From Pizza to Cups of Rice – by Eliut Morales

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At around this time last year, I would not have imagined that I’d be writing a blog regarding weight loss and healthy routines- but here we are! In December of 2020, the scale said 208lbs. As of October 1, I’m extremely proud to see 160lbs!

For years, I’ve had issues with my weight and self-image. Since graduating school, I saw myself slowly go up in clothing size and never really took any initiative to keep it from happening. It was much easier to complain about being overweight and out of shape than to actually work on it.

Whenever I would try to start a workout or diet routine, I would end up quitting very shortly after, and that only made it more difficult to try again. However, I noticed that going up stairs, walking or standing for long periods of time, and even lifting things from the floor, were not as easy as I remember them being. It wasn’t until those normal everyday tasks started getting harder that I knew things had to change.

I did a lot of research on how to drop some pounds in a healthy way, and I came across something called a calorie deficit. The basis of being in a calorie deficit is simple: find out what your daily calorie intake should be, and consume slightly less than that. I didn’t know exactly how many calories my body needed, but it took a simple online search to find this site! Once I had a better idea on how much I needed to eat, it was time to do two things: exercising and meal prep.

When I started putting together a workout routine, I had to look through different exercises from a number of videos and articles to find sets that I felt would benefit me more. It was really hard to beat the laziness, but after a few weeks, it really became like clockwork to find time to exercise. I tried doing early mornings at first, then tried doing it after work. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I found the perfect time to fit my schedule!

When it comes to cooking, I’m no chef, but it was actually a lot easier to prepare dinners for the week than I ever thought! Going to the grocery store on Sundays to pick up some veggies, a sack of rice (once every few months), and chicken/beef was not only easy, but also incredibly cheap- especially coming from buying fast food throughout the week.

The hardest part for me throughout this whole fitness journey was making healthy food choices. I LOVE food, and never turn down a good snack or two. However, I had to train myself to take it easy and slowly. It started with staying away from juices and chips, which made me sadder than I wish to admit. For meal times, I would end up eventually looking forward to my prepared meals, knowing that when lunch time on Saturday came, I could spoil myself a little bit (I allowed myself one cheat meal). After months of sticking to that, eating healthy has now become the norm, and those fast food cravings literally vanished.  

It took a while for all of this to start paying off. At first I only noticed my endurance getting better, and then eventually I started seeing results both in the mirror and on the scale. After that, coworkers and friends started noticing the changes. All of that together only fueled my will to continue, and it has become part of my daily life.

Last year I could practically eat an entire pizza by myself, and now I’m measuring cups of rice- just goes to show. I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve been in many years, and I can’t wait to see the progress next year, and the year after that! Through all of this, I found that was the most important thing to learn- to love oneself, even if it takes hard work, because that’s the end goal.

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