It’s hard not to be defined by your weight, especially in Philippine culture. Relatives and friends constantly badgering you about your weight can be discouraging, but don’t let them get in the way of a healthy life. Do it for you!

​Submitted by Tom Reuh Tacwigan

Being fat has always been my identity. People have always described me as ‘the fat one’ or ‘the fat brother’. It came to point where I already accepted that I will be fat all my life. I was lying to myself every day, believing that I was happy the way I am. I never thought that a pair of trousers would change my life.

Last July 2015, I was getting ready for my cousin’s wedding when I realized I didn’t fit in my size 38 pants. I felt depressed. I didn’t want the rest of my life to be like this. I needed to change. Luckily that day, my aunt told me to join my cousin’s classes at a local gym, where he works as the trainer. I joined his classes the next day. I went there 6 days a week, training for 2-4 hours a day. It wasn’t easy being the fattest guy in the gym and weighing 106kg/234lbs. However, training with my brother and cousins motivated me even more and made every moment enjoyable. I lost 4kgs after a week, but had to stop after a month to pursue my flying schooling. I didn’t stop eating healthy though and lost an additional 8kgs/18lbs. I went back to the gym in January 2016 weighing 94kg/207lbs. I continued training with my cousin. Then, on September the same year I weighed my lowest at 66kg/146lbs. I reached my goal weight and I was really happy. For real this time. My next long term goal is to get that beach body!

I thought it was too late for me to change. That is, until I stopped lying to myself. I needed to change, so I did. I stayed committed to this new lifestyle. Spend hours in the gym and cooked my own meals. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it!

Here are 10 tips that helped me in my weight loss journey:

1. Always stay hydrated. I drink as much as 5 liters of water a day. Two of which is during my workout. Water is important to maintain your body temperature, remove waste, and keep you healthy.

2. “Sugar is the enemy.” Avoid adding sugar to your oats, coffee, protein shake and etc. A lot of food has added sugar in them. Research has associated high sugar intake with increased rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

3. Don’t drink your calories. Drink water, instead of a sugary bottle of Gatorade. Order a sugar free Vanilla Americano or a Cold Brew instead of your usual 800KCAL Frappuccino. Aside from being too sugary, these drinks are also considered as empty calories. Having ingredients such as solid fats and sugars that add lots of calories to it, but provide nothing much in the way of useful nutrients. Stick to the bitter black coffee and tea and your body will thank you.

4. Avoid eating deep fried food. You simply can’t lie to yourself much with fried food because the ill effects are just too obvious. Just pinch that love handle to remind yourself the effects of deep fried food.

5. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy. Plus, they’re naturally low in calories but are rich in vitamins and minerals that will help you feel energized. Just limit yourself with eating 3 to 4 servings of fruit a day because of its sugar content.

6. Sleep for at least 6 hours a day. You are going to feel better, think clearer, and be much stronger when it comes to battling those food cravings.

7. Eat whole and unprocessed food.

8. Eat a high-protein breakfast. Think eggs and oatmeal plus black coffee and a serving of fruit.

9. Cook your own meals. Aim for a low sodium high protein and high fiber meal. Don’t avoid eating carbohydrates as a whole. Just eat the right kind. Eat complex carbohydrates and avoid simple carbs. Don’t be afraid to add a healthy fat to your diet too.

10. Have a cheat meal. Treat yourself! Eat your heart out! You deserve it after working your ass off in the gym and eating healthy the whole weak. Again, just a cheat meal not a cheat day.

Just start now! Go to the nearest gym near you. Cut all the crap from your diet. Stop lying to yourself and just go!

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