Back to the workout grind with Aaptiv!

I haven't worked out for a full year. No, really. Like I legit have not broken a sweat at all for one full year ever since I started juggling 2 jobs a year ago. Before that, I've always been semi-active incorporating a routine of some sort but ever since landing a part-time job while being a full-time banker, I'd just laze around whenever I get any downtime.

Let's take a step down memory lane. Here's an old video I compiled when I was extremely active with my weight loss journey which started 10 years ago. Please excuse the mullet hairstyle. No idea why I thought it was a great idea at that time. 

I remember the commitment and perseverance with squeezing time in the gym every single day to achieve my weight loss goal. It became addictive. I'd sacrifice my social time with family and friends just to attend a fitness class. The gym became a priority in life. Everything else came second. My routine of squeezing in a workout after work each day and on weekends was untouchable.

Doing a Les Mills Body Attack exhibition at The Mall.

2009 - The day I flew off to NZ. I think I was at 75kgs here.

Then I moved to New Zealand. Even before moving over, I've already signed up for a 1-year membership at Les Mills without knowing how far the gym was from my dorm but - I was determined to keep my routine up. Unfortunately, I underestimated how time-consuming it was to be a full-time student and how expensive it would cost me to maintain a membership with one of the expensive gyms in the country - especially when I no longer had any sustainable income. So after my 1-year membership ended, I stopped.

And so gradually, the weight started creeping back in. But not immediately as back then, my main mode of transport of getting around was by walking so that help kept my weight at a reasonable level. Plus, I still kept up with doing a couple of runs and hikes every now and then in New Zealand cause some days, you just can't say no to a beautiful weather outside. Not when you're in New Zealand.

Tongariro Crossing. 

Fast forward to 2014, moving back to Brunei. With wedding preparations underway and the effort to look good on my wedding day, I still kept up with incorporating some workout routine without committing to a gym due to financial constraints (and saving up for my wedding). But I was still determined and that kept me going. 

Still looking somewhat dapper on the big day. 

Post wedding - Calla & I started exploring the world of Crossfit mainly due to a lot of persuasion from friends who are already doing it. Committed to doing it for about a year when I realised the weight wasn't coming off mainly due to a bigger appetite from all the intense weight lighting involved. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Crossfit is bad or anything but I personally believe every individual body is unique and different. What works for you might not work for others. The only thing I did gain from doing Crossfit for a year was having a better mentality when I am being pushed out of my comfort zone. There's no greater achievement than hitting your personal record (PR) or getting that additional rep in.

Doing the 2016 opens. 

Post 16.4 for Crossfit Opens 2016. 

By the end of 2016, I just decided to let myself go. I started putting on the weight even faster without realizing it and constantly told myself tomorrow I'll start eating better and start working out. Then I landed another part-time job as a radio DJ which took up even more of my time. When you're juggling between two jobs, any free time you get, you'd tend to savour it. I find myself lazing on the bed, browsing through social media and playing my mobile games. And this has been my routine for almost a year throughout 2017. I felt miserable, tired and defeated.

Then it was time to say goodbye to being a full-time banker as the bank I was employed with was winding down. Which means, I get a good chunk of free time now and only had a part-time job to sustain me. But excuses started creeping in. One year of stagnation can really drag everything down. And my body has gotten used to it while my mind was just constantly trying to assure me that I'm not that fat yet.

Everyone's got a turning point when it comes to working out. 10 years ago, I just decided to do it because I hated how my body looked. And that was my drive. Now that all the hard work I've put in is gone, I just gave up. I've started joking with friends that I've embraced a dad body even before I'm a dad.

Fat face me taken at the end of 2017. 

Honestly, I just didn't know at what point I will start working out. I was constantly making up excuses after excuses. Mind you, there is also a free gym literally next to the radio station which I did not utilize. I remember pathetically telling myself I'll only start a routine once I get a full-time job with this company. It was only until I randomly received a DM via Instagram from an old friend that told things to my face for a good ol' wake up call.

Being told as it is.

And there I was, defeated. I knew at this point, I've hit rock bottom. I didn't even bother defending myself and admitted that I haven't worked out for a year. But like the saying goes, once you've hit the bottom, there's only one way to go. Up. And so that snarky remark became my motivation again. But where do I start? That was the big question. Just when I was asking myself that, a divine intervention in the form of a random sponsored ad (or more like thanks to my browsing pattern) about Aaptiv appeared on my Instagram feed. Took a good look at it and read a lot of reviews about it. It sounded promising. Plus, they were running a promotion for USD $66.99 (BND $94.20) for a year's subscription. That's pretty much USD $5.86 (BND $7.85) a month for a PT led + music session a month. I bit the bullet and just went for it telling myself I'll get around to using it eventually.


After signing up with Aaptiv, it took me another month or so to actually use the app (thanks, Chinese New Year holiday). I started by making a deal with myself i.e. to commit 30 minutes of my day to do any workout. No excuses. Even if I'm feeling lazy, I need to spend just 30 minutes to sweat it out. Be it a simple walk around the neighbourhood or even 30 minutes of air squats. Just 30 minutes. And that's what got me started. Then I really explored Aaptiv and was blown away by the variety of exercises you can choose from. The workouts range from beginner to advanced with duration of 10 minutes up to 50+ minutes. Best part of it all? You've got a trainer telling you what to do in your ears and there are even different genres of music that comes with the workout. I just did a 50 minutes walk with love songs today. Never even thought that would be possible (working out to love songs).

Now, this is just the beginning of my 2.0 journey so, unfortunately, no six pack success story to wrap this post up just yet. However, a little humble brag from yours truly here, I've been on a roll for 2 weeks in now. From not working out at all for a full 365+ days to working out consecutively 2 weeks in a row. You bet your ass I'm damn proud of it. Even if I'm not, at least my wife is. On good days, I'll do more than 30 minutes while on my lazy days, I'll just stick with 30 minutes. And I'm already seeing slow progress on the scale. Not big numbers yet but at least it's dropping bit by bit.

So here's to a renewed mind, spirit and body for 2018! Let's go get it! 


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