We as human beings are hardwired to want things that can be achieved immediately – also known as instant gratification. Whether at work, personal life, or fitness, we’re always tempted to look for ‘shortcuts’ and tend to be impatient with the long process of achieving a goal. However, this is different with the weight loss journey of Christian Servillas – a guy who lost 133 pounds and believe it or not, it all just started with the ‘slowest’ and probably “most boring” workout – WALKING.
Christian is an architect by profession which he set aside for a while because of stress, he then switched to managing a photo studio to pursue his passion for photography.
How it Started
His weight loss journey started with his high school classmates group chat talking about health and fitness (October 2018).
“We were tracking steps, recording weight loss for 3 months and eventually pushed it even further by joining fun runs. I enjoyed running a lot that every weekend was full of running events till present. I weighed around 320lbs(145kg) @46” waistline when I started my weight loss journey and currently at 187lbs(85kls) @33” waistline.”
However, at first it was not really running, Christian underwent the gradual process by “walking” most of the time during fun run events.
“Walking definitely helped me became runner, tracking steps, pushing more distance and waking up early in the morning to walk at least an hour. I didn’t bother about pace at first, it was just simply walking every single day. It became a habit, and till now, I seldom or rarely drive a car or take a commute, instead, I walk.
When I first joined 7-eleven run 2018 (February 2018), I signed up for a 16k category, I was clueless of what was going to happen so I reached the finish line through 10% running and 90% walking. After that, i was hooked and I was searching for the next running events that have at least 5km-10km distance. From then on it was a weekend habit.
My First Marathon
Running events gave me the motivation to run farther, and seeing people doing 21KM and 42KM runs makes me think that I could do it too, eventually I decided to signed up for a Marathon. During those times, my training was just walking consistently for 10K on weekdays. On rainy days I walk inside malls just to complete the required distance.
Finally the marathon day came — I finished the race with a time of 6:39. I remembered it was painful, it was like the race is never gonna end, but I conquered it. And I learned a lot of things from every race I joined, and currently completed 4 full marathons and counting.”
The Key to Weight Loss
Christian doesn’t just attribute walking and running to the success of his weight loss – it also comes with proper diet and nutrition.
“I believe walking and running is only half of the weight loss equation, the other half is about the food you eat. For people like me who easily get fat to obese, even if I run forever but didn’t take care of what I eat, weight loss is impossible. It does not take a 10KM or a full marathon run to lose weight — it takes consistency, discipline and determination.
While doing my daily routines of walking, I also started to watch how and what I eat, gradually taking out sweets and reducing carbs. I also tried Keto diet for 3 months and the result was significant. Cheating was never an option, otherwise, you’ll just get back to your old habits. After 3 months, I was introduced to intermittent fasting, I did it for 2 months, started with 16:8 method then pushed it even further to “one meal a day” which is 20:4 method. It might not be for everyone, but what you need is to find the best method you can stick to.”
Being successful in his weight loss journey, Christian learned a lot of lessons that he also wants to share to people who are struggling to lose weight or are discouraged to run because of their weight.
“Start walking for an hour everyday for 21 days”.
“This mantra changed my lifestyle gradually and motivated me more during my journey. For people with obesity and are overweight, there is a big hope of losing weight by eating smart and doing physical activities. It is not an overnight success but a long-term process. We gained our weight gradually so don’t expect to get rid of it in 1 month. Fun runs are for everyone — whether 3K, 5K, 10K or 16K… longer distances like 21K and 42K requires more serious training but still achievable as long as the motivation to get fit is your number 1 goal.”
For Christian, all it took was one single step towards the right direction to change his life. He lost several pounds, ran hundreds of miles, and finished a number of marathons – but they all didn’t happen in a snap. May this be an inspiration to all of us to have that patience on working on towards our goal and never give up along the process as remember — slow progress is better than no progress. 😊