This week’s post for Friends on Channel Maddie is truly inspiring, and I feel like it’s something that we can all relate to. At one point in our lives, we’ve all probably made that one resolution that runs along the lines of working out, losing weight, developing healthier habits. We’ve experienced quitting in the middle of our progress towards working on those resolutions, maybe because things got too hard, too many things were happening, there just wasn’t time.
Anton talks about how he made a conscious decision to start living a better life and how he stayed consistent towards achieving his fitness goals. I hope Anton’s piece motivates and inspires you to live a better lifestyle, just as it did for me. 🙂
Before I get into my journey to a better life, I first want to tell you a little about myself.
Hi, my name is Anton, and growing up I’ve always been that fat kid in class or that kid at the family table you give your leftovers to so nothing goes to waste. I was never really into sports or anything active growing up and mostly stayed indoors watching TV or playing video games. I loved having McDonald’s whenever I could and for the most part I enjoyed eating. I pretty much stayed like this for the better part of my life up until after college, and only at this point did I finally decide, I need to change this, I need to improve my life. This is where my story starts and I want to take all of you along through all my ups, downs, trials, and tribulations during my journey from being obese to becoming a beast.
My fitness journey started around 2018. At this point, it’s been a year since I moved back home to Baguio from Manila and a lot of my bad habits from my time in Manila were still lingering around me. Before moving back home, I drank alcohol almost daily, I smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day, never really cared about what I ate and I had a plethora of other vices that did way more harm to me than good. These habits were difficult to get rid of and honestly I believed for a time that I’d never get rid of them and that they would eventually cause me to spiral out of control. My mental health was not at the best place and I was extremely depressed. This to me, was really that first challenge I had to take on during my fitness journey. I knew that all the goals I set for myself and my body would be impossible unless I was mentally locked in.
As someone who grew up obese and spent of most his life obese, I’ve always felt like there was this mental hurdle that seemed impossible to get over. A voice in my head, telling me “why bother? You’ll always be like this. Just make the most out of it. You’ll never change” and because of this, 2018 was just filled with inconsistency and failed attempts at losing weight. During this year, I’ve tried so many different diets, paid for so many different services, wasted so many months paying for a gym membership that I didn’t even use. This went on well into 2019 to a point where I was tipping the scale at 137KG or over 300 pounds. It was at this point, it finally clicked in my head, if I wanted a better life, if I wanted to beat this depression, I have to change, there’s no two ways about it.
So 2019 came, right around September or a month before I turned 24 when it all started making sense in my head and I felt motivated, like I had a new breath of life. I started hitting the gym 6 days a week and got on a new diet and stuck to that diet for 5 months. I lost a bulk of my weight but what I am more proud of from this time of life was all the lessons this part of my journey taught me. Something I’ve come to realize is that the number on the scale is the least important thing you need to worry about especially if you’re just starting out. Something that you need to focus on is building healthy habits. Do you need to gym 6 days a week like I did? No of course not, but I forced myself to make it to all those workouts so I could get into the habit of actually going to the gym. Do I still go 6 days a week? Sure, sometimes, but for the most part I don’t anymore, but what I can say is I still get in around 4 to 5 days of working out a week on average and it’s almost second nature to me, I don’t even need to think about it. And it’s all thanks to me forcing myself into getting into that healthy habit.
The same goes for my dieting. Do you need to go on some crazy 5 month long diet? Again no, but doing this got me into the habit of watching what I eat and watching how much I eat. While of course you don’t need to restrict yourself from eating any of your favorite foods to lose weight, this initial restriction I put myself on helped me get into the habit of choosing healthier foods, more nutritious ones. Now, sure I eat out or order in delivery twice or thrice a week, for the most part I’m eating clean without even having to worry about sticking to diet, like working out, my “dieting” is also second nature at this point. Two lessons I am very grateful for, especially now more than ever, because while 2019 was a great year for me and my progress, 2020 was a bit more of a challenge to take on. When the pandemic hit, it was a complete shake up to my routine, not being able to go to the gym or go grocery shopping as frequently as I used too, but because of the habits I’ve built, I was still able to stay consistent with my workouts, albeit home workouts, and I still kept to my diet and ate clean for the most part.
This journey is probably the most difficult thing I’ve put myself through to date, and while I enjoyed the ups and the downs, it’s something I hope I never have to put myself through again. Something I’ve come to realize, there never really is an end, I know when we start out, we set a “goal weight” for ourselves, and I’ve done that, and I’ve hit it time and time again, but the real goal here is not a “goal weight” but rather having better life. And although I don’t have a specific goal anymore, exercise and dieting is here to stay for good because with it, I feel great and I genuinely feel like I am living a better life.
Before you and I go our separate ways, if you’re someone who wants to lose weight or overall live a healthier life, allow me to give a little bit of advice, things that worked for me. When you’re starting a new diet, try to commit at least 2-3 months to it with no cheat days, I know it sounds daunting, but if you can get into the habit of choosing healthier options and preparing your own meals, I guarantee you, after that first 2-3 months, you will get to a point where eating healthy is second nature. As for working out, next time you feel lazy to get your workout in, just do the first 5 minutes of your routine. If after that first 5 minutes, you still aren’t feeling like doing the workout, okay chill out, try again tomorrow, but if you do the 5 minutes, and you wanna continue the full routine, by all means more power to you!