Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Portion control - use the hand!

Got this simple diagram for measuring your food portions so u don't over eat (well,..that's the theory..hehe)

Source : https://www.facebook.com/310Nutrition

Calorie counting is only a part of the fat loss equation. There r now studies showing that it's not so much the quantity of the calories but the QUALITY of the calories.  In simple terms, eating a 500-calorie dessert will not give you the same benefit at 500 calories of protein.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Week 1 - Food Journal

Since i had a week off from work, it was a suitable time to cook me own food (1-2 meals) and enjoy myself eating out in the evening.  I had started back on my EAT CLEAN, WORKOUT fitness plan. Feeling confident & inspired. Workout sessions, courtesy of Infiniti Fitness & Beyond. Food planning, my own.

Day 1 - FRI 4 Oct 2013
3.00pm  Body Composition Analysis & PT with Clint
5.30pm  Dinner - Chicken ham, mozarella cheese on wholemeal bread with capsicum, tomato & lettuce

Day 2 - SAT 5 Oct 2013
Breakfast :  Lots of plain water
Lunch :  Spaghetti Ulam - raw veg, steamed chicken breast, spaghetti
Afternoon :  Grocery shopping for clean food
Dinner :  Ichiban Boshi Restaurant
              - Yasai Salad with olive oil, shoyu & lemon dressing on the side
              - Salmon belly grilled
              - Iced green tea

At first it was hard to control the urge to eat more stuff but i was determined to stay on the programme.

Day 3 - SUN 6 Oct 2013
Breakfast :  A slice of toasted carrot bread with 1/2 tsp of Lurpak salted butter & lots of plain water
Then dropped by the gym for cardio on elliptical (cross-trainer)

Lunch : Sup Ikan with blanched asparagus & soft tofu

Dinner : 4 plates of sushi, chawan mushi  & iced  green tea
Day 4 - MON 7 Oct 2013
Breakfast :  A slice of toasted carrot bread with 1/2 tsp of jam & green tea
Then dropped by the gym for cardio on elliptical (cross-trainer)
Lunch :  Salted egg, soba, carrot & asparagus, soft tofu

Dinner :  Mixed boiled slices of pork, tongue, intestines, heart
              Then one piece of tosai with fish curry gravy & warm water

Day 5 - TUE 8 Oct 2013
Rest. Woke up late
Lunch : Steamed chicken breasts, asparagus, slice of toasted carrot wholemeal with a tiny drop of salted butter. Salt & pepper seasoning only.

Dinner :  1/2 portion of plain Naan and Tandoori chicken (breast meat)
              Fresh orange juice (no sugar added), with ice

Day 6 - WED 9 Oct 2013
Breakfast :  A slice of toasted carrot bread with 1/2 tsp of butter & green tea

Then dropped by the gym for cardio on elliptical (cross-trainer). I took a peek at my weight on the scales and was delighted that it had gone down by 2 kilos!

Lunch : leftover naan & tandoori chicken, blanched broccoli & salsa

Dinner : Mixed boiled slices of pork, tongue, intestines (Loh Mei), and later MBG's #10 juice- ginger, carrot & apple

Day 7 - THU 10 Oct 2013
Breakfast : Leftover blanched broccoli & salsa, butterhead lettuce, wholegrain mustard,
                 and a little soft cheese on 1 slice of toasted carrot wholemeal bread

Lunch :  Frittata made with 2 eggs, wheat flour and left over broccoli with sauteed onions in peanut oil. Served with a little chicken rice chilli and butterhead salad with raisins.  Could only finish have of it. Guess i was getting tired of broccoli! 
Dinner :  Saw a new restaurant and mistook it for fine dining, but it was a fast food shop from Macau. The only thing on the menu as Deep Fried Pork on bun, on noodle or on rice. So decided, oh well..too hungry to go elsewhere and ordered a pork on bun. Needless to say, it was delicious but felt too full after that.

TOMORROW is the next PT session (Week 2) with a different trainer (Courtesy of Infiniti Gym). Feeling confident!  After all my scale said less 2 kg. YAY!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss

I purposely 'wrongly' named my blog with the term "weight loss" as it is still widely held that weight loss is the goal and i want to engage these people and let them know the real goal.

I truly believe in this :

Source : https://www.facebook.com/curves.kota.kemuning?hc_location=stream

Friday, April 5, 2013

Even if u missed a session..

My favourite Zumba cartoon that shows how crazy it can get!
It's common to be fully into something for awhile and other things happen to derailed your best intentions.. like what is happening to me now. I missed this week's cardio (Zumba fitness) session and last Sat's yoga.

Oh oh...sliding back. Was even going to miss this Thu's yoga cos the mind can't concentrate, cant let go...even for a moment this important "thing" i was planning & coordinating for the past two weeks. I didnt even bring my yoga wear to work.

Then i checked my sessions paid card and it was expiring very soon. Only two chances left for me to do, or else it'll 'burn'. So,..went to the nearby shop & managed to get a pair of tights and made my way to the center. We had quite a challenging time with lots of downward facing dogs, child poses and some dynamic one-legged dog alternating with another pose. From ropes to floor, to warrior 3, then 2 then 1.

Then downward dog again to counter the other poses...and i noticed something . Hey! ..my heels are much nearer to the floor than before. I consider this quite an achievement becos from the first day i learned downward facing dog (>6 yrs ago), I have never been able to place my heel on the floor like most people.

... My point. Even if u missed a session or two, it doesnt mean all's lost. Be aware that your body can change, albeit slowly, but for the better.. Hang in there,...and press on!!

P.S. I promised myself that yes, i missed Zumba, this week but i will make up up next week. And if next week also clashes with work, then i'll go the next or find an alternative cardio workout in other days.

Also, it may be tough now,...rushing for deadlines, decisions..but there is an END and there WILL be time for my 'self'.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Time flies

I missed one day, then it lead to another day and all of the sudden, I'm behind on my blogging, 8 days :(

Strangely, i did do my blogging.. in the head! Ideas for posts just come naturally when i walk, i observe events and i experience them, but once i get hold of a keyboard, it just escapes me or i'm too tired to reach for the notebook. There's a good reason for all these mental fatigue - a major project cropped up and needed my urgent attention. So all emails, blogs, Facebook posts all concentrated on this. Even my basic smartphone was taxed to the limit when i surf for info, answer queries, send pictures, check FB responses and reply SMSes.

But persevere, i must. Having missed a few yoga classes becos of meetings, i was pleasantly surprised that a pose which i couldn't do 3 weeks ago, i could do today! So that gave me some good motivation.

Then after some more downward facing dogs, she asked us to go to the wall.
Half-handstand pose
And after some careful instructions,
BELIEVE IT OR NOT i could do this  -->

I wasn't sure i could do this but she guided me and assisted me to get into position. This gave me the confidence to try one more time on my own.

Note : got this photo of Half-handstand pose from http://leeanncareyyoga.com/yoga/2011/06/yogis-way-featured-pose-handstand/

I also found this vid from Rodney Yee at http://life.gaiam.com/video/most-therapeutic-yoga-pose
Its a simple, yet therapeutic for lower back pain & relieving stress of standing on your legs the whole day.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Be at ease (1)

I was not at ease today. Not over yesterday's disappointment yet. But i toughened my resolve and made it to my yoga class conducted by the master himself, Manoj.  I almost missed it becos of the jam, arriving just 2 min before class and it was packed. Mats were edge to edge. We got our props - blanket (for padding the knees, supporting the head,..), 2 wooden blocks and a heavy bolster. Sometimes we even needed the folding chair and strap.

After the asanas, we finally could lay down and Manoj guided us in our brief 'meditation'.. more like contemplation. He said to let go of our many representations (is that the right word? i forget).

We take on many roles in our 'outer' life. Many demands, many expectations & responsibilities. Most of our other representations are relational - we are someone's daughter, wife, mother, employee,..  But for that brief moment, he told us to let go, to step away and look within ourselves, to see what really defines us as a person.  I felt a sudden sense of release. Away from all representations, I could see myself, for myself. I am ok. I am fine. I am strong.

"One leg kick all" - multi-tasking !
Then all too soon we had to get back into our various representations, various hats but feeling much at ease!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Binge, binge, binge

a slight set back. had  some disappointing news and so..started to binge. ordered a ckt with extra cockles. digged in but half way thru managed to restrain myself n stopped eating. i am not gonna beat myself up for this temporary lost of restraint. old habits r hard to break.  one good thing though.. to work off this feeling of disppointment i took a long walk.

Strike a BALANCE

I have been concentrating on only personal training in the last 6 years. Although it has taught me much about fitness and strength training, i seem to lack something... something that i have been wanting, but not getting!

I love lifting weights, working out .. BUT it tires me out and takes time (go there, change, do it, change, bathe and leave) and so when i have important projects to do at work,  i have to conserve my energy and time and so I neglect my workouts :(  to dire consequences!!

Working out brings out the 'happy' hormones. You feel in control, strong and able to face the world!

But stop for just a while, the nagging insecurities creep back.. Are u sure u can still carry the weights? Wont it be painful & tiring? Will u injure yourself, being much older now? You have time or not - aiyah, just go shopping and eat your favourite foods - tht'll make u happy with less pain.. YEAH, those sabotaging thots.

A vicious cycle which i didnt know how to get off !

I looked and i researched, i ranted to frens, discussed, observed and i experimented. Then the solar-powered light bulb in my head suddenly activated!

I need to calm my mind (for want of a better word). I need to get back to doing things that make me happy as opposed to doing things for people that although it makes me happy but exhausted. I needed to strike a balance!

Strike a BALANCE between :  
mind <-> work <-> eat <-> exercise <-> sleep <-> drink water <-> family & friends 

Such a simple formula, a challenge to juggle them all.

  • Learn to say 'NO', be selective in a diplomatic way to avoid tension. Make them understand that u have limits
  • Learn to 'TRAIN & DELEGATE', get others to help u and be a team player
  • SPEAK UP for what matters to you, do not keep it in your mind and have it eat into your daily thots & energy
  • Plan your activities around your YOGA & FITNESS classes. 
  • Have adequate REST in between exercise classes. Muscles need to recover to become stronger & make u healthier
  • SLEEP at midnite, the latest. I believe that any sleep lost after midnite, cannot be replaced even if u sleep till noon!
  • Resolve any HEALTH issues :  Bloated tummy due to constipation/wind? =>take enzymes regularly for digestion, exercise & chew your food;  Mood swings? => check for hormone imbalance / PMS / thyroid imbalance / exercise / be more sociable
  • Stay FOCUSED on what u are doing. Multi-tasking has a limit, no Facebooking & texting with friends while preparing a report at work. 
  • Learn to ENJOY home -cooked / self-prepared food. Wean yourself off foods with lots of sauce (which is usually a sugar carrier), cheesy, salty and canned/packaged. Simply put - eat an apple, not gulp down apple juice! Clear  your fridge / pantry - throw away chilli/tomato/oyster sauce/3 in 1 whatever/canned soups/fruit drinks, etc. Replace margerine (man-made) with good quality, expensive butter (u'd think twice before slapping tons of butter on your bread). Same goes for oil. Do a bit of research before u buy all the 'fancy' expensive oils, though. Some r not for high heat (ie deep frying - actually no oil is good for deep frying as high heat changes the composition of oil & increases cholesterol content in the oil). Cheap oils are definitely out. 
  • Fun & laughter - celebrating Moon cake Festival!
  • LAUGH ! DANCE ! SING ! Be Merry
Reminders to myself
-- Hope it helps u too!

Why yoga?

“Life turns out best for those who make the best of how things turn out.”  —Proverb

“Stumbling blocks or stepping stones, obstacles are what you choose to make of them.”  — W. Clement Stone; 1902–2002

Read these quotes from Nathan Collier's blog 

Its's been more than a month since i started my yoga practice on a regular basis through a school that focus on not only 'stretching the body' but on 'Stretching the mind'

Why yoga?
Mention 'yoga' and people tend to think of the 'pretzel' asanas (exercise poses) they do at yoga classes in the local gyms. Me too! So after awhile, i got bored of doing the sun salutation sequence of poses, tree pose, child pose, bridge without really understanding the concept of yoga.

Through health-orientated friends on Facebook, i found a center that concentrates on all the 8 Limbs of Yoga - something i also found on Mind Body Green website.

So doing the poses is only one out of 8. In each class, we are taught while we do the Asanas, the importance & practice of Pranayama (breath), Niyamas (observances), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). We focus on being in the 'now'. With it, i also experienced some changes in behaviour - more restraint in my dealing with life's challenges. Still a long way to go, but this is a start. I have yet to be able to do Dharana (intense focus) as mind wonders, even when the yoga teachers (who this very well) frequently calls us to stay in the present and concentrate on what our body's feeling now (during Asana practices)

Ahimsa is a principle of non-harming : not only no killling or eating meat, but inclusive of subtle behaviours like not ordering people around, rudeness, venting of anger at someone (usually the one u close to u), jealousy & envy...

Something we all struggle to do. But realising that the practice of yoga is not only that one hour (literally) on the mat but it goes OFF THE MAT too - meaning to practice the 8 limbs (as far as possible) in daily life and interactions between yourself and the environment, people, problems and also interaction between u and yourself -- ie, how u feel about yourself. Being overweight, we tend to scold ourselves if we happen to cave in and go for that cheezy pizza.

Think of ahimsa -- be kind to yourself. Dont berate yourself for losing control. Dont kick yourself for not exercising. Dont think - I'm fat, so i cant be happy. I have to restraint myself ALL the time. I dont deserve the compliment that i look good in red - i have a big tummy, my thighs thunder when i walk... ALL this NEGATIVE self talk.  To the point that u cant accept a compliment. Everyday u look in the mirror, your eyes trace to that bulging mid-driff u nicknamed 'muffin' waist. You dont see how beautiful your eyes are, how strong your legs look,.... NAG, NAG, NAG..

You think that by berating / under-rating yourself, it will MOTIVATE YOU to improve?? Think again.

Will a student progress if his teacher/parent forever calls him stupid and lazy??  Maybe one or two strong minded ones will but the rest will just resign to their fate laid out by the teacher/parent.

My yoga practice has taught me to value myself. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to have a healthy life. I am loved,..at no matter what size. POSITIVE vibes attract more positive vibes. It's the Law of Attraction and the wonder of YOGA!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hanging on to comfort foods

Each person deals with weight issues is different ways depending on their environment, their body composition, their learned responses to unhappiness & stress, learned from observing & emulating parents & other adults. When we r young, we r sponges. We pick up on unspoken clues, we are attuned to what adults do & what the TV shows us.

Are u those that cant eat a bite when u r overworked, stressed, running around or sad?

OR are u the one that seek comfort food after a long day at work?

Judging by the number of people who hang out at mamak stalls right up to Chatime (Taiwanese bubble tea) and numerous Starbucks / Old Town White Coffee / PapaRich F&B outlets , i think most are the later, although many will not admit that they are 'comfort food junkies'. Dont believe me?  How many times have u or your frens said, i neeeed a teh tarik / latte / cheesecake / Baskin Robbins to relax...? We dig into a large bowl of BKT (fat-ridden herbal pork ribs soup) or a plate of spicy CKT with extra 'see ham' (cockles) in addition to nasi lemak (coconut infused rice) ayam goreng (fried chicken)  to celebrate the end of a tough work day or a long week. How about those that have one hand in the Mister Potato can while doing your Income Tax return?

Everything in moderation is a sound principle but once u get hooked on comfort food to relieve any form of emotional discomfort, its a hard habit to break. Speaking from experience :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sleeping early can help u lose weight?

1. When u have a hard day at work / family / workout, all your muscles need to repair, recuperate, rest. So the best thing is to sleep and let the body heal itself.

But in modern day lifestyle, sleep is thot to be a waste. So instead of sleeping & resting, one goes clubbing, eating or watch TV till early morning... to 'relax'. But this deprives your body, so you end up compensating the next day with a kaw, kaw (thick) sugary coffee or teh-tarik (sweetened tea) for breakfast/brunch/lunch...

2. This is a no-brainer.. The earlier * u sleep in the evening, there is less chance of u snacking / eating late nite supper. It has been suggested by various quarters that we stop eating at 7pm. So if you are up until midnite or past midnite then, chances are u will be hungry and start eating!

So commonsense should prevail in our quest for losing weight (fat). No need any special supplements / gimmicks..

* When i was working for a large company that started work at 8am, i went to sleep at 10pm each nite.  I didnt workout, i was terribly stressed, yet i lost weight!

That's my opinion and also based on my experiences.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doing things differently

Hi again after a long hiatus. During last year,  life has been on the up swing with various exciting events. However to get time n energy to do it, I had to forgo my fitness training n break my diet. Too much time spent in the coffee house rushing work for various NGOs..

Eventhough it was mostly fun things but at the end of the day (end of the year, to be precise).. I was on the verge of burning out. I took stock of things n decided that i needed to make changes..to do things differently...
Source : Facebook. 

And so i begin this year's post with a different format. Short posts.. Detailing my struggle to get back in shape. I also realised that i missed blogging..which was my lifeline to keep my focus and remain consistent in my goal. Glad to be back!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Consistency is the key, boring as it sounds..

Finally, the scale has shifted in the right direction! But not much..but still it IS progress.

It took a consistent personal training program (circuit training aimed at weight loss) almost everyday. It was a slow progress as my caloric intake was still high. To top it all, my ankles still hurt. So 'heavy' cardiovascular training like running on a treadmill for long periods ( the traditional way to lose weight) was out.  But my trainer was crafty! He designed a circuit of routines that still made my heart beat as if i was running a 10K. This included doing burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, kick-boxing and 3 min runs on the treadmill.  I began to see a change, first physically..then the scales confirmed it.

But i had neglected other aspects of my health - terrible lack of sleep, trying to juggle life events - and so eventually i fell ill. My body had rebelled and so i must seek a balance. After recovering, of course the weight went up again slightly.  Then i discovered that if i did cardio 3 days, back to back 30mins using Precor EFX 546i elliptical (cross training) machine, i could get back on track.  But having learned my lesson, i rested 1 day in between, before resuming my 3-day cross training (ie cardio) workout. 

So far so good. Energy level is high but am still working on the portion control and careful eating part :(

But i REALISED THAT CONSISTENCY BUILDS RESULTS. The problem with me and many others is that once there's result, we tend to lose focus and revert back to our old ways.  But i am putting every effort to be consistent. Try it. It seems so simple. But in practice, it requires commitment and discipline.  Erratic behaviour produces erratic results, although it appears more fun and less boring.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nutrition - more important than exercise ?

For the past 4 months, I have been to the gym, have a personal trainer train me 3 times a week, yet i am still way off target & even increasing in body fat. At times, i was even a 'gym rat' scurring around doing lots of exercises & machines including rowing, cross trainer, free weights, group classes, kickboxing. It all went well for a time, then ...

Things got crazy. I got involved in a personal project for a fren (his wedding preparations) which required lots of work & emotional and physical stress. My eating patterns just went off in all directions and was back to emotional eating & bingeing. Started skipping workout cos there was alot of legwork & running around for appointments and buying & carrying trips (all this without a car). You could say i was still physically active but the eating part, in my analysis, was the most disruptive part of the equation!

Talk about POOR NUTRITION! Stuffing myself in between meals & appointments, opting for sugar, fat & additive-laden zero calories food over fresh fruits becos i needed the KICK that these processed foods gave.

And the most frustrating was to try and decide WHAT IS ACTUALLY a healthier food to order ?.. the lesser of 2 evils - eg. fried chicken or chicken masala with that shiny layer of oil? Fish cooked in sweet-sour tomato sauce or dark soya (caramalised sugar) sauce? Stir-fried green veggie drenched in oil or blanched veggie with ginger-garlic infused oil and deep fried onion bits. That's the Malaysian-style food choices if you eat out. Even the soup has a layer of oil as it's stock is made from chicken/meat carcass with skin attached and rock sugar. And i suspect there's MSG added to give more flavor to the soup.

This morning i received an email from a Mike Geary (online fitness guru which i linked to and have been receiving emails everyday!) highlighting some of the wrong NUTRITION ADVICE given out during the Biggest Loser show. May help to correct some wrong views on WHAT'S HEALTHY TO EAT & WHAT'S NOT.

But as usual, that all 'advice' or 'opinions' read in any of my blogs or other websites with a pinch of salt and further research/reading is required to satisfy yourself that it is credible. Often we dont take the trouble & time to check and believe things lock, stock & barrel. And there's no clear line between truth & exaggeration. Some are more skewed to one -side (especially when they want to sell u something or one feels strongly about it) and greater emphasis is given, intentionally or sub-consciously. We r all guilty of this, sometime or rather.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Designing my Fitness Brief

Stage one
What do i want to achieve in pursuing a fitness plan?
How much of my present lifestyle am i willing to change?
When do it expect to see any significant change?
Who can help me achieve this?

Stage two
Am i willing to stick to the plan?
Do i really want this?
Do i believe this can happen?

What would be Stage three?

Monday, July 19, 2010



  • STAY POSITIVE! No matter what. Ranting is allowed but to one person only each time. No point repeating a dissatisfaction. It'll only blow it out of proportion. COMPASSION & UNDERSTANDING towards why a person acts, says, does something to annoy/hurt you. You'll realise that its not YOU but THEM who has a problem.
  • BE ORGANISED! so that i will not feel overwhelmed by all that still needs to be done-affairs to settle.
  • STAY FOCUSED, let not irritating people, events distract from my PLEDGE
  • LISTEN TO MUSIC on my new MP3 player! Up-beat songs lift the spirits & calms the soul
  • PREPARE MY OWN FOOD AT LEAST 4 DAYS A WEEK (at least 2 meals per day)

Much has happened & changed which is why there is more than a 6-month lapse in my posts. Many realisations & a family crisis has changed me not only physically but my perspective on life. It has been a struggle to get back to a healthy lifestyle, especially in regards to food.

Having seen illness & death, one feels helpless to resist TEMPTATIONS! Why restrict myself & stick to a healthy, bland diet? Why not just enjoy all pleasures b4 it's too late..?

Does it matter that we go now or live to be 100? While searching for answers, we need comfort. I am blessed with friends & relatives who came to my 'rescue' when the situation warrants. But the comfort of DELICIOUS FOOD and enjoying it in RESTAURANTS with GOOD AMBIENCE is balm to a weary me. So i have been seeking solace in food, like a drunk patronises bars....

But enough SELF-PITY! The past is past, we only have now... hence a renewed DETERMINATION..


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Much has been said, in more ways than one! All good intentions will wither out if not followed by 'SELF-CONTROL'. Although my progress is slow, I tell myself to keep at it and to stay within the guidelines I have set for myself - No easy task, with the year ending & many loose-ends to tie-up, bridges to burn, re-vamping my life and still trying to have fun!

Nathan S. Collier, a successful entrepreneur and very regular blogger on personal leadership, has this to say about :

Self control is simply the ability to control yourself. The ability to exercise restraint, to direct your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions in your “hot” states to achieve the results you have decided you want in your “cold,” logical states of mind, to do the things necessary to achieve your long-term goals (or refrain from antithetical behavior), to delay gratification in the search for obtaining greater satisfaction at a later date.

He draws on ideas & quotes from various books that he has read -

“The self controlled person maintains progress toward a goal even when he is not in the mood, doesn’t feel like making the effort, would momentarily enjoy something else or finds working toward his goal downright unpleasant.”William Backus, “The Finding the Freedom of Self Control”

Friday, October 9, 2009

#3 Resolve (or at least ignore for 3 mths) personal issues/worries/stress

Emotional upset --- I am too easily affected by events & emotions. I need to work out a way to not let it get to me. To chill!

Gandhi said "Nobody can hurt me without my permission." and let that be my mantra. You can't change people & their mean/idiotic/self-centered ways, only our reaction to their actions. People can smell a victim a mile away. Even the mildest, well-mannered man is tempted to control/manipulate you if they think that they can get away with it. It's the law of the jungle and hard-wired into our psychic as a defense mechanism (from what I observed). The only way is to speak out (wherever possible) and defend ourself (and regain their respect) or stay away/shut out/ignore those who are impossible to deal with.

A good friend who listens but do not judge or impose their 'advice' on you is worth his weight in gold! If all fails, write it out, shout it out from the highest mountain, sing your heart out to relive stress build-up or blog it (exercise caution though as what you say could come back to haunt u in later years). Blogging can be therapeutic as it forces you to put your grievances on screen and in doing so you may realise what is it that is actually behind the grievance or you may suddenly see it as petty & so shrug it off!

#2 Make a plan & commit to it

No point crying over spilled milk, then. So I took stock of the reasons why I let myself slip & the answers surprised even me!

  • emotional upset - I let events & people get to me. Should have been more careful

  • lack of support from my nearest & dearest who preferred me big

  • gave up - constant struggling to eat 'healthy' foods was strenuous, even more if you are an aspiring vegetarian like me! Most cooked (ie. stir fried & deep fried, even curried) vege dishes are sinfully fattening

  • giving in to desires - at one point I was a 'serial' eater. I ate one dish after another especially supper time as I used food to unwind & relax. Others sip wine or drink beer after a long day, I binge on all kinds of hawker food.

  • vicious cycle - you eat & then you feel guilty. So, next day you vow to eat less. That stresses u out. Then u eat some more to calm your nerves. And then you feel guilty again and the cycle repeats!

  • boredom - wanted to experiment with the theories I learned about weight loss, hoping to get the attention again. I was successful in the inital weight loss & got much accolade from that. It boosted my self-esteem. After the euphoria died down, you are back to a nobody, just somebody who works out. There was no goal, no objective & without a proper life plan, I just slipped back to my old habits.

Analysis & Conclusion

Each of us handle our daily living & the challenges life throws us differently. I need to strengthen my resolve do whatever it takes to stay within my healthy weight. Easier said than done, but to do it, I must!

Behaviour modification leading to permanent lifestyle change, comes to mind.

Supper time habit --- I've tried NOT to have late night supper binges but to no avail. So, since I can't modify that behaviour, I need to find away to reduce my caloric intake during my 'supper' chill out time. Instead of roti canai, I'll have tosai or even better chappati (which is a smaller portion & it's made from wholemeal flour). Plain water, instead of teh tarik. I recently created a new drink - soya bean drink with plain cincau (grass jelly) and canned large red beans (from the ice kacang section) and ice. Lots of protein there for those days I do strength training!

The Plan is simple :

  • Develop a habit of exercising with correct intensity & keep a record of my progress. So for this I decided on another round of personal training from a qualified trainer to achieve my goal faster. If I were to do it on my own, I'd constantly worry whether I'm doing enough or too much. And currently I'm using the Power Plate machine (using vibration therapy) which is monitored by my trainer. Seems to work by strengthening my weakened knees (due to osteoarthritis). Sometimes, you just got to pay for professional service.

  • Maintain a sustainable diet of healthier local foods. Can't be surviving on salads alone - what would life be? Moderation & portion control is the key. I'm constantly finding ways to modify or fortify some of the local foods by adding more nutritious, less processed food stuff. If you are a meat-eater, have a roast chicken or grilled meat instead processed foods like sausage/bacon/nuggets/burgers. Ask for raw leafy salad (with no dressing/sauce) to accompany it. I had rava tosai this evening mixed with raw salad leaves like the purple radiocchio & lettuce and dhall curry heated in the microwave. I bought it earlier from an Indian vegetarian shop so that I can have it in the office where I can add the salad to add bulk & more nutrition. Some shops frown on you if you bring your own veg! Another time, I brought baby choy sam (sawi) and asked the noodle soup auntie to blanch it and add to my noodles. Again, you can do this if your are a regular & if the auntie is understanding.

  • Get engrossed with activities that don't centre around food! But beware - learn to say NO if you have too much on your plate. Volunteers are hard to get, so one ends up doing much of the work yourself. Know your limit & set boundaries!! Do not burn-out.

  • Enjoy, lighten up! Listen to more up-tempo music & smell the flowers -- roses/jasmine/bunga cenpaka/ serunding malam/ etc... LET YOURSELF BE HAPPY. Regard working out as a fun activity for you, where you can challenge yourself & be happy when you achieve a small goal like increasing the dumbbell weight that you previously can carry. Small successes build up into a strong self-esteem. "Rome was not built in a day" as the saying goes!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

#1 Assess the damage

Let's admit it. We overeat. Then we check our body. No visible 'damage' done. People still say you look good. Then you eat again, maybe even more. During the day & evening, my tummy grows larger (whether I eat a lot or not) but in the morning, it seems to constrict (to my delight!). However, what I did not realise (or was in denial of) was that one day you'll 'wake up' & find that the waistline has expanded permanently (no matter if it's morning, day or night!) All those overeating have gradually creeped up - Yikes!

For me, weight gain is mainly centered around the waistline. That's why its not so visible when people look only at my face or see me when I'm standing. But take a seat and you will see the bulges like a 'Michelin' tyre man, I kid not!

I checked my weight on my trustee home scale recently & it has climbed to 55kg (120lbs) - 5 kg more than my average weight. At one time, I was even down to 48kg & loving it. So I know its possible for me to be that slim. Waistline was circa 29-30in. Now its 34in - ouch!! One machine had my body fat ratio as 30, another at 28... all bad news.

Three years before - before my foray into fitness & gym workouts, I was 63kg. Three months into the program, I lost 13kg to my utter surprise! I had not planned it, I had not expected it & did not even dared to dream it. I just got down & did the 'work' and enjoyed every (tiring/painful/exhilarating) bit of it.

I did not go on any specific diet, just ate less white rice, more wholemeal bread & stayed away from oily, sugary foods and ate lots of fruits & plain water. My rice portions gradually grew lesser until at one point I was eating nasi campur (mixed rice) with no nasi (rice). I could happily survive on a salad of lettuce, raisins, carrots and hard-boiled egg with salad dressing taken from the Chicken rice man ie. the "chilli/garlic/ginger/calamansi" sauce to add a kick & Malaysian flavour.

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