So, Ipad mini in hand to take notes, I started the interview.
How much weight did you lose?
I started out at 86 kg and now I’m down to 71 kg. So… 15 kg.
Wow. And how long did it take you to lose that much?
I started out in September of last year so that makes it (counts the months off with his fingers) – around 6 months.
That’s impressive. So how did lose weight? Did you diet?
Yes. When I first started out I ate nothing but boiled chicken breasts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But that got old pretty fast – only a week. Now I just avoid carbs and sweets.
So what do your typical meals look like?
Let’s see… 3 to 5 boiled egg whites for breakfast. Then a salad for lunch, usually greens and tuna, or sometimes a sandwich. For dinner I have fruits and roasted chicken, with the skin. I know you’re not supposed to eat the skin, but I eat it. I don’t eat rice.
Do you have snacks? What do you drink?
I don’t snack. As for drinks, I drink coffee with sugar, but no cream. Aside from that, I drink only water. No flavored drinks.
So you do this everyday? Or do you have a cheat day?
I have a cheat weekend. I eat whatever I want on weekends.
I figured, since I just saw you inhale a bowl of rice for dinner earlier.
Haha, yeah, you got that right. But even so, I sometimes still feel guilty when I eat too much even on weekends!
Okay, now on to your exercise routine.
Aren’t you going to ask me why I’m doing all this?
I am, I am! We’ll get there, I just need the basics first.
So… how often do you exercise and what do you do?
I go to the gym around four times a week, then I usually have badminton on the weekends. But I don’t think badminton had anything to do with my weight loss because I already played badminton before.
So what’s your gym routine? How long does it take?
I spend around 1.5 to 2 hours each time. I start out with 20 minutes at the treadmill, at a speed of 9 to 11 kph for cardio. Then I work on my core, doing a minimum of 100 crunches. Then I do a minimum of 100 push ups. Last is weights. I alternate days on three areas for the upper body – chest, shoulders, and back, and then two others as well – biceps and triceps. For example, on Monday I’ll do chest and biceps, then on Tuesday, shoulders and triceps.
How did you come up with this routine?
I hired a fitness instructor who taught me what to do, for 30 sessions back in the Philippines. Then when I moved to Singapore I didn’t hire another one anymore because I already knew the routine.
But you didn’t immediately start with the weights, right?
No, he had me doing just cardio at the start. Then after 5 weeks, he had me lifting weights.
Did you do anything else aside from diet and exercise?
Oh yeah, I bought a weighing scale and monitored my weight daily.
Okay, that’s the end. Just kidding. Now we come to the most anticipated part – what motivated you to start losing weight?
Well, this is kind of embarrassing, actually…
It’s okay, I don’t have to write about this if you don’t want to.
No, it’s okay, you can. And you should. Because it might help others out there.
Okay, this is intriguing. It wasn’t because of our bet, right?
No, it wasn’t that.
Well I’m glad, because I thought you and Fli were not interested when I got no responses from you, so I didn’t exactly do anything. Sorry.
Yeah… when did we have that bet anyway?
June of last year. But you started dieting and going to the gym in September so what happened?
It was actually because of my self esteem. The funny thing is, I never really had self esteem issues because of my weight before. I mean, I have always been chubby.
Yeah, you had always been chubby even back in college.
Yes. So I was fine with it, until recently, when I had this group of friends. Only two of us in the group were chubby, and when the other guy started to lose weight too, they started snarking on me for being fat, making me feel like an unattractive loser. At first I was okay, until it came to a point when it started to hurt. Like, wait a minute, these guys are supposed to be my close friends. I mean it would probably have been fine coming from people I didn’t care about, but this stung.
I know the feeling. My friends insulted my looks before too, which made me get a makeover the very next day, just to show them.
Exactly – you get it! I wanted to show them that I could do it, so I signed up for the gym. But I didn’t tell them. Whenever they invited me out for dinner and stuff, I always came up with some other excuse, to the point that they thought I had a secret love life or something.
You know, I have a colleague who also lost weight for the same reason. But his wasn’t a friend, but a girl he liked, who rejected him because he was fat.
Ouch. I think that’s worse.
So, do your friends know that it was their bullying that drove you to do this?
I told one of them. But the truth is, even though it started out that way, after a while, the hurt went away and I started doing this because I liked the results. I started doing it for myself.
Well, that’s good. Because it’s only sustainable that way, right? Now you should be grateful to them for being such bullies because it propelled you into becoming a better you.
Yes, that’s true.
Still, that doesn’t make what they did right. How dare they. Final question: how do you motivate yourself when you feel like slacking off?
I tell myself to always focus on the goal, and ask myself this question: “Do you want to go back to the old you and experience the same hurt that you felt before? If you’re okay with that, then fine, don’t diet. Don’t go to the gym.”
Wise words, Jeff. Thank you for your time.
Thank you, too!
I’m feeling all kinds of inspired by my friend Jeff now. He is the reason why I tried to eat healthy last week. I don’t know if I should join a gym because I might not be able to go as religiously as he does, but it’s definitely something I’m thinking about. I hope he inspires others too, and by others, I mean you who are reading this! 🙂
Note: this entire conversation was held in Tagalog which I translated to English. Just in case you people who know us in real life are wondering.
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge, a blog hop that goes through the alphabet for all the days of April except Sundays.