Monday, April 19, 2010


When I started going to the gym almost 5 years ago I couldn't run. I climbed the stairs to my office lobby with great difficulty and couldn't run at all. My right knee was giving me problems beside having to carry such a heavy body weight. I could do the crosstrainer, stationary bikes, elliptical and stepper at the gym but I couldn't even jog on the treadmill.

When I joined GX classes, the instructor always reminded me to do the 'options'. I.e no jumping, no hopping and no quick lunges. After about 6 months of regular exercise I tried running but my joints were still not good enough. I started using guards to protect them. I could jog for a few minutes after about a year or so. My joints got stronger but I started to feel breathless after 3 minutes of slow jog. I knew I was still not fit enough to run.

The fact is I was never a runner. Back in high school, I participated in the 100m and 400m races because they were compulsory. I also participated in the annual Cross Campus Run twice; the distance was about 1.5km. But I was left far behind by the rest of the runners. One of my English teachers asked me whether I was a long distance runner because she thought I had the legs for it. The whole class laughed in silent.

So, even when I've been regularly exercising I decided that I should just give up running. I thought I'll never be able to run like the other gym-goers. Perhaps I was too old, or too packed with fat that it's impossible for me to jog nor sprint.

After I delivered my third baby last August, I drank fresh milk every morning and took at least 4 servings of Anlene every week. It was mainly because I knew my teeth would start having problems after childbirth. So, the milk drinking was to replenish my calcium.

I was also doing a lot more abs crunches in order to strengthen my stomach muscles. My crunches started after the 4th month because I had C-section. Eventually I was doing like 250 crunches per week. I read in some gossip magazine that Britney Spears was doing 1000 crunches perday. Well, I don't intend to get Britney's abs, so I didn't go overboard with it.

At the office, recently I found myself drawn to a few colleagues who I realized were rather health conscious. They took up running. They're not gym-goers but rather spend their late afternoons jogging in the park than watching TV on the comfort of their sofas. So, last month I started challenging myself. I started with the Interval Training - walk-jog-walk. I completed the 15 minutes' session. Breathless but happy. After 2 weeks, I started an even more advanced Interval Training - walk-jog-run. I was rather amazed with myself. I could run. I could even sprint on the treadmill. And I could do it for more than 3 minutes!

Looking back, I thought there were 2 things that I've done right : the regular milk intake and the crunches. Now even my breathing has improved and knee pain nomore. Yeay! Run Lola Run!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


.... one size!!! Hooray!!!!!!

Aaaah..... I went to collect my renewed Ms Read card last week and while the sales assistant was searching for my card, I picked up a few skirts and blouses. When I handed the clothes over to another sales assistant for her to take them off the hangers she told me, 'I don't think you wear this size.'

I checked the size of each cloth again, 'Yes, this is my size....'

I was so sure because I have been wearing size X for like 4 years now. In 2005 I was still wearing size X+1. I managed to drop 1 dress size after one year of exercising (although not that regularly) at the gym.

The sales assistant disappeared for awhile and came back with the same designs of clothes which I took earlier but all of them were size X-1. She insisted that I tried them on.

I was rather excited and entered the changing room with 4 blouses and 4 skirts. Usually we are only allowed to try out 3 pieces of clothes at one go, right? But at Ms Read they're always being extra nice.... because they really understaaaaaaand biiiiiiig womeeeeeeen....hehe...

I took my shirt off and started trying the first piece on. It fit nicely! When I looked at my face in the mirror, my mouth was making the big 'O' shape, and that's how amazed I was! The rest of the clothes fit well too. Argh... I was both happy and quite upset at the same time. It's good to know that I could fit into smaller clothes now. But when all 8 pieces looked good on you, how to decide which ones should be returned to the display (and not brought home????) ARGHH (again)!!!

After much deliberation, I decided to buy only 5 pieces. I shop here on a quarterly basis. So, I'll surely be back next quarter. No worries.

Meanwhile, let me just continue chanting to myself.... one size smaller.... one size smaller ... one size smaller....;) Need some distraction because the damage done that day was RM four four two... hehehe. Sounds like a football formation, huh?

Friday, April 2, 2010


On Thursday, two male work colleagues told me that I looked like I've lost some weight. Guy #1 asked what I've done. I simply told him that I've been taking lighter breakfast and eat home-cooked food for dinner. He didn't believe me.
Guy #2 asked whether I've been seriously working out. Well, it's a widely known fact that I used to be a 'moody' gym-goer. I only worked out when I was really in the mood. I told him the same thing about the breakfast.
It's true, I have been having cereal with milk for breakfast. I bought one packet everyweek. The cereal I chose was a mix of nut, fruit, seed and oat and it's low in sugar content. Usually I took half a cup every morning and it made me feel full until about 11 a.m. Then it's already time for my morning snack. These days I stock up some healthy biscuits in my drawer as I've sworn to myself that I won't have those oily, salty chips for snacking anymore.
Lunch time is the only time when I can pig out a bit. However, having learned on portion control and practicing it, I couldn't even finish half a plate of pasta at Italiannies. I usually have Asian food for lunch; kway teow soup, fried rice, hawkers' food etc. Many people believe that Asian food are generally oily, spicy, creamy and salty. However, if we choose wisely many of them are quite healthy; even healthier than just torturing yourself by having salad.
Dinner is much simpler but satisfying these days. I cook at least 4 days a week. Bought pasar malam food on Tuesday and Friday while on the weekends we'd eat out at least twice. All these while I always tried to find excuses not to cook dinner. However, I have found a way to make it easier. The secret is to always plan ahead. Although it means there's a lot more work to be done, so far it's less stressful than before. When we used to eat out almost every night, I was always chased by guilt for I knew outside food is laden with MSG and whatnots.
The only sacrifice I have to make is leave the gym 30 minutes earlier, have a quick shower and start preparing dinner after Maghrib prayer. Since I've planned for the meals at least one day ahead, it took me only about 40  minutes to prepare a decent dinner. I stock up blended chilli in the fridge.
I've also bought a set of Tupperware's freezer-mate from my friend to keep the cleaned fish, chicken or other seafood. Frozen food is always thawed in the refrigerator since morning. By the time I prepare dinner I just need to take them out of the container. I don't use coconut cream in my cooking, so it's just a matter of peeling the onions and sometimes ginger. Easy peasy. If only I thought about this since 6 years ago.....!
It's not too late for everybody to start preparing home-cooked food. The key word is PLAN (and perhaps COMMIT).