Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Last December, I posted my first “before and after” photo on Facebook. That was three months after I started my low-carb diet. Since then, I have posted 4 more times to show the progress. Don’t worry, this is the last “before and after” photo since I already reached my goal. I will just try to maintain it.


Watching Winter 

 I watch...

the sun paints 
the roofs 
in shades of orange,
why not blue or green?

the last two 
maple leaves 
finally let go -
can they survive the cold
like Hansel and Gretel?

 the Christmas twinkles
fill in 
 for the fireflies
to bring back
the warmth of summer 

 myself melts
in front of the mirror 

a reflection stare back at me 
 without blinking

 was I a snowman 
or a scarecrow 
or a human


After 15 months of low-carb diet, here are some of the improvements 
  • Weight dropped from 91 kgs to 59 kgs 
  • Waistline reduced from 41 in to 29 in 
  • Suit Size from BB6 to Y7 
  • No more headaches 

There are distractions along the way, but if you are determined enough, you can easily ignore them. Just focus on reaching your goal. 

Some tips on how to lose weight based from my experience 
  • Set your diet and target. If low-carb, then go low-carb. 
  • Never post Day 1 of diet / gym status. Post any improvement after 3 months or so. 
  • Check your weight every day to track your progress. 
  • Don’t skip breakfast. It will start your day right. Wash the dishes right away. It's therapeutic. 
  • Don’t allow yourself to go hungry. Almonds can save the day. 
  • Forget about soda. Try some vegetable juice, and protein shake. 
  • Prepare / cook your own food. It's fun preparing vegetable salad. 
  • Go to the gym. Do sports. Exercise. Jog. Sleep. Shower. 
  • Tell your friends to SHUT UP if they ask you to eat cakes, sweets, carbs. Just kidding of course. You can cheat too, you know. 
  • Most importantly ENJOY YOUR DIET. Do it for yourself. 

I received some positive feedback from colleagues and friends. And it felt good to know that I was able to inspire some of my friends and relatives. A couple of them are into low-carb diet already. 

Of course, there’s a possibility that I may go back to being overweight, only if I will allow it to happen. (I hope my mother won’t let me eat all the food she’ll prepare this holiday) 

Have a healthy 2017 everyone!



  1. Whew...that was a huge change..."was I a snowman / or a scarecrow / or a human"....hope you stick to the last point :D

  2. Good to see you back Totomai - and looking very healthy!

  3. Well I am sure the snowman will say you have melted away. Looks as though you may have had buy a lot more clothes for the new look!

    1. Yup. My brother is the beneficiary of the old clothes lol

  4. Your poetry is the child of photography--it shows colors, shapes, feelings... so well. I watched the watching looking at himself in the mirror, I saw him change... and smile... under the changing sky.

    And I LOVE your diet and healthy living recommendations. I, too, hope your mom goes gentle on the treats. ;-)

  5. Lovely fresh and positive write, my friend and yes, you are looking good... Proof of a refreshment of the spirit itself and great to share it too - thank you...

  6. Ah, you really achieved your goal. Congratulations to you on setting one and following through. I do like the way you expressed melting in front of the mirror. Nice to see one's size diminish & also to get rid of those headaches! Have a happy holiday, Totomai; and see you in the new year.

    1. Yes, losing weight is good but having no more headache is the greatest benefit I ever had. Thanks Mary and happy holidays

  7. I mostly agree with the last line... do it for your own.. you could be on an add for a diet (but of course if you do it yourself it's even better)...

  8. Totomai, you are an inspiration and you look fabulous and likely feel wonderful too. I am happy to know you are going home to visit your family.......enjoy your visit. Thank you for your gorgeous photos and the experiences you shared with us during 2016. Looking forward to more in 2017.

    1. Looking forward to 2017 too, Sherry. Hope I can continue blogging, writing poems and taking photos

  9. Under other circumstances (not for weight loss), watching yourself melt away in the mirror would be alarming!

  10. Congrats on your weight loss! I can certainly relate to mothers being the bane of well laid weight loss plans.

    I like how your poem contrasted different changes so vividly, though it seems that last and most personal of changes seems to be the one that is the most bewildering and raises the most questions.

  11. Big Showoff HAhahaaaa..................

  12. Nice reward. You stuck to it. You poem tell the story from a point of wonder. That is very interesting

    Much love...

  13. Always love your photos. But your story is true inspiration. Congratulations. Hard work that certainly paid out. Thanks for the update and suggestions,


    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Hope to be back with more travel photos

  14. A lovely, eloquent poem AND a very interesting post. Well done: YOU!

  15. Good for you, dropping some weight and toning up. But what's so striking about your "after" shot is that smile. You are oozing pure joy. Also, awesome style ... jacket, glasses, mustache, and skinny tie. You are looking super-fly. ;)

    1. Thanks Carob. It was fun having this transformation.

  16. I enjoyed your poem of xmas reflections, and also the joyful story of your weight loss and the good tips for following your example. And I love the photos showing how you went from a pleasant-looking fellow to spiffy and handsome – and several years younger! You are an inspiration and I plan to be inspired to a similar transformation – starting right after the xmas feasting! :)

  17. finally let go -
    can they survive the cold
    like Hansel and Gretel? that! And congratulations on achieveing your weight goals... a healthy happy new year to you.

  18. You look great! Nice that you are so dedicated to your health. You inspire me to be more serious about maintaining good weight. Love your poem. Winter has its charms but sometimes makes us miss summer. Have a Happy Holiday season!

  19. I love reflection poems, and this one--set in the substitute sparks of Holidays and winter--is wonderful. I couldn't read the diet stuff, though I recognize its connection to the "Watching." I suspect watching the ups and downs of weight is much more like watching the sesons than watching

  20. Thanks Loredana. Lots of things to be happy about :-)

  21. awesome transformation, and looking good! what i like is the smile, a confident smile that says "i can take on anything!". you must have spent a load on the new clothes. :)

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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