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{Fitness Journey}

I’ve been working out properly (with proper form, technique)
for close to 2 years now.
I did quite a fair bit of trial and error on my part
(I’m still learning & figuring out on what works best for me),
got injured
&adopted the wrong mindset to working out.
I’m sharing all these experiences with y’all today
& I hope y’all can learn from my mistakes
(or stop y’all from making these mistakes).

I shared my progress before featuring the top two pictures of the changes that took place within 4months into my fitness journey.
It received tons of comments enquiring about how I managed to do that,
what did I do to achieve such a huge weight loss in just 4months etc.
I was actually trying to bring across the message that
the scale does NOT matter at all.
It just goes to show that people are still very bothered about how much they weigh
&are constantly looking for short-cuts to weight loss.
It can turn into such an unhealthy obsession,
Checking your weight when your get up in the morning,
Weighing yourself after a meal/snack,
Stepping on the scale to see if you have gained a pound from the water you just drank,
Weighing yourself once more before you go to bed.

I’ve been through all that.
Before I started on weightlifting,
I actually went through a period whereby I kinda stopped eating
as much as I’m supposed to.  

In the top left pic where I was around 58kg,
I was once told that I have huge thighs.
I don’t know why I was so bothered about that remark
But I decided that I need smaller thighs to look better.
Being a girl who knows nothing about fitness
&being exposed to pictures of the beautiful girls on magazines &TV,
the only way I knew to go about getting slimmer thighs
 was to go on a “diet”.
The portion of my meals started decreasing,
I started eating lesser meals,
I started losing weight
&it soon became an obsession.
To check my weight constantly,
To smile in the mirror knowing that I actually weigh lighter now,
Feeling happy with the fact that my clothes are now slightly too big for me.
&of course,
my family and friends noticed the change in me.
It felt really good to hear “you look like you lost weight!”
(the things we used to do and how we would look back and
laugh at our own stupidity)
During those 2 weeks,
I lost close to 7kg & still,
There was only a slight (not exactly visible) decrease in the size of my thighs!
Girls who has been asking me bout how to lose love handles,
tummy/arms/thighs fats,
I’m sorry to burst your bubble
But it doesn’t work that way honey.
You will have to focus on your body as a whole to lose weight.
(Touched on this topic under my FAQ
so you can pop over to read more bout it if you wanna)
I realized what I was doing wasn’t right.
I should be caring for my body instead of harming it.

Eating lesser/ starving yourself will actually trick your body into thinking
You are most likely not going to feed it in the next few hours/days.
Our body will then go into “starvation/survival mode”
Whereby our metabolism rate starts to slow down
&it will try to store more fats in order to have energy for our daily activities.
This is definitely & obviously something we DO NOT want!

To look on the bright side,
I’ve also learnt that my body naturally stores more fat in the lower tummy& thighs area as compared to my upper body.

A few years later,
I tried out weightlifting. 
It was insane,
I started falling in love (yes, you read it correctly) with lifting.
I love the rush of endorphins after a killer workout,
I love being able to lift heavier than the previous month,
I love how I’m going against the norm bout how girls shouldn’t be lifting
& most of all, 
I love how whenever I'm down/ angry/ stressed about something, 
working out never fails to make me feel better.

I still remember the rush of pride when I managed to do my first ever pull-up.

(how my body looked like after working out for 4 months)

For those who wanna know how I managed to lose so much weight in the first 4months…
I started clean-eating (no fast food, soft drinks, fried/oily food).
Only home-cooked meals with minimal oil is allowed
&as for snacks,
I only eat fruits/nuts.
(I even removed milo from my diet :O)
I trained 6-7 times a week (every session’s high intensity circuit training, up to 2hrs per training)
&not only did I lose 8kg during those 4 months,
I lost my period too.
(Sorry guys, this may get a bit ‘information overload’ for you. Hahah)
I started experiencing ‘spotting’
&my period stopped completely for 4 months.
My dad asked me to see the doctor
& after the blood test etc,
I was told that I had Amenorrhea.

There are 2 types of amenorrhea:
1. Primary (complete absence of menstruation by the age of 16)
 2. Secondary (for those who have regular periods, the absence of 3 to 12 consecutive menstrual periods after menarche).

Amenorrhea is common amongst female athletes,
Especially those who are required to have
low body fat percentage due to their sport.
I rmb the doctor asking why was I working out so much
&how I felt sheepish as I didn’t even know the answer myself.
I was advised drop my exercise frequency/intensity
&increase my calorie intake.
My period came the following month
(with vengeance by giving my crazy cramps -.-).
I was actually enjoying how I was ‘period-free’
& cramps free for a few months hahah
It can be sucha hassle >:

I did some research
&realized how serious amenorrhea can be.
Here’s some of the effects of amenorrhea:
1.     Infertility
2.     It’s associated with a drop in estrogen production &increase of testosterone. This means that women are likely to develop excess facial (like we don’t have enough facial hair to worry about already…).
3.     Affects bone density. Low estrogen levels can result in a decline in bone mineral density and osteoporosis.

I know many of y’all probably think that I’m blessed with good genes,
How I can eat whatever I fancy
&not gain a single pound.
Remember I talked about me going through a fair bit of trial& error?
I experimented with dirty bulking.
I eat whatever I want, as much as I wanna.
Not sure if y’all know of the raisin cheese bun so here’s how it looks like.

*Pic taken from google.

It’s slightly bigger than the size of our palms
&I loved it so much that within 2 days,
I ate 12 (they were part of my snacks).
That week,
I gained 5kg…
This just goes to show that I don’t have good genes
&high metabolism.
For those who wanna bulk,
I would advice y’all to do clean bulking instead
But it can be quite a challenge for some,
as you will have to consume large quantity of ‘clean’ food.

During the first year of my training,
I hardly even know what I was doing.
 I didn’t know the proper form for squats,
Which resulted in me injuring my knees.
I stopped running altogether for an entire year.
I didn’t dare go ATG (why grass? Shouldn’t it be ground? Hahah jk) for squats as I would hear the sound of papers being torn in my knees.
Thankfully I started working part-time at a gym that does rehab.
I’ve learnt so much about fitness &my body there.
This is the reason why I’m really particular about form now.
But of coure,
I still don’t know enough about fitness now.
Many thanks to those who corrected me before when I don’t even know much bout fitness.
I really appreciate the feedbacks :* 
They help me to grow &become better.

I realized how important knowledge and education is which is why
I went on to take the American Council of Exercise (ACE) PT cert
&I’m also currently taking a Degree in Exercise& Sports Science.
I would definitely love to have a job in this industry & it will definitely be handy to have a Degree (or any other qualification) in this area.
I really enjoy learning all these stuff in school even though it can get a bit crazy >:
 I wonder if we are really tested based on our knowledge & ability
or our ability to cramp as many things into our head as possible.
It’s really nice to learn the scientific reasons as to why our body is the way it is,
Harmful effects of certain diets,
Scientific names for various body parts/muscles
(like how the “teardrop” is actually called the Vastus Medialis),
their origins & insertions etc.
Gotta admit I had a hard time remembering all the names & origins :O

Let’s not sidetrack.
The next phase in my fitness journey is the period whereby
I received quite a fair bit of comments saying that I’m not making any progress.

That body they are referring to is the one
on the bottom left of my progress collage.
&don’t worry,
I’m not offended at all.

It’s cause I don’t pay much attention to my diet.
Those who have been following me for some time would know that I’m not strict with my diet at all.
I eat whatever I wanna but in moderation.
For example,
I would snack on 5-6 cubes of chocolate 3x a week…
I guess I was perfectly fine with the way I was
Plus I don’t work out solely to look good.
I work out because I enjoy the challenge &being able to progress in the amount of weight that I can lift/ doing things I can’t do before like pull-ups, clap push-ups etc.
&&& well,
I LOVE food ):
I do restrict myself when it comes to fast food (maybe once a month?)
& I do not drink soft drinks at all.
I feel that they are just empty calories.
I guess unless I’m competing (which I don't plan to) or have a photo shoot coming up,
I wouldn’t be strict on my diet hahah

& that brings us to now.
Just wanna take this chance to thank y’all who has been so supportive of me.
Letting me know that I’m making progress,
Looking leaner
&telling me that what I’m sharing is actually helping y’all
(that really really keeps me going).
Nothing beats knowing that you’ve helped someone to enjoy exercising/make progress/feel better about him or herself!
You don’t know how much it actually means to me
&I’m ever so grateful for it!
Super super blessed to be able to do what I’m doing right now.

Here’s what I have been doing recently:

1.     Lifting heavier & changing up my workout routines

Your body will actually learn to adapt if you are continuously doing the same routine for a long period of time.
It’s always good to change it up once in a while to “shock” your body.
I wasn’t lifting heavy before as I injured my knees
& I started to grow very comfortable with a specific amount of weights.
(Maybe I’m just subconsciously afraid of getting injured again…)
I decided that I needa get my drive back bout wanting to lift heavy gain.
So I’m lifting heavier for my hypertrophy sets/weeks plus
adding strength & de-load weeks into my workout.
They weren’t kidding when they say that you will only see change when you step outta your comfort zone!

2.     Eating more carbs
I used to have this misconception about how carbs are bad for us.
I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Who’s guilty of this too?

Truth is,
Our body NEED carbs to function (especially our brains& nervous systems).
Carbs are our main source of energy.
They are readily stored in our muscles for energy 
&enable most of the protein you consume to be used for tissue synthesis (such as muscle building)
instead of fuel. 

I tried cutting out rice, noodles &bread for a few months.
Not only did I feel tired most of the time,
I wasn’t able to perform to my whole potential during my workout sessions.

Currently I’m increasing my carbs intake by adding/ increasing the quantity of 
waffles, bread & rice in my diet.

3.     Consuming fried food in lesser quantities
You can almost never go wrong with fried food.
They are most likely gonna taste great
(unless its one of those whereby it makes your lips super oily. *Yikes*)
& are usually the most accessible one compared to steam/grilled/baked food.
We all know how unhealthy fried food is
&of course,
its making a difference when I start consuming them in lesser quantities/frequency.

4.     Doing cardio regularly
I stopped running for almost a year
&I’m ever so glad that it’s pain-free when I run now!

People often ask me how to lose fats/weight
& its simple,
a good combination of weights, cardio & diet (opps).
There's really no short-cuts to fitness
&of course,
I'm not one who believes in fad diets.
It's all about handwork, determination & perseverance.

These are the things that seem to be working for me.
Different people respond to different type/kind of training 
so what works for me maybe not work for you
but I hope what I shared here is useful to some of y'all!