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Struggling to balance work and exercise? Read this.

A fortnight ago, I got back from Sydney after attending the largest Taekwon-Do World Cup event I have ever participated in. There were over a thousand competitors and the standard was so high that I stood no chance of winning any medals at all. What I took home from that event was all the different ways I could improve my technique and fitness, which gives me more to work on before my next competition.

Truth be told, I am so inspired by the world-class Taekwon-Do athletes I saw at the event. They were so motivated and driven that it pushed me to set a new personal goal for myself. I want to continue dropping my weight from my current 68.7 kg (from my weigh-in in Sydney) to below 64 kg. So I have about another 5 kg to lose for the next Taekwon-Do World Cup in Slovenia in 2020. Seems hard to believe that I was a whole 10 kg heavier 4 months ago!

This brings back memories of my weight loss experience back in 2010. Before I ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my left knee, I was 70 kg. A month later, I started working as an accountant and went from exercising every day to trying to cram in as much work in the office as I could.

I began skipping my martial arts training and even forgoing my regular exercise to get more work done. Day by day, I got fatter. Even though I started looking more like a barbecue pork bun over my first two years at that job, the amount of weight I gained didn’t seem to correspond to my bun-ness. [Read: I looked so much like a bun that I thought I gained more weight than what I really had.]

Barbecue pork buns in a steam basket

This is a selfie of me, sans glasses (Image: Cha Siu Bao by Michael Stern [CC BY-SA 4.0])

But at the time, I didn’t really understand how weight gain worked. All of a sudden, in my third year at the company, my weight shot up by 5 kg. Since it had been three years since I let my fitness go, I thought it was too late to reverse the damage done to my body and I began to accept being fat as the status quo. I even started reminiscing about being younger and fitter “back in the day”.

After my dramatic weight gain, I made the effort to work out more and I soon saw my weight dropping in response. However, it was a struggle to balance work life and exercise. When I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work I had, I would sacrifice my exercise to stay back at the office so I could stay on top of my workload. Even though I knew theoretically it was possible to maintain a regular exercise schedule, I was too worried about work.

Looking back on those days with the experience and training I have now, one of the main reasons I couldn’t achieve my health and fitness goals was the lack of a defined objective. We all have goals in life, but it takes time for us to see clearly what that goal is.

Luckily for me, three years ago, I figured out my fitness goal and developed a routine that worked around my work schedule. Through that, I resumed laser focus on my fitness goal. It wasn’t long before I started to notice my physical changes and realised that a short 30-minute training session in the morning before work really suited my office job schedule.

If you’re struggling to eat healthily because you often feel too tired to cook after your nine-to-five job, or if you have a lack of direction in your fitness goals, email me at to schedule a free appointment now. This can save you a lot of valuable time and, most importantly, you can achieve your fitness goals!

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