From 154 lbs to 118 lbs, from couch potato to Yakult 10miler finisher … read my story in the Dec-Jan Issue of Total Woman.
My weight loss journey was partly prompted by a weight loss story of another. Her story made me realize that with a plan and commitment to losing weight I can do it. I’m sharing my story and I’m hoping I too can inspire others. If I can do it, you can too! From 154 to 120 lbs. How did I get there? Work out and a healthy diet, sounds simple, but of course its not. Otherwise it wouldn’t have taken me 14 months to do it.
Fed up. I’ve been going to the gym for 2 years and has not seen a dramatic weight loss. I didn’t mind that I was on the heavy side, what bugged me the most was with all the effort I was exerting I was seeing very little result. I was trying different variations of workouts I see in the fitness magazines. I was alternating between attending group exercises and lifting weights. Still, I can’t even hit my target of 140 lbs. I finally settled on a weekly routine of swimming 3 times a week, 1 dance class, 2 aqua aero and 1 body balance. Then I saw a weight loss success story that I could relate to. She was the same age group and weight as me and she went down to from 154 lbs to 127lbs in 6 months. She did it by having a set workout and eating plan. I was so excited. I was inspired. I felt empowered. I felt I could do what she did.
The Plan …and The Plan B. I immediately gathered all my fitness magazines and came up with a workout program similar to what she did. After 2 weeks, I realized that passion and commitment were not enough. My body was not ready for the demands I was putting on it. Then I saw Jorge Cruise’s book “8 minutes In The Morning”. I read through it and realized that it was a more realistic approach for me. The program asks that you strength train 2 body parts in the morning. The book also has an eating guide but I could not stick to it. However, having a daily program to follow for a month helped set a routine for me. I was not doing trial and error anymore and was following a weight loss plan for a month. My body got used to lifting heavier weights and I gained muscle. I did not lose the 2lbs a week the program promised it was more like 2 lbs a month but it was good enough for me. I was on the weight loss road.
Couch Potato to 5K. I figured I needed to do more cardio so I decided to bump up my walking (which at this time was 4kph) by inserting jogs. This took awhile. I found running boring. I would count my steps just to distract myself. I would start the program then quit and start again. Why did I keep on returning to it? I find that there’s nothing like running to help you drop those pounds and trim your waist. I was finally able to ran for 30 minutes straight last July. It was very fortunate also that another friend took an interest in running. I found myself a running buddy. She of course runs so fast so its more like me running after her but I could live with that. I joined the 7.5K Fitness First Run for a Cause last September and completed it in 48:36. I am not beating any world records but who cares my fat percentage is dropping. I am dreaming of completing a half marathon next year. My other friends are now also interested in starting their own walk/run program. I’m very excited to share this activity with them.
I wanted more. I was doing my 8 minutes in the morning program (which really takes me about 30 minutes to do) and running when I can summon the will to do it. It’s mid November 2006, I was down to 145lbs. But I wanted more. So I sought the help of a Personal Trainer. I chose somebody who looks fit and who successfully helped someone I know lose weight. Ken, my personal trainer, introduced me to new routines and workout programs. He also taught me how to use the machines at the gym. My workouts were enough to tire me but not too hard that I ended up getting wiped out at the end of the sessions.
Tweaking my eating habit. During this time, I was tweaking my eating habit. I tried the cabbage soup diet several times. It made me miserable. The farthest I ever got was the banana and skim milk day. I also tried the 3-day diet, the one that starts with the grapefruit. I did lose about 3lbs but it was back 4 days later. It was definitely not worth having grapefruit for breakfast. I didn’t try this again. I have also tried variations of Atkins and South Beach. Back in November of 2006, I stopped eating starchy food. It helped me drop pounds. However, it left me very depressed. I love adobo and it’s just not the same if you don’t eat it with rice. I couldn’t do it for more than 3 months. And once you start eating starch the weight creeps back little by little. Over the course of 14 months, I learned that moderation and portion control is the way to go. I could still eat what I like but in reasonable portions. It’s the most sustainable option I’ve found so far.
The last 10lbs. Its July 2007, I finally reached 130lbs. I’ve found a happy balance. I’ve been working out sans personal trainer. I have learned to make my own realistic workout program. I’m doing my walk/runs. I’m back to eating starchy foods. Then there I was again, swinging between 128 and 135lbs. Unable to reach my goal of 20% body fat.
Lifestyle Management. I have hit another plateau. I know when I need help. This time I decided to sign up with a lifestyle management coach. How did I benefit? The most important thing Mitch, my lifestyle coach, told me is that 20% body fat goal might be unrealistic. Relief! I was setting myself up for an unrealistic goal. She said another 10 more pounds would be enough. We discussed my habits, my workout program and what I have done so far to get to 130lbs and then she developed a progressive workout, running and eating plan for me. We sat down and set goals. The part I thought I would hate but eventually liked was doing the journal. I have to write down what I ate and my work outs. In the end, it left me empowered. I knew that I am able to bring the weight down and I have a data on how to do it. I always feel great when I meet the targets we’ve set for each week. After 10weeks, I finally reached my goal 24% body fat. I was 120 lbs.
Maintenance. When I finished my sessions with Mitch, I was a bit apprehensive. I’ve reached my goal weight, now what?!? All I know is how to lose weight. If I stick to what I’ve been doing, I just might go on losing weight. I realized I have no idea on how to maintain my ideal weight. During my final session with Mitch, we sat down and set new goals. My goal now is to maintain 115-120lbs, eat more so I’ll have enough energy for my runs and make sure I make time for weight training and stretching. It’s been three weeks since my program ended with Mitch. I’m still working on finding the balance between my food intake and work out. I’m so used to pushing hard that pulling back now makes me apprehensive that I will gain back the weight. I have to admit it’s not easy. However, it’s a new challenge that I willingly take on. I know I will have off days. I know there will be weeks when I will slack and gain back a few pounds or push too hard and dramatically lose weight. However, my whole experience has taught me what my mind and body can achieve. I am going to embrace this new lifestyle and reap its benefits. I can do it.
You can too if you give it a try.
Pictures by: JetteStar