MY FITNESS JOURNEY 1.0 (June 2016)
Fitness, eat clean, gym junkie, healthy, meal prep queen.... these are definitely not the words my family and friends would use to describe me back in 2010.
It's more along the lines of "Do you eat heaps during winter?" "Is winter REALLY cold in Australia?" "What do you usually eat?" " How heavy are you now?"
You know how Asians families are...
(Or if you don't, "Wow, you have put on weight." "You look chubbier." are the most common greetings. UHM, I'm very well thank you. Thanks for asking. THIS is also when ignorance IS bliss)
Let the story-telling begins from that fat Asian kid to (probably still "big" for Asian standard) fit...
MY FITNESS JOURNEY
Like most teens, I had body image issues. Unlike majority of the Asian population, I have the worst metabolism. I swear I put on weight just by inhaling the smell of food. #truestory I went on the Herbal Life "'meal replacement" diet twice - once before my Year 12 formal and during my first year university vacation. (This is the contributing factor to why I am still having problems swallowing protein shakes till the very day). The fact that everyone (including Mum, relos & friends) was constantly telling me how much weight I have put on since moving to Australia or how "well fed" I was? I was a seasonal bulimic* for a good 5 years before going cold turkey about 2 years ago.
For those of you who knew me back then probably got so sick me of complaining about my weight, "wanting to exercise" yet doing nothing about it and my constant battle with "dieting". However, given my love affairs with food, I rarely survived any diets for more than 3 days. My best record was a fruit diet that lasted for 3 days and needless to say, all hell went loose after that. All my diet often led to binge eating after due to extreme suppression of my cravings and binge eating led to guilt which resulted in purging after.
It was a vicious cycle.
I knew self-induced purging was bad but heck, that was overcasted by the fear of gaining weight. See, I even knew that purging will result in weight gain rather than weight loss. Like most, if not all eating disorders, it was a psychological thing. I had random stomach pain and stitches; there were times where I seriously thought that all my teeth would be corroded by the age of 25. Yet, I still did it over and over again. I tried going to pump class 2 times a week and tried running for 3 days a week.. My exercise routine usually last no more than three weeks.
PS: I didn't rock up to the pump class at my current gym until a year of signing up later.
PPS: I HATED running until recently when I discovered my ability to conquer 2km within 15mins or less.
Thank god - the vicious cycle of dieting-Bullimic-attempting to exercising came to an end when I decided to sign up to Hard Candy Fitness (previously known as VClub) on Halloween 2010, approximately 1 month after I started my first graduate role in the city. On an annual contract. I wanted to shoot myself after planting my signature on the paper. I have had bad experience with such contracts with Fitness First prior and I vowed to never sign an annual contract with the gym ever again. But guess what? I have recently extended my third contract! Can you believe it?
I gotta credit this to an ex-friend of mine for this. Albeit we aren't friends anymore, she did play a huge role in getting me into fitness. She was a gym nazi back in the days (think: forcing me to work out the day after Melbourne Cup***) - making sure I hit the gym from Monday to Thursday after work. Since we were both avid dancers, she made sure that I'm in every Zumba, hip hop and belly dance classes. I wouldn't deny that the first couple of weeks were quite a struggle but since I love dancing it doesn't feel like a "chore" to me.
During the first year of my gym membership, my workout consists of belly dance, hip hop and Zumba. Zumba with Amy Mills (my fav of all times!) is definitely not a walk in the park - think lots of squats, jumping and hips shaking. I started doing double classes as my fitness level got better. Food wise, I stop dieting/ binge eating. Subconsciously, I became more aware of the food I consumed (ie, no more 1packet of Tim Tams in one sitting!) without even trying. I started getting comments from friends that I have lost weight/ got slimmer!
A year later, belly dancing became a little "easy" for me (ie, I don't really feel like a work out). So, I decided to give pump class a try after hearing so much about it. Boy, was I hooked. There was just a sense of satisfaction I get from being able to do reps with those weights! From then on, pump became a regular weekly session for me. Along the way, I started doing funktional dance (think strength & HIIT training in a fun way), FUTURE dance (previously known as house class) and even kickboxing class (once a month maybe).
I finally get to experience the so-called endorphins kick.
That extra weights I added to my bar bell, that extra military push up I did gave me such great sense of achievement! I started pushing my limits! With my favourite EDM festival of all times - Stereosonic coming up, I thought I'd challenge myself and #getshredded for Stereo. (Yes, I became one of those =P) This was when I started meal preppin' and haven't looked back since!
#TheSenseOfAccomplishmentWhen you receive compliments on how good you look and a good friend of yours tells you how much fitter you look compared to the year before. It makes all the grilled chicken-broccoli & sweet potatoes "diet" worth it. (I haven't really gone back to that combination cos I have then came up with way tastier recipes without additional work & "bad calories" - stay tune for it!)
On top of that, I got into pole dancing by total chance. All the classes on that particular Monday totally sucked and coincidently, there was an empty pole available. (You're required to book the pole the day before at my gym and I have been majorly ceebs for almost a year). Pole is bloody hard work but I was hooked! I have a confession to make - I feel like a hulk in pump classes especially when I squat more than the guy next to me. However, I feel completely weak when I'm in pole class. Lifting weights and lifting yourself is VERY different. It was tough - but I loved it. The feeling when I climbed the pole for the VERY first time was indescribable. The satisfaction and sense of achievement I get every time I master a new trick is beyond. It made all the domestic-violence-lookalike-bruise and callouses worth while.
I couldn't agree more with that statement.
The 21yo Adeline would have been so happy to achieve what Stereosonic 2012 Adeline has achieved and would probably be heaps content. However, the new found love affair I have with fitness does not stop there. I started getting into High Intensity and Interval Training (aka HIIT) and more kickboxing class and I loved it! I started to include some machine training into my routine too. Just an extra FYI, I hated machine training cos I find it SO boring! But trust me, when you can so that extra pull up, you feel like a god for a second #truestory In fact, I decided to go Future Music Festival three years ago as an encouragement/ goal to get shredded. (I wouldn't lie - the last minute announcement that Avicii was playing helped too although he was such a let down that night!)
OF COURSE, life is full of surprises and a lot of the times they aren't always great! On that very night that I told my crew I was attending, I. SNAPPED. MY. FINGER. Literally. Snapped.
The first question I had for my radiologist and orthopaedic was "Does that mean I can't lift and do pole for a while? How long does it take to recover?" It turned out that the break was more serious than I expected and my finger had to get screwed. Literally. (Note the pun? HA). Like going through surgery to get screws inserted.
Kinda like this.
I was devastated. Extremely devastated. No pole and shredding for a good 2 months! DAFUQ? I was pretty certain I was going to rock up FMF looking like a slob looking all flabby and shit. Little did I know, this misfortunate event of mine opened me up to an entirely new world of training and it brought my training up another notch.
For a good two months or so, the ONLY exercise that's somewhat acceptable is cycling, on a normal bike. Not the ones in spin classes. You could probably gathered by now, I'm very much a group fitness person. Despite the slight risks that present in spin class, that was the only class I went. Monday to Wednesday. Just another FYI, spin class was another class that I disliked. I had no choice - so I sucked it up. Now, Monday Maximum Drive (a type of resistant spin class) is one of my favourite classes and keep me sane from Monday Blues. Apart from spin classes, I started focusing on lower body training such as leg presses and more squats and jump lunges (focusing on frequency rather than resistant since I couldn't hold a bar!)
Guess what? I rocked up to FMF looking leaner and fitter than I was at Stereosonic. I fit in a size 8 top. (I have always been a 12 prior to my fitness journey and went down to 10, never an 8!) The very same friend of mine was shocked at how I could be smaller than Stereosonic with my injury. I guess the new training routine definitely helped, with strong focus on my lower body (which is the largest muscle group of the body!) I think the fact that the loss of appetite when I was on Panadeine Forte helped too.:P
5 months since the injury and a final scan from the surgeon. I'm back to pole training (albeit not 100% yet), started kettle bell training and included new core and body weight exercise into my routine! I can now train myself/ alone for a quick HIIT session, following by a long weight session. (In fact, I often go overtime.) Trust me, it gets addictive. I have also dipped my toes in TRX and Crossfit recently and am definitely loving it! Did I mention, I went from someone who despise yoga to someone who now appreciates a good yoga session (or two) per week? Yeap, unbelievable but true.
There you go - my fitness journey which looks like a life biography to me! It took me over 2 hours of non stop writing to put them into words. Kudos to those of you who actually made it through such a wordy post! I am sharing my story with you to let you know that I did not become a gymjunkie overnight, nor did I make a change in my lifestyle in a snap of finger (Or maybe I did? Ha. Ha.). It takes time, it takes small changes, it takes determination & motivation but this is what Eat This Burn That is for.
*Seasonal Bullimic - I don't purge after every meal. It's more of restricting myself completely from a certain type of food (eg: carbs, chocolate, sweets, ice cream, cakes - pretty much any "treats") for as long as I could. When that restriction bubble exploded, instead I fell into binge eating mode (most often demolishing an entire packet of chips, Tim Tams, M&Ms). Then, feeling like a complete fat shit and utterly disgusted with myself, there comes the TC**.
** TC is the abbreviation for tactical chunder - most often used when one is inebriated and trying all sort of ways to un-drink all the alcohol. It is a "subtle" way to explain self induced purging.
*** For you non Aussies - Melbourne Cup is the biggest race day in the land down under where most corporate firms take half a day off for drinks (by drinks, I meant UNLIMITED supply of drinks), sweeps, TAB and more drinks. It's an unspoken rule that you don't try to start a casual conversation on the Wednesay morning post MelbourneCup.
Now that you have read mine - it's your turn to share your story (if you're comfortable of course) - whether you have achieved the ideal lifestyle you wanted, your goals or just about to embark with this fitness journey with me everyone out there!
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