of what outcome you want
2. There would be setbacks – Don’t expect things to be perfect or things to workout according to plan.
3. Aim for success and nothing less
4. Count your calories or if you think it’s too time consuming, at least control your portions!
5. Read the food labels and the list of ingredients – My rule when it comes to the list of ingredients is that the longer it is, the more processed it is. When the list becomes a chemistry exam, drop the item and find a better one.
6. Stay away from hydrogenated vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, and saturated fat.
7. It’s okay to a have a cheat day – Just don’t turn it into a cheat weekend, a cheat week, or even a cheat month
8. Calories in < Calories out
9. Drink plenty of water – I recommend drinking about a gallon or more
10. Feel like giving up? Remember why you started. Don’t throw away the progress you’ve made and go back to square one.
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