1 Year Anniversary of My New-found Life and Transformation


This was me exactly one year ago. I was just in the life-changing decision to start doing something with myself.
I was dead tired of myself and my whining. Every single time I met with my friends it was the same story.

“I want to lose weight. I am really getting too big. I just cannot go on like this. I just have to lose weight.”

But this went on repeat. Over, over, over, and over again. I was so sick and tired of hearing it.
I was also so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Because no matter how much I smiled, and how much I said I did not feel bad.
I. felt. Bad.
All. The. Time.
Something just had to change.

16 May 2020

What Made Me Change?

Not only did I feel bad all the time, but it also hurt constantly. If I sat, it hurt. If I stood up it hurt. If I walked it hurt. If I laid down it hurt. The photo above is from my first hike of 2020. I remember it so vividly, as I walked 20K steps and I was crying coming home. Everything hurt.

Not only that.
I knew that I was not well as my blood vitals did tell me that. Everything supposed to be high was low, and everything supposed to be low was high.

I would wake up with massive headaches and my uvula swollen and hurting, on an almost daily basis. I knew I was snoring, and I did fear that I was suffering from sleep apnea due to the really swollen face and aching throat.
It was more than just few nights when I was a bit scared of going to bed. What if the sheer weight on my chest would be too much and I would suffocate.

I would have a strange feeling in my head as if wind was blowing in it. Still to this day do I not know what that was. High blood pressure or something else. For sure something was off.
I would get winded really easily and I remember getting my step counter and really struggle to get 5000 steps in, as it was just too much for me.

Joints and ligaments were hurting. I was constantly tired. I was constantly hungry. I was scared of falling, I did not want to break anything.
It just had to stop.
One day I just had enough. I was 35 not 75.

July 2020- I had already started losing weight here

Transformation to a Healthier Life.

The start was really hard. I got a trainer 3 days a week that I paid a small fortune for. My best spent money ever. I was now accountable, not just to him – as at that stage I could not be accountable to myself. I did not know how- but also to my money.
A single mom in a raging pandemic, not knowing if she would have a job or not, paying for such nonsense. I just needed to not waste one single cent.
And that I did not. I kept that word to myself.

It is funny how I thought 10 sessions with this trainer would solve it all. Somehow I really did. Silly me!

II just saw it as a lack of regimen and that I needed to work out few times and life would magically transform itself to pink sky and rainbows.
After 2 months of this idea I started to realize that I was way wrong and it was more than just few sessions with a trainer that I needed.
Neither the dietist really did it for me. I knew what I needed to eat, that was not the issue. I just ate anyhow, regardless of the knowledge.
That is where the idea of a holistic viewpoint grew stronger and stronger.

My body and health is the product of all stress, anxiety, bad thought, old coping mechanisms, memories, traditions and habits. it was not just about getting on a diet and run 3 times a week. It was about honoring myself and creating a better life- in general and overall. A overhaul of my life and its inventory.


Test of My Transformation and Finding Support In Myself

I went to my GP 2 weeks or so ago. Probably more.
My vitals are back to normal, except one part of my cholesterol but it is so marginal that he said that it is deductible.
I am no longer deadly tired, at some few occasions have I woken up with my uvula swollen. My daughter tells me I do not snore any longer, at least not to the extent I used to.
I smell better, why I do not know. Maybe I am not leaking, from you know where, as I used to.
I have better skin, sleep better, eat better, and my mental health is totally 180. My work on all the mental parts has been huge. From eating few medications due to mental issues I take occasionally one medication.
It was 2 weeks ago I went for a hike and I did about 30K steps and I knew I could do some more.

I am not going to lie though, It has not been easy. It was not simple either. It was difficult and hard. It IS difficult and hard. There are still so many parts that are missing.
It has not been easy for my friends. The change I am doing, and everyone will not support.
Many times have I been tested in my conviction to my transformation. Tested to see if this is really what I wanted. Friends pushing to peer pressure to not do what I was on my path doing. I have slipped up. I have done things I really have not wanted. Just as “Old” Manka would do. Give up. Give everything to the instant gratification monkey. Not looking into the future. It is not their fault. It is normal but it would have been easy to just throw my hand up and give up but the positive feelings has so far been winning over old pathways and habits.
It has been sad to feel that I have not been supported but in that, I have reached out to others. I have reached out to myself and that push and accountability I so desperately needed to get from someone else- I gave myself.

I give myself!

2021 Hike

I have a long way still. There are more kinks and stuff I have to work on to get where I really want to go. I need to push myself again, a little bit more and not feel so comforted in this change. I need to continue doing more. I have stagnated some the last 3 months, as I feel it is pointless. Pandemic lockdown has not added positively to the motivation.
I still have things that block me and keep me away from reaching my full potential.
But this year has taught me that I can do it. I am doing it. I am full of accountability and I can do it without the external locus of control but my internal.
I am stronger inside myself than I thought. remembering that hike last year and this year they were just so different. And how this coming year is quite exciting!

Hill practice run! first of many to come!


Let Us Focus on NSV- Non Scale Victories

I am not going to lie. This morning when I did my weekly weigh-in I almost lost it. I had not lost anything. Nothing. Not a single gram. This is not the first time. I have had this 1 kilo up and down for 2 months now.
“But Manka, once you have lost, most of your weight. Weight loss slows down.”
I have not lost most of it yet. I have 20 kilos down so far, but even just to enter into non-overweight territory am I missing 10 kilos. So there are still quite some kilos to go.
Hence me almost breaking down in tears this morning. I feel I am doing so much, and no result is yielding. This is not starting to affect my well-being as I am really just thinking about this and nothing else. I need to change things up, so let’s focus on some NSV instead!

What is NSV?

NVS is an abbreviation for Non-Scale Victory. And it has been a term in the weight loss world for quite some time already. This is what we tell ourselves we should focus on, and not the scale, to see that health is not only what the scale says.

Nonscale victories, also known as NSVs, are health improvements that result from small life changes. They may go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. A bathroom scale shows a number — a snapshot of your weight at a given moment on a given day. – Healtline

I guess that it is correct to think like this. Health is so much more. I am able to do things now that I could not, not even when I was 10 kilos less than now. I have a really hard time though to actually be happy about these things, as I just do not want to be considered obese any longer. I am so over it.

 Here Comes My List! 

  1. I can fit in my bathtub as of now. We have a pretty normal-sized bathtub and I could actually not fit in it before. I could not stretch out properly as the tub gets narrower at the end. So that is a pretty nice feeling!
  2. I am able to run several kilometers, without feeling like I am about to die. Not only can I do it but I enjoy doing it. I love the feeling of rushing breath and how I can transport myself.
  3. The blouse I bought last September actually fits now.  It seems to be a reoccurring issue of mine. To know how big or small I actually am. You can read about it here.
    I bought a blouse, that did not fit me that well. Today I think it is a pretty nice fit.                               
  4. I bought a ring few years ago, and I have not been able to fit it. It is back on my finger now.
  5. I have gotten some new hobbies. Today I count working out as a hobby. It is imperative that I move on a daily basis, if not it makes me totally grumpy! As I am challenging myself to live differently from the past, time is being used differently than in the past. I value learning things and experience new things.

Moving Forward

I need to find a balance between these two measurements. I need to learn that these measurements are OK too and that everything is not in what the scale says. That it is OK to be standing still for to months. Learning to see it as a learning experience too. I am working on how to deal with maintenance. This is my end goal, so I should be happy I have found it.
The only problem I am not supposed to be there. I am working to lose weight, so if my losing weight strategy is actually a maintenance strategy, well then I am a bit off. 
Anywho. I will try to be happy about these victories and feel proud about them for now and not worry too much right now, about anything else.

I Challenge You 2021!

95 Kilos Before Weight Loss Front Picture

This is me- Lock Stock and Barrel. 95 Kilos and a BMI of 32.

When I do think about it, I do get stress out. I have to remember that I have lost quite a lot already and I am on a amazing path.
I started last year in May, this health-weight-fitness-life journey I am on. It was a great year, as I lost 20 -at least- kilos.
I went from thinking I would die in my sleep to feeling full of energy.
But- That was 2020.

This is 2021!

And I challenge you 2021, who will win- You or Me in this journey of health-wealth-life?


Theses photos were taken January 15th and just like last year, I will take photos every 2 weeks, but these ones are the start of this year. The bar of which I should work away from, hence me showing them.
I want to work towards being accountable on all fronts and I think to put it out there can help.

I have a blog post about what and how I will reach my goals. – read more here
This is just an accountability post to show you all how I look like right now and then we can have a look by the end of the year, how I will look like.
Yes and I do know it is not all about looks but truth to be told I want to look better too. I have the health plan embedded in this, but showing how my blood sugar is decreasing or how my oxygen is increasing, will most probably not be so interesting.

So- Lock Stock and Barrel. Here I am 2021 let’s see what you throw at me. I challenge you!

  • How will you challenge 2021? Let me know!

Weight-loss Approach a La Manka

The constant question we all have! OK maybe not us all but we who want to shed it.

– How the F do we shed these bloody kilos?!

As mentioned before, this is not my first rodeo, I do wish it to be the last one. I know what I have done in the past and decided not to do the same.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”– Rita Mae Brown

So I am doing something new. Something I did not try before. It does not seem too strange of an idea according to me.

So what have I done in the past- so I know what not to do again?

1. Stopped eating all together– It is really effective but you cannot go doing that forever so might not be so clever.
2. On the same line- stopped eating everything “Unhealthy“, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, sweets, meat, bread, fat, you name it. I have stopped it all. This has only gotten me to ravenously craving just these types of food ending in me not being able to stop once I started again. And you always start to eat it again.
3. Super strict just to indulge over the weekend- whatever progress that I might have had was canceled out over the food I had over the weekend. 2 days of stuffing yourself with food and drinks can easily cancel out any good work over the weekend.
4. That one workout would validate overeating – But come on! I worked out, I can eat this second serving of pasta and a dessert on top of this. Add some sugar into my coffee already! Anything else needed to say?
5. One times a week moving would be enough– My sister only goes to gym once a week and she in slim. Why should I need more? Maybe because you are 40 kilos over, and she is not.

What is the Plan for this and final time around? – HOLISTIC

I really believe that if I do not work on all aspects of my life this will never work. I have used food to cover up a lot of insecurities and issues I have. Also for boredom and stress. I need to work on the stuff inside my head. I need to find a way of living that brings everything together, so I do not need to rely on food and sedentary life to survive.

1. Bringing my finances in order– I stress over this constantly. After I got divorced while living in South America I did not live on much. Many days I could not eat as I could not afford to buy food for both me and my daughter. So many Sundays I ransacked all my purses to see if I could find few bolivianos for transport to school and work. Energy for caring for myself when in financial stress is 0.
2. Moving on a regular basis- No, 1 time a week is not enough for a realistic weight loss for me. I do not believe so. Once weight is shed and I need to maintain, OK. Now, not. I need to make sure my expenditure is higher than my intake.
3. Consistency- No matter what, gain or loss or stale just keep doing what I am doing. It is working somewhat. Just do the grinding. I do feel honestly happier and better just doing it, even if at the moment nothing is happening.
4. Transparency to myself– Be honest about what I have eaten. During christmas I know I pretended I had not as much food as I actually had. Or as much sugar as I actually had. I need to be honest. Rules are not bad. Rules are OK. And it is needed to be followed and be honest about them. It is ok to not do it all the time but be honest about it. If I am not, how can I make any tweaks.
5. Finding hobbies- I get bored and I eat. Or I watch movies and series resulting in me not moving. I need to work on all elements to have a balanced life, where I feel I am worthy of success. I have dedicated 30 min a week for learning/trying new things to push myself into doing more things than just sitting on my ass.
6. Working with a trainer- I am going to take in a trainer again. I am not there yet to put myself into hard workouts and know what I need to do to improve with them. I have goals with my body and I do not know how to reach them. I have lived a sedentary life, how am I suppose to know myself what can be good or how to do it. Bring in help where help is needed.

That is my plan so far. I might add or remove- I shall see. I think it looks like I have made a thought out plan and idea of my LIFE, not just my weight. I have considered the aspect of the past and looked into how I can make it manageable now. I cannot continue on this path of 30-40+- fluctuation in weight. My body is hurting and aching.

What is your plan how to take control of your life?

Recent Photo Taken, 20 Kilos Down

Overindulging & Underperforming- What Not to Do On Weight loss

December has passed us now. I am more than happy about it.
The struggle is real! December came and I added on quite some extra work to cover Christmas. I am a freelancer and do not have paid holidays.
( Building a sinking fund for just this reason!)
So with extra work came fewer hours to work out. I know working out cannot cancel a bad diet, but I think my diet is pretty OK. Until. Well until it is not. For me these two things go hand in hand. I work out and I eat well. I do not work out, I eat badly.
I think that these two keep themselves accountable. But truth to be told, I am having a hard time with the 80% diet 20% exercise for weight loss. I grew up with 100% physical activity leads to weight loss, and it is a hard pill to swallow, this new data.

alone bed bedroom blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

December and the Almighty Overindulging Month

December came and with the extra work, I started slipping with my diet. Overeating here, and overeating there.
” One thing sometimes is OK”
Of course- if it sometimes. My only problem has always been and will most probably always be:
The sometimes coming more and more often. This is exactly what happened. Eating a cookie more here, and a mayo potato salad here.
Maybe you want an extra serving of that my lady? – Well of course yes!

Training came less and less often.

Then I escaped to Barcelona for a week. The intention was of course good. I think that we got out 3 times in a 7 days trip. Only thing that I outdid all of that nice moving around with my eating and drinking.
You cannot outdo a bad diet with exercise, but what you for sure can do is outdo a good exercise with shitty eating!
From intermitted fasting to overindulging. Working-out 5-6 times a week till about 2-3. Not drinking alcohol to having it on a daily basis. None of this was really beneficial for me.

Then Came Christmas. Oh My Oh My


Potato salad, mayo, cookies, chocolate, eggnog, then some more cookies and potato salad. Then few more chocolates. NO and I mean NO walks or runs or work out. It was 3 to 4 days of absolutely nothing. Well, we had the fare share of Christmas fairytales. Movies hour after hour.
Me sleeping about every single day for about 10 hours straight and with a daily nap of about 2 hours.
How all my implemented measures and ways totally and utterly just crackled down on me. Not even pretending to do anything.
I do not like this idea, to “be good” and then have “cheat days” and after that repent and ” be back on track”. I just find it inherently wrong to have this idea about food, and exercise and any regimen you may have.
This lockdown was not doing anything easier either. We have to stay in from 9PM to 5AM. Curfew is killing any time in the evening to try to manage something.

I did all that I had set out not to do. Overindulged and underperformed.

I set it out as my goal and it totally fing failed. I am so disappointed. I am not going to pretend other. I let myself totally go and that is what I have set out not to do. I do not want to live this way of up and down and back and forth.
Overfill myself to after that starve myself and then just stuff, stuff, and then stuff myself. This is not healthy and doable. This is not how I do want to live. I do not want to just let every habit and thing I have built up, be crushed down and by no one else than me. I prefer something else. What I am not entirely sure of yet. But I know that if I will find peace with myself, I have to find a new way how to interact with food, activities, and the thoughts I have about them.

neon signage
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Unexpected Changes

So, after 20 Kilos down, I have noticed some changes in my body and soul. Some changes I have expected, as this is not the first time I lose weight.  I am aiming though that this is the last time I fluctuate 30+ kilos!
Some of the things I have noticed has been rather unexpected as I had forgotten how it was not having all that weight on me. As the weight comes creeping up, I did not think about all the things changing until now, when they are reversing again.
So here will come a list of some unexpected changes!

1. Not waking up as one swollen ball. I used to wake up every single day, with this puffy huge face, with eyes small and swollen like nothing else. I just thought of it as something that happens when you get older. Makeup was a necessity!  A Few weeks ago though, I realized that my face no longer looked like this. Eyelids were not hanging over the eyes and forehead and cheeks was not doubled in size.
I am not sure why, but I would expect that the snoring has something to do with it. The fact that I am not suffering from a shortage of air, is probably one reason. Water retention is probably as well. Permanent inflammation, which you have when obese is decreasing as well, and that probably helps out too! 

2. Changing all my facemasks! This is a bit funny one, and it has been quite unexpected. The other day, I was so annoyed on my facemask as it kept falling off my nose, or slipping down on my chin. I realized it was because my face has slimmed down and the mask has not as much meat to rest on 😀 

3. Better personal hygiene. This is quite personal, but I think it is important to look at. When you are really big, there are some leakages in private areas happening. I did not realize it was due to extra pressure on the bladder. I have had really easy for infections and irritations in this area, as it has been really squeezed together and just not airy enough. The other day, I realize that no itching, smelling, or irritation has been happening for a long time. I also learned that blood circulation, helps the area to keep healthy. So has been such a positive change. No need feeling uncomfortable about BO or things like this. 

4. Less need for medication! This is so amazing, I did know that medication for physical issues, could be reduced once losing weight. I am suffering from some mental impairment and taking medication for that. I have really drastically lowered my levels though. I really take the minimum doses right now. This I did not expect at all. Why is it like this? I really do not know.

I will probably find out more, interesting and surprising changes, as I am still not done with this part of my life.

7 Months and 20 Kilos!

I need to figure out how WordPress work, as I have mentioned, this is not my first time having a blog, but it was really long time ago and the layout and how WordPress works are all new.
Ok truth to be told, I probably did not really understand how it worked in the past either. I have not been really interested in learning things, but still expecting to get top results as IF I knew what I was doing.
Of topic! 😀

Today marks the 7th month in my health/weight/life Journey. 7 months of grinding and working to get to my goal.
I do not think people understand how hard it can be at times. I have never had a good regimen with anything. The notion that fat people are lazy and over eat has been true in my case.
You want that second plate, or third… HAVE IT!
You had a cake yesterday, well it is OK, have another one!
You do not want to go for a walk, or move, then do not! Why should you do anything that is against what you want? It is not healthy!

Well, at least for me, this mindset has not been healthy. I gained weight over the years, like no ones business and I have never been as heavy before. This is NOT health. To overindulge and stuff myself with anything that came along.
I vividly remember a birthday party, February this year, and I ate for 2 hours straight. Ate, ate and ate.
Finger food mind me, but 2 hours of finger food is a lot. So from practically not doing anything, I decided that this was enough.
I was scared I would not wake up, the sore and swollen uvula, told me about a sleeping regimen that was not good. My dark eyes around my eye told on me as well.

7 months ago, more or less today, I started this. In my mind, I would have 10 sessions with a PT and that would be it. I am laughing about my own stupidity. Years of mistreat and bad habits, would be overwritten by 10 sessions with a PT? It is a bit gullible.

I tried a girl at first, but she just did not do it for me, she probably saw the size I was in, and thought it would be better not to go hard on me. But not going hard on me, is what I have done forever, so I really needed the opposite. My second one I stayed with, at times I was so angry that he did not understand how heavy I was, as some of the things I just physically could not do, it felt like the joints or muscles would tare. But he kicked me, and that is what I needed.
I got a nutritionist as well, that helped me to get reminded about what food is for. I have since astrayed from this way of eating, only clean and 5 ingredients, and excluding food groups, as I think this is not healthy either. It did help me, to regain some control of myself though.

Slowly but surely, have I lost the kilos. I remember my second weigh in, where I was just so angry and disappointed. I started at 113.9 kilos, with my second trainer I had already lost 2 kilos so heaviest was 116, and on my second weigh in I was 111, such a failure! I thought then, not anymore.
I had expected to lose 10 kilos, and be half done with what I was set up to do, this is 1 month into my life journey. It is interesting how we expect so unrealistic results.
Many times did I not want to continue, mostly as the scale went down so slow. I am so proud of myself though, that I never did! Really few times, have I not done what goal I set myself, which being queen of procrastination and giving up, I am so freaking proud!

Having gone to the gym, pool, running, home workouts, yoga, hiking, I have made more than a dent in the numbers by now. Everyday is a new commitment to the Manka I want to be, and almost everyday have I completed it.
Before I started to write this post, I felt a bit disappointed at me, for not having lost more faster, but as I am writing is I realize how good it is! How amazing I have done!
I have worked on my relationship with food and activities, on my relationship with myself and how I react to things, as I do not want this to happen again. Regaining and then plus some.
I am not done with the work, and I still got a long way to go, but I am on the bloody road at least, and I am walking it. It is pretty amazing!

20 Kilos is not, nothing! It is something!!

I Hope One Day We Will Feel Happy

A friends told me this last week when we met, after a long time not seeing each other. I told him why, what and how I am changing my life. I told him I am pushing and working hard because I need to get somewhere in life.
I needed to start being the parent who sets up a plan for its child and then just work after it. I read that in Jordan Peterson’s book ” 12 Rules of Life”
Be someone you are responsible for helping. I needed to listen to the future me, not just satisfy the present me.
And I just want to put it straight.

Never ever have I felt as happy as I do now. And it hit me, listening to him, that maybe it does not seem so.
I know I force myself to keep moving. I push myself every single day. I do not feel like it every day, for sure not. I do skip things that the present Manka would want, as I know that the future Manka will be happier from it.
Treating myself like this, I have found out the the present me is changing too. That the destructive, immediate wants are not so interesting anymore.

I push myself every day but it makes me happy. I have never felt this good, mentally, ever. I know I write- on my Instagram -check it out- MankasLifeDiet about the struggles I have and that it is hard and that motivation might be missing sometimes.
But I feel happy in the struggle, and pushing myself, and feeling unmotivated and doing it anyway and feeling the feelings of hard. In struggles and hardship and how we overcome it, we grow.

I have quite some plans of what I will do in the future and where I am moving towards. It will be hard and I will do the same. Push myself, I will feel unmotivated, and ,probably, bored as well by it. But I truly believe I will feel as happy, if not happier, as now. – I will let you know if I do not 😉
|One day is already here for me.

Weight Loss Journey- Transform My Life

Here I am again. This is not my first rodeo. Neither with blogging nor weight losing. I do not know how many times I have been on a weight-loss journey, for sure more than one. This shall be the last though. I have also been on and of the blogging journey capturing different parts of life. Never done it together. I need an accountability coach, I cannot afford one so I have to become my own. This blog will be just that.

Transformation of My Weight loss Journey

I am Maria AKA Manka. I desperately need to transform my life. I have started 6 months ago, but I find it really hard to keep it going. It started in May with a normal idea of losing weight and not caring too much more about this journey. During these 6 months, have I the feeling that I am morphing into something new though. This is not the first attempt, but I truly want and need it to be the last. I need to change my life for the better. I need something new.  The strangest thing is that I do not feel I need to force this transformation but the change has happened slowly and organically during the course of the months. The interesting part is that I do not have the notion that this is only about weight but a whole new life that is emerging. It is quite exciting and also bit uncomfortable.

Goals for Weight loss Transformation

There are many things I need to change with myself and my goals are many. I desperately need to lose weight. I also need to change my life in regards to my finances. They stress me out which results in weight gain. I need to drastically change my life as my body is falling apart. My vitals are no good, with high everything you can have high. I have reduced blood pressure quite a lot, and I do give that to my weight loss. Shedding kilos has helped shedding pressure. I need a holistic and mindful weight loss. I need to incorporate all aspects and parts of my life. Not only tackle my amounting number of kilos as a separate part of this transformation. All aspects of life, which stress me, or bores me which results in weight gain need to be addressed. I will win this weight loss transformation! I need to get down to an overweight number, as I am technically obese at the moment with a BMI of 38. Starting weight from the very start was 116 Kilos. First Goal 90 kilos Eng Goal 70-80 Kilos

How Will I Do This Weight loss Plan?

I do not really know. I am no expert in this. I just know I need the change. Take control of my life and win this thing. Join me in the quest for happiness, stability, financial independence and everything else that is needed for a holistic and mindful weight loss, where all parts of the puzzle need to be in order for a sustainable change.