Trying, Trying, Trying

So, I started attending workout camp (it’s like bootcamp but with nicer coaches) nine months ago in an effort to hit 50kg before I hit 40 this August. I don’t know what prompted me, but I think it was the fact that I was reaching my fourth decade and wanted to achieve something really difficult (for me, at least) that I could be proud of when my birthday came around. I’d been trying the usual walk-the-dog routine, walking in the park, exercise videos… I’m not a gym person, and nothing much changed; I probably took a year to lose two kilos.


Credit: DailyMuscle Body Transformation Camp’s Facebook

Then, one day, I did some surfing on bootcamping and came across and it had what they called a ‘Body Transformation Camp’. It’s like bootcamp, but better, because they let you do things at your pace. They push you, but don’t torture you, which is just nice for me because although I need the discipline they drill into you, I’d probably put the coach’s nose out of joint if they ‘punish’ me for not keeping up with my fitter co-campers. Anyways, I went, worked out and lost four kilos in the first four months, and this without changing my diet one bit! Then January came, and February came, and March too, and my weight wasn’t going any lower. I had another five kilos to lose by August you see; I was on a deadline! I want to be 50(kg) at 40!


Credit: DailyMuscle Body Transformation Camp’s Facebook

So, grudgingly, I accepted that a diet change was necessary, and began to put into effect some of the healthy tips I’d read, researched and heard about in the course of trying to lose weight or writing stories for female all these years.


Here are a few things I did:

1. Eat breakfast. In the beginning, breakfast only got me hungry for lunch earlier, but eventually, I realised I started eating more carefully at lunch.

2. Eat something between lunch and dinner. Do you realise there are only about three hours between breakfast and lunch, but more than six hours between lunch and dinner? No wonder we pig out at dinner! I started to snack on wheat cookies or a low-sugar cup of coffee, and I realised I wasn’t ravenous for dinner anymore. In fact, some nights, I only have a slice of brown bread (no butter) and a glass of milk.

3. Cut the carbs. My coach, Noel, says you can do all the crunches and other abdominal workouts in the world, but if you don’t cut down on carbohydrates, nothing much is going to change, especially when it comes to that tummy. You should have seen my face when he said that, because I LOVE RICE. And bread! And I have a job that features A LOT of fancy lunches and dinners at hot-right-now restaurants that serve the most indulgent foods. And I travel for work, although a lot of it is fun, and the best way, to me, to get to know a country is to indulge in its foods (THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN FRENCH BREAD, I SWEAR!).

But, if I am to hit 50 at 40, I have to watch it. So now, I’m on a low-carb diet. Am I’m trying really hard. I even went one whole day without any of the four no-nos Shape magazine editor Merina Hew told me to avoid: Rice, Pasta, Bread and Noodles. Let’s see how it goes, I’ll write about it in my next blog entry. All I can say is that I’m currently on a lot less carbs than before and it fills me up just as much as a lot of carbs did. It’s like my desire for it has decreased. For now, I’d like to show you how I cut carbs over the past week through these pictures:


Ham sandwich. The bread is multi-grain, the ham is lean and smoked. I used a slice of low-fat cheese and lots of lettuce. Ok, so I sneaked in half a teaspoon of butter :)


The no-noodle soup. This one’s good for coffee shop lunches. Just ask the guy for everything except the noodles. It’s so good I don’t mind paying more for all the extras he added to fill up the bowl! Another good coffee shop dish is three-veggies, one tofu, one meat, and no rice. Trust me, it’ll fill you up!


Then there’s breakfast. These days I eat a small bowl of Greek yogurt every morning. I read somewhere that it has half the carbs of regular yogurt and twice the protein. And it tastes sooo good! Sometimes, I feel hungrier, so I add a scrambled egg. In this photo, you’ll see sausages: this almost NEVER happens on my regular breakfasts, so don’t judge me!


Then came one lunch at The Majestic Hotel, where they served Hainanese Chicken Chop. When the plate arrived, I halved the chicken piece, and ate only one side. I didn’t touch the potato wedges at all. I’m so proud of myself!


Do you have a diet or exercise routine that you swear by? Tell us on Facebook or tweet us @femalemag!