Life Cycles

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cycles. I have been through many. Weight loss. Running. Relationships. Work. Dog fancy. So many cycles I figure my journey is not so much to cross the finish line, but to survive through those tumultuous cycles intact.

Here I am on my fourth cycle of weight loss. I find it ironic at times why I battle with weight loss when obesity does not really run on both sides of my genetic tree. In fact on my paternal side, the people tend to be to tall and lean. Not fat nor obese. Yet here I am starting another weigh loss battle - even concocting a Biggest Loser Contest with 22 other willing participants. I have won 2 out of 3 of the weight loss bets I wagered, with the lost third even contested because my competitor resorted to unnatural means.

Biggest Loser Contest. I have six weeks to lose the biggest percentage weight loss for a cool sum of Php12,000 plus a host of freebies (Shangri-la Chi Spa Certificate c/o Angel Brigade, Mizuno Gift pack, Paul Calvins' Deli meal, Nissan jacket and bragging rights).   I have a time-tested way of losing weight fast. Run. Been doing it in cycles since 2003. Run 5-10kms everyday at least once a day. Run till your heels and calves hurt, and your clean gym clothes run out. Run, snuck out some sleep, and run again like some hamster on a wheel. Run, lose 10, 15 or 23 lbs, collect Php500 or Php2,000, and abandon the weight loss plan altogether.

If I want to win the BLC I can. By sheer will certainly, not sure if by God's grace. This time I want a different kind of victory. This time I want to break the cycle. I hope to join a life-long marathon, not a lung-busting, spirit-sapping 5K sprint. Instant 20 lbs lost and a huge sum of money are Pyrrhic victories if I eat back all the pounds lost, and lose the discipline and motivation in the process. Money or pride is too temporal a motivation. I want something longer lasting.

To break the cycle, I need to re-examine why I want to lose weight, why I want to maintain a certain weight, and why I allow myself to gain back the weight. Certainly to win a contest is a poor primary motivation. Even the motherhood statement of better health - while certainly true - does not really cut it because I had been healthy at certain times even if a little overweight. This time I want the change to be rooted in happiness. Losing weight will be a key to a life-long string of little joys I haven't fully experienced. I want the joy of moving fast.  I want to experience the joy not only of completing a physical task, but doing it in increasingly better ways and times. I want to reclaim the childhood thrill of racing barefoot through grassfields, slicing through waters, and pedaling my way through the summer breeze.

Whereas before the weight loss has a clear end date, this time there is none. I hope it will be a lifelong journey in pursuit of the best me, physically. If that comes with a swimmer's shoulders, a biker's quads and a runner's abs, so much the better. But these are just toppings on the plain yoghurt I really like. I just want to have the body to do the activities I want. At 50 or 60, I still want to tri. I can't do these if I keep on eating like there's no tomorrow.

I also want to break the running cycle. I hope to run not only because it is still the best way to lose weight, but because running has become a way of life. It has been one and a half years of continuous running since I went back to it. A far cry from the 2-6 months I used to do.  I still have several marathons to go. Wish me luck!


Rod.Runn3r November 23, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

idol! Good luck!

i like your new layout!

wilson November 23, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

i sincerely find it hard to believe that you are in the midst of a weightloss battle when you could do so many things like triathlons and marathons. while not exactly lean and super streamlined, you do seem like someone who's "healthily bulky". that you are actually in the heavy side of your "cycle" is very surprising - you'd probably be one hell of an athlete once the pounds come off!

good luck with the BLC! you're my "bet"(sam too!).

tracy c. November 23, 2009 at 6:45 PM  

An inspiring entry, Rico. :-)
Good luck with the BLC! And enjoy the journey towards a healthier and better you (in addition to a faster runner)!

Hmm, so you're cutting down on the sweet stuff? Good for you. :-) (Sana ako din. :-D)

Rico Villanueva November 24, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

Thanks Rod. The new lay-out is still a work in progress. Hopefully it progresses. Haha.

Haha. Thanks for the kind words, Wilson. I can do marathon and triathlon because all I cared about is to finish. This time I hope to finish better.

Thanks Tracy. Actually I am trying to inspire myself. Haha. Sweets. We shall always be 'sweet' people. Hehe. So yes cutting down, but not total avoidance. :-)

Gingerbreadman November 26, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

Excellent article Rico. I used to be part of the whole fat-thin-fat-depressesion-get even fatter cycle. I really think it's just a matter of waking up one morning and telling yourself - "I don't want this no more". You can do this,c I just know it. Tempo na to! :P

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