Saturday, June 03, 2006

I'm on a DIET!!!

Since coming here, I have gained weight gradually. Predisposing factors: sedentary job (MT), working at home (I barely go out), easy access to food (anytime; i have a stock of frozen meat and enough flexibility in my work schedule that I can eat whenever I feel like), winter months (confined to home).

You see, when I gave birth to my first son, I became plump. I was resigned that I would be like my Nanay, gaining weight with every pregnancy. My sisters were biggies after pregnancies as well, although I had always been the slim one among us. Well, I thought I had no hope to be slim again, especially that I always ate my son's leftovers.

That frame of mind changed when my sister, who was so big when she left to work in Taiwan, came back home after three years looking like a she had never had a kid!

That was a wake up call for me. So I started reducing weight, avoiding leftovers, eating less, exercising more. I succeeded but shortly thereafter, I was pregnant again. This time, I was resolved to slim down as soon as I gave birth to my second son.

I did, and after six months post-partum, some of my friends could not even remember me having given birth to my second son (asking, "Di ba buntis ka?" to which I would answer "Nanganak na ko no!"). When I was working already, at age 32, some thought I was just 27 and that my first son was my younger brother.

Then I came to US of A with the same body built I had when I was 22. One would only know I was already a mother when she/he would see my stretch marks and the loose fat on my tummy.

Three years have passed...

I was sorting through my clothes earlier in the spring, getting ready for the change in weather pattern, looking for my sleeveless shirts and shorts. The pants that I brought with me no longer fit, as in they could not get past my thighs!. My sleeveless shirts cut through the skin around my armpit. I thought..."Hindi maaari ito!!!"

I resolved to lose weight.

First I calculated my basal metabolic rate using the calculator on this page (shortcut!).

Results are:

1379.27 calories per day is your Basal Caloric Rate. This is:
no more then 45.98 grams of fat (30%) for your Basal Caloric Rate
51.72 grams of protein (15%) for your Basal Caloric Rate
189.65 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Basal Caloric Rate

1793.05 calories per day recommended for your Active Caloric Rate. This is:
no more then 59.77 grams of fat (30%) for your Active Caloric Rate
67.24 grams of protein (15%) for your Active Caloric Rate
246.54 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Active Caloric Rate

No less then 1200 calories per day recommended for safe consistent Weight Loss. This is:
no more then 40.00 grams of fat (30%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate
45.00 grams of protein (15%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate
165.00 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate

At this safe consistent Weight Loss Caloric Rate,
you will lose 1 pound every 19.52 Days

Then I went to to get food exchange lists for the various food groups to plan how much I should eat limited by the above results. My diet was in such as way as to consume much less than that in my calculation results, nothing patterned after Atkins or South Beach or Jenny Craig. My diet is typically as follows: Almost-liquid diet for breakfast and lunch (with the addition of a slice of toast or none in the morning, and grilled cheese sandwich plus banana or salad plus matchbox-size white meat), and a full meal for supper. I drink cold milk (1/2 cup) or plain cold water if I get hungry, munch a small cracker or banana, just to relieve the hunger pangs if any. When I feel giddy, that's how I know I am becoming hypoglycemic, so I would give myself some fuel, enough to keep me going until my major meal for the day. I would have wanted the full meal during lunch, but suppertime is the only time I could eat meals with my whole family. I am more lax during weekends.


mixture of cubed rhubarb stalks, baby spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, cubed chicken breast about 1-1/2 matchbox size 1/2 cup milk, 1 banana, grilled cheese sandwich
Salad: baby spinach
cubed rhubarb stalks, shredded cheese
cubed chicken breast 4 oz
Italian dressing
Grilled cheese sandwich with
milk and banana

Then I bought a Health-O-Meter, which has built-in BMI calculator, saves up to 10 weight recordings for up to 4 users, tells the difference between the recordings, tells the total lost weight from starting, and tells how much more you have to lose according to your targeted weight.

Of course, exercise should be incorporated. I have always been exercising, but I admit I have no discipline and quite inconsistent. Anyway, I resolved to do 15 minutes or jogging or elliptical in the morning and at night (or 30 minutes in the morning), plus some upper arm toning exercises using elastic bands (short and long), jumping rope x 100 at a time, and warming up/stretching exercises, all at least 3 times a week. Not just to burn calories, but also to tone up muscles and strengthen bones. I usually do my exercise before breakfast (fat mobilization happens more if you are in a fasting state, especially during aerobic activities).

Well, now after one month, my weight has gone down from 137 to 124 pounds. I can now wear my pants and actually zip them up, although it is still quite uncomfortable for me to wear them the whole day. And my sleeveless shirts no longer cut through my skin. Not bad eh?

My Goal: If I reach and maintain a weight between 115 and 120 pounds (for my height of 5' 2.5"), I would be happy.

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iska said...

hi manang! im half an inch shorter than u r :D ako naman nasa DNA yata ang payat so my weight is about 48-50 kilos. i have a son....

fanatic cook said...

Thirteen pounds in 1 month is a real accomplishment! Congratulations :)

Anonymous said...

how i got here, have no idea. pero i just want to make a comment since the topic is so relevant to me. i admire your discipline, i really do. i have been to 3 doctors who all told me to lose weight. sigh. it doesn't help that i've polycistic ovarian syndrome (unable to burn carbs, am i right?). worse, i can't do south beach since it makes me dizzy. kaya i've been searching the web for filipino recipes hoping that sticking to a filipino diet (as opposed to American) will help me shed the excess pounds.

Manang said...

Hi Iska,

You are so lucky! I am hoping I have some of that DNA since I have a paternal aunt who is quite skinny.


Thanks for the encouragement! I am taking it easy now, losing about 1-2 pounds a week.

Hi anonymous,
Wow, you made me review! PCOS is linked to androgen increase triggered by insulin, and the primary stimulant for secretion of insulin is elevated blood sugars/carbs. Blood sugar level can be controlled by eating less carb or (low-carb diet) or eating more of complex (versus refined/simple) sugars/carbs. PCOS does not necessarily mean that you are unable to burn carbs.
Regarding Filipino diet versus American, if you are referring to using less refined foods, like what we are used to in PI, then that would be great! The typical American grocery stores carry a lot of highly processed foods, and if they are rich in refined carbs, there goes the problem. But for those like my in-laws who want to raise and eat their own food as much as they can, and who want to cook/bake rather than buy ready-to-eats, then I am inclined to say that their (American) diet is quite okay.

thess said...

Hello Manang! wow, congrats on your weight loss, with the rate youre going, I say you'll easilly reach your goal of 115-120lbs. It does feel good, di ba?

Like you, I had my wake up call when I had to buy a size XL jeans, 'swear I almost cried in the store's fitting room, so April 1 (oks ba sa chosen date?) I begun dieting (and slowed down in food blogging, talagang nde nagluluto!) anyway, to make a long kwento short, i've lost 8kls in 3 weeks and 'been maintaining it since then, only now I'm no longer dieting but just eating right and no more chips!!
I'm currently 59.4 kls (5' 5 1/2" tall) and size M.. I still want to lose at least 3kls more though.

btw, I'm so happy to see you blogging again..bah! namiss kita syempre, isa ka sa inspiration ko kaya ako ng food blog eh ;)

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