Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bob Greene's Get with the Program

It's not really a habit, but every now and then, I'd check Booksale for cheap, preloved books I could buy. Often times, I'd check the Health Section for some fitness / health books I could read to help myself learn more about this weight-loss journey of mine.

This road I am on has been the rockiest part. I don't know what's wrong with me - resources, inspiration, and motivation, but I still am struggling to get it all together. This week, my sleeping pattern was compromised as I have to wake up at 3am to prepare sister's breakfast, and although I try to stay awake 'til the time I go out and walk, by 8am, I'd be sooo sleepy and tired that I found myself sleeping, therefore I don't get to do my other fitness routines. My sister's morning shift at work will end on Saturday, so hopefully on Sunday or Monday, I can get things back the way I want it to be.

Back to the books. One of the books I bought the last time I visited Booksale was "Get with the Program" by Bob Greene. I think this is his earlier book prior to "The Best Life Diet," and both books have different phases to help someone lose weight the safest, most natural way, and mais about intain the weight once you reach your target.

Phase One is preparation - conditioning the mind and the body by making simple changes.
Phase Two is kick-starting the metabolism, as well as learning how to exercise properly.
Phase Three is a continuation of Phase Two, and it will also tackle the emotional side of eating, and
Phase Four is about increasing the amount of exercises and adding some strength training.

This program  will be slow as some phases go for about three months, but while I won't really follow the program to the T, some parts of it I will surely incorporate to my journey.

Before even starting the program, there is this questionnaire that I found so interesting and a good way to learn about myself more. It has 12 questions, and since today's the 30th and I plan to strictly go back on track on September, I figured I divide the questionnaire into parts - as each question has its own written exercise I wanted to answer.

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1. Do you believe that once you reach a certain size or weight you'll be happy?

Yes, of course. Being over 200lbs., I set myself to reach 150lbs. and I know for sure I'd be happy once I reach that weight. Think about not getting frustrated with buying clothes, maybe having a small tummy, which will help me carry my dress well. I do know that there are so many sources of happiness - reaching the target weight (and the perks that come with it) is just one of those, but I also do know that reaching my goal weight isn't and will not make me the happiest.

Written Exercise
Make a list of all the thing you could do that would make you happy. Commit to a start date for each objective, then write down exactly what you need to do in order to put this goal in your life and hold yourself to it.

Goal - Join a Fun Run
What Needs to be Done - Prepare myself to run at a steady pace for 5 kilometers. I should start by conditioning myself - walking at first then slowly incorporate running until my body is already accustomed to it. I also need to read up about running and the diets most runners go for. Also, I'd read up on stories about plus size people joining Fun Runs... their struggles, their preparation, their triumphs.

Goal - Learn How to Swim
What Needs to be Done - Scout nearby small resorts, which are operational even during off-peak season, which rates are just right on the pocket. Since Sundays will be my rest days, it might be a good day to teach myself to swim.

Goal - Prettify Myself
What Needs to be Done - One thing there is to know about me... I am not really confident in my own skin. Sure, I can smile and I have nice pictures, but if you ask me upfront, I will have a difficulty saying "I am beautiful." I guess too much ridicule I took while growing up wore my confidence thin. My choice of clothing is always "safe," meaning, I don't take risks in buying flashy outfits as I might not be able to carry it. Once, someone told me I look good, but I need to start prettifying myself so I could look better. I figured, I really am not the type who would comb hair every now and then, or maybe go to the wash room to re-touch. I do use a blusher and a lipstick, but oftentimes, I'd put it on before leaving the house and leave it as is until I get home. Part of my personal happiness is to set aside a little bashfulness and embrace the fact that I am pretty the way God made me to be. What needs to be done? Start knowing which make-up colors would look okay for me, start experimenting on clothes and just embrace life!

Goal - Tone the Thighs, Arms, and Tummy
What Needs to be Done - Divide the week to include some strength training to tone these parts. MWF will be for the arms, TThS will be for the Thighs, and everyday will be for the Tummy via Hip Hop Abs.

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2. Do you frequently look for a shortcut or an easier way to achieve what you want?

Oh yes I did, and I admit it was wrong. I have been overweight almost two-thirds of my life and when I hoped to lose weight, I had this delusion the excess weight will go away in an instant. The result? I felt dissapointed and the fight in me just crumbled to pieces.

One good thing I learned from the book, "The desire to take a shortcut usually stems from not beliving you are capable of accomplishing your goals on your own. Change has to first take place inside of you because you are truly capable."

Written Exercise
Make a list of some of the shortcuts, gimmicks, diets, or trend that you've tried in the past that didn't work. Include an approximate time frame during which you tried them, and a summary of what happened in each case.

Date: 1999
Mom got this idea of drinking Slimming Tea to help lose weight. My mom's chubby, but we in the family thought she didn't have to lose weight - mainly because of her age and that she is very much secured with her marriage with my dad, but because her friends at work all wanted to lose weight, she joined the bandwagon, and so did I. The tea was laxative - which made me go to the toilet every now and then, so it was such an uncomfortable phase. Though it was, this has got to be the longest method I used, until I decided to stop because I got "busy with life," and I didn't want to be bothered by going to the rest room every so often.

Date: 2002
One of mom's friends from the Church Org just lost a tremendous amount of weight using Herbalife, and started making a sideline selling it, too. Mom bought one set for herself, but while I didn't see any changes on her, I convinced her to buy me a set, too. The first few weeks using it was okay, but drinking mainly the shake and taking the herbal supplements while my housemates (I was living with my friend Marilyn and her cousin that time - as I just got back in college) would eat great food was a little too much to bear. I didn't get to use up all the supplements.

Date: 2005
TVCs about Fitrum made me buy one box this year. It was one of the Slimming supplements that gained a lot of popularity because the actress who endorsed it surely slimmed a lot. This gave me results, as one of my aunts did say I lost weight, but at that time I just didn't have the money to continue using it.

Date: 2006
It was through my sister that I learned about the Chinese Diet Pills, which main brand I wasn't able to remember. Sister told me her classmate lost a lot of weight, and knowing these pills are much cheaper than the other "doctor-approved" ones, I went to buy a box. I was able to finish it, but I experienced cold sweats and palpitations that I stopped using it.

Back then, I focused on diet and not on exercise, which was why I wasn't able to get full potential of the products I used. Anyway, when I went back to my weight-loss program last year (2011), I didn't use any slimming products - I lost weight by gradually portioning my food intake and exercising. I learned then that losing weight isn't about taking shortcuts, and that success was sweeter when you worked hard to reach it.

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3. Do you frequently use excuses to get yourself out of doing what it takes to reach your goals?

Honestly, even with the little success I had losing weight, I still am pulling out a lot of excuses just so I don't have to do my fitness routines. Actually, the reason why I stopped with my program in February was because I let my body take the the excuses my mind is thinking and right now, I am 10lbs heavier than I was seven months ago. I guess I do have the "Chronic Excuse Syndrome," but I am thankful that there is still hope, Bob Greene said.

Written Exercise
Write down some of the excuses that you have used in the past for not doing something that would have improved your life.

I have used a whole lot of excuses, listing all would really take a lot of space. Let's focus on February 'til August 2012. Why did I stop? I just got tired - which was a lame excuse, I know. Right now, my exercise routine was compromised because of lack of sleep - again, an excuse. Not that I am bending towards excuses, believe me, I am still thinking about how to adjust with this schedule (waking up at 3am to prepare my sister's breakfast), because next week, my sister will be having the same work shift, and I surely can't bear to go for another excuse. I told myself August was my "new year," but I clearly threw thirty one days away, I don't want to continue with the excuses when September comes.

... will continue tomorrow.


  1. Hi sis! I think it will help if you wear contacts instead of glasses. Saka just keep going. I've been reading your blog for a few months now since I saw your post about that gym in Lagro. I'm also trying to lose weight, and I've lost a lot since I started December of 2010. I agree that you should do everything you can to look your best. People treat you differently when you look good, and when they sense that you love yourself. I thought before that I was "pangit" because of my experiences as a fat kid, but then I lost weight, learned to put on makeup, dress well, and fix my hair. People were surprised. Even those closest to me started treating me differently.I'm not skinny and artistahin yet, but I'm happy with the changes, and I'm still watching my diet (no rice worked for me and I'm used to living without it now)and I exercise whenever I can. Mom says I'm maarte for buying so much makeup and being too fussy with my skin, but I feel good investing in myself now after so many years of being manang. Iba talaga ang feeling. Worth the effort and the sacrifices! I can see how much you want it, so I want to see you improve more in the coming days. Just keep going! I'll be praying for your success.

  2. I know the feeling.. lol! I did the slimming tea and herbalife and they both did zilch for me. The best approach is what you are doing. Keep it up gal.


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