Losing weight without losing your mind

As someone desperately trying to lose weight, I know how mentally taxing the process was. In my case, I usually start hopeful (usually after shedding a pound or two), usually commencing to desperation (after the weighing scale shows I have managed to gain back everything I lost). 

This was me, fifteen years and 80 pounds ago, as a rookie reporter for the Manila Bulletin

This is me today: a lot heavier but also a lot tougher and wiser

This usually progresses to a reckless cycle of not eating, a mad desire to run and walk everywhere in order to “shed off,” a bout with juicing, cleansing and everything in between only to relapse following a fateful encounter with a cupcake. 

This vicious cycle continues month after month. While it is taxing for the body, the mental and emotional toll is another level. 

That’s why I understand how it must have felt for Sheryl Ehmene Uy-Garcia and Francis Salazar, who both struggled with their weight before enrolling into Cohen’s Lifestyle Program. Garcia and Salazar, who are now both graduates of the program, maintained their healthy weight for more than three years and can attest to the effectiveness of conditioning one’s mind to lose weight. Before adapting their new mindset, Uy-Garcia, an advertising sales unit head in her mid-30s, and Francis Salazar, a technology consultant, both suffered from asthma and obesity.

 They turned to the Cohen Lifestyle Program, a rapid weight-loss and wellness program through nutrition. Salazar started the program in 2011 weighing 325 lbs., and in eight months, he lost 153 lbs. Garcia, who weighed 152 lbs., reached her healthy weight of 112 lbs. in just six months.

 Salazar and Garcia share the following “mental diet” tips that they learned from joining the program:

Assess your relationship with food. Before you can effectively lose weight, you have to understand and deal with the root cause of your problem first –your relationship with food. The two Cohen clients reveal that they were emotional eaters before trying the program. Salazar shares, “I ate when I was happy; I ate when I was sad.” It’s important to be aware of why you may overeat and to stop feeding your emotion in order to successfully maintain your ideal weight.
Always remember your weight-loss motivation. Losing weight can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be, especially when you focus on why you want to lose weight. “During one of my monthly ER visits, the doctor warned me that my asthma was fatal and I would expire early if I didn’t take care of myself. I enrolled in the Cohen’s Lifestyle Program because their approach is very personal. They made me focus on my ‘why’ – to live longer for my husband and kids,” shares Garcia. As for Salazar, his family’s medical history compelled him to finally say goodbye to obesity. “A couple of my uncles died due to diabetes and stroke, and my mom knows that my current situation is a ‘ticking time bomb.’”


Have a support system. There may have been times when you wanted to give up, but with the help and support of your family, you can push through with your weight-loss journey and reach your goal. Garcia and Salazar stayed committed to the Cohen Lifestyle Program with the help of their families. “A key factor that helped me stay committed to the program is my supportive husband who encouraged and cooked for me whenever he could,” shares Garcia. In addition to family support, it is also important to have the support of others who understand what you are going through and are supportive of your desire to lose weight and be healthier. Cohen Consultants often meet with their clients, such as Francis and Sheryl, to help them on their weight-loss journey.


Set realistic expectations. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work for it, including sacrificing some indulgences. “Before Cohen, I only ate pork, rice and soda, no vegetables and fruits, but now, my plate always has salad with protein,” Garcia shares. Salazar says, “It was okay to indulge once in a while, but not overindulge. It’s okay to enjoy food. We eat to live, not live to eat.”

Sometimes no matter how hard you try to stick to your diet program, set-backs happen which can slow down your weight-loss progress or even increase your weight. The most important thing is you do not completely let go of your goal and you get back on track with your weight-loss program as soon as possible. Before you know it, you can reach your goal. 


Change your perspective on food and diet. Your mindset on food and diet is an essential factor in losing and maintaining weight safely and effectively. 

For me, I am still hopeful that I can achieve a healthier body – am not exactly gunning to regain my weigh and health profile when I was still in my 20s because that would be impossible and unrealistic. I just need to shed the extra 60 pounds that I’ve been carrying and I am all set. 

To know more about Cohen’s Lifestyle Program, visit http://www.CohenLifestyle.com.ph, or visit http://www.facebook.com/CohenLifestylePhil on Facebook and http://instagram.com/cohenlifestyleph on Instagram.

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