Changing Me Up

Let me say right off the bat that that is not an accurate illustration of me up there, haha. I haven’t lost that much weight since my last post. The salbabidas still stubbornly cling to my torso, making me a shoo-in for the ‘Before’ in an ad for liposuction.

But that is certainly a good illustration of how I feel, that is, much better and much healthier compared to how I was at the start of the year.

I wake up every morning refreshed instead of cranky. The body aches and pains are almost gone and housework and walking up the stairs no longer leave me breathless. On top of all that, for more than a month now I haven’t had a single bout with hypertension. Yey! This is a huge improvement because until earlier this year, I suffered from high blood pressure once or twice a week.

I took the slow but sure route to this point. During the past weeks, I focused on establishing healthier habits. It’s taken more than a month but so far I’ve made these three small lifestyle changes:

1. Get moving.

I hate exercise. You have to make time for it, wear the right gear, and get all sweaty and smelly. It’s also boring and repetitive.

Dancing is not exercise. It’s fun. It’s something I could do for hours on end. So at least thrice a week, before I go to work, I play Just Dance on the wii or my 80s playlist and I dance (or do the most awkward approximations of it) for 30 minutes. I fling my arms about, jump, sway and do the running man (heh!) until my heart gets all pumped up and I’m laughing at myself. It’s doing my body good even though it’s not exercise. (Please do not tell me otherwise. :D)

Another thing I’ve grown to like: mild stretching exercises upon waking up.  They help get rid of the cricks associated with having been born around the time of man’s first landing on the moon.

2. Go nuts.

I’ve always liked vegetables, fresh fruits and fish, prefer home-cooked meals to fastfood and whole-wheat bread to white. I rarely have chocolates, sweets or softdrinks. When it comes to food choices, I  know I’ve been eating better than most people. But the volume of my food intake was an entirely different story. I did not just eat, I stuffed myself until my stomach was as hard as my skull and my belly button had the diameter of a coaster.

To reduce my appetite, I started the habit of munching on a handful of peanuts/almonds/walnuts about a half hour before meals. Now I’ve gotten used to eating smaller portions of whatever I want, including white rice (two or more cups before, one cup now). It’s been weeks since I last ate like a bear about to hibernate.

3. Go to sleep at the right time.

Bedtime for me used to be an hour or two past midnight. Then I would wake up in the morning channeling Grumpy, go to work and fight against lethargy for the rest of the day. I had to establish a better sleeping pattern.

I decided to temporarily ditch some of the things that usually kept me up late at night — caffeine, the internet (including blogging) and playing Zuma (laugh if you must but without it I’d still be playing Tetris, hehe). I’ve since replaced them with ‘calming’ reads that lull me to sleep, usually way before midnight. I get a good dose of zzzzzs now.

All these changes are going against decades of unhealthy practices so I’m really proud that I’m turning them into habits. I’m still far from being a model of health and fitness — my salbabidas have barely deflated, I’m still overweight and I have lapses in discipline (McDonald’s fries, large). There are also things that I’m not ready to give up yet, such as white rice, mugs of hot, creamy, sweet coffee and my daily breakfast of fried everything. (These particular sources of calories, bad cholesterol, sodium and sugar are some of my favorite things and cutting them out now would make me a very ill-tempered healthy person.)

But I believe in the power of small but steady changes. There are more lifestyle tweaks that I can make, including starting on some weight-training. At this time when most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten, I am still pumped about mine. The fact that I found no need at all to check my blood pressure last month or last week or today is motivation enough for me. 🙂


So how are you guys doing with your fitness (or other) goals this year?

45 thoughts on “Changing Me Up

  1. It sounds really wonderful and you are so right. Girl, I just feel healthier and more beautiful from just reading your new habits! 😀 (Wish that this was enough, though hehe).
    Keep it up and also keep us posted. We miss reading your posts; they’re good excercise for our … smiling muscles!!!

  2. Ehehe. Thanks! 🙂 Since I started trying to sleep better, my old blogging schedule (actually sitting down to write posts and read others’ posts) hasn’t been working well enough for me. So I’m making some time management tweaks, too, and will be catching up on the blogging thing soon. Meanwhile, tweeting is so easy! 😉

  3. Finally some word from you! Started to get worried here! Congrats on keeping up the spirit.
    Personally, I had some throw backs with double otitis and a flu (this week), but otherwise I am sloooooooowly watching the scale go down. However my hard-as-rock back and shoulder muscles are driving me nuts. Who new that hard muscles on your shoulders are equal to death. One of them just pushed down on the nerve, which (who could imagine) made me lose all the feeling in the left pinky… Well, next thing for me is massages.
    But enough about my problems! Happy to have you back!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks, KatZ!
      It’s always frustrating when something like the flu throws a monkey wrench at our daily efforts to get healthier. I’m glad you’re feeling better now. As for that stiffness in your back muscles, that would indeed be the perfect excuse to get that massage, hehe. 🙂

  4. Attagirl!

    This is an inspiration. Not just to those who are focusing on health but for everyone who needs to set their goals.

    tita buds, you better hurry up on your blogging schedule. Hihi 😀

  5. I’m trying so very hard to do the same thing.I don’t know if it comes with age but I’m just having a hard time shedding even a few pounds. Like you, I’ll keep at it and hoping those salbabidas will slowly melt away. haha!

    It’s good to hear from you again.

    • Thanks!
      Ah, I try to console myself with the thought that I’m getting healthier despite not losing much weight. Still, I want a waist, haha! So let’s do this. Salbabidas be gone! 😀

  6. Jen here. Wow! You are making some positive changes! In my case I’ve limited caffeine intake to one day per week. I’m limiting sugar and processed food intake. And I’m cooking more of my meals. I’m going to try the nut tip. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Jen!
      I don’t eat a lot of processed food either but, uh, one caffeine intake per week? You’ve got a lot of determination there, but that’s a good challenge.

      By the way, congratulations on the new domain name. Yey, Rumpy! 🙂

  7. Sounds good Tita Bud! We want you healthy and happy 🙂 Blogging,actually the of reading blogs and commenting has wrecked my sleep. I wake up at 3am and grab the computer. Bad. Keep at it at your pace and that will work! Take care!

    • Thanks very much.
      Blogging did wreck my sleep cycle (what can I say, I enjoy it!), although it was the other way around for me (I stayed awake till 3am). It was a challenge because I live on the other side of the world from most of you and most comments and posts came in when I was supposed to be asleep, hehe. I’m trying to be better at prioritizing stuff now. Good luck to us. 🙂

    • Hahaha, thank you Angeline. As you said, I’ve made myself accountable, so yes. 🙂
      The DASH booklet helped, too, by the way. Thanks very much for that tip.

  8. Tita, welcome back. You sound good. I am so glad you decided to take the slow and steady route, it has the best results, so proud of you. I do yoga everyday, but have decided to add more cardio so I actually sweat, I don’t do much of it during the Winter, this being my 40th year however, I am really determined to get all aspects of my health together. 80s hits here I come.
    I am tempted by white rice too… Sigh! But, I eat v. little, my greatest challenge is chocolate… I gave up the milk variety ages ago and now try every variety of dark chocolate there is, just so I can eat a little of what I like and not deprive myself. I have added two new health rules for this yr: go gluten free and dairy free… I miss Starbucks, I have found some great alternatives 🙂

    • You’re in that level of fitness that I can only dream of right now, haha. But that’s very inspiring for me as we’re around the same age. 🙂
      What I do is really just cardio and I intend to start alternating that with some weight training. I have to do that because the white rice keeps calling.
      As for chocolate, the kind with at least 70% cocoa (which tastes better, I think) is actually good for us, right?

  9. I am so jealous at how motivated you are! I am planning to do the same thing pero hanggang plans lang ako. New Year’s resolution already thrown away. Gusto ko i-try yung nuts before meals. Saka yung sa sleep, I’ve tried it before. Iba talaga ang gising pag maganda ang tulog! Kahit pa stressful ang buong araw, hindi ako madaling maapektuhan kasi maganda ang gising ko, at masarap ang tulog ko! Pero sadly, isang beses ko pa lang nae-experience yon. I need to find ways to train myself into a more sensible sleeping habit.

    Good for you to keep this up! I wish you the best! Have a great day! 🙂

    • Thanks very much! Yup, try mo yung roasted nuts. (Swerte naman, someone sent us a big jar of almonds so I started with those until it became a habit. Ngayon, local na, Happy o Growers peanuts, hehe!) After 20 minutes or so, your brain will receive the message from your stomach that there has been some food intake and you’ll be less prone to overeating. 🙂

  10. Good on you! Congrats on the “feeling good” part of beginning a healthier lifestyle. I ascribe to the belief that taking the slower route also means taking a more permanent, sustainable route. I started my lifestyle change to the healthier habits I used to have last May and have lost 34 lbs. so far. And although I know I will NEVER hear my name preceded by the adjectives “petite flower,” it feels great to have my energy and stamina back! Keep it up!

    • Thanks, Sarah. I do intend to continue on this more sustainable route.
      34 lbs. Wow. My goal is a little less than that so this is greatly encouraging. Maybe I can do it within the year, too. Thanks again and stay healthy. 🙂

    • I don’t really know. I was told NOT to weigh myself because the initial ‘pounds’ lost are all about water anyway. But next year, hopefully, I’ll be able to shout out from the rooftops the number of inches I lost, haha.:)

  11. I have to take inspiration from you, Tita Buds. I also need to get rid of my “salbabidas” and the double chin that is starting to get prominent. Been struggling with getting rid of sweets lately and my eating pattern is not so consistent. I used to eat fruits and salads but have been skipping them lately.

    • Thanks, Malou. I’ve tried losing weight in the past for the sake of vanity, haha, but after a few days, my resolve would go kaput. But now that my motivation springs more from worries about my health and how it has been affecting how I enjoy my life, I’ve managed to stick to my NY resolution. 🙂 Good luck!

      • My motivation to diet flies out of the window the moment I see rice and sweets. I should also try to slow down the activity in my kitchen. Been experimenting lately with chocolate truffles which turned out so good but you can just imagine what a calorie bomb that is. Hmmm…I should really try to get that discipline. 😉

  12. The idea of eating nuts before a meal is a good one which I will try. I am on a diet at present as I have joined a “biggest Loser” challenge at the gym…
    Kepp up the dancing, it is good for you to keep moving.

    • Thanks, Maggie! Yup, you should try it. Eating a small handful has really helped curb my runaway appetite and there is nothing nutritionally bad about them. (I recommend the giant jar of Kirkland Roasted Almonds from Costco.)

      I hope you’ll be writing about your joining that ‘Biggest Loser’ challenge, even though your blog is more about photography.

      BTW, congrats on your nomination, too. 🙂

  13. Neat post! Have undergone a lifestyle change myself after years of neglecting my health! Yoga and yes nuts have proved very helpful! But I am an owl, and find sleeping at the right time the hardest to stick to 🙂

    • Same here! I’m a night owl, too and so far I find that this is where I commit the most ‘transgressions’, hehe. Thanks very much for dropping by, Madhu! (It’s so weird typing that because I have a sister who I call by the same name. :))

  14. You can do it! Bring sexy back1 😀
    Ang health and wellness goal ko ngayon ay wag na kumain ng kanin na mala-construction worker. Wag na masyado uminom ng Coke at magminimize (or magquit) ng pagyoyosi. So far, so good. 🙂

  15. I used to say that my bulges are in payback for my first three skinny decades until I realized that I am a prospective candidate for lipo. I can’t dance so I do the next “doable” thing: I walk. walk and walk.

    • And water the plants and make sure everything is fertilized…on Farmville, hahahaha!
      But how can we not pile on the pounds? We grew up eating mounds of white rice! 😀

  16. We used to do the same thing-started sleeping at one or two am, but it seems that we both changed. I have just started to sleep at 11 am and wake up at 4.30. The feeling is wonderful, so I couldn’t agree more with your last point! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing, my friend! 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  17. Pingback: Dear Diet, | tita buds' blog

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