I Pledge to Lose 20lbs By the End of 2017

I weigh 212lbs. It’s not the heaviest I’ve weighed (I weighed a whopping 220lbs when I was a teenager), but it’s enough for me to be classified as overweight and to balloon from my previous size. I once was 180lbs, roughly the average for someone who’s six feet tall, but I let go a little, enjoying too much of what life had to offer my dinner plate. Weight gain is such an insidious thing, and I finally noticed when people tagged me in photos on social media. I became fat.

I guess it started when I quit my day job and started working from home. I thought I would have time to work out, but I ended up becoming sedentary, working in bed and only getting up to eat. I go to a lot of meetings and events, but I go there using Grab and events usually serve incredible food, so my sedentary life at home and my hedonistic lifestyle finally took its toll.

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I hate how I look now. My self-esteem takes a dip every time I look at myself in the mirror, especially after a shower. Ideally, I shouldn’t be bothered because how I look shouldn’t define me, but I’m only human and I get upset when I know that I used to look better. And when you read stuff about erotic capital (which include beauty, sex appeal, social skills, liveliness and humor, social presentation, and sexual ability), and how it has become a major determinant of personal success, it makes me feel like I’ve failed as a human being.

And to be completely honest, this is the longest dry spell that I’ve had in my romantic life. Objectively, the culprit would be my lack of effort and laziness, but a part of me is blaming my weight gain. I feel so unwanted.

Apart from my crippling vanity, it has taken its toll on my body. My lack of exercise has made me lazy and lethargic. I run out of breath and break into a sweat after climbing a flight of stairs. I lose interest in things. There was a brief time when I felt so demotivated that I gave only the bare minimum in all my projects. The people I work with know how passionate and efficient I am with work, so it’s a complete turnaround.

It’s easy to say that I should start working out and eating less. The great irony is that working from home has made me busier compared to when I was working in an office. How could I eat less when the food at home is so delicious and I frequently eat at the best restaurants? The best part about being a writer is I have the ability to come up with excuses as if I’m looking for a synonym to the word great.

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But I’m tired. I’m tired of being fat. I’m tired of being tired. It’s one thing to come up with plans to lose weight but it’s another to actually do something about it. A series of things triggered me: the shame of looking like the shadow (or a balloon) of my former self, society figure Raymond Gutierrez losing 65lbs. in 90 days, and the pervading feeling of being tired, which affects my work and my mood.

I’ve had epiphanies like this before. I vowed to lose weight, stuck to a program for a week, then completely forgot about it. What makes this different? I don’t know. But it feels terrible feeling disgusted with myself, my body, and my choices. Yes, everyone looks beautiful at any size, but I want to be fit, feel fit, and be able to lead the kind of lifestyle I want without having to run out of breath.

I’m planning to enroll at a gym and taking it seriously. I’m thinking of enrolling in a nearby Anytime Fitness so I can squeeze in regular workouts in the morning before work. I prefer working out first thing in the morning so I’m energized for the rest of the day and I can burn off calories. I used to jog in the morning and I noticed on my Fitbit that I ate fewer calories than I burned. I’m also going to make yoga more regular to help me destress at the end of the day.

I will also moderate the food I eat. I don’t have plans of giving up my favorite dishes, but I’ll practice portion control. I will also prioritize fruits, vegetables, chicken, and fish. I love fruits and vegetables so I’m not going to have a hard time.

I’m also joining the Fit Filipino (FitFil) 1 Million Lbs. National Weight Loss Challenge, a nationwide fitness campaign towards a healthier and fitter lifestyle. Led by wellness and lifestyle coaches Jim and Toni Saret, the campaign encourages the country to donate one million pounds. Ultimately, its goal is to have one million fit Filipinos by 2020.

A lot of organizations (including the Philippine National Police) have already pledged to the cause, but I’m only pledging 20lbs. It’s still 15lbs. over my average weight, but I like to take things slow so I don’t overwhelm myself. I don’t want to find myself in the middle of July, throwing my middle finger up in the air and just continuing my lazy lifestyle.

Fitfil lasts for six months, and will run from June 5 until December 5, 2017. If you’re interested in joining, too, you can sign up at www.fitfil.ph or visit select Robinsons Supermarket every Saturday to register and submit your official weight. After their final weigh-in, you can avail of a reward if you achieve your wellness goal. Registration is free!

So here goes. I will be writing more about my fitness journey in the coming months. I hope this time it works.

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