Sunday, August 17, 2014

A milestone and a reminder to self

It's been a while since my last post that I may have forgotten how to write. Although this might too late already, I wanted to write about something before I forget to write about it. The first term of the school year is just around the corner. I might as well post a reminder to myself.

I had been trying to lose weight since March this year because I was too insecure with my weight back then. My height is not something to boast of, either. With my height, I already exceeded my ideal weight. Moreover, my excess weight was physically evident.

My tummy became flabby and my arms were beginning to get really fat. My face was too round, too, though it is round in the first place (it just became more like a circle). I couldn't fit my neck with my connected two hands.

My loose clothes began to feel uncomfortable to wear, so I had a limited set of t-shirts to wear every week. I didn't choose to wear the fit clothes because they would make my curves obvious. My pants were too tight. It's not like I could buy clothes of larger sizes at the moment. I had too many expenses in school to do that.

Aside from the discomfort my clothes brought me, I was also insecure of my figure. I wasn't really 'fat' or 'obese', but I was one you could consider 'chubby'. Nobody said it was absolutely a bad thing, but I heard other people say things about my figure in a suggestively offensive tone. It didn't make me feel okay most of the time. I had so much little self-esteem to begin with, and their words just added wounds to my already scarred self-image. Of course, I didn't want to stay as the victim of unwanted criticisms, so I thought I had to change myself. I want to feel good about myself, regardless of what other people will think of me feeling good about myself. Cutting on weight would also mean preventing the health risks that come with being overweight, or being obese if I wouldn't be able to control myself from gaining more weight.

You may say that one shouldn't care much about other people's opinions about oneself, but aren't humans naturally geared to hear his own and other people's thoughts? It's virtually impossible to NOT care at all about other people's opinions and comments, whether they make or break a person. Despite that, people can still learn which opinions to pay attention to, and it is all a personal technique--one which cannot be entirely taught from individual to individual.

How did I reach with that decision to lose weight? What did I do to achieve my goal? Being the lazy person I am, it was a tough start

It didn't really start with me. Without the external factors acting a simultaneously, I wouldn't have made the decision to seriously cut down my weight. Let me list them:

1. Our bloc/batch was witness to the drastic change in his appearance. His SSS photo showed his previous self, who was obviously fat. His face was so round that we could say for sure that he has turned into a healthy man. 
2. He himself was promoting our Food Chemistry class to begin a healthy lifestyle or to start cutting our weight if we were beyond our ideal body weight. He shared some tips on how to start the change. His advocacy and moral support had really helped me reach with my decision.
3. Some of my classmates were also intrigued and eager to start losing weight. We shared encouraging words to each other everyday or whenever we get to meet.
4. A guy friend immediately started his weight loss plan and with his efforts, it was evident that he really started slimming down. I was kind of envious of his achievement back then.

Those factors, along with my desire to comfortably wear my clothes again, sparked my interest in that kind of lifestyle, but I made sure to take things slowly. Doing it drastically by fasting and eating foods from unreasonable diet plans would surely do no good to me as I had already tried those a few years back. Doing those things only backfired and I rebounded.

So, here's the list of what I did and still do until now:

1. Cutting on carbs: I am originally a heavy rice eater. That means I normally ingested a lot more carbohydrates in a single day than an average person normally does. The heavy meals would often put me in a very full state, and I didn't feel comfortable from the sensation of being full every time.

From 1 1/2~2 cups of rice every meal, I slowly decreased the amount of rice I eat in every one of the three meals per day. I just made sure that my stomach would get accustomed to the less volume of food, and maybe get back to its original size. In contrast to the decrease in rice, I increased my protein in my diet. That means I decreased my rice-protein ratio. Every time I eat a meal, I also remind myself of the Japanese' mentality during meal, the hara-hachi-bu, or 80% full tummy (though not all of them follow this).
Furthermore, I tried to incorporate as much veggies as I could (being students in the small campus of the university, we only had a few choices with our food for lunch). Veggies really help in improving bowel movement.

2. Yes, it was kind of hard at first, because I wouldn't be really satisfied with the decreased amount of food at every meal, but I always disciplined my mind to make the right decisions every time I face a meal. It was a mental warfare every meal and I concentrated to win every time. Eventually, my stomach got used to the less amount of rice I eat (because maybe, the tummy returned to its original size).

3. I always have a bottle of water with me. Whether at school or in my room in the boarding house, I always kept a bottle full of water close to me. I wasn't really fond of drinking water and I originally could go by with just 3- to 5 glasses of water every day. Again, I had to discipline my mind to always consider drinking water whenever I feel even a little bit thirsty. I avoided drinking soda and juice, too. If I could, I would only drink them once a week. As a result, I now urinate more often and I'm glad to see that my urine become clearer and less yellow.

I also made it a habit to drink a glass of water immediately when I wake up in the morning and immediately before I get to sleep.

4. I monitored my weight weekly. Of course, my weight didn't always go down. My weight was always fluctuating within the first several weeks of my lifestyle change. But as I kept going, the trend was that my weight really did decrease from my initial weight.

These are all I did for about 6 months now and I had happily lost 9 kilograms. I didn't do weight training and running yet because I wanted first to reach my ideal body weight. But because of this achievement, I can start doing some supplementary exercises any time now.

It may seem a small accomplishment given the duration, but this really is a big leap for me that had taken many small steps. This is just the beginning to a healthier lifestyle I seek to embrace more.

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