Unlike my husband, I did not grow up fat, was never a fat kid and never got fat no matter what I ate.

It began when a possessive ex guilted me into giving up a loved hobby (emotionally abusive relationships are stories for another time). My body started readjusting to a predominantly sedentary routine. I went on weeks without a workout. It was a total 180 from the usual 6-9hrs to zero.

Then, Kenny and I started dating again. Within our first year, I gradually embraced his gluttonous habits. Even with the wedding in sight, that did not deter me from snacking into the wee hours of the night; daily. How, in the world, did I not give a fuck about my wedding dress and photos? I did not have enough vanity in me. My mother was more obsessed with my ability to fit into that beautiful Ted Wu dress than I was.

A couple of months later, Kenny was scared into working out and leading a healthier lifestyle. To help him along, I started working out too. Surprise, surprise! I was met with the biggest roadblock of my life. My previously unpredictable migraine attacks decided to show up every single time after a workout. Not long after, they also came each time my body felt overheated. I could not work out (even more so in a stuffy environment), could not walk my dog for too long, could not linger at the beach for more than 10-15mins (somehow, the attacks come quicker), could not have drinks at an al fresco bar, among many other instances.

It became too painful to break a sweat.

As Kenny lost the weight and shaped up, I was putting on 3kg / year. As of to date, I am up 15kg since we got together. I struggled to follow a diet and commit to a low-intensity workout. Evidently, to no avail.

This is a whole new experience for me. From being perpetually fit to a 15min gassed-out station is a major dent to my self-esteem. It stings to look at past photos of my grand ol’ self. I cannot find a strong motivation to get back on track. Nothing beats the pain of a migraine attack which entails vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light, sound and the temperature of the room. Sometimes, it does not go away after taking pills and sleeping for a couple of hours. Sometimes, it continues for a couple more days.

I am afraid to exercise.

Kenny has been immensely encouraging and patient. He switched us to red/brown rice, managed to get me used to drinking tea with minimal sugar and never failed to ask me to join him at the gym or for muay thai despite knowing my answer. He has been searching for the right kind of routine to get me into; the sweet spot where I burn enough without pushing my body to its limits. I am fortunate. Do not be mistaken though. Occasionally, I would follow him to the gym and muay thai but the attacks that come after would demoralise me for the next 1-2 weeks.

Yesterday, we were talking about our upcoming photoshoot. Kenny is really eager to make sure we look good. He is so pumped to shape up and I, still do not have any drive. Then he says to me: “I do not want you to look at the beautiful, expensive photos and say you are fat.” Nothing like a miffed husband to jolt me. Kenny does not want us to feel ‘buyer’s remorse’ especially since we are dropping quite a number on it. On my end? I do not want a miffed husband.

So, today, I went back to the gym and muay thai. Again.
Clocked 2hrs of workout and waited for the migraine to hit me. Strangely, it came 4hrs delayed and not at maximum intensity. Perhaps I did something right today. Right now, as I am typing this, I feel the pain lingering. Not sure if it is going to explode later or just fade away come morning. I am not vain enough to push myself to look pretty. I still do not have a solution to my workout aftermath. Kenny’s miffed magic motivated me to exercise again. This time, the feeling of commitment is stronger and fortified. Perhaps I can dream of being 50kg once more. Wish me luck.


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