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This page is a write up on my war with my body weight since the year 2002.
I am a very athletic person. Since my younger days, you will see me participating in all sorts of sports. The first game I recall playing was baseball in the yard with my cousins in San Bruno. I also played basketball during PE and in between classes in Portola Elementary School. During recess, I would race my classmates to the monkey bars.
Back in Malaysia, I saw myself participating in football and athletics all the way till my high school years. Proudest moment was representing my school Victoria Institution run out unbeaten for every game of our season until the last game in Batu Pahat, Johor.
I was lean, would sprint and occupied roles which required high speed and fitness levels. I had a great group of team mates who were of similar or better calibre. When school ended at the end of 1999, I weighed in around 67kg and single digit body fat. Core muscles were strong and my abs were creeping thru.
The college years came and soon came dating and from there, with slower metabolism, reduced activity and the joys of eating outside, in came the pounds. I started putting on weight though my fitness was never a question, the weight slowly creeped in.
Weight was not an issue but I believe the fat percentage was slowly inching upwards.
I love food. All sorts of food. To me, food was to be enjoyed and it had to be tasty in order for me to pass my mark of approval.
Friends noticed that I ballooned up the most around the year 2010. Fighting depression, retrenchment, unhappiness at jobs and taking in all the stress of my family, the pressures I had on myself, the struggles and constant failures, I believe I turned to emotional eating and carb addiction.
In 2013, I was in the midst of a futsal game when, upon a decision to change direction and stop the ball from rolling out, I heard a snap and something went in my ankle.
In 2015, due to a wrong tackle, I tore my MCL on my knee and again, a long road to recovery. All these injuries, coupled with my eating habits, saw me gain further weight.
So here you have a guy who loves to eat and eats everything on his travels.
Stressful and lonely life in Singapore makes him turn to food.
In the last 10 years, I have seen myself thru so many health problems :
High blood pressure at 140/95 with a heart rate of around 90 beats per minute.
I had obstructive sleep apnea.
I had terrible immunity and would get sick when someone merely coughed.
Liver was inflamed and fatty.
Cholesterol was high.
My body was still able to handle it, but we all know the tolls it will have when age 40 and age 50 arrives.
I weighed heaviest in Jan 2016 after a trip from Korea where I went up to 87kg and then Chinese New Year arrived and found myself in bed with a 4 day fever and pain in my abdomen, it was suspected to be gall bladder stones and I went for a scan, which thankfully turned out to not be the case. The thought of me losing my gall bladder was enough to shock me.
Not for lack of trying, thru-out the years, I have been cycling and after burning 1600 calories on a 40km ride, I ate whatever thinking since I was at a deficit. Dr Lim told me : Just because you exercise, does not mean you can eat crap.
So I changed my diet to follow his plan. No rice, no noodles, no bread.
I started by eating outside and found that I was not able to avoid the oils and salt present in outside vegetables. Yes, they were vegetables, but shiny with oil and salt laced.
I started finding out about clean eating and started to tune my mind to make lesser-evil decisions. If I had two bad choices of food, I take the one which is of less evil. Example : There was fried chicken and fried rice. I would take fried chicken, take out the skin and use paper towels to try and drain as much oil and fats away.
I found joys in making my overnight oats for the next day, packed with nuts and berries.
I found joys in eating salads accompanied with Kewpie dressings and even a can of curry tuna.
I made my roast chickens and even made steaks.
Of course, there is the occasional snack here and there. I do not have cheat days, as it means I start to plan for the 100 things I can eat, which is bad. I sometimes cheat but it is all down to a choice and to keep social events going, I change to accommodate the people I am with. I never demand that they change location to cater for my lifestyle.
Yes, my diet, is now my lifestyle.
You are what you eat.
And to bust those fats, I also started running and doing HIIT ( High Intensity Interval Training) on my bike. Coupled with healthy eating, I saw my weight reverse.
And here are the results :