As a child, I super (AS IN SUPER) enjoyed eating. I loved rice with savory viand (sometimes, even for snack!), bread, chocolates, junk food, you name it! I was not always hungry but I liked tasting food ALL THE TIME. Okay, you have my permission to judge me. Haha. I did not really care about my food choices because, duh, I was just a child! And why does junk food have to taste so good?! My parents also did not stop me from eating. They did warn me from time to time that I’m getting heavier, but they never hid food from me, never let me starve just to lose weight. I’ve never really posted a picture of me being overweight obese before.
I was the biggest kid during the 2nd grade…
…in the 3rd grade…
…and in the 4th grade as well. O diba, undefeated! Haha
Anyway, because of those countless binge eating, I grew larger and larger each year. However, my weight only became significant to me everytime my picture had to be taken (like during class shoots) and whenever I had to buy clothes. If I go to the kids’ or teens’ section, nothing would fit me. I had to buy clothes from the women’s section, especially for jeans. I used to love reading Candy magazines so imagine how sad I was everytime I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted, just because there’s no size for me. I also had a hard time during PE classes because, you know, I felt heavy, I was really heavy. I couldn’t run as fast as the others, or jump as high as my girl friends did while playing Chinese garter. I was confident when it comes to academics, music, and making friends, but never with sports. I loved “sungka” though, does that count as a sport? Haha
Have you noticed my dilemma here? Uso pala mag-cross ng legs. I could still remember this moment, how I really tried to lift my right thigh over my left thigh and failed, so I faked it. Haha!
Despite these difficulties, food still won over me. I ate and ate and ate. There was no stopping me! Then, when I was at my 2nd year in high school, we were required to weigh ourselves and compute our BMI (compute yours here). I’m not sure if it was the first time for me to be aware of my weight (I always knew I had a big waist, though) but the number stuck with me. 77. I weighed 77 kilos, 169.4 pounds, with a BMI of about 33.15. I WAS OBESE and I did not like it. In addition to that eye-opening moment during PE class, I noticed that in my barkada, I was the ony “fat girl.” Everyone seemed to have a fit or slim built. Nobody seemed to be obese or overweight. I was the only exception. However, there was never a moment that I have been bullied for being fat, I am thankful for that. My friends really valued me for who I am.
Being a fat kid doesn’t mean you cannot perform in public. 😉
I know it’s not good to compare yourself with others but during that time, I was a teenager and I became insecure about my body. I knew there was a way for me to change the way I feel about myself. So, at 13 years old, I was decided and very determined to be a better version of myself. Say this with me, “My name is _____ and I am (overly) obese.” O diba, parang alcoholic lang. Haha. But seriously, admitting to myself that I was excessively obese was what made me realize that I needed to take action. I accepted that fact and then tried to do something about it.
With my classmates during first year in high school. People would tell me, “Maganda ka sana kaso, angtaba mo.” Edi, wow. Eh diba nga beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty queen kaya ako.
Pwede rin namang idaan sa Q&A, diba?! The only thing bigger than me on that stage was the trophy. Haha
Honestly, I did not have a plan at first. I started losing weight when I was in 2nd year high school just by limiting my food intake. I didn’t lose a significant amount though, because all I did was to lessen how much rice I ate. It was hard letting go of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton, but I eventually did (parang pag-ibig). Then, after realizing that I was capable of controlling my diet, I devised a plan on how the transformation (hahaha) would take place. During the summer before 3rd year high school, I was the most goal-oriented obese teenager. Every morning, after getting up from bed, I’d jog for about an hour. It was hard at first, since I’ve never jogged for an hour in my entire life. But, everytime I felt like giving up, I think of my end-goal. I kept my eyes on the prize, always. After jogging, I’d go back to my room and do basic crunches. Ramdam na ramdam ko na naiipit yung mga bilbil, I swear. But wait, there’s more. Every afternoon, I do jumpropes naman. I think I did about 500 jumps each day. #determined
If you think exercising twice a day is crazy, wait til you hear how I changed my diet. I didn’t have a meal plan for each day but I counted calories. I completely excluded rice from my meals and avoided pork, junk food, and other “unhealthy” choices. I also did not eat pancit canton that entire summer. Century Tuna was my best friend, along with Sky Flakes crackers and tofu. I ate only the egg whites, and excluded the yolks. Drank lots of water, especially whenever I felt hungry. I also tried to make vegetables a large part of each meal. I did not eat ice cream, cake, or chocolates as much as possible. I can’t remember how many cheat days I’ve had, but they were definitely out-numbered by my “dedicated” days. Sometimes, I would feel dizzy for a few seconds, which I supposed at that time was because of the low caloric intake. It was really hard to change the way I ate, especially when I was used to eating so much. By the end of that summer, I was almost 30 pounds lighter. I was still chubby at that time, but not as big as before anymore. I was able to buy clothes from the teens’ section and I just felt better about myself. During third year high school, I was not able to continue exercising everyday but I made sure that I ate less. I was still able to shed some pounds off.
During the summer before 4th year high school…
Hooray for sartorial freedom!
These were taken when I was in college.
Meanwhile, when I’m not studying for med school…
So, you see, it can be done. Because I did it. I am not an expert on weight loss, but I still read articles about which food to eat and which exercise works best to have a fit and healthy body. I try my best to pratice a healthy lifestyle (eating healthy, exercising at least three times a week), although I sometimes give in to some unhealthy food choices. But still, I manage to rarely eat pork and other fatty food, eat less rice, add more fiber to my diet, and consume fruits and vegetables. My BMI is now around 23.5 to 24 (normal according to the WHO/International standard, but still a bit on the overweight side based on the cut-off for Asians, read about these here and here). Right now, being in my early 20’s, I don’t aspire to have a super thin, with a thigh gap kind of body. I just want to be fit, so as to lessen my risk for different cardiovascular and metabolic diseases that usually manifest as one ages. I’m still on my journey to having that dream body, with the right amount of lean mass and body fat, and I always look back to my “fatty past” to be reminded that I can have it!