My Journey to Fitness
I HAVE grown really fat. I came to point when I have not one pair of jeans in my closet that can fit me. Whenever I am forced to wear one the button, even the zipper, had to be left open – not to mention the countless times that I had to endure getting my balls squeezed against my pelvis. I had to wear the same set of clothes again and again because I had outgrown most of my shirts and pants and I didn’t want to invest in new clothes because, with my efforts in trying to lose weight, I still hoped that I could still wear my favorite clothes again.
After months of struggling to lose weight – I jogged, drank fat-reducing drinks, and even took fat-burning capsules – I still didn’t see any improvement. Something was really wrong about what I was doing.
I started to get irked by people asking me how my being a mountaineer hasn’t helped me lose weight. What happened to those hours of trekking? Why am I getting fatter instead of losing weight?
When 2015 opened, I wrote my new year’s resolution again. I wrote “lose weight” among my priorities as I’ve always had. I didn’t expect that this year, I can finally make it happen.
Today, some friends I haven’t seen for months have really noticed the difference. Even the governor of our province noticed it. Who wouldn’t be flattered by that?
To me there is more to losing weight than just trying to look good. Well, yeah, some of my closest friends said I look better now than when I was fatter. Let’s make it clear, I am not saying that fat means ugly. I just have a few good reasons why I wanted to lose weight and health is the top reason.
Now how did I lose weight?
To be honest, the answer to this question has been taught to me –and to most of us—when we were in grade school. No kidding.
The answer is simple: proper nutrition, regular exercise, enough rest, and drinking plenty of water.
1. Proper nutrition
In the first two months of this year, I enrolled in a diet program. It’s Herbalife. I know, some you must be familiar with this. My cousin established a nutrition center near our house where she prepares Herbalife shakes. I replaced one meal each day with this shake. For my lunch and dinner, I made sure that I ate proper portions of grow and glow foods. I avoided rice for four months and sourced my carbohydrates from banana and potato but in small amounts only. I did not skip meals and I didn’t starve myself. I also had snacks but I saw to it that my estimated calorie was lower than my usual intake. In other words, I ate the right amount of the right food. In about a week, I started to feel uncomfortable whenever I eat too much. My system has quickly adjusted to eating only a small amount of food.
2. Regular Exercise.
I started a habit of running every morning. I bought an alarm clock for the purpose because I really have a hard time waking up early. For a month, I religiously followed a routine. I run in the morning and did some dumbbell workout in the evening. It was really hard in the first few days but I slowly got used to it.
3. Enough Rest.
The months of January to March are a toxic period for teachers because graduation day is approaching. To add to this, we had a new boss who instituted a lot of changes in my workplace. This did not stop from getting enough rest. I resolved to get not less than six hours of sleep every night. I decided not to bring work at home. I also decided not work overtime. (It was impossible to work overtime a few days before the graduation day, though.) Changes in my sleeping pattern were kept to minimum.
4. Drinking plenty of water.
Water is very important. It helps maintain chemical balance within our bodies. Because of long hours of teaching I am used to endure not having to drink water for hours. I think that it was also one of the reasons why I found it very hard before to control my eating. When I started to drink a glass of water after each class, it became easier to avoid overeating. When I feel the urge to open a bag of junk food, I just drink water instead. I have really felt better after increasing my water intake. I don’t feel tired and hungry all the time.
Another thing that has helped me lose weight is the support of the people around me. My family and workmates were very supportive. They also remind me during meals to avoid high-calories foods. Some of them have even joined me in journey to fitness. It is nice to share stories with them—how much weight they have lost, what routines they have started at home, what new low-calorie food they have discovered, etc.
Now, I am still a few more kilograms from my ideal weight but I am already happy with the changes that I—and the people around me—have seen. I have regained my self-confidence and that wonderful feeling of being healthy and light. I feel that I am capable of doing more things right now than ever before.