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  • Writer's pictureLaura

My weight loss journey: What worked, what didn’t, and how it’s changed me

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Featuring self-educated fitness enthusiast and future personal trainer Mandy (@offlinemandy)

The old me: Overweight, unhappy and constantly fixated on my reflection in the mirror, obsessing over how fat I was and wondering why I couldn’t be as skinny as my friends. I tried everything. I Cling-Wrapped my limbs because I heard it would help melt fat. It did not. I ate 1200 calories daily because that was the arbitrary number the mainstream media was throwing out for weight loss. I ended up losing my period for a bit. I went on a low-carb diet which stipulated that the only carbs I could eat in a day was a single slice of bread. I ended up binge eating eight slices of bread with Nutella in a single sitting on the fourth day of the diet. I would run five times a week, especially after eating an unhealthy meal - I thought that running for an hour could undo my binges. I really didn’t like myself back then.

Me in transition: Decided to make a change. I started doing my own research on health and fitness because hiring a personal trainer wasn’t an option for me. It was through reading other people’s weight loss stories that I understood weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. I focused less on losing weight and more on forming healthy habits like having smaller breakfasts (two slices of bread instead of a plate of nasi lemak) and incorporating more vegetables into my diet. I also decided to start strength training after educating myself on the benefits of it and abandoned my mindset that cardio was the key to weight loss. I remember my first day walking into the gym. I was in my old school PE t-shirt, trying to navigate the equipment, fellow gym-goers who looked like they knew exactly what they were doing and overwhelming feelings of intimidation. Self-consciousness prickled every move I made, especially when I went over to grab the 2kg dumbbells. Are they judging me for lifting so little weight? I also inevitably started making mistakes. I didn’t know that you should start out with lighter weights and gradually increase them as you go along. I remember trying to do a 20kg seated row and ended up tearing a muscle in my back (turns out I could only do it at 7kg).

Me now: Happier and more confident. I’ve learnt so many things since I first started trying to lose weight. I am more familiar with my limits now - for example, I know that if I try to deadlift my weight, I will likely strain my back. I also know the importance of stretching, what type of stretching to do and when to do it. For me, dynamic stretching helps me before a workout and static stretching is better suited for after a workout. Not bad for someone who didn’t used to stretch at all. I now do a combination of strength training and cardio, but more importantly, I am no longer starving and have no desire to binge eat. have made a lot of progress, but I also know that I still have a lot to learn. For instance, even though I finally managed to do my first push-up after six months of training, I know I still have to work on my form. Working towards my fitness goals keeps me motivated and gives me something to look forward to. I like myself a lot more now.

Me in the future: Will achieve the next fitness goals I have on my list and be able to do a pull-up, full split and run 2.4km in 10.5 minutes!


About Sunnystep


After sustaining a traumatic postpartum spinal injury, Ting founded Sunnystep to bring shoes designed to minimize stress to the feet and the body to more people. The mission of Sunnystep is to provide the best tool, knowledge and inspiration to help people move their bodies freely and happily.


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