I have been a mom for eighteen years to six children. To say that I’ve been busy is a sheer understatement. Between the demands of motherhood, a career, and everything in between, taking care of my well-being just wasn’t a priority. So for my 40th birthday, I made a decision to focus on me and vowed to take care of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was optimistic because I knew it’s never too much nor too late.
Moms, we need to learn that it’s okay to think of ourselves first sometimes, too. And I’m here to reassure you that it’s never too much nor too late to go for what you want.
The physical part has been the most daunting challenge, and also the easiest to take for granted. “I have six kids and I don’t have time to workout” was always my cop out. But If I’m being perfectly honest, turning 40 and being in the industry I’m in, my body issues and insecurities surfaced to the point where I could no longer ignore it.
Embarking on a lifestyle change meant addressing the need to lose weight, understanding my body, and what diets and exercises will work for me long-term, without sacrificing my health. If I was going to do this right, it meant that diet and workout fads without consulting professionals were not an option. I saw several nutritionists, talked to a couple of fitness instructors, and did my own extensive research.
I needed to do a lifestyle change. To do so, I knew that I needed help from experts and I knew just who to call.
I learned that for women, our metabolism peaks in our twenties. I’m 40, so you can do the math. That means in order to maintain a certain weight, I have to be conscious of my calorie intake. Since there is also an inevitable decline in muscle mass, building the muscle through exercising becomes non-negotiable. While cardio training is good for the heart, strength training gives our metabolism the biggest boost.
Once I understood all that, I knew I had to kick-start my weight loss journey to get to an ideal weight that I could maintain. And again, since I am no longer in my twenties, the struggle of shedding pounds is real. I decided to work with the team of Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo at the Aivee Institute because I felt that their weight loss and nutrition plans were attainable and in line with my goals.
I was put on the H2 + Dr. Food program for 20 days, and my target weight loss was 10 pounds. To achieve this, my food intake was only 800 calories per day.
Let’s break that down. H2 is the specialized HCG diet that incorporates a once-a-day injection of the HCG hormone to suppress one’s appetite and curb hunger pangs, combined with a caloric intake of either 500 or 800 per day.
The 3 key secrets to being successful with the H2 Diet are:
- Sticking to the prescribed daily caloric intake
- The Dr. Food meal plan
Two days before I began the program, I was told to load up on calories. The nutritionist urged me to go to the buffet for those two days, and she wasn’t kidding. This pre-loading phase was imperative because my body was going to convert those calories to energy during the first few days of adjustment to the lowered caloric intake. True enough, I did not experience headaches, mood swings, irritability, or lack of energy the entire time I was on the program.
The Aivee Institute and Dr. Food helped me by creating a program that was doable and at the same time, sustainable.
To make sure that I was eating the right kind of food and amount of calories, I availed of the Dr. Food meal plan, also provided by The Aivee Institute. It made it easier for the doctors and nutritionists to monitor my progress, ensure that my diet was working, and adjust anything if needed. I was also prohibited from doing any form of extensive exercise because I was consuming less than 1,000 calories per day.
The likelihood of cheating while on this program is very high. I say this because it happened to me several times. But please do not let one moment of weakness define your defeat! Bounce back and pay for that cheat on your next meal or the next day by eating less.
I instantly saw the results—and so did the people around me.
Results were immediate as I noticed that exactly one week later, my face got slimmer, the double chin disappeared, and I fit into old jeans and tops. It really proved that it’s never too much nor too late. During my first weekly checkup, the doctor confirmed that I lost almost 7 pounds! This inspired me a great deal, so I decided to bite the bullet and lower my calorie intake halfway through the program from 800 to 500.
Sticking to the plan the best way I could, and being committed to my goals resulted in a total weight loss of 14 pounds by the end of the program. Far greater than the weight loss, I felt better about myself and I regained the confidence. I am nowhere close to my ideal weight, and I will probably never have a body like JLo, but now I can confidently say that anything is possible.
Having been off the program for over four months and since the weight loss has been kick-started, I have to make sure that I work towards maintenance. I eat in moderation, I am conscious about what I consume, I do strength exercises to increase my metabolism, but I also do not deprive myself because after all #YOLO.
Being the best moms to our children means looking out for ourselves as well. What we want is never too much nor too late to attain.
After 18 years of being a mom, putting everyone else before me, and maybe losing part of myself in the process, I feel like I’ve been reborn. That’s the best thing about going through the H2 + Dr. Food program. So, for all the moms out there reading this, don’t ever feel guilty for thinking about yourselves. I can’t tell you this enough: it’s really never too much nor too late. Know that it’s equally important to treat ourselves with as much care and priority as we do our families, or else, no one gets the best version of us. My husband and kids say that I look better, they say I’m nicer and that I seem much happier. To that I say, mission accomplished!