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.
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?