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! 🥂

New Month, New Opportunity

welcomelittle one!

New Year’s resolution is not my thing. I tried setting up goals from simple ones to epic-life-changing-revolutionary-ideas but nothing worked out. 

But last October, I did one thing at the beginning of the month.

I decided to do one thing every day. Just one thing. Nothing extraordinary. No epic-life-changing-revolutionary task. Just to do one thing every day. Consistently for 30 days. 

That one thing was to write every morning. No word count. Not constraint to any time duration.

All I needed to do was write. 500 words. 200 words. One hour. 20 minutes. It didn’t matter as long as I would write everyday. 

And guess what? I finished my short ebookPractical Weight Loss Tips for Working Moms‘. Grab it here. It’s free. **smile**

I found that 30 days writing challenge was very productive yet not too harsh to myself. It was not too demanding and aggressive. 

Ah, don’t ask me for November challenge because it slipped in my mind. I didn’t pay attention that November was coming. In short, I didn’t do any 30-days challenge. 

Anyway, just one more day to go and we are in December. 

So I am thinking again of challenging myself this month. I have few ideas in mind but still am not yet decided. 

What about you? It’s a new month. Want to try something new for a change? Or perhaps a new habit to adopt? 

Try it! It can be fun. 

Cheers to good health! 

 

Stress equals carbs overload

Stress (1)

Carbs overload, and it’s all processed carbs. 

This has been my escape goat for the last three weeks. Bread over breads. White rice. High caloric lunch meals. 

This is a detour, major detour, from my usual oil-free whole food plant based lifestyle.

And now, I feel guilty every time I devoured in processed carbs and oily meals. Not only that, I feel bloated too like my tummy didn’t have time to digest my food before my next meal. 

I winded down too in my exercise routine. 

Instead of aiming of eight (8) kilometers everyday, I ended up achieving four (4) kilometers only. 

I am scared. I felt like I am falling back to my old self. I really don’t want to weigh 83 kilos again. 

I knew if I continue eating like this, I will be back to where I was in no time. 

The culprit of this is my new workload. I am stepping out in my comfort zone, embracing more work and responsibilities. The sad thing, it is not financially compensated. 

You know those colleagues of you who kept whining; who have grievances for being overworked and underpaid. I am afraid that I am heading to that truckload of unhappy employees. **sad face**

So I am not very optimistic with my November results. I don’t want even to weigh and look at the numbers. For sure, it doesn’t reflect any promising results. 

Indeed exercise and food have direct impact to our weight. When I become lax, additional weight starts to creep in. 

But despite of this, there’s still a good thing that happened this month. 

I have been drinking green smoothies for breakfast for the last three weeks. After having oatmeal breakfast for more than five months, its flavor began to fade. It tasted bland. Perhaps I was not creative enough to spice it up. 

But I am happy now with my newfound breakfast meal. I am able to consume more fruits and veggies specially those that I really don’t like.  

And the good thing about this, I stopped drinking coffee. Yehey! Well, I still do but occasional coffee like once a week. 

What about you? How’s your fitness and wellness journey so far? Are you gaining or losing some weight?

Luv to hear from you! 

Cheers! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revamping my diet : No-fried Foods

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This was originally posted in my Facebook @sportsbraislife  last 4th September 2017.

Whenever ‘sinabawang isda’ (sabaw means soup and isda means fish) was served in our dining table at home, we ended up, for sure, cooking in a rush an omelet. If not, we might crave for heavy snacks after 30 minutes.

Have you tried eating something that you don’t feel satisfied?  That’s what we felt whenever we had this fish soup or any other type of dish which was not cooked through cooking oil.

I could not imagine before what the dish would be without cooking oil. 

A fulfilling meal for us used to be something fried. A fried fish. Fried meat. Fried chicken. Fried hotdog. Fried egg. 

But this changed after I decided to embrace healthy living. I had to let go of fried foods.

It was not easy.

I started with boiled food. Boiled corn on the cobs. Boiled sweet potato.

Then I tried steaming which later became the main cooking method I used for my lunch meals. Steamed veggies like broccoli, asparagus and young corn. Steamed fish.

One of my family’s childhood fave dish is potato omelet. Potatoes are sliced into cubes and cooked in cooking oil, then it is mixed with beaten eggs and fried it again. Yum!

I cannot let go of this dish, our all-time favorite breakfast dish.

So I started experimenting. I cooked the potatoes in the same manner as we used to cook except that I replaced the cooking oil with water. Instead of frying the mixture of potatoes and eggs, I baked it.

Of course, the taste is not exactly as yummy as the fried one but still, I am happy with it.

That’s what I have been doing now in all my meals. I replace the cooking oil with water.

For instance, when my soup requires some frying of garlic and onions, I do it in the same way as the normal process except that I use water.

You can start the change slowly. Maybe you can incorporate few days in a week of ‘‘no-fried foods’ until your taste buds get used to it.

After minimizing my ‘fried food’ consumption, I noticed that I began to crave less and less of fast food meals. Burger and fries used to be my comfort food. Whenever this was served, I couldn’t resist to gobble it.

My addiction to coffee was lessen also. Believe it or not, I used to have headaches whenever I skipped coffee drink in a day. But nowadays, I can hardly finish one cup of coffee in the morning.

Yes, I still have coffee but only in the morning and usually half of the cup only.

Whenever you have your weak moments and you feel like indulging on fried foods, just think about its impact to your health.

Clog arteries that can lead to strokes
Increase the risk of heart diseases
Key dietary contributor for cancer, diabetes and hypertension

If it is not really possible at all, then at least minimize your fried food intake. Cut the portion into half.

The most important thing is that you start now; that you take the initiative now before it is too late.

I realized that healthy living is a journey. It is a choice that we make every day. Don’t be depressed if you make a wrong food choice today. Just make sure you don’t do it again tomorrow and the following days.

Cheers to healthy living! 🥂🙂

Revamping my diet : Eliminating white rice

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This was originally posted in my Facebook @sportsbraislife  last 28th August 2017.

 

food… food… food…

On Thursdays (our weekend here is Friday and Saturday), I used to indulge in ice creams, Pizza Hut or Burger King. It was my way of culminating a stressful work week.

My definition of food indulgence was finishing half portion of the 1.5liter of Selecta Quezo Real ice cream or the combo meal of mushroom Swiss burger with French fries dipped in mayo and ketchup, and mozzarella sticks as dessert. Ooh my, I can still imagine the creamy saucy mushroom Swiss burger.

So when I finally decided to live a healthy life, I started by eating more fruits and vegetables. Honestly I didn’t embrace any type of diets except to choose healthy meals and snacks.

First and foremost – I eliminated rice from my day to day living .

You know us, Filipinos. We cannot live without rice and oh, not any other kind of rice, only white rice. Just imagine that white steamy rice with fried fish. Ah, that’s so yummy and filling!

Though in my younger years (since college), I was not generally fond of white rice. My colleagues used to tease me that my main course was the dessert because whenever we had lunch in the cafeteria, my first stop was the dessert section. After eating some slice of cakes or pies, then I would head to the main course section.

If available, my preference had always been sweet desserts and pasta on my plates. A perfect meal for me!

But when I got pregnant, I returned to eating rice to keep my hunger pangs at bay. Unfortunately, it continued for years until I started to revamp my diet last March 2017.

My definition of ‘revamping my diet’ is choosing more plant based food and minimizing oily and processed food.

The first thing that went out from my usual meal was the white rice. I was aware that I ate way too much of this every dinner.

So I challenged myself. If I managed it in my younger years without rice, so I should still be able to do this, this time.

Honestly, I think the big factor that I lose 10 kilos in the first 3 months is because I eliminated white rice from my meals. My average weight before was 83 kilos. After 3 months of revamping my food intake and keeping regular ‘casual’ exercise walk (slow pace walk for 30 minutes), my weight was down between 72 to 73kg, depends on what time of the day I weighed.

Now I still do eat white rice but only occasional like once a month (sometimes not even a morsel of rice in a month) and it will be just like 2-3 tablespoon only.

Why I continue eliminating rice from my meals?

 I feel less bloated.

 My tummy significantly reduced. It is flatter now. Don’t be misled though – I don’t have a flat ‘washboard abs’ tummy at all but compared before, my tummy is less bulging now.

 I dropped my jeans size from size 16 to 14.

 I feel lighter.

Our nanny, who claimed to be my food controller , witnessed by transformation from being obese to overweight (LOL!). One day she told me, naively, that she never thought at all, never in her wildest dream, that it is possible to live without eating rice.

Please don’t follow this if you cannot cope up without rice in your meals. Perhaps I am just lucky that I am fine living without this. I think the key here is eating rice in moderation.

I am not a believer of deprivation. If skipping rice or any of your favorites makes you miserable, please by all means, eat it. Don’t deprive yourself. Savor delish food and indulge in your fave dessert but always in moderation.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist, health expert or health care professional. What I share here is based only on my own experience of losing weight.