Bullied young woman jumps rope to lose 29 kg

By Thuy An   November 19, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
Le Thi My Tam used to get bullied for being overweight until she slimmed down from 97 kg to 68 kg simply by jumping rope.

The 20-year-old student said she had a terrible time at school getting made fun of for being fat.

She was afraid to go to class and she avoided people as much as she could in order to escape intense body shaming.

"I want to forget that time when I wore XXXXXL-size clothes and ate three big meals and seven snacks a day," she said.

Tam’s weight started rising uncontrollably when she was in middle school due to her addiction to sweet treats and snacks. It had reached 97 kg by the time she turned 18.

Tam used to weigh 97 kg due to her addiction to sweet treats and snacks. Photo courtesy of Tam

Tam used to weigh 97 kg due to her addiction to sweet treats and snacks. Photo courtesy of Tam

The young girl tried various methods to shed excessive weight, from dieting and skipping her meals to exercising and using pills. But no matter how hard she tried, she continued to fail, which pushed her into anxiety and depression. She started losing her hair and performing poorly in her academics.

Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Gastroenterology Department at National Military Hospital 108, said skipping meals is the first thing that 99% of people that want to lose weight think about. However, this harbors severe health risks, according to the doctor.

Cutting food intake provides the body with less nutrients, which slows down the speed of metabolism and fat burning processes, and thus, causes exhaustion. Exploiting this method may lead to binge-eating, anorexia, or other eating disorders afterwards. Side effects of the method include memory loss, infertility, gastric reflux, and a weakened immune system.

Tam eventually researched ways to lose weight healthily on the Internet and came across the benefits of jumping rope. The idea finally gave Tam the confidence to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and a healthy weight loss method, this time.

She started by jumping the ropes 100 to 200 times each session. Then she immediately raised the number to 500, thinking that the more she jumped, the faster her weight would decrease. However, her legs quickly became too weak and shaky to even climb the stairs of her house. So, she decided to only gradually raise the number of jumps so that her body could adapt more easily to the exercise.

"Losing weight is a journey that requires patience and knowledge," Tam then realized.

She then re-started humbly at between 80 and 100 jumps per day and slowly raised the figure by 50 to 100 jumps. She realized her body became more flexible thanks to the exercise.

"Not only the fat in your thighs, but also that in your arms, waist, and the whole body, burns when you keep the habit long enough," Tam said.

Tam now confidently wears any clothing style she likes after losing weight. Photo courtesy of Tam

Tam now confidently wears any clothing style she likes after losing weight. Photo courtesy of Tam

Health experts consider jumping rope a simple yet effective exercise. A 15-minute rope-jumping session normally helps people burn 150 calories on average, equivalent to the amount of calories burnt after an hour of walking.

Tam eventually raised her number of daily jumps to 400 to 500 a day and has maintained the figure ever since. She also added walking and a light workout to her daily routine to enhance her weight loss process.

"I jumped so much that I’m addicted to it now," she said, praising the method for not costing any money, and being simple while also effect.

However, as noted by experts, those who suffer from pains in their knees or other joints should limit their rope jump counts to avoid injuries. Everyone should do the exercise on a training mat to avoid unwanted accidents.

Besides jumping rope, Tam also started lowering her caloric intake to make sure that she burns more calories than she takes in. She then started prioritizing high-fiber foods in her diet, staying away from red meat and pork, focusing on seafood and white meat for protein instead.

At the same time, she avoids fried dishes, and sweet treats like bubble tea or soft drinks. She also limits seasonings while cooking and cuts down on eating out to control what she takes into her body.

"I still maintain my three-meal-a-day diet routine, and sometimes I eat whatever I want," Tam said, explaining that enjoying a "cheat day" here and there keeps her happy and "comfortable" while losing weight.

After one and a half years jumping rope, Tam has lost 29 kg, maintaining a weight of 68 kg. Her mental health has also improved as she now enjoys meeting friends and wearing clothes she likes.

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