When I first started this blog, I called myself a "growing boy" in reference to a line from Die Hard which listed out all the ingredients of a Twinkie and called it "everything a growing boy needs". I'd always joked that I was still growing horizontally, even though it wasn't quite true...until the last couple of years.
In the months leading up to my (second) failed attempt to escape Hong Kong, I was doing a whole series of birthday and farewell dinners - and my weight hit an all-time high. After 6 months of living in Taipei, owing to a combination of fewer big meals with friends (thanks to having no friends and also nowhere to eat in Taipei) as well as eating mom's kick-ass yet healthy cooking at home, I found myself about 5 kg lighter than my peak weight. The Growing Boy had shrunk - while doing less exercise - and I was pretty happy about it.
The latter half of last year saw a reversal of fortunes. As I was preparing for a move back in Hong Kong, I started to put on a little weight while still in Taipei. Needless to say things got a lot worse after I physically moved back to Hong Kong, and a couple of binge weeks in particular were responsible for dialing my weight back up. 7 months after coming back to Hong Kong, I got on a scale and almost had a heart attack. Not only did I gain back all 5 kgs that I lost, but I had put on an additional 3 kg! I'd hit a new high, and this ain't the kind of new high you'd wanna be hitting more than once...
That was a wake-up call and prompted me to do something about it. I started eating healthier, and there were a lot more salad lunches to at least bring my veg intake up to a more reasonable level. I started working out with a trainer, although admittedly there were notable gaps between a few sessions. I started to limit the number of big meals out per week, since I know it was those binge weeks - where I was out for big meals every single night in a week with no break in between - which were responsible for pushing my weight up. I became a party-pooper and started saying "No" to friends when they asked me out to meals.
But the needle on the scale (figuratively since it's digital) didn't move much. I'd probably lost somewhere between half to one kg, although I would hope that I'd gained an ounce or two of muscle after my training sessions. The real baffling and annoying observation is that my waistline actually expanded. My shirts and belt felt tighter after all of this. What the hell is going on?!
Two months ago while attending a conference for work, I met up with a client whom I hadn't seen for about 6 months. It took me a few seconds just to match what my eyes were seeing and the face and body shape I had been accustomed to seeing for the last few years. He had lost so much weight he was pretty much a new man. Apparently he had gone to see a nutritionist and combined his dietary change with regular exercise. That meeting left a deep impression in my mind, and I asked him for information on the nutritionist.
I finally got off my fat ass and contacted the nutritionist firm (it turned out to be a chain) for an initial consultation. I also met up with my client again, and for the second time I failed to recognize him immediately. He had lost more weight since our last meeting. Going from 200 to 150 pounds is no small feat, and he very kindly shared his experiences with me along with some advice about pitfalls to avoid.
Tomorrow I'm formally signing up and starting my weight loss program. I'll be doing it for 3 months (as opposed to the suggested 7 months to reach my ideal/target weight) along with another 6 weeks of "maintenance". I told the consultant that I'm not willing to give up everything, but will be happy to limit myself to 2 big meals out per week with friends. This will of course include wine, which themselves will add a few hundred calories to the meals.
Two meals per week which may be blog-worthy means the next 3 months (or maybe more) will see no more than 8-9 posts per month on this here blog. It also means less time spent on this, and more time for other (more meaningful?) pursuits.
I'll be dining out with a friend and drinking some wines tonight, but starting tomorrow, there'll be some noticeable changes in my diet... Let's see how it goes. Wish me luck!