To a better, healthier you - SunStar

To a better, healthier you

Diet success stories to inspire us all

By Patricia May P. Catan and Christian Jay B. Quilo


STRIVING towards a healthier lifestyle requires a lot of commitment. While the results will be worth it, it does come with a fair share of struggles. But that shouldn’t stop you, of course. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get started on a better way of living, here are success stories of individuals who’ve overcome their struggles with not just weight but also self-image.

Like a lot of kids, Gwyndell was chubby growing up, and while he thought he looked fine at the time, other kids and their harsh words made him think otherwise. Because of this body shaming, young Gwyndell decided to work on losing weight to silence all the haters.

In this crash diet, he cut down on his daily food intake — 10 tablespoons of rice for breakfast, seven for lunch (sometimes instant noodles and a bag of chips), and five for dinner. In three months time, Gwyndell had drastically lost weight. At this point, he looked like skin and bones to others but to him, he still had to lose more weight.

“It’s funny when your problem used to be being too fat and now, people are making fun of you for being too thin. But then again, people always have something to say,” Gwyndell muses.

Eventually, Gwyndell realized that he may have an eating disorder. Deeply concerned about her son’s health, Gwyndell’s mom confronted him about this “diet” he’s on. “My mom told me that I am not doing it the right way. I was harming my own body,” he recalls.

Moving forward, Gwyndell resolved to treat his own body better. Currently a Nutrition and Dietitian student, he’s moved on from trying to lose weight to now working towards a toned and lean body through a more balanced diet and lots of physical activity. — Gwyndell
Uy, 20

Frances immediately decided that she wanted the extra weight gone when she realized her crush never noticed her and a teacher made fun of her weight. These alone were enough reasons for her to start losing weight and get working on her diet plan.

For a growing teenage girl like Frances who normally eats nine times a day, it took a lot of self-control to limit herself into eating only three times a day. Lessening her food intake also meant cutting off rice, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water and avoiding sweets.

Aside from mood swings and occasional dizziness, Frances didn’t face much challenges while on her diet regime. She shared that her body was slowly able to adapt her routine and her determination was the extra push she needed to lose all the extra weight.

In a span of a few weeks, changes in her body were already visible. She achieved her desired weight after two to four months while following her diet plan minus the four-hour workout due to school. But she still made sure to spare 10 to 15 minutes of exercise everyday and religiously follow her no rice diet.

“I felt really good, nice and proud. I became even more confident of myself,” shared Frances after reaping the benefit of dieting. Still currently on a diet, Frances doesn’t deprive herself anymore but at the same time mindful of her limitations. She concluded that it’s a matter of eating right to stay fit and healthy in the long run. — Frances Jhoannah Yap, 17

It was April 2015 when Johann first moved to Cebu, the very place where his fitness journey started. Johann, who was 210 pounds at that time, recalled walking around a huge property, and by the end of the day, his knees, back, feet and calves hurt. He added that after five days of being in constant pain, he woke up and told himself that he needed to do something about it.

Nothing was more timely when the hotel he works for launched “The Biggest Loser Challenge” where a prize was going to be given at the end of the year for the colleague who lost the most amount of weight. This, then became Johann’s goal and target to win the challenge. He weighed 173 pounds at the end of the year and won.

Since winning the challenge, Johann maintained his weight up until now by constantly working out despite having no specific diet plan. But he is currently into triathlon, does a lot of walking and eats light breakfast, heavy lunch, snack in the afternoon, and light dinner.

While he strictly follows this type of diet regime, sometimes portion control is a challenge. And for someone like Johann who has a sweet tooth, cutting down on sweets is another big challenge. But despite these temptations every now and then, results still showed especially on his fourth to fifth month of eating right and exercising.

“It feels great to see results. The pain in my feet started to subside, as well as my knee and back pain started to go away. It feels awesome to generally lose weight because you start to feel much more confident with yourself.” Johann also mentioned that he is trying intermittent fasting as of the moment and the goal is to become lean, lose a couple of more pounds, maintain it, and be healthy overall. — Johann Santos, 36

Fiona knew she had to do something when even simple activities like walking easily wore her out. Aside from that, she also noticed that most of her clothes didn’t fit her anymore. Taking these signs into serious consideration, they were just the right motivation to jumpstart her road to fitness.

While Fiona doesn’t follow a specific diet plan, she manages by becoming more mindful of her food intake. “I have imposed little rules I could actually follow, like cutting down on instant coffee, soda and alcohol, and avoiding heavy meals before bedtime.”

Since it’s more of an “everything in moderation” habit according to Fiona, her food choices remain hardly healthy, which she claims is something she really needs to work on. But her self-made diet plan bore fruit after 10 months or so when old clothes started to fit again and friends noticed.

Seeing results made her feel awesome and because she constantly visits the gym, it also gives her the energy she needs to get through the day. Now, it is a matter of sticking to her diet routine as much as possible.

She will work on improvements to her diet plan along the way and at the same time identify which personally works best for her in the long run since she dreams of going for a nutritious and balanced diet and being consistent about it.” — Fionah Escandor

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