Michelle (M): Against my better judgment, I will reveal a deep, dark secret. I am trying to lose weight. You see, for the longest time, I refused to believe I was fat.

I actually think I am a thin person trapped inside a pleasingly plump body. Seriously, I have reached the point where I know I have to do something now or I will never be healthy and fit.

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Whether we admit it or not or like it or not, physical appearance is important. If we look good, we feel good and if you feel good, we do good.

You struggled with your weight before, too, DJ; any weight-loss tips?

Darwin John (DJ): Yup. If we don’t watch out how we look, someone else will! I learned that the hard way, thanks to a long time high school crush who broke my fat heart into pieces. So I grew up thick and tired of it.

Tips? Finding ways to lose weight is just secondary. Knowing why you want to lose weight is more important. It’ll keep you going when you’re tired sweating it out or when your stomach tells you that a carrot cake counts as a serving of vegetable.

Someone wise once said that losing weight is no piece of cake! Besides, losing weight is just as challenging as keeping it off.

M: As a child, I was already on the big side and it did not help my self-esteem when my two younger sisters were slim. I did lose weight in law school, but I put it back on after going back to Cebu. My dad even challenged me that he would give me P1,000 for every pound I lost. I was already thinking of my windfall of money but I ended up gaining weight instead. So I guess I have to pay my dad?

Anyway, I knew it was time to start a weight-loss program when I could not bear looking at my photos that were tagged on Facebook. But this is not just about vanity. It’s more for health and well-being. I want to be a healthy mom to my three-year-old son.

DJ: As what an old English proverb once said: “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” Now if you want to stay healthy, here’s the rule of thumb: Increase your activity level while at the same time decrease your calorie intake. Eat intelligently. Do not skip meals. It will have the opposite effect of what you want.

You need to have at least four regular meals every day. Go easy on salt. Skip soft and sweetened drinks entirely. Even iced tea. Sugar means calories. Drink lots of water instead. It flushes out toxin not to mention discourage your tendency to gorge. The best thing about water is it has no calories at all! Eat more veggies. Do not deprive yourself, but be disciplined. Do not hog on anything.

Take up running. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand and move around. Lift weights. Exercise and dieting are not something we do for a while to lose weight. It’s a habit.

M: It is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Losing 10, 20, 30 or 100 pounds starts with losing one pound. Losing the excess weight and getting in shape changes our lives in many ways. We want to be healthier and happier, better and stronger.

Lately, I have been really motivated, focusing on my goals and envisioning myself in a swimsuit. I know it’s a scary thought but at least I’m thinking of ultimately fitting into a swimsuit. It’s easy to say to not give up or you can do anything you set your mind to. But sometimes it’s just too difficult and we need all the help and support that we can get. As they say, no pain, no gain.

DJ: Take your breadth away. And do that because you want to be your best, not merely because of the need for acceptance. We’re blessed in different ways. No body is perfect. But as the wise would often say, those who mind don’t matter because those who matter do not mind.

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