Friday, 30 September 2016

LONDON DIARY : MY FITNESS JOURNEY 2016



I say fitness journey because this is definitely not the end but a pit stop to appreciate this milestone, if you like. I'm not the best person to talk about health and fitness because as you may have noticed, this blog chronicled my several attempts to get fit. Here are some journals from 2015, 2014 (juicing), 2014 (yoga) and 2013 (prepacked diet). So, what happened? You may ask. Let's just say it didn't yield the result I was expecting. And as I look back, I noticed these two things are very important if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

a) sustainability (are they readily available, bet it food or exercise)
b) consistency (how frequent am I doing it, food choices and being active)

Picture on the left was taken last August 2015, right was taken this September 2016. I can't give you my weight numbers because I was afraid to step on scales before. :D I started my healthy lifestyle last July 2016 so it's barely 3 months!

Did I find the whole process easy? Heck no! Is it worth the results? 100% Yes! No matter how small the progress is. I decided to list down 3 key things I find helpful the past months.

TIP #1: ARM YOURSELF WITH FACTS AND INSPIRATIONS
Like in any other endeavour, I needed to sit down and come to terms with my 'current' reality. The weirdest thing is, I didn't notice I got extra weight during those times. Maybe because my friends and family were so nice not to point that out or maybe it's hard to tell the difference when you're looking at yourself in the mirror every day. There was no pivotal moment to be honest, because as I've said, this feat is a life-long goal that has been put on hold.

Last Christmas 2015, someone gifted me with a book and a yoga top. As I opened the gift, I can't help but think: What the fudge! Is this a subtle nudge telling me to lose weight? However, I find the book very interesting especially Ella's story: how she started, etc. She has a website, by the way. The book is full of appetising pictures too. My first attempt was to make a bowlful of sweet potato fries. I was blown away on how easy it is to prepare your own meal. It's also liberating because you know what's on your plate (literally).

After that, I began to read more health related books. I realised that if I take time to learn about financial investments and career materials, it's equally important that I set aside some hours to take care of my body. I've come across The Body Book by Cameron Diaz (yes, one of Charlie's Angels!), Wheat Belly by William Davis and Fork Over Knives (Netflix).

As I read and immerse myself with knowledge, I cannot help but act upon it! I am inspired to put real food in my body and put my energy to good use. Which leads me to my next point...


TIP #2: EAT REAL FOOD
There are 2 types of food. Real food and food that appears to be real. Real food includes blueberries, strawberries, broccoli and the like. Food that looks real (but aren't true food, if you ask your tissues and cells) includes fast-food burgers, etc, hotdogs and other processed food. I don't want to sound preachy so what I'll do is to list all the things I did as I transition to a healthy lifestyle:

- Drink loads of water (put lemon, cucumber or frozen berries to make it exciting!) I have a 1 liter glass pitcher on my office desk, I need to chug 2 of those within the day.
- Find ways to intake veggies (I make shakes i.e. spinach, strawberries, almond milk cacao powder)
- Go healthy (salmon over pork, sweet potato over potato fries, almond milk over cow's milk)
- Try to cook / bake your own food (make home baked cookies instead of store bought ones)
- Make it a point to eat produce at their closest raw stage if that makes sense :D Like, eat real avocados (season it with whatever) instead of avocado flavoured ice cream!

PS: I won't lie. I still eat chocolates because, hey! I just can't let go! :D But I'm munching Maltesers and other organic chocolates now rather than Snickers and Twixes! Lesser evil, people! Baby steps!



TIP #3: FIND WAYS TO EXERCISE



Humans are designed to be mobile. That's a fact. And (most of) us sitting behind a desk for 8 hours minimum is not a good use of our energy. Sure, our brain consumes energy but we still need to get moving to utilise our arms, legs and core. Looking back, this was the part that I lack consistency before. Part of the reason is because of work. I've hidden behind the guise of 'I-am-so-busy-with-my-career' and 'It's-so-inconvenient' for so many years and as a consequence: I got no result!

Now, I'm not telling you to quit your job but I guess we can all agree that we need to make time for workouts and stick to the plan. This regimen works for me: after work (around 6 pm), I go the gym and attend group classes. My classes revolve around Spinning, Zumba, Power Bar, Pilates and Circuits. The screen shot is from Fitness for Less website. I usually attend classes 3 times a week and I actually like it! Running or walking on treadmill alone NEVER works for me! I guess that's the most important part. That you like what you do and never see it as a punishment for eating.

Let me end by saying it's all by God's grace. Self control and discipline is not a franchise of religion, it can be applied on our daily, practical life too! :) -CMK

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