My weight loss story may sound familiar to some, especially to those who have watched Erwan’s 5 minute video. That’s how I jumpstarted my “journey to fitness.”

I’ve tried practically every diet program there was. Some worked but the effects were only temporary. I would eventually gain the weight back and sometimes, I’d even double my size. I kept seeing my weight yoyo and that that made me feel hopeless. As my frustration grew, so did my depression. As an emotional eater, you know it’s definitely a bad combination. I would stuff myself with my comfort food and basically eat my heart out when I was sad, stressed, even when I was happy. This is how I gained much of my weight in college.

Other than that, I lived a very sedentary lifestyle. I went to work and went straight home after. I did nothing active, except for long walks inside the mall whenever I go window shopping. I felt comfortable doing that for about 9 years and I had no idea how much weight I had put on since then. I avoided the weighing scale, I guess that was because I was too scared to know what my weight was and be faced with that reality. I was in complete denial that I was already obese.

Like the weighing scale, I also avoided full length mirrors and always hid behind other people whenever our photos were being taken as a group just so my body wouldn’t show. I convinced myself that I was doing okay and that my weight was still acceptable and normal. Then there came a time I had to go to the hospital on a number of occasions due to high blood pressure. All the doctors said that same thing—I was obese and had to lose weight. I knew what I had to do but HOW?

February 1, 2014 was the day I have decided to prioritize my health. There was no other way but to live a healthy lifestyle. The first step was to get on that weighing scale. I was 199 lbs. at 5’1.

I did my research and came across Erwan’s 5-minute video. That started it all. In fact, it was the only thing I held on to for the first eight weeks. Every single day, I literally would watch the video to remind myself to keep motivated. The video became my fitness bible. This was no secret to my friends. I practically shared everything I did and everything I ate through my Facebook page and Instagram. Some people were so excited for me, others were skeptic (I can’t blame them), and some were just meh – “let’s just wait and see.”

Erwan said that fitness starts in the kitchen and he’s right. For the first month, all I did was eliminate all the unnecessary food in my diet which was anything unnatural or processed. No fast food, no soda, no white rice, no sweets, and nothing fried.

It was only on my second month that I started to take on some activities. During this time, I already felt a lot lighter. I decided to go back to the gym and take Zumba classes. I did that 5x a week and I’ve never felt better. But towards the end of that same month, my weight started to plateau. I shared this with my friends in Facebook and many of them were gave words of encouragement, advice and tips to overcome that phase. Then one of them said, “TAKBO NA YAN! (Go run!)” So I thought, Yes. Why not? Why not try running. So I did, and that changed my life.

I have been running 4-5x a week. I started from brisk walking, to jogging, to easy runs. I started joining fun runs from 3k to 10k. Then running became part of my daily routine. It became my passion. I am now running 21k races and will be running a full marathon on February next year – exactly one year when I started my fitness journey. Isn’t that a coincidence?

I lost the first 50 lbs in 3 months and gradually lost the rest in the succeeding months. Now, I have lost a total of 70 lbs. I went from 3XL to Medium size.

But the way I look at it now, my weight loss was just a bonus. This whole journey to fitness has just turned my life around. I am now more active, healthier and happier. It doesn’t only change how you look but importantly, it changes your outlook in life.

Weight Loss Tips and Lessons:

1. Fad diets don’t work. It is a false promise and is likely to fail.
2. Fitness and wellness starts in the kitchen. The rest in the gym and your daily activities.
3. The key to your fitness success is willpower and discipline.
4. Always be positive and believe in yourself. Many people will doubt that you can do it but as long as you have faith in yourself, nothing is impossible.
5. Water is your best friend.
6. Drink water first thing in the morning. It speeds up your metabolism.
7. Eat what your body needs. Do not wait until you feel FULL.
8. During workouts, if you’re not sweating, you’re not doing it right.
9. Listen to your body. Workouts and sports are good but too much of anything is not.
10. Indulge once in a while, as long as you have met your weight and fitness goals.
11. Temptations would always be there. When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.
12. It’s always better to have a goal in mind. A dress you’ve been longing to wear, a dress size you want to achieve, a distance you want to run, visible collarbone, flat abs – whatever it is that keeps you motivated. Stick with it and stay on track.
13. BE PATIENT. Take no shortcuts. The change doesn’t happen overnight.
14. Just because you’re seeing the results, doesn’t mean you have to stop your routine – that’s why it’s called a “lifestyle”.
15. Pay it forward. Nothing feels better than sharing your blessings and lessons with other people. So inspire and motivate other people to be better.

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