I know what you’re thinking: what is this girl doing talking about life things? I’m just here for the beauty stuff. I know, I know, it’s out of character for me, but I feel like this is something I feel strongly about and I’d like to talk about it a little. Let me just start by saying this: I am a fat girl. There, I’ve said it. I acknowledge it, I accept it, I am it.
If you’re confused, here: I’ll explain what the implications of that sentence meant. Where do I begin? Let’s start with fundamentals: family. I’ve always been a chubby kid. Growing up in an Asian family meant that ideally, I’d have a perfectly petite figure: slim frame with a little nose, long black hair and legs that go straight down to the floor. As you can tell, that’s clearly not the case. At special occasions, aunties whom I meet maybe twice a year would coo that I had a “pretty face” and all I needed to do was “lose some weight” and I’d be “perfect”. It was hard on me especially because I was the only child in my family, I didn’t really have anyone my age to back me up or teach me how to deal with such slicing statements till I was much older. My parents, while it wasn’t their fault, couldn’t really understand what I was going through (my mum was petite all her life till she had me, and my dad was an athlete in his younger days and a body that still shows this now), and lot of times I felt like I needed to fend for myself or build up walls to guard myself.
My self-esteem while growing up as a plus sized girl definitely had a learning curve. When I had hit puberty, I was the girl who wore nothing but all black and cargo pants. No dresses and skirts in sight. I hated taking pictures because I thought my smile was weird and that my face looked bigger than my friends in all the pictures. Being teased or having seemingly innocent statements about my weight being too much made me very self conscious, and I hated joining things like PE in school or having to do any taxing physical activities even though I wanted and wished that I would be smaller, thinner. My exposure to the Internet definitely made me grow in myself and slowly but surely, I was accepting who and what I was. Over the last 5 years or so is when I really made the effort and started being at my most self-confident. It wasn’t an easy path, but I’ve had amazing people who have helped me along the way (Alex and Simmy, I can’t thank you both enough), constantly encouraging me to love how I looked, try new things and feel good about myself.
Alex, who taught me that I’m beautiful and to love me for who I am.
Simmy, who taught me to take risks and push myself to be better and stronger.
Pictured here is the first time I ever wore a crop top out of the house.
At 22, I never did lose the weight that I wanted to when I was younger, and with time and learning, I knew that carrying all this extra weight on my body is bad for me. My dad’s side of the family also had a medical history of diabetes and heart problems, which was no bueno for my health. I would go through phases of working out and trying to be healthy but I could never commit for a very long time (my longest streak was 3 months) because I hated (!!!) what I was doing and it took up a lot of my time. Lets just say that all that didn’t really work. After uni, life continued and I moved from studying to working. I was learning to be an adult (I still am), and while my self esteem increased, so did the weight from sitting at a desk all day.
Okay, this is where I start talking about the fun bit. Being the fat kid that I am, I jumped on as soon as I was given the opportunity to workout at Impulse Studio Asia: a revolutionary gym that uses Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) during your workout. What that this is is a revolutionary system which sends electrical impulses to your muscles to replicate the body’s response to voluntary muscle contraction, which makes your muscles work harder than they usually would. Aptly called the “gym without weights”, this system sends stimuli to your muscles, tricking it into thinking it’s lifting weights without actually lifting any! This not only reduces your risk of injury, but it also allows you to target specific muscles, giving you to work difficult areas with more ease. It also improves your body’s circulation, body posture as well as general well-being. Even cellulite will be reduced thanks to the electrical impulses!
Let me tell you what my favorite part about working out at Impulse: each session is only 20 minutes! Oh yeah, you read that right. A full workout session for your whole body takes less than half an hour. Don’t be fooled by the timing though, rest assured it can be very intense. Each 20 minute session can be as effective as working out 4 hours in a conventional gym! How crazy is that? Because it really works your body, you can only do up to 2 sessions max a week. The second I heard about how long a session would take, I knew I could do this because one of my biggest gripes was that working out wasted too much of my time. At Impulse, your regular workout gear won’t work. You’ll be given a special compress two-piece suit to change into, sans underwear (to really ensure that you get a nice, toned butt and chest). Once you come out of the changing room, they gear you up in a special suit fitted with pads and wires which help to conduct the impulses to your muscles. They spray down your body and the suit with water as that is a electrical conductor and fit it on you before hooking you up to a machine that tracks your records as well as control the level of electrical impulses.
Impulse Asia is the perfect mix of having a personal trainer as well as the convenience and ease suitable for a busy lifestyle. Each trainer is to only train two people at a time, allowing a maximum of four people and two trainers each session. For people who struggle with working out in public places with too many people around (like me), this gym gives you that exclusivity and privacy of working out without having to worry about being self conscious. Be prepared to be put through a bunch of circuit workouts and to sweat yourself silly! After all the hard stuff, the trainers set the impulses on a massage mode which soothes your muscles while you stretch out and cool down.
After your session, all you have to do is peel off the compression suit and take a shower, change, and you’re ready to go do whatever you need to. This really saves you the hassle of needing to bring an extra change of clothes (you can re-wear the ones you came in if they’re not dirty or anything) as well as washing up gross, sweaty workout clothes.
I was put on the weight loss program and I’ve personally been trained by Faiz, Zul and Sasha throughout my time at the Platinum Sentral branch. I must say, the one thing they all have in common is that they WILL kick your ass, and they will make you suffer for that 20 minutes. But these trainers are encouraging and they push you to limits you didn’t know your body was capable of, making you want to strive for better results with each passing session. More than just trainers, they were friends too, and it was easy to talk to them and have conversation before and after sessions. I really liked that they made the effort to change up the routine to best suit your body and any physical limitations you may have. My feet have quite a flat arch, and as a result it hurts quite a bit if I overwork my feet too quickly with the cardio, causing me to stop in between before finishing. One time, Faiz managed to work out a plan for me that not only allows me to finish ALL my cardio without stopping from the pain, but left me totally painless during and post workout too. Now that’s what I call fantastic training! Being human, some days to the gym are harder than others, but having friends who go with you can sometimes be the best encouragement. Anis and Mira have been my gym buddies since we started together, and we keep each other going and motivated. Yas!
Okay, results wise, I honestly haven’t really lost any weight. BUT I didn’t lose any muscle, which is great because your body can tend to lose muscle mass when you start working out. Working out at Impulse has also made me make better choices when it comes to food. I’ve given up most of my milk-and-sugar coffees for black coffee or tea as I realized a lot of it contributes to fat in the body. I’ve also swapped out quite a few heavy meals for lighter, more fiber filled ones like salads. I didn’t really understand how important protein is for your body till I started working out at Impulse and they explained that you need to eat lean protein for your muscles to recover. Exercise sessions have been particularly great for days when I’ve been feeling extra frustrated or restless, and this ensures that I get a really good night’s rest after.
Oh, I almost forgot! I honestly thought I was dreaming the first couple of sessions, but after every single one, I realized that my butt and thighs were smoother. I thought, NO WAY this could be THAT instant, but it’s true! EMS really does smooth out cellulite, and the results became more visible after a couple more sessions. I’ll be shameless here and tell you that my butt and legs have really improved since I started working out at Impulse. My legs and butt have started becoming more toned, and as mentioned earlier, has reduced in cellulite. My sleeping habits have also improved, and my body feels better and less sluggish even when I’m working a particularly long day.
Okay, okay. Here’s the point I’m really trying to make. For someone who loves beauty as much as I do, I didn’t really pay attention to what my body was like from a health point of view for a long time. Being healthy from within does really translate to being beautiful on the outside. I’m not talking about being thinner or smaller, I’m talking about your body having more energy to do the things you love and are passionate about; I’m talking about your skin being a testament on how healthy your body really is from within; I’m talking about ensuring that you have the chance at a beautiful life without needing to worry about being at risk to fat-related ailments. Let me make this very clear: I didn’t join Impulse to lose weight; I joined so that I could kickstart a healthier lifestyle. I treated losing weight like a side effect, and I didn’t really let it bother me as long as I knew my body was improving (slow and steady wins the race, amirite?). I’m constantly growing as a person, and I think with Impulse, I’ve definitely had a chance to discover a part of myself that I never knew I had in me or that I would love. This has really opened my eyes to my potential as well as a whole new world on what it means to have a healthier lifestyle, and my self esteem has started taking a healthier path too.
I hope that this post has been inspiring and motivating for you that no matter what your body looks or feels like, it’s never too late to start being healthier. Sure, it won’t be easy, but with time and effort, it will become familiarity at your fingertips. Your body will thank you, and self-confidence is contagious, especially if you surround yourself with positive people. If you’re interested to try out Impulse Asia like I did, make sure you check them out here or check them out at their outlets. Alternatively, get in touch with them via Facebook or Instagram.
I’ll definitely be back for more, Impulse Studio. You can bet on that.