My Fitness Story

I was reading some blogs recently when this post by Leon caught my eyes. I was particularly mesmerised by what he said here:

And I was then able to get used to my new ear stud and more accessories on me.. Even my family commented that the way I dress now is more trendy, bolder, more colorful than before… oh and much younger, or so they said..

That strike a chord in me, because that was exactly what my mum told me as well! So I commented:

Nice write up! Yes, starting up is the hardest part, but once you get into a routine, you will never look back. I had always wanted to write a post on my own transformation in the past two years… and your post just motivated to do that. Thanks!

And he replied:

Razlan, you should still write your story, I am keen to read about it

So here I am, thinking back over the years on how much I have changed.

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I remember the days during my student days when I will wake up in the middle of the night, cooked up a storm and drank multiple packs of instant coffee to fuel my study period. Breaks in between lectures and tutorials were filled with “makan” session in canteens, often full meals by themselves. Oh, and the lack of exercise. In those days, the only exercise I could say I did was squash. Even so, during my four years in university, I played less than ten times, and never after I left the campus. In my teenage years, my mum was always onto me to exercise before I ballooned further, but I had always able to find a reason. Mostly that I was too busy studying and scoring As.

Raz at Spa

In my university days, I wore berms and shorts and jeans to school, so the fact that I was overweight didn’t really affect me. It wasn’t until after I graduated and reported to work for my first job that my working pants really threatened to kill me…. I had to go to the toilet a couple of times each day to release the pants cuff so that I can breathe. Could you imagine that?

Me in my gay beret

So without really paying attention to my waistline, it expanded. Again and again I need to change my wardrobe, to the point that I always had to get the biggest pant size available in departmental stores, and even so it fits me too tightly for comfort.

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So my feeble attempts in going to the gym started. First it was those community gyms managed by NTUC. I had a gym buddy then. Sam was very encouraging, but I mostly stuck to low-impact cardio and some weird machine routine that did little to build my muscle.

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A year on, I joined the then Planet Fitness. Even so, my gym period would not last more than a couple of months before I lapse into inactivity. My weight will go up until it alarmed me back into exercising again… but it was a vicious cycle that I was stuck in for years.

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The truth is, I love eating out and drinking too much. I didn’t put importance into my appearance nor a healthy lifestyle, even when at times, those facts sadden me and made me feel exasperated about life.

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It wasn’t until early 2008 that things really started to change. It was by chance… in the form of a good friend:

Faisal: Raz, I need to borrow a shirt
Raz: Okay, just look through my clothes
Faisal: (Rumbling through my rack of clothes, looking incredulous) Raz, you need to change your wardrobe
Raz: ….

It was then I realised I have not bought new clothes in years. Because I always tell myself that I will get new clothes when I have reduced my size, which of course never happened. I measured myself at that time, and to my horror I tipped the scale at 92kg, and my pants measured 40 inches.

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That was a turning point. I called up a friend whom I knew just signed up for gym, asked for advice, and signed up for one myself. I even engaged a personal trainer to get me going.

Dennis & I

And so my regime started, and coupled with some severe diet, I started to shed off inches from my waist bit by bit. It was extremely hard work. I had to do lots of cardio, and not your regular walking-on-the-threadmill. And weight training was so new and foreign to me, the first couple of times were pure torture.

Dinner @ Wala Wala

But I persevered… partly because I started to feel healthier and more confident about myself, and my friends started to notice the changes in me. I began buy clothes because my old ones were too baggy on me. I started going out more, get to know more people, experience things which I thought would not be possible in my old self…

Night Out with LJ-ers

Generally, life gets better. And right now, some two year one after the turning point, I am a proud owner of a 30″ waistline, tipping the scale at 74 kg. Of course there were moments I lapsed as well, but they are getting more and more infrequent now, and it is easier for me now to get back into routine.

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The lesson? I am happy the way I am now, but I also acknowledge that I can improve further. I will not lament how much more fats I have to shed. And I will always pat myself on the back for a job well done.

The road ahead of me to get to where I want to be will be tough, but I guess I am ready for it.

What is your fitness story?

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