How I Got Started into Fitness

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Growing up in a normal Malaysian household, I was pretty lucky to be able to eat whatever I want without gaining any weight. My daily meals usually consist of white rice, Indian & Malay curries, cakes, sweets, fried chicken, Starbucks Frappuccino, Fillet o’ Fish & French Fries (notice the lack of greens?). To no one’s surprise, exercising was something I purposely avoided but I still managed to remain scrawny until my early 20s.

College life was tough due to a two year-long toxic relationship which pretty much revolved around emotional abuse, drugs, skipping meals, losing friends, fearing for my life, and breaking my parents’ hearts. In 2015, I finally gathered the courage to leave after a few months of long distance and landing a great job in travel writing.

My newfound freedom led me to start drinking alcohol and partying every weekend for about a year. I still kept up with my usual eating habits and before I realized it, the weight started creeping in – within a year, I went from 47kg to 59kg. My extended family members started commenting on my weight gain and for the first time in my life, I suffered from body image issues and my confidence sank down to an all-time low.

After turning 26 in June 2015, I decided enough was enough and did extensive research on weight loss solutions that don’t involve starving myself. I started small by getting sober (which was easy for me since I didn’t even enjoy alcohol to begin with) and used YouTube videos (Fitness Blender is my favourite channel!) to workout in my apartment.

Once I started getting less winded from doing 20 minutes of cardio, I joined an outdoor Bootcamp class but I soon got bored and quit after six months of unpredictable weather conditions and flaky teammates. Urban Spring Bangsar’s Hot Pilates class is one I still attend with my fiancé, though we haven’t been doing so in a consistent manner due to conflicting schedules.

The weight was slowly declining due to my at-home workouts but whenever I travel for work or pleasure, I would go crazy when it comes to eating and drinking. My heaviest weight was 62kg after returning from a six-day birthday trip to Sydney back in June and while I enjoyed every minute of it, I faced negative comments from my family once again which led me into start taking my health even more seriously.

I began eating relatively clean by greatly reducing my intake of sugary drinks, white bread, dessert & fast food and incorporating whole grains, vegetables, and seafood into my diet. I’ve also been pretty fortunate to win several fitness-related competitions throughout the year, including free personal training sessions with Firestation & healthy meals by Mission Malaysia for 21 days and a Bootcamp session with Kia Kaha Fitness.

Early this year, I’ve also discovered Bodytone which involves exercising on a vibrating Power Plate. Each group session is 45 minutes of various high-intensity workouts & strength training. It’s one of the toughest classes I’ve ever done but it’s undeniably effective. Within two months after my Sydney trip, I’ve gone down to 56kg thanks to the combination of consistent exercise & healthy eating but that doesn’t mean that I’ll be going back to my old eating habits and sedentary lifestyle.

This blog is my continuing journey towards a healthier lifestyle which includes first-hand experiences in fitness classes all over Kuala Lumpur (& beyond) in hopes of inspiring my readers to get out and sweat. After all, if a Starbucks & fast-food addict like me can do it, so can you.

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2 thoughts on “How I Got Started into Fitness

  1. Hey, love the story of how you got into fitness, very much resonates with mine: relationship that didn’t go well, body image dissatisfaction fueled by peer/ family pressure.

    Keep going, Penny 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

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