Feature Story Health

A testimony on health

By Abner Galino

Gary Paglinawan (Before – After)

THIS definitely qualifies as a success story.

Well, no one becomes incredibly rich or becomes instantly famous. But someone triumphed against his own frailty and came out a happy camper.

Gary Paglinawan is 5’4 ½” tall. Some years back, he weighed 210 lbs. Today, Gary weighs 158 lbs.

I wouldn’t have known this, if not for a recent post by Gary on Facebook wherein he showed a couple of his “before and after” pictures.

In the comment portion, Gary wrote: To keep me motivated and reminded (to) maintain my health regimen! Hashtag: #diet #exercise #healthiswealth

Gary said he also post the “health is wealth” FB post every two years to inspire others who are having second thoughts, or worse, for those who have given up totally on the idea of losing weight.

Two years is what took Gary to reach the weight which boxers would call the “fighting weight.” His journey to wellness wasn’t easy but the rewards were apparently well worth the trip.

You feel good and you look good,” Gary intimated, “you can move freely. You can wear whatever you want.”

Gary’s motivation when he started to lose weight was as plain as following his doctor’s advice. Lose weight, the doctor said, and he obliged.

I have high blood and high cholesterol,” Gary revealed.

Did he do a lot of lifting and running? Well, Gary said he did some gym time. But for most of the way, he literally walked to wellness. To be exact, 30 minutes to an hour of brisk walking whenever he could.

Ok, that’s the easy part. The harder part is; Gary changed the way he eats.

So, for those who want to try, here’s Gary’s diet:

Strictly no meat, no sugar and no salt. No soda, no juices and no processed food. Of course, no smoking and no alcohol (Good luck to those who smoke and drink).

You can reward yourself with some scoops of rice once a week. Yes, a cup of black coffee in the morning is fine. Drink a lot of water and treat your self to as much fish, vegetables and fruits.

Is that a hard cycle to follow? Well, I bet it is because even Gary himself admitted that he pigs out once in a while.

Oo, paminsan-minsan, basta kain lang ako. Wala akong pakialam. Nag o-order pa ako ng extra rice,” Gary delightfully revealed.

Just make sure that afterwards, you’ll shed off what took in.”

Gary was chubby as a kid but he shed off the fat as he reached puberty. But as he climbed his way to 30, the fat started to build up again until he was 210 lbs.

A college professor when he was in the Philippines, Gary is now an independent film producer. He was recently sworn in as an American citizen.

By the way, Gary is single.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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