Losing 15kg in 15 weeks sounds daunting? It is actually an achievable task!
Last week when I was at my gym, one of the regular gym-goers approached me while I was on the leg press machine just to comment that I had slimmed down a lot especially around my middle section. Today, another lady complimented me for achieving significant weight loss as I looked totally different from the first time she saw me 1 ½ months ago. I’m thankful for their kind words and encouragement and I’m definitely glad that my hard work and effort in the last couple of months had paid off and that the results were truly visible.
After sharing my workout tips with the ladies, it just came to my mind that I should really start blogging about my weight loss journey which my husband had been encouraging me to do so too as he felt I could be a source of inspiration to others who are struggling with weight and/or health issues.
To start this off, I think it’d be a good idea for me to first backtrack to the days before I started my exercise regimen as well as to understand what made me decide to do this and what goals I have set for myself. Moving on, I will then cover the range of exercises I do and how to do them right. Lastly, I will touch on food and nutrition and how to go about counting calories.
Since graduating from university, I had been an events planner for years. My job overall was a stressful one with long hours (meaning irregular meals, insufficient sleep, close-to-zero work-life balance), dreadful crisis management, constant training of new staff (due to high staff turnover), ‘difficult’ client management and an always full inbox with never-ending incoming emails. I’m sure these all sound familiar to any events person.
Unfortunately, my home then wasn’t exactly an ideal haven to seek solace and find peace which added more burden to my almost off-the-scale stress level. Home cooked meals were rare so I ate outside everyday. And since working hours were long (my best record was working till 5am in the morning before a conference started at 8am), I hardly exercised. Whenever I had any spare time, it’d be used to catch up on sleep or rest. And I was pretty sure a deprivation of sleep was causing some sort of hormonal imbalance for me too. As a result, I turned to food as a form of comfort eating to help ease those stressful moments with my fellow colleagues. Lunch could be as late as 3pm and dinner, 11pm. A totally wrecked up life that took a toll on my health. I was admitted to hospital for the first time for intestinal bleeding due to ulcerative colitis. I had taken for granted that I was young then and that I should be in the pink of health but I was thoroughly wrong.
Years followed but my lifestyle didn’t change for the better until I did a health screening 2 years back and I realised I had fatty liver and hypertension. And I was obviously overweight too after putting on like 20kg over the last decade. I wanted to do something about it then but I was so consumed with family issues that I fell into another bout of depression (and a loss of control over my emotions) with severe suicidal tendencies (I ended up hurting myself again and again) that required me to undergo psychotherapy. Till today, I’m still struggling slightly but I’m in a much better position to cope.
Just before I decided to take charge of my life again, I had been admitted to hospital a few times due to constant chest pains (like heart attacks) as well as kidney stones that caused me the worst pain ever (I couldn’t utter a word without my body vibrating like crazy and I was vomiting throughout cause’ the pain was too much to bear). That was really the last draw. I felt so sick about frequenting hospitals and A&Es as well as seeing specialists and ‘wasting’ money over my poor health (when I could use the money on better things) that I decided to change my lifestyle and be responsible for my health and body because no one else can help me except myself.
The first step to regaining my old self, finding happiness and rebuilding health is to stop withdrawing myself, go out and do something about it. And I decided that the best way to vent my frustrations or anger was to exercise rather than smashing things at home or banging my head against the wall and then crying till I couldn’t breathe and till my chest hurt.
So I put on my old running shoes and decided to go for a brisk walk and light jog with my husband in the neighbourhood right after we had dinner.
My fitness and stamina were obviously non-existent. I couldn’t keep up with the running for long as I was out of breath easily but I didn’t give up. I tried again the next day and the next day and the next day until the second week or so, I could run 20 minutes at slow speed without the need to stop to catch my breath or be tempted to just walk. This running/walking trial was a great start to prep myself for more focused training to come. I signed up for a gym membership in end February and started hitting the gym 4-5 times a week with the husband.
I began to see life in a different way again. A more positive way. I stopped hurting myself and started loving myself again. Though emotionally, there are still a lot of things that I’d yet to let go, I told myself to treasure this second lease of life. At least, I’m healthy enough now to write about this, to blog about things that I’m passionate about, to appreciate the little things in my life, to be there for my husband who has always been there for me and to love and care for the people who have loved and cared for me. So I’m grateful, really.
So the first thing to do before you make a drastic change to your life in terms of exercising or dieting is to understand the reasons why you need to do this. Are you trying to lose weight because someone is nagging you to do so? Are you trying to be slimmer because today’s society generally adores slim people? Are you trying to exercise to improve your overall fitness? Are you trying to eat healthy so you can minimise the risk of diseases that are caused by poor diet?
Once you have identified the reasons for the change, you can move on to establishing your long term and short term goals.
The objective for changing my lifestyle is to be healthy, fit and strong. Also, I want to minimise the risk of obesity-related diseases, to prolong my life so I can have a longer ‘rest of my life’ to spend with my loved ones.
My long term goal is to hit an ideal weight of 60kg for my 1.7m height. This is approximately a 30kg weight loss which I hope to achieve by the end of 2014.
I have also set smaller achievable goals of losing between 3-4kg per month progressively as I work towards my target.
To date, I have met my milestones and I’m proud to say that I have lost 15kg in 15 weeks.
See how I have changed over the years?
Check out my next post on Exercising Right for Effective Weight Loss: How to Get Started.
Live well, stay happy, folks!