Daily Journal – September 21 + 22

Daily Journal - September 21 + 22

 

Transcription – September 21

Hemp Milk

Tried hemp milk today. It is properly disgusting. It tastes like chalk, or dust, or ash. Not that I’ve tasted any of those, but hemp milk is what I imagine those things mixed in water would taste like. I don’t know what the reviewers who said this product is delicious are thinking. I had it with oats and had to gag it down.

Brad Pitt

Watched Burn After Reading. Partway through, I thought it gave me Fargo vibes. Sure enough it’s a Coen brothers movie! Brad Pitt is really good at playing ditzy and crazy (12 Monkeys, lol).

Gratitude

Grateful for uninterrupted sleep today. Still was not long enough but I must be thankful for small blessings.

Dark Chocolate

Felt hypoglycaemic in the middle of my walk. Decided to fix it with some dark chocolate. I have disliked dark chocolate all my life but Ocado had sent these over for reviewing and Adam my homeopath says if I must have sweets, choose dark chocolate because it is good for you. So I ate it and enjoyed it somewhat because it is better than no chocolate. But I miss milk chocolate so much! And then I had to pay the price: horrid aftertaste that lingers in my tongue for hours and hours after eating dark chocolate.

 

Transcription – September 21

Butter

I’m not sure whether I’m intolerant to the lactose or casein in milk, but Adam said butter is probably ok for me, so I bought some lactose-free butter just to be as safe as possible. Well, great news! It tastes just as good as Lurpak and I’m so pleased! Life is a little bit less horrid now.

Speaking of which, I stopped getting back acne about a month after quitting dairy and going low sugar. So that’s kind of great but which one was causing the acne? Or was it both? I should have tried quitting one at a time!

Walking indoors

It rained all day today, which is great news for the garden, but bad news for my routine. I don’t want to go out there to walk when it’s wet and cold! Piers suggested I just walk around the living room, which sounds unappealing but was the best option.

I put Harry Potter on the Bluetooth speaker and started walking. A minute later, I had a better idea. I put Netflix on and started walking on the spot in front of the TV. Home gym sorted!

Gratitude

I’m grateful for humour and funny people and for the ability to laugh with a passion.

 

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Suddenly, my life has no more purpose

I woke up this morning feeling a sickening emptiness inside me.

Out of habit, I bounced out of bed to wash up so I could quickly have some breakfast to replenish liver glycogen.

But, as I was brushing my teeth, I found myself asking, “Why?”

I completed my California Fitness BodyAge Challenge yesterday, so there is no more reason to be obsessive over my diet anymore.

Groceries

I mean, I still recognise that a good diet is important for general well-being but, in the last two months, there was a purpose to my rigorous dieting.

I pushed myself way beyond comfort zone and was able to keep myself going with the promise of acing the challenge. (I am very inwardly competitive and derive great satisfaction from surpassing my limits.)

For the last two months, with the help of Dr Evil (my personal trainer Eric Goh), I made drastic changes to my diet and lifestyle.

  • I woke up mornings and ate breakfast.
  • I totally gave up desserts and junk food.
  • I went grocery shopping three to four times a week to ensure I was eating enough every day.
  • I started cooking my own meals.
  • I read endless nutrition articles every other day to perfect my diet.
  • I worked out at the gym twice a week and went running once a week.
  • I went to great lengths to make sure I ate the right things at the right time to maximise my workout gains.

I was even stricter on myself than Dr Evil was on me, diet-wise.

In contrast, two months ago, my lifestyle went roughly like this:

Wake up after 12 pm. First meal of the day is potato chips or salty crackers. Sometimes, first meal of the day happens after 7 pm. 80% of diet consists of fried food, junk food, soft drinks. Zero exercise.

The important thing to consider is that, even with such appalling lifestyle and diet, I was still slim and looked pretty much okay, outwardly, so there was no reason to do anything different.

But, with the California Fitness BodyAge Challenge, which measured my insides, I had to make changes to get results.

And I did make the changes and stuck to them rigidly.

Sandwich

I was even obsessive over it, but that’s how I tackle challenges and projects. I go all out and put my whole body and soul into it.

Maybe that’s my drug.

I feel a heightened sense of fulfillment from successfuly completing objectives over and beyond expectations.

There was purpose to my waking early every day. There was purpose to my eating lots of plain hard-boiled eggs and throwing all the yolks away. There was purpose to enduring the twice-weekly gym trips to torture my muscles. There was purpose to waking up at 6 am to run.

I even looked forward to every day with excitement.

Sheylara

The purpose was to get a good result for the BodyAge Challenge and also, very importantly, to not fail Dr Evil, who had dedicated his time and energy in helping me achieve my goals.

And, suddenly, now, it’s all over.

I won’t tell you my results yet because the challenge is not officially over. The other participants have yet to complete their sessions.

But it’s over for me and I feel very lost and empty.

I had a feast last night to celebrate. We had a buffet dinner at Curry Favor and I went crazy with the curries and rice and fried stuff. Even plain white rice has become a luxury for me because I haven’t been able to eat carbs after 6 pm for two months.

After that, we had the most amazing alcoholic ice cream at Udders (separate post on that to come).

Ice Cream

It was nice but, even then, the emptiness was already starting to build up within me.

There was a fear that I would wake up the next day feeling lost.

The fear was founded. I woke up today filled with dread.

After going “clean” for two months, I suddenly feel reluctant to stuff my body with salt and fats and other evil things. I feel at the same time repulsed and attracted to them.

I feel directionless. To eat or not to eat? I have the freedom to eat anything I want now and I find myself plagued with conflicting thoughts, instead.

Half

And, in fact, thinking about eating all the favourite foods I’ve been deprived of makes me feel even worse because I’d be undoing everything I’ve worked so hard for.

I realise I can still carry on with my “healthy lifestyle” and continue a clean diet (but being a lot less obsessive over it), and I will still continue an exercise routine.

But it’s not the same anymore.

There is no D-Day to look forward to. There is no prize at the finishing line. There is no Dr Evil to answer to. There is only the promise of a fitter, healthier, sexier me in the long run, but that’s not really something tangible or exciting to look forward to, so it can’t invoke the same kind of discipline.

Especially since I am already slim by nature without having to diet for it. I can eat Big Macs and fries every day and still look the same.

Sheylara

What I’m feeling now is akin to withdrawal. I was on a high of pursuing a goal intensely and now I’m crashing.

For two months, I was literally intoxicated on the excitement of reaching a goal. Now, the goal is gone, the adrenaline is gone, and I am on a total, devastating down.

I know what I’m feeling is temporary and I’ll get over it as I find new challenges and goals for myself. I get this all the time, with post-production blues.

But, in the meantime, I’m a sad little lost ghost and it’s not a good feeling.

Sheylara at the gym

Dr Evil

I gave Eric Goh, my personal trainer at California Fitness, a new nickname.

I now call him Dr Evil.

Sheylara and Dr Evil

Of course, he’s not evil evil, because everything he does ultimately benefits his gym charges but, still, sometimes you just want to strangle him.

Like, he bluffed me that my body fat mass was a lot higher than it actually was, and I didn’t find out the truth until our 7th week together.

Sheylara at the gym

He’d make me do really unglam exercises.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara at the gym

With wretched aftermaths.

Sheylara at the gym

Earlier today, we were doing crunches.

Now, for the past 15 sessions, we had always been doing three sets of each workout, with the exception of one session, when we only did two.

So, after three sets of 50 crunches each, I waited for him to ask me to get up, as usual.

He didn’t.

Sheylara at the gym

I turned to him and gave him a pitiful look.

I said, “I finished three sets already.”

He looked back at me with a poker face and said, “Yah, I know.”

I said, “So, I’m done, right?”

He said, “Are you?”

I said, “Don’t tell me you’re making me do a fourth set!”

He said, “Why not?”

I said, “Where got do four sets one?!?!?”

He said, “Why not? Did we sign a contract saying you can only do three sets?”

Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

And then he did the “neverending count” trick during my fourth set. The one where he goes back to 30 after counting 39, so I never, ever reach 40.

Sheylara at the gym

Anyway, my BodyAge Challenge is almost at an end. One more session for me, and then the final test to measure my body age.

I can almost smell the durians and the Big Macs! Right now, it’s like, got chair cannot sit.

Sheylara at the gym

I can’t believe I’ve dieted for two months. I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of diet for two days.

I guess having an evil trainer really helps a lot. And I’ve never felt healthier in my life.

I might actually miss allowing myself to be tortured like this when it’s all over.

But I’ll confirm with you again after I’ve feasted on my durians and Big Macs. =)

Sheylara at the gym

The gym workouts I hate most

The ironic thing about working out at the gym is that it never gets easier as you get stronger. What it gets is exponentially harder.

Sheylara at the gym

I mean, I sort of understand why that is so. You can’t get stronger unless there is enough exertion. There’s no point in working out if it’s going to be a walk in the park.

But where is the motivation if you never get to feel stronger because your weights increase every session even before you can feel your strength difference?

I guess there’s only one way to feel motivated: Looking good at the gym.

Sheylara at the gym

HAH.

Even when I feel like keeling over, I can take comfort in the fact that if I really do keel over, at least I’d look good doing it.

I put a lot of care in selecting my gym outfits. I even have two different pairs of gloves to match different outfits. The gloves, by the way, aren’t purely vanity items.

I realised that I needed gloves after working with hardcore weights that attempted to burn holes through my skin.

Sheylara at the gym

Need to protect the little hands.

So, the workouts that I hate the most, in no particular order:

Lunges

Sheylara at the gym

I’ve mentioned this before. I’m mentioning it again because my trainer enjoys making me do them.

He’d be like, “OKAY~! Now, your favourite exercise! Woohoo!”

And I’d go, “Hey, I just remembered I have a meeting to go to!”

My lunging expressions:

Sheylara at the gym

Lunges are totally evil, I swear. Just like Eric Goh.

Next.

Leg Extensions

Sheylara at the gym

See the evil-looking red padded thing just above my feet? I’m supposed to lift it with my feet (or thereabouts). It weighs about the same as a HDB flat.

Before leg extensions:

Sheylara at the gym

After leg extensions:

Sheylara at the gym

This is like a frozen grimace, an expression I practise a lot while working out. It means “I just died and this is my dying expression frozen for posterity”.

Unfortunately, leg extensions don’t actually make our legs longer.

Fortunately, we’ve only done this twice so far. I hope I won’t be scheduled for it anymore within this millennium.

Ball Crunches

Sheylara at the gym

This is a lot harder than it looks!

It is a billion times harder than it looks. Cos you have to balance yourself on the ball while doing crunches, and the balancing act alone is harder than normal crunches.

This was the first time I did it and I hate it already.

Eric had to hold me in place because I kept rolling off the ball. Haha.

Look of abject misery disguised as false bravado:

Sheylara at the gym

(I meant on my face, not on Eric’s face, of course. Eric looks gleefully wicked, as always.)

To make up for giving me three of my most hated exercises all within a day, Eric offered me some verbal motivation at the end of day.

“You did well today! Very impressed with your handling of weights and your control!” he said.

Well, tell that to my dead muscles!!!

To be honest, though, I think I am getting stronger. I’ll tell you why next time.

Sheylara at the gym

When torturous is funny

Already ten sessions into the California Fitness BodyAge™ Challenge, I’m still laughing uncontrollably during my workouts.

Sheylara at the gym

I thought I would get tired of laughing, eventually, because there’s only so much humour one can milk out of a particular situation.

But working out is still fun. And funny.

Especially if you’ve got a trainer like Mr Eric Goh, Nightmare Incarnate.

Sheylara at the gym

It’s quite amazing how he can torture you and make you laugh at the same time.

Over the years (six years, I believe), he has accumulated a fine collection of nicknames given by his fitness clients, for example, Evil Eric. I believe my contributions were “Slave driver” and “Sadist”.

And to think that when I first laid eyes on him, I had thought, “Oh, he looks kind and harmless.”

Sheylara at the gym

Station #1

Quadriceps training. It’s damn heavy, by the way.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: Be careful when you’re working out on this piece of equipment. Don’t ever let go your legs.

Sheylara: Why?

Eric: Because the only things supporting this weight are your legs. If you let go, it was crash down all the way until something stops it. Which is you.

Sheylara: Why so dangerous one!

Eric: Yes, so don’t let go.

Sheylara: But you’re holding on to it, right??

Eric: Who says I am?

Sheylara at the gym

Station #2

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: So, what did you do over the weekend?

Sheylara: Blah blah blah.

Eric: Nice!

Sheylara: Hey! Stop talking to me. You’re not counting when you’re talking to me!

Eric: Of course I am.

Sheylara: How?!

Eric: By how much your muscles are trembling.

Sheylara at the gym

Station #3

Doing ab curls.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: You’re doing well, keep it up.

Eric: 27… 28… 29… 20!… 21… 22…

Sheylara: ?

Eric: Don’t stop! 26… 27… 28… 29… 20!

Sheylara: WTF?!

Sheylara at the gym

Station #4

Eric: Okay, okay, don’t say I bully you. We play a game now.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: When I pass the ball to you, swing it to your right, then pass back to me again.

Sheylara: It’s damn hard lah. I can’t move it. Hahahahaha.

Eric: Yes, you can. See I’m doing it, too.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara: You didn’t just finish doing 3,493,504 reps on the abs bench!!

Eric: Aiyoh… stop laughing. Later you hurt yourself.

Sheylara: Too late. I’m gone.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: Very good. Start from one again!