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Weighing In

Today, I'm writing about something I'm actually rather proud of. Today, I'm writing about my weight loss. Over the past ten months, I've lost 12 kilos.

Me, last year: 82kg
My parents have been begging me to start exercising since eighth grade. When I was 13, they'd boot me out of the house every day at 5:00PM and make me go running. I hated it. I barely even bothered to run, let alone push myself or stick to a diet. I ate like a trash can, sat in front of the computer all day and did nothing at all about my rapidly swelling pot belly. By the time I'd turned 15, even Dad had given up any dreams of seeing me with a flat stomach. I'd trained myself to stop looking in the mirror, and I stayed out of pictures as much as possible.

Fast-forward to the present day: I weigh 69 kilos. My stomach has all but vanished. Looking in the mirror is a satisfying experience, and I even have some muscle on my arms. I can now fit in medium-size t-shirts, and whenever I wear my old jeans, I look like I'm posing for a gym ad. So what happened?

At some point last year, I got tired of being fat. I got tired of seeing a double chin every time I looked down, I got tired of not being able to see my legs. I decided to do something about it. Initially, I signed up with a gym. It worked - to a point. I was still overeating, so I gained some muscle, but I still had a paunch.

The real differences became visible when I started running. At first, I still hated it - someone who considers running to be the ultimate torment doesn't suddenly take it up as a hobby, after all. What I realised, though, was that the way to enjoy running was to push myself at it. Running further than you've ever run before and then collapsing with the sweat saturating your shirt and your legs burning is, oddly enough, an incredible feeling. There's a sense of achievement, and after you get yourself cleaned up, there's an energy spike that lasts for at least a couple of hours after. Even now, I don't enjoy running in itself - I enjoy the satisfaction that comes afterwards.

Once I started running, I discovered the magic of dieting. I spent a few hours looking at various diets on the internet, and then I looked at the science behind dieting. What I found is that you don't need to do anything desperate like eating only fruits and berries for a month to lose weight. The body works on a very simple principle: calories in vs. calories out. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight and vice versa. Anything else is simply fiddling around on the edges of this equation.

I took that knowledge and applied it to my own diet. Initially, I used an app called MyFitnessPal (they're great, you can check them out here) to track calories. Every food I ate, I logged. I even bought a fitness tracker and tracked every bit of exercise I got in a day. I cut out sodas, cheese, sugar, fried stuff, anything that dripped or oozed or squirted. The easiest way to do this, I found, was to convince myself that all the unhealthy food was genuinely disgusting. I'd look at a burger and think to myself, "What kind of real food glistens in the light? That looks like it's made of plastic! Why would I want to eat that?" It's actually really easy to do.

Several months of that, and I look like this:

Me, now: 69kg
It's not that hard. It seems impossible at first. I remember my first few weeks at the gym, when I'd come home and look at my stomach with a glowering hatred, wondering why it didn't seem to have changed at all. It was at times like those that I realised that it's no good looking for results. Personally, I didn't even recognise the results when they came. I only realised how different I looked when Dad showed me the two pictures I've posted above this evening. In the words of Macklemore: "Work, and don't worry about the praise, my love!"

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