article_ylyw-april-11.jpgJellica used eating to bond with family and friends. "There’s no better way to spend time with them than to eat out," she says. "At home, my mom cooked the best meals. I couldn't say no to that. My family loves trying out different restaurants." Her fave foods: bacon, lechon, rice, pasta, and sweets. Her weight ballooned from 150 lbs in 2007 to 210 lbs to 2009.

"Physically, I felt weak and bloated. Emotionally, I felt unattractive and my self-esteem was really low." She wanted to take charge of her health. But losing weight was about more than just fitting into the clothes she wanted. It was about following through on promises she made to herself. "I used to tell my friends that I would start dieting and going to the gym to lose weight. But I never really got to doing it," she says. "So every time I’d say that again, they would just laugh it off and tell me that they’ve heard all that before. They didn’t believe I had enough willpower to push through with a weight-loss routine and I wanted to prove them wrong," Jellica says.

Help came thanks to her trainer, who was also her brother-in-law. He prepared a workout program for her. So in August 2009, she walked or swam for two to three hours once a week. In the gym, she used the speed rope, bike, treadmill, leg press, and dumbbells. She exercised six times a week, for three to six hours every session, depending on her calendar.

"I had to balance my school schedule with my gym schedule. The entire program was not easy, but I had a lot of motivation to keep going. I kept in mind all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight. I reminded myself that this is what I wanted." Having a good support system also played a part in her success. Her parents bought healthier food options to facilitate her diet. "My friends also backed me up. They gave me words of encouragement and these really helped me."

Although health was her priority, it was a little bit about the fashion. "The best memories I have during that time was when I would try on my old clothes and I saw how loose they were... Losing weight was a struggle, but it was all worth it. I am more active physically. I can play sports with friends without getting tired easily. I had a major confidence boost. People who knew me before I lost weight were amazed at the results. My weight loss is a great accomplishment for me and I’ve never felt healthier and happier."

JELLICA'S TIPS:

1. Set your goals. Identify the reasons why you want to lose weight.

2. Eat healthy food. You don't have to skip meals. Eat whatever you want, but always in moderation.

3. Don’t go for quick fixes like diet pills and weight-loss teas. Some were quite effective, but when you stop using them, they make you gain weight like crazy.


(First published as "Losing weight gave me a major confidence boost" in the "Slim-Down Strategies section of Women's Health Philippines' April 2011 issue. Photo by Jun Pinzon. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

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