I am Jayvee Ablana Saco, a 31 year old PhD student here in Kochi, Japan. I just came here roughly 3 months ago. Back in the Philippines, I was a Senior Research Assistant. I was always on the go because of field work and experiments. And I never had a problem with my chubby self because I was active at work. But during a trip to San Diego to visit my sisters, I couldn’t hide the fact of my chubbiness from them. More so, it was really obvious in pictures that I couldn’t look at myself.
So I started running. I felt really slow for the first 2-3 weeks. But kept running still, eventually increasing my speed and the distance I ran. My friends started to notice a little change in the way I looked and it gave me more motivation to exercise and lose the weight. I started to cut back on soda and junk food and started to eat healthier.
I did not cut the number of times I ate in a day; instead I actually increased it to 5 times a day but only ate little meals. I feel that dieting makes you crave food more. I think that key to my weight loss was eating a heavy breakfast so that I’d eat less at lunch, and then have little meals before dinner so that I’d only have little or no dinner at all.
I also started doing core exercises to strengthen my mid-section. I always found the time to workout despite my massive workload at school. I continued doing this that I went from 160 lbs to 115 lbs.
Unfortunately, not all things went fine. Our house burned down last November and because of that, my family wasn’t really bothered to eat healthy or workout. I found it to be an extra challenge for my weight loss journey. Nevertheless, we got back on our feet and I went back to running.
Until now, even with Japan’s cold weather, I continue to run and do my core exercises. I’ve been maintaining my weight and I’m really thankful for this lifestyle change. I don’t think you need to apply for expensive gym memberships when you can research workouts that could work for you. And more importantly, know what you’re putting in your body. Read the nutritional content of your food and stop eating junk. It’s really that simple. You just need to be determined to make the change no matter what challenges are thrown at you.
Weight Loss Tips
1. START IN YOUR HEART. Weight loss is really something. It is a battle. So your heart should be ready to the ups and mostly downs of weight lost. This should begin within yourself not because someone told you so. You really need to convince yourself that you really want to do this.
2. FOCUS ON YOUR GOAL. Your goal on your weight loss should always on your mind.
3. RESEARCH ON WEIGHT LOSS. This means finding the activities that will best suit your body. For me, it was running. Then, research on how you cam augment your weight loss by eating healthy.
4. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. This way you will be motivated when you see some good results. But it is not always the case, don’t be frustrated at first when you don’t see good result. Focus on your goal and keep pushing. Take also a photo of yourself. I did this like for monthly basis to see progress. Also, track your weight from time to time.
5. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. For the first 2 weeks, I ran at least 5 days for 30 minutes without stopping, then I’d have a 2 days recovery period. Then, if you feel like pushing more, increase the time of your running. Then so on and so forth. Do what works for you but be consistent.
6. CHOOSE TO BE HEALTHY. This means that you need to eat healthy. The way it did is like this: heavy breakfast (1 cup brown rice, egg, sausage, black coffee and banana), AM snack (almonds/cashew, any fruit), lunch (half a cup brown rice, any viand with less oil), PM snack (same with AM), dinner (wheat bread, soup, vegetable salad with non mayo dressing, fruits with yogurt).
7. HYDRATE YOURSELF. This means that you have to drink ONLY WATER and as frequently as possible. Remove all carbonated drinks and juices. I also removed the sugar and creamer on my coffee.
8. REWARD YOURSELF. This means that you have to reward yourself from time to time. Either with new pair of shoes or running apparel. You could reward yourself with food too, but in moderation.
9. ADD VARIATION. This means that you have to add other activity aside from running. For me, I added some high intensity interval training. I did this when I couldn’t run because I had ITB (Ilio Tibial Band Syndrome). This made me realize to have 1 or 2 day recovery period.
10. MAINTENANCE. When you’ve reached your weight loss goal, the hardest part is to maintain it. So it doesn’t stop with reaching your goal. Keep at your lifestyle. More than weight loss, you’ll gain a healthier and possibly longer life.
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