One year into weight loss journey and healthy living

FinalIt has been a year now since I started my healthy living journey.

I’m proud and thankful to achieve my current weight of 67kg (sometimes 66kg) through plant based eating with no cooking oil and less processed food. Of course, it was not an easy journey. It has been a tough ride and up to now I am still navigating my way.

There’s always a learning curve. There’s always pitfalls. I stumbled, not once, but many times. I cave in sometimes to my cravings. There were days I was too lazy to lace my shoes and exercise.

But life goes on. Another day comes, another new opportunity to make again the right choice – clean eating and exercising.

Yesterday I have been browsing my photos in my phone. I was amazed of how far I have come from compared a year ago. It’s from 83kg (or even more but I stopped weighing myself ashamed to be confronted of the real number in the weighing scale) to now, 67kg.

Most of my clothes have been repaired, made it smaller to fit better. Those old clothes, which I hid because it’s too tight to wear, are now back in my closets and I have been using it regularly.  Those t-shirts that used to look like a ‘fit blouse’ to me are now back to its original purpose, a t-shirt.

I used to hate selfies too because it would take me time to find the right angle to project the slimmer version of me. But now, I began loving selfies.

Now my only concern is just to find the right angle that looks best for me.  I don’t whine anymore after the photos are taken (unlike before I used to curse why I was looking fat in the photo. I guess, I was in denial that indeed I was obese.) Now I am okay with it.

I realized also yesterday that I am okay now with my body. I am not keen of achieving anymore the 58kg, my earlier goal. I think I would look very skinny at this weight which I don’t like.

I am happy with my weight now and all I wish is to maintain it. My priority now is to tone my body and increase my level of physical activity.

I am not yet sure how. I haven’t figured out the details yet. 

All I know is that healthy living is a choice, a constant choice that I make everyday. 

Cheers to healthy living! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I eat for lunch?

Yesterday morning my colleague and I happened to be in the same elevator on our way to the office. 

We have known each other since 2014, when he joined our company, but we are not really friends. Aside from work related conversations, oftentimes it is just a simple ‘hi and hello’ in the office. 

So imagine my surprise when he complimented me about my physique; that I really trimmed down. 

I thanked him for his compliments and told him that it was a choice. Then I started my litany about my food choices, my exercise, and so on. 

This was not the first actually. What’s even surprising is these guys are conservative ones. They normally keep distance with women and conversations with them are just around general topics, nothing personal.  

I am guessing that their desire to know the secrets behind my weight loss is somehow desperate to the extent that they break their norms. Or maybe my weight loss achievement gives them a glimpse of hope. Like me, when I saw my college best friend lost a significant weight, I oftentimes phoned her and asked how she did it. Though I didn’t change my lifestyle soon despite of several conversations with her, it gave me hope and motivation knowing that someone closed to me had successfully made it. 

Anyway, one of the commonly asked questions is what I usually eat.

After eating oatmeal for breakfast, steamed veggies and fish for lunch and light dinner meal for four months, I began to hate my food. I was so fed up eating the same meal every day. Just the sight of my lunch would make me throw up. 

Slowly I began to crave my old food, the unhealthy ones. You know, the fried and dairy-rich meals. 

At that time, I lost already around 8kg and I had no intentions of gaining back the weight I worked so hard to lose. I knew that if I didn’t find remedy to my problem, then I would eventually fall off from the wagon. 

I needed variations in my day to day lunch. That’s the main solution to my problem. 

And so I started researching. YouTube was a big help. 

Then I found vegan oil-free soups. It opened a whole new world for me. 

And then, there’s the cheese. Oh so yummy cheese! The first one I tried was the vegan Parmesan cheese. Then the cheesy dipping sauce.

I discovered also baking. With zero knowledge, I tried my hand with my first ever oil-free and dairy-free bread.  I was so happy when it turned out good! Good means the food is edible to others who are not on a diet like me. lol! 

Here’s some photos of my lunch meals. 

1

I love pasta topped with dairy-rich sauce. When I discovered this vegan and oil-free mac and cheese, I was ecstatic.  I have this now as my ‘to-go’ food when cravings strike.

3

This is just steamed veggies topped with my leftover cheese sauce from the mac and cheese recipe.

Mac and Cheese

This really looks like a real burger patty, right?  This one is made of chickpeas.

Mac and Cheese (1)

This reminds me of my fave fried rice 🙂

Mac and Cheese

My all time favorite soup! This is made of spinach (lots and lots of it!), green peas and coconut milk. Yum!

 

 

 

Weight Loss Lessons Learned: 10 months, 16 kilos

I just want you to know_Today I weigh 67 kilos. Ten months backs I was at 83 kilos or even more but then I stopped weighing myself, ashamed to be confronted of the reality of my ballooning heaviness. 

The target is to reach 58kg, my ideal weight.

But with what I have achieved so far, I am fulfilled. It is a feat, a great feat, wrestling the demon within me every waking minute of my life. This is the demon that never ceases to whisper, to entice and to stir doubts in my desire to live a healthy lifestyle.

The moment I wake up, there’s the demon whispering to take a break today. Anyway, I have been exercising for the last few days. My body deserves a break, that’s what the demon has been justifying in my sane mind.

When I hit the treadmill and completed almost 2km, again there’s the whisper. Oh, this is enough. You have done a good job. So why not pack up your stuff and start again tomorrow.

This is the what’s going on in my head every single day, every waking hours. If it is not about exercise, then it’s about food.

I haven’t slay this demon yet but I somehow manage to embrace this and work together productively. Of course, there are days that it wins. I bounce back and start all over again.

SBiL

Here are few nuggets that I learned from my ten months of health and fitness journey.

It’s a lifestyle. I have come to terms that I am not up to a short haul this time. No need to look fabulous in bikini for the upcoming summer nor fit in a gown for some event to attend. I am in for a long overhaul, not only for a year but for a lifetime. Something that I can do whether I am here working as OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) or back home in Philippines.

It is a lifestyle that I want to take up. You know, like a new habit that we wish to stick around until our golden years.

So for me, it means eating clean (preferably whole food plant based diet with no cooking oil and minimal processed food) and active lifestyle. Don’t be fool though. My definition of active lifestyle is regular exercise, minimum of 30 minutes cardio exercise such as walking or jogging.

It is my goal to be more active than my current definition (of being active) but that’s still a long way to go. With a history of living a sedentary lifestyle for the last two decades, a 30-minutes regular exercise is an achievement (lol!) but I swear, I hope to increase this to one hour when time permits.

It’s a choice, a constant daily choice. First few weeks were struggle. Walking in the treadmill for 2km was like climbing up a steep mountain hill, exhausting and panting almost like being dead (ok, fine.. I am exaggerating here).

And so as the food. It was not only a struggle but a battle too. Ditching the food you had known to eat since childhood was an ordeal.

How did I pull it through?

Keeping my tummy full all the time. It means no skipping of breakfast, regular snacks which are mainly fruits, enough lunch (preferably a satisfying dish) and light dinner. During the early phase, I only ate the fruits and vegetable that I liked. Later when I started to see the result, I became more motivated. So I began researching for options to have more yummy but healthy dishes.

I discovered soups; beans I never heard of before; spices I never used; condiments I never made.

I would say that the food part evolves faster than I thought and it keeps on evolving. There’s always new food discoveries hoping to satisfy my palates.

This journey actually sparks my interest in cooking.

I believe that my progress in terms of healthy eating has been substantial but I cannot say the same to my level of progress when it comes to exercise. Unfortunately, my speed in this area is slow, really slow, but I am working on it.

Weight loss is a mind game. Sometimes when I fell the wagon and had a hard time bouncing back, I would start reading articles of those who have successfully lose weight through the same method I believe in.

By method, I mean those who are following whole food plant based lifestyle. I also get inspiration from people who lose weight through walking regularly.

Sometimes I refresh the reasons behind why I am doing all these changes in life. I find it useful too to stare my  health and fitness goal, a kind of poster with collage of photos, which I want to achieve in the next few year.

When motivation starts to fly out of the window, I feed my mind. I stimulate my mind.

Managing cravings. This is a recurring challenge, up until now, in my weight loss journey. I also notice that the period of my cravings is correlated with my menstrual cycle. Cravings are more intense when my period is approaching.

Earlier when I was still in my old life eating unhealthy meals and snacking on junk foods, my cravings meant ice creams, chocolates and pasta with dairy-rich sauces. So somehow I need to address this so I don’t feel deprive.

My option then is to search for healthy versions of what I crave. I learned to make frozen bananas into ice cream or the dates and nuts into fudge. And oh, the yummy vegan version of mac and cheese too!

Of course, there are still some days that I simply want to devour normal meal like hot pandesal, a staple bread back home (Philippines) which is mainly made of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar and salt, in the morning with hot coffee.

I do cave in. I give myself sometimes a break.

What about you? What lessons did you learn in your weight loss journey?

Cheers,

Miles

 

Holiday Season = Weight Gain

No such thing astoo much cheese (1)

It has always been a fact.

Holiday season means extra pounds, right? 😉

With all the ‘get-togethers’ and Christmas parties scheduled around this season, it becomes a challenge for me to keep up with healthy eating. Towards the end of December, I became slack with my exercise skipping for couple of days.

I knew that I was gaining back my old weight. I felt bloated and heavy all the time.  I promised to be back on track after New Year’s day.

When I weighed in last 2nd January, my suspicion was confirmed. I gained 2 kilos. It was expected but the numbers in the weighing scale got me worried and scared.

I weighed 70.4kg on 2nd of January. 😞

For the last 2-3 months, my weight was between 77 to 78 kilos only. As long as I was below 70kg, I was fine with it. But when I hit 70.4kg, I got worried, really worried. If this habit continues, I will be back to my old self soon. I don’t want to be 83 kilos again. Not at all.

With some family time in first few days in January, I didn’t manage to really keep up the ‘healthy living speed’ that I wish to be in. Though I slowly stopped eating oily, dairy-rich and meaty meals.

Since 4th January, I am more back to my track and to my surprise, when I weighed today morning, I am 3kgs lighter. I weighed 66.7 kilos. Whew! 😌

I was so glad with the result. Really glad. 😌

The secret.

I started eating fruits only for dinner. I have really proven this many times. Light stomach in the evening means shedding off more weight. Well, at least for me this method works.

I also created a simple, less complicated, goal for 2018. I hope that I will be able to keep 100% whole food plant based diet for the rest of the year.

COmmit to behealthy & fit

And oh, did I share to you that I posted this goal everywhere in my home? Just to make sure that I have enough reminders. 😉

What about you, what’s your goal this year?  

Happy New Year & Cheers! 🥂