Sometime ago, in June 2014, I already felt so huge, so heavy, and so unpretty (yes, my self esteem was low). I was 180 lbs (roughly 82 kgs) for my 5 ft and 3 in frame and was feeling empty and heading nowhere. I wanted to lose weight and feel good about myself and buy clothes that I truly like. But how?
I was managing a huge team of about 200 employees that time, yes, and I enjoyed the feeling of instant gratification whenever my team and I made significant leaps in our performance. My friends and team mates were always there when I need someone to watch a movie with me or to eat unlimited garlic bread in Bigoli or to munch and dine on huge pandesals over hot chocolate and cheese spreads. I would stay long hours in the office and won’t leave unless my body is too tired for my brains to analyze performance data and layout strategies to bridge performance gaps and improve performance.
Obviously, I loved being in the office and managing people and managing performance. But my own personal life was put in a stall.
I realized that I have been working hard to improve the performance of my team but I have neglected myself. If I can analyze performance gaps, I should be able to analyze where I can start to improve my well-being. I reflected on my food habits.
Why do I eat?
- I eat when I’m hungry. This usually happens during lunch time and dinner time.
- I eat when I’m stressed. Stressors in the office and my personal life cause me to get out and de-stress. Food calms me down.
- I eat when I’m bored. When I’m at home and not doing anything, I go out and buy bread in the neighborhood bakery.
- I eat when I’m sad. There is no better way to turn my sadness into joy but food. haha. 🙂
- I eat when my friends invite me out. I don’t like saying no to my friends. I always think that people takes effort to invite someone out and it’s not very polite to say no. So I go out and eat
- I eat when I see new restaurants. I like the feeling of being able to try new dish from newly opened restaurants. I like the feeling of being an authority somehow of where good food is.
- I eat out to celebrate my team’s good performance. I would bring my team out to good restaurants to enjoy good food. It’s always fun talking with them over good food. I eat.
- I eat when my boss celebrates good performance. My boss usually treats us with food when good performance is reported and acknowledged. I don’t say no to good food.
- I eat when I go to movies. Who wants to go to movies without popcorn and soda?
See. I kept on eating. Yes. And out of the 9 reasons why I eat, hunger is only 1 of them. I was eating for enjoyment. I wasn’t eating right. Yet I don’t want to stop eating.
I decided to enroll in a gym that same month. If I can’t stop eating, I decided that burning my fats is the best resolution to my ballooning weight.
My pic taken 4 days ago. I’m 132lbs here. My weight is now playing around 130-133 lbs. I’m back to exercising.
How exercise helped me eat right
A month after I started going to the gym, I noticed that I’m eating lesser portions of food than what I used to have. I also noticed that I don’t eat as often anymore. Something changed. My eating habits changed without me planning to. Wow!
- I was feeling good about myself. I was feeling less stressed. In fact, I didn’t care about stress anymore. I didn’t have to do stress eating.
- I was feeling happy all the time. Each time I stepped on the scale and saw my weight decreased, I felt happy. I became more determined to lose weight. Exercise released my happy hormones. Sadness eating was driven out.
- I started exercising at home too. Now I had something to do at home. Instead of munching cheese bread, donuts, and cheeseburgers, I donned my running shoes and walked, jogged, and ran around the neighborhood. Sweat felt so good. I didn’t have time to eat for boredom’s sake.
- I learned to say no to food outing. I saw improvements in my leg muscles. My legs were getting firm and started to show good shape. I didn’t want to interrupt the improvement I was seeing. I started to politely say no to friends who invite me to eat out.
- New restaurants became just a sight. When new restaurants opened, I learned to appreciate the fact that it’s new and it offers something new. But I learned to say no. 😉
- Good performance begets celebration. When my team delivered good performance and I treated them with food. I celebrated with them with a few bites. I wasn’t tempted to get full anymore. I enjoyed few bites on the food that my boss would buy for us to celebrate too. The celebration is more important than the food.
- Movies but no popcorn. When I watched movies, I would have my dinner first. That way, I cut expenses from buying popcorn and soda, and cut my calorie intake too.
- Soda and bottles juices no more. Exercise made me appreciate water more. With zero calories, I indulged the refreshing taste of cold and hot water too. I ditched soda and bottled juices. I stopped drinking calories.
Without making plans on what diet I would take, exercise helped me follow good eating habits, albeit naturally. It started with me not feeling as hungry as before. Then it became a choice not to be hungry. I ate fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, and beef. I ditched the milk too, instead, I drank water and coffee. I exercised and ate a lot while eating unprocessed food and saying no to rice.
I lost 52 lbs in 12 months. I dropped my weight from 180 lbs to 128 lbs. And I’m loving it.