A New Weight and Fitness Milestone

Today is a big part of my life changing experience.  I have returned back from the dreaded line, crossing from three figures to two figures.  I’m below a hundred kg!!!! Oh my, you guys can’t begin to imagine my excitement to have achieved this new milestone.  That’s a total of 17.7kg weight loss… which I never ever want to be back to ever again in my life!

Happiness is knowing that this time, it’s for real.  Sometimes, I wonder how you don’t begin to appreciate the things you have just like a healthy body and for some people, it’s just so hard to come by.  This is by far the longest I’ve ever been so focused on getting healthy and fit… and I know it’s not ending here.

My goal is to go down to 80kg and even beyond, that’s a loss of 37kg++ of what I initially started out with… Life really can’t get any better when you become so healthy you get to enjoy it with family and loved ones!

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I DID IT, I’M DOING IT, AND I’M GONNA KEEP ON DOING IT, TILL I DO IT!!!!!

Cycling up Frasers Hill

My cycling adventures just got to a whole new level when I decided on an early Hari Raya morning to head out and climb Frasers Hill on my bicycle.  The day didn’t start out promising, I must say.  Woke up at 6am and the first thing that greeted me was the sound of heavy rain all around.  So I lazed in bed and it continued to rain… by 9am I decided to just try my luck and got myself ready and geared-up, hooked up my bike and headed out the door.  Yup, the drizzle did not stop as I began the 45min drive to Kuala Kubu Bahru, a place where cyclist generally start cycling up the hill.

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Reached KKB by 10am and decided to have a quick breakfast.  A reminder to myself: "Don’t eat anything that has santan (coconut milk) for breakfast if you are going cycling"… I ordered a bowl of curry noodle, and without fail, 15 mins later, my stomach was "teasing" me for a toilet break!  I didn’t give in.

Anyway, I drove up the hill a little from KKB and found the beautiful scenery of the bridge and dam on the way up.  As I have heard in some reviews on other blogs, the ride up to Frasers Hill promised to be one of the most beautiful in South East Asia… and this sight that greeted me was a good start.  Right after the lake, I drove back down to KKB and found my way to the courthouse complex.  I didn’t know where to park but decided that as there was a police station next to the courthouse, that may be the best place to park.

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I got ready and started my ride at 10:30am and I should say how perfect the weather was at the time.  It had just stopped raining and the sun was nowhere in sight.  All soft, cool and easy on the eyes and skin.  My GPS showed 40km to the top.  Looked like a long ride, but all that was in my head was to enjoy the environment. The ride up to the dam with the gentle slope, proved to be a great warm up distance about 7 to 8km into the ride.  I took a moment to take in the sights of the scenic dam, bridge and lake.

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Having continued and passed the lake and bridges, I was about 12km into the ride with another 28km to go.  After a smaller bridge, the route went into more of a hilly ride with denser trees and flora on both sides of the road. I was also pleased to note that the slope was as gentle as before with twists and turns breaking the monotony of a normal straight up climb.

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Though I hadn’t expected it on this first day of Raya celebration, but I came across several cyclists on road bikes cycling back down from the hill.  The smart looking set of cyclists in their racing jerseys, tights, and sunglasses exuded all form of machoness on their bicycles.  As we exchanged salutes, I felt a sense of kinship among fellow cyclists, feeling proud as I put myself among this group.  Perhaps prouder still as I was about to attempt an exciting, challenging ride.

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At 15km in to the ride, I set my pace and gear settings and stuck to the setting.  Looking as the gradient didn’t change much, I was pleased to be able to keep a steady, consistent pace to the climb.  The ride through the next 15km on the hill proved uneventful with some openings looking out to the small valleys of the hills.  I knew I would get to the Gap at the 31st kilometre (a checkpoint where the flow of cars are controlled for the last 9km up and down from the top).

As I reached the Gap, I was ecstatic!  I was three-quarters of the way there!  To have climbed 30km on a gradual slope was for me, a wonderful accomplishment.  At 1:30pm (yup, took me about 2hr 30mins) it was our turn, the traffic from below to go up the Gap towards the top. I began my ride.  What I realised, but not surprised was that the slope here got steeper. 9km along this route should be quite a feat.

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Some more gear changes and while my legs were spinning the cranks, the bicycle made a slow climb.  3km up this slope, I had to stop and catch my breath… take a muesli bar and then another…. :-)  I went further up, about a kilometre and then I stopped again, finished my water reserves.  When the 5km marker to the top came in sight, I started counting the meters with the ride computer on my bicycle… :-P  100m, 200m, 300m, 400m… half a km!  It was excruciatingly slow but having read other cyclist blogs, I remembered them saying that every pedal crank counts even if it’s to go a small distance and never get down to push your bike no matter how slow you may be climbing (great tip!).  Marker 3km and 2km was just painful to get to but after that I just focused on counting and everything just went surreal.

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At the last kilometre, I was just beaming from ear to ear!  Soon, I approached the guardhouse at the top of the Gap and waved ecstatically and raised my hands to an audience made up of 2 guards and a couple of tourists taking photos by the roadside.  To some seasoned cyclist, this could be an easy Sunday ride, but to me, I had accomplished another first… bringing my new fitness level in climbing my very first hill with my new found passion of cycling!

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So… now, I was looking for only one thing, FOOD!  I headed straight to the cafe and plonked myself down, ordering 2 cans of 100Plus, 1 mineral water and 1 ice tea, a bowl of rendang (it was Hari Raya after all) and soup with rice!  That was the best relieve…

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I was done by 3:15pm but unfortunately, due to the drive timing at the Gap, I had to wait till 4pm before I could ride down.  I thought of riding around Frasers Hill for that 45mins but then again looking at the up and down of the roads, I decided, I had spent enough energy earlier part in the ride.  So, a half-an-hour rest later, I was ready to ride down.

Waited for the long line of cars to get into the Gap before I followed behind the last car.  Needless to say, I was waiting for this moment… to ride down at high-speed (at a safe and controllable speed, of course) down the slope! I paced myself with the car in front as I knew the first 9km down, traffic was all one way.  I practised the text book cornering techniques and was totally engrossed in the euphoric experience!

The entire 40km down from Frasers Hill took just a little over an hour to finish with speeds of approx 40-50km/h.  The best part of it all, the sun chose to appear at about 4:30pm in the afternoon, on my easy ride halfway down the hill.

:-)  I’d do this ride again…!  Frasers Hill conquered.

On Two Wheels

Should I say I’ve gotten really passionate about the 2 wheel kind of mode of transportation.. Yup, no the kind with big-ass motors but rather foot pedalled power kind… Thanks to my sis who have had the keen sense to try in out in Amsterdam during her stint there, I dusted off my 2 year old yellow 2-wheeler.  Sadly, that mountain bike has seen less than 3 times in action.  So, I happily took it to the repair shop and the very next day, headed out to try it out.

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Safe to say, the wind in my hair, the splashes of dirty water puddle, and the sights that looked so much different as compared from the glass of your 4-wheeled vehicle sparked a new passion.

I was beaming and the wifey could feel that.  So, when I told her that I would take it up seriously (seeing as I was already doing my gym workouts daily in the mornings), she suggested the idea of me getting a better bike.

With my new bike, from BH, I started to pedal for an hour to an hour and half every morning around our home…

The rest was history really.. or rather.. present and future included.  Let’s see where I go from here! 🙂


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Of Calories and Cardio

Ok I’m calorie counting…

Damn, just saying that makes me feel so feminine!  Well, damn it, so what if I am, I know guys who go for facial, so does it really matter if I took a bit of time to make sure I eat right?  Perhaps now that I’ve put it that way, it doesn’t sound too wrong.  Actually there isn’t anything wrong with it.  Challenge whoever of you who says it does.

Yeah, I’ve been on this fitness regime lately… if you’ve not read my last blog entry here!

Well, the calorie thing started when I began having to count how much I was eating… and watching "The Biggest Loser" did strike it in further into my mind and soon enough, all I was thinking was that.. "How can I take less…?"… Mind you, if I’ve never learnt to count before, I sure learnt to do so quickly.

Imagine counting calories in your head, as a "humpty-dumpty" of a waiter stands looming above you staring down at you moving your lips trying to get the numbers right.

Well, after a month, nowadays when it comes to counting calories, I can smugly smile and pretend like I’m an expert. 

Well, when people say it isn’t easy… I think it’s half-true.  It isn’t, of course when you start counting but once you get your subconcious to go a long with it, your body seems to be directed by your subconcious to go towards healthy low-calorie stuffs and move away from calorie laden items.

Wow… did I just sound like a health junkie?  … 😉 I hope I did, cause nowadays, that’s something to be proud about.

The calorie thingy gets strike in further at the gym where the cardio machines all have calorie counters.  Last Sunday (yesterday) I had to endure the push of a mad man, to go for 450 calories burnt in 30 minutes… Well, he broke that barrier… (not to say that I was a virgin on the treadmill lah… hehehe…) but it certainly shown me that I was only held back by my mental beliefs.

Anyway, I just had 2 pieces of 90kcal (each) popiah this morning and combined with a 350kcal lunch of chicken rice (half the rice), a couple of low-cal fresh fruit slices, and I’m already anticipating reservations for dinner…

…safe to say, I think I’m already waist deep in this wonderful form of health awareness… so laugh at me all you like, suckers,… cause I’m in a quest for health!

😉

Casual Words from a Cafe

It has been a while since I’ve sat down comfortably at a cafe and tapped a few words in my blog.  Today, a Saturday seems like the perfect day to do it. It’s interesting how being back at gym, springs out other forms of enjoyment.  Well, for one, my normal routine after gym would be to have a small calorie-light mean and drinks at the cafe and enjoy a book or sharing some words on my blog.

That’s exactly what I am doing right now.  After a healthy chicken, lettuce and tomato sandwich on shamo bread, I’m on the computer looking at the latest fitness tips and now, telling you how I am enjoying myself. 🙂

Well… in my own personal way, I am beginning to put the different things in my life into proper categories.

People, I introduce to you my personal SWOT ANALYSIS! 😛

Self-Building

  1. Health and fitness
  2. Mental exercises
  3. Personal knowledge
  4. Self-improvements

Waste of Time

  1. Unnecessary pressure and stress
  2. Worries and things you are unsure about
  3. Empty tasks
  4. Things you force yourself to do but don’t enjoy

Ownership (Things you should have)

  1. Family and good relationship
  2. Your beliefs and religion
  3. Good outlook on life
  4. Happiness and things that you enjoy doing
  5. Good personality and common sense

Trash (Things you shouldn’t get even close to)

  1. Crime and harmful thoughts
  2. Revengeful feelings
  3. Self- demeaning and demotivating

Apply some of these in your life… and give your life direction.  I know mine needs some really good steering! 😉

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"New" Quest for Fitness & Health

If you knew me well, you’d probably heard me saying this a lot of times, and yes, I bow down to your cynical remarks that I’ve been more talk than walk…

Well, the "trend" is back again.  I guess it’s more than just a trend this time.  Where last time, it was about getting in shape and looking good, this time around, I focused on health and getting in the right shape (not just literarily). 

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Yes, a couple of us in the office did indeed sat together putting together an "official" plan of committing ourselves to our very own "Biggest Loser" contest. An activity that would have me put in RM200 every month for 3 months into the contest "pool"… and the end of it, the biggest loser who’s the biggest winner walks away with a clean sum of money!

But, guys, you know what?

That was a wake up call. With dread and fear I started the whole programme having to get proper measurements at the gym. Needless to say, at my current state, the result left me speechless.

That little piece of paper with my results on it is the beginning of lots of physical and mental work!  To me, it’s 70% mental and 30% physical! 

Why mental?

…cause my emotions are mental…
…cause getting myself up in the morning to get to gym is mental…
…cause having a good eating habit is mental…
…cause having the willpower to say no is mental…
…cause visualising being happy with how I will eventually look is mental…

Yup… last time around I did a bit, but not being quite there, I was celebrating my achievement, perhaps a bit too much… Was suppose to have been a celebration of progress rather than of achievement… And then I took the step over the edge and straight down a spiralling slope into a cavernous black hole of denial!

And that’s where I was before now… the denial phase is over…

Here’s where a "second" chance begin…

I did dream about a 6-pack before… It now looks a bit far in the distance, but perhaps it’ll come by soon to be within reach..

6pack…and no, I wasn’t talking about the sinful 6xers above….

😉