Exercising Right for Effective Weight Loss: How to Get Started

Welcome to Geri’s boot camp! My very own torture chamber! Lol. Where I put myself through ‘extreme torture’ just to get to where I am now. Because exercising is REALLY tough! And I’m not kidding!

Well, it took me quite a while to get this up following my last post about me losing weight since embarking on a new exercise regimen in February. I had so many ideas running through my mind when I was at the gym on what I wanted to share with my readers regarding weight loss which I’m sure everyone would have thought about it at a certain point in life.

I had previously led a sedentary lifestyle with minimal exercise to none. In fact I weighed a hefty 91kg in end February this year with a BMI of almost 32 that put me on the ‘obese category’ with high risk of diseases as well as an expanded waist line of more than 40″ which added on the risk further. The only consolation was that I was tall at almost 1.7 metres so overall, I didn’t look as ginormous (I was a UK dress size 18/20) though my doctor always said I didn’t look fat but I was still fat and that I should lose weight especially my belly. Well, she was right. It took me too long to do something about it. I had never struggled with image issues before so gaining and losing weight wasn’t like a big priority to me but now I realised it wasn’t just about looking good on the outside, it was about being fit & healthy on the inside, feeling empowered and taking charge of my life.

Geri's Collage (800x566) - Copy

In just less than 5 months, I’ve transformed and I’m now a leaner 72kg. My waistline has reduced by 7″ and I’m now a UK Size 12/14. Losing 19kg and 3 dress sizes down to date has been the most incredible experience for me. My body had never worked so hard and everything had just paid off ‘visibly’ which was the best part.

Forget that apple diet or soupy diet. Even if you see the number going down on the scale, you are only losing muscle and water weight. And once you’re back to your normal diet, you’d likely pile back on the previously lost weight, maybe plus more.

To lose weight, exercising is the best way to create a calorie deficit together with sensible eating. And when you have reached your target weight, again, only exercising can help maintain those muscles so our resting metabolic rate doesn’t deteriorate and we can continue to burn more calories at rest in the long run. Bearing in mind, metabolism actually decreases as we age so regular workouts will help slow that down.

I’m not a fitness guru to begin with but I have learnt so much about my body and what I can do and achieve in the last couple of months. Reaping all the benefits that regular exercising brings about just motivates me further every day. I came across this quote some time ago, “The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you finally achieve it.” This has never been more true for me. Believe in yourself, no matter how hard the going gets.

Before we start on a new exercise regimen, there are a few important things to note:


BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight so we know if our weights are within the acceptable range and if not, it would be a good indication that we need to do something about it.

Calculate your BMI here. And find out what your ideal weight range is so you can set an achievable goal that forms the basis of the weight loss journey you are about to embark from now on. A gradual weight loss of 0.45kg to 0.9kg per week is most recommended though my results to date were better than that.

For my frame, my ideal weight range should be between 54-66kg but instead of aiming for the lowest weight, I’d target somewhere in between at 60kg as my goal to work towards to till the end of the year which means I have another 12kg to lose in 5.5 months.


Research studies have proven that excessive fats over the waist area has been linked to a higher risk of diseases.

WHR = Waist circumference (in cm) / Hip circumference (in cm)

Healthy ratio
Males – ≤ 0.9
Females – ≤ 0.8

Besides losing weight, we should focus on losing inches too especially around the waist because it just defeats the purpose if the rest of our body is lean and toned but the belly is just big if we don’t control our food & alcohol intake.


Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. It is recommended to train within 70%-85% of your maximum heart rate so you can get the most out of every workout at a safe level of exertion.

For example, for a 30-year-old woman, her maximum heart rate will be 220 – 30 = 190. And she should train within 133-162 for maximum benefits.

This formula is just a guideline which may not be really accurate as everyone’s target heart rate is different depending on individual’s fitness level and other various factors. To get the most accurate assessment, see a doctor for an exercise threshold test.


If you haven’t been exercising for years since leaving school, doing regular health screenings or are not sure if you may have any underlying medical conditions, it is always advisable to see your doctor before doing any vigorous exercise.


Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself now (front, back and side views) and do the same every month or so. You’d be amazed at your transformation! Even if you are not losing enough weight, it may just mean you are losing inches overall as you gain muscles which occupy less space than fats! These pictures will be a great source of motivation!


Be it apparel or trainers. It’s a good excuse to go shopping now! Comfort is definitely one of the key elements to get you moving. We wouldn’t want rough fabrics that could chafe our skin, tight fitting clothes that constrict and suffocate or bottoms that are so loose that we have to hold them up when running, lol.

I love Adidas’ quick-drying climalite tees (I have one in every colour!) and Mizuno’s running shorts because they are just so comfy to wear and they don’t stick to the skin when I sweat. Recently, I bought my first ever pair of Asics Patriot 6 running shoes and they are surprisingly a better fit than my previous pair of Nike Flex Run of the same size. Its structured cushioning gives me much better support and stability which in turns motivates me to train as I don’t have excuses not to!

And if you’re worried about not looking good when exercising, fret not, because everyone else is likely to be occupied with the same thoughts and will not have the time to actually take notice of you! Anyway, how good do we want to look when we’re all sweaty, huffing and puffing away? Lol. Comfort still rules over style so pick something that you feel good in.

So now that you’re preparing to start your exercise regimen, what other tips should you take note of so you can maximise the benefits of your training and see faster results in losing weight? Stay tuned to Part 2 of this post!



  • smurf says:

    Hi Geri, I am starting to exercise again today evening. Congrats for losing 19kg within 5 months. Your determination is very admirable. My willpower is not so strong. My weakness is chocolate and I am an emotional eater. I am tall too so the weight does not show too easily. Almost can pass myself off as being curvy. But I am currently about 20 kg overweight. I tend to loose all the weight and then put it all on back again. But I have decided to try again. It was so nice to read this today, Geri. Thanks for sharing. I will just keep trying.

    • Geri Tan says:

      Hi Chitra, I believe you can do it 🙂 Previously I had turned to emotional eating as a way to ease stress too but now I’m in better control and don’t really have those urges anymore. I guess it’s because I really push myself when it comes to exercising so I’d think twice before indulging in rich foods. I’d ask myself if I want to subject myself to more torture just to work off these extra calories, lol – that is how I psycho myself these days but I’m not on strict diet so I still eat whatever I want so I don’t starve myself from these cravings. Moderation is the key 🙂 Keep going my friend, and if you want to give up again, just think of me! Go Chitra Go! 🙂

  • Go you! You look great! But most importantly, you are improving your health – both mind and body. 🙂

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