Make yourself sexy with this liquid condiment

Not too long ago, I have been called so many names. Not too flattering names in fact.

I was called “Baboy”, the Filipino word for pig and I was called other demeaning names in reference to how big I was.

One day while visiting a friend’s Facebook wall where he posted one of my photos we took near our office, one of his Facebook friends wrote in the comments section with the word “Balyena” the Filipino word for a whale.

Yes, being called those names in reference to my being fat, did not help me with my self-esteem. Truth be told. Those names hurt. Ouch!

But, those were a thing of the past now.

The wheels have turned!

metoo

From 180 lbs to 125 lbs 

Today, I get more reassuring comments each time I post photos of myself on my wall. And I always get comments asking how I shed off the fat. I also get private messages asking me what my secret is.

Of course I always gladly oblige. I am happy to share to my friends how I melted 53 lbs in 11 months of my weight loss journey. And not just that. I’ve managed to keep my figure in shape now, effortlessly.

My favorite Fat-melting condiment

Vinegar.  This mouth-watering condiment with all its sour flavor is getting rave in the weight-loss community. The most popular type among those who are aspiring to lose weight and those who want to maintain their sexy shape is the Apple-Cider Vinegar.

But Apple-Cider Vinegar is relatively costly and it doesn’t taste as good as my favorite vinegar when used for cooking and for dipping.

apples-and-vinegar

Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

My favorites are those vinegar made from cane and from coconut. This type of vinegar has the right sour taste for cooking my favorite protein dishes. This is also perfect for dipping fried fish, poultry, and meat.

datu puti

Source: http://www.nutriasia.com/products/productdetail/datuputi&l=0

What is in the vinegar that helps you lose weight?

Vinegar increases satiety which results to reduction in the amount of food that you take. Vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin level which results to the decreased craving for more food.

For instance, during breakfast, I would have a medium piece of fried galunggong (mackerel scad) and 3 pieces of 20-g pan-de-sal and a cup of coffee. I enjoy it with cane vinegar dip of about 3 tablespoons (9 calories only!). The taste is so good that my focus is in enjoying the entire piece of fish. I feel full afterwards that my next meal will be about 5 or 6 hours later already.

Dr. Mercola, wrote in www.mercola.com an article which highlighted a study in which those who ate high-carb meal but consumed small amount of vinegar with it, ate less food throughout the day compared to those who did not have vinegar. The study showed a reduction of about 200-275 calories among those who consumed vinegar.

Given that range of calorie reduction, in a month, you would have a healthy weight loss of about 1.5 lbs without doing exercise!

Take that!

Vinegar makes you look younger

Oh yea. When I was still fat, I looked considerably older than my age. Now, some of new acquaintances always mistake me for someone in the late 20s or in the early 30s. Haha. Flattering.

Vinegar helped me achieve this through its anti-oxidant properties. The antioxidants in vinegar removes free radicals that causes oxidative stress and inhibits oxidations that can cause you to age faster. Because of the antioxidants in vinegar such as catechin and chlorogenic acids, your skin can have better glow making you look younger.

Vinegar controls diabetes

Years before I changed my lifestyle, my doctor told me I was already borderline diabetic. That said, if I didn’t control my food intake and the type of food I eat, I would become diabetic.

Last year, during my medical check-up, the talk about diabetes didn’t even come up!

A study published by the American Diabetes Association showed that vinegar helped insulin-resistant diabetics (type 2 diabetic) raise their sensitivity to insulin. Their conditions improve by taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar before going to sleep.

I love vinegar

Each time I eat and vinegar is available, I would always have it.

I would replace fried chicken gravy dip with vinegar. I would replace catsup with vinegar. I would even put vinegar in my soup.

And I just love it.

 

 

 

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From Fat to Fab: How I lost 25 kgs fast

The image of my obese and sickly 81.81kg-self back in June 2014 is still on my head. It’s still vivid.

It used to make me so awkward and lowered my self-esteem. I always wanted to lose those unnecessary fat, fast.

meandmyfriendsapril2014

Me in April 2014 with my favorite Aeropostale shirt.

It was impossible to fit in the clothes that I want.   I wanted to look fab too but I couldn’t. I always had to settle with what fits instead.  I would end up buying slacks and blouses that I would outgrow in just a few months. Heck! In my peak, my clothes sizes were 3xl and 4L. Wearing those clothes made me look older than my age.

It was also a pain riding in the FX, a transportation in the Philippines where a 3-seat row is packed with 4 people. And those FX seatmates would look at me as if I caused everyone to be packed too tight causing their discomfort!

“Common, I paid for this seat too. Stare at the driver for packing all 4 of us here. Don’t look at me.” I always wished I could give them a little sarcasm. “Hello, were you not taught that it’s really rude to stare?”

meinbgc

My photo of me taken 4 days ago during our Sunday night hangout with friends.

It’s all a thing in the past now. I have successfully achieved my goal of shedding off 25kg of unnecessary fat. From an 81.81kg awkward and obese woman, I am now 56.6kg.  And my clothes size is no longer 3xl. It is now size small.

And yes, I’m more confident with myself now too. And happier.

Of course some of my friends and acquaintances would ask me what pills I took or if I took some special diet drinks and teas.  No way! I didn’t do that and I don’t plan to do that either. And so when I told them what I did, they are all too surprised.

Here are 4 tricks which I did to lose 25 kg of unnecessary weight and prevent them from coming back

1. Drink lots of cold water.  Yes. And I mean cold water not hot or lukewarm water.  It takes 9.5 calories more to burn cold water than its counterpart at room temperature. It’s a trick to make our body burn more calories for us even if all we did is just drink water.

I drink at least a glass of cold water in the morning right after I wake up. It’s refreshing and makes me feeling full. Aside from that, it hydrates and flushes toxins out of my body. All throughout the day I drink at least 6 glasses (about 1.4 L) of cold water.

2) Drink a cup of Zero sugar coffee with unsalted butter every morning.  I put 10 g of unsalted butter to my customary cup of morning coffee. Although I am not obsessed with what brand of butter that is, I have been loyal to Anchor Butter, a brand that comes from New Zealand because their cows are grass-fed. Haha. I support organic products too.

For only 72 calories all in my cup of coffee and thanks to the good fat in the butter,  I enjoy full-bodied coffee which makes me feel full for about 5 hours. Yes, with a cup of this mix, and at least I can last the whole of my morning without any cravings for other food. And I don’t feel hungry either.

But because I am a proponent of no skipping breakfast, I always have at most 4 pieces of 20-g pan de sal too. Or I would have a piece of apple or a small solo-sized pineapple for breakfast.

3. Eat veggies and meat for lunch.  The macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fat –  are necessary for our body to carry its normal functions. Aside from their major functions, they are also needed for our body to absorb and use certain vitamins and minerals. That said, my lunch will always have vegetables and meat, poultry, or fish. And of course, I drink at least a glass of cold water with it too.

veggies

My typical lunch. It always has mixed vegies and I pair it with either meat, poultry, or fish.

4. Eat lots of fresh fruits.  My favorites are pineapples, apples, banana, pears, and watermelon. They are a regular in my fridge and on my table. These fruits are high in fiber and low in calories. A cup (165 g) of chunk fresh pineapple for example only have 82 calories. And 1 large apple of about 223 g only has 116 calories.

You can eat until you are full without to worry about packing too much calories. And to top that, you would notice your skin will acquire a different kind of beautiful glow.

The results

Of course I did not lose all 25 kgs in a matter of 10 days.  I had to do it the right and healthy way. I lost about 6 – 9 lbs of weight each month in the first few months then it stabilized at around 5 lbs every month. I made it to 128 lbs in April 2015 coming from 180 lbs in June 2014. That’s 11 months from when I started my healthy weight loss journey.

You can make it too. Remember: Obesity is not a life sentence.

Being fit and fab is totally in your hands!

 

The day I played basketball

Yesterday, I played basketball with some of my male and female friends. It was a thrill-of-a-game that got all of us players pumped up and hyped up. To top it all, I played a triple role: a player, the coach, and the team manager.

Me and my friends were having a good time. We were winning. I felt the adrenaline rushed all over my sweaty body. The crowd was crazy and ecstatic. It was the kind of happy crazy. I was feeling high and happy myself too.

Few minutes before the end game, the other team got ahead of us by hitting an open 3-pointer. There was a mad scramble and my teammate got hold of the ball. I supposed he must be feeling the pressure as he threw the ball to our teammate in the other court instead of passing it to someone close to him. The opponent intercepted the pass and we lost our turn.

It was crunch time and the ball was on our side now. Just one sure 3-point shot in those last seconds will make us win the game.

We only had 3 seconds left when my teammate passed the ball to me. The crowd went crazier and the screams were all over. I felt the need to throw the ball to the ring, no matter. From the 3-point line and with the opponent guards trying to block the shot, I threw the ball to the ring.

basketballon

Source:  http://sports.inquirer.net/files/2014/07/basketball-ball-ring-net-stock-photo.jpg

The basketball got into the basket, the buzzer rang while the ball continued to dance inside it. We stopped what we were doing and stared at the ring. The ball danced for a few seconds more, bumping the sides of the rim. Then it got out of the basket instead of making the score.

We lost the game.

“We could have made it if that ball got in!” I can hear frustrated voices and sighs of disbelief. I felt down. I know I could have made us win if that ball got in. Depression started to creep in. The thought of the what ifs were overwhelming.

I looked at my teammates and they were not too happy either. All their hard work are gone in that one moment that I could have made that winning shot.

I felt accountable and responsible not just for my emotions but for the feelings of my friends and teammates too. As a player, coach, and manager, I am frustrated and depressed about the results too. But looking at my teammates looking all too sad and upset, I know I have to do something. This is no longer about what I feel now. This is already about what everybody feels.

I had to get out of my own frustrations and help my team feel better.

I approached my team and smiled a happy and sincere smile. I felt light actually when I smiled.

“Good job everyone. You guys did a good job today. We did good today. See we almost made it. That means, we can make it the next time. I am happy to have played the game with you. You guys are awesome!”

I felt even better when I talked to them in that manner and I saw their faces lightened up and saw them smiling and cheering. “Oh what a game!” I thought to myself. That was fun.

Then I felt like I needed to go to the ladies room. And I woke up.

20160110_114543-1-1

I dreamed about basketball the night after I played badminton.

Yes it was a dream. A vivid and lucid dream and all in colors. It was a dream that gave me a feeling of happiness, calm, and peace.

When I make a goal for myself and circumstances make me take a different turn for the moment, it is just like that ball which danced around the rim for a while and then bounced out of basket.  It isn’t just me whose emotions are affected by the ball getting out of the goal. The people around me are affected to.

It is my responsibility to improve on my mark and practice throwing the ball right. Those misses are a good chance to learn and to make it right the next time. It is my responsibility to get up and not allow life’s little detours to determine what tomorrow will be.

coffee

Yesterday’s game is over. And tomorrow is another day. We will play again. And we will be better. And I will see my friends and family feeling lighter and happier because we are all in this together.

We are a team. And this is how teamwork, works.  🙂

My 2016 priority list

Two weeks before 2016 comes, I am now putting into writing my new year’s list of priorities. This is like a new year’s resolution except that I’m focusing on what I will do instead of what I won’t do. I am embracing what I want to accomplish rather than think about what I should not.

  1. Get my driver’s license. I bought a car in August of 2015 despite that I don’t know how to drive. Finally the thought of going on a joyride out-of-town on weekends got me the kicks to finally drive.  Thanks to my friends who gave me practical lessons on weekends, I’m learning how to drive now. I’ve enrolled in a professional driving school too. It feels great.
  1. Get a new apartment. I love my apartment of 3 years. It’s comfortable, big enough for me, and the water is free. Oh yea. I can practically let the water run all day and I don’t have to worry about the water bill if I wasn’t environmentally friendly. But I am certain that I’m going to be super busy in 2016 and I need a place near my office. I’m excited to decorate my new place. A little celebration with a few of my friends is going to be worth it.
  1. Travel at least once a month. This is going to be exciting. I’m going to travel at least once a month starting in February of next year. I’m going to try local dishes and delicacies. I’m going to take lots of photos and build good memories. This year is going to be a year of travelling, driving, and learning.
  1. Read at least 1 book per month. This is going to be challenging. What with so many things I can read online? In fact this year, I only finished one book. I am starting another one called “Eat, Pray, Love” but since I’m reading it on its PDF Format, it doesn’t count as reading a physical book. Next year will be different. I am going to read a physical book, one for each month. Just like the old no-internet days when I used to read books before I go to sleep. I am excited.
  1. Do acts of kindness to random people at least once a month. Every day is an opportunity to do acts of kindness. We do it to our friends, family, and the people that we work with. In 2016 I am making the conscious choice to consciously do random acts of kindness to people I don’t know. I know it is going to be such a joy to buy lunch for someone who couldn’t or give grocery baskets to someone who couldn’t buy one.
  1. Go back to climbing the wall and get to the top. This year, I had the chance to go wall climbing with a friend several times. But my fear stopped me from getting to the top. In 2016, I am going to conquer that fear. I will be at the top of the wall. Hail Jon Snow! lol.
  1. Get physical with walking and running. Walking and running helped me get back in shape. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 127 lbs. These physical activities made me feel good about myself and toned my muscles too. In the last quarter of 2015, my 3x a week of walking and running has reduced drastically. Although I am still able to keep my weight in check through proper food eating habits, my physical activities were put in the sideline. In 2016, I’m going to sweat it again regularly.
  1. Memorize at least one karaoke song. We Filipinos love going to the Karaoke. I love going to the karaoke with my friends too. My challenge however is that, I don’t memorize any song. I feel awkward every time I have the mic because I feel like I can’t finish a song. Haha. But this time, I am going to memorize my karaoke piece. So bring it on.
  1. Always wear the attitude of gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for. The challenges in my life for making me wiser. The problems for making me stronger. The pain for making me understand happiness better. For success for making me humble. For the friends and family who cheered for me for my success and supported me in moments of weakness. There is always good in every circumstance. There is always something worth thanking for.
  1. God above all else. I dedicate my 2016 to God. I’m praying that I will be wiser and more discerning in my decisions. I surrender my will and my desires to His goodness. In Him I put my trust. “Jesus, take the wheel”.

 

The hunger games

Today, in this very early morning I thought of you as I run water on my car and wiped it with that unused blue car wiper. I remembered you as the water and the rug slowly erased the hearts drawn by the neighborhood kids on my cars back shield. I cannot count the number of strategies and tactics I have done to try and forget you. I won’t forget you, I realized. Unless I bump my head on something that will cause me some form of amnesia, my memories will be intact.

We both have grown. We both have grown apart. And I have moved on from the wishful thinking and the hurt.

In all these, I realized I was fighting in my own hunger games. And yes, at this point, I consider myself the winner in my own arena. After all the years of tremendous pain I had to go through, the heartaches, the wishful thinking, the planning of how to forget the hurt, the executing of the plan, the continues journey of embracing the woman that I am — I have grown and matured. Pain truly makes a person.

changed

The change that happened. From 180 lbs in June 2014 when I started my healthy weight loss Journey, I am now down to 127 lbs (as of Nov 30, 2015).  Photos of me in April 2014 and Nov 2015.

I am no longer the woman who begged and cried. I am no longer the fat, obese, shy woman who considers herself unattractive and unworthy. I am no longer that woman who craved and hungered for love and attention as if those combo is the end-all-be-all of her existence. I am no longer that woman who smiled and laugh when people bullies her about her looks while hurting deep down inside and pretending on the outside that it wasn’t affecting her.

I changed. I become confident and matured in the way I look at the events and people in my life. I stopped crying. I stopped thinking about the what-ifs. I have grown. I become physically fit, healthy, and emotionally secured. I am loving the present. I look forward to the future.

yoga

Image Source:  http://www.capwellnesscenter.com/yoga-during-your-first-trimester/

Looking back, I realized that I wouldn’t have become the woman that I am now if you didn’t leave me. I realized that I would have not loved myself and took care of myself if I didn’t lose you. I wouldn’t have found my confidence and my self-worth if you stayed. Thank you for leaving me.

A new life has become. I emerged the woman that I am today: stronger and more confident. Loving myself is no longer an option but a must in my continuing journey.

The sun shines again. The rain feels cool on my skin. And the stars look like tiny, beautiful, hanging jewels once more.

What a journey it has been!

5 things you can do to bring back your self-esteem

Things can get tough sometimes and you could feel hollow, empty, and alone.  When you are feeling like you are losing grip on your own worth and frustrations are piling up. When you are feeling like your emotions are sucking you up and no one cares. When you want to get out and escape. Then just do it!

Here are 5 things you can do to get a grip on yourself, have fun, and bring back your self-esteem.

1) Prepare your backpack. Yes. Go out and pack your t-shirts, walking shorts, pants, headset, iPod, jammies, your camera, and your personal necessities. Pack some food and water and get some cash. Get out of your apartment and leave. Do not turn back.

2) Go out and have a joyride. Go to the nearest bus stop or get inside your car and drive. However you want to do it, just get out of your house and explore what is outside the city. Enjoy the view of the lush greeneries and the pineapples growing on the farm. You may even want to stop and buy some fresh fruits on the provincial streets. Eat some street food. The street foods isaw and betamax are definitely a thrill-of-a-cuisine. It takes lot of courage to eat it but you will not regret it. Breathe some fresh air, put your hands on the air, stretch, and take loads of selfie.

3) Go to theme parks. Go to the Magic Kingdom, err, the Enchanted Kingdom. Located away from the big city and in a sprawling space in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Philippines, this Philippine version of Walt Disney’s theme parks will give your heart all the thrill it needs to pump it up. Ride the roller coasters, the water splash, and the sudden drop. Whatever you do, let loose and ride on everything that will thrill you. You will find that the world is so big and so much fun.

Enchanted_kingdom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchanted_Kingdom

4) Go to the beach. Drive your car and head over to Canyon Cove in Nasugbo, Batangas. Wade and soak yourself into the clean waters of the Batangas Sea or enjoy the clean waters of the huge swimming pools. Drink some fresh mango shakes from their fruit bar at the pool side. Indulge in fresh coconut juice sans the sugar, of course. Feel the sexy vibe that healthy fresh fruits can bring you. Socialize with people. Meet some strangers. Smile, talk, laugh. Just go out and enjoy.

canyoncove

https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/94886089!

5) Sing at the Karaoke. Go to the bar and have some tequila or a bottle of margarita. Better yet, bring your friends and rent a karaoke room for yourselves. The Karaoke Bars at Dampa, Roxas avenue will spoil you with freezing daiquiris for a cost you can ignore. Belt your voices to the songs of Beyonce. Feel like a diva and sing Mariah. Or if you are feeling like a rock star, pack your karaoke song selections with Pink and Alanis.

Life is short and a tease my friends. Why let that inner conflict make you miss the fun? Go out and shout “erase”. Yes. Erase that urge to sulk into your sadness. Get out let loose. And have fun.

The secret to my losing weight

Last year, when my height of 5 ft and 3 in packed in a total of 180 lbs, obese, unhealthy, and somewhat sickly, a glitch in my brains all of a sudden electrocuted my desire to eat my favorite hot and spicy salty corn chips and removed my desire to eat big servings of Pan de Manila’s pan de coco, ube bread, and giant ensaymada.  This glitch caused me to only want to eat healthy food and shun sugar.  And as if by magic, my weight started to drop. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I shed of a total of 52 lbs in May 2015.

me2

Me sometime in June 2014

TAGAYTAY

Me in Tagaytay last September 2015.

Well,  I wish my healthy weight loss was caused by all that – by magic! But no.  The truth is,  the secret to my losing weight is not complicated. There was one important decision that caused me to lose 52 lbs of unwanted weight.  And that decision was …

The decision to be happy 

Yes. It was the decision to be happy, love myself, and feel good about myself that made me decide to sit down and think through what happened to me.  I started to ask myself. How did a 110 lb 21 year old ballooned into a 180 lbs 30-something?

The answer it turned out was:  sadness, depression, and sulking into the past that I could not change at all.

I was missing my smile. I was missing my confidence. And most of all, I was missing the joy of being able to wear the clothes that I like.  Ha ha. I know, it sounds so trivial, and yes, my joys are trivial. But the simple things that I was missing out are the simple things that makes me happy.

The decision that made me love myself

The decision to be happy made me realize that in order to be so, I have to love myself.  And a big part of loving myself is to make myself feel good and to pamper myself with the joys of the trivial and simple things that make me happy.  I started to pamper myself with the joy of listening to Sarah Geronimo and Janet Jackson on my MP3 player while walking or running.  I started to not care about what people say when I don my runners while I wore my black A-line dress.  I started to enjoy buying new clothes once a month just to feel good about myself.

The result of my decision

The result of my decision to be happy is the conscious choice to be picky on my food.  I stopped drinking soda. I stopped drinking powdered juices. I ditched the milk. I shunned sugar.

I started replacing rice with sweet potato. I ate lots of sweet potato and fruits. I ate lots of apples, pears, bananas, papaya, water melon, and pineapples. I replaced cheese with peanut butter. I replaced my thousand island dressings with vinegar.  I dropped the processed food and stopped eating hotdogs, corned beef, spam, bacon, and ham.

I started regulating the portions of the food that I ate. I stopped eating with my eyes and started eating with my stomach. I started to listen to my body and gave my body the pampering it was always aching for.

I started to exercise. I loved the sweat as it drenched my skin with salty waters. The sweat was the trophy of my hard work in the gym and in the running field. The sweat felt good. And the muscles on my legs taking firmer shape inspired me to exercise even more.

I lost 52 lbs in 11 months

The secret to my losing weight is no secret at all.  My decision to be happy made me lose 52 lbs in 11 months without spending money on diet gimmickry.  I dropped my weight to the healthy range without having to starve myself and without putting myself into the diet yo-yo.

I’m glad that I made that decision. I’m enjoying my healthy body now. And I am taking care of it.

I’m keeping myself — HAPPY.  🙂