Support Groups

Support Groups

Last month, I signed up to this forum called 3 Fat Chicks.  I came across this website when I was massively researching about weight loss tips and tricks.  I’ve started, succeeded and failed at many diets or weight loss regimens my whole life. At many points in my life, I have put fitness and weight loss at varied degrees of importance.  The last time was 12 years ago when I wanted to prove to myself I could.  Back then I was only overweight 20 pounds.  Now, I still have 25 pounds to go before reaching normal weight.

The group has many separate subgroups where you can read what others wrote or you can post yourself.  I’ve introduced myself in the Introductions page, I’ve posted on the Weight Loss Support  page as well as other pages.  Being a part of this group helped me realized that I was not alone in need help with losing weight.  Yes, I know that there is a problem with obesity now. That doesn’t mean that everyone is trying to cut down and drop weight.  Reading about other people’s experiences made me realize that it is hard, and everyone is having a hard time trying to get to their goal weight.  You read about what other people are doing that are helping them on their journey and those that aren’t helpful.  You get to see how long it takes to lose X amount of weight.

Oftentimes, I get easily discouraged when it feels like the number on the scale isn’t dropping.  That’s most likely the time, I give up and start going back to bad eating habits.  What’s the point?  I put in all this work, but the weight isn’t coming off.  On this forum, you read about other people experiencing the same thing.  Other members encourage and give support and you end up doing the same because you can relate to how they feel and what they are going through.

Sometimes, the hardest is being honest with those closest to us.  I couldn’t tell my weight to my friends for the longest time since I was deathly embarrassed that I had allowed myself to go completely.  In the forum, I wasn’t afraid of being judged about my highest weight.  I could freely write how I felt about the whole weight loss process, how I felt, and how I just hate to work out but I just have to push myself.  The group is there for us to share our good days and bad days.

I end up checking the forum every few days to read about new joiners and new topics.  I update other members my weight loss progress and encourage others to power through.   I join challenges, set goals and mini goals, try new recipes to help make the whole journey more interesting. In the same way we seek support from our family and friends for many things,  a weight loss support group will make it easier to achieve our goal of a healthy lifestyle.



Fitbit Challenge Accepted!

I first got my Fitbit Charge HR in February 2015 from Amazon but it was a lemon so I decided to get a refund instead.  While on a trip to Singapore the same year, I got a Fitbit Charge HR (orange this time) and started to use it since I figured it will help me with my fitness goals.  I wore it on and off for the rest of the year becasue I didn’t feel like I was maximizing it.  All-day desk job and being lazy to work out contributed to really low step count so I just left it on my desk.  What’s the point of wearing it everyday if I’m only going to get around 3,000 steps?

It was only around mid-2016 that I started using it more.  We would have Fitbit challenges with my colleagues and we would actually go up and down 20 flights of stairs during our lunch break.  (Hint:  Stairs are useless to add steps.  It’s good workout but you get sooo tired with each step compared to just walking.)  We also learned that it’s not good to go down 20 flights of stairs and go back up the same number.  Our muscles were like totally wonky from flexing for so long and then stretching for so long.  But we did get our workout, which was the important thing.

After a year, my Charge HR died on me.  The rubber part opened up and it wouldn’t turn on anymore so I upgraded to the Charge 2 which I like so much better and has more functionality.  More of my friends started using Fitbit and we would have weekly challenges and weekend challenges.  Since we all had desk jobs, we didn’t have a lot of steps and the one who won didn’t really have that huge number of steps.  But if we were traveling, our step count went up astronomically and we’d win for that week. Whoever was traveling, always won the challenge. It became a habit and we started having our own Fitbit chat group and we’d meet up on the weekends to hang out.  Not to workout, but to eat. Lol!

Recently though, I’ve started to use more of the Fitbit app aside from just counting steps. I launched into my health and wellness campaign about a month and a half ago.  I’ve been logging in my workouts, monitoring my calories expended, and my heart rate.  Aside from that, I’ve also concluded that I need to eat 1,000 less calories per day to lose weight.  The only thing I haven’t really used is the is the daily food log.  I just feel it’s such a hassle to log down every little thing I eat.  Maybe I’ll get there. Maybe not.

So far, it’s been working out. I feel healthier, stronger and fitter.  I’ve lost weight and continue to do so. I can see the change in my resting heart rate and my working out heart rate.  I try to do more than 10,000 steps a day and I get super happy when I get new badges, especially lifetime badges.  I’ve already peeked ahead into the next few badges and computed how long it will take me to get the next one.  Who else is excited about the Fitbit badges? The next one I’m aiming for is the Great Barrier Reef.  Can’t wait to get it by August this year.


Keep Calm and Ride On

Keep Calm and Ride On

I first tried spinning back in 2015. That time, I hadn’t had much sleep, a bit dehydrated since I was out for drinks the night before and not in the best physical condition. Nonetheless, I thought I could do it. How hard can it be? Uhm. Hard. Very hard. And painful.

Without even stretching before class, I pedaled hard and fast and increased the resistance thinking I was invincible. Halfway through the class, my thighs were pretty much gone so I got off the bike to rest outside. As soon as I unclipped my cleats, I fell like a lump of clay on the floor. My leg muscles hurt so much that I was close to tears. Oh and one of my calves was cramping. I drank water and ate a banana to help me feel better. I soldiered on and was able to get home. The next day, I had a hard time getting out of bed and my pee was brownish in color. I was worried so I kept on drinking water to flush it out. My reasoning was that I didn’t hydrate enough and that was why it was dark. I was already on my way to the doctor when I decided to check again to see if there was any improvement. It was like that for another day until it turned normal. I breathed a huge sigh of relief but my leg muscles still hurt and I kept on stretching and stretching. Due to the pain, I fell so many times while on the stairs or whenever my knee was bent because it would sometimes lock. It was close to a month before the muscle pain disappeared. I found solace in other riders who also got “injured” while on their first ride.

Since then, I avoided spinning like the plague.  I was deathly afraid of getting “injured” again.  It was only recently that I learned about rhabdomyolysis. It could’ve been that but we’ll never know for sure. At least I knew it wasn’t just me.

Recently, another friend has been super into spinning and invited me to join her. I figured I had time now and I will just take it easy and not push myself too hard like the first time. For the first three classes, I didn’t force myself to stand cycle (or whatever it’s called). After a while, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to be able to do what the other riders could and started pushing myself more. After a few more classes, it became easier for me to keep up. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would take to spinning class. Part of the allure was the motivational pep talk from the instructors and the upbeat music. Most of all, it was because I could feel myself improve with every consecutive class I attended. From not being able to do double time sprints or stand cycle, I can do all those now. There’s also that satisfaction of sweat dripping off you to motivate you to do more. Not glistening sweat, but outright drops of sweat all over the machine and on the floor.

I’m now into my second month of spinning and I’m hooked. My friend “recruited” me and I found another “recruit” and we all go and spin together. It’s always good to have workout buddies since you encourage each other to attend class and not skip.  You feel stronger, healthier and look better. What I like most about spinning is you get to build mental strength. You push through the difficult climbs and develop endurance. You have this CAN DO attitude to power through which is beneficial in many areas in life. You just need to KEEP CALM AND RIDE ON.

Keep Your Eye On the Prize

Keep Your Eye On the Prize

Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t turn back.

-William J. Clinton

This whole switching to a healthier lifestyle is progressing smoothly but I know I’m very impatient. Everyday, I weigh myself to see if there’s any movement down the scale. And to think I only started a week ago. I want the numbers to go down already. But then it’s only been a week. I seriously would need to starve myself in order to see any significant change that quick. Which I haven’t been doing. I know I should just hide out at home  but I really need to be around people or else I will go nuts.

The good thing is that my endurance has improved significantly. I’m now able to run 5km without stopping but my speed is still not fast enough. Getting there. My friend suggested doing a triathlon and my jaw just dropped at the idea. Even at my sort of crappy physical condition, I finished a half marathon and a 60km bike ride separately. I guess I could do a shortened version of triathlon but that would mean I have to start training for it now. I can swim but swimming on open waters is hard. I was once swimming against the tide and it felt like an exercise in futility.    I need to check on when the next triathlon or Iron Man event is so I can decide whether I want to push through with this lofty ambition. It would indeed be very fulfilling and satisfying if I’m able to do it.

I’ve been running 5km in the mornings and doing spinning classes 2-3x a week. I try to do hand weights for my flubby arms but I still need to work on my inner thighs so that means I have to work with machines. I found this account on Instragram by Kayla Itsines and her Bikini Body Guide. Sounds interesting since it’s only 30 minutes long. Anything longer and my mind wanders. You’re supposed to do it 3x a week and alternate with cardio workout on days you don’t do it. I shall try it next week. Looking forward to having a before and after picture. Not that I will post it on social media or anything. It’s more for personal satisfaction.

I know I just need to keep on doing this. I may stumble from time to time. Nobody’s perfect. And think long term. We are so used to instant gratification that if I don’t see a pound lost the next day, I get so disheartened. I need to keep my eye on the prize, watch what I eat, lessen what I eat and work out everyday. And I know I will get there.

New Decade Resolution

New Decade Resolution

I’ve recently been cataloging old files and photos and discovered my picture from twelve years ago.  Back then, I had just finished two months of the South Beach Diet in which I lost 20lbs. That picture above was me at my thinnest.  You can kind of see that I’m still quite fleshy. Fast forward years later, I admit to letting myself go  Now, I need to lose 30lbs to get back to how I was before I lost the weight .  To be honest, when I lost the weight back then, I felt I still needed to lose another 20lbs but when I look at then-me now, I was perfectly fine and normal.  This is what happens you look back and realize that you were so harsh on yourself.   Fine. Not only you but the people closest to you, your siblings and parents.

I was never the skin and bones type of kid.  If you look at all my pictures,  I was what you would consider “healthy and fleshy.”   As a kid all the way to being an adult, I’ve been on many diets.  Sound diets, fad diets, exercise craze. I’ve done them all.  But it was only when I bought the South Beach Diet book that it worked.  My problem areas have always been the appendages (arms and legs).  First to gain, last to lose.  Ugh!

I didn’t immediately gain it all back.  Around four years later, I was back to my pre-South Beach weight due to lack of exercise and emotional eating.  Yes, I have now addressed my emotional eating and it has changed from craving sweets to savory stuff (ie potato chips).  I’m so addicted to potato chips. Give me salty!  I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror today and saw that I want to lose some weight in order to look nicer in clothes.  I don’t hate the way I look. I just could look better.  Back then, the motivation to lose weight was to find a guy.  Yes, I know.  It’s kind of shallow and silly but then when you’re in you’re late twenties, you feel the clock ticking.  Now I’m in my super late thirties, the sound of the clock ticking is deafening.  But that is another topic altogether.

As I write this,  I’m on day 1 of my transformation journey because I want to look better and feel healthier. Note that I’m not using the word diet at all.  It just sounds so negative.  Transformation sounds so much better. I want to look my best as I start a new decade in life. I want to feel good about myself.  I’ve starting walking in mornings, running in mornings and spinning class at night.  I have my Fitbit to remind me that I need to keep active. I need all the help to succeed and change/improve my lifestyle.  If I could do it then, I’m 1000% certain I can still do it now.