Randomly scrolling photos to delete on my phone to clear up some space, I found a photo of me that was taken in January 2016.
At that time, I was a Uni fresh-grad graduated from a two-year postgraduate course. And, I must say this, I may also graduated from pulling all-nighters to cram for study and eating whatever-food-I-can-grab-which-mostly-junk-food days. Not to mention I lived off 7/11’’s $1 coffee. No wonder I looked like that. And by that I mean I looked unhealthy, unfit and out of shape. (The photo was taken at the top of the Shrine of Remembrance and I was completely out of breath climbing the stairs.)
It was also the moment before I decided that I want to change my life. It’s coming from someone who doesn’t like changes. I despise it and always try to avoid it at all cost. But at that moment, I knew I needed to change the way I live my life.
So, two months later I began my fitness journey.
I started with doing cardio 3 days a week at home and walking on rest day. I also discovered yoga and got hooked so I sometimes would do cardio and then yoga on rest day.
They say losing weight is all about dieting – it’s 20% of workout and 80% of what we eat. So, I quit eating fast food that Maccas and KFC tasted weird to my tongue. (It still does until today.) In exchange, I increased consuming fruits and green vegetables. (Boy, I ate salad for lunch almost every day for about 3 months.) I cut out sugar completely, almost all of sudden, and avoided deep fried food. The result, I lost about 10 kilograms in just 4 months and I went from size 16 to size 10.
Then I hit plateau. (Oh, the telltale of everyone who has ever gone on weight-loss diet!) And then life got in the way. I had to take a break from exercising and couldn’t workout for 3 months. During that time, I did still watch what I eat although I had slip ups. And it was not easy for me to get back on track without exercising.
During the slip ups, I was struggling with food. Food and I had a love/hate relationship. I would love it sooo much when I can’t control my cravings and later I would hate it so much that I had to vomit. Well, it’s more that I hated myself for eating the food when my brain tells me not to. I would have this conversation in my head:
“No, you shouldn’t eat that crappy food because you haven’t exercised as much as you are supposed to. And here’s a newsflash for you: You haven’t even done any exercise,” says Brain.
“But you need the food to make you feel good about the crappy things you had to face at work today!” Also says Brain.
Yes, you’re right and right. But I’m gonna eat this crappy and unhealthy food anyway!
“Fine, you can eat it but I’m rejecting the food,” says Brain. It crossed its arms like a bouncer stopping people from going in to the club.
And so I ate.
Half an hour later, I would be sitting on the bathroom floor, head buried in the toilet bowl vomiting all the food I ate like a hangover schoolie.
It was all because I was scared that I’d gain the weight I had lost and get back to my old size, all the while having an uncontrolled craving. Yes, I was scared of the word ‘Fat’. I was scared to be fat again because I grew up having people told me that I’m fat. Some people were nice enough by simply telling me I should go on a diet, or recommended me some weight-loss pill.
Luckily, I was able to stop myself from doing it. Soon I made myself joined a gym and got back to exercise routines.
Fast forward to today, I now have a better perspective of diet. Instead of calling it diet, I call it healthy lifestyle that I consciously choose to live in. I have also a different perspective of body image; It’s not all about numbers but it’s about having a healthy body and mind.
Yes, I do still set up certain goals when it comes to my fitness level and muscle mass. It’s simply because setting goals – a realistic one I must add – is important to keep me motivated. More importantly, I make peace with food. I would still treat myself with my favorite food every now and then, all the while keep consciously making healthy choice of food.
After all that, my ultimate goal right now is to show up. That, dear ones, is the most important thing my fitness journey has taught me.