I was always the fat kid. While growing up, I always wanted to become a doctor, it was ironic that I didn’t particularly want to be fit and healthy. I always told myself that being fat is okay, and what’s important is that I’m enjoying my life.
Then one fateful afternoon in the summer of 2012, the weighing scale screamed a 260-lb reading. I was a nursing student then. Walking to and fro the hospital wards, and up and down the ramps and stairs always makes me stop, stand by the wall, and catch my breath. I always dreaded making health education about weight control and lifestyle modification, because I was obese. No one would believe someone who does not seem to practice what he preaches. It was really awkward.
My situation became worse when the review for the board exam came. The work was hectic and the pressure was high. I remember eating two (2) large-sized potato snacks and a liter of soda all by myself, just to calm my nerves. I ate rice 4 to 5 times per day, not necessarily in healthy portions.
In the middle of the review season, I was involved in a break up. It was then that I decided to resist falling apart, pull the remaining pieces of myself together and committed myself to lose weight.
With the beach a good 3-km distance from our home, I tried walking. Not surprisingly, not a kilometer later, my lungs and legs were on fire, but so is my resolve. I decided to continue on until I reached the beach. The feeling after was exhilarating! I took is a challenge, and I came back 4 to 6 times every week, slowly transitioning from walking to running.
Few months later, I can run the full 3-km stretch without stopping. The first time I accomplished this, I thought to myself, “Totoo pala ang runner’s high.” (it’s true what they say about runner’s high) and, I lost 40-lb in the process. All the while, while having fun, and weight loss was just a side effect! It boosted my efforts.
I started searching through the internet for diet and exercise tips, where I found The Fat Kid Inside. I also was fascinated with triathlons, and committed to doing my first triathlon before age 35. I now weigh around 150-lb and despite of the busy schedule as a medical student, still try to stick to exercise and eat healthy and continue on with my journey.
I am now in medical school, and health education and lifestyle modification interventions I do to our patients now do not feel awkward anymore. I actually look forward to it with my personal experience in weight loss!
Weight Loss Tips:
1. Decide. With all your heart, decide to lose weight. Know for whom, and know why.
2. Cut colored drinks totally from your diet. Drink plenty of fluids. If you’re a coffee drinker, keep it black and brewed. It boosts your metabolism and increases heart and lung health, too! Other fancy coffee drinks are just sugar bombs.
3. Keep things fresh. There’s a saying in nutrition that if what you’re eating does not easily spoil, your body will.
4. Find a sport you enjoy. Running was an easy click for me. But all men must do lifting. If you decided to lift weights, stick with compound, multi-joint exercises such as the squat, deadlift, burpees, bench presses. Do your research. As a health worker, I tell you it gives you the more bang for your buck. It fires up your hormones, and builds muscles all over. It takes more calories to maintain muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calorie you’ll burn, even at rest.
5. Rest and recover. Fat does not burn when you exercise, it burns while you rest. Rest is workout, too.
6. Have company. Exercise with friends. It was hard for me when I first asked a friend out for a workout. You’ll be surprised how many of the people around you want to workout, or start a workout. Ask them. You may be the push they need to start.
7. 70% nutrition, 30% exercise. This has became one of the most accurate fitness adage there is. As Arnold Swarzenegger once said, “Nutrition is King. Exercise is Queen. Put them together, and you have a kingdom.”
8. Have fun! If we need one tip for us to hold on to, it is this. Have fun! If we only have fun when we get that ideal weight and when we wear that fit shirt, then what life do we have? Have fun during the process. Have fun for every gram you lose, and it will be, “but a breeze.”
9. You will fail. You will side track numerous times, but do not let this discourage you. Accept where you failed, find what you can learn from the experience, and press on. Fate has this habit of giving people who are persistent and stubborn what they want.
10. Inspire other people, pay it forward!
Have your own weight loss story? Send it in with 2 before and after photos and 10 tips to firstname.lastname@example.org