Little Miss F(l)ab – Update 3

What I ate at home yesterday after the fast food cheat brunch: the remaining slice of LJS French toast while waiting for the rice to cook, 3 quarter scoop of rice with one and a half lady’s finger and soup from the lauk pindang ikan my mom cooked (my sister went: Tak amek ikan? Ikan pun tak boleh? Why? You’re going vegetarian? Merepeknya!), and then I took a full scoop to eat with pappadom which we tested in the toaster (instead of frying it in oil. My sister’s FT colleagues apparently give it a pop in the microwave oven).

I believe there was an apple in between or before the French toast, because I can’t quite remember, but I believe I did eat based on the 2 other times I ate apples and what I brought with me to work today and there being 1 left in the fridge (total 4, so the 5th must have been consumed yesterday.) Dee Dee also mentioned to us yesterday that in her DVD there’s a segment on nutrition with apples being among the food that could aid in losing weight, but I have yet to view the DVD to know exactly how, but her mere mention of apples made me feel good that I was on the right track. (I actually wanted to buy Kiwi fruits when I went grocery shopping that time but the only variety available was the more expensive ones so I bought the Royal Gala apples instead.)

However the pappadom triggered a craving for my favourite keropok ikan so I thought maybe I could just take one or two emping instead because that’s not made with fishmeat, just some sort of ubi but when I opened the container it was – happily – empty! I guess it’s all predestined? There were some crumbs of emping left and in another container crumbs of keropok ikan so I finished them off just to satiate the craving.

This morning, my mom cooked bee hoon goreng, the red kind, with the usual prawn and meat toppings, to pack for my grandma’s breakfast since it was her caregiving shift today. Of course there were lots leftover that could last til lunch and a light dinner, but since she wasn’t in the kitchen when I came in for my breakfast, I could ignore it safely. I took out from the fridge two wholemeal rolls from Delifrance (which I forgot to mention I bought yesterday) and while they were reheating in the toaster I made hot Milo without sugar or condensed milk. I took a look at the ingredients label and discovered that Milo has skimmed milk in it (all along I thought it was just barley malt and cocoa and of course the other chemicals in standard processed food). So, perhaps next time I go to the supermarket I could look for a beverage powder without milk in it, I made a mental note. Anyway, the bland Milo was okay, I needed it to just be a hot beverage to dip the wholemeal rolls in. But since the Milo was void of any sweet taste, I started noticing the sweetness from the rolls! Well not sugar sweet but the kind of sweet-savoury taste or lemak manis. It was nice how skipping the unnecessary calorie (the sugar) was making me notice my food more. Oh, there was a side of butterhead lettuce which I just crunched in between the bread dipping.

For lunch, I decided to pack a wrap. There were still some mushrooms left from the mixed mushroom pack, but I was trying to vary my meals (plus I have yet to research if there was any adverse side effect to having mushrooms daily) so I decided I’d try the silky tofu. I had no idea what to cook it with, so I just steamed one tube with the trusty Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. I did not take any photos because I was quite clumsy in taking the tofu out of its tube packaging, so the silky tofu silkily slipped out of my hand and on to the kitchen sink and got mashed up a bit so it’s not a pretty sight. I put about half onto the butterhead lettuce to be rolled in the wholemeal wrap, and the rest I packed in the fridge for later. I took just a bit of the tofu on its own to taste, and I grimaced. I thought of how I would blog about it and say, ‘I’m not going to lie and say I enjoyed the silky tofu and lettuce wrap, because I didn’t’. I’ve never been good on seasoning food with salt, and I always err on the safe side by skimping on it (because if the salt isn’t enough, one can add more, but if it’s too much then your cooking is basically ruined.) So the tofu was basically bland and tofu being tofu, if not well-seasoned, would just be nausea-inducing muak. I shuddered thinking of how I’d struggle to finish that wrap, but packed it anyway and then threw in another of the yummy Delifrance wholemeal roll. And that bee hoon goreng stood in sharp, tempting contrast so at the end of breakfast and packing what would be a boring lunch, I took just one forkful of the noodles (without the prawn and beef), straight from the wok without bothering with a plate.

Now that I have just finished eating the wrap, however, I’m glad to give a more favourable report. The wholemeal wrap, like the brand tagline goes, is ‘so good you can eat it on its own’; it is already salty-savoury, so that helped to overcome the bland tofu. And now I just remember that I had once eaten the wrap with only lettuce and nothing else, and I enjoyed it so yes it’s really great on its own as well as with other things that would NOT taste good on its own.

While eating, I decided to do some armchair (read: Internet) research about nutrition. I was concerned that maybe I’m not doing this pseudo-vegetarian thing right as I did not have that much variety in what I was eating and I did not really have a proper replacement for the protein from meat that I’m missing. I also wanted to know what foods can aid in trimming that tummy, and I found this article explaining why it IS important to want a slim tummy, and what foods that might help. I’m linking the article here just for my own reference!

In other news, my kickboxing class this evening has been cancelled because the instructor is on medical leave! Well I guess this means I should go home and lepak and have a try at ‘moving like Dee Dee’!   🙂

Little Miss F(l)ab

Recently, one of those mild mellow monsters people I encounter at work asked me, quite innocently, and in front of the others: Are you pregnant?

I have to say I’m amazed at my own reaction. Perhaps this is one milestone I can celebrate in my journey of developing thick skin to deal with such job hazards in the form of innocent but tactless questions.

I put on my straightest unaffected face and answered: How can I be pregnant when I’m not married yet? (I know it’s possible but I have to play the ‘abstinence’ tune in front of such groups of people.)

And without missing a beat, I continued: I’m not pregnant lah, just boncit (what’s the most appropriate translation? ‘Pot-bellied’ seems more appropriate for beer-guzzling ah peks).

And that pretty much shut everyone up and we got back to work. Of course, I later sent a ‘wailing’ Whatsapp message to the mister about how out of shape I am that I got such a question thrown at me.

Standing at less than 1.5m, I have random distant relatives mistaking me for a still-schooling young lady. They think I’m in Secondary 4 and taking my ‘O’ Levels, and during the recent Eid visits one was even amazed that I do what I do (my profession) because according to her I “look like Sec 1 Sec 2”!

Thus, I fall in the petite category (which I have no problem with; I like being petite actually, because people think I’m all gentle and harmless, and then I get to surprise them when I open my mouth. I introduce myself to the new groups of people I meet every year with the Malay saying, kecil-kecil cili padi.) In my teens I used to be petite in the true sense of the word: short and totally small as in skinny. I used to be one of those skinny girls other girls would envy because I could eat anything and everything and never get fat! I was also one of those whom one would say “tak rugi belanja makan buffet” because I loved to eat (still do unfortunately) and boy, could I eat! I had great metabolism to thank back then.

Now, though, you can’t really call me petite anymore. Well perhaps you can, but you would have to add to that ‘curvy’, and by that I mean in the wrong places (for some of those curves at least). I realised the first onslaught of those pesky bits of flesh when I was in my late teens, in junior college. I was the least bit concerned, because as I said, those were ‘bits’. Youthful optimism also brushed all worry aside and attributed their appearance to my long hours being seated and mugging for my ‘A’ levels. Not that I was a very active teen in the first place; I actually hated PE because I didn’t like sweating and had really bad stamina (still do actually). Finishing the 2.4km to just get a measly pass was a mighty great struggle for me. I could never run fast enough nor for long enough; I always got stitches or would get breathless after just a round around the track.

During my university days, commuting back and forth between campus and home in the far east by public transport probably kept the onslaught at bay, as I was forced to go on walks, mostly brisk, up and down the overhead bridge, from bus stops to the train station and vice versa, across the expansive grounds of the campus. After I graduated, the sedentary lifestyle ensued and the bits, slowly but surely, grew into chunks, accelerated by the drop in metabolism as I passed my mid 20s.

So that’s how I got to being mistaken for pregnant. For a time I just lived with the growing spare tyre by hiding it, which I was very good at. I bought L-sized tees from Uniqlo when my built is more for S or M, just so the thick waist wouldn’t show. I have always loved babydoll tops, even more so when they hid my embarrassment while, ahem, accentuating my other more flattering curves. I bought a number of them online, be it the Bangkok ones or from Wetseal or Forever 21, which I wore layered over the tees.

Of course, ignoring the problem means it just got worse. More than just being socially embarrassing, I found myself going into couldn’t-care-less mode, turning to food for comfort. I ate and ate, and I got lazier and got easily tired.

I knew I had to exercise and eat healthier. The latter is easy yet hard; I love healthy food like whole grains and vegetables (I could turn vegetarian with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, greens, mushroom, pasta, bread, wrap) but packing breakfast (and lunch) was something that required too much effort like waking up earlier in the morning. (I am not good with time in the morning. I am not good with time, period.) I do make sure I include vegetables to accompany the rice when buying breakfast from the food stall at work, but as we know refined carbohydrates like white rice are not as healthy as complex ones like wholemeal bread etc. (Why do I eat rice and not something lighter in the morning? Because my workload is most in the morning up til noon, so that’s when I need the most energy. Besides, the only other alternative I would have would be oily, bland fried noodles from the other stall.) As for lunch, the food always runs out by the time I get there and I don’t have much choice save for rice (again) or fried processed stuff like fries and breaded chicken.

As for exercise, it’s always “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have the time” or “I’m too tired” or plain “I want to go but I’m lazy.” Recently it was “my old and mostly disused sports shoes have decided to file for divorce from their sole(mate)s”. (Haha ok lame I know.) Well the last one’s a valid reason, the rest are all excuses. If I want to do something bad enough I would make time for it. It’s not about losing weight (at 45kg I think my BMI is still in the acceptable range, right?), it’s about losing fats. More than just about losing fats to regain visual attractiveness, it’s about losing the visceral fats (fats around your vital organs) and avoiding clogged arteries (if they aren’t already beginning to clog) and keeping ideal blood sugar level so that I won’t be diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes at 35. (My mom has the former, my dad has the latter; I’m not sure at what age they got diagnosed, probably much older than 35 but I suppose my indulgent diet could accelerate things.)

Sometimes all we need is a triggering factor. I scare the shit out of myself when I think about this and that possible diagnosis, but the fear ebbs away. And then, the are-you-pregnant incident happened. And then, today (or rather last night), the mister mentioned that I would need to model the white wedding dress I bought, after getting alterations done, in front of the FMIL to get that one last nod of approval (literal nod now not just virtual ones after seeing photos of the dress worn by the mannequin sent over by email). Although I did mention that the dress fits well except for the length, it did fit a little too well below the bust. If I don’t do something about that spare tyre now, the dress might be axed (which means close to $100 wasted!) or come next December I may not be able to fit into it at all! Or I might still be able to fit into the dress but his relatives may wonder if I’m a pregnant bride. Oh, the horror! No amount of straight face can undo the psychological dent done to their impression about myself and my family. (As usual, I couldn’t care less about what people think, I am caring only because it would affect my parents.)

So! It’s still something as superficial as looking good that is triggering me to take action. But better something superficial now than something serious (and irreversible) later, right? Anway I have always been meaning to start, but now there’s an urgency. Things are on a roll now; I got myself brand new sports shoes last week, in July I got myself those online vouchers for 15 sessions (kickboxing, Zumba etc) at a fitness centre, 5 of which I have made bookings for the month of October (I didn’t redeem earlier because voucher terms state I must use up all 15 sessions within 3 consecutive months, so I held out til after Ramadan and Syawal.)

I’m giving myself two months, October and November to get myself from Little Miss Flab to Little Miss Fab, all toned and trim and fit! By December I’d go send the white wedding dress for alteration, and then, it’s the ultimate fitting session for the queen *cue rolling and rumbling thunder, and flashing lightning*!

PP will get FnF (Pengantin Pelik Fit and Fab!) Tell me I can do it everyone! Tell me if you know some proven-successful tips for tummy trimming too!