I have always been on the heavy side. Looking back at pictures when I was a kid, although I looked thin, all the girls around me were always thinner. Throughout my life, I have tried losing weight many times and although I would lose a few pounds, after a while, I would end up losing all motivation and gaining some, if not all, the weight back again. As the pandemic continued worsening, I would sometimes look at myself in the mirror and see my face becoming oilier than usual, with breakouts that weren’t likely to pop out. I saw a double chin, which had never been as visible as it was before, and when I saw my side-profile, I could have sworn that I looked like I was pregnant… Maybe my description doesn’t parallel what I actually looked like, but I wasn’t content with what I was seeing.
So I asked myself, do I stay as I am and continue to judge myself, or do I do something about it? I made my decision in a split second, and I want to share the knowledge I discovered and the experience as a whole that I got from my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Firstly, I went to a nutritionist. Although some diet trends might work, they don’t work the same for everyone’s shape. A nutritionist makes a diet tailored to your needs, so it’s always better to seek a professional.
I know you’ve heard this a thousand times before—I know I have—but you have to eat healthily and add more vegetables to your diet. Although it might sound weird, adding a bit of salad on the side to your breakfast plate and every plate is a must.
Also, you have to eat six times a day! The main three-course meals and a snack in between each one. You must also remember that you have to wake up early and not take naps.
- Stay fit
Get exercise equipment—that includes clothes. Since I’m friends with a personal trainer, I asked her for advice on what exercises I could do, but instead, she gave me an exercise agenda and a list of equipment she usually gives to all beginners, which I will share with you:
First off, you need a sturdy sports bra and a good pair of running shoes. Then you’ll need a mat, some weights (heavy enough for you to pull, I personally use 8lbs weights,) a resistance band set, and a resistance tube.
Now for the exercises! The following consists of 3 sets, 15-20 repetitions each, and resting sessions of 60 seconds after each set.
You start with a 30-minute walk, if you don’t have a treadmill you can always walk around your neighborhood or go to a local gym. During that walk, add a bit of jogging every few minutes. Don’t walk like you always do; add some resistance. Exercising is all about putting your muscles to work, and they’re not working if you’re not feeling tired.
After the walk, it’s time to work on your upper body, starting from your arms, all the way to your legs, and then the mat. You start with shoulder presses, lateral raise (with the resistance tube), then bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, and finally tricep extensions (with the resistance tube). If your arms don’t feel like they’re burning, you need heavier weights.
For the legs, we start with squats, then, with the resistance bands, you do leg lifts and glute kickbacks. Take off the bands and continue with lunges, then you’ll end with calf raises.
Now it’s time to go to the mat. There you will do a glute bridge, criss-cross leg scissors, crunches, and you end with a plank. You have to stay in that position until you can’t hold it anymore and record your duration. When you’re done, you go back to the treadmill and walk for 20 minutes.
Resting well is just as important as an intense exercise routine. You can’t work out every day if you’re a beginner—you’ll end up hurting yourself. You have to let your body get used to the workout. But don’t just do nothing the whole day either. Walk for at least 30 minutes, keep yourself active in any way, just don’t force your muscles.
- Build resistance
Once you get used to the number of exercises you’re doing, you’ll have to add more resistance. Get heavier weights, and instead of 15-20 repetitions, do 25-30. Switch from walking on the treadmill to running.
Seeing results takes time—you’re not going to lose 10 pounds overnight. If you weigh yourself every day and see no change, you’ll lose all motivation, which is why you should only weigh yourself once a week. After a while, although you think you haven’t lost much, try on some of your old clothes and you’ll definitely see the difference.
It’s hard to lose weight, but don’t lose your conviction; you’ll definitely see results and you’ll know it was all due to your hard work.