I used to weigh 52 kilos when I was in college. Before that, however, I was the fat-kid in class, so I worked hard for that 52-kilos. I jogged and ran an average of 5 times a week for at least 30 mins. I danced my heart out after that 30-minute “staple routine” and I cut portions of food. I kept myself busy and moving so as to burn more calories in between those workouts. I monitored my calorie intake and made sure I burned more than I consumed. I was constantly burning and burning calories. I was a crazy calorie-burning machine.
I never subscribed for a membership to a gym or dance sessions. I just had my iPod back then and a trusty pair of Adidas trainers. It was all I needed plus will-power, determination, and a groovy playlist that allowed me to imagine that I was J. Lo singing Let’s Get Loud and Beyonce dancing Single Ladies. With only those things, I was able to reach my goal of weighing below 55 kilos. I’m only 5’1” so the goal was realistic. I wasn’t undernourished or anything because I didn’t starve myself. I loved food and I never dared part with it. I took pride in looking “proportioned” even though I was big-boned and broad-shouldered. With the extra weight, I looked like a packed rectangle; without the weight, everything just looked “balanced”. For this small vanity, I continued to work out so as to maintain the “ideal balanced proportions” of 36-26-36. I mentioned previously (in this blog) that even as I weighed 52 kilos, I didn’t look as light as I should be. It is because one could not hide the natural body shape that one is born with. Plus, it was really difficult to control the inclination to “bulk-up” when you are as small as me. Difficult, but not impossible. All it took was consistency and again, determination.
It was an accomplishment, you see. From 80 to 52 kilos? I believe that wasn’t so bad at all. My efforts paid off, I know, because from year 2005 – 2013, I was in my best body. For almost a decade, I was able to fit into clothes not exceeding size 10 …8. It was so easy to shop for clothes to wear because I fit into the standard sizes. It was even easier dressing up every day because I only had to think and visualize myself in a particular outfit in the evening and just wear it in the morning; no need for adjustments or “cheating”. The clothes would just slide over my body and settle in the right places. Everything fit perfectly. That was a good feeling. I never needed to look at myself in a full-length mirror, because whatever I envisioned myself to look,that was how I looked in reality. The mirror was only for makeup and hair purposes.
Those were the best years of my body thus far. I was strong and active; productive and indefatigable. I just had so much energy even if I wearied myself out as early as 4:00 in the morning and sleep late at night. That is one of the advantages of exercise; you have lots and lots of energy. It’s quite paradoxical, really; the more you work out, the more you let in strength. It was an exhilarating feeling, I tell, you. That’s why some people get addicted to exercise.
I reached the point where I can’t end the day without doing some serious cardio for at least 30 minutes; it had to be no less than 30 minutes because I have read somewhere that working out for less than 30 minutes just doesn’t let you burn that much. Serious cardio to me was soaking up my athletic apparel with sweat – dripping from head to foot. I felt more convinced that I burned more than my quota if the “sweat dripping state” happened. There were also days when even at 11:00 at night or even at midnight, I squeezed in a 30-minute (or more) jogging/running. I just couldn’t let the day end without exercise. Note that I was not obsessed at all; it just became a daily habit. Regardless, I was still fit and healthy.
Those were the days when I was fit and confident. Fast forward to today… well, things have drastically changed. I’m back to my 78 – 80 kilos self again. This is 5 months after giving birth. Somewhere between year 2013 to 2016 and two babies later, I dropped my fit self and wore the mommy hat. I guess I should also own up to the unfortunate truth that I let myself go. My priorities changed and I wasn’t able to juggle too many things at the same time. I became an all-around-mom and fitness was just something that was surprisingly easy to give-up.
I believe I made a mistake.
If I were fit to this day, I would probably be stronger and more confident of myself. I wouldn’t be hiding from the world, for one. Whenever I look back on those days when I was dead-focused on reaching my goal, I remember how motivated and determined I was. It is all in the mind, I used to think. I believed that my mind could control all my actions and that conviction worked for me. My mind and attitude played the greatest roles in making sure I did not stray from my goal. The mind is stronger than anything.
I miss my motivated self.
My thoughts linger to those days when I hardly got sick; when I had so much energy to expend; when I was so self-assured that it felt like I could take on any challenge; when my brain was always active and sharp; when I felt great inside that I literally loved life; when I could sing better because I had better breathing and strong muscle support; when I could push a heavy upright piano from point A to point B without anybody’s help; when I could run anytime, anywhere without feeling exhausted after; when my legs were strong enough to hoist me up and walk in 5-inch heels; when I felt like a female-spy because I could run in heels easily; when my skin was glowing 24/7; when I could dance and do the pirouette, unburdened by my weight; when I could bend without hurting my back; and when I could outrun a snatcher.
So, right now, I am honestly debating whether I should take this fitness journey once again. I did it before, I could do it again, right? It’s just a matter of mindset and motivation, I believe that I am my better self when I am fit and healthy. I will do it for myself and for my loved ones. I will begin again as soon as I put a period on this entry.