Monday, November 24, 2008

My Fitness Journey...and Pitfalls!

It all started in 2003, shortly after Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines showed in cinemas. I was sitting on my bed and reading the Galaxie magazine of the month. It had an article featuring how the actors got in shape to tackle their roles in the movie, particularly Arnie and Kristanna Loken. It talked about their interview and revealed some details on their training and diets to prepare themselves for the physical challenges during the movie. I remember it clearly because it became the changing point in my life. Read on...

At that time, I weighed about 93 kilos, and that was my heaviest. I was lonely, miserable, stricken by self-loathing and my self-esteem was at it lowest point. It was weird thinking back how fat I was. It was even weirder to realize how I didn't realize I was so fat at that time. I guess denial and refusing to acknowledge the root of the problem, but instead just being content with wallowing in self-pity and depression, were the culprits. Even as I gradually began to realize that my weight was a contributing factor to my emotional downfall, I did nothing about it.

After reading the article, something in me snapped. Perhaps at that time, I was at the lowest emotional point in my life. Something in me finally wanted to move. Something in me wanted CHANGE. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself. I was tired feeling helpless and completely worthless. I was FUCKING tired of complaining and doing NOTHING to improve my situation. I had decided ENOUGH was fucking ENOUGH. It's time for change. It's time I did something to save my sorry ass from plunging deeper into pitch dark pool of depression and self-pity. I was ready. I was prepared to do everything it took to lose the weight. I needed look and FEEL better. I was eager to start the journey, no matter what it took.

Then, it happened, I made my first mistake. I went on a fad diet. I went on a very low calorie, low carb diet. I would cook a can of minestrone soup, then add a packet of chicken tenders. That become my 2 meals of the day. I was lucky to be smart enough to add 4-5 pieces of fruit (apples and oranges) per day, or I would've faced a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It was incredibly tough, but I spearheaded on for almost 2 months. My fierce determination to achieve a thinner me spurred me on, regardless of how lacking in energy I felt and miserable I was. I also made my 2nd mistake. I didn't add any exercise. It didn't really occur to add muscle or do any cardio. I just wanted to get thin!

I did lose weight all right. I lost 13 kilos in those 2 months, down to 80. The thing is, the more overweight you are, the faster you lost weight. However, the faster you lose weight, the more unhealthy it is. But I didn't care. I was happy, I was proud. Friends started noticing and commenting how different I looked. Then, I made my 3rd mistake, I failed to address the reason why I became so fat in the first place. People don't gain weight and became fat or obese without a reason. The main reason for me was over-eating, either due to emotional eating and eating too much in a single meal. Whenever I went back for holidays in Penang for about 3 weeks, I began to fall back to old eating habits. I would over eat, telling myself to eat as much Penang food as possible before I got back to Malacca. As a result, I would gain 3-4 kilos during that 3 weeks alone!

Sometimes when I'm in Malacca, I would get cravings so strong, due to my low calorie diet, that I would binge on fried or junk food. You might say that I had become a victim of yo-yo dieting, where you would go on bouts of dieting and unhealthy eating which results in wild fluctuations in weight. Luckily for me, my weight fluctuations were about 3-4 kilos at that time. Even right now, I still have to watch out and not over eat sometimes.

However, I stuck to dieting and it got me down to about 71-72 kilos, but I was skinny fat. I barely had any muscle and still carried excess fat. It wasn't until I started personal training for 2 months in my Uni gym, that I began to gain some muscle and lose more fat. It was a start for me to take weight-training more seriously. I also began to read and gain knowledge on fitness, particularly on dieting, most from the internet. Then I made my 4th mistake, I would jump blindly on different diets that 'experts' or achievers recommended, instead of taking it with a grain of salt, or trying it out and monitoring the results to see if it worked me. I didn't realize that there was no single diet plan out there that works for everyone.

It wasn't until I began to realize gradually, that diets DON'T work in the long term, that I incorporated a lifestyle change. I needed to correct bad eating habits and reasons behind it as well. My workouts gradually improved and I had begun to see results. Now, I'm at 74-75 kilos, with added muscle and less fat. I'm not looking to get bulky, but I still have a little fat to lose. So basically, a lot of what I've learned and realized during these few years is through experience and trial and error. Gaining knowledge is crucial, but it's finding out what works for you and suits you best that will get you the success and results that you want.

11 comments:

Twilight Zone said...

Your ideas about weight losing is great. It gave me strengths and ideas too. I wanna start slimming right now & be thin. I will think of Pink Panther every minute.

Bengbeng said...

Wat has pink panther got to do with anything? :) even though i lost weight to abt 70kg, i am far from satisfied as my waistline is still bloated

i cannot get the 6 biji as they call it on the abs.

Mark said...

TZ: Hehe, it was not really idea, but more on experience and knowledge I gained in the process. A long term healthy lifestyle is always best =)

Also, why Pink Panther ah? Coz he's slim? =P

Bengbeng: For men, the layer of fat around the waist is USUALLY the last to go. Even for me, I can see the outline of my abs when I flex it, but still have a thin layer that I need to get rid of.

Bengbeng said...

let us aim for zero fat together by CNY ? :) 2 more months shud b enuf dont u think?

Mark said...

Haha I would, except if you had 0% bodyfat, you'd probably die. Going less than 5% would be borderline unhealthy.

Ok, I'll stop getting technical. Let's aim for da 6-pax! XD

Bengbeng said...

ok before chinese new yr we will check on each other :)

Kevin TCP said...

I guess right now you have your own nice body. Am I right Mr. Mark? :p

Bengbeng said...

Kevin TCP is probably right. Do a centre spread for us all, Mr Mark hahahahhahahaahah

Twilight Zone said...

I hear that mind power can move anything! So by thinking of pink panther might do the trick. I really have no luxury time to work out regularly in the gym. Jackie Chan has been laughing his way to the bank with my money!

Mark said...

Kevin: My body is alright, but I'm always striving to improve =)

Bengbeng: Center spread?

TZ: LOL, a fan of California Fitness I see...

Medie007 said...

pictures! :P