How Selfies Helped Me Lose 60 lbs


I know. Another “selfie” post! Not so much as of a good first ever article in World Urbanista, right?

“Selfies” have been getting a bad rap lately. I know of no less than a dozen friends who scoff at the idea of a self-portrait photograph. Even I, myself, see it as the modern man’s way of answering the call of his innate narcissism. But let me spare you how sordid my clashing thoughts are about it. Allow me though to introduce myself:

I am Precious Prieto, otherwise known as @whenyouloseyouwin on Instagram. I am a 5’2 1/2 Filipina from California who’s also a self-confessed bagaholic and foodie. French-Filipino celebrity food blogger and restaurateur Erwan Heussaff recently featured my weight loss story on his website, The Fat Kid Inside.

And, oh! I take selfies.

Lots of it.

At a time when individuals are afforded the comfort of camera phones, I found myself taking my self-indulgence to somewhere productive.

Back in the middle of 2012, I was in a really bad shape. I had a miscarriage and photos of me with friends and family members were not really doing anything to help my psychologically. There were no more angles that I could use to “tame” the chubbiness of my cheeks.

In August of 2012, two months after I miscarried, a friend inspired me start a fitness account on Instagram. Fitness accounts on Instagram had quite a bad start over photo hashtags like #thinspo, #skinny, #thinspiration and #thighgap. Health experts didn’t really see these as good means of promoting fitness and weight loss. These were also feared to be inspiring an unhealthy mindset especially for the youth.

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To show or to not show my face? That is the question.

But still there were Instagram accounts that try to stick to the healthy way. And there were individuals looking for support, inspiration, motivation and encouragement to jumpstart their weight loss the healthy way. I was one of those individuals.

At first, I was very much concerned about my security and safety that all of my “honest” posts only showed  myself from the neck down. Secretly though, it was more than just about privacy for me. I was ashamed of how I looked like that I didn’t want to associate “that body” with “that face”.

Eventually, as I progressed towards my goal, my photos became bolder. One day I showed a quarter of my face with just part of the nose and part of my mouth showing. The next, I showed one of my eyes. The single eye debut became a full face debut, but with sunglasses. The full face debut became a full body shot but with a towel covering my face except for one eye. And within the same week? A facial selfie sans cover just when I was about to fall asleep (who hasn’t done this while in bed?). :)

Definitely not hiding anymore!

The following week had me showing a full body shot with no cover on my face. The post after that showed my first before and after progress collage. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Suffice to say, selfies have helped me go from an obese 180 lbs to a fit and healthy 120 lbs in a span of eight months. My progress photos became my personal yardstick and my own Jillian Michaels trainer that whenever I felt like skipping a workout, one look at how far I had come and I was out of the confines of my warm house to brave the Bay Area fog just to go to the gym.

Fast-forward to this very day and I’m typing this article. The girl who finally took notice that angles in photos no longer helped conceal the body she was trying to hide, the girl who finally woke up when she miscarried after what would have been her first pregnancy, the girl who had to have possibly obesity-related uterine polyps surgically removed (one of the reasons why she was battling infertility), the girl who proudly took selfies of her shrinking waist but was, at the same time, not hiding the fact that she was on a mission to conceive again  –  that girl? She’s now pregnant. And she still takes selfies. :)


While I’ve started to grow bigger than my 120-lb frame because of Baby #1, do you want to know how I jumpstarted my weight loss journey (it’s not just about the selfies!) and how I stayed true to it? Tune in to World Urbanista to know about the nitty-gritty of my journey, including my simple weight loss tips!

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