I Quit The Gym But Still Lost Weight - Here's How.

Friday, October 6, 2017


On going progress. I still have some goals I'd like to achieve, like more tone and definition, so I will be working out again.

Now this is a story,
All about how,
My life got flipped,
Turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute,
Just sit right there,
As I tell you how my plans to work out disappeared into thin air.



So this is a long read, but….I couldn’t help it. That’s why I didn’t follow through on the the initial “up on the blog in a couple of days” statement. My bad. I tend to go hard on the research and reading. And then I get distracted and end up wasting a lot of time reading about everything but what I was initially doing research about. But, I wanted to make sure everything I talked about doing personally was backed up by some facts. Plus I ramble quite a bit. This should give you some insight into what it's like to have a conversation with me (I talk a lot) and why I have a job on radio. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Earlier this year I was pretty psyched to start working out and to sculpt my body into this amazing vision that I had of myself in a swimsuit. And to be healthier, of course. Yes, that. To be healthier. In a bikini. I will admit now that vanity is a really strong motivating factor here but hey. Issa truth.

Look how she's just oozing health.
See, what happened was, by the end of last year, I was eating so badly, I could actually see myself gaining weight, week by week. My face grew noticably fuller between Christmas and New Year’s, and I could pass for being pregnant without even trying. I was eating at least two pizzas a day, among other things, and not really caring about what was going into my body. Jagerbombs were also a common occurence during the holiday season, so my body was not at it’s best. (Lot’s of Redbull in that mix). I felt bloated, sluggish and just downright unhealthy all the time. I didn't think I was fat, but I knew I wasn't healthy and I was carrying unhealthy weight on my frame.

Towards the end of last year I was filling up quite nicely.
I decided that after my birthday celebrations wound down (my birthday is on the 4th of January), I would get serious about things and change my lifestyle. This took about two months of psyching up because, well, procrastination is the bane of my existence. My alter ego, Proca (Procrastina), would ask me constantly why I was trying to get in God’s way. Was God not the one who made my body this way? She was of the opinion that I should love myself as is, all the time. She may have had a point but yo…bikini body.
November 2016. Sometimes you can be your own body goals. I gained more weight after this photo was taken because I ate everything.
Around mid-March, I found a gym (Aden Valley Serviced Apartments), found a trainer (Shiv Just Gym It), found my motivation (Banging bikini bod Health) and went IN. Now, although I had tried this before, and failed a few times in the past, in this instance I was determined to keep at it and to follow through.

Day 1. 69 kgs.
I really was determined. Roho safi. Sigh. Good intentions folks.

The gym was honestly close enough for me to roll out of bed and land on a treadmill and my trainer, Shiv, is a force to reckon with, but guys, let me tell you I wasn't ready for the force with which my disinclination to exercise checked in. I wanted results instantly. I am one of those people who does 7 squats in the shower and runs to the mirror to check if my thigh definition has checked in even before I get to 10. I want abs in a day. See my delusional life.

Three weeks after I started, I fell really ill (rushed to hospital kinda ill) for about a week and I decided to take a short break from working out to recover.

I recovered, but the break is still on going.

I suspect my illness was my body actually saying, “Nah fam. No please”.

I have since felt all types of guilt and self deprecation for not following through on my work out goals AGAIN, but here's the thing. I’ve tried working out before. I never stick to it. I used to think it was because I am lazy, but I realised I am not. I am impatient. When I’m at the gym, I go in. But then I expect my efforts to be gratified immediately. I understand that they can’t but I’m stubborn. If I don’t see instant results, my brain instantly decides it will never work. Delusion. That’s my problem.

I still wanted to change my body and so I turned to the one thing that's always worked in the past. Changing my diet.

They say you can't out exercise a bad diet, and that to achieve your goals it really takes a 30:70 approach to the "Gym:Diet" balance thing. I don't know the exact facts or numbers on this, but I do know that changing your diet makes a big difference. My progress is proof enough, every single time I change the way I eat for the better.

Now, I am in no way discrediting exercise here because I have seen for myself the amazing results that people around me have achieved. Shiv and the homegirl Mandi's bodies have changed drastically due to their commitment to exercise and and a great diet. To be honest, now that I have lost some weight, I shall be back to working out soon enough because I still am not as fit, strong, toned or as sculpted as I would like, (diet does’t quite work that cellulite as well as leg day does). I want definition, and tone, which right now is a rumor.

For now, here’s a few pointers on how I managed to shed the extra weight by altering (not restricting) what and how I eat. I went from 69kgs to 61kgs, which is what I weigh today. I will say though that I don't really focus much on the numbers, but on how I look and how my clothes fit. It does feel nice to have skinny jeans become boyfriend jeans. It also is great motivation now to exercise.

1. Be aware of WHY you are eating.
Aside from actual hunger, turns out there are quite a few reasons you could find yourself eating, that are not doing anything for your weight loss goals. I had to figure out why I felt as though I was famished all the damn time. I read into it and found out these other reasons I was mindlessly eating more than was necessary.
  • Thirst 
  • Boredom 
  • Stress 
  • As a distraction 
  • The Seefood diet (I see food, I eat it) 
  • Emotional Eating - When you go hard on that icecream because you’re sad, or you celebrate good times with food. 
  • Eating the wrong foods that only bring on more hunger rather than curb it, like refined carbs and processed sugars. 
  • Munchies. I shall not expound. 
  • Peer pressure 
  • Because the food is cheap or free etc.

2. Be aware of WHAT you are eating and be mindful of your consumption.
It’s really important to know what it is that you’re ingesting. Not so that you can cut it out, but so that you can be aware of how it affects your body, and then know how best to consume it. Or not.

While it is true, if you eat more calories than you burn, you most probably will gain weight, unless of course you are one of those blessed with a metabolism that allows you to eat an entire cow and still have defined abs (I’m talking to you Anyiko Owoko, 😤). Try not to focus on eating based on calorie count but on the nutrient value. Quality over quantity. There are many kinds of diets out there, each with claims that they are better than the rest, but the key thing is to find what works for you. From portion control of your current eating habits, to IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) which Frankie Just Gym It is a big proponent of, where you eat whatever you want as long as it meets your daily macronutrient targets (He has a video where he explains how to calculate this), to the Atkins Diet which is low in carbs and high in protein, or Banting which is high in fats, to Intermittent Fasting, to a Vegan diet: there’s tons of them out there, but trust me, you can find something that works for you that won’t be too much of a stretch when trying to fit it into your lifestyle.

I, for instance, read a lot about the Fat Loss Lab phenomenon that folks like Kalekye Mumo, Suzie Beauty and Atemi successfully utilized and found out it's premise, which partly has to do with stimulation production of the Human Growth Hormone. I then incorporated some of those recommended foods that encourage this, into my diet. I also utilize intermittent fasting every so often, only because I’ve never been much of a breakfast person. For some, breakfast is essential, so, find your groove.

3. When hunger strikes, hydrate first.
This was honestly a bit of a tough one because I'm not the best at keeping hydrated, so I was open to trying it out. The logic behind it is that sometimes what manifests as hunger really isn’t. It’s dehydration. So what I would do, is whenever I feel hungry, I drink a glass of water and then wait about 20 minutes. Most times, the “hunger” dissipates, and other times, I’ll go ahead and grab something to eat because it really is hunger. This tip is however not to encourage you to skip meals, which will really just leave you starving all the time, or to curb hunger pangs, but to recognize when it is that your body needs fuel.

Also, if water is a struggle to drink, try infusing it with some fruit like lemon, oranges, apples, cucmber and even mint leaves. Water really does boost your metabolism so it's a good idea to hydrate anyway.


4. Eat only when hungry.
I came to realise that I had internalized the notion that I have to eat at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, at tea time (both mid-morning and mid-afternoon), at parties, at the movies, watching TV, on road trips, when having drinks, when on a date, when I wake up in the middle of the night, when I’m offered food, when Cucu says, etc. When I made the decision to only eat when I was hungry, it made a ton of difference and I realised that I had been stuffing myself unnecessarily. Also, my experience in high school didn’t help my mentality of “eat everything when you can”, so I had to resolve that as well.

5. Eat until you’re full, not until the food is over aka portion control.
This really was just that mentality we grew up with. I’m sure we are all too familiar with our parents’ threats. “Finish that food or else!”, or “Do you know there are starving children who are not as lucky as you are?” This just left me dealing with the itis all day everyday. I would feel drowsy and sluggish and unproductive most of the time.

At this juncture, I would like to recommend eating slower, and using smaller plates to serve your food. This is a portion control hack that helped tons because that “clean plate syndrome” can be a tough nut to crack so if you really have to clean your plate, use a smaller one. Sometimes all we need to see is an empty plate to feel full.


6. Snack healthy.
One thing I realised I would do quite a bit, was stuff myself to the brim during meal times, and then go hours between meals. And if I got hungry in between, I would just have another meal because I was “hungry”. After re-evaluating my habits, and eating only when hungry, I also started snacking.

This is the premise behind it. Our bodies are like a fireplace. To start off the fire, pack on the fuel ie wood, etc (breakfast for some) and build that fire. Then, to keep it at a steady burn, just keep adding the right amounts of fuel at the right intervals. And this has to be the right kind of fuel, not wet wood, or just anything that’s flammable, but the right kind of fuel for the fire you want that won’t smoke, or burst into flames too much. If you have a fire going, and then after a while pile a heap of wood on it, it will probably die out, so easy does it. Work with the fire. Work with your body.


My body has since thanked me because I’ve been able to establish a steady burn through out the days that has me energized through out the day, focused, and not heavily inundated with the itis.

Healthy snacking for me came in the form of nuts and fruit. ( Not crisps and cookies). Raw almonds are my fave, followed closely by raw cashew nuts which I pair with apples, bananas, oranges and green teas (Kericho Gold tea blends are BOMB. I actually carry sachets with me in my purses. Even to the club. Cucu instincts). These leave me satiated, without stuffing me senseless, and, they’re good for me. Almonds and green tea are actually known to boost your metabolism so, it’s a win.


7. Cut back on refined, processed sugar.
Yep. I did this. I started back in 2012 when I cut back on the soda. (Every once in a while though, I just HAVE TO HAVE my fave, Coke with lemon slices. Heaven. Thank goodness for Coke Zero Sugar now. Much less guilt, and it tastes so much like actual Coca cola, that I keep tasting it just to make sure. It really does taste like regular Coke. If you’re wary of sodas though, whether regular, diet or zero sugar, take a look at the specifics and then decide for yourself.) I feel like for me it's a guilty pleasure I'm willing to indulge in every once in a while.



Last year I consciously stopped using processed sugar completely. I began to use honey instead, and while honey does have more calories, it’s better for you nutritionally than processed sugar is. Then I stopped using honey as well, and found stevia. Not stevia based sweeteners but green stevia powder itself, which is said to be 30 times sweeter than sugar so a little goes a very long way. (I found it at Nakumatt (Brand name Naturalli) and I think Chandarana Food Plus has it too.) It has a bit of a weird aftertaste but like everything in life, we adapt. Personally, I think if folks can describe Beer, Liqorice or Rooibos tea as great tasting, (Bleurgh) sembuse stevia which is actually sweet? And now I don’t really use much of that either because I sort of just reassessed my need for sweetness. You see, I’ve never really had a sweet tooth to begin with, so it wasn’t too hard for me to stay away from the cakes and the sweets and what not. If you just have to have sweetness, try stevia, maple syrup or honey.

8. Cut back on wheat.
My good friend Silas got the book, “Eat. Nourish. Glow.” by Amelia Freer, who was responsible for singer Sam Smith’s dramatic weight loss. Silas also lost quite a bit of weight at the time, and earlier this year he advised me to cut out some things for a brief period of time to see how my body would respond. One of the things I opted to cut out for a month was wheat and dairy. i.e. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, the works.


Now, I love me some chapati, and pasta, and pizza, and Mama Rocks burgers, and Weetabix, and avocado on toast (Yes, I am one of them. A millenial.) But this was one thing I was willing to make a sacrifice for. It was a hard decision to make, but surprisingly it wasn’t that hard to execute. I stopped buying bread, I stopped ordering pizza (which was a huge one, so huge infact that Osteria, who I usually order from, actually called to express concern, and the rider who used to deliver to me called to see if I was okay).


I stopped eating cereal, limited my chapo-ndengu exploits and even stopped having pasta. Mama Rocks wasn’t too hard because they offer an alternative where you can have the burger patty and the fillings in a salad, instead of with the buns. The thing is, these were all things I would indulge heavily in, and when I decided to cut them out for about a month first to see how my body would respond, I was very pleasantly surprised. I stopped being bloated all the time. I believed that dramatic, ass-clapping-suffocate-anyone-within-a-10-metre-radius-farting-every-30 seconds was normal. It’s not. (Find you a partner who you can compete with on this. 😂 😝 ) Maybe once every few hours. Lol. I was less sluggish and lethargic and I actually felt great. Even my skin was better. Alas. I haven’t bought bread in eons.


I also made certain alterations, like swapping French fries for plantain or sweet potato fries instead, which Mandi is a big proponent of and speaks about here. I would actually recommend following Mandi, Shiv and Frankie for advice on everything nutrition and fitness. Shiv and Frankie even do meal planning and can cook a weeks worth of meals for you.

After the month elapsed, I realised that wheat and dairy for me is not as much of a necessity as I used to imagine it was. I have incorporated them back into my diet but consume much less of them now, and on the occasions that I do, I relish it. Which brings me to my next point.

9. CHEAT DAYS aka do not aim for perfection.
It’s okay to cheat guys. Infact, it’s recommended that you do. Scientifically, cheat days actually help with your fat loss. If you regularly have a couple of days where you boost your carb load aka have that pizza or burger or fries, you then up your leptin levels. Leptin is a protein that regulates fat storage in the body. The longer you stay in a caloric deficit, the lower your leptin levels get, and this slows down your fat loss drastically. So if you're trying to cut fat, have 1 or 2 high carb days within your week. The weekend is perfect for satisfying that craving, but as always, be sure to do so in moderation and also be aware of what you ingest on your cheat days. This also helps keep your cravings in check so you're less likely to slip up on the days where you're being mindful of what you eat.


10. Be aware of your alcohol intake and either cut back or be smart about it.
What can I say. Learn about the alcohol that you prefer to consume. Find out about it’s calorific content. Read about how certain mixers just pack on the calories. Find out about your favourite cocktails and what goes into them. Some have lot’s of soda and sugar and honey and the like. Ask for alternatives or substitutes for certain ingredients; swap soda for soda water and lemon wedges, or substitute sugar syrups for juices instead, and then make choices based on that.


11. Brain Priming.
“Priming is a theory in which an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus (i.e., perceptual pattern) influences the response to another stimulus.” - Wikipedia.

I really don't understand that definition.

Basically, what I've understood about priming is that, among many other things, you can teach your body to respond in a particular way to certain thoughts and actions. So for instance, if I decide that I will take moringa every night before I sleep, and that this will help me lose weight, then my body will begin to respond in this way and shed some weight. Kinda like when our folks told us if we let a certain bug bite our boobs, they’ll grow. Pretty legit, right? Lol.

Look guys, this one, I won’t even try to convince you about because even reading this as I type, I’m looking at myself like, yeah right. But, we have heard severally about the power of our minds and what not, so, what I'll say is that I incorporated this into my life and....well. I'm gonna go along for this ride. Stranger things have happened to be honest.

12. Get pregnant, have a baby then breast feed.
Okay, I'm kidding. But seriously, have you seen Sharon Mundia's snapback? Watch her video on how she lost her baby weight. Her baby isn't even 6 months old and she says she feels smaller than she was even before she was pregnant. Same thing my friend Wanuri said after having her first child. Still, this point is made in jest so don't take me too seriously.

Okay folks, that's pretty much it. I'm no expert so feel free to chime in, add on or let me know if some of these things are just bull crap. What I did was just read a hell of a lot about what foods would boost my metabolism, what to cut back on and what to cut out and basically how to change my diet (NOT go on a diet) in a way that I would be able to sustain FOR LIFE.

I hope this all helps.
Much love,
PK.

56 comments

  1. Loved the article!!!!! It was very informative. Just what I needed coz I need to loose some weight as well.

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  2. Very realistic and Practical thanks Patricia!

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  3. Loved all this info and definitely putting some of these tips into practice

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  4. Haha ati Proca! Funny and informative! :)

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  5. It's amazing to see another person whos gone through the same things as myself. I was 77kg in june and in such a bad place emotionally so I gained weight from stress eating so a friend of mine encouraged me to start clean eating which has really worked. I did some of the things you did too like cutting down on sugar,wheat and instead taking green tea eating food rich in proteins taking curbs once or twice a week and mist importantly drinking lots of water. I am 69kgs now very close to my weight goal.

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    1. Thats' amazing! So good to hear this! Whoop!

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  6. Very Informative, good job!!

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  7. thank you thank you thank you thank you Patricia! I have been looking for a way to shed some weight but the proca in me convinced me that I couldn't possibly sift through alll the information online on weight loss, and still juggle school haha thank you so much for this post!

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    1. Yay! So glad I could be of help! All the best!

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  8. It is such sweet serendipity that I found this article. We are on very similar journeys and this is very encouraging. Thankyou.

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    1. Yay!! Also, FYI, serendipity is one of my favorite words! :-)

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    2. Omg mine too lol I thought I'm the only one who has favorite words.. it just captures the essence of a beautiful moment into a nice little fancy word in such a satisfactory way.. lol

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  9. Woooooow
    Thanks for this
    Really encouraging

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  10. I always wanted to be big and so I was happy when I finally added the weight. So I had this brilliant idea to gym and boy did it fail. Also proca sounds like my alter ego who is yet to get a name. Fast forward to a week ago when I saw pic of me and I just didn't like the fat face I saw. Now it's no longer cute and I have been worried about starting the gym and quitting again coz that's just me as well.
    I am a huuuuge soda drinker too. So this has come at a time when I have made the resolve to try this clean eating biz. Thank you. Get pregnant and breast feed ROFL

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    1. Hahaha. Yeah...my friends who have had kids got so slim after...but I like to make fun. I know about that fear of not following through with your goals but I've learnt not to put so much pressure on myself, and to go with what I feel and desire, and when I shifted my desires to wanting to be healthy, it was effortless. You'll be absolutely fine Anon!

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  11. Gosh after reading this I'm here seated like "Sigh - I might never be able to lose weight after all." All the good things - GONE 🙁

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    1. Oh no....what do you mean? Wanna email me and talk about it?

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  12. Hey sweetie! First of all, you look AMAZING! Congratulations on the weight loss.
    As you know, I'm a believer in the fat loss lab which helped me lose 14kgs in about 6 months and I've more or less maintained the weight give or take a few kgs.
    Cutting out sugar and reducing carbs totally works!
    Now try working out at least 30mins 5 days a week. You'll be amazed by the results. I'm currently using this HIIT app called 7-Fit that you can do at home, no gym needed:-)

    You've inspired me to keep going. Xoxo!

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    1. Yes!!! You were such a great motivator Naito!! I'm definitely going to start working out again. I want to ease into it using kettlebells at home...and then go from there. Thanks for sharing love! Miss you!

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  13. Thank you Patricia! There are no words to describe how much you've motivated me. Keep being healthy on the inside and out and get toned!!!

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    1. I'm so glad Marie!! Yay! You are welcome! I'm definitely going to commit to getting toned now. :-)

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  14. Funny and informative.... My God the bit about the ass clapping farts had me in stitches because. e that was me in my fatter days... Smh still in the gym journey and keeping the faith

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    1. Yaaaas!!! Keep the faith Anon....any little bit will lead you towards your goals. Trust. And yeah, those farts....there was a time I was even proud of them. Sigh. Hehehehehe.

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  15. Oh Lord. I’ve been blaming the farting on pilipili!!! I need to shed off some weight. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Hahahahahahahahahaha! Yo...those pili pili farts can be a mess!! Lol. You're welcome!

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  16. Hey, u look amazing! U always have, even at 69 kgs. Glad ur healthier and happier as well. This is really motivating. 4 months after having my baby I applied most of the stuff u talked about here and it worked wonders. Lost 7kgs ..with out working out! but am slowly regaining it ..so far 3kgs back on and it's showing (muffin top SMH...) and am realised my biggest challenge is wheat products... Am trying to cut out wheat from my diet but am struggling with variety of foods especially for breakfast(apart from sweet potatoes)...any alternatives u could share?

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    1. Thank you so much Sheila!

      Hmmmm.... so I don't know what would be sufficient enough with regards to completely replacing wheat, because personally, I cannot live without the occasional pizza or chap or burger...so, I would just recommend cutting back...maybe not having any wheat during the week and then indulging over the weekend? (In moderation)...

      If not.... http://www.top10homeremedies.com/news-facts/top-10-alternatives-wheat-wheat-flour.html

      All the best!

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  17. Patty ... Get yo same birthday as I ass back to the gym !!!

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  18. Felt encouraged as i read the article.I love the humor in it too.Trying to achieve a flat tummy.I definitely will incorporate ideas from your so informative article.

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    1. Thank you Delvin, thank you for reading and for commenting!

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  19. Hey Patricia,
    Very informative article indeed. Love it! Love what you do too. Just like with everything else, there are various types of workouts and gyming may not be for everyone. Personally working out in a gym doesn’t motivate me much so I do Zumba, Yoga and swimming. Try :)

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    1. I sooooooo understand. I don't really like the gym but I really enjoy the leg machine. I will be doing kettlebell workouts at home at first, just to ease back into things. :-)

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  20. This is such bare-faced honesty. Thanks for sharing your journey. Weight loss? let's do this!

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  21. Love the article Patricia and Procrastina!
    I have personally tried and failed at gyming and changing diet, but well after reading this I'll go back to trying. Must. Not. Listen. To. Proca.

    I love number 12! My baby is one year and I'm still breastfeeding (not exclusively) so that I can eat what I want because BF really does keep the weight off! After I gave birth I was 85 kgs (and still am one year later, despite (over)snacking on junk), before I gave birth I was 97Kgs!

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    1. Thanks Anon.
      All the best with trying again, I think the thing is not to be too hard on yourself. I'm the worst when it comes to consistency...but I've managed okay. And yay for number 12. I'm sure I'll have to share about it someday!

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  22. I'd read anything written by you on a daily. Quite interesting and informative.

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  23. If only I knew where one buys some discipline and consistency. Siiiiigh

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    1. That really is my struggle. No lie. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you. Once your mind is there, your body will follow. Trust.

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  24. Hey Patricia,
    Such a well researched post! Congratulations on your health achievements & thanks for the motivation. I’ll start with EAT WHEN HUNGRY & snacking on green tea & almonds (which I already have but rarely take ��) Thanks again for such a lovely read. Also, I guess i’m of the unlucky ones who number 12 didn’t work for ������

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    1. Step by step for sure. Every little bit counts. Also...don't say that about number 12! You didn't lose weight after? I'm just here assuming I'll be fine! Lol.

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  25. I have always held to the belief that we should eat only when hungry. This post has encouraged me to go back to that and tailor my weight-loss journey to what works for me. Thank you.

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  26. Patricia, the much you have done for me writing this article i cannot say. thank you so much for the open sharing of info about you and even sources, you are a gem. i read the first half of your post and immediately saved it on pocket because it is so real and honest. this is going to be my fitness Bible and I hope to follow and see change. you had me at sugar but its fine, if i cut on milk tea i can as well sugar. hoping to contact you after some time to confess change. Also, sharing your post with some two of the friends once i pen this down. you really have inspired me.
    A quick one, how long did it take you to see change?
    Also, if you find time to write once more about this journey, kindly share your meals for a week. thanks!

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