Just yesterday, I’ve been bombarded with questions by a couple of friends about the lifestyle that I’m leading today, in the ENTIRE day. It’s like everyone had this secret plan to get to know why I am doing what I’m doing today. It was really thought provoking for me, because I could not seem to give them a straight answer because there was really no one, single trigger that had led me to sell my soul to this life of clean eating and fitness.
I’ve never thought that I would become one of these people simply because I love food. I used to laugh at people who were on diets, and ate clean, because to me, I just wondered what for? You only live once, why restrict yourself from doing things that you like, and eating things that you want? And I swore that I’d never live like any one of them, because it was so pathetic to lead a life of restriction.
I knew that I was never that fat, because I’ve been exercising for almost all my life, having practices day in and day out, and I am fully aware that my metabolism rate is relatively high as compared to my peers because of all the exercises I did, and I really had a very, very unhealthy diet, yet I never ballooned. Without any exaggeration, I have McDonald’s Breakfast at least twice every week, and one full meal (mmm… McWings Meal, upsized) at least once a week. On weekends, I would always have carbonara at home, with the cream sauce filled up to the brim of a huge bowl, because I love how salty and savory the sauce is, and at times, I can even have 2 servings of that within the span of 2 hours. During the A level period, I had McDs almost 6 times every week, because I studied there everyday. I thought I was controlling my diet by only ordering the meals every alternate days, while having french fries and coke every day. I was a HUGE, trust me when i say HUGE, fan of coke. I could have at least 2 bottles of coke everyday, especially after training sessions. I can finish a packet of cadbury chocolate in a night, just because they are so, so addictive. I did all these, without any intention of losing weight, or improving my eating habits for 20 years, and yet, I did not get really, really fat, which I should have, especially at the rate and volume I was eating at. I was not only a MASSIVE eater, but also a real unhealthy one at that.
I was lucky because I had basketball practices, and I loved to get active, and headed to the gym some times to do some core work and lifted some weights (at least, to me, at that time, I was lifting weights.)
How it all began.
As much as 2013 wasn’t exactly an ideal year for me, I’m glad that it happened because I began to embrace the idea of living healthily, loving my body more, and understanding more about health and fitness. This entire journey started during the 3-month summer break. I was a fitness junkie; I loved doing p90x and insanity, I loved feeling the burn and the post-work out satisfaction and I loved heading to the gym everyday to follow some lame work outs and even after trainings some times. I was working out, hard.
I came back from India after a month, and I just felt like doing something with my life. I had no access to the gym, or rather, I was reluctant to visit the public gym because I would be so lost and I know nothing about working out. Also, I remembered seeing a picture on tumblr of someone who had a really hot body, and I asked myself, why was I envious when I am doing nothing about my body? If others could do it, I obviously could do it too, can’t I? Why be envious when this is something, which is under my control?
Bam. That was when I started picking up Insanity, and did it religiously everyday. Day in and day out. No matter how tired I was after work, I remembered being knocked out after reaching home from work, and waking up at 11pm, all groggy, yet forcing myself to complete the workout for the day. It was crazy. It was tough, and it was hella difficult. The warm ups were like the work outs itself, and it often ends with my floor drenched in my perspiration, and me, cursing and swearing under my breath. That was also when I realized the importance of a clean diet. Why go through so much shit, forcing myself to work out everyday, and yet I fuel myself with shit, to jeopardize the results that I wanted?
That was when I decided for a change. I picked up cooking. I went out to buy my own groceries, and learned to eat clean. Something which I never thought I would do. I am really glad that I have Tits in my life, as he was the one who introduced me to this whole meal prep thingy, and showed me how easy it was to prepare my own food. He also introduced the entire low-carb and clean eating concept to me, and that was what got me started.
I never thought that my efforts would last until now. I thought it would just be a one-month thing, just cause I’m fickle like that, and I thought I loved food too much to be so disciplined. I remembered choosing the module for the next semester, Food and Health, and being genuinely worried that I would not be into these healthy eating stuff when the semester starts.
I guess part of me persevered till today because I saw PROGRESS.
I am a very impatient person, and the progress of my body took a long, long time to unfold. I took pictures of myself everyday, hoping to see a progression everyday, yet I didn’t. I began to doubt what I was doing, but I was already went too deep into this life of fitness, that it has already been ingrained in me, and it had already became a part of my life. I was used to eating clean. I unknowingly cured my addiction for coke and all kinds of soft drinks, and I never had any since JUNE this year. I haven’t had a single McDonald’s meal since June as well. Sure, I do miss it, but I don’t crave for it. I studied for my Finals in a McD’s everyday, and all I got from there was a cup of Long Black (Americano). It’s a feat, but it was not a challenge to me any more, because it’s just the kind of life I’m living right now. I looked at the pictures I took after a month, and saw that my body was changing, and that was what spurred me on. I learned that progress takes time and I understood why because I have been fueling my body with junk for the past 20 years of my life, and I should not be expecting any progress to occur after eating clean and working out for a month.
Yet, I saw progress. And that was what encouraged me.
This is the last ab picture that I took of myself because I stopped focusing on my abs these days. As much as it’s really awesome to have nice abs, it is very difficult to maintain them. I work out these days to ensure that I involve my core in most of my exercises and I no longer do workouts that only targets my abs and core, which was something I did almost every day of the week in the past.
I stopped because of the back that I screwed up really badly, which made me realize the importance of being healthy and only through exercising with a good form and also, avoiding exercises that would further aggravate the already screwed up back was the only way which I can continue going hard in the gym. Moreover, abs are made in the kitchen and I also learnt that spot reduction does not occur, which is something that I shared here.
Do I eat clean everyday?
No, obviously I don’t. There are days that I crave for sweets and pastries, because I’m a sucker for such foods, and I let myself have them. It’s a lifestyle, and I won’t deprive myself from foods that I love just because I want a nice body. I know I can’t out train a bad diet, but I can moderate my diet, I can train harder, and I can plan my diet to make it fit the lifestyle that I’m living. For most of you who are following my instagram, you can definitely see that I am totally not missing out on any good food. I eat. Like a starving elephant. But not everyday, of course.
I try to eat clean as much as I can, and cut myself some slack every once in a while. When I fall off the wagon some times, I do beat myself up, and continue eating unhealthily for the day, but I never, never carry the habit on to the next day. To me, everyday is a fresh start, and one bad day would not jeopardize your entire diet plan.
As much as I am confident and knew that I was not really really overweight, I always had a problem with my arms. I guess everyone, especially girls, have their own insecurities with their own body. I always thought that my arms were too huge and flabby and I hated wearing tank tops or sleeveless dresses because they would show my huge arms, which I thought made me look fat. Besides, my arms are really the weakest part of my body.
I worked out, without having the intention to make my arms look smaller or leaner or more defined, because I was already used to them being huge and I was no longer really affected by them. However, my arms did grow to become more defined after I’ve started hitting the weight room. Even though, people may comment that I’m looking too damn buff but this is the type of physique that I define as ideal. My body isn’t even the least bit close to the ideal physique that I want, and there is still a long, long way to go, but I’m glad that I am making progress each time I decide to take a picture of myself. The feeling you get when you see such progress is indescribable. It makes me feel so, so proud of myself, and empowered to do even more because I know that the possibilities are endless.
Sometimes I feel that people may think that I’m showing off when I post pictures or videos like this, but I really don’t care, because I am not working out to impress ANYONE out there, and I am doing it for the sake of myself, and my goals. I don’t care if people think that I’m too buff, too obsessed, or even think that mehhh… so little progress also want to show off, because to me, slow progress is always better than no progress, and have you ever met a hater who is better than you? I love what I’m doing right now, and I love how it always make me smile to see how far I’ve come.
Why did I create this blog?
Firstly, it’s because I love to write. I love to share my experiences and progress with everyone who is interested. Secondly, I came up with this blog with the intention to help people who are interested in health and fitness, or want to start working out, and yet do not know where and how to start. I know how that feels. It’s always scary to start something new, but once you set your mind to doing it, just go head on with any obstacles you meet, and you will do fine. I’m glad that I’ve met amazing people on my other instagram account, who taught me a hell lot on my work outs, diet and fitness. There is so much more for me to learn and understand about my body, that it really intrigues me. I want to learn all about them, I want to know what’s best for my body, and I want to do things that would be optimal for my progress. However, the difficult part is that everything comes from trial and error, and right now, that’s what I’m doing, persevering, and learning about my body everyday.
Looking back, it feels like I’ve been in this for a long while now, but it has only been just a short 6 months. I’m excited about what the new year would bring for me and my progress and I really hope that more people would start embracing their bodies, and stop starving themselves just because they want to lose weight or look better. You can look good while enjoying life’s treats. You can have good food while eating clean.
Besides, leading this life has taught me how the possibilities are endless and how much I can always push myself. I’ve never ever thought that I could ever complete a run that is more than 5km or even fall in love with running, yet this life has showed me how much I’m able to overcome the odds and actually complete a 10km run. I never thought I would eat clean, and yet I did too. What I’ve learnt is that, you don’t ever shortchange yourself or underestimate your own worth because you’re always capable of better things than you think you are.
Trust me, I’ve been there once, and I’m really hooked on this amazing lifestyle I’m living.