I hate watching the show ” The Biggest Loser”. For a reality tv show, its not realistic enough for me. C’mon, who really has the money to afford to be away for 6 months without working and just focusing on losing weight? I know I don’t. But then again I was never really overweight.
Which brings me to this. I know some real people who’ve managed to LOSE BIG in their own way. And its amazing how far they’ve gone from when I remember them last. This is their story.
My Buddy Allan
The Turning Point
February 2008 – During a visit to the doctor, they tested my blood and found high levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. The doctor told me that since I was still relatively young, he wouldn’t put me under medication yet. He told me to come back in a month or so, and if I don’t show signs of improving, he will will have to prescribe maintenance drugs. That was all I needed to make major changes in my life.
The Lifestyle Change
The diet part was difficult since most Filipino foods are unhealthy. I started out by making healthy choices first. I stopped eating junk food–no candies, cookies, cake, chocolate, etc. I also stopped eating pork and beef and mostly just ate chicken,turkey and fish. At first I limited the amount of white bread and rice I ate, and eventually found myself staying away from them completely. I also loaded up on vegetables and had to transform myself into a salad-eater. This also led me into making fruits a major part of my diet.
Nowadays, most of my carbs are from fruits and vegetables. My liquid intake is limited to non-fat dairy, diet sodas and no beer ( 6 months ) as I was also having problems with my liver. Every now and then I’d indulge in a glass of wine but only when the occasion calls for it. In general, it was just eating the right foods and practicing portion control. I have to admit that it was very difficult in the beginning but I had to slug it out. Its even worse in the evenings because I can really hear my stomach grumbling. But eventually, I got used to eating this way.
The Exercise Plan
I started out by simply walking on the treadmill and riding the stationary bike. Since I was overweight, I had to take it easy in the beginning. I just had to ensure that I could put in at least 30 minutes of cardio and tried to push myself to do it everyday.
After a couple of weeks , I enrolled in a gym and started doing strength training. There was really nothing special about my routine. Just basic movements, some free weights and machines. I tried to go to the gym 5 times a week starting my routine with 30 minutes of cardiovascular training and then hitting the weight machines. Whenever I feel that my routine isn’t challenging enough, I either increase the intensity of my cardio training or the poundages I lift. After a few months, I decided to try running but at a slow pace and short distances only. But as I got stronger and felt better, I started alternating my gym days with running days working it up to 6 times a week. During my running days I’d average around 3 miles. After 8 months of consistently exercising, I was able to participate in 5K and 10K events.
At the time I visited my doctor in February , I weighed close to 265 lbs. Fast forward to October of that same year, 9 months after that fateful day I have dropped 75 lbs. and was weighing at 190 lbs. In the beginning I was able to lose weight pretty fast ( Around 3-4 lbs. per week ), but after awhile I was only dropping 1 or 2 lbs. at the most.
Today my weight usually hovers around 195 to 200 lbs. as I have been seriously focusing on building muscle. My diet’s not as strict anymore as when I started but I allow myself to cheat once in awhile. After all , I’ve earned it after all the the hard work I’ve done. I just have to remember that I still need to burn it off the following day.