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  • How An Obese, Asthmatic Mom Dropped 52 Pounds In Two Months: ‘Now I Don’t Need My Inhaler’

    The mom knew she had to be healthier for the sake of her toddler son.
    by Kitty Elicay .
How An Obese, Asthmatic Mom Dropped 52 Pounds In Two Months: ‘Now I Don’t Need My Inhaler’
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Therese Diaz
  • Weight gain during pregnancy is expected, but Therese Diaz, 20, did not expect that she would be diagnosed as obese, since she was used to being fit all her life.

    “I started dancing when I was 3 years old and since I do a lot of workouts and performances, I wasn’t that heavy at all. Before pregnancy, I was around 44 kilos or 97 pounds,” she tells SmartParenting.com.ph in a quick interview over Messenger.

    Therese with her son, Primo.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Therese Diaz

    Her weight gain started when she became pregnant in 2019. More than a year later, Therese says she was at her heaviest at 103 kilos or 227 pounds. Standing at 5 feet and 2 inches and based on her body mass index (BMI), Therese was considered obese.

    The new mom blamed it on her eating habits. “Kahit matutulog na lang ako, kakain pa ako,” she shares.

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    It also took a toll on her health. Since she is asthmatic, she had to pump her inhaler twice a day to be able to breathe properly.

    Turning her weight around

    Therese with her partner, Dharylle, and son Primo.

     

    Since she was busy caring for her son, Primo, who is 1 year and 7 months old, plus attending her third year of college at the University of Santo Tomas, Therese says that she could care less about how she looked, “no matter what people say or think of me especially when I wear dresses, shorts, hanging blouses, etc.” But when she finally took a good look at herself in the mirror last May 2021, she realized she did not look healthy at all.

    Therese says she was insecure and in denial at first. As a young mom, she felt that she didn’t need to lose weight. But after realizing that she needed to be healthier for the sake of her son, she finally found the courage to reach out to a parenting group about her situation.

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    Therese at her heaviest at 227 pounds.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Therese Diaz

    The mamas in the parenting group were very supportive and eventually, Therese got in touch with nutritionist/dietitician Dr. Jhoanne Cruz-Balili. Together, they decided on a meal plan that would help her reach her goal weight.

    “She did not push me to do hardcore workouts that can trigger my body to become hungry. She did not pressure me during our online meetings and instead listened to my stories about how happy I am every week when I lost weight,” Therese shares. “She was the best nutritionist for me, and I am grateful for that.”

    Of course, losing weight wasn’t a breeze. Dr. Cruz-Balili prescribed a low calorie, low salt, and low-fat diet, which meant Therese had to overhaul her eating habits and adjust to a 1,200 to 1,000 daily calorie intake.

    “I was limited to two main meals, 1 coffee break, and 1 small meal. I was also limited to a teaspoon of virgin coconut cooking oil — I can only cook my meals with olive oil,” she shares.

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    Apart from her diet, Therese would also work out for around 30 minutes to an hour three times a week. “Hindi siya every day since iniiwasan ni Dra. na mapagod ‘yung katawan ko since mabigat ako,” she explains, adding that at the start, she would also have a hard time breathing because of her weight.

    The mom recalls that the first few weeks were the hardest. She shares that sometimes her meals consist of “chicken breast and fish na hindi mataba. No rice tapos ¼ cup of cooked veggies,” and she would get envious of her partner and their family who would eat a different meal.

    “Naiinggit ako sa mga kumakain. When there are celebrations, my partner gets to eat my favorite food like lechon, crispy pata, and carbonara, but I can’t,” she says.

    If you’re going through the same thing as her, Therese shares her tip: “’Wag sumabay kumain sa kanila para hindi matakam or matempt!”

    A happier, healthier mom

     

    From left: Therese's before photo and her progress for two months. She says she went from a size 3XL to Large and lost 52 pounds.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Therese Diaz
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    After two months, Therese is happy to say that she has already lost a total of 52 pounds. She now weighs 79 kg or 174 pounds.

    Since her goal weight is 114 pounds, Dr. Balili has adjusted her daily calorie intake to 800 to 1,000 calories a day. The two plan to keep working toward her ideal weight for a total of 12 to 13 months.

    She still has a long way to go but Therese says that she not only feels healthier, she is also happier with herself now. Her old clothes already fit, plus the people around her have started noticing that she’s lost (a lot of) weight.

    She also has more energy, which helps in caring for an energetic toddler. “When I was at my heaviest, I got very lazy. Going upstairs, grabbing Primo's milk, or strolling with him outside our house makes me tired easily. Now I can keep up with him more!”

    The best part: “Since losing weight, I don’t even get to use my inhaler at all!”

    Therese says that her diet is an individualized program created by a nutritionist, so for moms who also want to lose weight this way, her advice is to first consult your doctor. Before creating a custom program, Dr. Cruz-Balili asked Therese to take a complete blood exam to check for other health conditions. She also conducts twice-a-week sessions with the mom to monitor her progress.

    The first step is to accept your body and acknowledge when you need help. "Do not be ashamed and deny the things you see. You know your body. Love yourself and be happy," she says.

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    Click here to read another inspiring story where a mom lost 26 pounds and fit into her wedding dress again!

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