Weight loss is truly a journey.
In mine, there have been massive ups and downs, roundabouts, u-turns, falling off the roads. There is not a single formula that fits everyone. In multiple parts, I will be sharing my formula, the struggles I faced and recovery.
Note: I may bash myself in this series of blog posts from time to time, simply cause I would have done things differently given the opportunity.
I have always been a chubby kid. Ah yes, in every weight loss story, people say the same. “I have always been chubby”. But seriously, I was a big and wide kid. I’m not tall by all means, I grew to only be 5’3 in height, but my weight has got up and down throughout my life.
Being overweight for more than half my life, I had to endure remarks from family “oh, you look bigger”, and my parents “did you gain weight, again?!”. Honestly, I drowned those remarks by eating more in front of them, just to piss them off….
To summarize, I graphed out what my weight gain/loss was really like:
At the age of 18, I was extremely active and was part of fitness groups, particularly tennis and swimming. I lost a ton of my weight during that period, contributing to exercise and restrictive dieting. I remember weighing my cereal every morning, and not eating anything with visible carbs.
Then came university. “Studying”, lack of exercise and losing control of my eating habits had my weight skyrocketing to about 180lbs, making me extremely overweight, for my height.
Weight gain, and loss, takes time and does not happen overnight. For me to be at my all-time high, took about 5 years to reach that state.
I remembered looking in the mirror and asking myself, “when was the last time I exercised”, and I genuinely had no memories of exercising, because yes, it had been that long.
My weight was the highest in May 2019, when I realized I was literally, slowly eating myself to death. As morbid as it sounds, that was what I was doing to myself. Oreos for breakfast, packets of instant noodles, ice cream, heavily processed foods and sugary drinks were part of my main diet. I was (and still am) a massive sweet tooth that did not know how to eat in moderation.
Learning about nutrition was definitely, not in my dictionary. I ate everything that tasted, well, tasty. Refined carbs, huge amounts of fat and truckloads of sugar were my go-to.
During this period I experienced:
- Heart palpitations
- Joint aches (especially in the knees and ankles)
- Lethargic episodes (before/after food, I would only stay awake to eat and would go lie down)
- Wearing men’s clothes
- Very few social interactions
By no means I was depressed. I have extroverted tendencies and felt like my weight was impacting my social life, as I was definitely unhappy with how I looked but yet, did not know how to fix it. Thus, turning myself to food. Quite the irony.
It turned into a vicious cycle of me hating how I looked, to eating more, over and over again. As much as I wanted to break this cycle I had, clearly I couldn’t.
I remember in the first few days of trying to be healthier, I cut down carbs – all of it. Zero rice, bread, refined grains, pasta, bananas (yes I counted that as a carb), potatoes of any sort. I just wanted to see myself get thinner.
Did that work? Nope. Definitely did not.
Why didn’t it work? I still ate crazy amounts of sugar and processed foods. I was seriously addicted to those two, carbs being top 3 on my list.
Lets look at the very well known, food pyramid:
My diet mainly consisted items at the top of the pyramid, the second (fats) and fourth (carbs).
On July 12th 2019, I decided to make a change. Till this day, I still don’t really know what ticked that change in me, but I remember scrolling through Google looking for gyms with a pool. I wanted to go back to swimming, and I knew swimming was easier on the joints despite it being a high cardio workout.
After signing up at YWCA Downtown Vancouver, I explored the gym.
Fueled by determination, I was at YWCA everyday, 7 days a week for a workout. I wanted to get my money’s worth and I felt better each time I was there (adrenaline, I suppose?)
My routine for the first month:
Breakfast: Banana with 1 cup of Silk Almond Milk
Lunch: 2 Chicken Thighs, 1 Sweet Potato (boiled)
Dinner: Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Tuna or other kinds of fish
Beverages: Tea, Coffee without sweeteners. No sweetened drinks
No snacking except for fruit
After work: Swim for 1 hour (Breaststroke)
You might be thinking, what, that’s some crazy calorie deficit, and I completely agree, it was! Was it healthy? No. Did it work? Yes.
Within a month I lost about 11lbs/5kg and I was happy with the results. I felt more confident, happy, and was determined to lose more.
The rest of my journey will be continued in Part 2, stay tuned!