Brace yourselves because this is a very long read. I’ll start with my “yoyo” weight gain- weight loss story. Then I’ll proceed with PCOS, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, my skin issues, my view on makeup and workout, my trust issues with doctors, my discovery of Dr. Berg’s Body Type
So this young girl here, that was me, who got long shiny hair, small teeth, and chinky eyes, who was only interested in playing harvest moon games on her Playstation after studies, and nothing more, got a serious problem at a young age of 8.
Menstruation at the Age of 8
Back then when I was grade 3, I first started menstruating. At 8 years old, the scare of early menopause and possible infertility cringe me at an early age.
So the elders thought that maybe that’s normal for my generation to menstruate at such an early age.
So okay, I’ll just learn to accept these symptoms that lower my self-esteem, is that what they were saying? So these symptoms are what I am experiencing up to now, on and off:
- I’ve got acne at that age (pimples, blackheads, whiteheads) not just on my face but on my body. At such an early age, I felt the need to wear makeup to hide my imperfections.
- I’ve got facial hair and hair on unwanted areas. I thought my eyebrows are so thick and so not pretty so I need to pluck or fix it.
- I’ve got redness on my face or facial flush/ blush when I laugh or cry excessively. That redness caused my face to swell. And when you pinch my nose, it swell and produces little bumps on the center. So my face and nose sometimes would become larger or bloated than the usual.
- I stop growing height (grade 2 below, I thought I was the tallest in class but when I started menstruating, my height stop at 4 feet 11 inches!!!! I look like a chipmunk both on face and body! I’ve tried Cherifer to no avail and it only made me gain my weight.
- I’ve got muscle atrophy on the breast. When my classmates were blossoming then, I started to wither! That’s why loose extra large shirts are my bestfriends
- I have protruding lower belly and fat in the hip area.. So just imagine I have smaller upper body and heavy lower body. I am pear shaped. I look like the mommy in the cartoon movie The Incredibles with the wrong clothes. It is not sexy for me because it is not symmetric or balanced.
- I lose a lot of hair and I got dandruff or dry flaky skin on my scalp, and sometimes on eyebrow and earlobes too! I always wear full bangs back then because the dry patches were prominent on the hairline and on the eyebrows especially during temperature changes, when the weather is too cold or too hot.
- It hurts physically because of monthly Dysmenorrhea. It sucks because it doesn’t just hurt on the puson or lower belly, I also experience vomiting, constipation, migraine, cold sweat, and dizziness. I remember I had to skip class and my dad would pick me up in school earlier in the morning because I suffer so much with pain from dysmenorrhea. And even now, the first day of menstruation is scary for me. I literally curse everyone around me when I experience this and if I can’t handle the pain anymore, my last resort is the medicine Midol or Ibuprofen which takes effect after an hour minimum. As much as possible I wouldn’t take medicine given the previous meds I took.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at the age 11
At age 11, that’s when my menstruation got abnormal. Maybe due to depression because my grandmother died back then, I menstruate heavily (parang tubig ng poso). I was scared because I might lose a lot of blood and it could end me up unconscious. Good thing, there’s a hospital 5 minutes away from our house.
At age 11, the Ob-Gyne diagnosed me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) It is when multiple eggs aren’t released and stays in the ovary which makes the ovary larger. That causes the Dysmenorrhea and the pain in the lower belly because my ovary is larger than normal.
At age 11, I was prescribed with birth control pills to cure my PCOS. Wait, Are birth control pills exclusively for birth control???? Well no, it helps cure PCOS too because it balances the hormones. But there’s a caveat, there are numerous side effects, so it shouldn’t be taken long term.
I took Diane, Althea, Gracial Pills. Diane and Althea made me gain weight. Gracial made me lose weight and it is the pill that cures my PCOS too.
Lab works and Ultrasound result confirmed that I am clear of PCOS.
Yehey! But that didn’t end there.
Acne Problem and My Experience with Dermatologist
I’d like to share that before I was diagnosed with PCOS, so that’s from age 8-10, I started going to facial salon and dermatologist in hopes of curing my acne.
See that deep scars right there on my cheeks? I don’t recommend facial salon. Please spare your face. Or if ever you go to one, please don’t let the gigil na gigil facialist prick your face. Aside from it is freaking painful, that is what caused my enlarged pores and facial scars. My acne was only in my forehead then but when I started availing facial, it got worse that it spread on my cheeks. Not a good sight.
So from facial salon, I went to dermatologists in private hospitals and they prescribe me different topicals and medicine from Differin, Tretinoin, Benzoyl Peroxide, Retinoids, Tetracycline and I was even asked to sign a waiver before I took Accutane or Isotretinoin. So in short, I was prescribed medicine from the one with least to the most unhealthy side effects. But I was desperate. I wanted to have clear skin!
My dermatologists advised me the usual “when you take this or when you apply this, it gets worse before it gets better usually up to weeks, months, 3 months, 6 months”
That purging stage or that “it gets worse before it gets better stage” is a nightmare. It is as if I didn’t treat my acne, it is as if I didn’t go to dermatologist, it is as if we didn’t spend more than hundred thousands of pesos for my medications and treatment.
Tiis ganda or that Filipino saying that you have to experience pain before you get pretty. I don’t believe in that anymore.
PCOS cured by Pills
So earlier, I said that at age 11, I was prescribe different pills by an Ob-Gyne. So I took that on and off until early college days. I was 18 or 19.
Because of Gracial Pills, the symptoms listed above were minimized. It was like a huge transformation.
Because of pills, I lose weight, and my acne clear up. Btw, here in this pic, it is prominent that my left eye is larger than the other. You might also notice that I have one crooked teeth on the left, and in my swimsuit pic, you saw that I have scoliosis. That’s because of my poor sleeping position. Habit really matters. I’ll be blogging about it next time but for now let’s talk about this…
I Stopped the Pills and I Became Quite Chubby Again
Because birth control pill got side effects that needs to be considered, I need to find another alternative.
I stopped the birth control pills, and my acne came back and I became quite chubby again.
When I was in elementary and high school, we always have annual checkup, and it was weird because from 8 years old to 16 years old, I weigh 48 kgs. Not 47kgs or 49kgs. It is consistent at 48kgs. I exercised then, twice or thrice a week through our Physical Education class, and enjoyed running, getting my uniform dirty with our habulan (group game that involves running) and volleyball games after class. I still weigh 48 kgs. That’s quite chubby for my height 4 feet 11 inches.
So should I go back on birth control pill? No. As I said I need to find a healthy alternative.
Allergic Reaction to Dairy
I found out that milk makes me gassy, bloated, and constipated. They say that any type of bloating would hinder weight loss.
I then thought that milk could also have a connection with acne.
I asked my dermatologists if there were food that causes my acne. And they said NO. In my kiddie mind then, hoorraayy! I can still eat chocolates and egg and oily salty food!
But the internet era began, and I googled “what causes acne?” and there were numerous article stating that some food are culprit to it.
One main culprit is Dairy.
I began to have trust issues with my doctor. And followed what I read in the article I read online. I eliminate Dairy.
As I was a growing up kid then, I was advised to drink milk every morning. I hate the taste of milk since then, but because they say milk is healthy, then okay, I drank milk consistently. Actually at the back of my mind I also drank milk because they say milk would make me taller and my breast bigger. It didn’t work its magic unfortunately. I stayed a chipmunk.
Coffee and Intermittent Fasting
Then at a young age also, I have a taste of coffee. As soon as I first got a sip of coffee, it instantly became my favorite!
I eliminate dairy milk and drink hot coffee with non-dairy creamer in the morning instead, and there were improvements with my acne. It was minimized.
I clear up myself with dairy milk for good. But there are still numerous dairy that are addicting which makes it harder to eliminate all dairy. There’s cheese, ice cream, and a whole lot of desserts. But I should discipline myself because just one serving of dairy, and the next day, I got one blind pimple on my temple or near my eye area.
Other people would scare me to not eliminate milk because I might get ulcer and calcium deficiency, but there were studies too that prove this: milk is actually an acid and that surprisingly could also cause ulcer in the long term.
The primary reason why I also drink coffee is it helped me eliminate and regulate my bowel movement every morning which is good because when I am constipated and bloated, I feel extra heavy. I also feel it is more toxic to the body when you don’t eliminate regularly.
Tea unfortunately did not regulate my bowel movement, but when there’s no coffee, and tea is the only option, then it is okay as it ease my digestion after heavy eating.
Coffee accidentally introduce me to Intermittent Fasting. Actually, I did not know the word Intermittent Fasting that time but I was doing it since college days around year 2013, I was 19.
My intermittent fasting then was skipping breakfast, not because I am intentionally skipping it, but because the coffee makes me feel satiated or makes me feel full in the morning.
With coffee, I didn’t feel acidic or I didn’t feel stomach pain. I feel more energized in the morning than ever.
With intermittent fasting, I began to lose weight naturally. From 48kgs I weigh 43 kgs. When I thought the 48 kgs looks normal…
..the 43 kgs made me happy about myself physically. Those few kilograms I lost definitely made a difference.
Weight gain with Heavy Breakfast
I started working a few months after I graduated in college. That was 2015. That was also when I started gaining 10 kilograms!!! From 43 kgs, I became 53kgs heavy! But why??
I worked as a frontliner in a bank before where there is “no noon break policy.” What they mean by this is if you wanted to eat your lunch, do it as quickly as you can, so that your other officemates could eat their lunch as well. You could both eat your lunch without being a hinder in the work process.
The problem with this is it stress our digestive system. They say that any form of stress to the body hinders weight loss. Kang So-ra, a South Korean Actress who was famous for her weight loss story says that for easier digestion, you have to chew your food well and not to eat that quickly.
When I started working, I also started eating heavy breakfast. I missed savoring the taste of meals so if it is impossible in lunch, I eat at the best free time possible: breakfast before work.
So I eat white rice and ulam (viand) at breakfast. I eat very quickly, again with white rice and ulam at lunch. And then again, I eat white rice and ulam at dinner to reward myself after work. I was stress eating. But hey, this is normal eating based on our textbooks right? But no, I gain weight.
But actually I didn’t start noticing it because I love wearing loose office attire. I only started noticing it when other people started telling me “you are getting fatter!” Worse, the “getting fatter” transitioned to “that fat chubby girl.” They forgot I was thin to begin with.
Faster Weight Loss with One Meal a Day
So I research on the internet, and learned about Intermittent Fasting.
When I found how it was done, I thought it was so easy I’ve been doing that when I was in college right. But I wanted a huge transformation. I wanted to lose weight faster.
Heavy Dinner is Best
So what I did. I didn’t just skip breakfast. I skip my lunch as well. I only eat once a day and that was only during dinner time. I cannot skip dinner because for me, dinner is the best time to eat and indulge, and a full, heavy dinner gave me a good night sleep and prevents me from having interrupted sleep. What causes interrupted sleep by the way? There are a lot of reasons, from frequent urination, your smartphone brightness and radiation, overthinking, and your hunger pangs at night (midnight snack prone)
During my one meal a day diet, other people were worried because I didn’t even snack a bit. I didn’t snack because based on my experience, when I snack or eat a little, I got hungry after an hour, so I’ll eat again, and then get hungry again. That made me constipated, bloated, and gave me more weight gain. So the famous six meals a day didn’t work for me.
Other people were worried because I only eat at dinner time. Actually, I didn’t feel any stomach pain or I didn’t feel acidic at all. I feel much more acidic when I did the six meals a day routine.
Eat All Your Cravings with One Meal A Day
With my one meal a day, there were hunger pangs by 3 or 4 PM. But it was not so bad, it was more of I was already thinking of my cravings!
This is my most favorite of it all: I could still eat all my cravings and favorites from rice to ulam to desserts at dinner time, and I could still lose weight. In just one month I lose 10 kilograms with One Meal a Day. From 53 kgs, I’m back again at 43 kgs in a short span of time. I didn’t thought that was possible, but I attest to it based on my experience.
Haggard Face with Weight Loss
But, here is the sad part:
Losing weight made me look haggard.
I got sunken cheeks.
I got sunken eyes.
I got saggy upper arms and calves
I got flat chested.
I got cellulite.
I got double chin.
I got lines in my neck.
I look older.
That was why I Began to Workout
The say that workout would firm up the saggy skin you got from weight loss. So I hit the gym and start my balik alindog routine. Wait what?
Anyway, my first impression with workout is it was super intense, I hated it. While I was just on the warm up stage and on a static bike for an hour, at the back of my mind it screamed “I don’t deserve this!!!”
You know that I hate the saying “no pain, no gain” given my previous history with medications right? But workout involves you to believe in this “no pain, no gain” saying.
I did the workout in different variations and difficulty: push up, squat, plank, burpees, lunges, crunches with kettle bell. The difficult part is performing each exercise with 10 repetitions, and the whole routine in 3 sets.
To those who were hardcore to workout, this routine may seem so easy. Well, it was actually easy when you get used to it or you were doing it for almost two weeks. The first week was just hell period.
Bigger Upper Arm and Calves
The problem with this workout is I began to develop muscles on unwanted areas of the female body. The upper arm and the calves.
The workout given to me by the gym didn’t tighten my arms and calves, it just added centimeters to it.
I don’t want to look muscular. I wanted a tighter and firmer body I lost from weight loss.
I wanted to grow breast and butt that atrophied due to my hormonal problem and weight loss, but if growing those would give me muscular arms and legs too, then I’ll look for other alternatives.
Bulging Veins on Hands and Feet
It is also worth noting that workout gave me bulging veins on hands and feet, the same veins we got from regularly washing our dirty clothes by hand, and frequently walking in high heels. Those bulging veins may look good on men, they call it a ripped body or muscle I guess. But it is not a good sight for me in women.
Exercise Didn’t Help Saggy Skin
Most believe of the anti-aging effect of exercise to the body, especially the skin, but I have some disagreeing thoughts:
if you think about it, the frequent running and repetitive rope jumping sags you, especially the chest area. If you are not rich in collagen that binds the skin cells together, you’ll be left with saggy, flabby skin, and exercise could make it worse.
Just think about most of our grandmother’s ears. Before in the old days, those dangling heavy earrings were in and our grandmothers wore them everyday. What’s the consequence? They are left with long, saggy earlobes. Were there exercise for ears to bring it back to normal? As if!
Muscles may have tighten your saggy arms and legs and makes you appear firmer, but it won’t tighten the skin at the cellular level, that’s why even after lots of exercise, most people still have double chin.
Sugar Breaks Down Collagen
Remember when I did intermittent fasting, I binge eat at dinner and eat whatever I want. That I guess started my saggy skin problem. White rice and bread are also considered sugar, and I’m rich at that. Sugar is a no-no in maintaining good skin, because study says that sugar breaks down collagen.
Keto Diet that is rich in Cruciferous Vegetables, Low Protein, and Low Fat
I figure out that intermittent fasting is not enough to promote a healthy body. Intermittent fasting needs a combination of one type of Keto Diet which is rich in cruciferous vegetables, low protein, and low fat.
But there is another type of Keto diet that I wanted you to avoid: the famous moderate to high protein, high fat. I’m cautioning you based on my own experience. I was not sure if this one got moderate to high protein or fat, but I enrolled on a popular Keto diet delivery service for one week. They delivered three meals, snacks, tea, and lemon water. A week after, I got unusually sick.
It first just started with the usual colds and cough, then I got fever for almost two weeks. I never been sick that long!! The internet said that what I experienced was just Keto Flu and that is normal, but I found it alarming as it lowers my resistance, and weaken my immune system.
I don’t want to tell you what delivery service that is, because they got good customer service, the food tastes so good, you wouldn’t thought you are on a diet. But this is just to warn everyone that what might work for all, might not work for you.
Dr. Berg, the Modern Day Doctor
Now, Dr. Berg’s Keto Diet is the one I wanted to try out. I began to praise Dr. Berg after reading his book: The Body Type Diet. He is a modern day doctor and the kind of doctor, our generation needs nowadays. I love that he is not selfish with health information, given the number of informative videos he upload on Youtube everyday.
You know that hospitals in the Philippines is expensive. For you to be diagnosed or evaluated, you need a minimum of P500 for your checkup fee. But right now, the likes of Dr. Berg give us power to cure our health ourselves and defy the usual health advice that in the end is not really helpful.
Trust Issues with Doctors in the Past
I’d like to share that I have trust issues with doctors in the past given the condition of my parents. My dad had a major stroke and got his half body paralyzed at the hospital. Before we went at the hospital, my dad only suffered a mild stroke due to high blood sugar, his body not yet paralyzed. While confined at the hospital, he was given a medicine to lower his blood sugar level, he was given one, and then after a few hours he was given another one, and then another one. That night my mother called, and told me that my dad suffered stroke which paralyzed half of his body. My mind and heart screamed: ‘He was in the hospital!!!! How can they not prevent it?’ His blood sugar level flat down that’s what the doctor said. In my mind I blame them for giving my dad medicine which I believe he should not supposed to take consecutively, in just a short span of time!
And then I began to think about his mild stroke at home. I remember, the day before that happened, he got a dental checkup and got his tooth removed and treated. I remember that too well because the dentist charge them 10 thousand pesos! That’s quite expensive for tooth removal. But because we went to a private hospital and we trusted them, we paid what they asked for.
I have a friend whose parent is a dentist, and I learned from him that older people and those with heart condition needed a prior checkup with a heart doctor first before performing even the usual tooth removal. I found out that even the basic dental procedure is quite dangerous as it may actually cause heart attack. But the dentist who performed the tooth removal of my dad, did not inform them about it, did not even let them sign a waiver. Then the next day, the stroke happen.
Thanks to my boyfriend for always assisting my father when we were outside
My mom and dad were both physically active. They were both retired policemen and both soldiers then. They learned to workout how soldiers workout especially my dad who I always saw, performed his exercise back then every morning. Their diet is only about fish and vegetables and small amount of rice because they already knew even before that they have diabetes, heart condition, and high blood. BUT then just because there was dental procedure that was not correctly evaluated first, just because there were medicine that need not be given at a short span of time by the doctor, my dad’s retirement life got crashed.
My mom due to cancer scare, got both her breast removed, her ovary removed, the tumor on her belly removed. It was really a cancer scare because doctors would advised her that if you won’t remove this, your cancer might worsen or you might die, etc, etc. But, it was only now that I learned this : you do not need your breast removed to cure cancer!!
My belief is as much as possible, I do not want any major operation in a man or woman’s body. I’d like that to age in its most natural form.
Speaking of operation. I’d like to share that I have an officemate who was pregnant back then, and she got no cuts nor stiches! See????? Anything is possible!
Ever since my parents’ health condition worsen, I’ve been researching a lot to find a cure against stroke, heart disease, and cancer. New studies and experiences make us defy the usual health advice that were not helpful to begin with.
Dr. Berg Introduced Us to Different Body Types
I found out that I have an Ovary Body Type and turned out to be Adrenaline Body Type now. After you finished reading my blog, I want you to search Dr. Berg’s video in Youtube because he really is the best teacher, and he’ll explain better about those body types, what to eat and the exercise you need to do based on your body type. He also emphasize on zero sugar for weight loss. These are two of my fave health videos of Dr. Berg:
Kale and Salad Dressing
Since I am more about fixing my skin issues and diet, I copy his recipe about Kale and Salad Dressing. So Kale is a vegetable that is richer in Potassium than banana, and richer in vitamins than other cruciferous vegetables such as Cabbage or Broccoli. This is also much richer than the famous lettuce we love to partner with our Samgyeupsal. The ingredients in his salad dressing are all beneficial as well.
Kale’s Salad Dressing Recipe:
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Turmeric Powder
- Salt and Pepper
Let’s find out if this would work for me. And I’ll update you in this blog.
I Still Need to Workout
I’m 23, turning 24 this April 2018. I’d like to emphasize that I still need to workout to fix my atrophied muscles, fix my scoliosis and my posture as well. But I also need to fix my skin at the cellular level first which would maintain my youth. I need to find a workout that is different from my previous workout. It could be pilates, yoga, let us see.. I’ll update you also about that here in our blog.
I Don’t Wear Makeup Anymore
Now, I do not wear makeup even in the office, I do not wear makeup now even with special occasion, I grow out my bangs, I grow my hair longer so I could trim it month after month until I lose the colored hair and bring back my natural black hair, I do not pluck my eyebrows anymore. The reason is I wanted to heal and see my natural glow.
When other women are stressed, they put makeup:
- on stressed eyes, they put eyeshadow, eyeliner, and concealer
- on dehydrated lips, they put on lip balm, lipstick, or even just a dab of lip tint
- on pale skin, they put on blush, or lip and cheek tint
- on acne-prone skin, they put on foundation and powder
But as my boyfriend said to me, those are just fake or short term beauty. Our face is our best indicator of what’s happening inside our body. And if I continue to wear that, then I’ll be treating and evaluating myself wrongly. So for now, I cannot yet fulfill my dream to cosplay or do any dress up that involves styling and makeup, as I have to fix myself first from the inside.
If men can go out at work, in school, or on special occasions, without even needing a face powder or anything on their face, and still remain glowing, why can’t we (girls)?
One last note that I’d like share,
I’ve been watching Hunter x Hunter just recently, and Episode 27 caught my attention because of the topic about knowledge and learning:
Quote from the anime Hunter x Hunter:
“Are you sufficiently educated that you can teach others?”
“There’s an old saying that if you learn something piecemeal (or just little information), you’ll end up knowing less than when you started”
“So a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?”
“I’ll agree to the full learning process rather than a quick explanation”
This is really true! Also,we should not just stick to what we already know and stop right there. Just because someone is more sexier than you or more flawless than you, doesn’t mean you should follow her routine (or even this blogpost) without a second thought, and without a consideration of the health situation you are in. Like for example, when you are advised to exercise, do not just do the exercise routine without even learning what specific body part or muscles are targeted by the routine. When you are advised to eat a fruit because it will make you glow, do not just eat it without even learning about the composition of that fruit, remember the fruit has high sugar level as well.
We should learn deeply and completely and we should always be cautious about our health and the health of everyone around us. I say, It is not about living now ‘cos life is short, it is about living now, hopeful about life, and not giving up on it. It is sad that as soon as I finished this, I heard a sad news that my cousin had a stroke yesterday and is on comatose now.
If only our education about health and nutrition is given priority, our hospitals and even medical centers are modernized, hospitalization and medication is free and convenient, then we could further avoid much damage to death rate concerning health especially for ages 50s – 70s.
If you are reading this right now and you are up to this last part, I say there’s more to this “yoyo” weight gain-weight loss-weight gain story.
That’s it for now!
Thanks for reading!
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