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Monday, August 22, 2016

Abstaining from instant noodle

Almost three years ago, I decided to abstain from instant noodles. 

Initially it was not because of health reasons but articles like this further convinced me that my decision was not a bad one.  

Occasionally when I get to the office in the morning and it was rained, I would get this craving for hot soupy noodles. Instant noodle cups were the only available option on the shelf and I usually gave in. 

However the regret kicked in almost immediately after I finished my cup. I felt bloated and disgusted with myself when I was done. It just left this sickly aftertaste and my mind told me that I had made a poor choice for breakfast. 

Not only that, I felt hungrier faster when I had instant noodles. Within an hour or two after my meal, my stomach started growling again and it annoyed me for surely instant noodles should last me longer than normal crackers? 

Therefore I decided to quit instant noodles, not only for office breakfast but from my whole life. It got to that point where I felt disgusted with myself for allowing my body to take in something that made me feel awful afterwards. 

I did not quit all noodles totally, I still enjoy the ones freshly cooked from the wok. I just stop consuming the ones which are instant and stop ordering the ones which they cooked using the instant noodles, if I'm aware of it. 

It's been almost three years since I quit instant noodles. I'm going to try staying away from them as long as I could. Yes, there were temptation. Last June, I had a craving so badly that I paced up and down the shelf before I grabbed the cup and shoved it in my drawer. Then I decided to forget about the instant craving and got something else for breakfast. 

I guessed partly it has become a challenge for myself as well. See how I can discipline myself and how I can abstain from it. I just wanted to quit because I felt bloated and disgusted with myself. 

I might not quit them forever but for now, I would like to see how far I can push myself. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The movie : Joy

"Let's have a movie night" - the girls said. 

I shrugged and said okay without knowing what I was getting myself into. 

I sat down to watch the whole movie of Joy. No, nothing to do with the annoying fairy like creature from Inside Out. 

The movie is about a divorcee who was struggling financially and finally managed to find success through her determination. Indirectly the movie spoke to me very much because I'm at the crossroads of finding something that I'm passionate about.

Lessons that I take from the movie :- 

1. If you feel strongly about something, chase after it. No matter how many times you fail, keep getting up. Each time you fail, you learn something new. 

2. Sometimes some people are meant to fit in your life in a different way and it works much better that way. 

3. Keep working on your passion and things will work in your favor because you believe in your dream and your passion. Things will find a way to work themselves out through your hard work and perseverance.

I have yet to find my deep passion but I'm striving to do so each day and once I do, Joy will be one of my reference point for motivation.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My fitness journey

Today marks my third year since I started my long life fitness journey. Just to commemorate this, I'm going to tell the story about my past and how I became the Popster I am today. 


During my teen years, I was oblivious to my health. I was young, I was invincible and my body just soaked up all the rubbish I threw in. At home, my parents kept me away from all the junks in the world so once I was introduced to these sodas, iced sugar (slurpee, anyone?), chips, fried hot dogs, instant noodles, I was happily swallowing them all. They do taste good but I didn't notice the weight creeping up slowly. I thought as long as I'm not drinking 6 cans of soda in one sitting like the guy at the corner of the room then I'm good but it's not. 

My father wanted to send me to a slimming facility but his main concern was my health and this indirectly affected my self confidence. At that time, I was not happy with the idea because I was offended and in denial. The other aspect was the money factor. Do I really want him to spend that money on me and I will have the pressure to keep my figure? 

Not only that, when my grandma used to come over and the whole family were there, she would loudly exclaimed "Why do you look fatter each time I see you?" - it was utter embarrassment for me to be called out in front of everyone. Sometimes I shrugged it off, sometimes I denied it but there was a time when I ran back home and called up my friend, crying on the phone. 

google image
It's not like I've never lose weight before. I was forced to camp when I was 17 and despite my reluctance to join physical activities, I lost 9 kg within 3 months under tight discipline regime. I was up by 6 am and in bed by 11 pm each night. I had 6 meals provided but I still had the right food but when I came back home and lost my regime, I went back to square one. 

The other time I managed to keep my weight down was during my university days when I started counting calories. I would compare calories between two packets of cookies to see which was the lesser evil. In the evening, if the weather does not permit, I would run around in circles in my room and climb the stairs. During the weekend, I would wake up early to join my parents for a run. 

Alas, this lifestyle I couldn't sustain. It was restrictive and I gained back the weight easily. It's not that I don't want to but it was too tiring and stressful to keep counting calories. Fortunately during these times, I've never succumbed to eating disorders. I knew of anorexia and bulimia but I was still in control and I didn't want to think about those dark corners.  

I do however felt like everyone's eyes were on me whenever I was taking food. I imagined them whispering ..  "Look at that fat girl, how dare she eat.. isn't she ashamed of herself .. wow look at that fatty" although in reality, no one was probably looking at me. I played these vicious thoughts in my head. 

When I started working, I joined the gym but without proper guidance (personal trainer needs to be paid extra) and lack of motivation, I quit after a year. I was shy to join classes, I felt like I had to be in competition with the others and I might be called for attention by the instructor. Of course, all these were in my head but I just couldn't shake it off. 


I was looking for a dress for my friend's wedding. I went shopping the whole night but I couldn't find something decent to wear. In the end, I went back to my closet to pull out a red dress that I worn the previous year. It was a button up coat dress and I happily pulled it up my body when I realized I couldn't button it up. Not even the most bottom button. I was horrified. That was the first time I acknowledged how much weight I gained. How round I had became. 

I revisited this quote which I found some time ago and I told my mother I want to put this into action. Around this time, I was also watching bubzbeauty on youtube and she mentioned doing these .. blogilates videos. I watched bubz workout and from her preview, the video looked clean, energetic and fun so my research on Blogilates started. 


I found Cassey's Ho Blogilates page and after watching several videos, I printed her beginner's calendar. August 4, 2013 was my starting date as I wanted my 28 beginners days to align with the end of the month. That's when I started my pop pilates regime - I became a Popster. 

The first two days were painful. I was sore all over and I wanted to throw in the towel but I knew I cannot do that. If I gave up so easily, I will never be able to lose weight so I suck it up and embrace the soreness. I slowly loved it because that means I'm actually working my body. 

After 28 days, I felt so strong like I could lift the world! Even though I might not look different but I felt awesome. I no longer look at food like it was the enemy and I felt tall and confident. Right after that, I jumped on the September regular calendar - feeling like a super woman. 

Omg.. with the regular calendar my body once again experienced a new wave of soreness. For a moment, I felt defeated but then again, this was just another opportunity for me to push myself further - to overcome these soreness.

Basically blogilates consists of pilates movement infused with feel good music and generally relies on your body weight for a quick but fun workout. I was highly motivated because this meant I could do it indoors on my mat without the hassle of getting to somewhere out there thus no more excuses. 

Plus Cassey provided these calendars for free. She planned a whole month workout and I had to just follow along the videos to get my daily dose of sweat. 


The first time I see the changes for myself was approximately 5 months after I started working out 4 - 5 days a week. 

I had a dinner to attend and just to see how many buttons I could manage this time, I put on the red dress again. 

I was so surprised that this time my buttons fit in their holes and the dress was looser than I remembered previously. It really solidifies the fact that this was working, that an hour daily on the mat showed results. I was so grateful for Cassey and proud of myself for working out at odd hours when I couldn't fit in the time. 

When I started working out, my diet automatically shifted as well. I became more conscious of what I ate because why would I want to sabotage my own body after working hard to achieve it? At the same time, I don't feel restrained or stressful about food. I knew if I have something more sinful, I was confident I can burn it off. 


Physically I didn't notice much difference but I received much compliments from others. I wanted to see what others were seeing so I took a photo with a shirt I haven't worn for a long time. 

Left was me in 2012 and right was me in 2014. 

That is crazy! I almost got a scare when I saw my current photo. Is this real life? Is that really me? In the exact same shirt? That was insane! 

All that with one year of Blogilates. Just one year. 

"Find a workout that you love and you'll wake up happy" - this was my personal motto everyday. I woke up every morning looking forward to my workout in the evening.


Left was me in 2011 and right was me in the beginning of 2015. One of my new year resolution was to continue getting stronger and healthier. 

Just like everything in life, my fire slowly burned down a little as time went by. I started slacking on and off, it got me a little frustrated but somehow I managed to claw my way back to the mat sometimes. 

I was asked to talk to other young ladies about how I did it. I conducted an unofficial "public" class at a park with the other ladies and I was so excited for them to fall in love with pilates like how I did. 

That's me in front in black - doing the golf balls move for your arms. 

I decided to try the gym again but left within a year .. again as I still felt the gym culture was not my thing. I was much happier dancing, plank jacking and doing the shoulder taps on my mat. I didn't like the human traffic I had to encounter on my way back, I didn't like running on the treadmill (I really dislike cardio - jogging, running). 

This past March, I actually signed up for PIIT28  - a paid workout programme from Cassey. 

What is PIIT? 

It stands for Pilates Intense Interval Training which consisted of 7 moves for 1 round. 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest in between. Each day consist of 4 rounds fusion of cardio + pilates movement. Perfect quick burn for someone who dislikes cardio but looking to get stronger like me. 

A complete PIIT programme is only 28 days where I only spend about 40 minutes (plus stretches and warm up) daily. Upon completion of the PIIT programme with the evidence of the Instagram challenge, I redeemed my completion tank top. 

I felt awesome. 


One of my dream was to meet the woman who created this awesome community and changed my life. Considering the fact that she lives across the globe from here, I honestly did not have high hopes. Not until my cousin alerted me that she was coming to Malaysia! 

omg omg omg .. 

Of course by hook or by crook, I went all the way to the venue with my cousin and sister, went through a live blogilates class and finally got to meet her. 

This is crazy! Cassey is crazy! Her class is crazy! Millions of people in the world but I get to meet Cassey! I don't need to meet anyone else. 

I almost didn't want to go because I was going through a heartbreak around that time and I just wanted to curl up and cry. Plus I was not sure whether I would get to meet her but I went nevertheless and it was the best decision that I did not regret. 


Cassey taught me to change my perspective. I used to blame my genetics for my lumpy body but ever since I started blogilates, I slowly love my body for what it is. I didn't strive to be perfect anymore, I didn't want those skinny waist, I want to be stronger. I want to be a better version of myself. 

I no longer hear those imaginary voices in my head when I face food. Anyone can say anything they want about me but only I know how far I came and how I can burn off these extras anytime I want. I no longer obsess about weight, I just want to see what my body can do compared to the previous year. 

There are so many rooms for improvement. I still can't do a pushup or a headstand, my starfish plank is wonky and yes, it does eat into my self confidence but I need to just look behind to see how far I've come. I still struggle with mental block where sometimes I think my mind is telling me that I can't do it. 

I still struggle with laziness and I gained a little weight back since but the difference now is, I know when I want to, I can push myself because I've done it before. Just have faith that if I put in the work, I will see results at the same time, enjoy the journey and don't expect overnight success. 

My body is my art piece - I am in control of sculpting it. Respect and love your body for all it's strengths and weaknesses.

It took me a decade to finally say I'm in control of my body and I like what I see in the mirror. It feels awesome.