4 Things I Chose for My Body
By Joyce Neoh

Joyce Neoh is an Operating Theater Nurse of 14 years. Determined to embrace healthier and fitter living, she shares her story.

Fat ‘n’ Furious!

Yes, you read right. That’s how I felt, aged 35 with a weight to rival a baby hippo.

Growing up with Asian standards, I have been overweight all my life. Ever since I was a child, I have had to either wear clothes that were bigger sized, or clothes for children older than my age.

A broken ankle that took 4 months to heal.
Photo credit to Joyce Neoh

After said broken ankle accident, I found myself ballooning up to the biggest I’ve ever been. The usual 6 weeks healing period for my simple broken ankle stretched on to 4 months, all because my body was too heavy for the healing ankle to start weight bearing. Damn right, I was furious at myself!

The situation made me think of my overweight former patient who was unable to get out of the hospital bed herself purely due to her being overweight. Being a nurse, I knew deep down that being overweight is unhealthy and leads to a slew of complications once you fall sick.

Yours truly (on the left) with my colleagues.
Photo credit to Joyce Neoh

I knew I had to make some changes, but it was difficult to get started. When my workplace organised a group weight loss competition with prize money at the end for being “the biggest loser”, it seemed like that the get-healthier destiny was calling my name. All the better, it would be alongside workplace friends.

Motivation was easy the first week. Then it got harder.

That’s when I learnt ‘motivation’ isn’t quite the same as ‘discipline’. Sure, I could stare at endless pictures of toned abs and buttocks in tiny bikinis and be motivated, but nothing would ever happen unless I’m DISCIPLINED enough to move my ass. And that means having to CHOOSE.

1. Choosing to wake up early every day to jog

Which means having to wake up by 6.30am which is much earlier than I previously did, just to squeeze in the 5km jogs/brisk walks before work!)

2. Choosing to join a fitness group
Team Body Project has been my encouraging mentor who shares 30 minute exercise videos for lazy whales like me.

3. Choosing what to eat everyday
I chose to eat more vegetables, I chose healthier proteins like fish or tofu.

4. Choosing to exert sheer willpower
To stop eating after 8pm. No snacks, no nothing! See, losing weight is simply about us forming better eating habits, better lifestyle habits. And this calls for us to choose to be better every day. But the journey is not easy. And on this point, I learned “Progress, not Perfection”. So I choose to forgive myself for the days where I slipped.

Having an ice cream is never a mistake.
Photo credit to Joyce Neoh

I ate an ice cream today and I ate McDonald’s Spicy Chicken McDeluxe last Friday. (I’m actually munching an apple pie as I am typing this) Afterall, come on, they taste damn good la!

And oh, I couldn’t wake up early Monday to exercise. So I took it easy that morning.

But guess what, despite my journey’s imperfections, I still lost a whopping 9kgs in 3 months! I didn’t end up winning “the biggest loser” at the workplace competition, but I am already a winner in my books. My colleagues and I who participated in the contest even became an inspiration to our other colleagues who are now keen to join the competition when it restarts.

And by the way, Fat ‘n’ Furious was the name of my team in the competition. Together, we lost a combined weight of 15.8 kilograms! Furious old aunties we most definitely are.

weight loss
I lose 9kgs in 3 months!
Photo credit to Joyce Neoh

Afterall, which woman doesn’t want to lose weight? You get the best excuse to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe! Oh yes, I lost my previously sumptuous boobs and butt, but hey, you sexy leather pencil skirt. Yes, you. I’m coming for you next 😉

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