If you’ve ever looked down at the spare tire around your waist and felt sad for yourself for having grown so fat, then resolving to diet but never actually getting down to it, cheers.
Unless you are one of the lucky bastards blessed with high metabolism, you will know how hard it is to stay fit. It’s damn near impossible when you love food, especially when distractions are everywhere—GrabFood promotions, seasonal fast food menus, and new food places popping out every so often.
And when work already sucks the energy out of you, exercise’s hardly an option.
For those who have been following our Real Talk episodes however, you would have noticed the transformation of one of the cast members, Dew, whose weight loss journey inspired the #DUNSTOP ‘challenge’.
Here, we spoke to him to find out how he went from fatso to (quite a) fitspo in just a few months.
The Beginning Of #DUNSTOP
In an old photo of Dew from 10 years ago, he was actually a tall and thin guy, although, he had gone “in and out of the fat zone” before.
It was only when he started working full-time when he started to gain weight. While he knew that he was in the “fat range”, he never knew that he was that fat: “Y’know? When you look at yourself in the mirror and start justifying yourself?”
The realisation came when he casually decided to weigh himself after a indulgent Mala BBQ dinner.
“In my head, I was maybe like 85KG to 88KG, but I wasn’t! I WAS F***ING 99KG. So I was like, f***! I can’t do this, I need to lose weight.”
Knowing that he was once stick thin when he was in his teens motivated him a little, as it gave him the understanding that he could lose weight quickly if he tried.
It wasn’t the first time he had tried to lose weight either, as he had lost 14KG from dieting back in 2015. However, eating only meat and vegetables, and taking only two meals daily was a dreadful experience.
“I was suffering and I didn’t want to go through that again. I remembered seeing Fakkah Fuzz (a local stand-up comedian) posting about YOLO Food. I started researching and decided to try it for a month.”
For the whole month, Dew did nothing but diet, sticking to a strict meal plan from YOLO Food (a healthy food delivery service), and ensuring that he was doing a calorie deficit of 500kcals.
“You need to find out your base metabolic rate. For me, I burn 1900kcals a day at that time. So, I only eat up to 1,400kcals a day.”
Healthy food is pricey and the money for his meals was one significant investment, but for Dew, the most ‘painful’ part is having to cut out the things that he was so used to.
Fighting Distractions And Desires
Besides completely abstaining from sugar and carbs for the first month, Dew started to switch out a lot of his usual go-to foods for healthier alternatives.
“Kopi Peng turned into Kopi C Kosong. Rice turned into Cauliflower Rice. Potato turned into Sweet Potato. Mala turned into… no more lah.”
Naturally, it was hard at the start. For Dew, taking away certain foods is akin to taking away his weekends, because “I had nothing to look forward to in terms of food.” But, the results began to show when he lost 8KG purely from watching his diet.
Subsequently, he started working out and breaking up his diet to complement his workouts.
Dew’s workout routine in the second month
Like his diet, working out is also a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation.
It’s also key to reward yourself for the hard work and for Dew, it’s as simple as taking a puff at the end of his workout—which he always documents on his Instagram Stories with “#DUNSTOP”.
As the months passed, he added more bodyweight and core workouts to suit his pace.
It Wasn’t That Easy Of Course
There were times where it got really exhausting. For times where Dew feels like he needs a little ‘break’, he settles it with a small bag of chips, “and then I feel like shit because I cheated and I’ll stop.”
However, a stronger motivation was the peer support.
“It might sound superficial but what really helped me to not stop is when people go like ‘whoa! you lost so much weight!’ It also helped that my friends were cheering me on day-to-day and most importantly, they joined me for workouts.”
The personal satisfaction he got from seeing results, mentally and through the numbers on the scale, also kept him going
By the end of the fourth month, Dew lost 18.5KG.
Healthy living is a lifestyle, not a sprint
Eight months into his fitness journey and having hit his 20KG weight loss goal, Dew has gone on to do strength training while still keeping his diet—eating at a calorie deficit and avoiding white carbs and sugar.
Although, he’s also a bit more lenient on himself on weekends, where he eats what he wants.
Apart from the shift in wardrobe and body size, his physical transformation has also boosted his confidence and helped him a lot mentally.
“It feels good to know I’m at lesser risk of getting health problems. This journey really taught me the importance of trying and not giving up. I tend to call “bullshit” on people who keeps quoting ‘don’t give up don’t give up’, but this has shown the actual results.”
Dew emphasised that at the end of the day, “healthy living is a lifestyle, not a sprint.”
Instead of comparing yourself and your progress against others, go with the pace you’re comfortable with. Try the different diets available and find one that suits your day-to-day needs. Stick to it for three months or so, then change it up so you don’t get bored.
But most importantly, slow progress doesn’t mean no progress. Just—as Dew also says in his Stories—#DUNSTOP!