The following excerpt was written by Dr. Nizam Hashim early this year, one of the active member in the Susu Sejat Facebook Group. He already gave a permission to share his very own experience throughout a journey of becoming a regular runner in this blog. As a surgeon and lecturer, his daily life is always pack with tasks and responsibilities, but he always emphasize that his profession will never become an excuse in practicing a healthy and balanced lifestyle; unlike most of us today who tend to use this kind of excuse over and over again, until they start to aging, their health start to decline, and at the point they start to realize facing the common problems of todays will force them to change. Sounds familiar? If you find my statement is sarcastic, please keep reading….
“My healthy lifestyle journey” by Dr. Nizam Hashim
Looking back at my journey of weight reduction and becoming healthy, I could not believe what I have achieved so far.
I still remember when I first joined Hotel Renaissance Gym in 2009 with the aim to be healthy. I was slightly heavy back then and the only exercise that I interested in was cardio so I stepped on the treadmill and started running. Boy oh boy, the first run was difficult and I only managed to do alternate walking and running (mostly walking) for only 10minutes. The next day I did the same routine and by the end of the week I managed to run without stopping for 20mins. Towards the end of the month, I managed to stay on the treadmill with slow pace running for 50mins.
Doing such an excellent job on treadmill, I thought I was ready for outdoor running. My first outdoor running was at Taman Tasik Permaisuri close to HUKM and I was wrong. All those training on treadmill did not help at all and I was gasping for air just after 2mins of running. In the end I gave up running outdoor and continued with my treadmill at the gym. I felt that my energy improved but my weight remained the same. I still had my late night heavy dinner and uncontrolled portion of my meals.
As life went on, I started to get busy with work and my Master exam. Running was no longer my priority. Going to gym becoming a hassle as I dont see any improvement plus busy with studying. Up to a point I no longer went to the gym and to make thing worse, the gym membership expired and since I have left the gym for so long I realized it was just a waste of time and money to renew my membership.
The ‘sedentary’ lifestyle went on for more than 1 year and I was slowly getting heavier. I even went on checking my cholesterol level. The result was 7mmol/L which was alarming high but I chose to ignore the result.
Beginning February 2012, I started my outdoor running again. I cant remember what made me started running. I used a 800m ‘track’ as my jogging track and managed to run 2 laps. It was difficult initially but I managed to improve myself. 2 laps became 4 laps but my outdoor running was not as frequent as when I ran on treadmill. Dieting was not on my list at all and it showed that my weight keep on adding up despite the sweats I shed during exercise. I have to buy new pants as the old ones wrapped me like a jackfruit. Bad enough my pants were too tight to wear, I noticed that I had a frequent attack of acid reflux at night during sleep. I remembered that I have to wake up and drank a milk to relieve the pain from acid reflux. My wife also complaint that I snored really loud with apnoeic (cessation of breathing briefly) episodes in between. Even my son made fun of my snoring. That concerned me a little bit but did nothing to solve the problem.
My turning point was sometime in June 2012. While getting ready to go to work, for the first time I ‘saw’ myself in front of the mirror. I hated what I saw and from that point on, I decided to change my life.
I didn’t know where and how to start. I saw Amin Rahman (credit to you Amin) did a HHCS (hot hot chicken shit) campaign about eating healthy and I decided to do a campaign of my own to achieve my goal of losing weight. My first campaign was Kempen Boikot Nasi. By the end of June I decided to go cold turkey on not taking rice for 1 month. To keep my motivation, I posted my meals on my FB. Of course among friends and families, there were positive and also negative comments. All the negative comments did not break my spirit as I said to myself ‘I’m doing this for myself, not for others’. Days turning to weeks, weeks turning to a month and I lost 8kg with average 2kg per week. There was once relapse in the beginning of the campaign and it wasn’t easy to look away from the most common meal eaten by all of us. Fortunately, I have my wife, my parents and parents in-laws who supported me and making my campaign a lot easier to execute.
After a month, I was contemplating whether I should continue with my Kempen Boikot Nasi or not since it was a ‘successful’ diet program. After that huge weight loss, I decided to continue with the campaign but I noticed I have reached a plateau. After 2 weeks without any weight reduction, I took a drastic measure. I decided to do a new campaign, Calories Counting with Calories Deficit. I used MyFitnessPal apps to record everything I ate for my 3 meals and post my records on FB. I learnt that with 500kcal deficit I can loss 0.5kg per week. At the same time I continue with my outdoor running. With the help of Endomondo apps I targeted to do 10km running 3 times a week together with calories deficit. This extreme campaign went on even during Ramadhan. Yes, I remembered I was the only Malay who put on my jogging gear and ran 7km 3 times a week before berbuka, this was the craziest thing I ever did.
I was introduced to this blog and learnt a lot along the way. After I bought HaRaM polar watch, I realized that my calories deficit counting was underestimated. A matter of fact was, my calories deficit when I did 10km running and dieting was up to 1000-1200kcal.
The campaign went on until September 2012. I managed to loss another 8kg. With better understanding about dieting, calories deficit and exercise, I decided to start eating rice again. From October 2012 until now, rice has been my main source of carbo again.
Realized that there are many ways to reduce weight and it is easy to lose weight than to maintain. I learnt that whatever I eat, I will keep it to moderation and exercise is the key to keep me healthy.
I started with BMI of 27 (overweight for my age and height) and my current BMI is 20 and maintaining. I have a lot more to learn and to achieve. But currently I am happy with where I am and will continue with what I am doing. My story may not be the best example or guideline for those who are striving to reduce weight, but I am hoping it can give you hope and light towards the end of the tunnel.
Hope my story can inspire others