Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Journey to Better Health

Wow, it's been more than I quarter since I logged on to my blog. My blog has been mainly all about eating out and travel. I have done very little lately.

About three months ago, I quit my job. I felt that I had to because admittedly, I was shitty at it and I felt it was best to just pack up and go. It was one of the best decision that I have ever made in my life.

For the past few years, my weight had been steadily going up, I was almost 30 lbs overweight. I was experiencing daily migraines, I felt miserable because I was trapped in my fat little body that refuses to function the way I want it to. I couldn't wear the clothes that I wanted because nothing ever fits right.

My blood pressure was at its highest at 145/100, which is ridiculously high for some lady who's just five feet tall. I was advised by my cardiologist to lose weight, have at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, brisk walking is what he said, and a low salt, low fat diet if I want to avoid the maintenance pills. I did all for that for about a week then I went back to my old ways, eating out, trying all the restaurants, most of which I did not blog about. I did not exercise even though I had bought a treadmill.

Finally, I was sitting on my desk, one wrong thing after another, I decided to quit my job and focus on my health and my family life instead. I had worked for the past few years, saving for a property that we intend to rent out so that I could someday quit without putting too much pressure on our finances so that we can still comfortably maintain our lifestyle. The decision did not come easy for me and it actually took me year to finally get the courage to let go of my income and live simply. I have not regretted that decision.

I started my health journey even before I quit my job. I started juicing daily. My daily migraines stopped, which was a Godsend. Still, I did not lose weight. Because there was always a bag of Cheetos in my drawer, always. I was juicing so, I felt that I still could get away with the junk food. The juicing will negate the effects of the junk that I was eating. Wrong! My weight stayed the same, my blood pressure stayed dangerously high. Only my migraines and dry skin were "cured".

I knew I had to clean up my diet and get my butt moving daily. We all know that, right? Easier said than done. I am 40 years old, I hate exercise and I'd rather die than go on a restrictive diet. Well, I was truly on my way to dying, with the way I was spending my life. Eating out my frustrations.

This photo was taken just a month after I started my journey. I felt that I had made a bit bait of progress. I somehow had a waist but still, a long way to go.

I did my research for many months, looking for that special "diet" that I can live on for the rest of my life. I decided to focus on clean eating, which I feel is more realistic and doable. Clean eating isn't really a diet but more of as lifestyle change. I drastically cut down on meat (pork, beef and chicken), processed food and my beloved junk food. Instead, I had green and fruit smoothies daily, when we eat out, we order only vegetables and seafood, preferably rilled or baked. At home, we rarely eat meat, except when the kids are here. We stock up on fruits so that every time we get hungry, we can just grab one and eat it. My personal focus is to be on a more raw plant-based lifestyle so that I can eat as much as I want. I hate restrictions.

It hasn't been easy. I have slipped up several times. There are days that I just have to have my cheetos, but it only happened twice in three months. Hopefully, I can reduce that to only once a year, maybe on my birthday, ha ha ha. As a special treat.

I got used to eating healthier, too. I no longer crave for bacon with every breath I take. Drastically cutting down on our beloved dishes like adobo, lechon, kare-kare have been very very challenging for me. I manage on most days, which is a HUGE change for me. It helps that I don't make them anymore at home.

The second hardest for me is getting the daily exercise. I can do daily brisk walking, that's easy now for me, but brisk walking wasn't enough to drop the weight off as quickly as I had hoped. I've started doing some weight and strength training with dumbbells (for now), my goal to get stronger to advance to heavier weights to jumpstart the weight loss and toning.

I am happy to say, with all my efforts, with no pills, no powdered shakes, no slimming teas, I have managed to lower down my blood pressure from 145/100 to 100/70. Just ten points shy of my college blood pressure of 90/70. My weight is down 8-10 lbs (depending on which scale I'm using). I admit that I hoped I was losing more weight but, I am happy with my body's progress. Slow and steady is the key.

Here's a photo of me and Hubby last Easter.  I have 20 lbs more to go but, my skin is clearer and I feel so much better. I have more stamina and I sleep better, too. I feel more confident to wear sleeveless now. I love shopping and trying on new clothes. I hope to wear a bikini confidently soon. Ha ha ha.

Most of all, I feel happy.