Weight Loss: I Lost 2 Kilogrammes in 31 Days 🗻

16:15

Going back to real life for a bit after writing 4 blog posts gushing about Melbourne (another 2 - 3 are coming, FYI), here's what's been happening in the past month in Malaysia.


Like the title indicates, I lost 2 kilogrammes in 31 days.

😌 To be honest, it's really not so much about the weight loss that makes me happy, but I'll get to that later.

CONTEXT TIME: 

Ever since I started working in Malaysia, which is more than five years ago now, I've gained an average of 1 kilogramme per year  (+5kg y'all). I didn't really notice until:

a) I stopped fitting into some of my own clothes, and 
b) my relatives noticed it for me. 😒

The perils of growing up in a South-East Asian country is that you will definitely have relatives, friends, and even acquaintances and complete strangers who will think it's PERFECTLY fine to fat-shame you... even when you're mostly a size M all your life. 

Thanks for the eating disorder back in my teenage years, guys. I look back on the time I spent starving myself and then forcing myself to puke fondly.

Not.

Anyway. Ever since I started working in my new company last year, I gained even more weight, due to: 

a) coming home after 8PM and then having dinner, 
b) all the snacks my colleagues kept feeding me, and 
c) a lack of exercise.

My relatives REALLY noticed. Oh, they noticed all right, on New Year's Day, Chinese New Year, and all the other family gathering events. 😷 

Here's another Asian custom that may baffle people reading this - they will point out your weight, and then they feed you food that is probably worth 5,000 calories over several courses of dishes, and then they continue pointing out your weight even more next time.

I think it's a conspiracy.

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY:

In the first four months of the year, when I was thinking about not gaining any more weight, I implemented a new rule into my eating habits, which I still obey now.

1) No Eating Between 7PM to 7AM (with exceptions of maybe once a week if I *have* to)

I figured a lot of the weight gain after entering this company was due to me eating dinner at 8 or 9PM, and then throwing myself into bed barely an hour or two later.


Dinners like this, for example.

Rinse and repeat for a few months from Monday to Friday, and boom.

Instant weight gain. Instant VISIBLE weight gain. 

I believe I got distressed when I realised I couldn't comfortably wear some of my favourite clothes anymore, and THEN I got even more distressed when people pointed out I gained weight.

Gee, thanks. I didn't notice at all. 

Determined to at least not gain any more weight, I made it a rule that I will not eat between 7PM to 7AM. 

I wasn't going to starve myself of the food I liked, either. 🍔 🍟🍤 🍗 🍖 🍕

If I wanted to eat, I WOULD eat. I was just going to moderate what I ate - like maybe having something like this for dinner only once every month, perhaps.


I have already used up my June quota. Haha.

In May, I kicked this rule up a notch. 

I now only eat TWO meals a day (breakfast and late tea), and I also  remind myself constantly that I will not eat due to stress.  

In my very own words,

"You can make me angry, but I won't let you make me fat." 


Let's face it, life is life, and it's going to come with stress... mostly in the form of other people. 💅 

That form of stress made me crave for not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-delicious food, like chocolate bars, potato chips, fried chicken, nuggets, French fries...

I still want those food every time someone makes me angry, to be honest. I quite like angrily munching through an entire bag of potato chips when I'm frazzled, and don't have any other form of stress relief at hand. 

Yet, I'm not actually enjoying that pack of potato chips. I'm just using it to process my negative emotions, especially the emotions I cannot say out loud to the person that has made me tremendously annoyed.

Which begets the question: they've already made me angry, do I REALLY want to gain weight thanks to them as well? 

Clearly, the answer is a "NO" for me. 

Nowadays, when I'm stressed out by someone and feel like I want to eat snacks, I ask myself the above question to stop the craving. It usually works, and if it doesn't... I end up continually ranting about it to all of my closest friends until I stop feeling as angry.

 Thanks for being my friends, people who've had to read my long essays for several years already as of now.

1) Drinking More Tea, as I am now on an Alcohol/ Milkshake/ Soda Ban 😭

I have a canister filled with oolong tea leaves, and I LOVE my tea. I consider tea a vital part of my weekends for my relaxing rituals.


Spot the tea.

In the wake of banning myself from having drinks like beer, chocolate milkshake (sigh), and soda (though I have slipped a couple of times, I admit), I've been filling that flavoured drink gap by drinking more tea at least 4-5 days a week, instead of just on the weekend now.

There is a certain pleasure to waking up early, making your own breakfast in silence, and then drinking tea while reading the news of the day.

There is also pleasure in knowing that the cups of tea are delicious, AND do not contain as many calories as the drinks I've banned myself from having at the moment.

This isn't a hard rule to follow, to be honest. I've always put alcohol, milkshakes, and soda as special occasion drinks only, so nowadays I mostly stick to water when I'm out for dinner.

3) Cycling Every Day 🚴🏼‍♀️

Surprisingly enough, I've actually kept this up since May started.

I've heard that it takes 21 days to make something a habit, and 90 days to make it a lifestyle. Well, it's definitely a habit for me to go home and cycle on a stationary bike for half an hour now, before I make preparations to go to bed.

I don't even get hungry or the like on weekday nights anymore. I just shower and go to bed, and wake up the next day for my big breakfast again. 😊

It's funny what you can convince the body to do, once you force yourself to set it into motion. I actually feel like something's missing now when I'm out for dinner with friends, rather than being at home and cycling away my stresses and woes.

I hope this keeps up, because I DEFINITELY think I should exercise more.

4) Go Hiking At Least Once a Week; Yes, I'm Shocked Too


I sent this message to a friend the day after I first went hiking, and this was the message I got back.

Yes folks, I do not strike people as the type to like outdoorsy stuff. After all, I hate running, hate jogging, hate group sports, hate insects, hate mud, and so on.

In fact, I just spent the previous weekend running away from a giant insect (it looked like a wasp) while on a hill peak, proclaiming to all that "I HATE INSECTS".

My hiking buddy, PN, then remarked wryly: "...and yet here you are hiking."

It's true. I've kept up hiking at least once a week since I started a month ago, and this month I've embarked on hiking two days a week now with different groups of hikers (find your own hiking squad, mine's filled 😂).

With each hiking trip, I can feel myself getting stronger, and faster, especially around the legs. When I look down from peaks, I always feel a sense of achievement knowing that I've climbed to the top with my own two legs.

Ah well. I've become one of THOSE people.

Rather than the sense of achievement, though, I think what I enjoy most about hiking is... not thinking about anything else.

All I have to think of in that moment while inside the hill is where to take the next step. I am not plagued by family annoyances, or work worries, or social life irritations. I only think of making my way forward, and breathing in all that fresh air.


I had endured a 20 minute steep climb up to take this picture. Not that you can tell, but it's okay, *I* can tell. 😂

It's soothing to have that kind of detachment from real life (though I do wish it wasn't as muddy), which is hard to get in an urban city like KL. We don't have large beautiful parks we can lounge at all day, or beautiful beaches near the city, or a gorgeous starry night sky to look at due to the light pollution.

I can only wish the hills here were looked after better by my fellow Malaysians, though. I saw plastic bags, food remnants, and the like strewn across the park in this hill, which made me both angry and sad at the same time.

It's also why, when one of my fellow hikers told me that she'd like to bring me to a different hill to "see the waterfall", I replied fairly sardonically: "Why? I don't want to get rat urine disease."

It's almost as if to get clean pristine waters in this country now, I have to shell out huge amounts of money to enter PRIVATE resorts and hotels, where it's in their best interests to keep the natural waters clean.

There is so much to educate the Malaysian public about civic-mindedness, but I fear it is a losing battle.

But I digress.

A NEW LIFESTYLE SCHEDULE:

Doing all four of the above in 31 days was how I lost 2 kilogrammes in 31 days.

Could I have done more to lose more? Sure. Not interested.

Was I interested in doing more? Meh, not really.

I am not interested in clean eating - you do you though, clean eaters. I am not interested in getting super fit, or eating only egg whites, or paleo, or CrossFit, or whatever it is that people are into these days.

I am only highly interested in three things:

1) fitting into my favourite clothes again,
2) stopping my relatives from commenting on my visible weight gain (it's already bad enough that they like to bring up my love life 👺), and
3) Leading a healthier lifestyle, which may or may not result in weight loss.

I do have a specific weight in which I hope to achieve, but I'd say the most important aspect of the new lifestyle changes for me is that I KNOW I am stronger.

At the very least, it pleases me to know that when I'm climbing uphill, I'm no longer desperately breathing for more air, or feeling faint. The hiking route I have slowly conquered in these 31 days is a stepping stone to tougher terrains, and I'm pleased that each week shows me that I have just gotten better and better.

The human body is amazing, but only if you believe that your own human body is amazing, which I do.

Oh, and there's no comparison photo in this post, because ya'll don't need a comparison photo, not now, not when I have even fitter physical capabilities several months down the road.

I hope.

Whatever your decisions about your body and physical capabilities are, I only hope that they are the decisions that make you TRULY happier, as these decisions I made have made me (no force-puking/ starvation/ binge-eating this time!).

You see, it's not really about the weight loss, after all... it's about being stronger, and therefore, happier for me. :) 

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