November 2015 was when it all began, when somebody called me “morbidly obese”. I didn’t know the meaning of morbid that time. It just sounded bad to me. I googled it and I got very upset about it. What I got is I’m close to dying. That never crossed my mind but the colleague who called me morbidly obese pointed these things:
- I can hardly finish my sentence because I’m out of breath
- I can’t run (my knees and feet hurt and clicks)
- I get tired easily just by climbing up the stairs
- I move very sluggishly
- I never feel cold, I always set the aircon to the lowest temperature even if the entire office is shivering already
- I always put my hands in my chest during physical activities ( I feel my chest aching)
When I think of it, that colleague was correct. I then started acknowledging health problems in my body. In the past, I get body shamed on a daily basis.
I just thought that being called fat is just poor aesthetics like:
- how ugly I am
- how my clothes look bad on me
- how dark my neck was
- how I look bad in the picture
- how dark I was
Nobody pointed out the health implications of being obese.
After a few months, the company announced the annual medical checkup for employees. That same colleague who called me morbidly obese, asked me if I’m confident to have myself checked. I couldn’t answer the question. At the end, I didn’t go to the annual checkup. I wasn’t ready.
I was scared
I may have diabetes or hypertension because it runs in the family. I wanted to lose weight first before having an executive checkup.
I wanted to lose weight but I don’t know where to start.
I started doing my research. Everything I see on Google about weightloss is about diet and exercise. I was thinking..
Diet is easy I just have to lessen my food intake but exercise? I can barely climb the stairs.”
I really wanted to lose weight but I’m physically incapable to start exercising.
Ironically, I opened up to my colleague (the one who called me morbidly obese) that I want to lose weight. I got a very unusual response. My colleague said
Just stop drinking cold drinks for one month and you’ll lose weight. No need to start exercising.
It was very absurd but it sounded so simple because all I have to do is drink hot or room temperature drinks and no exercise! I followed. I thought it was easy. I then realized, I don’t enjoy drinking room temperature coke, nestea, beer, juice, C2, yakult, milk, coffee. I was complaining on the 2nd day. I nearly cried on the 4th day because all I can drink was water, hot coffee, hot tea and hot milk. Those were the only drinks that tastes good in room temperature to hot. I blamed my colleague because it sounded like a joke that I will lose weight just by removing cold drinks. I started buying Big GULP at 7-eleven again. My colleague offered it to other people. Any cold drinks are thrown in the trash can or given to other officemates.
1 month passed and I lost 40 pounds.
My colleague explained that it’s because I reduced my sugar intake by almost 80-90%, with just following the no cold drinks. This was the advice given to me since my colleague noticed I really love sugary drinks. That’s when I started to believe my colleague. January 2016, I participated in the Biggest Loser Challenge in the office. My colleague became my coach in exchange for free food. The biggest change I made before entering the biggest loser challenge was to…
Quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol
Month after month , these were the changes I did to lose weight (I don’t move to the next step if I can’t achieve the current one consistently for 30 days):
Change #1: 10 grams of Psyllium husk daily. I mix it it Ceres fruit juice. I don’t eat vegetables or even fruits that’s why I need to increase my fiber intake.
Change #2: Reduce intake of rice to 1 cup per meal, 3 meals a day. Usually, I eat 2-3 cups of rice per meal. This was torture. I love rice back then. I hacked this by doubling my viand/ulam.
Change #3: No table sugar. No more Starbucks frappes. I opted for Cafe Misto without the sugar. We always brew coffee at home for breakfast – or any time of the day. I love my coffee with sugar and Karlen’s milk (the one that tastes really fresh! It’s really good!). I bought stevia for this because I can’t drink black coffee. It costs around 3 pesos per sachet. I bought a box with 100 pcs and was surprised at the end of week I already used it all. I bought another box, and another box, and another one. By the fourth one, I am already aware that it is expensive and I’m using a lot. This is why I chose to drink black coffee even though it doesn’t taste great. I slowly cut down my stevia intake to reduce cost, instead of three I use one per cup. When I was on my 25th day, I’m already enjoying black coffee and I’d never go back. Then my coach gave me Arabica coffee from their province. It’s so good that I am no longer enjoying our coffee at home.
Change #4: Eat atleast 1 cup of vegetables / DAY. So I ate fries everyday and then my coach would always offer buttered corn, kamote fries, apples and fruits, and unsalted nuts that I am physically incapable of eating my fries. Back then I was questioning wether the goal is to lose weight or just eat. But after a month I lost pounds of weight again because I was eating lesser calories than what I previously eat.
Change #5: Eat atleast 1 cup of vegetables/meal. Hello Kenny Roger’s classic healthy plate (no corn muffin 😞). Hello chopseuy with lots of chicken liver and young corn. Nilagang baka, nilagang baboy, nilagang manok, and all of the sinigang variations without the soup. I still eat fried food but I just need the vegetables there. I never liked eating salad or even the taste of vegetables. When I have all the motivation to eat a salad, I buy it at S&R.
Change #6: NO fried. This was the hardest. The default side dish which we, as a family, eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is sunny side up egg with lots of salt, swimming in golden fiesta. We have a constant renewable supply of pork rinds (chicharon bulaklak, bituka and balat). My mom is from Bulacan that’s why.
I love fried chicken especially Jollibee’s Chickenjoy, crispy pata, lechon kawali, and turon (our never ending go to dessert / snack). So my mom bought an air fryer, I basically ate all of the above except that it is air fried. I lost weight here because it takes too long to cook using the air fryer and only small portions at a time. Imagine 1 large potato for fries takes 30min too cook (nalipasan na ako ng gutom di pa rin ako nakakakain). So, I switched to grilled/toasted/boiled/steamed meat. Hello Mang Raul’s barbecue, if you’re in Las Piñas, try this place!
Change #7: NO canned and instant noodles. I failed for 2 months here. Corned Beef is life. Tocino is life. Lucky me itnok is my everyday soup. Nissin Yakisoba was my work food. Lucky Me Pancit canton with 2 sunny side up and 2 toasted bread is my daily merienda. I tried 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 toasts but it is really dry. Hello S&R garlic shrimp pizza, half-pound burger (sadly this is already discontinued), and beef baked roll. My wallet also got thinner 😅.
Change #8: NO added sugar. I failed miserably for 3 months. No more gummy worms, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, nissin wafer, nagaraya, flavored yogurt, TLJ real cheese bread, Bread talk floss, Leche flan, dirty ice cream, nathaniel’s buko salad (my mom was also getting sadder, I don’t eat what she’s preparing). This is actually the first change but it was so hard to do that I started getting sad and demotivated. Everywhere I go there is added sugar, from restaurants and groceries.
Change #9: NO artificial flavorings. No more magic sarap, knorr cubes, Knorr Toyomansi, Lee and Perins, UFC Banana ketchup. Basically get all the flavorings from vegetables, herbs and spices.
Change #10: NO boxed fruit juice. Bye Ceres. Should be freshly squeezed – I was too lazy to squeeze, I just ate the fruit. I was still drinking psyllium husk up to this point but it was really hard to drink it without juice. So I just ate a lot of vegetables instead.
Change #11: Switch to organic vegetables. More expensive but the nutrition content is better.
The rest is history.
After a year, (November 20, 2016) I lost almost 100 pounds with food. I didn’t exercise that time because I can’t make time for it.
April 26, 2018, I reached my ideal weight with food alone. Now, I find time to exercise 3-4 times a week. just 30 mins each.
Now I can really say that FOOD IS LIFE. It can either kill you or heal you.
Changing my food choices to healthier options made me lose weight