December 2013, received a text message, a girl who admired my partner—now my fiancé—said “just to let you know, you fat women, you don’t deserve to be Sheron’s partner because you’re so ugly”. That day, I flipped a page, a heavy page, to a new chapter—the Chapter of Determination.
The Chapter of Determination
When I started attending university, back in 2009, I have gained more than 30 lbs. By the time I gained the full 30 lbs, I have known my partner for over 4 years, and he never had a problem about my weight gain. As a matter of fact, he always had compliments about my clothing, my body, and my values. My weight gain didn’t change how he felt about me or didn’t change anything about our relationship. With my numerous attempts to lose weight—for my 21st birthday, my cousin’s wedding, and my undergraduate convocation— I failed to succeed because determination was only a creation in my dreams.
My self-confidence was not too great. I actually hated being in pictures or even talking to extended family members via Skype. People also started to say how my mom looked like my younger sister. I love my mom with all my heart, however, when I heard these comments, I started to pull myself away from attending family events. In fact, walking side by side with my mom was like kayaking in a storm. Not because of anything, it was my self-confidence that was a rusted vintage car buried in dried wild grass.
One day on Facebook I saw two pictures of me captured on my cousin’s wedding day, and felt nothing but ashamed of myself for neglecting my body and health. I wanted to make sure I would lose weight not for anyone or not because someone told me I don’t deserve to be Sheron’s partner. I was certain I wanted to do it for me. But, that text message helped me ask a very critical question, am I happy with who I am?
I want to make it clear that this blog post does not intend to convey a negative view on body image. I believe that if you’re confident with your body and have no regrets as to how your life style is maintained, you shouldn’t change a thing. At the end of the day, if you’re happy, you don’t need to let other people’s opinion trample your self-confidence.
How did I actually lose weight?
My first step to lose weight was not eating healthy the next day. Instead, I took a different approach. I wanted to train my mind first. I always told myself…
If I can’t control my mind, I can’t control my body.
I started to remove anything that was causing stress. When situations triggered my stress, I would simply say “take it easy”— I said it with a lot of meaning and I said it with my heart. I wanted to maintain a clear and calm mind as much as possible. I figured that if my mind is clear, I could see and act upon my life goals with a purpose.
Then after three weeks, I felt confident to trust my mind and body to achieve my goal to lose weight. I however wanted to make sure I was discipline enough to move forward with my weight loss journey.
I wanted to discipline myself to develop more patients. I also I wanted to understand that things don’t happen overnight. For me, weight loss was more than body shrinking, it was also a time to refine my mind.
My goal was to stick to whatever I did for 30 days, and if I didn’t even lose 5 lbs, I was going to give up. After 60 days, I started to see smaller results. Then, by 90 days…BINGO! I lost 10 lbs. After that, I told myself, if I can stick for 90 days, let me try for another 90 days.
Setting realistic goals was key for me—such as losing 1lbs to 2lbs per week, not to be too strict on myself, to treat myself when my mind and body was craving for something, and to understand my body. Bottom line, I learnt to love my self.
Am I Happy?
It didn’t matter what I did, I wanted to make sure I was happy with my decisions. I started to realize that happiness comes from being truthful to myself and doing things that had a clear purpose.
I had friends who already lost weight, I would text them for advice and show my progress. It was not an official group where you would think we met every couple weeks. Nope, it was all done through text messaging.
My support group helped me to stick to what I was doing. These friends were scattered around the word—Sri Lanka, United States, Canada, and Australia. I heavily used Whatapp and Viber to send texts, pictures, videos, and voice messages. It felt good to talk about my frustrations, rewards, and goals with people I felt comfortable with, people who didn’t judge me.
Eating Small Portions
I mainly focused on portion control. I had a small glass bowl, which I had my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
After three weeks of portion control, I cut down on my carbs. I only had carbs during the weekend—not binging.
I love chocolate, so I had a 1 small bite of chocolate after lunch throughout my weight lose journey. I wanted to be realistic, that way I won’t get frustrated. I always asked myself if I was eating because I was hungry or because I was bored. If the answer was bored, I would drink some water and forget about my craving.
I started to drink green tea and oolong tea after all three meals. It became a habit.
I tracked food intake for at least 8 months on a frequently logged platform—Facebook personal message, I would type what I eat and sent it to myself. Hardcopy journals hardly worked for me because I couldn’t be the awkward one taking the “food journal” out when I’m out with friends for dinner.
My theory is, before you eat anything, write how much and what you’re about to eat. Since I always had my phone, it wasn’t awkward, and no one even knew I was tracking my food in take.
I hate cardio because I get dizzy after any type of cardio exercise. So I just did cardio for 30 minutes before and after my workouts.
One year later, I’m still maintaining my weight well. So I want you to know that weight loss allowed me to believe myself in determination. The idea of determination came alive from my dreams.