Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sandy, Sandy, beauty is pain.
~ Frenchy (Grease).

I’m in Australia –yes! Today was a day of pain, all in the name of aesthetics. For the past few weeks, I’ve been stuffing my face with all sorts of food in Malaysia. Even after averaging five meals a day, I still didn’t manage to eat all the country has to offer, such as corn in a cup. Anyway, my mother saw a photo of my chubby face, and made some comment about my newly acquired chin to my aunty, who is now encouraging me to eat a little more healthily. Ah, that gentle honesty that can only be expected to come from family members. And Facebook advertising, which has no qualms when it comes to suggesting I try to shed a few pounds. 

Bah Kut Teh in Klang
So first up: breakfast. Or is it lunch? It reaches midday before I even manage to drag myself to the kitchen. In Malaysia, breakfast would be bak kut teh (literally ‘meat bone tea’), a Klang specialty consisting of fatty pork stewed in a dark herbal broth, eaten with rice, fried shallots, you char kwai (‘oil fried devil’, or breadsticks), pigs’ intestines (which I affectionately called ‘roly polies’ when I was a child) and fried tofu. 
Nasi Lemak
(another popular Malaysian breakfast)
I’ve heard that it’s best to start your day with a breakfast that’s got a good balance of carbs, fat and protein, but I think bak kut teh might be taking this a bit far. As I am no longer in Malaysia, I reach for the oats and make myself a (rather large) bowl of porridge, with water instead of milk, and with the smallest amount of sugar.   I am so proud of myself. 

Next, because it’s not just my weight that got out of hand while I was on holiday, I called a local salon and booked a wax. So I took a nice 25 minute walk in the 27 degree sunshine, paid someone to put me through half an hour of torturous pain, went to the post office to send a few letters - yes, I still use snail mail – and strolled back home. 
Feeling invigorated after my walk (I'd forgotten the benefits of fresh air) and re-womanised after my wax, I decided I'd tackle my underarms.  I've been shaving for years, knowing it's not doing my underarms any favours in the long-term.  I epilated once, but that episode ended rather abruptly when I saw droplets of blood appearing on my skin.  I decided today that it's time to throw out the razor for good. I hoped waxing would be much quicker and far less painful  than epilating.  I was wrong. I burned myself on the wax, and each time I pulled a strip off I had to start counting to three then fool myself by unexpectedly ripping is off on two. But I have been rewarded with hair-free underarms.  Totally worth it, right? Yes.  

My ordeal over, I treated myself the only way I know how: with food. I had a deliciously wholesome brown rice and chickpea salad, prepared last night by my older cousin - at least one of us is dedicated to this healthy eating concept.  I even managed to work towards my five-a-day with this tupperware of fruit salad which my aunty lovingly prepares for the family every single day. 

Before long, my cousin came home and told me to get ready for the gym. I made up some excuse about not having any suitable clothes, but she unfortunately handed me a pair of leggings, told me not to be lazy, and again instructed me to get ready.  

Body Combat isn’t too bad as fitness classes go. It was pretty fun, for the first 10 minutes, then it gradually became more and more painful. After 50 minutes of non-stop pulsing, jabbing, blocking, and kneeing, I was pretty relieved when the instructor told us to grab a mat for the warm down. Not that the warm-down was particularly painless. My arm and stomach muscles are not strong enough to manage four minutes of crunches and press-ups. But I did lose over 700 calories. 

So, a successful day. Let’s hope this continues!

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