Ah, ah, ho, ho, heeeng! heeeeng! Woah! Uhhhhhh…. Ladies and gentlemen. I would have loved to make those sounds under different circumstances, like, probably in a private room with dim lights and the person next to me was equally satiated from the exercise. But sadly, such was not the case, because the truth of the matter was those sounds were coming from a former me, a panting triple X, Marks and Spencer size 22 chunk of a girl who’s gasping for air. Mind you, I was just walking on the treadmill for five minutes, 0 incline, and a speed of 4 km/hr. So naturally the person next to my mill thought I was demented and completely hopeless.
First thing people asked me, especially those who knew me way back were, when did I decide to lose weight? What made me lose weight? Who made me lose weight? Why did I lose weight? And I was like, Me. Me, decided to lose weight for me. It maybe a little late, I could’ve done it sooner, but the thing is, I’ve decided.
What made me lose weight? That bloody incident with a flight attendant from Cebu Pacific!
When I was working and travelling abroad, being a triple X model wasn’t a problem, because everybody was bigger than me! I could buy clothes and I could fit comfortably in airplane seats! But when I came home, home being here in the provincial town of Butuan City, nothing fits my huge size except those rags that nobody wanted from the ukay-ukay shop. So, yes, Ladies and gentlemen, size reallllllly matters.
When I took that Cebu pacific air flight from Butuan to Manila, I was like stuck in my seat, no wiggle room at all; it was like all the spaces were vacuumed by my fats. And the belt buckle won’t reach all the way back to the other end because, my belly was this big, and the belt was like only made for Dilbert Ciano. What the hell! It was so effing embarrassing that they even announced inside the bloody plane, that the flight was a bit delayed because one passenger, namely me, wasn’t wearing the seatbelt and they were still looking for an extension, a yellow rope perhaps, I dunno, I completely space out from this entire event. I wanted to jump off the plane right there and then.
And so, from a monstrous weight of 110 kilos or 245 pounds, I started to make baby steps on my calorie intake and began to follow some 5 to 10 minutes work out videos in youtube until I reach 92 Kilos and enrolled myself in a gym.
The gym is like a country of its own. It has its own rules and etiquette. Governed by the elite few and allegedly all sovereignty reside in the people and all government authority emanates from them.
When you join a gym, you have got to admit that you have a problem, and you are there to do something about it. You are not there to chat, play with your mobile, and take selfies with the leg press machine, look for a bf or sleep on the couch.
Focus! Work! Sweat! Mind your own business!
At 92 kilos, I was the biggest at Koko Fitness Center. People would look at me and laugh, which I didn’t give an f.u.c.k. My jiggyly bits would all be jiggling whenever I run or walk fast. My breathing was like an old bulldozer people wouldn’t want to be near me in case I bulldozed them over.
Along with my enrolment at Koko, I broke up with the ever love of my life, Mr. Rice.
Mr. Rice was there for me since I was still inside the womb of my mom. He waited for me until I was legal to taste his white and creamy goodness; we’ve been together for ages… I could always count on him when I was happy, sad, excited, and furious. Mr. Rice loved me and held my hand, caressed my face and encouraged me to eat more. We would have endless dates on eat all you can buffet and indulged me in all savoury sweets. He was a perfect lover.
However, a lifestyle changed caused our rift, he wouldn’t understand that I wanted to live longer, be able to buy clothes in normal people stores, to be able to tie my own shoe laces without displacing my bulging stomach. He refused to understand! In the end, I think we just grew apart and became strangers. He said I’ve changed and he just wanted me no more. I haven’t tasted him for two (2) years. Yes we still see each other from time to time in parties and gatherings but yeah, I remember the boy, but I don’t remember the feelings anymore.
It was a struggle breaking up with Mr. Rice. There were nights I felt I was being possessed with sooooo much longing and hunger… my stomach would grumble and tumble, like my large intestines were already gnawing my small intestines…and how it could actually ache in places I didn’t know I had inside me. But, just like any other heartbreaks, after all that… as Kate Winslet said in the holiday, you’ll go somewhere new, and you’ll meet other food groups who make you feel worthwhile again, and little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.
So, how do you exercise without losing your mind?
Let me go back to the first tip. Shape up! You have got to shape your mind set that you are turning a new page of your life. That for once, you are going to do something really worthwhile and you will not stop until you achieve the goal that you wanted to reach. My first tip, is really more about your mental state. Realize that nobody is going to do it for you. Realize that people around you are either too polite or doesn’t give a hoot to say something about your health condition. Realize too, that only you can love yourself the way you wanted to be loved.
Pound it in your head. Inscribed it in your heart. What can you give when you are empty inside?
Ladies and gentlemen, I made a decision. It started with me, for years, my parents begged me, begged me! to lose weight, but I didn’t listen. I didn’t see any problem. I was still popular in high school, much more in university. I had a globetrotting job that doesn’t mind my weight, I was fine. Until something snapped in my head and the thought that I was thinking that I thought I was fine could be even finer if I was in a lesser size. It started in my head, and it ended in my head. I have made a decision.
Second. Show up. Every day is a constant battle. If your mind is the command centre of your struggle, your body is the war zone. Even if the command centre orders you to get up and run, but your body is still languishing in butter heaven, it’s an epic fight. Pray for strength. Go back to your “why” why are you doing what you are doing? Shift your mind from cheesecake wonderland to another humiliating cebu pacific flight seat belt scenario.
Take baby steps. Move according to your own pace. Be consistent. Have a routine and do it every single day! A 15 minute bending or stretching isn’t too much. Do not be in a hurry! You did not gain all those weight in one day or in a week or in a month! You have accumulated those babies in years! So, do not expect to lose it in one day of zumba class!
There is already a treadmill in the gym with my name on it. Today I can run on the mill for 90 minutes, 15% incline (the highest). Cardio is the best way to lose weight, but it’s not good to build a muscle, that’s why you have to incline your machine. That way, there is still some resistance in your legs and you burn more calories. Start with a 2 minute walk on a 3% incline and a 2 minute run until your endurance level goes up. Push yourself to do more… there is no effective personal trainer other than yourself.
Muscle or resistance training is also a good way to lose weight, since it has a post exercise calorie burn… meaning, even if you’re not lifting weights anymore, you are still burning calories.
Losing weight is hard. Maintaining weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.
Lastly, gear up! Do not undervalue the effect of a good workout costume. One of the joys of going to the gym is, you can show off your latest Nike Airmax or Adidas sweatpants. You may not be able to bend yourself like a yogi but at least you’re wearing nobody in that gym can afford.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not such a snobbish bitch that only wears branded sports bra but c’mon, some people just really go there to show off! So, might as well join the fun! Honestly though, even if I wanted to buy my gym thingies in the sidewalk, nothing fits me, so I’m forced to buy in stores nobody wants to shop. Plus, I can’t be looking like a hobo on a rower machine because I am already a hobo on the rower machine.
What you are wearing has a psychological effect. If you look good, you feel good. And as you show up every day, it will be seen in what you’re wearing, so it encourages you. Day by day, little changes occur and what happens in the inside manifest on the outside.
But the ultimate tip I can share to you this evening is, for you to be happy no matter which size you are in. There are people in sizes 1, 2 or 3 that aren’t happy, whereas there are women in sizes 10,12 or 14 living fabulous lives. It’s all about accepting who you are. Do not let the world dictate you to be a size 0 because frankly, we can’t be all keepers of victoria’s secrets.
Size only matters in fitness. Being fit doesn’t mean you should be size 2. The most unfit people I know are sizes in single digits. If you are size 12 and can bench press 50 repetitions in 3 sets, who says you are fat? If you are size 10 but can equally run 10 miles in an hour, who says you are fat?
Mmmmm…… uh uh… whew! Ladies and Gentlemen.