Hitting a Wall: Weight Loss

Weight loss, weight gain: A struggle that everyone faces.

Wall art

This June marks the 7th anniversary of the beginning of my weight loss journey and for the first time ever I am revealing all. For me, it will never be over: I will always monitor my weight, in case of hiccups along the road, but more on that later…

Tall blue flowers

My story starts in high school.

I am naturally muscular and athletic, so I was never skinny growing up. My dad has thick legs, calves and thighs, and I inherited that. It was my biggest insecurity until I started to gain weight in my sophomore year of high school, then my junior, then my senior year. Soon it overtook the top position of enemy number one. It just kept building up and I never really stopped to analyze how. All I knew was that it was making me unhappy.

Then came senior prom.

Before weight loss
The guilty photo, 2010.

I took one look at the photos from that night and it was like I ran head first into a wall. I hated how I looked and some of the photos were particularly unflattering, of intensifying that insecurity. I just sat there nitpicking every little flaw until I scolded myself.

“Stop whining about it and do something!”

I was wasting time thinking about how unattractive I thought I was, when I could be using that energy to plan how to change the situation. I made a promise to my self right then and there to start my journey. Since graduation was only a week away, I set that as my official start date. This gave me time to analyze my lifestyle and properly prepare myself to undertake this monumental task.


Question One:

How was I sabotaging myself?

Answer: Hedonism. I was doing and eating whatever I felt like doing, regardless of it’s potential effect on my health. A year prior to this I had had a health scare and it was exacerbated by these negligent decisions.

Question Two:

What was an easy first step I could take, to help motivate me for the long haul?

Answer: Cut out the crap! I was eating family size bags of Heinz Salt and Vinegar chips and drinking cream soda daily. I would purposefully choose chip brands which had the most salt and vinegar coating for that special mouth feel the chips give you, an almost painful feeling but enjoyable. For an obvious reason that was a horrible decision (high sodium intake, practically abusing my heart). The soda I drank simply because it was there. My mum would buy cases of soda at a time instead of healthy drinks. Another easy to cut out food was ramen. I was the master chef of ramen, creating different variations to suit the taste of the day. My favorite recipe: celery salt, dried basil leaves, and half the broth mix poured in while cooking the noodles, the rest at the end. When I stopped to actually look at the nutritional label I was shocked to learn that, in fact, one package of my favorite brand, Top Ramen, was two servings. That meant that a chicken flavored pack was not 38% of my daily sodium intake for the day but instead 76%!

When I cut out all of three of these culprits, my first 10 pounds melted off. That was the only change I made: I did not increase my level of exercise.

Question Three:

How can I get myself to exercise more?

Answer: Experiment. At first I tried walking and jogging on the treadmill mixed with circuit training but the monotony of the treadmill bored me and the stares and interference from the gym bros demotivated me. Luckily, when I went off to college the school gym had “free” workout classes (included in the semester gym fee), an indoor track, and racquetball courts. For the longest time, I stared in envy at the people racing around the track, wishing I could be like them but instead settling for my boring treadmill. One day I plucked up the courage to try it out and it’s been a love story ever since!

Every once in awhile, I mixed things up by going to the kickboxing classes. These left me feeling incredible and toned as all hell the next day. I took up racquetball as a way to keep my strength up in between tennis seasons and discovered that if I actually tried, I could last for hours continuously on the court. (Which is not exactly good for your wrist…)

When I started to find exercises that I could do consistently, I finally dropped my “last” 20 pounds. I finally had an excuse to go on a shopping spree, buying new *tops, new *pants, new *bras, everything!

Let me explain why I parenthesized “last.

My body has not budged from that final number. I might fluctuate within 5 pounds in either direction, but it always returns to that number. It is the number that I remain at with a balanced lifestyle, whether I sneak in a few slices of pieces pizza and some fries or whether I am a saint. When I was a stock associate, doing heavy lifting everyday, my weight remained the same then too; I lost fat but gained muscle.

I’ve had to accept the fact that I might never reach the “number” of my dreams and what the BMI table tells me I should be based on my height.  I hit another wall and needed to change how I approach the issue. Now, I base my judgments on how I feel. Can I feel my lower abdominal muscles when I move a certain way? Can I lift that box without effort? I listen to my body and it gives me a live update on my progress.

After weight loss
A happy moment recently, 2017.

I am in the final stage of my journey, my final Pokémon evolution form. I am happy and content with my body but I know that I need to stay vigilant. It is so easy to have one too many “cheat” meals because life can be hectic and jam packed with family engagements, coffee catch-ups, and work assignments. I would much rather eat a few bites less of splurge meals everyday than to have to lose the weight later. I recently wrote about a hitch in my progress and how I am getting past it if you’re interested in reading more.

My journey is ongoing; weight loss and maintenance is a life-long lifestyle change and I am fully committed!

One happy side benefit of this journey has been discovering new, indulgent but healthy recipes such as banana-based pancakes!

What are some of your tips, recipes, or stories for weight loss? Comment below!


24 thoughts on “Hitting a Wall: Weight Loss

  1. Ja, nÃ¥r man søger pÃ¥ google! SÃ¥ kommer der tusindvis af fake hjemmesider op med nike sko.Det var sÃ¥ ærgeligt med glattejernet, har dog fÃ¥et et ægte i julegave, men alligevel det er 800 kr der bare gÃ¥r pÃ¥ en spild.Jeg har besluttet mig for at købe et par Ray Ban briller hos en optiker, sÃ¥ er jeg i hvert fald sikker pÃ¥ det er ægte 🙂 hehe


  2. Creo que me voy a ir a Ikea y a ver que precios tienen para cambiar ha habitación de mi hijo Arturo, que la tiene patas arriba todo el rato y dice que es porque no tiene armario suficiente para guardar sus cosas, que se prepare que se lo voy a llenar de muebles.


  3. Én már javasoltam neveket, de nagyon meghatódtam Magdi gondolatán, hogy a szülők után, akik közül az egyik már nincs velünk, legyen a kicsik neve Gyöngyhalász és Gyöngyharmat. Annyit változtatnék, hogy én a kisebbnek adnám a Gyöngyharmat nevet, vagyis:HY542 GyöngyharmatHY543 Gyöngyhalász


  4. Continuación del anterior, ya que se me quedó colgada la pregunta.Ahí va:Como quiera que mi despido es posterior al 15 de julio de 2012, ¿es correcto la petición al FOGASA de la indemnización correspondiente, al tiempo que la demanda de reclamación de cantidad a la empresa?¿Por el 100% o sólo por el 60% restante , además de nóminas y finiquito?Gracias por lectura y agradecería respuestas.SUERTE!!!


  5. “These folks are primitives, atavistic, truly scary – yet..and yet…still too much with us. Why, I dunno. Guess they just haven’t killed one another off yet.”-Sarah DeereCo-sign.You can go to many rural areas in this country and find these types to one degree or another. Muh’s?!Sort of like that Catholic priest caught w/ a beach babe. His name…Father Alberto Cutie. Look it up!


  6. Matt, hope you’re feeling much better now (and congrats on cleaning up behind-the-scenes messiness on the blog – always a great feeling when one is able to do that). Excellent links today, and thank you for including mine amongst them. Take care, God bless, and hope you’re 100 percent soon.


  7. Cette soirée au Grand Théâtre fut un moment de pur bonheur et Matthieu Arama enchanteur. C’est la seconde fois que j’ai la chance de l’écouter , et il est pour moi une vraie révélation. J’ai aussi bcp aimé la programmation surtout la française .Merci


  8. witajcie moje kochane marzycielskie istotki i ma mala niespodzianke dla wasod ok 3 dni temu dolaczyly do nas tutaj 2 nowe ciocie i zarazem moje kolezanki i wasze przyszle przyjaciolki to wspaniala ciocia Danusia ktora sama ma 2 cudnych szkrabow i koniecznie sama chciala tutaj przyjsc poznac was czyli malutka2626262 i Uwaga Uwaga – druga to obiecana juz kiedys ciocia Grazynka na ktorej radiu byly dla was te 2 audycje czyli nasza kochana ciocia prezenterka z radia solaris :-))) mam nadzieje ze sie ucieszycie:-)) bo ciocie sa wami zachwycone:-)) buziammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm:**


  9. Congratulations on feeling good in your own skin! You look really happy in the last photo =o) To stay in shape i like to switch it up with yoga and Hiit workouts and keep a healthy diet. I also rarely eat out since I don’t know what they are putting into my food.


    Liked by 1 person

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