I'm not the fastest runner. I think that's got to do with the fact that I almost never run, at all. Even if I'm exercising, I would choose swimming and badminton over actual jogging. It just seems less tiring (yeah I do understand the point of exercise is to work your muscles) so when I was told that I'm supposed to run 5km one day for SHAPE RUN 2013 in conjunction with my Eu Yan Sang blog posts..
I would cringe so badly at the mention of even 1km. 5km?! I can't remember the last time I ran half a km! For your information, I've never done any 2.4kms during NAPFA tests. I'd skipped all NAPFA tests in school because 1) I was lazy and skipping stuff in school was my best subject and 2) I had a long term medical certificate for anemia. Having low blood pressure and anemia means I'm prone to spontaneous fainting spells & black outs, usually triggered by fatigue, lack of oxygen and vigorous exercise. I'm totally not kidding. I used to have scary black outs even while not exercising, all the time..... so I wasn't going to risk it. Since I was in primary school, I've had to take medication to boost iron that produces healthy red blood cells. Perhaps it's because I grew up very used to vbeing physically inactive, that this lifestyle habit carried on into my adult life, regrettably! It all makes sense now, lol.
Ok. grandmother story aside... one fine morning, like it or not, I woke up at 5am and hauled my ass down to Nicoll Highway where SHAPE RUN 2013 was held!!!
When I got there, I was surprised to find throngs of enthusiastic women who seemed very excited to gather and mass move our bodies together in a forward direction.
Can't say I didn't feel confused by their enthusiasm at first, but after the run, I now understand the sense of satisfaction that comes with these runs.
I met up with 3 of the winners (Pamela, MaryAnn, Christy) featured in my previous blog post, who were a lot brighter faced and cheerier than I was at 6:50am!
They're all undergoing Eu Yan Sang's Weight Management Program (the same one I did before) and this run is part of the whole arrangement. We were missing Adeline, our 4th winner however she was sick that day, and could not attend.
We packed our things into the lockers provided, got into the line and at 7am sharp, we started running!
By running I mean, er, alternating brisk walking and jogging. Ok fine a lot of walking!!!!!
Game faces on, and we're gonna do this together!!!
The weather was very merciful, giving us slight breezes every now and then, and it was actually rather pleasant despite me huffing and puffing away. I felt refreshed and energetic after a few minutes of jogging. It's quite motivating to jog with thousands of other runners because you feel like you're all in this together!
No one's here to judge each other, there were women of all ages, races, shapes and sizes gathered to achieve one common goal : Complete the 5 kilometers, and to feel good about themselves for making a healthy lifestyle choice!
The first 1km was quite easy, which went by in the blink of an eye. I overtook the other 3 EYS winners at one point, and was happily jogging away, feeling extremely good. However..... soon, somewhere along the 1.5km to 2km mark, I started to lao hong and slow down a lot. HAHA and everyone ran past me. See la, hao lian at the start.
I took every photo opportunity I could get, but actually I just wanted a valid reason to stop running even for just a few seconds and not look like a loser, lol wtf.
I chugged along slowly and kept telling myself, "You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!" while Dory from Finding Nemo kept singing in an Ellen Degeneres voice, swimming around inside my head. I am 99% not found to be awake at 7am through 365 days a year, so the very fact that I was doing this seriously impressed me already. As you can tell, I'm easily impressed. :P
SOOOOOOOO HAPPY when I saw the water station!!!! When I took my first sip....
Ahhh, the gift of life! Look at that tortured face.
Remember what I said about every photo opportunity?
Anyway, this is Pamela, whom I didn't recognize from her picture because she looks so much younger now and slimmer after losing some weight!!! She maintained the happy vibe throughout the whole run and in my opinion, did the best out of all of us. Job well done, Pam!
Well, after about an hour (to be exact 1 hour 8 mins) I REACHED THE FINISH LINE!!!!!! WOOHOOO. I played "We Are The Champions" from my phone, intending to sprint the last 200m but I was really too tired and walked all the way instead. -_- I know fit people only take 30 mins for 5km... but whatever... People are good at different things. Some at running, others at making nice looking cakes. :'D
WHAT DOES ACTUAL TIMING MATTER!! All I know is, I MADE IT! When I wasn't even sure if I could wake up and get out of bed at 5am that morning. I'm proud of myself, and the other 3 girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done Pamela, Christy and MaryAnn!
Big big thanks go out to Jayne, my lovely Nuffnang manager who encouraged me from the start and even participated in the run herself to accompany me!!!! Every time I told her, "Jayne. I cannot. I DIE" she will say
"JESS!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN ONE!!!!!!!" Awww she's such a sweetheart!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
Donning my SHAPE RUN 2013 medal and new Skechers running shoes, yay!!!
With a little heart, some hope and a lot of hard work.... you can make decisions that will change your life. If there ever is a 5km run again, I don't mind doing it with friends, because it's actually pretty fun! The post-run sense of achievement and feeling is great, and unlike any normal work out I've been through. It was more like a journey, than just exercise. It was the first time doing something like this for all of us, but with moderate eating & help from Eu Yan Sang's Weight Management Program, we came through!
Now, we asked Adeline and Christy how they felt after 3 months of undergoing the Weight Management Program, and here's what they said! I have inserted my own comments in blue.
Interview with Adeline:
• The weight management program jump started my slimming process
• Did not engage in much exercise on my own during the program. However, due to the nature of my job as • a locations manager with the media, I am often outdoors, and I do a lot of walking (it always helps to have a more active lifestyle!)
• Ate my prescribed herbal medicine daily
• Did not visit my physician on a frequent basis (the treatment would be more effective with frequent and disciplined visits to your physician, of course)
How do you feel now?
Appearance wise, it is good. My colleagues & my children’s teachers asked if I had lost weight and stated that they could see a difference!
Health wise, I've observed more frequent bowel movement and urination, meaning an increased effectiveness in toxic expulsion. (I had very regular toilet trips while on my treatment, btw. #noshameinadmitting)energy level is also higher than before, along with a more controlled diet. In the past I used to crave for certain foods when feeling stressed. Now, my cravings have decreased and I eat in moderation.
Overall experience of the treatment:
My friendly physician prevents me from feeling pressurized during the procedures (This is really important as it motivates you instead of making you feel worse!)
First time doing acupuncture in my entire life! More than twenty needles were used for every session. Initially I was nervous, but the pain was bearable. There was no psychological barrier and with time, the experience gets better. However, I felt that it was rather boring to have to lie down for two hours every session because I am an active person. (Adeline did 1 hour of acupuncture each on her front and back for every session, not every one has the same treatment duration)
I also did cupping once in a while and found cupping effective, not minding the temporary marks.
On the whole, Adeline feels that this program is a healthy and gradual method of losing weight. The results are visible and the weight does not rebound, unlike with the use of slimming pills. She has even recommended the program to her colleagues and friends.
Adeline consults Physician Zhang Rui Fen at Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic @ Jurong East.
How do you feel about the Eu Yan Sang Weight Management program?
Intially, I was a bit skeptical as the program needs to consume TCM. Working in the hospital, I've seen how some patients came in with TCM induced liver problems. I have not consumed any TCM before the start of the program.
What was the treatment like?
I didn't have an issues with the needles and was not afraid of pain. (Most common feedback I've heard from people who've tried this treatment is that the needles pain is quite bearable) Physician Lin was always thoughtful to ask me if I felt any pain. At first, the herbal medication was a bit hard to swallow, but after a while, I got used to the taste. Physician Lin also did cupping on me based on my symptoms. (I never did cupping during my treatment, so every treatment is actually customized to each individual)
Is it what you expected?
Yes, I knew that this program has to adhere to TCM and acupunture.
Was it tough keeping to the program? Did the physician help/ encourage you so that you can keep to the program?
As I am doing shift work, it was hard to go for my treatments twice a week. I tried my best to turn up for appointments every week. Physician Lin was very encouraging, always keeping track of what I eat and what activites have I done to improve my weight loss. (I find it helpful that my physician keeps track of these things for me - it's so easy to lose track of your lifestyle habits when you're not paying attention!!!)
How has your overall health improved?
My intital weight when I went for my first consultation was 104kg. My current weight now is 99 kg.
I have since changed my lifestyle and eating habits, as Physician Lin will always ask me not to take carbs for dinner. I have since included more greens and healthy food. I am also not so lethargic as I used to be.