A question posed to me on my ask.fm

As I'm sitting in Coffee Bean sipping on my English Breakfast Tea (yes, I *actually* didn't get a cake), I just want to say that I've been wanting to write this article for the longest time. Even though I didn't have the courage to expose my unglamourous past, it struck me how this post might be relatable to lots of people out there who have been curious on how I've lost such a huge amount of weight within a period of time and maybe it's time I came out of my shell and share my experiences with you.

That was me in 2011... I chose the fattest one for you guys. FML.

I had this brilliant decision to cut mushroom style in Sec 1.

First of all, let me share with you more on my background. Even though I've never been overweight (I was THAT close), I never had a slim body to begin with, and although I believe I have always been rather decent-looking, I had a naturally round face that I really buay tahan. However, as fat as I look in the above picture, I was still within the healthy BMI range, towards the "underweight" margin instead of "overweight".

Furthermore, I was a brace face for many years.

Then came my Secondary 2 days when I started to grow a huge appetite (honestly couldn't resist my daily cheese fries and bubble tea routine), I gradually gained 8kg within a half a year, which remained the same for a good 5 years. I was never conscious of my weight because 吃了开心就好 (continue eating, as long as you're happy). Of course, I got teased often by my classmates, but the comments didn't exactly harbour intentions to mock me (or at least I thought so), hence I never really did treat it seriously.

However, I still had my "better angle" moments too ok..

Eventually, I stopped bothering about my weight because it didn't matter to me that I had to keep up any particular image or a healthy lifestyle. That was how I constantly maintained at the edge of crossing over the healthy BMI range without a care. I believe that, even though you may not have gained as much weight as me within such a short span of time, you've probably faced the following problems:

1. Never satisfied with your weight
Ever been around girls who already have a perfectly toned body or so skinny they look like they'd get blown away any moment later, but all they do is complain about how "fat" they are? Let's not even start on someone like me who clearly looked bigger than the weight I should have had while standing at 161cm. Women have one thing in common - they are never really satisfied with their weight.

2. Too unmotivated to exercise regularly (or even to begin with)
Ironically, I had never been one who enjoyed jogging or working out. First off, we know for the fact that jogging is one of the most effective ways to shed weight. We also acknowledge the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle by getting your bodies pumped up a few times a week. But sometimes, we just have too many excuses up our sleeves to reason ourselves out from even an hour of exercise.

3. Getting lots of questions during Chinese New Year
As a result, many people around me could tell how much weight I gained. Since then, every Chinese New Year without fail, I'll get questioned and teased by a few of my relatives with regards to my thunder thighs and arms. All I did was brush it off, and never really took it to heart because I was happy just the way I was. But one thing I knew was to anticipate remarks and questions every Chinese New Year on my weight.

4. Having an appetite of a whale
I've always LOVED almost every kind of food that revolved around fried/oily/sweet snacks such as french fries, crispy nuggets, and sinful cakes. No doubt I still very obviously do even until today, but my appetite previously was huge. I believe I've heard this saying of your appetite expanding whenever you start consuming more. My craving for food was probably at its peak, because I always found myself reaching out to snacks and desserts in between consuming my main meals (in huge portions).

5. Reached a stage whereby you're too lazy to care
And because I had already gained such a huge amount of weight, I told myself this, "Since gained so much already, might as well continue eating." LOL. Of course, I managed to at least prevent myself from hitting the big 60s. Could you imagine I was a high 50+ kg all the way even though I was so short?

So as I moved on to my Polytechnic days, I guess nothing really changed except for my hair colour and the removal of my braces about half a year down the first academic year. My taste for clothes remained horrendous and my cartoon-ish behaviour never really did change.

Things started to get more interesting and I finally got together with the love of my life. Surprisingly, during our first year together, it was also the period when I unknowingly started to lose a few KG. I never took notice until it became significant on the weighing scale back at home. Slowly, I managed to lose a few more KG and my friends could tell the difference too.

Girls being girls, many were so curious to find out the secret behind my weight loss and asking me for tips on losing weight within such a short period of time. 

I wish I could answer with inspiring stories such as "I jog every day, eat salad every meal and work out at the gym everyday like the athlete I am after finding my true self." 

The truth?

Sadly, I didn't get rid of my fats the most ideal manner. I was actually confused myself, wondering what I did that made me shed those pounds. After some pondering, I came up with the following conclusions to the reasons behind my changes:

1. Eat lesser (smaller appetite)
I lost about 4kg from irregular meals due to overworking myself (not advised), and thereafter, started realizing the differences on the weighing scale. I was actually pleased, because I was finally losing weight! That was when I started observing my diet, making sure that I didn't take as much oily/fried food as before. It wasn't a drastic diet, though, as I still kept to eating my favourite french fries and burgers. I just took a smaller portion of everything, and gradually, grew a smaller appetite for whatever I ate. Occasionally, I'd reject the thought of getting a cheesecake, and would find myself reaching out for distilled water instead of coke. Sometimes, I surprise myself too.

2. Learn how to doll up (e.g. contouring)
As I slowly exposed myself to the blogging scene, I became aware of the importance of needing to maintain a good image among the flock of pretty bloggers and talents. My mum played a part in recommending her favourite makeup brands to me, and my boyfriend encouraged me to learn the basics of simple dolling up. I still remember purchasing my first set of makeup from The Face Shop at Plaza Singapura because I couldn't bear to get the expensive makeup products from Sephora. Until this stage, I'm definitely still not an expert, but I'm glad I'm able to pick up a few tricks here and there from people around me and online tutorials. I also shop from some of my favourite brands in Singapore, mainly MDS, Shopeverydaypeople, Tact SG, and Zalora.

3. Quick 15-min workouts from home
Although I've only tried exercising for a couple of months on an irregular basis, I was glad I made a minor bit of effort to keep up with home workouts. For those of you out there who are just as lazy as I am, I would suggest you to sign up for a gym membership or a dance course (something that gets you moving), so as to maintain a routine and having a reason to keep working out. I'm also looking into joining a dance course again to push my limits. If you're too caught up with work or school, why not just spend 15 minutes at home working out? It's convenient, not time-consuming, and best of all, free!

4. Try out slimming treatments
People have always had the impression that slimming treatments are a hoax or just out there to con your money. I must say that I was pleasantly impressed with the treatments I've done at Halley Medical Aesthetics thus far, especially the drastic changes I've seen on my face after Dr Tan performed fillers for me. It's AMAZING, and so many of my friends have been telling me about how much slimmer my face has become, with no downtime at all. Can't wait to share with you guys my experience, and you can see the non-edited before after pictures for yourselves.

5. Avoid sugar whenever
Recently, I was craving for a cup of bubble tea so badly that I had to stop by Clementi to get a Hazelnut Milk Tea from Koi. I opted for the 'no sugar' option because it had always tasted so sweet even with 25-50% sugar. To my surprise, the 'no sugar' option tasted as though it had 50% sugar content inside! I've heard through word of mouth that even a harmless can of fizzy drink contained a huge amount of sugar that you never expected. Therefore, I'm starting to cut down on my intake of sugared drinks. In fact, check out the video from Buzzfeed below where they got a few volunteers to go 30 days without sugar!

Looking back at the changes I've gone through, it made me reflect on how much I've grown (or rather, shrunk) and how happy I am to be able to look and feel good about myself. I love how I'm now able to fit into S-sized apparels and also how (unabashedly) I'm enjoying the attention. After all, we're all girls lah.

In fact, being able to doll up and slim down actually opened many doors for me thereafter. Ever since I've been accidentally introduced to the modelling scene (will talk more about it in another post), I've had the opportunity to work for many brands over the past one year and getting to know so many young, talented ladies from the industry. Realistically speaking, the payout is higher than the standard part-time rates too, which makes me even more thankful even until today.
Last but not least, here's a picture of my favourite people during our secondary school graduation ceremony, and another one of us taken just last month. (Clearly, I changed the most...) Although I'm still not as slim as I desire to be because of the stubborn fats that are harder to get rid off now, I'm contented with where I am today :)

Before I end off the post, it's still important that I stress the fact that keeping yourself healthy still tops the list of anything else. You may be overworking yourself to earn income, sticking to stingy diets and tasteless salads just to shed fats, or going through nights with insufficient sleep due to the huge pile of school work. But it doesn't harm to fork out 10-15 minutes of your time a few times each week to go for a jog or plan your workout routine. For this area, I'm still struggling to keep up with a healthy lifestyle because of my laziness, but I would like to motivate myself even more this year to go for short jogs and consume lesser fried food. Tempting, yes. Healthy, not really. So you make your own decision for your better future :) Tata, go be beautiful!

Chelsea x