By Ray Evangelista
As told to Excel V. Dyquiangco
I was overweight and obese all my life. The highest weight that I tipped the scales with was at 290 pounds. Because of this, I was under a lot of negative emotions — depression, shame, fear, and embarrassment. I didn’t want to talk with people.
As if that wasn’t enough, I had contracted a hereditary disease known as hypokalaemia, which means that the concentration of potassium in my blood was low. The symptoms were evident — muscular weaknesses, muscle cramps, and constipation. Each time I exerted effort, I became weak and suffered paralysis for days. When I wanted to go to the bathroom, I couldn’t get up because I couldn’t move. My dad had to carry me. Imagine carrying a 290-pound man to the bathroom! That wasn’t the worse part though – my dad wasn’t there all the time. When I needed to go to the bathroom in the wee hours, I had to scream for help. Unfortunately, most of the time, no one came to the rescue. I just cried and cried.
When my dad retired from work a couple of years back, I knew I had to get a job. I applied in some companies and finally landed in one of the call centers. I was called by a lot of names — baboy, taba, and others. But this didn’t get me down. Instead, it got me thinking. I had to lose some weight– even just a little. My motivation at that time was just to impress a co-worker. So, I bought some gym equipment and I started exercising.
At the start, I walked to and fro. For instance, I strode for thirty minutes to get to the nearest mall or accompany my friends to get to their houses. But because I was really fat, I had to rest for a couple of minutes before moving on again. This I did for at least once to thrice a week. When I got the hang of it, I then tried to jog very early in the morning so that no one would see me. It was harder, considering that I was close to 300 pounds. But I did it one step at a time. It was also during this phase when my sickness mysteriously disappeared. I’m not really sure what happened, but I think exercising had something to do with it.
I then noticed that I started losing pounds gradually. My confidence in talking with people also climbed up a notch. People started to compliment me on how I looked, and I found myself initiating conversations. Because of these gradual changes, not only physically but socially, I vowed that I would continue with what I started.
My co-worker whom I was trying to impress also noticed the huge difference. We didn’t become an item, but we became friends.
All in all, I lost 80 pounds or the equivalent of one person!
God’s Plans for Weight Loss
Because of all the weight I lost, I had to change my wardrobe. With all these adjustments, I was reminded of the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 in which Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” I am already a new creation in Christ — literally.
To this day, I still continue to run. I have joined different marathons organized by various companies. In the near future, I plan on running uphill . I also plan to join an Ironman event.
I believe that from the start, God had already ordained my recovery so that I may be able to trust in Him more, knowing that He has my best interests at heart. He knew what pain and trouble I had to go through with my added pounds and my sickness, but it was God’s way of building my character and to discipline me as well. I wouldn’t be what I am today, if not for what happened to me. Had I been ordinary or average-built, I wouldn’t know the joy and the excitement that would come from losing weight!
Indeed, all of this can only come from God. He is the Maker of all things, and I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 14).