The Day Before My New Fitness Programme

I’m nervous… excited too but more nervous than excited.  It’s the day before my personal fitness schedule : Goya90 Days Fat to Fit

The challenge is a daunting one.  It isn’t so much the workouts itself, but the anticipation of a mental battle to keeping motivated throughout these 90 days.

I’m sure I shouldn’t be beating myself with self-doubt and that I should trust my body to get into the new routines comfortably… eventually. 

These few days leading up to it, I’ve also been doing some rounds and testing of the new workout routines to prepare for it.  So far so good as long as I don’t push myself too hard right out from the start.  This will be something that I will have to work in comfortably.

Just now also I did some measurements. These I will be also doing weekly to track my progress. Things such as weight and size as well as basic calculations of Body Fat % as well as BMI.

I shall spare the rest of the info, but I will be starting this programme, weighing in at 113kg… (sad, huh… this is how much I have let myself to put on till now.. 🙁 …)

I have a complete Excel sheet just for keeping records of my progress.

fitness-record

Ok, keeping my fingers crossed.  It’s 11pm and I’m getting to bed for my first HIIT workout training tomorrow.

GOOD NIGHT! 🙂

More Fitness Movies

Nothing beats an inspiring video when you are puckering up to kiss lady fitness on the glutes… 😛  Well, just came across these couple of video’s which I’ll sink my teeth into and have some inspiration rubbed off on the edge of my sweat laden gym towel… 😛

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FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD

100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it’s at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves. (IMDB): MOVIE DETAILS

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FORKS OVER KNIVES

Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. (IMDB): MOVIE DETAILS

Movies like these are great for post workout, post shower while enjoying a protein shake and balanced on top of an exercise ball… 😉

Kenyir Lake Triathlon 2013

Posting a title like that in my blog makes me feel so “super”… hehehe.. cause it’s like a first up there you see. A level of pride which you get with every first time for anything.. but then…

…it wasn’t really my triathlon debut. Well, at least not a full one in this case. We had formed a set of triplet to get this task done… a relay team that had no prior experience whatsoever with triathlon, but nevertheless a bunch of misfits out of the stables of Dutamas Runners that was gonna get the task done.

The whole thing actually started way back, perhaps 4 months ago when I was asked if I wanted to try out a tri.  Wong Yi Bin’s cousin, Mak, a happy-go-lucky-try-it-all type of guy decided that it would be fun to have a go at it. And he had swimming covered. Cycling and running were another story altogether. Yvonne, DR’s running queen was naturally our runner and I, the running-handicapper got to be on two wheels. 😉

And so, the so-called Kenyir dream team was born. (…was more like a dream to just finish it and finish it well… :P…)

Four months flew by like a Sunday brunch at McDonald’s with extra fries. (Don’t ask where the reference with food came from…) …and me barely having survived Brooks Half Marathon last week was once again thrown into another pit.  This time perhaps, it was a bit more reassuring to know I had speedy teammates (who could ensure this debut would not end in utter shambles…)

Anyway, before I knew it, we were making final trip plans and I had my bags packed.

The journey to Kenyir was quite an experience. The running queen, myself and Andrew Choa, our designated cheerleader, photographer, support person, crying shoulder (if needed) started from KL and picked up our swimmer, Mak from Ipoh.  The journey to Kenyir is easily summed up by the words; cowboy town, potholes, truckers, jaw-shaking AND loooong… Yup, that’s it.

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Lake Kenyir Resort was the official site for the event. Race pack collection was quite decent (I was comparing of course to my own out of town experience at Tour de Bintan.)  The evening programme was a carbo-loading buffet experience at the resort (do you actually need to carbo load the night before? – but it makes a damn bloody good excuse to indulge.. :P…)

Anyway, we ended with a briefing session by the esteemed Uncle Chan, the triathlon guru (literarily) That session was an equal and excellent combintion of wit, humour and detailed explanations.

The next morning, we started bright and early. Waking up in the boathouse (oh yes, we stayed in one but it ain’t no cruise!) we got ready and made our way by foot and wheels to the race site. I certainly felt a level of calmness which I never expected, but then again it’s perhaps due to the fact that I wasn’t alone in this.

Split into starting waves, we were the last starting wave to be starting. Mak was up and once the horn blew,it was an immediate focus on race-mode…Mak was surely a fish with an unofficial timing of 30 mins blasted out of the water and ran right for me at the transition point.

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As soon as I was given the timing chip, I knew I had to work fast… Getting on my wheels with my adrenaline rushing and having to make very steeep drops right out of the start of the race was nerve-wrecking!  Gosh, I prayed for a safe descent with no incident. But as my nerve cleared I began to realise one clear fact… “What goes down, must come up”… Yup, I had to come back via the same route.

Apart from the start and end, the rest of the route was fairly tame, but boy did my legs spin to try and keep up with the fast groups on wheels and for all the idea for wishing for a speedy and uneventful race, I had to be faced with a technical glitch with my gearing system. I had problem shifting within the mid range gears which meant I was stuck with the high and low gears on my bike. I had to make do!  I had to play with a combination of high and low gear along the route to maintain the speed I needed. But coincidentally, the route itself was a combination of high and lows, which I worked on with my gear cautiously.

Having to suffer the final climbs which I had flew down on just 1hour and 45mins ago, I made my way back to the transition point where Yvonne took over to get started on the running event.  I also realised at that point that we didn’t do half badly and seeing as we where in no slouched position of being in the bottom half.  (Lol, that competitive feeling in me was tingling a bit… but that was all, I had to be sure)..

Anyway it took our DR queen a blistering 11k run within a speedy hour to make it back to the finish line and we took the finishing line at 3 hour and 46 min sealing the time for our very first triathlon event, relay style.

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At the end of it, I just had to love the whole new experience. It was something new for us and for me especially and I think the start of a new discovery in this sport. Well, I gotta work at it if I am to even try an attempt at the next triathlon event.

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Weighing in Daily

I’ve decided I should stop weighing myself daily. I’m sure it’ll help with my focus as I will be able to concentrate on the schedule and training more than being occupied with beating myself up about my weight progress. Anyway, I’m sure the weight loss will be a side effect of the workouts… 😉

Circuit Training

As fitness was always my primary goal, I couldn’t help to sometimes look at the potential weight loss from my exercises.  And after much reading and researching, the clear winner for a fast track fitness programme are good sets of circuit training – the idea is to constantly keep the different muscle in your body activated and the elevated heart-rate results in a good cardio workout.

Although I still need to keep up with my cycling and running programmes to ensure that my muscles for those are kept in good condition, I will see results faster if I keep a frequent schedule of circuit training.

One thing great about circuits is that, you get to mix it up to keep your workouts interesting.  Right now, I’m still quite new at it but I’m going to have to keep a couple of circuit sets in my pocket first to kick off the whole routine.

Here’s a set which I have started out with thanks to Jordan Yeoh’s circuit training video tutorial. (Jordan’s a fitness traiinng and a body-building Guru whom I’ve been following on his blog and FB Page) It certainly helps to get the best ideas from successful fitness experts.

FAT BURNING CIRCUIT

  1. Squat x 20reps
  2. Push Ups x 20reps
  3. Scissor Leg Raise x 20reps
  4. Jumping Jack x 20reps
  5. Jumping Lunges x 20reps
  6. Side to Side Push Ups x 20reps
  7. Cross Crunch x 20reps
  8. Burpees x 10reps
  9. High Knees Ups x 20reps

(Repeat 4 rounds)

I’ll just be happy to finish 3 complete circuits! …well, for now.. 😉

Getting Back to Routines After the Holidays

I seem to always dread breaking routines. Of course I love the holidays and vacations round about the end of the year as well as coming into the new year, followed by Chinese New Year, but I fear the repercussions of breaking habits and routines.

Some people just have it down pat, about how they would work around this.  But when you are like me, a “converted” fitness beginner, you find the challenge in not reverting to old habits of binging and laziness. So hence, my fears would not be unfounded.

But nearing the 15th day of the new Chinese Lunar New Year, the celebrations are just dying down and the clear horizon of fitness and exercise routines can be seen clearer.  I’m starting this next round of carefully planned programme and routines from now.  This includes physical, motivational, dietary as well as supplementation.

The fact that friends and family was asking about how I still had my physical built since I worked out so much, was a good and a bad thing. It didn’t help in cheering me over the holidays but it certainly did gave me the motivation to do it again and this time getting there.

So, I’m starting the conversion with this blog. To be posting more updates on my fitness and activity progress.  This is what I should have done since the beginning, but for this moment, I need all the help I can get, and i guess regular postings will be a good reminder for me to keep it up.

Progress of my new fitness efforts

Hmm… it took me a while to think about how to write this title…. and it still sounds cliched!  Gosh…

  • Weight Loss Progress
  • Excitement @ My New Fitness Efforts
  • 1kg a week weight loss progress!
  • Latest update on my fitness progress!

Yup, cliched forever! lol…

Anyway, this’ll be a short report about how I am doing since I started this round of new efforts from 1st Oct : The Line… Crossed!

I started this whole thing with the goal of hitting a 1kg weight loss per week.  (FYI, in between more comprehensive health check-ups and fitness tests, I’m using my weight as a gauge of how I am progressing)

And guess what?!

I’ve been hitting my targets so far!!! HAPPINESS! What a motivation.

When I started this on 1 Oct.. I was at an embarrassing 110kg. Yes, I was back to that much… not as bad as my worst but bad enough to scare me into doing something. 

As of today, 24th Oct, I’m at 107kg! Almost a 1kg weight loss per week!!!

I’ve been doing a lot of activities and for the most part of it, I’ve been watching my food intake very closely thanks to an application called My Fitness Pal on my smartphone.  Diligently inputting your daily consumption and exercise meant that I was always reminding myself about keeping to my goals.

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This is what I have on my mirror which reminds me daily to keep to my goals.  I’m targeting to maintain this progress until mid February for this round where I would be targetting to achieve a total of 20kg weight loss.  well, I gotta keep myself motivated and keep the activities coming!  If you read this, do drop me a message once in a while to remind me to keep at it. Winking smile

Enough is enough!

Doesn’t it fear you when you see something spiralling out of your control and will end up being very, very bad if you don’t do something about it?!  Goodness… frustrations and woes.  Yup, my fitness isn’t looking too good and the digital number on my digital scale finds it a real laugh when I stand on top of it everyday changing my expressions from looks of surprise, to shock to HORRORS!

Damn it… for a guy to be worried about weight gain, that’s pathetic isn’t it?!

But, then again, although weight is at the top of my list to physically change, it should really be on the last of the list of what I should be concerned about.  Yeah, without dwelling in the dumps on the thoughts of weight gaining, I realise the best is to focus on being able to do more, get fitter and eventually stand in front of the mirror in full nudity. looking and feeling GREAT!

So, I say here and now, enough is enough!  I know I’ve done this before and I was so happy then, I’m getting happy back and this time, I’ll keep it in my back pocket and maybe on my face where I’ll willingly smile like a fool and frown like a fat idiot…

Enough is enough!!!

64607_478353570398_1136620_a Yup, horrors… (luckily this was a picture from way, way back…)
but it motivated me the last round, it should do again for this round.
Smile with tongue out

Finding the Time to Exercise

Corbis-42-29579460The title says it all, doesn’t it.  Finding the time to balance everything is already a challenge.  Balancing work, family and time for yourself is usually a full time affair, with one ending up not really getting the right balance most of the time.  It isn’t hard to see that work takes up most of the time.  The interesting thing is,my friends and acquaintances often ask me how I have so much time to spare to the activities I am currently enjoying, running, cycling and moving around.  Little do they know, that what they see, which are usually the posts that I put up on my Facebook is a small part of my day.  It’s a small part which I dedicate to these activities.  Personally, I find it motivating to share as well as to receive comments and advice on what you could do better. 

Anyway, that’s how it is.  Finding the right time, making a commitment and then developing a habit… lol. “developing a habit”…. simply just sounds so CLICHED doesn’t it?  Believe you me, habits is what I have hanging on to, to keep me doing what I’m doing.

It’s about setting a routine.  And for a while, I found my routine.  Sleeping early then getting up early in the morning to get out of the house… That was the best time really.  Finding the right time can be tough.  Some find it good to de-stress at the gym after work and release their pent up frustrations or work worries into their punches, pushes and all other forms of energy expenditure.  Well, I find myself tired at the end of the day and nothing I want more than just to rest up and “hit the hay”.  I do best in the mornings!…

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Yeah… mornings.  Kids and wife are asleep, no clients would dare to call me that early, mind usually clearer then… and then there’s the environment, cool, fresh, calming, not much cars.  It’s really all so much more beautiful at the time. 

So, yeah… you might have noticed that I wrote in the past tense above when I talked about this routine I used to do… well, I’ve just been through one of those time where all form of this sort of routines went out the window.  But, in writing this little blog to share, I’m kind of reminding myself of how much I enjoyed it and how I’d be looking back at getting into it.

For anyone who find exercising daunting, well take it as a routine that’ll wake you up in the morning alongside brushing your teeth, taking a shower and the all important breakfast.  And out of all of these, exercising will be just the thing that’ll give you that feel-good feeling throughout!

MAKE IT A HABIT, PEEPS!Winking smile

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The Day I Ran My Very First Full Marathon

On Sunday, I accomplished a goal which I set for myself a year ago.  I finished the very first Full 42km Marathon of my life.  Yes, I did it!!! I was elated, overjoyed, extremely happy, undeniably overwhelmed and at one point just overcame with such emotional elation…

…this journey began a year ago…

It all began on my birthday last year when I finally decided to make a commitment towards one of the biggest change in my life.  To be a new person, to be a new ME.  This new path that I took started in May last year.  Exercise, weight loss, diet and training became new vocabularies in my day to day life.  I started doing extensive workouts in the gym and slowly regained some of my fitness level…  And then I had the opportunity to begin setting goals.  Real life goals.  To run in a marathon. 

For me at the time, it was the SCKLM 2010 (Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010), I enrolled in the 10km run and even in doing that, I had concerns about my level of fitness to be able to complete the run successfully.  Light teasing and quirky comments from friends and colleagues who wondered if I could finish it strived me on to try and prove it to them. 

So, I ran it and complete it!  I have never ran so long for so far in my life before.  Honestly, it was the first 10k of my life and I was overjoyed.

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I made a promise to myself on that day… that I would continue this journey and finish my very first ever 42k marathon the following year at the very same race… the SCKLM 2011!

My journey was an eventful one with more races, with one more 10k and another 12k run in 2010.  I took up cycling in September and this became another passion which I indulged in and cycled my very first official 100km cycling ride in November…  The cycling helped with cross-training and a healthy sight-seeing indulgement which I allow myself to do.

I made it a point to enrol myself in 21k, Half-Marathon races in 2011.  And it began with my first 21k in March 2011 (Bareno Run). 

When registration opened for SCKLM 2011 Full Marathon, I was one of the first to join up. 42k.  I didn’t want to think too much into it and just registered and paid. I knew then that I had started a chain of commitments towards finishing the race.  I committed myself further via many new friends whom I have met since I started this journey, stating my intent and getting to know wonderful support groups like the Full Marathon Virgins (FMV) and a really wonderful bunch of very good friends of the Dutamas Runners. 

I realised my mental journey of keeping myself committed, the motivations of fellow runners and the inspiration of those who have done this and continue to do it, spurred me on.  But, I was worried about my physical capabilities.  I was still heavy and I was mentally beating myself up over not having progressed more physically.

For my training, I mixed a lot of cycling into my running.  I was worried about not being able to train hard enough or clock in the mileage required as part of the build up to the race.  I was worried about injuring myself.  It was ups and downs.  At times, training felt great and at times, old ankle injuries and knee tightness came and haunted me.  But, I had committed and it had to be done.

I trained rigorously about 3 months prior to the race, but at times I found it challenging to keep at it, to be disciplined.  My head was filled with so much information, so much concerns and so much worries. LSDs, pacing, timing, hydration, energy intake, energy spent, etc… these were all new to me..

3 weeks before the race, I had decided to look for motivations from my friends, those who were kind enough to teach me to stay calm and reassuringly tells me that I can finish it and not to worry about how fast or how good I should run…. it was a collective message of, "Just finish it"… "You can do it".. I needed that.

A week before the run, my mind was in a total calm state.  I tried to block out the feelings of doubts and nervousness.. I needed to.  Otherwise, I would have flipped or worse, not turn up for the race!

The RACE DAY

I woke up fresh.  Surprisingly I had enough sleep the night before and was not even stirred by excitement or worries.  I had packed the night before and placed all the things I needed, all lined up for me to change into and to bring.

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As I neared the race grounds… I turned the music I was listening to Kandi and Neumann’s, Let’s Go, a truly inspirational piece of music which inspired me at the start of my 2010 journey.. Yes, it was the same music that I listened to before I ran my first 10k.  When the music came on, I suddenly felt a surge of emotion… butterflies filled my stomach and the thought that "I AM FINALLY DOING IT"… just surged through my thoughts, including all those times I spent training and worrying over this race.

I said to myself "Today is another challenge which I will overcome, I need to overcome… before I go on to my next level!

My friends were there, the same people I talked to about running and finishing this.. I had to do it.

Getting ready, going to the start line was a surreal experience.  Having ran a few races, I still can’t get over the rush of excitement you get just before a run.  When the race started, I just ran.

I was told not to push too hard… and I didn’t want to run too slow, so I kept a balance.  I felt good through the first 10km.  I passed some runners but more still ran pass me, but I kept focus.  I listened to my heart, my breathing, I felt my feet on the ground, my arms swinging where they were suppose to and my eyes, kept looking in front for the many steps I had yet to complete.

After 10km, the sky started brightening up… it was going to be a beautiful day.  Between 10k and 20k, I never felt so good before… I was excited and I was seeing so many faces of people on the run which I would otherwise have never seen if I hadn’t made this decision and I said to myself… "I’m one of them now"… 🙂

After 20km, I had to talk to myself… to tell myself that I’m halfway there, and that from now on, I would be counting down instead of up… counting down to finish it.  We were running through the streets of KL and I mentally tried to name all the roads to keep myself occupied with enjoying the sights on foot…

At this point, at every sponging station I had been sponging down to keep cool and to keep fresh (I wiped my face at every point)… I needed to feel strong and alert.

After 30km, the wonderful sun had risen quite a bit over the horizon and we ran through the early morning sun.. I was not uncomfortable but neither could I say it was easy.. After 30km, my body started telling me to slow down.. and I did, but I didn’t stop, I couldn’t because my mind would not have allowed it. 

At 32k onwards, I was at my slowest throughout the race..  The phrase "Just Another 10k", did not mean anything to me at the time… I was hard! I was spent.. I found myself running 1/3 of the time and walking 2/3 and soon I tried speed walking and kept with a number of runners..

At 35k, my feet began to have blisters.  I prepared for everything, hydration, energy, electrolyte pills, painkiller, plasters, sunblock, anti-chaffing stick… but I could not have prepared to have unbroken blisters right on the forefront of my feet. I decided against stopping and taking off my shoes, as I was afraid about trying to put my shoes back on again.

At 36k with the help of June Malik, founder of the FMV Group, I was refreshed with drinks and food, but although the stop was brief and the encouragement from June helped with both my mental and physical self.

It was uphill up Bukit Tungku, I had to do it.  I was struggling with soreness, but I had to do it.

My emotional point of the race came at the 38km mark… I teared up.. at that point I was so washed over with emotions. I couldn’t believe that I was really going to finished it and every step to took from that point on was taken spurred on by my desire to overcome this life challenge and motivate myself further on!

That day, Sunday, 26th June 2011, I accomplished and finished the hardest physical (and mental) challenge of my life.  I finished my marathon… I "ran for life" and I did it.

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I did it.

I proved to myself that you can always figure out a way to make it happen if you want it hard enough… Be inspired and inspire others.  I really needed to thank all my wonderful new friends whom I met through running and this new journey, for without them, I could not have done this… and as I how I have been graciously given so much help by wonderful people, I’d like to share this opportunity to my friends who aspire to set goals in their lives and get them done in a BIG way!

Thank you for reading and keep moving!

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