During my younger years, my perpetual problem was that my weight acted like a yoyo/rollercoaster. Up and down, and back again, going on as if it was a cycle.

It went like this: I gain weight because I have been a reckless eater. Then, I become conscious about my heaviness. So I go on a diet and adapt an exercise regimen to lose weight. Alas, I get to my target weight. Then I get complacent. I forget yet again to be mindful of my eating habits and let go of working out as a routine. Repeat cycle.

I tried to take a step back to assess how I’ve behaved, and I pinpointed what my main problem was: I didn’t have the right habits. It was a radical realization as much as it was a simple one. I didn’t have to change my life completely, I just had to adjust a few things here and there so I could achieve the physique that I aimed for.

The formation of these habits revolved around two things: 1) food and 2) the company that I kept.

One thing that I have discovered was that the method of eating contributed such a huge chunk to fitness than I thought it did. Although I did have an undeniable love affair with food, it was time to stop having a yo-yo relationship with it. Like many things in life, balance and moderation is key. Eating right is also truly a matter of self-respect. Beyond just the seeming vanity of it all, I choose the healthy life to avoid sickness at all costs. With the high commercialization of fat and sugar, so have diabetes, heart attacks, and other chronic diseases taken flight. It is a devastation in itself, and a state which I would rather avoid earlier than be affected with later.

This commitment to fitness is also hugely attributable to the people I have chosen to surround myself with. At the start, it is true that all it takes is willpower; but the secret sauce to sustaining it, at least for me, is surrounding myself with people who had the same goals as I. It has certainly changed the way I live.

I always used to think of fitness as a temporary destination, this mentality was what made me lose weight…only to gain it back again, and I had that on repeat for a few times. It was exhausting both mentally and physically. When I finally decided to shift towards adapting fitness as a lifestyle, not only did I feel more confident in my skin, but it also awarded me with the faith that I could achieve anything, and it has set a stage on which I could further pursue my best self.