I can help you change your health, life and eating habits, for good.
Picture this. You want to lose weight. Your doctor advised you to. You’ve been panting like never before running after two of your little kids. You look in the mirror and realised how much you’ve let yourself go.
So you start Googling for a weight loss plan. Or how to lose 20 kilos. Or even run into your local bookstore and pick out a shiny new book called the ’21-day Fat Loss Diet’.
You’re pumped. You’re excited to start. You cannot wait to see results.
You follow the plan to it’s finest of all prints. Week one’s down, let’s go. Week two, your friend called Mr. Motivation starts to come in and out. And then week three, work got in the way and so did your idea of losing weight.
The plan is left on your fridge.
The shiny new book is left to collect dust.
You totally forget about it until someday, somehow, you look in the mirror and then feel that same feeling again.
Guess what happens?
For most of us, we spend too much time thinking of solutions to change our lifestyles, rather than seeing the plan through.
We check out different sites, follow every #fitspo account there is and sign up for as many free nutrition and workout plans they can get their hands on.
But months on and even perhaps a lot of money invested on fad diets later, the results do not show, or worse, do not last.
They figure that they just need to wait and find a new product and then invest on that.
The problem with these solutions?
They only address the surface, and rarely or never dig down into the core of your problems.
Perhaps you’re not comfortable sitting down and thinking about the reasons why you haven’t lost all that weight. Perhaps you’re stuck looking for a solution that is safe and sustainable. Or maybe you just haven’t found the right person to guide you yet.
Wherever you’re at with your life and health right now, I know what you probably need more than anything else right now is not another nutrition plan. Not another surface solution. But a person, a real mentor with credibility and experience to hold your hands and guide you to the right path that is only meant for you so you can lose fat, change your mindset and transform your life like never before.
If you’re a self-confessed fitness freak who trains a lot, tried out so many different fitness programs and diet plans and yet can never find something that really works for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Hi. I’m Aqilah Norazman and I’m the founder of 1-Habit Nutrition, Singapore’s first online nutrition coaching and mentoring company.
After losing 20 kilos in eight months, maintaining it for 6 years (and counting), and helping hundreds of people from all around the world change their lives sustainably, I know a thing or two about what, how and why you’re feeling like this today. I know a thing or two about losing weight and fat and then maintaining it. And I know a thing or two about the struggle, the BS that’s out there and the confusion caused by information overload.
I’m here to tell you that you already know what you need to do… What you need now is really the how to do it.
Are we ready?
You will never believe it but in February 2010, I was diagnosed as being clinically obese by my doctor, while standing at 83.9kg.
I have always been a big person. Let me set this straight, when I say big, I mean bigger than my same aged peers. Taller and probably looked a little bit more intimidating too. In fact, I was born heavier than average – mum delivered me at 4.08kg, yes I was a big baby. Dinnertime jokes used to be how big boned I was, comparable to a baby elephant or a hippo and it was mean.
All through school life, I’ve always hated physical-ed lessons. I remembered telling mum to fake a sickie for me so I could excuse myself from doing any running, jumping or hopping for the rest of the lessons. Growing up in Singapore too, physical exercise was considered as one of the most important components to get one level up every year. We had this standardized national testing system consisting of various stations from sit and reach, standing broad jump, shuttle runs, incline pull ups and a 2.4km run. I never passed these tests ever.
One time when I was 15, I used to faint after running a 2.4km route. I had to sit in the little welfare room and be fed biscuits and Milo to keep me going. Embarrassing? A little, but it didn’t bother me that much back then.
As I grew older, I’ve always made to believe that I will somehow lose these baby fats. Except that, believing is only half the equation. I never did lose the baby fats. In fact, I’ve put on more weight to an extent that I don’t even know how I have put on all those weight all those years.
The ironic thing is, no one really commented about how I looked. There will be times where I complained, saying things like “I’m fat.” Or “Ugh, I hate this person staring back at me in the mirror.” Whenever I weighed myself, I will see the number and then I will tell my mum, dad, sister and friends and they will simply respond and say that I don’t look . Sometimes my family tries to calm me down by saying things like I’ve always been big anyway. Or I was conceived with big bones. I played along and for so many years I blamed it on my genetics and big bones. Except that, none of my family members were big.
My days in university were probably the worse. Those late night assignments, exams and juggling between school and social life and being constantly broke (student, y’know) probably led to me putting on the most weight ever.
It was terrifying, but at the same time I was happy. And as my sister always tells me “You’re a happy fat kid.” Thanks.
The biggest turn around for me was in my second-year Physiology practical class. That was in October 2009. As a Science student, one of my core modules is Sports Physiology. In that class, we had to go through a series of fitness assessments, not like the ones in Singapore but more of a baseline testing assessment, doing things like a grip strength test, sit and reach and flexibility testing. To my horror, I did so badly in all of the stations except for the eye testing for short sightedness (hurrah!) that I left class that day feeling sick to my stomach thinking about how unhealthy I’ve become. I couldn’t sleep for many nights after that, thinking of ways I can lose weight and be healthier and that was when my weight loss journey began.
My first few trial and seriously big errors
I grabbed my best friend at that time and we spoke all night about my issue. Turns out that she have been wanting to lose weight as well so at that point in time I thought it’ll be just great if we can embark on this losing weight thing together. It wasn’t as memorable as I thought it would be though. Being students, and ALWAYS strapped for cash, we actually relied on one thing – free gym and fitness centres trial. Those one or two weeks free pass or something. We wanted to lose weight, had the drive but we weren’t all that serious. In fact, talk about being naïve or plain curious, we went to the gym once or twice using a couple of free passes spanning about a month and went on a diet shake nutrition plan.
You know those stuffs, those meal replacement shakes. We simply replaced dinner with the shakes and had something like Subway 6-inch for lunch. It went well for a week, I remembered losing 4 kilos that first week.
But. It. Never. Lasted.
We celebrated the short-lived achievement and after two weeks we were back to our same old routine. We couldn’t keep up with the shakes and even that we thought was a little too pricey.
So we put our weight loss journey on hold.
But no one ever told me that putting it on hold meant putting on twice more weight than I lost. That was when it came to April 2010, me, weighing 83.8kg, feeling sick and constantly having flu, colds and sore throat, feeling unhealthy as if I will die young without seeing the whole future ahead of me. Lost. And definitely angry.
After a family holiday to Melbourne that month, I hesitated no further but to pick up the pieces and restart again. I was 20 back then and was in my final year of uni.
My body was failing me, but my mind was so determined to make a change.
I had no idea what to do so I picked up a book one day after class called Crunch – Lose Weight Fast and Keep It Off. It was written by one of Australia’s celebrity trainer Michelle Bridges and till this day I still look up to her as one of my favourite fitness personality.
The deal was simple. I had to go on a 1200-calorie restricted diet and work out six days a week. I learned how to split my meals instead of having three huge meals a day and how to control my sugar cravings.
I started her program on the 26th April 2010. I weighed 83.1kg.
Starting off was indeed tough. I remembered waking up at 5.30am to train in my backyard on a cold winter morning. But I kept going. It was amazing and bit-by-bit I can see not only my weight going down on the scales but the physical changes in my body.
12 weeks later, I managed to lose 8 kgs and by 7th July 2010, I weighed 75.4kg.
Although the original plan I followed by Bridges was twelve weeks long, I knew I still had to go on as I felt my body wanting more. I somewhat felt addicted to exercise and eating well so I started to read more books and started making my own plans to suit my body. And it worked. Absolutely, beyond doubts.
I started out with no absolute end goal, I just wanted to lose weight. I didn’t have a final number in my head, I just wanted to lose weight. And when the weight started coming off consistently, I was losing about 1kg a month in months 3, 4 and 5 and a little lesser than a kg a week for the rest of the year and by December 2010, I weighed in at 63kg, the lowest I’ve been in my life ever.
Those days of feeling fat and miserable are gone and it will never come back again… Or so I think it won’t.
Many would think my success story ends there, but that eight months was just a beginning.
A few months after my final weigh-in, I went home from school feeling absolutely tired, weak and… hungry. I struggled for many days as my entire world began to collapse. After a few days, I felt like my weight loss success began to slip right through my fingers one by one. As of January 2011, I was struggling with my weight and body.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to do.
That confidence I gained when I lost all that weight was now replaced by obsessive thoughts of food, binge eating and hours of exercise. I was eating as though there were no tomorrow one day, and the next day I will be running all those calories off on the treadmill for two hours. I struggled counting calories, and felt bad for myself because I didn’t want to overeat.
I hide this from my friends, colleagues and family because I was so ashamed of it, especially when I regained some of the weight I lost. And I didn’t understand why this is happening to me. I was so conflicted and confused that I didn’t even know if I wanted to be a trainer anymore. I seeked help from a medical professional for my eating issues and yet I couldn’t find an answer.
Faced with this harsh reality, I was left with two options: To live my life as a victim of binge eating and eat my heart out every single time, or, to allow the grief of this to fuel a rebirth of the person I was born to be. Out of my choice to war against the anger, self-hatred, self-pity, self doubt and the binge eating episodes, came the birth of the new me that would not only let me build my own business, but restore the Aqilah Norazman who always believe that if we put our heart and mind into it, anything is possible.
I chose, out of my own will, to start studying. To reach out for a mentor, who was my very own brother, and to learn as much as possible on how to get out of this rut.
I enrolled in a personal training program after finishing my undergraduate studies. I learned about exercise and nutrition. Slowly, but surely, I learned more about the body and how it functioned. And five years later, today, I’ve managed to maintain my weight at a healthy 68kg.
It’s true that losing weight is the easiest part. But to maintain the weight will require something else entirely.
But I’m living proof that anyone can lose fat sustainably, no matter what their experience are with diets of all sorts. And when we have someone by our side, like a mentor, like me, and work hard to learn more about ourselves and our body, we will definitely be rewarded for it.
Today, I’m enjoying every single bit of my life, full-time as a nutrition coach to clients all over Asia. I enjoy doing a variety of things for fitness like HIIT, running, powerlifting and weights and most importantly I do them because I enjoy them.
This is me on my very first Strongman event in 2016
This is me on my very first Powerlifting event in 2017
If there’s one thing you take away from my story is this: You can love your body again no matter how much you’ve been through.
Maybe you’re still on that meal replacement shakes a very convincing network marketer manage to sell you.
Perhaps you really hate running but you’re doing it anyway because that free fitness plan you grabbed off somewhere tells you to.
Or maybe you’ve given up on every single thing and would rather ‘live with it’ then change at all.
Wherever you’re at, I’ll take your hands and meet you there…
No judgement at all.
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You got this. I know, because I’ve been in your shoes before.
Thanks for being here. I appreciate you.
Founder, 1-Habit Nutrition
BSc Physiology, Sports and Exercise Nutrition
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