When was the last time we took time to love ourselves?
I used to be a happy child, even though I was fat and had a permanent membership in the Trim And Fit (TAF) club in school. I was constantly made fun of, but strangely, comments from my classmates, relatives and friends did not get to me until I was older.
First ‘success’ – losing 20 kg
After I left secondary school, just before I started tertiary education, I realised that it’s time to do something about my weight. My mum brought me to a slimming centre and I was pleased that I lost about 20kg in six months! However, I had to strictly follow their “special formulated diet” and be really religious in using their machines. It cost a bomb but I was ecstatic as I finally got to fit into pretty clothes. As a result, more guys approached me to ask for my number and I felt more attractive. I know it is superficial but it definitely boosted my confidence… at that time.
Falling in love… and gaining weight…
I was 20 years old when I met my ex-boyfriend. We were together for six years and he turned my life upside down so bad. He ticked many boxes on my “Boyfriend Criteria” list. He had a glib tongue and you know how much we can fall for their sweet-talking. I fell so deeply in love with him that I was fearful of losing him.
Falling in love means getting fat as we were always enjoying all the nice food whenever we went on dates. So, I eventually gained the weight that I lost, BUT it did not get to me at all because I was in love.
Then everything started to fall apart.
He was cheating on me. I was lost and miserable. My world only revolved around him. I was desperate and I did everything I could to keep him, as foolish as it sounds.
That was when I lost my identity. I started to have this mentality that, “It must be because I am fat, that is why he cheated on me.” I decided to go on a diet by eating very little, yet I wasn’t losing weight.
Whenever I see him on the phone texting, I would suspect that he was texting the other girl. I would get so upset and I would binge-eat for the next few days and then induce vomiting because I was so guilty with the amount of food that I have eaten. I totally hated myself and was immensely disgusted with myself.
Could it get even worse?
Apart from dealing with weight issues, I moved out from my place and moved into his house just so that I could monitor him, making sure that he did not contact the girl. I made the decision to quit school, when I was left with only six months before completing my poly education, just so I could keep a close watch on him.
That year, he started gambling – online soccer betting, casino visits, poker games. He would use his salary to feed his gambling addiction and I had to work extra hours to give him money to continue gambling. One day his addiction got so serious he borrowed from loan sharks USING MY NAME.
WHY! Why was I so stupid to even allow him to do that? I hated myself for being so foolish. That drove me to the brink and I attempted to commit suicide three times. It was a torture to be with him but… I did not know how to let go.
At one point in our sixth year of being together, he incurred so much debt that I had to juggle two jobs (full-time + part-time) to try and help him clear them as I was being harassed by the loan sharks.
And then he cheated on me again – for the third time. I questioned him and each time I did, he would beat me up. On the third occasion he lay hands on me, I decided enough was enough and I struck back. That finally ended the relationship for good.
I was very lost though. It was very hard to move on as there was still a mountain of his stupid debt to clear. It took me a lot of courage to move back home and face my family. It was at that time that I reflected and wondered what I have been doing for the past six years. How many loved ones have I hurt during those six years of my life? It was really hard for me and I looked for ways to vent my frustration.
Finding myself again
On a random occasion, my colleague asked me to sign up for a gym membership and that was when I realised working out made me feel better. I still remembered my first gym class – body combat. I cried and punched so hard that after an hour of class, I was so drained and exhausted. But it felt so good.
This went on for three months and I lost about 10kg. At the same time, I also wanted to challenge myself so I signed up for the Hello Kitty Run (5km). I was nervous as it was the very first time I have ever signed up for a run. Please, I used to hate running.
That adrenaline rush
After that run though, I was hooked! I signed up for more races, from 5km, 10km, 18.45km and then I finally did my first full marathon in 2015. I have been participating in races since and 2016 was the year that I completed the most races! Oh, that sense of achievement.
In 2016, I made a New Year resolution to join a running group to remain motivated. That was when I found Rock The Naked Truth and ROCKrunners (RR) on Instagram. I decided to join RR in July last year, but I did not turn up the first time because I got lazy and the thought of meeting new people for the first time sent chills down my spine.
It took me until October to finally join my first RR session. I mean, what have I got to lose? I am a really shy person and joining a running group alone can be pretty intimidating. I remembered it was at Marina Barrage and I was late. OMG, even more paiseh!
Living life to the fullest with the support of #ROCKfam
I have no regrets going for my first RR session. I felt really welcome and I had no pressure running with them. We run at our own pace, at our own timing. There was no one to chase us from behind (unless you want someone to!) and everyone is just so friendly and warm, just like one big family! #ROCKfam #love
RR has been the best support in all my runs. Hearing them cheering for me at the finishing line is the best thing at the end of the race. I love how RR is not just a running group, but it’s also my support group, allowing us to forge true friendships and get the emotional support that we may need.
Even though, at this very moment, I am still not at my ideal size and weight, I am proud to say that I am really having the best time of my life. Sometimes, I am still bitter about losing my six years of precious youth, but I am starting to love myself more. I love to pamper myself and I love to take good care of myself. I keep reminding myself that I have to love myself because we only have one life and we have to live it to the fullest, without regrets.
Thank you #ROCKfam for being my support whenever I needed it and teaching me how to love myself and that image is not everything!
ROCKstar of the Month is a monthly award given to an inspiring individual who advocates a positive mindset and living an active lifestyle (see requirements below).
Requirements to be a ROCKstar of the Month awardee: