Flashback Fatdays

The before-and-after story documentation of

a travel-inspired weight loss journey

“You know what? You’re beautiful. But…”


That statement always ended with a BUT. No one (except my mom) had the guts to finish the sentence. So here, now, I will.

…BUT Sam, you are fat.

It never bothered me or probably I just didn’t really care. Though I know at some point I was already criticised for it. Nonetheless, I was happy and I was confident. I never saw the need to lose weight even when my mom would nag me or even when I’d always hear that compliment end with a BUT.

My weight never got in the way or was never a problem until December 2013. It was when I had my first ever solo travel to Banaue, Philippines.

I weighed 207 lbs (94kg) and I had to drag all that weight up and down the steep trails of Batad. It was only then I found the motivation to lose weight.

I found passion and genuine happiness in traveling. And simply put, I can’t travel the way I want to if I’m that heavy.

How can I hike if I weighed that much?
How can I do outdoor activities if I’m that heavy?
How can I squeeze in small spaces like caves if I’m that big?
And seriously. How can I wear a bikini without feeling ashamed?

It may sound shallow but I wanted to travel easier.
I wanted to travel better.
I wanted to travel lighter.

Travel was motivation and so my journey to shedding the pounds started. It was life changing.

Please know it’s not my intention to brag. For those who are going through the same struggle, please please please know these:

Yes, it’s not easy.
It takes a lot of sacrifice.
It seems impossible.
There will be times when you’ll feel like giving up.
You will lose heart when you don’t see the results.

Please. Don’t. Because it will all be worth it.

In my case, I travel lighter now. Better. And definitely happier.

Oh. And the most important thing? I made my mom happy and proud.

So many people asked me how I did it. There are so many diet schemes and workout programs out there. It’s true. The effectiveness varies from one person to another.

In my case, I never went to the gym.
I never paid for any workout programs.
No, I didn’t take pills.
And I definitely did NOT do drugs.
I just did it all at home. (Yeahp. Those workout videos work! Thank you, Shaun T! Hahaha)

For my diet:
No rice.
No noodles.
No bread.
No sweets.
No junk.
No alcohol (Oh gosh. It was the most difficult to give up)
No dinner.
Generally that was it. But of course, I NEVER deprived myself. When I crave, I’d take a bite just to satisfy the craving.
AND OH! No diet when I’m on travel. No no no way I’ll miss out on that experience!

Oftentimes I would be asked for advice on how to keep going. I guess to sum it up:
Find your motivation. The rest will follow.

The journey is not yet over! I still have a long way to go (I need to lose the beer belly and flabby thighs) but I am proud to say I have gone this far!


















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