After being in Manila for almost a year, I can finally say I’m starting to feel more comfortable with my body.
Please do not confuse “more comfortable” with “comfortable” – I’m not there yet, but hopefully all the hard work I’ve been putting in will get me there.
After my marathon/wedding/move to Manila, I quickly put on 20 pounds. (In less than a year!!!) If you’ve been following along, you know I had a hard time getting back into a fitness routine. I tried running again, but it didn’t stick due to lack of company (I really hate running alone), then tried weightlifting, and though I completed the whole stage one of the book, flew off to Cebu, and kind of never did it again – sadly, it seems like 5 days away relaxing by the beach and pool was enough to kill the little routine I had built.
I even went to the doctor and got a guided diet – but not only the diet made me eat too much (I still didn’t have a routine then, and was skipping meals more often than not), it was also very restrictive. I eat healthy most days, but when you can never stray and you don’t want to completely kill your social life, it’s hard to stick with it. And after trying it for 2 weeks and every day coming up short of the amount I was supposed to eat, I gave up. My follow up appointment was then canceled by them at the last minute, and I just didn’t bother making a new one.
Excuses aside, it’s obvious that I also had a big problem since arriving in Manila: lack of commitment.
It wasn’t long until those 20 extra pounds got new friends to hang out with them, and I was at my highest weight to date, carrying an extra 28 pounds then when I crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon.
The one thing that changed all of that and put a stop to the weight gain? Having a new gym opening up half a block from me, and signing up in early December for the only class they had in the morning: Muay Thai.
And aside from travel or sickness, I haven’t missed one day. Three times a week, I’m there!
The one thing that kept me coming back (and still makes me go), was that at first, I was the only one in class. I had the instructor’s number, he had mine. If I wasn’t going to show up, I had to text him to let him know. I need to have a pretty good reason to be missing, right?
Now, the class has more people, but I still feel like I have to text him if I’m not coming. Some days I’m tired and lazy and sooooo don’t feel like going, but I drag myself out there and do the class anyway (I can’t really text him and say “not coming because I’m lazy” can I?). And you know what they say, save for actual injuries, you never regret a workout!
It kicks my ass, it’s not all punching and kicking, but squats, push ups, jump rope, abs… I like how at the end of the class we do 250-400 sit ups of different types. And that I had to take breaks at first, and now I can go trough each routine without pausing (unless a 9lbs medicine ball is involved, then I’m all weak again!). I like that despite going there for 3 months (save for trips), it still kicks my ass every.single.time. And sometimes, I even do a quick circuit training workout after I’m done with class, on days I’m feeling extra-ambitious.
The other thing that helped? My parents spent a month with us, and we had breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. Remember how I was lacking a routine and had a hard time not skipping meals?
Having them here made me eat all my meals. And even though we traveled, and even though there were lots of unhealthy food on that mix, even though I missed working out because we were gone for 2 weeks, by the time they left I had already dropped 4 pounds. Without even trying! I was just eating all my meals, instead of skipping it.
So it was easy enough to just keep eating 3 meals a day, with the occasional snack, instead of skipping meals all of the time. We also started eating more meals at home, and only going out for dinner once or twice a week (you can control your food intake a lot more when you know what the ingredients are!).
I also downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone, and though I hate counting calories, this makes it so freaking easy that I have no problems inputting everything in (I’ll do a more in depth review of it).
Now, 11 months after arriving in Manila, I’m still weighing a ton more than I did 1.5 years ago, but I’m at 16 pounds above what I was when I crossed that marathon finish line. Yep, I dropped 12 pounds in the last 2.5 months.
But weight aside, my body is starting to look fit again – still fat, mind you, there are no miracles here – but all those 1.5 hours 3 times a week at the gym? My legs have less cellulite, my arms have less jiggle, my “it looks like I’m carrying a small baby” stomach pooch is slowly shrinking… And the body part that shows muscle definition for me first, my calves, are slowly starting to resemble their old self: when I move it, I see muscle lines.
And slowly, very slowly, I’m getting back to who I used to be…
Let’s hope I can post more encouraging pictures in a month or so, but here it is, for the record, what I look like now: far from thin, far from perfect, but better than I did 3 months ago. And right now? That’s all that matters.