There are people who come to me and say, “Daniel, you are a food blogger, how come you can eat so much and can still stay in shape?” They are perhaps also slightly envious of how I managed to turn a hobby into a job. Like how everything seem so effortless, and how everything falls into place.
I can tell you this now.
NOTHING is effortless. NOTHING ever really falls into place by itself.
Growing up as Me was not exactly a smooth journey. I was fat. I had low self-esteem. I hated how I looked. I was envious of my classmates who looked better than me.
I was constantly stressed by problems in life – school work, money, health, family, friends, relationships (or rather, the lack of it – girls avoided me) and everything else. Whenever I had problems, I turned to eating, and grew fatter and fatter.
You may now wonder “What are you talking about? You look okay what!”
This WAS how I looked. (And on the right is how I look now.)
Looking back, what I learnt is: Don’t waste the day in anger, worry or self-pity because it will just be another day wasted.
Today, I have become a fitness instructor at a very popular gym, and am the choreographer and master trainer of the new Great Singapore Workout. One of my best moments? Leading Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the workout.
No, all these did not come with a snap of my finger and I have no quick wonder formula. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes lots of perseverance but the results are worth it. I do have some tips on how to eat right, so that you can stay stress-free.
Treat yourself to your favourite foods
Chicken rice, char kway tiao, fried chicken, ice cream, chocolates… These are some of my comfort food and they can be really unhealthy. I love them and am still eating them today. But nobody should eat them excessively. And trust me, if you eat them ALL THE TIME, they are not going to taste as good. These are little treats I give to myself. You know there are moments when you feel down and out and a treat like this can take you up instantly.
Treat your friends to your favourite foods
This is what I used to do when I was stressed out – Hide in my room, or in front of my TV and finish up 2 tubs of ice cream or an entire pack of potato chips ON MY OWN. During those moments, yes, I felt really exhilarated, but it was only temporary. Get your friends (even just one will do) to share the happiness and of course, calories! Food shared always taste better. If you have any problems – do the same – share them with your friends.
Treat water as your best friend
I am not talking about soft drinks or flavoured water – just clean drinking water. There are so many benefits to drinking water! It helps you lose weight, keeps you hydrated, improves your skin texture, maintains digestive health, flushes out toxins and reduces stress and fatigue!
Treat yourself well – Everything takes time
Yes, everything takes time. There are no quick fixes for problems. Diet takes time. Losing weight takes time. Some of us may hate healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits and find it impossible to add them into our diets. My little trick? Add them slowly. Start with those vegetables that you really like, then slowly add some variety, especially greens and fruits that you have never come across or eaten. You may be surprised at how refreshing some of them can actually taste.
There is no such thing as instant gratification
This may offend some but I am just going to say it. It is so tempting to seek instant gratification and instant pleasures. Drugs, smoking, excessive drinking… These are not magic bullet or pills. They will not solve your problems. Instead, they harm your body and ultimately, they KILL you. I repeat, they KILL you. In fact, you are not the only ones they will harm – your parents, your loved ones, your friends and all those who cares about you will suffer too.
Sometimes, I find too many people trying to avoid stress by working on what is external and out of their control. My personal take on this – if you feel good about yourself, confidence and assertiveness will come from inside you. Start feeling good by eating right.
*This entry is brought to you by Central Narcotics Bureau