The weight is over: time to diet (thanks a lot, Singapore)

I never thought my (previously) scrawny arse would ever have to say this but here goes:

I have to go on a diet.

When I moved to Singapore two years ago, I weighed a mere 66kg. A little on the slim side, perhaps, but I’m not very tall. I need to wear thick-soled shoes if I want to say that I’m 5’7″ and get away with it.

I was unhealthy back in Australia. I skipped lunch at work all the time, ate plenty of junk food, smoked too much and never exercised. Well, I did cycle now and then. But I did it on my motorcycle. That offers about as much physical benefit as a rubber bone offers a starving dog.

Then I moved to Singapore.

I’ve posted about how good the food is here but I probably haven’t made the point that hawker centres aren’t exactly founts of nutrition and good health. Roti prata, kway teow (fried noodles), chilli crab, char siew, and all sorts of mee goreng have made their way into my list of favourite foods but they’re about as healthy as being trampled by a group of drunken soccer hooligans heading home after a heavy loss. I need to drink beer all the time in Singapore (it’s always so hot… that’s my excuse and I’m going with it) which hasn’t exactly helped either. Add to that the fact that we travel a lot and love to try the food wherever we go, what happened is no surprise: slowly but surely, my wardrobe started to strain under the weight of my… uh… weight. So my girlfriend and I joined a gym.

"Please don't eat me!" I'll try, little buddy. I'll try...

“Please don’t eat me!”I’ll try, little buddy. I’ll try…

I worked hard for a few months and toned up a little. The few flabby kilos I’d put on turned to muscle and while images of me in boxer briefs weren’t about to grace packets of underwear, I was healthier than I’d ever been. But, as always happens when you hit the gym, my appetite swelled to insane proportions. I’d go to restaurants and ask if there was a course between the appetizer and the main. Steak became a side dish. I was always hungry but I worked hard and burned all those calories off before they had a chance to congeal into a rotund, pants-splitting arse. Life was good: I was healthy, I felt good and, for the first time in my life, I had biceps (albeit small ones). Then then I used up all the sessions I had with my personal trainer. He was great and I turned up religiously because I’d booked sessions in with him and I felt obliged to go but, once the sessions ran out, I got lazy.

Roti Prata. Ever notice how oily food makes paper wrappers become clear? Rub roti prata on a concrete floor and it will become clear.

Roti Prata. Absolutely delicious, but ever notice how oily food makes paper wrappers become clear? Rub roti prata on a concrete floor and it will become clear.

My workouts stopped but my gargantuan appetite just wouldn’t abate. That’s when I slid very ungracefully from ‘not about to grace packets of underwear’ to Michelin Man tryouts.

Except for socks, I outgrew every single piece of clothing I’d brought over from Australia including the tailored Hugo Boss suit that my girlfriend bought me as a present shortly before she left for Singapore (she got here four months before I did). It was, without question, the best fitting garment I had ever owned. Right now, my thighs can barely fit into the pants, my arms can’t get into the sleeves unless I coat my arms in butter and there is zero chance of buttoning up the jacket without sucking in my gut and holding my breath. If I relax and take a breath, chances are the button will fly off at ballistic speeds and blind someone.

When I brush my teeth in the morning, everything below my jawline jiggles like jelly being jack-hammered and it doesn’t stop until a good fifteen seconds after I’ve finished brushing. I went from being able to do fifty push ups with ease to being able to eat fifty of most things with ease. Chairs creak and groan audibly underneath me when I sit. ‘Could it really be that bad?’ you ask…

I weighed 66kg when I got here. I now weigh 84.5 kilograms. I’ve put on 18 kilograms since I got here in September, 2011. That’s 18kgs in 22 months, an increase in body weight of over 25%.

So I’ve had it. I’m going on a *sigh* diet. I’m going to *sigh* cut back on beer, sweets, chocolate and anything else that gives me any sort of *sigh* pleasure when I consume it. I’m going to start exercising and get healthy again. I’ve set myself a goal: I will shed 10kg in the next three months. That will get me to a half-decent weight for healthy guy at my height with my build. I’m yet to lay down a proper fitness regime or choose a specific diet but cutting out the roti prata and getting up off the couch every now and then would be a great place to start. I might even give up cigarettes but one thing at a time. My girlfriend always tells me that she’s worried that I’ll get sick if I keep smoking. Little does she know that it’s already happened: I’m sick of her asking me to stop. Besides, life is short. Why make it even shorter?

I’m going to share my progress with you as the weeks pass, dear reader. If you’re going through the same thing, let me know and share your experiences. I’ll be sharing mine so we can push each other along.

Note to gut: you’re finished. The Battle of the Bulge is on.

"Reckon you can give up my burgers? Good luck, buddy!"

“Reckon you can give up my burgers? Good f#cking luck, buddy!”


9 thoughts on “The weight is over: time to diet (thanks a lot, Singapore)

  1. Same here, Christian!!
    I gained 5lbs since January. I’ve gained 20 total since I moved to Singapore.
    I’m on Day 2 of the Insanity workout program. Best of luck to both of us.

  2. Luckily Russia has such crap food I have no problem like this. Best of luck and try not to be too depressed about the beer :/

  3. Christian I have tried insanity and it will work if you stick to it, but it is very hard core high intensity training. I suggest doing something that you enjoy to keep the momentum going. I am trying to do the same thing….it’s a change of lifestyle and not a “diet” as such. If you think this way and have a goal then you will achieve the results that you want. My husband has just lost 10kg in a month, it does take a lot of focus, determination, menu planning will power and support. Good luck, and if you need motivation or advise happy to help πŸ™‚ I used to be a PT remember!

    • Thanks Kristy! I know it’s not going to be easy. I was working pretty hard in the gym a year ago and enjoyed it but I’ll admit that I didn’t change my lifestyle too much and that’s the main thing I have to focus on. Wow, 10kg in a month is amazing!! And I’ll definitely be hitting you up for some tips and motivation. Thanks heaps!! πŸ™‚

  4. I would suggest that you maybe do a bit of home cooking and packed lunches. Singaporean food, although cheap… is actually very unhealthy. There’s MSG in nearly everything also nearly everything is either fried or coconut based, which will definitely add to that weight. As a Singaporean myself, I’ve reduced to eating muesli for lunch now in the canteen whilst the guy next to me enjoys a hearty bowl of delicious laksa. Cuz as much as I hate to admit, I’ve put on 7 kilos within a span of two years. – still working on it!

    I wouldn’t recommend Insanity just immediately, because it’s a very intense training program. Your body might be shocked and you’ll be aching all over the next morning. (yes, I tried a sample of it :/) I would suggest cutting down on the carbs (yes no more Maccas!) first and replacing it with a lot of fruit. A lot of running will help whilst you are cutting down on the carbs. Maybe try Bikram Yoga.

    Good luck! (note to self too)

    • Thanks Sophie! Singaporean food, while delicious, isn’t always healthy. Especially the hawker stuff (but it’s just so good!). I started today. Yoghurt and some juice for lunch, a healthy dinner with much veggies and a bit of chicken or tuna and I’m going to start slowly by getting on the treadmill for a while the doing some sit ups, push ups, burpees, etc. after work. I did some research on the Insanity Workout and got some advice from a good friend who’s a personal trainer (thanks Kristy!) and she said the same, that it’s pretty heavy and that I’ll need to build up to it. But I’m pumped! Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’ll keep you posted! πŸ™‚

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