how i lost 7.5 kilos in 15 weeks

Confidence boost currently at work! 😁

It has been five long months since I last did field work, and I terribly miss it. I miss my workmates, our pantry, my clients, the heat hitting my face when I leave an air-conditioned building, the city grime, and all the hours of walking. But no, I don't miss the Manila traffic, thank you very much.

The pandemic broke and we were all told to stay at home mid-March. My tired body, although thankful for the break, didn't appreciate the static after a week of rest. So, one evening, I got my mat from the dusty corner where I last put it, searched for a 15 minute exercise on Youtube, and started moving.

It was SO. Dang. Hard.

It was the beginning of a very hot and humid summer in the tropics, and I was there, panting like a hyena the first 30 seconds of the video.

You see, yes I moved a lot but I wasn't healthy. The scale was telling me I was close (so, so close) to being overweight. I had little to no desire to exercise after a day out in the field. All I wanted to do when I get home was to eat and do my favorite activity of the day: sleep.

In the effort not to cross that line to being overweight, I exercised inconsistently (maybe once or twice a month, if you count that as exercise). I didn't do any diet at all.

But since isolation hit, I decided to change it.

March at 60kg, July at 52.5kg

March, last week

I decided to move. And no, it wasn't planned. I just wanted to move because I was used to it. I searched for a 15 minute low-impact video on Youtube and did it 6 times a week with 1 rest day.

I worked with what I have:
  • A 60kg weight on a 5'2 height
  • A small space
  • A 200-peso mat
  • My one and only sports bra
  • All my pambahay / house shorts 😁
  • Free Youtube video

Exercise video: Beginner Low-Impact Cardio | 15 Minutes by Popsugar Fitness


Seeing that my body was changing, I decided to set a target weight which is the median BMI weight for my height. All in all, I needed to lose 6.5kg. But I messed up my math 😁 so all throughout the months, I was thinking that I needed to lose 7.5kg, so that became my target in the end. I also tried intermittent fasting a.k.a. skipping dinner in the olden days. I'm not so sure if this is technically called intermittent fasting though, but I start eating at 8AM with the last meal before 4PM. I didn't have a specific diet either, I was eating my normal meals (and my all dad's hearty, home-cookery).

I continued exercising the same 15 minute routine and by the end of April, I lost 4kg. I was so surprised and pleased that I got more motivated.


I felt like my 15 minute workout didn't challenge me anymore, so by mid-May, I started a 30 minute bodyweight workout, also free on Youtube. I did it 6 times a week with 1 rest day. As expected, it was hard in the beginning, it even messed my cycle by just a tiny bit. (Note: I take days off during PMS/period week simply cos I can't. 😔) By this month, I was also used to intermittent fasting that I started eating smaller portions, but still no specific diet. By the end of the month, I lost another 2kg.

Exercise video: 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout by Popsugar Fitness


I continued the same 30 minute exercise but I decided to give myself a break. After all, I was so close to my goal weight—0.5kg originally but in my mind, it was 1.5kg to go! It was also a straining month with all the world issues, so I didn't put more pressure on myself to reach my goal. I didn't weigh myself, thinking it just wouldn't help knowing what my snacking and virtual drinking sessions with friends would do.


Come 1st July, I went on the scale and found out that my weight had dropped and I reached my 7.5kg lost weight goal. I was so happy (and really surprised) that I decided to try on my work dresses that I haven't worn in months—they were all loose.

I was already satisfied with how I look in June, but it was in July that I found a not-so-new goal—see if I could get those shy abs come out in the open. 😆

I still did the same 30 minute video and intermittent fasting, but I knew that I needed to change routines for my new goal.

That said, I'm currently in that new journey, but I'd like to list what I've learned from the past months:

Exercising is a lifestyle. It's not a marathon of how I can get to my goal in the shortest amount of time. In fact, I think this can rob me of the joy and surprise that I can only experience when I'm in it for the journey. I like the idea that it's never finished, that there's always something that I could do differently, that I can change it.

The past months taught me that I just needed to start where I was, with what I have, and that it doesn't need to be complicated. I needed to recognize that I was almost overweight at 60kg, and that all I had was my one and only sports bra, a mat, and all my house shorts. And Youtube. I didn't need an expensive membership at the gym, nor paid classes, or even equipment. I just needed to start. And say no to resistance everyday afterwards.

Exercising reminded me that every step counts, and that I shouldn't underestimate the power of each one. A single step everyday moved me further from where I was and closer to my goal. Over time, within a bigger timeframe, I saw how big the results were from those little steps I took.

Exercising taught me that healthy means finding the balance between moving and resting. Sometimes, I get guilty when I don't exercise. During rest days, or especially if it's PMS/period week when energy levels are so low and all I wanted to do is to watch movies and cry (yes, unfortunately I'm one of those who have terrible mensies 😢), I feel the need to do my normal routine even though my body tells me not to. And I'm learning to listen to it.

And lastly, exercising taught me to be more grateful, that I have this body, working all its functions, that I have all my limbs and organs, that my parts are complete, and that I have this energy to move. It has taught me to value my body and physical health equally as I had always done with my mind and mental health. Exercising made me recognize my body and not take it for granted.

I've only just started, and I'm thoroughly excited for the next adventures in this thing called exercise. For now, I just need to lift my bum off the couch and start today, again.


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