Quantcast
Latest Stories

Kuwento

Losing weight and other battles in 2013

By

SAN FRANCISCO – Let’s begin the year on a light note by taking on a typical post-holidays obsession: losing weight.

I recommend a system that has helped me, more or less, lose and maintain my weight: turn the whole thing into a math problem.

Mainly that means counting calories. My magic number is 1,700, the number of calories

I typically try to consume in a day. I don’t always succeed. But with an estimated 2,100 calories that I need each day, setting that target means being able to burn off 400 calories in a day. That translates to getting rid of roughly a pound of unwanted fat in a couple of weeks. (A pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories.)

I exercise. That’s important. I do push-ups and dumbbell curls. I used to run before I thrashed my knee with bad shoes and the bad choice of running on concrete around

Quezon Memorial Circle.

Now, I walk — a lot.

I like to say I power-walk which sounds more exciting. In fact, I simply walk fast. It’s a time-efficient, effective exercise, more forgiving on the joints and inexpensive. (I got tired for paying for gym membership that I ended up not using anyway.)

Walking uphill is what works best for me. Which makes working in San Francisco with its steep streets a big plus, as well as living in a hilly neighborhood in on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. I walk a little over a half hour a day on weekdays, a little over an hour a day on weekends.

I’ve been working out regularly since my 20s. But I realized a decade ago that watching what you eat is the key to maintaining your weight. Exercise helps you burn calories – but it’s much easier to not take in the calories in the first place.

What to eat and when is also important. I try to stay away from starchy foods, especially for breakfast. A muffin or toast for breakfast? Nope. Loads of calories (roughly 300 each) and a sure way to feel hungry by mid-morning. Instead, I go with two hard-boiled eggs (160 calories) or two oranges (120 calories). Not so exciting, but more than enough to sustain me until lunchtime.

I can go on about my system. But I know weight and weight loss are touchy subjects for Filipinos. It was and still is to my mother.

In the past, she has managed to shock some of my friends by saying excitedly, “Oh, you’re very stout.” I’ve had to explain to friends that she meant well and was, in fact, offering a compliment. For weight and waistlines are important indicators for my mother. Fat or chubby means prosperous and affluent. Thin and scrawny means poor and impoverished.

That comes from her life experiences.

Her family in Ilocos Sur was relatively poor though they had enough resources to send her to Manila for college. In Manila, she and my father, who moved there from Naga City, had big dreams of higher education and promising careers.

But then World War II happened. Suddenly, their world collapsed. I imagine my mother saw a lot of hunger during those years and made her constantly fearful of suddenly not having enough and made her associate being thin with deprivation.

That became a problem when my wife and I brought our first-born son to the Philippines for the first time about 12 years ago. He was small and skinny as a baby. My mother loved him, though I could see that having an apo with not much fat on his little body was a little hard to take.

My son has visited the Philippines several more times over the past decade. He’s grown tall

and healthy so my mother’s happy. But then it’s my son who has struggled to understand

the realities of the Philippines, including the quirky interplay of weight, waistlines and

well-being.

We’ve walked around Manila malls seeing other Filipino children, healthy-looking, chubby, even obese, sometimes a small towel sticking out of the back of their shirts, often followed closely by uniformed yayas. I suspect my son found such scenes curious. Yayas are rare in the Bay Area.

Then in the streets of Ermita, a stunningly different reality which drew a much more obvious reaction from my son.

We were walking on a busy sidewalk two years ago when suddenly there in front of us was a woman with deformed arms and legs. Next to her was a scrawny little girl in dirty clothes, begging for food, for change. On my son’s face, a look of surprise, mild shock and pity.

In 2012, a photo of a man scavenging at a garbage dump in Spain also shocked the world as it underscored the crisis now faced by many once-thriving nations in Europe.

Thankfully, there are some signs of an easing global crisis. As 2013 begins, the American

fiscal cliff averted, the markets are rallying, sparking some cautious optimism.

There’s much optimism among Filipinos, too. The year 2012 ended with projections for an even more robust period of economy growth for the Philippines and CEOs are predicting more prosperity.

Sadly, I suspect extreme poverty will still be part of the country’s reality the next time my son and I visit. There’s more work to be done.

So it is a good time to lose those holiday pounds, and to get ready for the new battles in the year ahead.

Mapayapa at Mapagpalayang Bagong Taon sa Lahat!

On Twitter @BoyingPimentel. Visit (and like) the Kuwento page on Facebook at

www.faceboook.com/boyingpimentel


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Blog:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Features , Filipino Americans , fitness , Global Nation , New Year

  • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.villanueva.370515 Jorge Villanueva

    I supposed the writer who is concerned about weight problem is not expected to know something ” is rotten in the state of Denmark,” or in Cebuano parlance ” in the province of Cebu.” A columnist from a local paper in Cebu has been suspended due to his expose’ about the Governor of Cebu. That of course, is a black mark for the freedom of the press. Gov. Gwen Garcia of Cebu has been suspended by the President for abuse of power and her family, mostly politicians are using whatever power and influence they have to intimidate people and create havoc in provincial poltics. No writer of national repute is digging about these issues. Am I suppose to think that in the scheme of things, these issues have no values?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5UOZM4PWIDKO7G64HL3PPMXUTM Constantine

      That’s only a Cebu matter. Not a national issue. Please bear that in mind.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5UOZM4PWIDKO7G64HL3PPMXUTM Constantine

    I agree that watching your diet is a lot better than  burning them. But I found workouts in the gym more efficient and effective because you are under the watch of a trainer and its all weather mode of exercise regardless if there’s a typhoon or not. And running at least 25 minutes everyday in the tread mill and 1 to 1.5 hours of lifting weights will maintain your weight and at the same time firmness of the muscles. 



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Cayetano to DOJ: Bare Napoles’ list of ‘pork’ officials
  • Drunk passenger triggers Bali hijack alert
  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace