Tag Archives: diet

Body image

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.


Filed under Diet, Fitness, Muay Thai, Weightlifting

And the diet…

I knew that meeting up with a endocrinologist and a dietitian would not be fun.  But after gaining 20lbs and continuing to pack on the weight despite my best efforts, I needed to see if there was anything to be done, or more specifically, anything wrong with me.  Sure, I am no longer running long distances, but I also don’t think that the only way I should be able to maintain my weight is by having to run long distances, no?  That is certainly not normal!

The endocrinologist at first thought I might have diabetes (are you always thirsty?  Yes!  Do you wake up to pee in the middle of the night?  YES!), but despite my love for sugary stuff, I don’t eat that much sugar, or that often, I have no family history, I’m not living a sedentary lifestyle, so it was not what I wanted to hear.

The good news?  My blood tests showed that I have no diabetes at all.  The bad news?  My cholesterol is slightly on the high side.  The worst news?  The blood tests showed NOTHING wrong with me, and even though my thyroid is a bit on the slow side (duh, I know I have a sucky metabolism), it still within the “normal” range.  So no special thyroid meds for me to speed things up!

The meeting with the dietitian?  I heard a lot of what I already knew:  I don’t eat nearly enough protein, and currently I’m not eating nearly enough overall which is probably what is causing the weight gain.  The lack of a routine since quitting work makes it hard – I often skip breakfast, lunch, or both.  A big no-no, as I already knew.  True, when I go out to eat I might not always make the healthiest choices, but we have been eating healthy home cooked meals for a while now, so the eating out is not often.

I got a 1500 calorie plan made for me.  I officially started yesterday and I’m having a really hard time with it – not because of how it restricts me (though I hate that I can only have 3 very small servings of fruit a day), but because it makes me eat too damn much, too often.  Something I’m certainly not used to!  Today I was able to fit lunch in, but my breakfast, am snack and pm snack haven’t happened yet.  Now I’m feeling really sick (one hour after lunch I started feeling queasy,  2 hours later I threw up 7 times in a row.  Gross!), so looks like today I’m not going to eat enough today at all (but understandably so).

Enough rambling!  Here is the plan, with the allowed portions:

Fresh Fruit = 1
Protein = 1
Rice = 1
Fat = 1

Rice = 1
Fat = 1
Skim Milk = 1 cup

Vegetable A = as desired
Vegetable B = 1
Protein = 2
Rice = 2
Fat = 2
Fresh Fruit = 1

Rice = 1
Fat = 1

Veggie A = as desired
Vegetable B = 1
Protein = 2
Rice = 1
Fat = 1
Fresh Fruit = 1

Where one portion of PROTEIN should equal to about 68 calories, and it’s the usual:  beef, pork, eggs (all three allowed only one serving a week, thanks to the stupid cholesterol), chicken, seafood, fish, cheese, beans and peanuts.

Where RICE basically means carbs, equivalent to 100 calories per portion, and including bread, corn, cereal, oatmeal.

Where FAT is your usual suspects at 45 calories per portion, for olive oil, margarine, butter, peanut butter, avocado, and other nuts.

FRUIT is equivalent to 40 calories/portion, which annoys the crap out of me because there’s no fruit I can eat in its entirety that only has 40 calories (I love love love love love love love love fruit.  No, really, I do.  So this will not be a fun restriction).

VEGGIE A is your spinach, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, eggplant, etc.

VEGGIE B is equivalent to 16 calories, and it’s basically a 1/2 cup of carrot, mushrooms, lima beans.  I don’t get this part – I never met anyone that got fat by eating carrots and mushrooms.  Luckily for me, jackfruit is also thrown in this mix, so I can get my extra serving of fruits this way (score!).

Let’s hope tomorrow my stomach is back to normal and I can try this again (needless to say my 3 miles a day go is not happening this week so far).  I’m still recuperating from the cold I caught in Korea, still lacking enough sleep (not sure what’s going on there) and now this queasy stomach.  Ugh. 


Filed under Diet