Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program Post 5

Remember my blog post from a few months back that announced an awesome contest I would be holding, whereby 2 lucky blog readers of mine will get to win a fully sponsored Weight Management Program by Eu Yan Sang to help achieve their goal weight?

Well today, I will be introducing four extremely lucky Eu Yan Sang winners to you… 2 of which are winners from my blog’s contest, and the other 2 lucky girls were picked by a similar contest from SHAPE magazine!!! These 4 ladies / women come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, however they all face the same problem: they’re struggling to maintain a healthy and ideal weight for themselves, despite past efforts. I’ve totally been in that position before, and to be honest, some days I feel like I still am. Being fit is a lifelong commitment. But here’s hoping Eu Yan Sang will be the difference they need to jump start their journey to a healthier life! :) I know it sure was, for me!!
Let’s take a look at the profiles of these lovely women who are bold and daring enough to share their pictures, story, and progress with us. What’s a weight loss story without dramatic Before and After results that will shock all your family and friends, right? It may seem a little daunting to have their pictures plastered on my blog for a weight management post (these are all real stories and people!! no hoax) but I believe it’s good to have some positive pressure to push yourself along. Without pressure or a reason to really stick to your goal, it’s difficult to stay determined. Whenever I went off my diet for awhile last year, I always thought to myself, “Die lah. Cannot. People on my blog expecting to see obvious results… I cannot disappoint them, or myself!!!!!” so maybe this will help them stay on course. :P People are watching you!!!!

So here you have it, the 4 lucky ladies currently undergoing Eu Yan Sang’s weight management program! (30 sessions)

Eu Yan Sang Winner #1
Name: Adeline Koh Chew Yan (Shape Magazine Winner)
Story: “I gave birth 3 years ago, but still look 6 months pregnant. (mother’s apron)”
- I used to be slim, perfect for my height of 1.74m.  However, after the birth of my twins 3 years ago, my tummy still look like 6 months pregnant and I’m unable to shed my post preggies weight!!  My pre-preg weight was 65kg, now at 79kgs, I’m beginning to lose my self confidence as a mother & wife :(  Many friends are still asking if I am pregnant AGAIN, and I look forward to finding real help to slim down and give hope to many of the women in the same situation as me.

(My comments: To be honest, I don’t think Adeline looks 6 months pregnant at all. I think she looks good for her age! :) Nevertheless, let us bear in mind that this Eu Yan Sang weight management treatment is not ONLY for obese or extremely overweight people, it is also suitable for women who want to attain better health and lose a few inches off problemaic flabby areas too!)


Eu Yan Sang Winner #2
Name: Christy Teo (Blog Winner)
Story: “After giving birth, I tried many ways to lose weight, but failed.”
- I tried the meal replacements, pills, I signed up for a gym membership and had a personal trainer. I thought I could lose weight the healthy way in the gym. But I was wrong. Instead, I felt pressured. I would always think that all the fit people in the gym were staring at me, and laughing at my fats. Once, I stopped training half way and burst out crying. Because I could not fight the monster in me.  
I want to be part of this programme so that I can feel good and look good and be proud of myself. And that I never have to look down on myself again just because I am fat.

(My comments: Totally teared up when I read her story :’( I know what you mean. Sometimes, I feel like a monster myself. It doesn’t help that I’m also pretty tall for a Singaporean (about 1.7m) so I appear giant-like when I’m around other petite girls. And I also don’t like going to the gym because the way people look at me in there, it’s like they think I’m wasting my time. I prefer engaging in fun sports with friends, so it doesn’t feel so torturous when there’s a bit of fun factor thrown in there!

Eu Yan Sang Winner #3
Name: Mary Ann (Blog Winner)
Story: “Over the years with lack of exercise and control of food intake, I ballooned to 80kg.”
- I’m very interested in seeking Eu Yan Seng’s help in losing weight as you see, 5 years ago I was only 50kg. But over the years with lack of exercise and control of food intake, I ballooned to 80kg. I hate shopping for clothing as I get angry at myself when the salesperson informs me that I can’t fit or that they do not come in larger sizes.  I don’t even meet my old friends due to the fact that I can’t get over their reaction if they were to see me in this state. I really hope I’ll get picked for this contest and gain back my confidence and most importantly – a healthier body, state of mind and just a healthier me!
(My comments: The insensitive, snarky remarks from other people (rude sales people or friends who lack tact) hurt even more than the self-realization that you’ve let yourself go. Having gone through weight troubles myself, I’m very careful about how I describe other people, especially when the person I’m talking about is in front of me. If it’s rude to call an unattractive person “hideous”, how is it socially acceptable to taunt overweight people with comments like “whale” or “pig”? What you say about other people, says more about you than them. If you know of friends who are gaining weight, don’t tease them about it. Instead, be a good buddy and offer to partake in healthy, physically exerting activities with them!)

Eu Yan Sang Winner #4

Name: Pamela Lee Hui Ying (Shape Magazine Winner)
Story: “I have health problems like sleep apnea, and joint pains resulting from weight gain.”
- After I stopped breastfeeding, I put on 12kg within a few months. This sudden weight gain has been difficult to shed, given my desk bound job. It has caused me health problems like sleep apnea and joint pains, especially in my knees. I want my health and fitness back, so that I can have the energy to keep up with my toddler son.”

(My comments: Apart from being generally physically unfit, weight gain also results in many other sub health problems. For Pamela, it’s joint pains, for me it was accelerated heart rate & a really aching back pain that just wouldn’t go away, until I lost more than 10 kilos did the load finally lighten. Quite literally.)
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Here’s some useful and relevant information I found on the internet that I thought was quite insightful.

“Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases:

• Coronary heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
• Stroke
• Liver and Gallbladder disease
• Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
• Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
• Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
Being severely obese has serious psychological and social repercussions. Many people who are overweight are subject to disapproval, even lectures, from family and friends and to sneers and remarks from strangers. Such behavior is propagated by the general societal belief that obesity is caused by a lack of self-discipline or moral weakness. These attitudes carry over into the work world, where a job or a promotion is often denied simply because of how much one weighs.”

Of course, to say that an overweight person lacks self-discipline isn’t entirely untrue. You don’t become overweight from watching your diet and exercising regularly. But the next time before you open your mouth to call someone fat, think about what sort of person you are being by kicking someone when they are already feeling down. Insecurities and the lack of self-confidence snowballs extremely quickly. You think by pointing out to an overweight person that they’re fat will make them motivated and go to the gym? You’re wrong. They already know. They’re not blind or stupid, they have mirrors to look at their own reflections. All you’re doing is hurting their self confidence even more. I would know very well how this feels. And when you don’t feel confident of yourself, you won’t go to the gym. You’ll coop yourself up at home, wallow in self-pity and probably indulge in ice cream to make yourself feel better. It’s a vicious cycle. Obesity may very well be a mental illness as much as it is a physical one.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Losing weight and becoming healthier is more of a mental hurdle than a physical one… believing you’re worth the change and effort, is the most challenging part.

Credits: source 1, source 2
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To the 4 ladies above, kudos for embracing the situation no matter how grim it may appear to be, and for wanting to make a change about your weight, AND your life. I think it’s incredible how you are brave enough to share your true story with other women, to motivate the ones who are facing similar problems… :) And to show that you’re never too young or old to make a change or lose some weight! I wish you all the very best of luck overcoming your health and psychological difficulties, and hope for the best results from the traditional chinese medicine method of acupuncture & weight management program you’re currently receiving from Eu Yan Sang…. for those of you who don’t know, it’s the same one I went through myself last year!!!!! You can read all about it from my previous blog posts.
I’ll keep you guys updated about their progress, and meanwhile, stay healthy and keep fighting! 
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

What it’s like to have a bunny as a pet

I posted this photo on Instagram today, captioning it:

“For your daily dose of fluff.. Here’s #mochithebunz & I during a photoshoot for #clubpetsmag. Getting myself a Netherland dwarf bunny is one of the best decisions I’ve made this year!!! She gives affectionate kisses (licks on the face and nose) every single day.”

And someone asked… “Can you tell us what it’s like to have a bunny as a pet? Is it difficult to upkeep, etc?” and I thought it was a brilliant idea to share with you guys how my experience as a first time rabbit owner has been the past 9 months plus I’ve had Mochi as a companion!

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with my grey fluffball…. her name is Mochi. Read the blog post about the day I brought her home from the pet shop here.

I named her after the food item mochi because she was small, soft, round, pudgy and squishy… like a real mochi! She’s a Netherland Dwarf rabbit, the smallest of all rabbit breeds. She’s about a year old. As I’m typing this blog entry, she’s sitting on my lap!

Why did you decide to get a rabbit?

I didn’t really set out to buy a rabbit one day. I chanced upon her purely by coincidence. I had no interest in bunnies whatsoever before this. I like learning about animals through David Attenborough documentaries but I’m not too big on keeping them myself. It’s all the work involved that scares me off… I had a hamster named Pudding once, and after he passed I was pretty upset and decided I’m not suitable for pets because I get too emotionally attached. Well that thought completely went out the window when I saw Mochi at the pet store and fell in love with her! True love comes knocking on your door when you least expect it!

Are bunnies difficult to care for?

I would say with confidence…. No. Even though I’m not the one who cleans out her poop tray everyday (my domestic helper does that), other than that she doesn’t need much maintenance. Here’s why caring for rabbits is an easy thing!

• Bunnies are very clean animals.
They don’t need baths or special treatment of any sort. They spend a lot of time grooming themselves daily, and they do a great job at it! The only time I’ve ever needed to wipe her down with wet tissue was when I accidentally fed her oranges thinking it was okay, but she had diarrhea and that wasn’t a pretty sight. But on a normal basis, I don’t bother cleaning her at all and she does not feel, look or smell dirty in the slightest.

• Bunnies don’t stink.
You know how you go to someone’s house and they have a dog and their house smells like dog? Yeah…. you don’t get that with bunnies. Unless you’ve left their litter tray unchanged for too long, or if you feed them certain types of food…. then their pee / shit stinks! Mochi’s pee smells like crazy when I feed her alfalfa or corn treats so I’ve stopped doing that completely.

• Bunnies don’t take up too much of your time.
If you’re a busy person and cannot afford to give your pet exclusive hours of attention everyday but still want a companion in the house, bunnies would make a great choice! I always leave Mochi at home for the whole day and I don’t have to worry about her at all, as long as I make sure she has sufficient water and food while I’m gone. My bunny loves getting attention, but she’s perfectly fine doing her own thing without bothering me as well. Mochi gets free roam of the house when we’re at home but stays in her cage when we go out, because she gets up to too much mischief when we’re away! It’s not like she rips up furniture or anything too destructive, but she does love chewing on cables, chewing on my leather products, peeing on our beds…. And I don’t trust her enough to leave her to wreak havoc in the house while I’m gone, nor do I have enough “spare” space in the house for her to roam around in that isn’t already filled with stuff that can’t be moved. I know a lot of people recommend letting bunnies run around freely in their homes, but Mochi still bites on everything she can at almost a year old (despite having a lot of chew toys) and pees wherever she likes (even though she knows where her litter tray is and was litter trained before, she doesn’t care) AND jumps on all sorts of crazy ledges, so keeping her personality in mind, I decided it would be safest for her to stay in an enclosed area when humans aren’t around. Especially since her vision is impaired now.

When we do let Godzilla out about town… check out how crazy it gets!!!


• Bunnies don’t need special grooming.
Despite having abundant, luxuriously soft and thick fur…. I don’t need to bring her to the groomer’s to trim her fur because it grows out nicely! Doesn’t need dental care or any other care, either. Only thing I ever do for her is 1) Brush her fur coat from time to time although I don’t see any difference before and after so I only ever do it when I feel like it and 2) Trim her nails about once a month. Rabbits in the wild burrow in the dirt and ground all day, whereas most house rabbits have lost their natural instinct to dig, so their nails get amazingly long after awhile. If you don’t trim them, it hurts for the rabbit when they’re running about, and it hurts for the humans when they scratch you as well! Some people struggle with trimming their bunny’s nails, especially if that particular bunny hates being held and it’s very intimidating for the first few times because they’re such skittish, fragile little things that like to squirm a lot… but you’ll get used to it. Just gotta hold them firmly to show them who’s boss. You could always get someone else to trim their nails for you for around $10. (Note: This only applies to certain rabbit breeds. If you get a super long furred rabbit you’re obviously begging to go the groomer’s lol)


• Bunnies aren’t noisy.
They don’t bark incessantly. My neighbor has this dog I have vivid fantasies and dreams of murdering every so often. I can hear him barking at this very moment. He barks every single damn day, afternoon, and night. And the owner does nothing about his extremely LOUD barking dog at all. At first I wondered how the owner could remain sane when he lives in a house where his dog never shuts up, then I realized he’s hardly ever home at all.  He just leaves the windows wide open so that his fellow condo occupants may enjoy his dog’s daily music.. Scumbag. Here’s my theory. If you have an annoying dog that NEVER EVER EVER stops making a ruckus, smack it until it stops barking. Seriously. Or get a rabbit instead. Rabbits… ah, their true beauty is that they are amazingly silent creatures. A rabbit can be extremely difficult to find when they want to be hidden. They find the oddest corners of the house to hide in and they will lay there, being extremely still. Although silent, this does not mean they can’t express their feelings. They have different temperaments, moods, expressions just like every other animal. It’s just in very subtle ways, that take awhile to understand. When they’re upset, they grunt, lightly nip or thump their feet. A nasty rabbit might bite you, but I’ve not experienced that myself. Mochi has oddly never thumped her feet to show displeasure, either.


So what are the downsides of having a bunny?

Although I wouldn’t really call these real “downsides”, there are a few things regarding rabbits that may fall below certain people’s expectations of a pet. For example, bunnies are not like dogs. They may not follow you around the house or be extremely sticky (this did happen when Mochi was a baby.. it was the cutest thing, but eventually stopped when she grew up) so as great and adorable as bunnies may be at showing their affection by licking you and grinding their teeth to show contentment, their methods of communication are a lot less sophisticated than your dog. I’m using dogs as a comparison method, because, well dogs are the most common pets in the world. You can’t really bring bunnies out to play like you do with dogs. More often than not, bunnies hate going out of the house because they get stressed out by all the unfamiliar noises, scents and surroundings. As such, a rabbit isn’t the sort of pet you’d find someone walking at the park. (But I particularly like the fact that they do not need walks because I do not like walks too haha). Bunnies are also not great pets for children, or people who like to play rough. They’re a lot more difficult to pick up than dogs, and require gentle handling. Most friendly dogs will let you pick them up if you wanted to. But even the friendliest rabbit will kick or struggle if an inexperienced rabbit person tries to hold them, because they MUST be held at very specific ways in order for them to feel safe and secure enough to not try and run away. The truth is, most rabbits hate being held, mine is a really rare exception because she lets strangers hold her as well. A lot of other bunny owners have problems holding their own rabbits themselves. They aren’t easy to deal with because they have sharp nails and squirm a lot when they’re off the ground. I’ve heard stories of other bunnies having attitude problems (e.g refusing to interact with humans or acting aggressively for seemingly no reason) On the other hand, I am under the assumption that all dogs in this world love to play.

Bunnies also don’t play fetch, they don’t offer any real “services” to humans like dogs do…. They don’t jump on your bed to wake you up in the morning, they don’t bark when strangers come near your house, they certainly can’t help disabled people or anything of the sort.. so yeah, if you’re into that sort of thing, get a dog. But if you just wanna come home, put on a movie, stroke something warm and furry and feel it lick your face in recognition, feed it some treat as a reward and melt at its furry cuteness…. get a bunny.

Oh, one terrible thing I’ve learned about having rabbits is that… nobody really knows that much about them. They’re not as well-studied as dog anatomies are. If your rabbit falls sick, it’s going to be a pain trying to find a vet that can properly diagnose it in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Health wise, my rabbit hasn’t had any major health problem aside from her problematic eyes. She does have cataracts in both eyes (likely hereditary, read about it happening in this post) which means she’s almost completely blind with a tiny bit of sight left (to distinguish light source and maybe a bit of shadows). I had to travel to the other end of Singapore to visit the only eye specialist available in Singapore for rabbits, and then I was told the surgery would’ve costed thousands, with 30% chance of her dying on the operation table as advised by my vet. That single horrific diagnosis and check up that took 20 minutes of the vet’s time costed me $200 already. Obviously I didn’t get the operation done, knowing the risk involved..

Are bunnies costly?

Depending on the breed of rabbit you get and the pet store you buy your bunny from, the price of getting one can range greatly. They can be sold for as low as $50, and go up to over a thousand dollars. I got Mochi for $300, which is a great price, considering most pure bred Netherland Dwarfs are sold above $400. Don’t be tempted by really cheaply priced rabbits from dodgy pet stores because your rabbit may turn out odd looking. By odd looking, I mean it may grow to be extremely large when it was supposed to be a miniature rabbit or having extremely long ears when its ears are meant to be short. Or have strange bulgy eyes coming out of its sockets or something. I spend approximately $50 a month on food and bedding / other rabbit supplies for Mochi. Her diet consists of 80% dried Timothy Hay (grass in a bag), and the other 20% is a mixture of random fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs I happen to have in the fridge, and also rabbit-friendly treats from the pet store.

Mochi enjoying some fresh Parsley!

Her litter tray is changed daily (I use cat litter made out of paper), and her bottom cage litter is changed approximately every 2-3 weeks or until it starts to smell a little. I think I’ve spent a little over $3k on Mochi ever since getting her, including all supplies she’s used thus far. Keep in consideration that I’ve bought her a lot of nonsense…. like toys she doesn’t even bother with. Bunnies are happy with cheap, homemade toys (such as bottle caps, cardboard boxes etc). Actually, they don’t really even play with toys like dogs do. Mine finds the most joy just in stuffing her face with glorious food, just like her mama.



Why do you love having a Netherland Dwarf bunny for a pet?


Have you seen how fluffy my bunny is??? Dogs are great companions. I truly believe they are. I hope that some day, I’ll have one myself. I would like to run alongside with it on a nice beach, and throw something for it to fetch. But for now, a bunny is a great pet suited towards my lifestyle, for all the points mentioned above. In summary, they are

1) Fluffy 2) Adorable 3) Not too costly 4) Silent and non-intrusive and independent 5) Low maintenance What’s not to love about bunnies?

Mochi is a great little rabbit. She’s so friendly and harmless….. I think I hit rabbit lottery when I found her. It does not matter that she has cataracts and has lost her sight. She still loves running around and exploring, entertaining me and bringing me smiles and laughs every day! She makes me the happiest when I see her doing binkies (jumping and flicking her feet in the air animatedly) or when she randomly comes up to me and licks my face as affection. She brings me the simplest kind of joy in this world – an animal loving its human companion.

I also love when she hilarious licks her lips like crazy after she’d had some tasty, juicy mango.  MmmMmm, MANGO!

Netherland Dwarf, or Holland Lop?

There are two main types of popular rabbit breeds being sold in Singapore: Holland Lop, and Netherland Dwarf. I’m sure there are a lot more exotic and different breeds being sold in different countries and pet stores, but I’m only going to addresss the main 2 found in Singapore. Like I said before, I fell in love with Mochi herself and didn’t set out to get any particular breed, color, or type of rabbit. But if I were to buy another one, I would still go for a Netherland Dwarf over a Holland Lop for a few main reasons.

• Netherland Dwarfs are a lot smaller, and lighter than Holland Lops (or at least the pure bred ones are). Mochi is fully grown at around 1kg. I prefer my rabbits small… if you like big rabbis you can try a Flemish Giant :P

• Netherland Dwarfs have short, perky ears. Holland Lops have long, droopy ones. I think the droopy ears are extremely cute when they’re babies, however when they turn into adults it can make them tend to look kinda grumpy / disinterested. I like Mochi’s ears a lot because it tells me how she’s feeling. If they’re flat down, she’s resting or tired. If they’re all the way up and pointed forward, she’s alert or scared. If one’s up and one’s down…. she’s only half interested. And, her ears always perk up when I call her name. It’s adorable. You get the idea! It seems more responsive. But of course, there are extremely adorable Holland Lops out there I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt into my household for a second.

• Netherland Dwarfs are bred to be as round as possible. This means their faces, ears and body shape are more compact and ball-ish compared to Holland Lops. This gives the Netherland Dwarfs a more baby-ish appearance, even when they’re fully grown!

Well those are actually the only reasons I can think of. I think a mini lop would be awesome as well!

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Hope some potential-bunny-owners out there have found this blog post useful!

I’ll be happy to answer any bunny-related questions based on my own experiences. This whole post as written based on my personal experience with Mochi, my Netherland Dwarf rabbit. I’m sure not all these facts apply to every other bunny owner or rabbit in the world. My bunny likes being cuddled, other rabbits hate being held. My bunny pees and poos wherever she likes all the time, other rabbits are extremely well toilet trained and only poop and pee in their designated litter tray. I believe every animal is different, and that stereotypes are easily broken when you analyze each individual. There’s no such thing as a “better” rabbit, just what you prefer and what suits you more. But one thing’s for certain… ALL baby bunnies are amazingly, jaw-droppingly, retardedly cute, no matter the breed, color, or size!!!! Everyone should cuddle a baby bunny at least once in their lives, even if it’s just for a minute or two at the pet store. Please put it on your bucket list. You’ll know why when you’re holding it in your arms. It’s the most precious thing in the world…. second only to holding your firstborn I guess?! Ok maybe not. But something like that. Pardon me, I haven’t had any babies yet, baby bunnies are the closest thing I’ve known to it.

A few years down the track I may have the post, “What it’s like to be a mother.”

Wouldn’t that be one post to wait for?

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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