Hello there! My name is Jade.
I don’t know how you came across this page, but I’m guessing you probably Googled “weight loss blogger Singapore” or something, hah.
THIS IS ME NOW.
AND THEN THERE WAS ME.
On my birthday, 20 August 2012.
NOT my highest weight, by the way….
In fact, when this photo was taken, I had already lost 4KG.
I’D BEEN OVERWEIGHT ALL MY FREAKIN’ LIFE.
On 16 July 2012, I decided to make a change – I embarked on a weight loss journey. So far, I’ve successfully maintained a loss of around 20KG.
I’ve been approached about this topic so often, I thought I would set up this section on the Blog to share about how I achieved the weight loss, and I hope it helps you in some way. I’ve sort of revamped this page to work in an FAQ format so that it’s more reader-friendly; I’ve received so many emails and Facebook private messages containing queries which I’ve already addressed on here, so please read this page cos your answer may be right here! :)
I thought it’d be useful to show you my weight loss progress photos to give you a rough idea of my “transformation” over the course of a year, from when I first started in July 2012 up to July 2013. I think it’s a pretty good chart, yes? :P
Why did you embark on this weight loss journey?
As a child, I was sorted into the Trim and Fit Club (commonly known here as “TAF Club”) in both primary and secondary school, a programme for overweight kids. I got made fun of. A lot. I didn’t get out of TAF Club until I was about 15. Even after that, I was plump and remained so throughout my adult years.
OK. So, despite the fact that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way I looked all my life, it didn’t occur to me that I had the power to change it. Sure, I went on diets and exercised, but still did not see any changes. So I gave up and reverted to my bad eating habits. I lived thinking that I would forever be that sluggish girl with lots of flesh on her bones. From time to time, some around me would remark that I was “fleshy”, and whilst they weren’t as nasty as those who made fun of me when I was a kid, it still sort of hurt. But I knew it was the truth. I didn’t like the way I looked, yet I chose to focus my attention on other aspects of my life instead of trying to resolve this physical issue of mine.
I felt tired most of the time and kept hitting the snooze button every morning. I dragged my feet. I wasn’t motivated to get out of bed and allowed myself to sleep in until 3PM (3PM!!!) on weekends. I didn’t like to move. I was basically low on energy and my stomach was full of gas from drinking too much Diet Coke, and I felt bloated all the time. I ate lots of sodium-laden and sugary foods. I paid no attention to what I was putting into my body and didn’t care if I ate enough nutrients. The way I see it now, I really had no reason to complain about my physique then, given how my poor habits had contributed to my appearance.
How did you get started?
I woke up one morning (specifically, on 16 July 2012), and decided to again try to change my life. Suddenly, I wanted so badly to be healthy; my motive has extended beyond just wanting to be rid of my excess pounds. I was sick of being sluggish.
What was the first thing you quit eating/drinking?
That day, I decided to start by quitting Diet Coke. It’s really amazing that I haven’t drank Diet Coke since then, and I had absolutely no problems switching to plain water. I was so determined to quit and sure enough, I saw a quick dip in the number on the bathroom scale in the weeks following my quitting. Despite being a zero-calorie drink, Diet Coke is bad for you in more ways than you’d ever imagine!
Cut to the chase. What’s your REAL SECRET to weight loss?
My secret is that I started using MyFitnessPal on my iPhone for calorie-counting. In order to lose weight, you have to consume less than you expend. I repeat this to all who want to lose weight: always remember, Calories In vs Calories Out. You simply have to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate and Total Daily Energy Expenditure before you can draw up your weight loss plan. There is no other way around it.
It is only by keeping track of my food intake through MyFitnessPal that I am able to gauge just how much I was eating on a daily basis; it was when I started counting that I realised just how much extra food I had been eating in the past – extra calories that I didn’t need, extra salt, sugar and fat that did no good to my body. That extra bar of chocolate after dinner, curry puff when I felt bored, bubble tea when I was thirsty, lots of gravy on my rice… all those added up. It also helps to learn the tricks of eating smart! My lifestyle change made such a huge impact that my weight fell off the moment I started to track my food intake and keeping within my daily caloric goal. I lost 10kg in the first 4 months.
Tell me your meal plan! I want to know EXACTLY what you’re eating!
I didn’t eliminate any food groups or ban much from my diet besides Diet Coke (and all other pop) and artificially flavoured drinks. I explored the snack aisles for more snack options while keeping within my daily caloric goal, added more fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet, and made my own breakfast instead of grabbing an oily pastry on the way to work. Funnily, prior to this change, I probably ate fresh fruit less than 5 times a year. I also started to like salads and freshly-made sandwiches, but also made sure to pick the right kinds of ingredients, especially when eating out. I fell in love with raw, natural foods and now make them part of my daily diet.
And I’m an OATMEAL WARRIOR. Oatmeal rocks.
Since my lifestyle change, I find myself craving fresh fruit and vegetables more than anything else. Previously, all I craved were processed, denatured foods. My palate has shifted considerably; things which were once bland to me have now become so flavourful, and I no longer use extra salt or sugar. From there, I realised that I’d started to embrace clean eating, which is basically consuming foods as close to their natural state as possible. Did you know that some natural foods can help alleviate water retention too?
But I’m lost – I don’t know how this will work out?
As I went along and achieved weight loss bit by bit, I realised the reason why I had failed in the past was because I never had a plan. I had zero clue about how I’m going to track my progress and had unrealistic expectations. This time round, things were different. I now have an idea of my weight loss goals and keep my expectations reasonable. I have a fabulous app to help me, a determination that would stop at nothing, and the enthusiasm to move more in a bid to get in better shape.
I enjoy living life more than I did in the past. I feel motivated most of the time because I was seeing consistent results. The biggest mistake you can ever make while trying to lose weight, is to see this as a “diet”. This is not diet. Diets don’t work and neither do slimming pills. It is a permanent lifestyle change. There is more to losing weight – trying to keep it off! So many have regained the weight they’d lost simply because they reverted to their old eating habits. Did you know, I used to binge eat?
How did losing weight change your life?
Along with this lifestyle change, I rise around 5AM every day, naturally. I typically get started on my morning workout before 6AM on working days. It’s as if my body wants to rise early, automatically, and I have so much more energy now compared to my pre-lifestyle change days. In the past, I got out of bed only around 3PM on a typical Saturday or Sunday, and I’d go to sleep at about 5AM! I now retire at 10-ish at night or, if I have articles to complete and deadlines to meet, 11:30PM at the latest, on average. I wrote more here – 28 ways my weight loss journey changed my life.
Any other information to offer?
I enjoy reading up on health topics, and found out that our organs play a huge part in fat metabolism. Your body needs nutrients and you should feed it accordingly so that your system works well enough to sustain your lifestyle. With all the processed junk we are eating, we are in general consuming too many chemicals and not enough nutrients.
I believe in eating clean and eating foods as close to their natural states as possible. However, given this day and age, it is difficult to completely eliminate all processed foods from our diet. So yes, I sometimes eat stuff that come in boxes as well; I just make sure I pick the least of all evils and read all nutritional information printed on the boxes instead of relying on (sometimes) baseless claims of “multigrain”, “light”, or “diet version” plastered on the cartons. Ideally, you should target to eat all foods in moderation and not deprive yourself of your favourite foods because you’ll only end up binging if your diet becomes too restrictive.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing everything right. Why am I not losing weight?
On this journey, you will sometimes feel defeated if you don’t see the number on the scale moving downwards. Perhaps you are doing all the right things and still don’t understand why you aren’t losing weight; here are possible reasons why. Knowing that a weight loss journey is probably one of the most challenging ones you’ll ever embark on, I wrote a letter to you – read it! Besides using the number on the bathroom scale as a gauge of your progress, you should also take measurements of your body right at the start; some weeks you may not lose any weight but you could be losing inches. You’d be surprised!
Don’t ever give up. When you think of giving up, also think of why you started in the first place. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. So believe in yourself and just keep going!
As always, I’d like to gently remind all that I am not a healthcare professional, therefore it is always best to consult your doctor for health-related issues and before you embark on a change in diet. After all, our bodies are all different and some of us may have medical conditions or food intolerances to consider.
I hope you found this page useful, and please do keep me posted on your progress; I am very happy to listen to (or rather, read about) your successes or problems. Let’s do this together! Feel free to drop me a comment here, or if you prefer more privacy, you could send me an email or a message on Facebook. :)