Health & Fitness

My 21Days No Junk Food Challenge: Consistency

I’m blogging about my 21-Days No junk food challenge a little later than planned. I went into it back in April (?), see? I’m not even sure when I started. I actually documented it on my Facebook but I feel too lazy to scroll back to find it.

Anyway, I first saw it posted on Binondo Mommy’ s FB status. I’ve been on a  lookout for a diet and workout program that’s doable, affordable and fits into our routine.

Signing up with a personal trainer is ideal but right now, my best option is to find something that I can do by myself  without ending up in the E.R. with a pulled ligament or a broken bone.

The challenge is easy to do. Check it out!

It’s not some drastic diet wherein you stop eating rice altogether or just eat lettuce and juice for two weeks. You still get to eat regular meals, it’s just the extras that you need to drop.


Why I gained poundage is no mystery to me. I know exactly how and why I gained this much.  The doctor at our annual checkup was clear when he said I was slightly overweight at 120 lbs (slightly????)  and may want to consider cutting down on my food intake.

Jay and I were heavy soda drinkers

We would consume Coke at dinner almost everyday during weekdays and at lunch AND dinner on our weekends.

I wrote for a fitness company for about four months and one of the things I found out is that soda messes up your metabolism really bad. Even if you do the very same set of exercises at the same intensity alongside an individual of the same weight as you are, your results will not be the same because soda slows down your calorie-burning process.

I lacked exercise

I used to do a few physical routines every day when I didn’t have a full time job and I cleaned the house like crazy. It helped, too, that we moved to a house with stairs (unfortunately, we moved out of that).

When we still lived in the South, Jay and I would leave the kids with our helper and take off in the evenings after dinner to walk around the village even when I was pregnant with any of our kids.

And when finances were tight, I joined the free group dance exercises they hold in the middle of Alabang Town Center at least twice a week. That was fun!

But that was halted.

I ate way too much carbs

My friends say I eat like a construction worker.

I used to eat plates of rice and take bread with pasta. Worst of all, I would get too lazy to cook and would often order in burger sandwiches from McDonald’s or Pizza from Shakey’s.

I was a junk food junkie

Aside from the bread, pizza and soda, Jay and I also snacked on chips regularly especially when we have our home-movie dates or TV series marathons.

We usually buy a large bag of Tostitos and set it up with salsa and you guessed it, soda, to enjoy while we watch our favorite shows. And when we go to  movie houses, I would buy a large tub of cheese popcorn all for myself.

Occasionally, the baby gets to dig in, but most of the time, I’m all that tub of popcorn’s got.

So you see? I was really bound to gain.

From 92 lbs to 120 lbs

I was extremely underweight by the time I graduated from College.  A lot of people who see my picture think it was awesome. It wasn’t, I was Anorexic and it took me a few years to get over that and re-build my appetite.

My body took years to recover and start filling out. I was so used to not gaining that I didn’t notice the weight creeping up on me.

Me at 92 lbs

I don’t really look at the mirror that much. Seriously. I don’t know, I’m just not a mirror person, I guess. When I sang professionally, I would look at the mirror only when I needed to fix my hair or touch up on makeup for the gigs; otherwise, I don’t remember to check my reflection often.

The picture that made me realize I needed to lose weight

It’s also probably because I’m not a makeup person either.

Unless it’s a wedding or a show or some event that requires me to be all dressed up and made up, you won’t see me with anything on my face other than my God-given freckles. Mirror isn’t exactly a close bud.

The clothes started getting tight until I resorted to replacing jeans with leggings which are more comfortable and faster to put on.

I knew I gained weight but I didn’t think it was that much.


It was only last year, at a friend’s wedding, that I realized how big I’ve grown. I saw my picture and I was shocked! No wonder I couldn’t fit into my old jeans!

More importantly, I’m also not getting any younger and my weight has affected my performance. Something had to be done. I can’t be too sluggish and too slow to play with my kids after work and home school hours. I needed to do something and Jay had to do it with me.

A plan was birthed

Or sort of.

It was different when I was younger, I could just give up on food and live on a pack of crackers for my meals. I realized that now that I’m older and have a lot on my plate, it gets harder to deny yourself meals.

Besides, it’s not healthy to do so.

I don’t want to weaken so I was determined to go about this the right way. The 21 Days No Junk Food Diet was a good way to start.

The family also started going to Track 30 here at The Fort twice a week to run a few rounds. It was practical too because the kids needed a physical education activity for home school and running was a good fit to the curriculum.

I wanted to do Hip Hop Abs but it’s been hard to maintain. I plan to start on it again tomorrow (cross fingers) because A. I have the complete set and B. It comes with a fitness schedule.

For the last few weeks though, the no junk food challenge and the running was the plan.

Here’s a video that will teach you how to warm up before running in case you want to try it:


I completed my first diet plan!

The No Junk Food challenge was the very first sensible diet I got into. I went into crash diets and starved myself in the past.

The first two weeks went better than expected. In fact, I didn’t experience any cravings at all. But on the third week, Jay and I would feel faint in the afternoons even though we’ve been having complete meals.

I asked my friend, Cheryl Goodman of Not Just Yum about it and she said, it must be withdrawal. She’s been into fitness for a longer time so I ask her questions whenever I need some clarification.

She told me that I was supposed to replace the usual snacks and nibbles we had with healthier options so we wouldn’t feel faint. Fruits had to be readily available around the house which was almost impossible considering fruits barely last very long on our table. Not when our kids are awake.

I don’t know what Jay does since he’s at work but I’m guessing he’s been reaching for those crackers or bread they have on their coffee corner. He vehemently denies, though,and insists that he follows the diet.

We got to complete the 3 weeks and here are my notes:

1. Healthy-eating is habit-forming.

After I completed the 21 Days No Junk Food challenge, I lost appetite for the food on the list. I used to love Ice Cream so much but I can’t even finish a scoop anymore.

2. I didn’t see any immediate results. Results happened after I continued the program.

I became more intentional with the food I eat and if we can’t run as planned, we take long walks.

I’m so happy to live around Fort area. Mostly everyone walks (or runs) around here. Young, old, local, foreigner, popular, or regular people like us are walking in kilometers here. People walk to work, go to the malls, go to the park or go to Mind Museum on foot (some on skateboards and bikes).

It’s only been last week that I was able to fit into a pair of shorts that used to get stuck halfway my hips and wear a more snug shirt.

3. My performance has seen improvement.

It’s not that I don’t feel tired anymore but I noticed a big improvement in my performance.  I have been able to spend more productive hours with my children and enjoy playing with them without holding back a yawn or feeling extremely exhausted.

4. You have to do it as a family.

Although I’m not as strict with it with my children as I am with myself, it’s easier to stick to the diet when you get everyone on board. Ours is not controversial like Gwyneth Paltrow who allegedly put her kids on a no-carbs diet.

It’s just that we now choose restaurants that serve real food over McDonald’s and Jollibee and we buy bananas, mangoes, grapes and strawberries instead of buying biscuits.

Occasionally, we give our kids treats like chocolates and chips or a pack of instant juice, but they’re starting to get used to eating real food all the time.

It helped a lot that my husband is very supportive and that even though he doesn’t want to go on the diet with me, he did. Once in a while, I allow him to have his Coke fix, hehehe.

5. Help your body burn the calories.

According to a lot of people, the diet helps you lose weight even without exercise but I think it helped that we decided to do some exercises and run. After all, we’ve got a lot to burn.

Calling Mr. Muscle!

I’m hoping for what they call muscle memory. I used to work out a lot – I’ve had some dance training when I was still performing, I used my dad’s gym equipment on my free time when I was still single and still living with my folks,  I danced every night at our gigs and walked a lot in between.

I’m hoping that my body would remember how it all had been now that I’ve started moving again. I’m no longer after the abs I used to have, and I don’t want to be extremely skinny again.

My goal? Honestly, I want to be lean but strong — the kind maulers would have second thoughts of messing with because I look like I can give it to them.

Hey, I’ve got kids to protect , you know! Sometimes, it’s just the four of us walking distances together. I don’t want to be an easy target.

I’ve no numbers to show for now. Only that I took a picture of me sideways and it seems like my stomach has gotten smaller. I haven’t bumped into the elderly man in church that kept asking me if I was again pregnant, so that result isn’t road-tested yet.

But it’s a start, right?  I’ve a long way to go, I know, and I still have to get myself a weighing scale and a new measuring tape. I’m not sure but I just might end up sucking my stomach in if I take my waist measurement now so I’ll wait until I’m ready to face my measurements.

Until then, my challenge is to simply be consistent.