44 WELLNESS FOR ALL
MAKE ONE CHANGE
I can run 15kms with ease these days. But at one time I was unable to even jog eight laps on an indoor track. That changed when I caught a severe case of chickenpox about four years ago, when I was 32, which resulted in me being mostly bedridden for one and a half months.I was on an almost liquid diet, eating only porridge and drinking plain water. The experience left me weak but I also lost five kgs. The illness aside, I did like what I saw in the mirror, and so I made the decision to keep to a healthier lifestyle. But before that, from 2002 to 2007, I owned a card- and boardgame shop. Many of my customers did not keep regular hours, so I tended to work from noon to around midnight. Supper was often my main meal for the day, and I would stuff myself with rice to make up for skipped meals! By the time I gave up the shop, I had put on 10kg over the five years, and that was a lot for someone whose weight used to be around 58kg. I started a new job as a copywriter and the working hours were a lot less demanding. At first, I tried to do some pull-ups and
Alfie Kwek, 36, ditched his nickname Fatboy, thanks to a severe case of chickenpox. By Alex NgAi
chin-ups after work, but I soon gave up because my then weight made it tough. I started cycling, but that did not help me to lose much weight. There was a vicious cycle I needed to exercise effectively in order to lose weight, but I needed to lose weight and be fit in order to exercise properly. I needed a miracle.After the bout of chickenpox, the first thing I did was to change my diet. I started to eat healthily. I now choose brown rice over white, and have given up deep-fried and oily food such as roti prata. I try to eat more vegetables, and have given up soft drinks. I drink water instead. At a lighter weight of around 64kg, I could indulge in more exercises. I took up tennis, and ended up going for the
from fat toP
Singapore Tennis Association NCAP Level 1 technical coaching course. I am now a certified tennis coach. I also took up running again, and my finishing time was in the top ten per cent in a 15km run in 2010. During the run, I had Fatboy written on my bib to motivate myself, as that had been my nickname before I lost weight.Being fit and healthy gives me a lot of freedom. I wake up in the morning feeling fresh, and I have a lot more energy in my life. I try my best to fit regular exercise sessions into my schedule every week. What I have learnt from all this is that it takes hard work to keep what you have when it comes to fitness. It is very easy to lose all the effort, and once you are unfit, it is very difficult to get started again.
It takes hard work to keep what you have when it comes to fitness.