Tag Archive | healthy

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.

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Me sometime in June 2014

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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.  🙂

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The health benefits of not drinking milk

From an early age, I was taught that milk is an almost perfect food and that the calcium in it makes our bones stronger. Almost every night, before I sleep, I would drink a glass of refrigerated fresh milk or a glass of hot milk. It comforts me knowing that, while I was sleeping, the calcium in the milk gets working and builds and strengthens my bones. It also made me doze off faster than when I don’t drink it.  Or so I thought.

Sometime ago, in August of 2014, while I was doing my usual grocery shopping, I bumped into my Indian boss from the Indian tech company I used to work for. He noticed the liter of milk in my grocery cart and the conversation about milk was opened up. I told him how milk helped me with my health  by allowing me to sleep better and by making my bones stronger.

He smiled at me and in his customary calm demeanor, and he said “Did you know that the human adult body does not process the calcium in the milk and therefore, milk does not really make your bones stronger? I don’t drink milk.” I was stunned.

That information just contradicted the years and years of belief I had for milk.  That was enough for me to ask myself “If milk does not help me with my calcium needs and if milk is high in calorie, then why am I drinking it?” He may be right that the calcium in milk does not really get used up by the adult body.

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Bear Brand powdered milk Swakto pack.  This has 33g of powdered milk, 153 calories.

Whether what my previous boss told me is true or not,  1 glass of milk (33g of pasteurized powdered milk dissolved in water) contains about 153 calories. That’s almost about 150% more calories than a glass of coffee without sugar which contains only around 2 calories.  Even more than is the whopping 815 calories of 1 glass of pasteurized fresh milk. Whoa! That’s already equivalent to 2 full meal worth of calorie intake for just 250 ml of liquid.

I weighed about 168 lbs during that time and I know that every calorie that I save means a big help in my weight loss journey.  I stopped drinking milk and eating cheese since then.  I figured that if cheese comes from milk and it has high calorie content, I might as well not eat cheese anymore.

A little research into the nutritional value of milk led me to learn that that pasteurization of milk causes the calcium contained in raw milk to be insoluble which could cause serious problems to the bones. I also learned that our bones are comprised of at least a dozen of minerals and saturating it with calcium will only cause imbalance to the bone structure consequently weakening our bones. This imbalance can also lead to other health risks such as type 2 diabetes and kidney stones.  Therefore, drinking milk is riskier to the health than not drinking it at all.

I noticed that after about a month or so of excluding milk and cheese in my diet, my allergic rhinitis stopped.  My headaches and bad sinusitis attacks also stopped. My nightly heartburn also stopped. Having bad fever became became a thing in the past. I am not certain if this was the result of not eating dairy products anymore but I am certainly happy about the progress of my health when I stopped drinking milk and stopped eating cheese.

I’m glad that I ditched milk and cheese and replaced it with coffee with 10 g of anchor unsalted butter from grass-fed cows. I also replaced cheese with peanut butter for my sandwich.  I lost a total of 52 lbs since I started my healthy weight loss journey in June 2014 when I was obese at 180 lbs.

Here are some links explaining why money spent on milk is money misspent and why milk is not healthy.

  1. http://www.pcrm.org/milk.  This talks about Health Concerns about Dairy Products.
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/18/the-milk-myth-what-your-body-really-needs.aspx.   This talks about The Milk Myth: What Your Body Really Needs.

Where does your happiness lie?

Everyday we look for happiness. Some of us look for happiness from someone else, from somewhere else.  The elusive pursuit of happiness has become the daily purpose of almost all of us.

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Kids find happiness in every little thing they have.  My nephews playing with their puppy are happy.  My niece hugging her stuff toy dog is happy.    The boys played with a real dog.  The girl played with a stuff toy. They share the same excitement. The same happiness.

Yet adults gloat over events that happened in the past they can’t change and about the future they haven’t been.

I had my fair share of gloating too.  Ha ha. I gloat over the past and feel wary about the future.  I became depressed and hopeless. I grew to be obese and didn’t feel good about myself yet I continue feasting on unhealthy food, no-holds barred.  I would cry over a funny movie because I chose to replay the tearful events of the past than enjoy the fun of the the movie currently playing. I would always see sadness in  every humor. I would zone out in a room full of noisy and seemingly happy people.

Yet, my friends and colleagues saw me as a strong woman, happy, doing a job that most of my colleagues would like to have.  A woman who who finds humor in everything. Life is truly ironic.  Or was I a good thespian and the world was my stage?

Open palm.  I’d like to look at it as a reminder that letting go may be better than holding on. I’d like to think of it as reminder that things come and go, that we don’t have any control on the natural course of nature.  This is a curious part of our lives. It has to be felt, appreciated, experienced. Nature evolves and so do we.

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The lines and creases of my palm is a wonderful documentation of my life’s history. It shows me the lessons of the past. It shows me the path to my future.

Happiness is not in some place I don’t know where.  I realized that happiness is not with another.  Happiness is in myself. I have it all along.  I only needed to appreciate and want what I already have.  Lesson 44.  I already have everything I truly need.  God truly never blinks. 🙂

I left the gloating and hopelessness behind.  The fact that I thought I was hopeless means I believed in hope.  And because I believe in hope, I was in fact hopeful. The fact that I was depressed means there was happiness that was aching to get out. Ha ha.   The irony of life.

When I feel sad, I choose to think happy thoughts.  When someone attacks me, I choose to be calm.   When I feel terrified, I choose to fly.

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I lost a total of 48 lbs (21.82 kg) already in a matter of 10 months. The moment I chose happiness, I also started living healthy lifestyle. I shun away from processed food. I chose to enjoy real food. I chose to move my butt. Ha ha. There is no substitute to exercise. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 132 lbs.   I feel lighter. I feel nimbler. I am happier.

Happiness is my choice.  Happiness is my daily choice.

What about you?

Over scone and latte

I have this fascination with scones since I had my first taste of this biscuit in Toorbul, Queensland, Australia.  Scone was one of the desserts that our picnic hosts, Liz and Colin Tune, served.  Since my first fill of this delicious flour-based dessert, I promised myself to find it in my home country and experience it again.

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Staying at Paddington, this is the bus stop at Gilday Street where we waited for the bus daily going to work during my almost 1 month visit in the laid back, peaceful, and beautiful city of Brisbane.

The Coffee Bean in Burgos Circle at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig didn’t disappoint me today.  They have this last piece of raisin scone for the day.  Haha.  With a cup of latte and 10 g of butter, the scone was pure bliss.

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 Today’s delicious raisin scone at Coffee Bean.

For over a year now, I’ve finally picked up and read a real book again, printed in real paper.   What an amazing feeling.  I feel my humanity again.  The last book I’ve read was World War Z which I’ve read through the e-book version, almost a year ago.

There are 50 chapters in the Regina Brett book I’ve read.  She calls it “50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours”.  She wrote it so beautifully that I felt like she was just in front of me, talking.  She is so sincere in the retelling of her life’s detours (the positive word she chooses to describe her life’s pains) and how she learned from them.

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The truth is the pain from the rejection caused by a break up I never so expected caused a turmoil in my being I thought would never end. For some time, I stayed in my little corner of wishful thinking and imagining the “what ifs”.  What if I did this? What if I did that?  What if? What if?

While I was busy thinking about the “what ifs” of my life. I saw myself feasting on all the delicious (and unhealthy) food my eyes would crave. I was stress eating, depression eating, fatigue eating, over-eating, and eating based on what my eyes would want. I ballooned to become a 180-lbs class 1 obese woman.  Food was my refuge. Or so I thought.

One of the lessons Regina Brett shared in her book says “Life is too short for long pity parties.  Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

In June of 2014, I made a life-changing decision.  It was time to let go of the “what ifs”. It was time to accept that the break up happened because it was how it had to happen. It was how it had to end.  There is so much love to give.  But I’ve forgotten to love myself.

It was now time for me to get some loving.  And who else can give me the pampering I so understand?  I realized, it was, no other, but me.

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This is a photo of me taken about 4 days ago.

Fast forward to 10 months later and healthy living in between, I shed off a total of 47 lbs. From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 133 lbs.

Happiness is my choice. I am happy. 😀

How my twin lost 9 lbs in 30 days

Jen is definitely on track.  After 30-days through her healthy weight loss journey, she has already shed off 9 lbs of unwanted weight. From 205 lbs in March 9, 2015, she is now 196 lbs.

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This is my twin in May 2014.  She was 190 lbs.  10 months later, she packed in 15 lbs more and grew to be 205 lbs.

3 months through my enrollment in the gym, Jen was convinced to enroll in the same gym I go to.  She had a strong start and she was definitely having fun.  However, she got caught up with her work as a manager in a BPO company and she was not able to consistently do her gym sessions.  Finally in January 2015, she dropped the gym and went on with her daily life.

Just 1 month ago, Jen and I met at Go Salads, a green salad bar in Eastwood. While enjoying each of our serving of green jeepney smoothie made up of lettuce, pineapple, and some almonds, our catch up detoured to a conversation about my weight loss.  She told me that she was completely inspired by my transformation from an obese class 1  to a healthy 134 lbs woman. She listened to my story.

That same day, I gave her a short session on understanding calories of the food she eats.  I also encouraged her to start a healthy weight loss journey with me which includes eating real food only and drinking only water at least 2 L per day.I told her that if she would follow through the tips I am giving her, she would definitely lose 8 – 10 lbs in 30 days.

Jen started to change her grocery list and started to buy real food.  She used to be a big fan of processed food such as hotdogs, bacon, and spam.  But since then, she has said yes only to real food. She would send me photos of her breakfast, her lunch, and her dinner.  She would enjoy her vegetable and eat her fruits,  steamed chicken, fish, and beef and snack on controlled portions of nuts and banana.

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Jen’s steamed cauliflower and carrot dinner.

She would also drink coffee with 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter in the morning during her breakfast. This coffee concoction suppresses her cravings to eat more food and makes her feel full a little longer until her lunch time 5 hours later.  She enjoys eating sweet potato too.

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This is my twin, from 205 lbs in March 9, 2015 to 196 lbs 30 days later.

Jen’s healthy weight loss journey doesn’t stop with eating the right kind of food. She also takes time walking for at least 30 minutes 3x a week.  Either she would go out with her music and walk or she enjoys her walk pushing her niece’s stroller.

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Jen with her niece, Katnese, enjoying her afternoon walk. 

“Twin, now that I’ve started this healthy weight loss journey.  There is no turning back.” Jen declared with her eyes beaming with determination.

She is definitely on a roll. And she is loving it.   😀

3 Food I always eat to lose weight

Over the course of 9.5 months, I lost about 46 lbs.  From 180 lbs in June 2014, I am now down to 134 lbs.

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This is my photo today, taken at the office.

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This was me sometime in March 2014.

Weight loss or weight gain is governed by the calories we take in.  Calories is the measurement of the energy that our body needs to function.  Calories that are not burnt are stored as fat. Thus if we take more calorie than what our body needs, we gain weight.  The opposite of course is true, thus it is important to eat food with low calorie content.

Walking, jogging, running, going to the gym, and eating real food helped me in my journey. Exercise burns calories faster than when I am sedentary.  I didn’t starve myself. I just kept on eating real food.

Here is a list of 3 of my favorite food that helped me with my healthy weight loss journey.

1.  Sweet Potato.   This high fiber, low calorie root crop is packed with nutrients.  It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, B6, manganese, potassium, B1, and B12. A regular spud contains about 400% of my Vitamin A needs for the day.  Vitamin A is an excellent antioxidant and is good in the prevention of different types of cancer.  This excellent staple has 90 calories only for every 100 g.

2.  Chinese Cabbage.   This green leafy vegetable is called pechay in the Philippines.   1 cup of sauteed pechay has 50 calories only.   This vegetable is also labeled as negative calorie food as it takes our body more calories to burn pechay than the calorie that pechay has.  This vegetable is also a good source of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and Vitamin A.

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My lunch today, fried chicken with vinegar dip and pechay greens. 

3.  Chicken.  This white meat is good source of protein.  Protein is important in building and repairing muscles.  Chicken is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Copper, Thiamin, Niacin and Vitamin B12.  My favorite fried chicken part is the thigh and it has 158 calories only.  Definitely a calorie bargain for such a tasteful meat.

These 3 food type definitely helped me with my healthy weight loss journey.

Just keep on eating. 🙂

 

For the love of coffee

Coffee is super food packed with loads of antioxidants.  With just 2 calories per 1 mug of 8oz black coffee, I enjoy my fill of coffee everyday. I usually take 2- 3 cups of coffee in a day and no more than that.  I always follow the rule of moderation.

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Black coffee on my breakfast.

I’ve found that adding 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil or adding 10 g of unsalted butter on my breakfast coffee,  gives this hot drink more flavor,  pleasurable aroma, and better body. Although the fat from butter and virgin coconut oil adds more calories to my coffee, I welcome it still.  It’s because 10 g of Anchor unsalted butter only has about 74 calories  and Cadia Virgin Coconut oil has 120 calories only per 1 tbsp.  These good fat cause your body to feel full and suppress craving for food for a longer period of time.

Coffee keeps me alert and awake at work too while the good fat from butter and/or from the virgin coconut oil makes my thought process more sharp.  Whether it’s brewed or instant coffee as long as there is no added creamer or sugar in it, I dig it.

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Coffee at Krispy Kreme. And yes, I didn’t get doughnuts. 

When I go out to the mall and want to relax for a longer period, I would go to the nearest coffee shop.  I would get my brewed coffee, black, with no creamer and sugar, and just enjoy it’s full flavor and aroma.  Drinking coffee while hanging out with friends makes the coffee drinking experience more pleasurable and fun too.

Coffee drinking is a force of habit that makes me happy.

P.S.

To check out the calorie count of your food, you may visit:  https://www.myfitnesspal.com/.