Macagba: My weight loss journey

Beyond the Classroom

PEOPLE have been asking me how I was able to lose weight. So, I am devoting my column for today to share how I did it.

However, that would not be possible without me sharing pertinent personal experience that led me to my current state.

Few months ago, I have reached the biggest weight gain that I have ever had. To my dismay, I have gained 284 pounds (lbs), placing me in a category called severely obese.

I have calculated my BMI. According to a nutritionist, considering my weight, my metabolic age is somehow near to that of a 56 year-old man, almost that of a senior citizen.

At first the remark was difficult to swallow. All the while, I was thinking that I was okay and I was just taking in what I deserve considering the workload that I have.

Eating has been my comfort activity. It relieves my stress. But beyond the numbers, the truth spoke to me through a blunt reality that I was already having difficulty catching my breath when my classes are at the upper floor. Only a few of my attires are fitting my increasing size, getting that consistent feedback or tease about how I look because of weight, which I believe decreased my self-confidence and inhibited me to optimally actualize my potentials to the people that I serve.

But my tipping point was when I learned that there is a very good possibility for me not to have a chance to have my wife conceive a child if I do not lose weight. This has been my strongest motivation to lose weight.

For any weight loss journey, I believe that the purpose is crucial.

The deeper the meaning is for you, the more disciplined and committed will your heart be to reach your goal. I must say that if my motivation was just to look better, I could have given up easily. After all, looks or appearance is not really a primary motivation for me.

So for those attempting to start to be healthier, the why must be a primary question that you need to clarify more than the how. As a consequence, more than a physical activity, there is an emotional exercise to weigh in the more important values you consider.

When the purpose is established, the people close to you must also be on board. Your strength lies on how strong your allies are.

I am very lucky to have my wife who has been so supportive of my weight lost journey. Most of the time when it is so difficult to push yourself, my wife has been my strongest anchor and motivator.

One of the biggest challenges, however, is to let my in-laws understand why I was exercising or decreasing my food intake. It is crucial to make the people who we live with understand that we are not really depriving ourselves by dieting or exercising. Rather, we need to assure them in ways only perhaps you may know how, that you are doing these things because of the purpose you have set to yourself. This sounds so easy but believe me when I say that it is more difficult than how it sounds.

But it can be easier with honesty, transparency and taking responsibility with the choices you have.

Moreover, if you continue to be convinced with this cause, you need to condition your mind to possible changes in lifestyle such as an increased budget for grocery to purchase more healthy options.

There is a more deliberate allocation of time for exercising thus sacrificing the usual activities you have. Even the choice of friends and companions you have, matters since there is always a challenge to move forward with a renewed decision or move back to what you have been used to. The latter is always easier than the former.

Aside from this, as Peter Drucker once said, if you cannot measure something, then you cannot improve it. This I think is important because as you become more and more serious with your weight lost journey, you need to take an extra effort to monitor your progress by checking your weight regularly and by monitoring your intake.

But words of caution, when you monitor your weight, try to do it lovingly and patiently. There is no shortcut to development and as they say, we need to more and more trust the gruelling process of transformation.

Right now I am 45 lbs lighter. While I feel healthier, I believe that there will always be an area to be better as my Jesuit friends always inspire me to continue reaching for the Magis or the more, trying to be better and healthier everyday. There is no space for complacency because I know what this journey is about and I am truly convinced about why I am doing this.

I know that this is not much, but know that if you are really up to your personal transformation, you better be starting somewhere. Thus, your step to a healthier you starts now with a decision to move forward or to be satisfied with the status quo.


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