The photo on the left was a photo of me possibly at my biggest. The photo on the right is a photo from Christmas 2014, when I weighed 128 pounds. Looking back, I didn’t think that I could lose weight, until motivation hit me hard. None of the whole process was easy. I have tried a few times before, failed, tried again, failed some more and tried again. Eventually my Body Mass Index had gone from “overweight” to “normal” and I became happy with the results.
Having to admit I needed to lose weight didn’t come easy. Though I started to outgrow my clothes and shopping become a frustration because I could never find anything to suit my body, I pushed them all aside. I thought other people’s opinions about my body were clearly invalid, until one day I realized they weren’t. That they were right.
Waking up and seeing an unhealthy version of myself in the mirror wasn’t what I looking forward to seeing everyday for the rest of my life. I certainly didn’t want to be one of those old people with a lot of illnesses because they didn’t take care of their bodies.
Whatever other people thought of my body, I couldn’t care less about them but it was my own opinion that hurt. It wasn’t only self-confidence that was lacking, I also struggled loving myself. Being in a circle of friends who were mostly fit and good looking also wasn’t helping. It was a little unfortunate that I had to reach 170 lbs before realizing that I had to change my eating habits, but I am glad I started. I decided to watch after what I eat, do some exercise and take good care of my body (because I only have one).
Losing weight isn’t as easy as A B C, but here are a few things that I kept in mind while I was at it:
1. Get started. No matter how long it may take, how hard it will be, and how much effort it would cost you, the most important thing here is that you get started. Decide that you no longer want to be in the same position you are in now for the next few years. Begin by asking yourself, “If not now, when?”
I started by cutting off sodas first, junk and fast food second, rice third, alcohol next, and last but not the least, anything that is processed. I didn’t wake up one day wanting to go to the gym. I hated the gym. I started by doing a 20 minute exercise at home. Mostly cardio, and nothing intense, but it helped me get started.
2. Do what works best for you. Not everything that works for others, might work for you, so it’s important to know what works best for your body. After all, you know it more than anyone else does. Do your research. Calculate your BMI. Know your blood type, your illnesses (if there’s any), and if there are certain types of food that you can’t eat. If possible, consult a doctor or a health professional. Do not be afraid to seek help from those who know better than you do. There are many diet plans out there, but it is definitely most important that you know what your own body needs to survive.
3. Think of it as a lifestyle, not a short-term plan. Forget diet. Eat healthy and make it a habit. Sure, you can cut off the junk food for a short while and maybe lose a few pounds, but when you’re right back at all the junk and processed food again, the chances are you’ll gain the pounds you were just beginning to lose. Do not be afraid of trying healthy food.
4. Keep yourself motivated. Sometimes it’s really hard to get the motivation you need when you are just starting. You might feel so enthusiastic for a few days, but lose interest the next few weeks. You won’t be able to realize the point of eating healthy and exercising, because the results aren’t visible YET. Be patient. It might take a weeks or months for you to be able to witness the result you’re waiting for to happen. But how will it happen if you give up right after you have just started? Wasted effort is just as bad as no effort at all. Whether it’s a pageant coming up, a breakup you’re going through, an insult from a relative, or Laboracay fast approaching, the important thing is that you keep yourself motivated.
One of the things that I do to keep myself motivated is that I Google pictures of a few women such as Miranda Kerr, Blake Lively, Candice Swanepoel, Vanessa Hudgens and make them my cellphone wallpaper. This way, it would always remind me what my goal is — that is to have a physically fit body.
5. Balance is key. Eating healthy does not mean saying goodbye to doughnuts, Cheetos and tequilas forever. I deprived myself of sweets for months. No chocolates, cakes, and sodas. Last Christmas, my uncle gave me several packs of imported chocolates, and since I was deprived of it and realized that I already reached my weight goal, I had a lot in one sitting. I had two doughnuts, ten mini chocolate bars and two peanut butter cups all at once. It was until then that I realized that I shouldn’t deprive myself of anything. The key here is balance. If I want a cupcake, I eat one. Not five.
6. Avoid skipping meals. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is to skip a meal, thinking that it will save them from consuming more calories. It is not advisable that you do this. It will only deprive you from food and cause you to consume twice (sometimes thrice) as much food because you starved yourself the last time you felt hungry.
In my case, I eat five times a day. Three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two light snacks in between. It always keeps me satisfied and full.
7. Prepare your own food. I always make time to prepare my own food and pack my own lunch to school. In this way, I know what my meal consists of. I bring a small fruit with me most of the time, so when I am hungry, my food comes in handy. It also keeps me from buying food from fast food chains.
When going and eating out with friends, I opt to be careful when selecting and choosing food from the menu. For example, instead of the usual burger and fries, I go for the grilled vegetables on whole wheat ciabatta bread
8. Drink lots of water. Thirsty? Drink water. Hungry? Drink water. Bored? Drink water. Sleepy? Drink water. Help your body cleanse by drinking water. Not only will it help you cleanse your body, it will also help you feel full. The trick that I do is to drink a glass before every meal.
9. Get enough sleep. It is no secret that sleep is associated with health. It is important that you get enough hours of sleep, so your metabolism is in control. There are certain days when I am filled with homework that I stay up all night finishing them all. The tendency is that I feel groggy because I do not get enough hours of sleep. Due to this, I can’t perform my exercise routine well. Sleeping well helps your body function well.
10. Be proud of yourself and every step that you take. We all gotta start somewhere. Just because you can’t see the results of your hard work, doesn’t mean that they’re not paying off. Do not give up. I did not lose more than thirty pounds in one night. Remember that it’s a process, not something that gets done overnight. Do not get defeated by your impatience to see how your body will really change.
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