Hello everyone, here comes another installment of Our Wedding Notes.
In this post, I wish to talk about Getting Into Shape – this is one of the most important topic for me thus I have separated it into a few parts. A few readers have emailed me regarding weight lost after reading this post, I hope you will find some answers in this series of posts.
In Part 1, I will share with you some tips on my diet, having a fitness plan, setting realistic expectations, joining the gym and finding a personal trainer.
People say, “you are what you eat” and yes, I totally agree. I was never very health conscious to begin with and the lifestyle I have is pretty impossible to eat healthy food every meal. Most of the time, packing food is the quickest and most convenient way to settle hunger.
Some of you may know, around this time last year – I hit 60kg on the weighing scales. If you are wondering what’s the problem? I am only 155cm tall and that is the problem. Based on basic calculation, my BMI is borderline overweight and that was my wake up call.
I knew my weight was going up – I wouldn’t use the word “fat” but rather, plump. I am more clumsy and I get tired easily. I also get out of breath just walking – note, shopping doesn’t count! I grew out of my usual clothes, baggy and loose-fitting clothes became my only options – and I am always in blazers or cardigans because I feel uneasy with sleeveless tops.
This can’t go on huh? I need to start making some changes and I need to start somewhere – I chose to start with my diet.
Controlling my diet was a huge challenge and it still is – because I love food, I love potatoes, bread and rice. I love curry chicken, chicken rice, mee rebus, laksa, prata, fried kway teow. You name it, I am up for all sorts of hawker food, they are the best.
I practiced portion control to begin with – I cut down on the amount of food I eat by about 30% and I started having breakfast regularly.
I “feast” during lunch, usually a proper portion and instead of having a “full-sized” dinner, I have a “kid’s meal” with fruits. Or sometimes, if I am home, I have meal replacement shakes for dinner together with some fruits – usually guavas or apples.
If I am hungry in between, I snack on walnuts, dried cranberries and dates. No supper. No food after 8pm and no unhealthy snacks. It was difficult because if I sleep late, I tend to get hungry after 10pm and that’s considered supper. There were sleepless nights because I was hungry but once I got used to the routine of having earlier dinners and no supper, I am good now.
Personally, I don’t believe in “no-carbohydrate diet” because it’s so difficult to maintain. Don’t get me wrong, they are people I know who have went through a “no-carbohydrate diet” and look fantastic. It’s just me, I love my carbohydrates too much to give up.
I believe in striking a balance and eating in moderation. Too much of anything is not good.
With just portion control, a more balanced and healthy diet, I was able to knock off 7kg by end of last year. I am very happy with the results and I am able to maintain my diet up till today.
HAVING A FITNESS PLAN
What’s next? For me, after loosing some weight, it’s time for some exercise because I feel lighter and more energetic – I need to start toning up.
I am a very structured person, I like to plan my meetings, appointments and everything months in advance. The screenshot above, is my actual schedule in April – sorry, I intentionally blurred out some “classified” appointments. The purple sports shoe icons you see, are days I go for training.
Having a fitness plan helped me as I can block the hours off and focus. Without a plan, I honestly don’t think I will exercise as often.
Build up your fitness plan slowly. Start from having 1 day per week dedicated for exercising and increase to 2 days, then to 3 days – remember not to overwork your body. Start with something simple like walking for 30 minutes or jogging for 20 minutes. Add 10 push-ups along the way and do some crunches.
On days when I have some extra time, I go to the gym at my apartment, just to sweat out. I usually walk on the treadmill (set on gradient of 8 or 9 with the speed of about 5km/h) for about 20 minutes.
Swim if you prefer – I am horrible at swimming.
SETTING REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
I wish for legs like Blake Lively and abs like Gwen Stefani – it’s possible, definitely achievable but the amount of effort a celebrity puts into achieving their body shape is much more than I can – at the moment. It’s good if you have a particular body shape you adore to work towards.
When I embarked onto this whole Getting Into Shape journey, I didn’t have much expectations because I thought I couldn’t even get pass the first month. As time goes by and when I see improvements, I long for more and I push myself further. And I guess that’s the way to go huh?
It’s great to have expectations and it can be – loose x amount of weight in 3 months or able to run 5km in 6 months.
There is nothing wrong setting expectations but be realistic. I remember setting a ridiculous goal when I was in High School and of course, even before I reached the goal, I almost fainted. So that’s not good.
During my teenage years, I get upset flipping through magazines. I see models with superb body in bikinis and on the runway – I wish I have the height and body too but we are all “built” differently, we all have an individual and unique frame. And I have learnt to embrace my very own.
Mak always jokes and say “They may have a beautiful and sexy body but you never know, maybe they have horrible body odour or bad breath?” That makes me laugh all the time.
JOINING THE GYM
Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, joining the gym can be a great “upgrade” so to speak. There are many gyms situated around town area or neighborhood malls. Some are quite convenient to get to. A gym has more facilities and classes that you can choose from.
Of course, they are many specialized yoga studios too – if you prefer bikram or pilates.
I have tried yoga and bikram before but I still feel more comfortable at the gym – for now. I have friends who joined pilates and love it, and I have friends who signed up for dancing classes as a form of gyming.
No matter what you choose, be comfortable with it, don’t commit until you are serious (monthly membership fees add up and you don’t want to waste that money). And don’t join because your friends keep saying it’s good. Find out yourself by exploring, inquire for trial sessions.
I am now at True Fitness with a Personal Trainer.
Initially, I get very self conscious about myself and the surroundings. I often turn around to see if anyone is looking at me or am I doing it right. The “shyness” in me went away after 1 week if I am not wrong. I don’t care about the people around me anymore.
In fact, the people around motivates me and that’s important.
FINDING A PERSONAL TRAINER
Yes, engaging a Personal Trainer can be quite costly because most trainers are tied to a fitness club and in order to engage them, you have to be a member of the club.
But I tell you, this is one of the best things I have done with no regrets. I enjoy every session with my Personal Trainer, Juliana Ngadimin. She is my sister’s friend and a senior trainer at True Fitness Great World City. She fully customized my training program and teach proper techniques.
There is always a variety of workout for me each time I train.
Finding a Personal Trainer can also be a challenge. For me, I prefer a female trainer who motivates and pushes me. Juliana is friendly but at the same time, she “demands” I get it done, there’s no short cut and if I didn’t do a step properly, that doesn’t count – I love it.
An ultimate workout session is the Circuit Training she puts together for me – which usually includes 5-6 varieties of exercises (from arms, abs to legs) and we do it two to three rounds depending on how fast I can finish 1 round – to be honest, I have never done more than 3 rounds.
It’s tough. Seriously. Each time she demonstrates, it looks so easy – in my heart I will be laughing “ah, that’s easy, I can do it”. Not true. The easier she made it look, the more difficult it is.
Due to the lack of motivation in me, having a Personal Trainer helped a lot. I am more focused and I could see the results in just a short period of time. Whenever I think of having a Big Mac, I think of all the sweat and pain during that 1 hour of training.
That’s all for today’s post and I hope I helped in one way or another. This is only the beginning and I am looking forward to more beautiful changes to my body – even after the wedding.
With a healthier diet and regular exercise for the past 3 months, I feel “younger”, healthier and definitely more agile. I am more energetic – Mak noticed all these changes and I think I have inspired him to workout too. He goes to the gym and watches YouTube videos to exercise.
Good luck to all of you who are trying to shed a few pounds. Remember, when it comes to food, it’s always quality over quantity. When it comes to exercising and facing obstacles, it’s mind over body.
Thank you for reading.