Today is the first day of yet another diet.
I’d have to confess that I’ve let myself go lately. I’ve had far too many buffet dinners, high teas that involved lots of cakes and chocolate, midnight snacks, and lots of chocolate in between. The treadmill at home is now covered with a fine layer of dust — a testimony to the (in)frequency of my usage of the ginormous object.
My wake-up call? A 3-day special sale for members at Isetan Department Store in Suria KLCC. As I mentioned in a previous post, the whole of Malaysia is on sale right now until the 1st of September. But what the 3-day special does is give Isetan members an additional 10% discount to the existing discounts, plus a few other ‘best buy’ items that’s available for members only. So what did the sale have to do with my weight? The clothes, of course. Without going into too much detail, suffice to say that I got depressed after trying on an armload of clothes that were 50-70% off…and decided to take action.
I’ll keep my target realistic and achievable: 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per week. I’ve been through the whole regimen before so I know what to do: reduce calorie intake and increase calorie usage through exercise. I also know what to expect: a maximum of 2 kg a week so as not to lose muscle.
About a year or two before the twins were conceived, I have actually enrolled in one of those programmes in a nearby slimming centre that involved consultation with a dietician, keeping a food diary (which was meticulously checked by the dietician), doing regular weigh-ins, and being subjected to all sorts of contraptions in the slimming centre: a massage that’s supposed to break down the fat cells, an infra-red machine, mud wraps, saunas. That was also the time I coaxed DH into buying the treadmill, which I used on a regular basis.
In retrospect, I believe it was the food diary, consultations with the dietician and the exercise that did the trick. That’s why I’m confident that I can achieve similar results as last time without spending big bucks in a slimming programme. The food diary played a huge part, as it made me acutely aware of what I ate and how much I ate. In fact, Time Magazine recently published an article about it, quoting results from a study by Kaiser Permanente in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that, “among dieters who were trying to lose weight, those who wrote down everything they ate lost twice as much as those who did not”.
In my past weight loss mission, I lost about 8 kg (17.6 lbs) within 6 weeks before hitting a plateau. With a bit of walking and a lot of care when it comes to my food intake, I successfully managed to maintain that weight.
Then I got pregnant with the twins. But it wasn’t really an issue because most of the weight that I gained went into the twins. I only gained about 15 kg, out of which Twin1 took up 3.15 kg (6.93 lbs), Twin2 2.85 kg (6.27 lbs) and the placenta 1 kg (2.2 lbs). If you take into account the extra water, blood, and breast tissue that accumulates in any pregnant woman’s body, there was very little fat in the total weight gain. In fact, after I gave birth, I looked the same as I did before I got pregnant with the twins.
Then came breastfeeding. Yup, I breastfed the twins exclusively for close to a year. That meant a year off from work (and what a wonderful year that was!!!) and that also meant feeling endlessly ravenous! Perhaps I wasn’t really hungry but actually just needed more fluids, but I ate and ate and ate a lot and didn’t do any exercise. The result? Excess weight that only got worse over time with poor food choices (cream sauces, cakes, sweets, fried foods, oily foods) and little or no exercise.
So here I am again, embarking on another weight loss regimen. And I’m announcing this latest endeavour to the world to put pressure on myself. Something like what the Fat Cyclist did. He used to be fat, then decided to take up cycling to lose some weight, posting his struggles in his blog in the process. He’s very fit now but continues his blog and is still known as ‘Fatty’ to his blog followers. If it worked for him, maybe it will work for me. Except that I won’t divulge my initial weight in this post :D
For starters, I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes today in the hotel gym (baby steps lah!) and limited my breakfast to a cup of coffee with artificial sweetener and some low-fat milk, a cup of muesli with fresh fruit, and mushroom-and-cheese omelette. For this morning’s snack, I nibbled on 1/4 cup toasted almond flakes with raisins. I also drink a lot of water in between, which I don’t bother writing down. Don’t worry — I won’t be boring you with the details of my daily food intake in the future. I only wanted to give you an idea of how I take note of my food intake.
Wish me luck!