This is a long-waited post. It will begin with the history of my weight-loss battle.
After being overweight for almost all my adult life, I plucked up all determination I didn't know I had to change myself - with some professional help thrown in - last year. And the result was beyond my own imagination!
I have lost more than 15 kg - more precisely, 35 pounds - in about 8 months!
And I won't even go into the inches lost as I honestly have lost count ( you know how they measure all the parts of the body but in total it was 100 plus cm) Suffice to say though, I have gone from a size 14 plus to a size 10 (British size)!!
Of course it has been a lot of hard work. And it's a combination of sacrificing money + time + food! And on top of that, tonnes of discipline and will power!
So what prompted me to take up this drastic measure in the first place? Well, of course I have been unhappy with my body weight and appearance for long. At 5 feet 2, I was quite overweight at more than 60 kg. A year ago exactly, I plummeted to 66kg! Unlike some who have heavy bones, I am actually small-built but what I had was excess FAT! Because I knew what to wear to cover-up, some didn't consider me really fat but my fat content was way high - in the obese category! Believe me, I have enough knowledge to be fooled, plus I have a healthy self-esteem.
The last straw came when I was getting dressed for a concert just after CNY last year. I wanted to wear a pair of pants which I had not worn for a while. I could not fit into it let alone buckle up! I then tried another pair of dressy jeans. The same happened! I ended up trying two or three more bottoms and they were all so tight that I could not wear them! Gosh, I was exasperated!! I was mad at myself for putting on so much weight
So there and then I told myself. I MUST do something about my figure. I just HAD to lose weight.
The next day, I called up My Dream Beauty, a new spa/wellness/slimming centre which I had written their brochure for them not long ago. Through speaking to the manager, I knew they had a comprehensive slimming program and some latest machines. The manager, Stephanie, has extensive know-how on slimming methods/treatments. As it's a very competitive market, I also knew their pricing was less than the other slimming chains.
To back-track a bit, I must now confess that in my life, I've joined 4 slimming centres before. The first was when I just started out working. I was overweight after my university years in the U.K. but since I had limited budget, I chose a cheaper one called Professional Slimming Centre which is now defunct. I couldn't believe they only gave diet advise. And the diet, in hindsight, was quite ridiculous! You only could eat steam/grilled food of limited choices and you had to measure the quantity! It was truly miserable. I followed for a while and lost a few pounds but I could not go on.
My second foray into slimming was in 1999. The motivation being that I was to be a bridesmaid for my good friend's wedding. I decided to take the plunge for what I thought was the `best' and most popular - Marie France, and had to endure the torturing cold wrap, not mentioning forking out an exorbitant sum of more than RM15K in total!! I spent about 10 months with them - having to top up more treatments cos I was told I needed them. Yes,there was result - I lost about 10kg.
Of course I could not afford to go on with them after a while. I did look quite trim but the problem was I was too deprived of food - yes, they emphasised on diet too! So gradually over the next year, I piled back the weight and fat, and it's back to square one!
My 3rd and 4th slimming quests were with Unisense and Slimming Sanctuary. I joined Unisense as they were more affordable. But they only concentrated on one type of slimming treatment - ultrasound, which turned out to be quite slow in making me lose weight. I only lost a few pounds in a few months.
Then a couple of years later, I came across Slimming Sanctuary through work. Maybe I'm a sucker for advertising, but after attending one of their media event, I was quite impressed by the accolades they claimed and since they gave me some discount as media, I signed up. But soon, I was quite disappointed as result was slow. Or maybe I wasn't very determined thus not following the diet closely. My weight loss was hardly noticeable :(
I told myself, that was the last time I would ever joined a slimming centre. It was not worth the money and time. And I could do it myself. But the last slimming endeavour I embarked on was trying out Herbalife. I bought a pack of products from a friend and I ate that for a month. I lost a little bit of weight, but I just could not bear having the sweet `shakes' for meals all the time! On top of that, they ain't cheap either. Again, I gave up...
And then, I seemed to have given up altogether. I succumbed to my innate glutton nature. In that year that followed (ie 2008) I just let loose myself eating. I binged all the time, I ate anything, anytime, anywhere, any how I liked. For instance, in between heavy lunch and dinner, I would buy a big slice of cheesecake and gobbled all up myself. Since I was (and still am) a night owl, I would cook a packet of instant noodle at 3am and ate every strand of the mee. Else, I would dig into my kitchen shelves for cookies or chocolates or anything tasty - and fattening!
No wonder I piled on.. till the awakening after CNY 2009. I reached my heaviest at 66kg!
Till now I still wonder whether it was my successful diet or the effective treatments that had me lose weight at My Dream. I believe it's a combination of both - but more so the diet. And they were really clever in the `diet prescription' in that unlike the previous slimming centres I joined, My Dream advocates the kinds of food to take, but does not limit the quantity. Their diet advice makes lots of sense too.
While I had gone carbs-free before, this time however, it's not so unbearable. True, no carbs were allowed for the first couple of weeks. But I could eat any amount of fish, vegetables, bean products, eggs and oats. Of course, I sometimes craved for rice or noodles or bread but I guess I was so determine to do it that I had accustomed my taste bud to even the yucky oats (that replaced rice and noodles). I like fish and since I am into cooking, I tried various ways to prepare different fish. And I could eat Sashimi!:) And guess what, I had become a fan of salads! There are just so many types of salads you can make.. and thank goodness for low-fat salad dressings.
So ya, with my new diet plus the treatments - a combination of machine, massages and wraps, I saw my weight and figure gradually reduced. I had in the beginning told Stephanie that I did not want drastic and rapid weight loss but gradual loss so that I could maintain it. And that was what happened..
Granted, 15kg seemed a lot. But I did NOT lose that overnight. I started in mid February last year and finally achieved my target weight after 8 months. And from September onwards, my weight has remained between 50-51kg. Yes, I have managed to maintain for 4 months. My treatments had completed in early October.
I know this may sound `boastful' but the thing is, since around September last year till today, so many people - from friends, relatives to acquaintances and even the vegetable seller I see only once a while - had noticed and commented on my weight loss. I would understand if they hadn't see me for a while but even those who saw me quite frequently still could see the marked difference! I was quite flattered at first but now, repeating the same story to everyone became a bit tiring! But maybe it's good practice for my new `role'... :p
Some months back, Stephanie asked me whether I wanted to be their spokesperson. I didn't hesitate because I would be given a period of free maintenance treatments! In return, I would be photographed and the photos would be used for their publicity/advertising purposes. Occasionally, I will be required to appear in their events.
Since My Dream is still a newish centre with not a bit budget, they have not advertised at all, but they may have plans in the future. So to start with, my photos as spokesperson will be used in-house for their potential clients only. Maybe later for press advertisements. But what's good is I'm not required to wear revealing outfits such as bikinis or even swim wear. So I see it as a win-win situation because my wish is to maintain my current weight/figure, and as their spokesperson, my weight can't fluctuate more than 3kg. My monthly free maintenance treatment should help a bit too!
I went for a two-week intensive treatments to make sure I look svelte enough! And as I had to wear a v-neck and cleavage-showing gown, I had my first ever bust-firming treatment! And also a few sessions of Depressology - a toning treatment that is a bit painful!
For the shoot, I put on both casual wear and evening gowns, the latter provided by the bridal house that did the shoot. Everything - from the photographer to the make-up aritst cum hair-stylist to the gowns, were all from Taipei! Aptly named `Very Taipei', it's a new outlet in KL. I marvelled at the speed of which they worked. Compared to the local make-up artists/hair stylists and photographers that I have worked with, I would say these people were very efficient and professional.
It was a tiring day for me.. although what I had to do was basically `just' fit the clothes, get my make-up and hair done, and pose for shoots for five different images. The most tiring was the shoot! I mean this was not the first time for me as I had photo shoots done for make-over int he past. But since this was for slimming `ads' , i had to pose in some rather sexy and perculiar positions to accentuate and emphasise on certain body parts and curves. And of course the photographer knew what he's doing as he managed to capture me real slim!!
All in, it took almost 5 hours! But it was expected as the photographer and makeup artist had to do three more spokespersons as well. Overall, it was a pretty memorable day!
I `curi-curi' (actually it's in the open) used my own camera to capture the behind-the-scene shots, as well as just a few shots after the real professional ones were taken.
Stealing some shots by my camera in the studio
My own dress - now
Same dress - then!
Here are more photos of how I used to look like - yup, I know there's a marked difference!
If after reading this you're inspired to slim down, let me tell you if I can, so can you!! What you need are two Ds and a P - Determination, discipline (which should follow) AND professional help!!
Honestly I couldn't have done it without My Dream - and i'm not playing the role of a spokesperson but a blogger here! :)