Friday, August 7, 2015

Weigh In Friday - What is your weight? Is it a secret?

I have a secret-secret. I am horribly ashamed of my weight gain.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been thin or slim. Before I was married, my weight hovered around 50kg. Being slim was effortless. I never went on a diet or exercised much. No matter how much I ate or what I ate, I did not gain much weight. To be honest, 50kg is far too light for someone my height. I am 166cm. I was probably very unhealthy then. I looked up my BMI (body mass index) for 50kg and this is the result.

The BMI for 50kg is 18.14 below 18.5 which is the lowest number in the Low Risk range. BMI measures body weight in relation to height. Here's the link to the BMI calculator if you're interested.
After giving birth to two kids, I only put on a few kilos. At my heaviest, I was 65kg and that was fully pregnant. I remember going back to work after giving birth to my second child and I couldn't fit into any of my clothes. My weight then was 56kg.

Then in my forties, I had to take medication for myofascial pain for a few years. That changed everything. The meds made me feel good and because of that, my appetite grew and I ate more. Everything tasted fantastic. The kgs piled on. I became alarmed and weaned myself off the medication. Unfortunately, the extra weight stayed on. I tried hard to lose the weight but nothing worked. The problem was I enjoyed food a lot more. I loved to eat my favourite food. When I was slim, I never really liked to eat because food rarely tasted good plus I was a picky eater. What the hell did the meds do to me?

The years went by and although I ran now and then, attended Pilates and Cardio classes regularly, I never took on the weight gain by the horns. I made mostly small efforts. Whatever weight I managed to lose, I easily gained back. The one time I made some drastic change to my diet was last year when I stopped eating meat. But I still ate seafood. That was a miserable year. Eating out was such a pain. The end result? I ate more carbo to compensate and you guessed it. I got even fatter. I finally gave up and went back to meat.

I lived in denial. Despite knowing I was gaining more and more weight with each passing year, I refused to weigh myself. When my clothes felt tight, I stopped wearing them. I bought new clothes. I used to wear size M tees. Nowadays, it's size L. For my panties, I "upgraded" to XL. There is this shop which sells cheap shorts that I go to occasionally. In January this year, I found great difficulty squeezing into size Eur 40! When I hit Eur 40, I thought to myself, this is the fattest I can ever be because the shop doesn't stock any shorts beyond Eur 40 and I really love the shorts!

Maybe part of the problem was I'm now in my 50's. Slow metabolism is a real thing. A sedentery lifestyle is also a big contributor. The biggest problem? I had no motivation. Every time I made some effort to eat less or eat healthy food and I don't see myself thinner, I tell myself it doesn't work. Another thing is losing weight is hard if you don't know exactly how much you weigh.

Then my gastritis happened. (post here) It came out of the blue. I was on a eat Korean Fried Chicken spree and was intending to taste every single Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore. If you follow my Instagram, you will have a good idea how much I enjoy eating. On 21st July, to get my gastritis treated, I went to see my long-time GP, Dr TingTing whom I hadn't gone to for a while and you know what she said when I entered her consultation room:

WAHHHHHH, you've put on a lot of weight.

Man, I was so embarrassed. She asked me if I knew how much weight I had gained and I said I had no idea. She immediately made me step on her weighing scale. Dr TingTing is pretty firm so I did as told. I emptied my pockets and removed my footwear. Then I braced myself.

The scale read SIXTY-THREE.

63. So I finally knew how much I weigh. Oh my god. I'm 63kg. <whimper>

I have this number in my head that I always tell myself. As long as I don't weigh over this number, I can still live with myself. For me, 60 is that number. As long as I was BELOW 60kg, I'm okay. Not hundred percent happy but still okay.

So the reality sank in. I am officially OVER 60kg. Not just a little over but 3 kg over. The embarrasment and shame and patheticness that I felt. How could I have let myself go for so long?

Okay, some of you are probably thinking 63kg isn't that heavy, nothing to mourn over. Well, weight is relative. Since you know my history, 63kg is very heavy for me. Just to be sure, I looked up the BMI.

The BMI for 63kg for my height is 22.86. A BMI of 23 and above puts me in the unhealthy weight range for my height. 23 - 22.86 = 0.14. This means I'm just 0.14 BMI away from unhealthy. Do you think I caught my unheathy weight gain in the nick of time?

Dr TingTing was pretty brutal. She wanted to know EXACTLY how much I had gained. She flipped through my records and demmit, I had my weight taken in 2008 because ironically I had started to lose weight (3kg) due to an unknown cause which turned out to be myofascial pain. And my recorded weight then was 50kg. So my natural weight before the weight loss was 53kg. You know what this means? I had gained a grand total of 63 - 53 = 10 kg. TEN KG. That's 2 bags of rice.

Dr TingTing was very concerned about the weight gain and suggested I test for thyroid and other possible illness. Well, as it turned out, I did not have thyroid or any other weight gaining illness - just greed.

Knowing the exact kg that I weigh changed me inside out. I was horrified, ashamed, disgusted, couldn't believe my eyes. I was determined to change myself. I bought myself a digital weighing scale.

As if the Universe was answering my cries for help, I had bigger problems to deal with - my gastritis. If before, I loved to eat too much, now I could no longer eat without triggering huge amount of wind and a tumourous headache. Eating was literally a headache.

Funnily though, my appetite was still good. Week 1 of my gastritis, I still ate as per normal because I still hadn't realised it was food that was killing me. I flipped through my food diary and good lord, I had McWings, fries, nuggets, more fries, sambal chicken. Even luncheon meat. What the hell is wrong with me?

Week 2 of my gastritis, I had seen Dr TingTing and she gave me a list of food to avoid. The list was practically everything I ate on a weekly basis. I did listen to her and mostly ate oatmeal porridge, tuna soaked in water sandwich (tastes like nothing), sweet potato porridge, yogurt with apples, mushroom omelette, prawns, grilled fish and grilled chicken wings. I weighed myself. Of course I lost some weight. I was eating half my usual amount. It surprised me though that I did not lose more. I was expecting a staggering amount. I mean, I felt hungry all the time.

Week 3 of my gastritis, I more or less ate the same food as week 2. But my hunger got the better of me a few times and I ate instant noodles, a big sandwich and on Sunday after my compression run, I went for dinner at Tim Ho Wan which is a dim sum restaurant. I paid dearly each time. The bloating and headaches were much worse and lasted a lot longer. It really wasn't worth it.

Here's an idea of my breakfast - oatmeal porridge with a small apple and sprinkled with chia seeds. The taste isn't bad at all. This little meal has to sustain me till lunch. The chia seeds is for dietary fiber. It helps me produce gorgeous poops.

Week 4 of my gastritis, I stuck to oatmeal, yogurt, apples, grilled fish, prawns and chicken. I noticed my weight became more or less stable.

So, want to know how much weight I lost in total?

Ta da. I weighed 59.9kg this morning. I have lost a grand total of 63 - 59.9 = 3kg 100g. Thank you. I'm finally UNDER 60kg.

Now, I've been pondering. Despite such a drastic change in my diet and I am definitely eating much less now, I've lost only 3.1kg. Don't get me wrong. I am very happy with the loss. I tried for so long to lose weight and this is the most I have lost ever. I can feel it in my clothes, my bra, my panties. Everything is less tight. But once my gastritis is fixed, and I say this with such hope, I'm very sure all 3.1kg is going to pile back on. It's very easy. Because you know I'm running straight to the nearest Korean Fried Chicken restaurant.

So this is my plan. I'm dedicating Fridays to Weigh In Friday where I record down my weight on my blog. There will be no cheating, I promise. I think knowing if I had gained or lost weight on a weekly basis will help keep my weight in check. I got this idea from a daily blogger who's also trying to lose weight. Every 100 grams lost, she puts one marble in a jar.

Here's my jar of "weight - get lost" marbles. Wouldn't it be nice to fill it up?

Here are my goals for my weight.
1. Maintain my current weight loss.
2. Keep my weight under 60kg.
3. Lose 3 more kg.

My ideal weight is 57kg. See the BMI for 57kg below? It's 20.69 which is right smack in the middle of the "Low Risk" range (18.5 - 22.9).
I think 57kg will keep me healthy and fit. I'm not aiming to be slim like in the past. That's unrealistic. 57kg already sounds impossible to attain but I think with a lot of willpower I can achieve it.

My strategy:
1. Public declaration of weight - Weigh In Friday.
2. Exercise every morning - Pilates and some crossfit.
3. Clean the floor after Pilates and crossfit - it's exercise as well and I get a clean floor.
4. Walk 8,000 steps every day. (I will write more about this in another post)
5. Run at least twice a week.
6. Cook at least one meal a day. If I gain weight, cook at least 2 meals a day.
7. No McDonalds's, Burger King, KFC or subway.

I don't intend to deprive myself of my favourite food. You already know I'm hell bent on getting my Korean Fried Chicken fix. But I will keep my indulges in check.

So if you come by my blog on Fridays, feel free to criticise me if I gain weight. Don't worry, I can take it. I need some humiliation and mockery to keep me in shape. If you're also on a weight loss journey, let me know and I'll come return the favour and kick you in the butt if you want.

Thanks to Dr TingTing, I have faced my demons.

"WAHHHHHH, you've put on a lot of weight." Those words still ring in my ears.


Jaz Loh said...

I totally know what you meant by the number in your head. My number is 60 too! 2 Sundays ago, there was a Health Promotion Board event and I took my weight there. I was 59.8kg! This is also the heaviest I have ever been (excluding pregnancy)! By the way, I am 1.65 cm so we are almost the same. I am also, for the first time in my life, attempting to lose weight. But I am unwilling to forgo my favourite food or do any form of exercise so I have totally no idea how the weight is going to come off.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jaz, you're still under 60kg so you're not frightened yet. It's a lot easier to lose 1 or 2 kg at your current weight. You don't have to forgo your favourite fruit. Just try not eating after 8pm for a start! I wish you lot and lots of luck. You'll need it.

Sandra :) said...

I'm going to avoid this conversation as the last time I weighed 60kg was when I was approximately 12 years old :D

Linda said...

Good for you, Jane!!
My husband is nudging me to lose a few pounds, but unfortunately don't want to tell my weight in public! Like you, I was,very, very thin before babies ( I had three), but the pounds started creeping up on me as I got older. I'm not obese, but I'm not that ultra thin little girl any more sit g Dr!
Good luck to you! It sounds like you're on the right track!

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