My college roommate Grace started her first job as a journalist in Hong Kong back in 2012. Several months into her dream job, she complained to me: it’s so easy to gain weight once you start working!
These words came from a girl who has always been in good shape and hasn’t gained any weight during her four years’ college.
I can sort of relate to what she meant. At the end of my internship with Department of Labor in the summer of 2011, I gained lots of hands-on experience as well as a few extra pounds. It’s an issue faced by so many friends who take up sedentary jobs: too much time spent sitting in front of a computer, and too little time for exercise. I am no exception after I started my first full time job in June, 2012.
Entering 2013, I decided to lose some weight. I did lose 4lbs and now down to 111lbs. But I’ve been staying at 111lbs for quite some time. What keeps me from moving on?
The truth is: I am a foodie. I LOVE to eat.
Every weekend, you will probably find me hanging out with friends in some authentic Chinese restaurants (I plan to write a roundup on this topic), Vietnamese Pho restaurants (my all-time favorite is Pho 75) or a brunch cafe like Sabrina’s. Not only that, I also crave for food even when I’m not hungry. This might be really common (who doesn’t like to eat?). But when it gets in my way of losing weight and staying healthy, I know I need to come up with coping strategies.
I want to lose 6 pounds and weigh 105bs on my 24th Birthday (May 29th).
One pound a week so that I’m not stretching myself too far. It might not sound very ambitious but I know it’s not easy for me to achieve. I want to set a realistic goal so that I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.
Then, the question is: how to do it? Easy: Watch closely of what I take in and exercise more.
- Plan my exercise schedule and stick to it. I love sports and exercising! Tennis, badminton, swimming and jogging are among my favorites. I signed up for LA Fitness and participated actively in the classes: Zumba, Hip-Hop, Body Plus Work, Abs, you name it (my favorite by far is hip-hop). These classes are very engaging, allowing you to burn calories and have fun at the same time. However, the networking/social events during weekdays and social outings on weekends often conflict with my work-out schedule. By the time I drove back home, the gym is closed or I’m too exhausted to work out. I ended up working out only two or maximum three nights during weekdays and none over the weekends. To change this, I would like to work around my social events and plan my work-out schedule ahead of time. At least four times a week. Put intervals between cardio and strength training.
- When I crave for food, I do…instead. Like I said, I would crave for food even when I’m not hungry. When this happen, I would like to come up with alternative solutions: rather than eating, I can make myself a cup of tea, read something fun, watch my favorite TV show, get up and walk around a bit – to distract myself. And when I do want to eat so badly, I can treat myself a yogurt or some fruit rather than ice-cream or cookies!
- Find alternative social outings other than dining out with friends. “Dining out” is THE most popular Chinese social outings. No joking. So when I hang out with my Chinese friends, eight out of ten times, we were trying out new restaurants. I hope to find alternative events to attend: a concert, a sports game, a movie, hiking, etc. Websites like Uwishunu and VisitPhilly are brimming with awesome events in Philly.when I have to eat outside, get a box if you can’t finish it all
- A healthier diet. Reducing portion size and eat frequent meals are said to control craving and keep hunger at bay. On the days when I really yearn for something, I allow myself the treat.
It all boils down to one word: discipline. Better planning, self-discipline, use good judgment, and nail the six pounds!