The overweight coach

I was asthmatic, unathletic and pudgy when I was a young kid. It was typical image of a fat boy who loves food but gets out of breath whenever he plays catch. I grew up to be a teenager who was often down, with little self confidence and low self esteem because I was frequently teased in school. I never liked to take photos because I always hated how I looked in photographs. Till today, I still find it uncomfortable whenever I am in front of a camera, always being overly self conscious on how I would look.

My weight peaked at 100KGs when I was only 15. The size of my shirts and pants kept growing to a point that I had to get my school pants tailored and shopped at the adult section. I skipped sports day during school because I knew I would never win, my nose would bleed whenever I run too hard and I am always worried that my asthma would flare up. Instead, I stayed home and ate while I watched cartoons and played video games. My meal portions were always doubled because I was never satiated. As the only child in the family, my parents poured their love on me and they never wanted to hurt my feelings. Thus, I often get things my way. I will never pin the blame on them for me being overweight. If they were strict otherwise, with my rebellious attitude, my condition may have worsen.

It was all cute and fun when I was still a little boy, but as I grew older, it came to a point where I decided that I had enough. I was both desperate and frustrated at myself. I knew I wanted to lose some weight but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Back then, there was no Internet. You couldn’t Google your way to trim down. So I took advice from my friends and families. Eat less rice (but ironically, noodles and bread were ok) and choose low fat food. With that advice, I skimmed every fat there was in my food and ate lots of biscuits and bread because they were low in fat. I was clueless on what exercise I should do, so I jogged almost everyday. I bought fitness magazines and started lifting in a gym. Fitness magazines got me started, but they were often insufficiently articulate. I can still recall all the countless errors and mistakes I’ve made in the gym such as lifting with bad form and without periodization. I was so desperate to lose weight, I tried almost every diet people recommended such as fruit detox, diet pills, fat burning creams and I even skipped meals as I continued running until I nearly passed out. I developed an eating disorder where I would starve and binge consequently. Though I was losing some weight, I plateaued, So I started investing in books and texts that covered nutrition and fitness for dummies. This was when my interest in health & fitness sparked.

I lost a little over 20KGs in less than a year and people started complimenting me. My weight loss was rapid but it wasn’t safe and healthy. The journey wasn’t pleasant but my commitment and determination were unbreakable. My weight loss journey allows me to empathize and relate to people who are over weight. Whenever I tell my clients that I was once obese, nobody believed me. Though I am at a healthier weight today, I am currently struggling with an autoimmune disease which makes it hard for me to remain fit and strong. But with my past experience, I am able to manage better this round. I hope that by sharing my personal life’s journey with you, will encourage you to get frustrated at yourself and do something about it. Don’t make the same mistakes as I did. Get professional help. Losing weight and becoming fit and healthy doesn’t need to be excruciatingly painful or horrifying. When done properly, it is actually rewarding. What is most important is to remain steadfast when things get difficult and carry on. Never give up, not now, not ever!