My Weight Loss Journey by Annie Hon
“How did you lose 25KG, and how long did it take you?”
A question that I encounter regularly after I have mentioned it in my bio on the RAW website. Nowadays, we are bombarded by weight-loss advertisements. Those of us who live in Hong Kong are probably familiar with the slimming and dieting advertisements – promising easy weight loss without any effort on your behalf. While I have tried various fad diets, cleanses and pills, yet with unsatisfactory results. The 2 methods that have made the biggest impact on my journey are making small, manageable changes to my lifestyle over time, weight training, and a healthy dose of patience.
I still remember how intimidating the gym was to me the first time I stepped in in 2004 – big machines, the dumbbells, treadmills and stationary bikes. I also felt very conscious about my body. I decided to resort to the treadmill and the elliptical. Months have passed before I had the courage to venture into the free weights area. Lifting weights, back then, was just something I did after having completed my 60-min cardio session. My weight continued to drop but somehow I never achieved the ‘toned’ look. Years later I finally hired a Poliquin certified personal trainer in NYC. It was then I learned about strength training. By lifting progressively heavier weights (with good technique) and challenging myself in each and every session, I continued to drop dress sizes. Friends also noticed how I looked more toned with more noticeable curves – not bulky and manly. I also attained better posture, gained higher body awareness and felt so much better about my achievements as I could track and see the gains I was making in terms of getting stronger. My focus changed from the weight I had to loose as I started to feel really proud about what I had gained; strength and lean, healthy mass.
What I’ve learned:
1. Lifting weight made me look more feminine – arms and legs with more definition and muscle tone, a better defined waist, and much more! I look and feel sexier, and am more confident about my body.
2. Lifting heavier weights prevented my fat loss from stalling. Your body needs to be challenged to make continuous progress – stronger and leaner. Otherwise, your body adapts and so will slow the rate of your fat loss.
3. Ditch your scale. I used to weigh myself every morning yet never paid attention to my body fat percentage. I am now 10 pounds heavier than my lightest days, yet I am now the leanest, look & feel better, and move better.
Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change:
Looking back now, I am still amazed by how much my lifestyle has changed over the past 10 years. Expecting myself to make all these changes overnight was unrealistic! Food has always been a priority in my family as my family is in the hospitality industry. The biggest challenge to me (even to this date), is to say ‘no’ to my lovely mother being a mother whenever I travel back home. The most important factor in my weight loss journey is making small changes and allow myself time to adapt to it. Not every modifications were easy though. At times it felt like three steps forward two steps back, especially when I was stressed. Did I give in to temptations? Very occasionally I did – yet I remind myself of my ultimate goal, thoroughly enjoy those few bites of decadent treats, and promised myself to get back on track right after.
Top Tips From Annie:
1. Many social gathering requires you to eat out. Whenever possible, I would look up the restaurant’s menu in advance so that I can stay on track with my nutrition. If I didn’t find anything suitable on the menu, then I would suggest that we go to a different restaurant. Alternatively, I made the next best choice while making sure that I stay on track for all other meals on that day. I look for yummy steamed fish and veg options whenever possible.
2. Treat and reward yourself – a new pair of pants, those shoes that you’ve been eyeing for so long, or a beach holiday where you can show off your body! While you can certainly reward yourself with food, remember to do it often enough that it derails your plan. There is always the next best choice: artisanal 85% dark chocolate vs a Snickers bar, grass-fed sirloin steak vs fast-food joint hamburger, raw kale chips vs potato chips. Always choose quality over quantity – the high quality stuff is always so much more satisfying!
3. Educate yourself about food. I am a big proponent of knowing more about where your food comes from and how it is made. Everything that I have learnt over the years have helped me to make decisions that align with my goals.
4. Focus on what you can eat and get creative! Instead of saying to yourself ‘I’m not allowed this or that’, make a list of food that you should eat more often. Next, find recipes, get creative, and experiment. Boredom is one of your biggest enemies but only if you allow it to be. Shift your mindset.
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The results and testimonials from clients shown on our website are the result of time spent following the exercise and nutrition plans set out by our Personal Trainers. Results may vary between clients and cannot be guaranteed.