My Journey Towards Healthy Living

Today, I am writing a retrospective feed. Why?

Because I never got to write about this journey. I have an Album in my Facebook account with the same title above. It showcases my food choices and the exercises that I’ve done leading to my results. I have always been a slim girl. Used to weigh only 98 lbs during my college days. I could eat whatever I wanted and drank all I could without gaining a pound. My metabolism was quite fast even without working out. I’ve always lived an active social life though, so I was almost always out of the house.

Fast forward 2006, at the age of 24, I’ve started noticing that I’m gaining a little weight. But it was too little to mind and I still looked good then. It was during my 28 years of age that I started getting a little chubby but even then, I still looked fine. I still eat and drank a lot and yet still looked great. Ehem. Haha! But once I hit 30 years old, bam! My metabolism really started slowing down. And I really felt it. The usual amount of food and drinks started showing unwanted results on different parts of my body.

You see, it was quite hard to change my eating and drinking habits due to the fact that I had no limitations on my food and liquid intake and had no weight problems ever since. I was warned by a cousin who was a few years older than me about the weight dangers at age 30, but I did not believe her then. Not until 2016 when I started having a really round face and couldn’t wear most of my favorite clothes anymore because they started looking unflattering on me. I must admit, that was when I started losing confidence in myself.

Comparison photos helped me push myself more and see trouble areas in my body that needs more work!

A good friend then, who is not my friend anymore (don’t ask why), started pointing out my weight issues and that I should do something about them. You see, even the celebrities that we so admire are doing their share of healthy diet and exercise no matter how hot and amazing their bodies already are. Age was what I used as a reason, which was true. However, it was just an excuse because I honestly did not know what to do. Until one day, I noticed that I started getting short breaths just by walking a few steps. I thought it was really alarming since I did not tire easily in the past and had a lot of things going on for me without any type of breathing troubles. And also, that moment came, on March 1, 2017, when I looked at the mirror and told myself that I didn’t like the girl that was looking back at me anymore.

I made a decision that I was unsure of at the beginning, which definitely changed my life later on. I started documenting it on my FB account because it was my way of staying true to the commitment. This forced me to really arrive at the finish line because a lot of people were witnessing my progress. The comment section affirmed the results of my efforts, every time.

They don’t look like the same girl to me!

I started reading a lot. About the right types of foods, eating strategies, and the different types of workouts that would target my troubled areas. My journey started with superficial reasons, which was to start looking good again. But as time passed by, I started appreciating the fact that I did not feel heavy anymore and that my energy was somehow back to how it was. I felt so alive and looked good again. And it made me really happy.

So, what was it exactly that I did?

Among all the eating methods that I’ve read, I turned to small frequent feedings which meant eating every 3-4 hours. Yes, my meals and snacks used to have a strict schedule. Aside from this I stopped eating rice on the weekdays and only had full rice meals on the weekends. I don’t believe in depriving one’s self totally. I was practicing discipline. It wasn’t easy to give up rice, believe me. It was a gradual habit deformation. I started with 3/4 of a cup, to only a half, and eventually to none. Had to either reduce or eliminate unnecessary carbs in my diet but its absolute absence was impossible. I am a bread-in-the-morning-with-a-cup-of-coffee person at home, so I turned to wheat bread instead of white bread.

And oh! My coffee used to be sweet with lots of cream before. At work it was always 3-in-1. And if I was at a coffee shop, whipped cream was always a part of my cup or glass. I also had to gradually let go of sugar from 1 teaspoon, to 1/3, to only a half until I started enjoying totally dark black coffee. And once you go black, you will never go back! Trust me. I hate any type of sweet coffee now, though I give myself a chance to try out other types of coffee every now and then.

So generally the diet that I followed was: low carbs, low sugar, low fat, low sodium, high protein, and high fiber. Google can help you find these types of foods, the options are endless. And green tea! Green tea helped speed up my metabolism again and was definitely one of the reasons how I’ve started losing unwanted and excess abdominal fat. Oh! I also added different types of probiotics in the mix since they are good for our gut! Basically, I was reading more into the Japanese Lifestyle then. They are the very people who practice portion eating. Like bento! And they are not really into desserts or useless sugars.

I had a strict diet from Mondays to Fridays but I chose to live a little on the weekends!

Of course, the shift in food options led to my weight loss results. But to shape up again, I needed some focused workouts. We are in luck that all that we need to know, can now be found online. I started reading different articles and did my share of research. I made sure that I’ve executed my workouts properly to get my desired results and to avoid getting injured as well. Most especially that I prefer home exercises. And amazingly, I was able to achieve the look that I wanted. All of my favorite clothes started to fit great on me again. And I was so glad that I didn’t do away with them yet. I keep my clothes for years, as long as they still look well-kept. I still have my graduation dress last 2004. And now, it doesn’t even look old at all!

Below are the photo results of the different types of focused workouts that I’ve done for the areas that needed extra work. Don’t get me wrong! I did whole-body exercises at the same time. I was doing more of High-Intensity Interval Training. It really kept my heart pumping!

Your result photos will keep you going. It’s somehow addicting.

And last but not least?

Drink lots of water per day. Avoid soda and any other sugary drinks. Even alcohol, most especially beer. It’s not called beer belly for nothing. Plus, water flushes out toxins and waste from our system.

I believe that there is no single formula that works for everyone. Find what it is that will lead to the results that you want. But do make sure that you’ve done thorough research because not everything online is right or healthy. Just always remember that when you want something, go and do something towards it. All it takes is just the first step, and if you are persistent and consistent, it will take you to the exact destination that you so coveted. Eyes on the prize, guys!

A Year’s Transformation!

You can do it, too! If you’re not there yet, that is. Hope this helped!

My Transformation Photos
What Worked For Me
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53 comments

  1. Jen Walker

    I’ve been putting on a lot of weight over the past couple of years, largely due to depression issues, and I’m at a point where I just want to do something about it. I don’t mind being curvy, it’s the feeling tired and just not having the energy that I really miss. I’m going to have to look more into exercises at home myself, and it helps I have an elliptical and a pool at home.

  2. Tia J McKinzie

    What a great healthy adventure! you look fantastic! I am making better diet choices with things like salads instead of crap food.

  3. Allan Anova

    It’s nice to know you’re having a successful journey towards healthy living and it’s showing results. Sometimes it’s just tall about motivation and there will be days you are not motivated. When that day comes you just have to fight it to continue your journey.

  4. steph

    I’m glad you have achieved your goals.your after photos look amazing.
    I’ve being trying to gain weight,but it seem like Everytime I reach a certain point I lose the weight once again.

  5. Amber

    You are doing awesome and look fabulous. I try to be somewhat healthy. So long as my pants fit, I don’t panic.

  6. Cristina Petrini

    I have embarked on a similar journey and I must say that the satisfaction and joy that comes from it is not only for the body, but also for the mind.

  7. Tessa

    I love that you took such a balanced approach to being healthy! It is so great that you could find a way to not deprive yourself while also being able to lose weight to get to a place where you felt more comfortable in your own skin. Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

  8. World In Eyes

    What a great discipline, you continued focusing on your targets, search, eating habits, eating methods with food types and eating strategies made you strong and you achieved your vision. Agree with you that there is no a single formula for everyone, but research will make able to achieve targets. Be happy be healthy.

  9. Heather @ US Japan Fam

    We all struggle with this at some point. Good for you realizing when you needed to make a healthy change! Some wait too long and then it’s such an overwhelming battle they just can’t overcome. I had a decade of party / eat crap lifestyle through college and the years following while I worked abroad. Then something just kinda clicked when my life stabalized with boyfriend turned husband and became a mother of 3. But every once in a while I realize I’m not getting quite enough exercise in or having 1 too many desserts in a week and the jeans fit a bit too snug LOL it’s a constant battle am I right!?

    1. CA

      Yes, it is. Most especially now. I am trying to get back to clean eating and working out. And since I follow the 80/20 rule, 80% diet and 20% exercise, I want my body to get used to my change in eating habits first before I start regularly working out. I have to adjust to 1 rice meal only per day. So far so good. I will keep this up. I also indulge in the weekends. So 1 cup of rice per day only applies on the weekdays. Maybe in a month’s adjustment or 2, I can finally start my regular workouts.

  10. Joanna

    You did an amazing job to lose so much weight in just 10 months. I know what you mean when you say the 30s hit, the same thing happened to me.

  11. Kez

    I think that not many people are taught how to eat properly as children and we only find out as adults just how wrong most things we were told about food are!

    1. CA

      I think that you are right. The problem with being a child is being picky at food. But I guess if parents took the time to really educate their kids, and stick to what is right, then we’ll already have the habit of good eating until adulthood.

    1. CA

      Yes! Mahirap at the start! Promise. But keep looking at pics of your goal look and just keep at it. Slight results usually come on the 4th week. And gets better onwards. 🖤

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