Get ready, this is going to be a LONG post (It took me a couple days to write this whole thing too. Lol.) because I am going to go into detail about how I went from this...
At my worst, 136 lbs. At my height of 5"0 (yes, I am that small), I was overweight.
I don't even know where to begin! Haha. Anyway, my intentions for this post is so to show you all that it can be done, and that you don't need a gym membership or craaaaaaazy good self-control in order to do it. I'm going to start with...
THE MOTIVATIONWhy did I decide to lose weight?
- For health reasons - I got tired of being overweight, feeling so heavy, huffing and puffing every time I climbed stairs... At that time my diet was also very unhealthy--I ate whatever I wanted without thought as to how it would affect my health. Chips, soda, fast food--I just ate and ate and ate, with no regard as to how it would affect my body in the future. Because I was sedentary (a.k.a. a couch potato), I just kept on gaining weight! I continuously ate way above what my normal diet requires--around 1500-1800 calories a day for a sedentary person of my size. On some days I'd eat 5000 calories.
- To fight pain - Being without exercise and eating unhealthy threw my body off balance. As a result, every time I got my period I went through huge bouts of pain. Some days I'd be in so much pain I'd practically be paralyzed, lying curled up in bed in cold sweats, crying. Pain meds and hot compresses hardly helped. I still can't forget that day in school I collapsed onto the floor in the middle of class because of the pain. Also, at my heaviest my breasts were at 40D, so big I constantly had back pain. Walking in the mall alone would give me pain, my feet would hurt so bad, my knees bore the heavy weight of my body, my hips began to hurt.
- For myself - Living in a country like The Philippines where most of the people are skinny or at least slender always made me feel like the odd one out. While I don't mind standing out, it was hard for me to shop for clothes. Hardly anything would fit, sales people looked at you condescendingly and the shop displays would hardly have anything in your size. And oh my gosh, I could never find bras to fit me! Everything here is padded or too small. I guess I got tired of feeling bad for myself and I finally just decided to do something about it.
- I was inspired - Back then I did try to lose weight, but it never lasted long. For some reason, this time it just stuck. Because my skin improved, I thought 'why not work on getting your body to improve too?' I ran across a blog chronicling a girl's weight loss as well, and seeing her go from 250+lbs to 120lbs just inspired me so much. If she could do it, then I could lose weight as well!
So then I had the motivation. Now what, right?
Starting weight: 136 lbs
Goal weight: 115lbs
I had to see what my situation was. So at that time, December 11th of 2009 to be exact, I realized that I was at 136lbs or 61.82kilos. My height is 5 feet flat. My ideal weight should be around 100lbs, so I was 36 lbs over. I had no access to a gym (can't afford a membership), no home gym equipment, no running shoes, nothing. I also ate really unhealthily, so much so that my stomach was never really satisfied and I just kept eating and eating. I had bad habits (i.e. eating in front of the TV) that didn't help, too. So what did I have to help me lose weight? Well, just my motivation, the Wii and our old PS2. Thankfully, I still had a working DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) pad.
I also had no access to diet food and I could only eat what was at home.
At the start of my weight loss I was I guess you could say shy around people about working out or dieting because people would make fun. But I got over that. So then I told myself, "Okay Chrissy, if you can make it through the holiday season without gaining any weight, you can get to your target weight." My target weight was 115lbs. I'd told myself that if I could reach that weight, I'd be happy. By January 1, 2010, I had lost 6lbs.
LIFESTYLE CHANGE!Just then, I knew I was doing something right. So what was I doing?
Of course, before I started my weight loss effort, I had researched. I looked things up on the internet, at the library, in the bookstore..every single thing I could get my hands on about weight loss, I read. And they all seemed to agree: Weight loss is achievable through a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Not crash diets or fad workouts. Why did they say that is? Well, crash diets are just that--crash diets. It's good to help you lose weight in a matter of days to be able to fit into your LBD for that night out. But putting yourself under that much pressure, not eating, ignoring cravings..eventually you're headed for a binge. Apparently, people who go through diets end up heavier than they started because of all the binges to make up for or to reward themselves for their initial weight loss--totally wiping out any weight loss to begin with.
So I knew I had to make a lifestyle change. I would have to cut my calorie intake down to size and increase my exercise. The good part is, I'm still young so my body metabolic rate still had time to recover from the years of abuse I did to my body.
I knew I would have to stay 500 calories under my daily caloric requirements in order to lose weight--but if I were to do this I knew I would also have to exercise so that my metabolism would not slow down. I had to be careful not to starve myself because if I did my body would be encouraged to store whatever I did eat as fat. At that time, I began eating around 1500 calories a day. I only ever estimated how many calories were in something because not everything comes with nutrition facts.
You might think WOW, what does she even eat!? Well, I eat/ate normally, like I used to. But I willingly gave up junk food, fast food and soda (I do still eat all of this but only if I have no other choice). I worked on portion control. I used to eat more than a cup of rice with every meal (rice is a staple here where I live, every meal usually features it) and that is a lot of carbs and calories. So now I eat just about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of rice a meal. Enough to curb any potential cravings for it, enough to give me enough energy. It also allowed me to load up on vegetables--yum! I shifted so that the biggest part of my diet was fruits and vegetables. I still eat/ate meat for protein, and just because it's so hard to give it up in this country. I also made sure that there was less sodium in whatever I ate because salt = water retention. I snacked like normal--sandwiches with the crust cut off, crackers, granola bars, small treats. The most important part is that I never stop myself from having anything I was craving. This allowed me to still eat my favorite foods and prevent binging.
As for exercise, well.. I guess this is where I went a little bit heavy. I started first on the Wii then I realized that it was much too light for me. So then I moved on to DDR. Using the workout mode to estimate how many calories I burned, first I started at 150 calories per workout, until it escalated to 500 cals per workout. I worked out every day with only Sundays as my rest day. Every other day I would also do a little yoga and strength training (something that I really need to keep doing but can't be made to right now) just to firm up my muscles a little bit. I also did the Hip Hop Abs video workout whenever I felt like it.
I managed to stay motivated by telling myself there would be NO EXCUSES. I kept a food/exercise journal to keep track of how much I ate, lost, gained..if I noticed myself getting off track I quickly corrected myself.
Lo and behold, the weight started dropping off! And now, 6 months since I started, I'm still at 106lbs and working on getting to 100.
It sounds hard but in all actuality, it was rather easy! After the first two weeks, my stomach got used to the small meals, spaced out in the day so I was never hungry. The exercise was sometimes a hassle but it felt so good, so energizing! With my body producing the happy hormones via exercise, I was less snappy, too.
THE END RESULT
As you can see from the photos above, I lost a significant amount of weight. Enough to go from an XL to a medium (sometimes small)and a 40D to a 34C/D (I didn't lose much boob, just the fat around my back and the top of my chest). My current weight as I've said is 106lbs, just under 50 kilos. My measurements are now 35-28-36. I would show one of those before/after jeans photos (you know, the photo of the big jeans at current weight and after weight loss) but I forgot to take a before photo. If you want an after photo let me know.
I feel so much lighter. I can run up stairs easily. I can dance without being out of breath after a song. I feel so much healthier, so much more energetic, so full of life! I feel like I should at age 19, I no longer feel lethargic or tired. My feet, knees and hips no longer hurt when I'm walking (unless I've been standing for 5+ hours which is understandable). My period pains significantly lessened. The best part: no more back pain! Physically I am just so much healthier.
Losing 30lbs has made me so much more confident as well. Before I would walk with my shoulders hunched, trying to hide myself. I would never go into boutiques because I was afraid I'd get mocked, plus I didn't want the hassle of having to ask for bigger sizes (which the stores wouldn't normally have anyway). I could finally walk tall, wear heels without hurting my feet, wear sleeveless clothes. I could go to any boutique/store I wanted and pick something out of the racks and it would normally fit me (the only exception would be around the chest...I'm still larger than average there) fine. It has rewarded me with so much more confidence--so much so I even bought a bikini to wear over the summer months!
Simply put, losing weight has changed my life for the better. That's all there is to say about it.
I would never ever regret making the decision that I did.
OFF THE WAGON
Oops. From the end of February to the end of April, I hardly worked out (but kept my diet). Why? A number of things... school got really busy, my life got really busy, things like that. But because I'd jumpstarted my metabolism and trained myself to eat only what my body needed, I managed to keep my weight (despite a number of parties and weekends out). Still my endurance suffered and I had to start all over again.
THE CURRENT PROJECT
At the start of May I figured...hey, now that I'm much more fit, maybe I could pick up running since I did need exercise to stay healthy and to keep my weight. Funnily enough, when I lost weight my feet went down a size. So I could borrow my mom's running shoes. Now I'm starting an eight week (or less) program where the end result would be that I would be able to run for 30 minutes straight without stopping. I'm currently on week two and the longest I've run without stopping is 9 minutes.
I'm working on toning up, maybe losing a couple more inches around my waist and making sure that I have not much flab. My legs are toned as is but I need to work on my upper body. I'm also working to lose 6 more pounds so I guess you'll see posts about that sometimes.
My current motivation? Lady Gaga.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Of course this wouldn't be a proper blog post if I didn't post things that I've found helpful through my weight loss, would it!
- WATER. Need I say more? Make sure you get your daily intake requirements. If you're hungry, drink a glass or two of water before you snack.
- PORTION CONTROL. If you're eating a bag of chips or anything with nutritional facts and you see that there is more than one serving on the bag, take approximately one serving out and transfer it to a smaller bag. We are conditioned to finish what's inside a package so doing this will allow you to keep yourself controlled yet at the same time get just as much satisfaction as if you were eating a whole bag. But to make it easier on yourself, why not just buy packages that only have 1 serving in the bag (if available)?
- INDULGE YOUR CRAVINGS - If you feel like having chocolate, chips, soda, whatever, go ahead. Make sure you stay under your calorie limit for the day, though. Letting yourself have what you want keeps you satisfied and keeps those binges at bay.
- EXERCISE - Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day or at the least exercise 3 times a week. Make sure your work out session exceeds 10 minutes because exercise only really begins to get effective after the 10 minute mark.
- HOUSE WORK - Chores can double as exercise! Another reason not to ignore sweeping, dusting, changing those sheets and whatnot.
- DON'T BUY/KEEP FOOD AROUND THAT YOU KNOW WILL TEMPT YOU - Surround yourself with 'safe' foods. I've convinced my mom to buy more fruits and keep the house stocked with fruit at all times. I also go with her to the grocery so I can pick and choose my 'snack' foods. Right now I've got a stock of biscuits, cookies, cereal bars and crackers. Yum.
- TAKE THE STAIRS - Doing so instead of using the elevator allows you to burn more calories in your day.
- WALK OR BIKE - if you've got somewhere to go and it's a walkable/bike-able (is that a word? It is now ;P) distance, avoid taking the car. Not only will you help the environment, you'll also burn more calories and tone up those legs!
- EAT SLOWER - It takes your stomach around 20 minutes to send the signal to your brain that 'hey, I'm full'. So eating slower allows you not to eat more than you actually should. That or...
- STOP EATING WHEN YOU'RE COMFORTABLE, NOT FULL.
- DON'T EAT IN FRONT OF THE TV/COMPUTER - eating while you're distracted pretty much keeps you mechanically putting food in your mouth without regard to what you're eating. Not. Cool.
- YOGUUUUUUUURT. I could go on and on and onnnn about the benefits of yogurt!! There's protein, calcium, fruits, live bacteria, healthy digestion... Not to mention it's a great dessert and anyone can eat it (even if you're lactose intolerant!) I practically beg my mom to buy me yoghurt every time she drops into the store. Haha.
- MOTIVATE YOURSELF! - I make sure to keep my "fat jeans" hanging in my room as a reminder that I should never let myself go that way once more. It's working! Lol.
- FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU - Just because what I did worked for me doesn't mean it'll work for you. Short of going to a nutritionist, you're the only one who can actually decide what's best for you.
- DON'T GET OBSESSIVE OR GO OVERBOARD- It's not good to be borderline anorexic.
- HAVE FUN - who says weight loss has to be hard and tedious? I lost my weight playing videogames!!
- DON'T GET JEALOUS if you start your weight loss journey and you are surrounded by friends who don't care what they're eating.
- KEEP A JOURNAL - If you feel you're getting off track or you're getting tired it should help keep you motivated and on the wagon.
- CONSULT A DOCTOR before you start your weight loss journey--just in case there is something you can't or shouldn't do.
- DON'T HURRY - If you don't see the effects of your efforts right away, remind yourself that losing weight is like carving a statue out of marble. Just imagine you're carving the new you out of your old body. Also--a good rate to lose weight is 1-2 lbs a week. I guess I just powered through 30lbs and didn't even realize.
- DON'T GET COMPLACENT - Lose that weight, keep it off!
- VEGGIES AND FRUITS. :)
- CAREFUL WHAT YOU DRINK - usually those beverages are what throw you off course. A can of soda = 300+ calories. Don't fall for the 'zero cal', 'zero sugar' nonsense, too. Sugar substitutes = not healthy. Milkshakes and coffee drinks can easily be over 500 calories each. Once in a while it's okay, but on a daily basis, it's not really in your best interest.
- STAY NATURAL - try to stay away from processed foods.
- LESS SALT - season your food so that it's just right. Salt makes you retain water weight.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH - before you dive into something, put the work into it. If you don't know what you're doing you might be doing more harm than good.
- BUDDY SYSTEM - Sometimes, doing things with someone is easier than doing it alone. When I started with my weight loss, the rest of my family sans my dad joined in. Now we're all at least 10 lbs lighter. :) Plus having a workout buddy AND a support system is so much easier!
- LIFESTYLE CHANGE!
- And once you do lose weight, BE PROUD OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT! Show that new body off!
That's pretty much it, girls. I have so much more to share but that's all that comes to mind right now. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it informative and helpful. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me (my e-mail address is chrisellesy at gmail dot com).