Category: Fat loss

Metamorphosis I: How I lost 20kg in 10 months (II)

Chapter 2: Denial

“You have put on weight!”

“You look bloated”

“You’re fat”

Those were the comments I got. 

“They don’t understand”

“I must keep going”

“Is it how it supposed to be?”

I think to myself

“I should not look like this. I could be better” Sometimes I looked in the mirror and think to myself. I visualized myself as big as a hulk. I dreamed about a body of a fitness model on a fitness magazine with my head on it. Being bigger was my ultimate goal and heavier weight equals to bigger size was my perception.

My eldest sister told me this once. “When you want to do something, you are very determined. That means you are very stubborn too”

I guess she was right.

I was so stubborn. Nothing seems to stop me. Not getting breathless from running 7km/hr pace on treadmill. Not getting breathless from tying up my shoe lace because my guts were in the way. Not even tearing my work pants at work a few times to make me feel embarrassed enough to stop. Until that first of the two incidents happened on my first day of restarting my career path as a fitness professional. It was the first day at school doing my certificate of Fitness. There were signs before the incident.

I walked into my class and I saw a couple of classmates with decent shape. It was a bit intimidating to sit next to them. I was not feeling too well on that day as well. Frequent toilet visit was like a mission for the day. I forced myself to turn up because I did not want to miss out anything on the first day of school. Miraculously, I managed to hold on to my business until the end of the first class even though my focus were constantly shifting between toilet and fumbling for the right words to make my introduction speech less mediocre. Yes, I tried very hard to be less mediocre in everything that I do. Sometimes, in vain. 

After bidding farewell to classmates and lecturers, I dashed off to the toilet like a skyrockets launching its way out of the Earth atmosphere. That is a bit of an exaggeration but I need to be quick to not make a mess in the public. 

I went into the cubicle and it was tinier than a shoe box for me due to my sideways growing frame. It was very hard to move around in the cubicle. Afraid to be locked in the facility after hours, I quickly finished my business and cleaned myself up. Like I mentioned before, it was really HARD to move around. CRACKED! I heard. I felt a sudden sharp like a knife pain sensation on my lower back. I think I hurt my lower back. NO! I hurt my lower back. And the pain has no mercy on me for the next couple of days. I remember that it was painful to get out of bed the next day.

This incident has become the embarrassing ‘Hurt my back in the toilet’story for me to tell my friends later in my life. Fortunately, it was not ‘I broke my lumbar while cleaning myself in the toilet’ story. Thanks, deadlift or maybe squat. Or neither. Just stubbornness in me.

It was the first time to make me realized that perhaps I am really fat.

A few weeks later, second incident followed. It happened in school again. The class were discussing health risks associated with obesity. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other horrible form of punishments from being obese came up in the discussion. We also learned that one of the requirements to be doomed as obese is to have a waist measurement of more than 100cm. Straight after that, we were practising on doing measurement on body parts including waist. I paired up with, Ramon, the guy I had became closest in the class. He measured my arms. I looked at the measurement. It was not as good as I expected. Someone proudly announced his arms number. “My arms are smaller” I thought to myself.

Ramon measured my chest. I look at it. Not 40 inches. I always wanted to have bigger chest. At that moment, I was very disappointed with myself. I start to wonder if all the times that I spent in the gym were nothing but waste of time. I struggled to make sense of what I did in the gym as I had followed many programs promised to add inches on my chest from the fitness magazines. “Should I still consider personal trainer as my future career if I failed to help myself to achieve a muscular body” I doubted. 

Ramon then measured my waist. I looked at the number. I was horrified. I should see that coming as my 38 inches pants felt tighter than ever. 

ONE ZERO FOUR…104 was the size. Tears started to well up in my eyes. I tried to hide my face from the class full room of people. Ramon noticed that something had gone very wrong with me and asked if I am OK. “I am OK” I replied. I wiped my tears dry sneakily and feigned a yawn so no one else noticed that I was in tears. I think Ramon knew that I was not happy with the measurement. He offered to measure it second time to see if he got it right. So we did the measurement again. I was sucking my guts in together very hard till it has no space left between the organs during the measurement. And it was still a disappointing 102.

From that moment on, I could not stop thinking about me possibly dealing with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure and other horrible form of punishments associated with obesity. The thought of being the one of five Australians living with obesity according to the statistic back then really petrified. It was like the end of the world for me. I was not indulging myself with cakes, junk food and soft drink. I just wanted to be big, as big and muscular as the guy in the Muscle magazine.

I waited. I hold on to my tears. I put on a mask to hide my sadness and disappointment until I got home. It felt like a frustrating road trip that stretches across the south of Australia. Then, I cried. Very hard. In my own solitary. No one heard it but myself. 

(To be continued)

Metamorphosis: How I lost 20 kg in 10 months (I)

“You’re becoming fatter”

I always wanted to write about my fitness journey. How I get to where I am now? It is not an easy journey. The whole experience tested my patience, willingness, boundary and most unforgivingly, pain threshold. I must admit that I have a very low pain threshold. And this experience is not going to stop here but keep going until the day I take my last breath.

So where do I begin. Seriously, if I am going to start from the beginning, it will take 10 seasons and 3 movies to finish it. Hence, I am going to start from my heaviest days back in 2012. Before I got into that part of the journey, I would like to write about how I got to my heaviest weight, 94kg+-2kg before I lost more than 20kg 10 months after that.

It may sound silly. Once upon a time, I believe that the only way to look good naked is to put on as much weight as possible. After all, all of the highest level bodybuilding competitors back then weight between 110 and 130kg. It could be higher these days. I must also say that I was silly enough to believe that these weight could be achieved by eating enormous amount of food without any chemical assistance. 

I gulped down litres after litres of fat free milk everyday. Broscience said GOMAD is a way to go. It is fat free too so it must be good for your health. That’s what the media promoted. 3 to 4 protein shakes per day with the hope of putting on muscle. Lots of chicken breast, canned tuna, brown rice, fruit smoothie, whole meal bread, healthy canned soup, whole grain cereal, muesli, protein bars and so on and on. 

Training wise, I did a lot of ego lifting. Super heavy weight. Swing them, jerk them, pretty much partial reps every rep. When I squat, I felt my lower back. When I bench, I felt impingement on my shoulder. When I shoulder press, I felt my lower back as well. When I deadlift, I felt my lower back again. The only things that I do somehow do better are pull ups and dips.

All hell break loose. My weight ballooned from mid 70 to mid 90. I was not happy and I want more because I believed that I need to get bigger to be better. Then, came one beautiful weekday afternoon. Everyone at work can finally breath a sigh of relief knowing that we all can enjoy our 30 minutes lunch break in the staff after a busy morning with our own set of unexciting routine works. It was beautiful because it was warm and no one have to put up with the staff room temperature, which can be scorching during winter and freezing during summer. Just let say there is no middle ground when either the heater or the cooler is on.

I took out my 4 wholemeal bread super sized sandwich with peanut butter, banana slice and melted cheese and a can of tuna with excitement. Happily took a big bite of sandwich and scoop a big chunk of tuna from the can with a tablespoon and put it in my mouth. Yes, I have weird taste buds. Food was tangoing inside my mouth with joy, I can image. The first slap in the face just came out of nowhere. “That’s a big meal. You’re becoming fatter” said one of my colleague. 

“I put on muscle too” I protested.

I don’t think she was trying to make me feel bad. However, I felt hurt.

(To be continued)