Recently, I've been asked a lot about my "weight loss". Questions like..What are my tips? What rice do I eat? etc.
I didn't think this "weight loss" was visible to other people, but apparently it was. For myself, I've only recently started to notice the stretch mark on my thighs and a tiny one right under my belly button. On the scale, it was only 3-4kg difference. And my clothes still fit the same. So to me, because it wasn't such a dramatic change, it wasn't a big deal..thats why I have been using quotations marks when I say "weight loss". I didn't even think that it deserved a post.
But since you guys would like to know, I will be happy to share my process with you. Being confident with yourself is one of the most amazing feelings ever and I know that having a healthy weight led by a healthy mindset can help immensely.
Let's start from the beginning..I used to be a skinny kid. But my body decided that it was too lazy to burn fats once I hit puberty, instead it decided to dump it all on my butt and on my legs...I was what we call 'berisi', which basically means 'a little chubby' But how did me - a young girl - knew that I was 'berisi'? That's because people kept telling it to me and also because during those days I was exposed to Blogs and Tumblr, which gave me unrealistic expectations about how I was supposed to look like. Of course, as I am typing this now, I realize that I wasn't at all chubby. It's just that I thought I was. And all these things contributed to the 'diet to lose weight' mindset. I don't blame people, imagine being a skinny kid and then magically having a big butt overnight, of course people are going to comment!
Here is a short timeline of my journey:
Before 2011: Although I had a pretty active lifestyle in high school, I ate whatever I want. Mailing, all the fast food my father allowed, junk food purchased from the nearby 'kantin', pisang goreng after school and more. At this point in my life, I didn't know much about nutrition. I only knew that too much calories was bad.
2012: During this time I got a cyst TWICE on my eyes and also an ovarian cyst (which wasn't serious but it made me panic because I didn't have any knowledge about it at all). I remember asking the doctor 'Why am I getting so much cysts??' and she told me that I wasn't eating healthy enough and that I wasn't exercising, which was true. So this is when I actually started to read about how to eat better. This was the year that I signed up on Instagram and I followed as much 'fitness influencers' as I can. Most of my knowledge about food and nutrition came from these people. Think -- overnight oats, tuna salad, tuna with wheat crackers thing, pan fried chicken breast etc. All white people food and they were so obsessed about portions lol. At this point, I was just starting to learn. I even signed up for gym for 3 months (I was too lazy to go after that).
2013-2014: I call this my Dark Age. This was the period when I hated myself the most. I was a Diploma graduate. Got my first job and I was overworked. I didn't have time and money to 'eat healthy'. I hit my highest weight at 60kg during this time. I cried for no reason. I even tried to force myself to puke after a big binge because I felt so disgusted with myself for eating so much.
2015-2017: Early in 2015, I was in pain for 2 weeks and was even hospitalised due to overworking. I remember I was 50kg. People at work told me my face looked like a skeleton. I decided to quit my job and pursue my Undergraduate Degree studies, thanks to my father's support. My diet was mostly influenced by my need to be frugal and the need for nutrition, that means I had to find the most nutritious food at the lowest prices. I didn't want to spend money on supplements so I ate guava and made red date tea to get my dose of Vitamin C. I ate as much fruits and veggies as I can to get my nutrition. I bought a whole chicken every week and cut up the parts to make recipes like braised chicken or chicken soup. I still ate whatever I wanted, and even gained a little weight during my internship. But during this point I never went above 55kg anymore.
Discovered a liking for hiking.
2018-2019: Discovered about Zero Waste, and lost 2kgs. I even wrote a post about How I Lost Weight During the Zero Waste Lifestyle. I got educated on the truth about the meat/food industry. Although I still eat meat now, but it is so much less than before. If you've been following me, you know I love food and I love cooking so I try to find a balance. On top of that, I also hiked more in this period.
As you can see from my timeline, the changes in my life actually influenced my "weight loss" journey. I hope you can understand that the journey is actually not about losing the weight itself, but to ultimately be someone with a healthy relationship with food and being someone who keeps active. When you have a healthy mindset, most of the time, the weight will follow. I still want to improve myself, such as finding more activities that I love that can help me keep active and make me sweat. I also want to keep improving my diet so I can get as much nutrition that I can.
In conclusion, here are my tips:
1. To me, the best tip is to eat less meat and less packaged food. This helped me to automatically eat more fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes (if you really don't like it, then I can't help you with this). I also eat less oil when I cook less meat so that is also something that I think is important to note.
2. Don't keep junk food at home. I'm not saying you can't have it. I'm just saying that if you want junk food, you have to go out and get it only after you're craving for it. And better yet - find something that you can take away in your own container.
3. Find an activity you love that can keep you active. Walking, running, hiking, swimming, football, whatever that you like!
4. Goes without saying - Drink lots of water, get enough sleep, don't be too stressed or overworked.
These tips are really typical but its true. I don't have any new or revolutionary tips to share unfortunately. I've learned from my experiences that counting calories, overexercising, being too obsessive about what type of food to eat doesn't work at all. You have to start with a healthy mindset. You may or may not face challenges trying to achieve this, for example you may have a family or you have a job that takes too much of your time or even monetary challenges. Or maybe its simply mentally hard for you to give up your favourite foods. I understand these things do make it hard and if that is the case with you, I hope that you can find ways to work around it or find someone who can help you. I found that having a goal or a purpose of doing it helps a lot.
My goal is to simply age better and avoid as much illnesses as I can.
Thats about it for my post! Hope that you learned something new today.