I’m on a holiday

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Last week, there’s been some personal stuff going on and I’ve decided to take on a few impromptu trips away. The past few days I’ve been on road trips and brunching around town.

As I type this, I am waiting for my cab to pick me up to the airport.

So if you are interested with my travel updates, do make sure to follow me on instagram @ponikuta

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How I lost 7.8kg in 13 weeks

ponikuta weight lost

So last night I posted this picture on my instagram as a teaser to this post. Back in late December 2014, I’d set up my mind that enough was enough and that I needed to do something with my weight. But before I get into the nitty gritty details as to how I’ve achieved consistent and permanent weight lost; let me share with you my battle with my weight.

I truly believe that each individual are build differently and we got to all accept ourselves for who we are and work with what we have to begin with. I was a “skinny kid” my entire life never voluptuous or chubby. I’d never experienced the chubby kid phase and my weight has always been consistent for the first 20 years of my life, always hovering around the 45-46kg mark. The words to describe my body shape was slender and lean.

When I was 21, I started contraceptive pills to mainly control my acne issues and to help clear my skin and it worked for my skin but not so much with my weight. I then bit the bullet and told myself, I’d chose good skin over being skinny, after all being in cold Melbourne I get to mask my forever bloated tummy and consistent weight gain for years to come in layers of dark attire. This was also how I managed to pile on all that weight without many people noticing it.

weight lost journey

Yes, I was capable of bursting my stretchy pants through my thunderous thighs

Not to forget, I am also not a particularly active person (actually I take that back, I am NOT ACTIVE at all) and the last thing in the world I would do is to give up #valfooddiary and go on a diet. The only thing I guess I am blessed with is pretty alright metabolism hence I could eat and sleep on repeat without much weight gain until of course after 25 on wards it was down hill for me. So the combination of the side effects from contraceptive pills + getting old (turning 31 this year!), I managed to top the scale at 55.5kg at my peak which was December 2014.

ponikuta fat

Me at my fattest, can you see how round and fat my face is? Also note the forever layers of clothes + black attire to cover all the weight. Oh, who am I kidding? 

Now for many you might think 55.5kg is no big deal but may I remind you I am also very short and for Asian ethnicity and one who has been around 45kg her whole life, piling on that 10kg made the world of a difference to me. I went from being a size 4  to size 6, size 8 and end of last year I could barely fit into my size 8 clothes and burst not one pants but also two tops from being fat. A visit back home recently, my mom (who gave birth to 3 kids mind you) was only 55kg and here I am steadily gaining weight exceeding her weight for the first time in my life.

That was pretty much a wake up call for me to get my act together and do something it. I was hovering at a point where Size 8 were too tight for me and Size 10 were too loose. I hated how I look for a while there.

So instead of whining and complaining about how I looked, I decided in January 2014 to stop taking the contraceptive pills that I was taking for more than 8 years none stop. It did a mixture of things to me, instead of the weight lost, I gained weight. I started to break out and had crazy water retention issues. I started swimming 2 – 3 times a week, eating healthier, doing regular sports (badminton) and running but my weight gain continued.

Many would say it would be muscle weight but it also made me feel constantly bloated and fat. I did some research and found out that a minority of women do in fact experience weight gain no matter what they do when they get off the pill. I was devastated as I have not been this active in my entire life and instead of losing weight I was gaining weight like no tomorrow. 

People would joke that I was “drinking too much water” from all the swimming or that I was eating too much which I wasn’t. Needless to say 2014 was a tough year for me and I continued the sports and whatever exercise I could get my motivation to commit to. In July 2014, I also wrote this piece about being consistent and doing core/toning exercise at the comfort of my own home.

lose weight

For whatever reason it was, God must have noticed that I didn’t give up despite the change in lifestyle and fitness level and I still out grew my Size 8 clothes and my body took a sharp turn in December 2014. At this point, I was running consistently 1 – 2 a week around the tan track.

It helps to have a dog as a runny buddy to keep you motivated. Belle was always there for me despite me running so slow. And the weight started to drop 0.3kg – 0.5kg at a time.

ponikuta sportsI also maintained my weekly badminton session for couple of hours, as I enjoy how it helped me to work out a sweat, rain, hail or shine. More importantly, it also helps with my reflex (I’m slow) and sprints (motivates me to run around).

nike fit

There’s no two ways about it. Fitness and being active was one of the key reason why I could lose weight in a consistent manner -usually 0.5kg per week and some weeks it gets stagnant but remember this – NEVER GIVE UP! Hike, run, walk, climb and keep moving. It was between not making an effort and making an effort, I chose the latter. Along the way, I was teased consistently for being slow, being unfit, being unable to do basic exercise but I powered through at my own pace and heaps of positive enforcement from Shizuka.

Surround yourself around people who are positive and are into fitness, helped me to get it going.

bubble bathOkay, I suppose this is really the secret to my success weight lost is that I do very hot bath 2-3 times a week. Especially after an exercise session to keep the heart pumping going and to increase blood circulation to the whole body. Each bath session last about 30 minutes, 15 minutes of soaking and another 15 minutes of massaging (especially around the calves, thighs and tummy area) to get the lymphatic drainage going.

At the beginning it was uncomfortable (from the heat) and can get quite sore/painful from the massage but personally I find it really works and it helps me to relax as well. By the end of the 30 minute mark, you should be dripping from sweat and slightly red. Just be sure to drink lots of water after to prevent dehydration.

I’ve gotten so used to it now, I love it. I also utilise this 30 minutes by applying facial mask, hair mask, teeth whitening strip and so on. I find body oil really helps with the massaging as well.

defat

I also take Defat health supplement regularly. Six pills each time before bed. I bought this in one of those Japanese drug store, so I am assuming it it safe to take. I can’t read Japanese so I don’t actually know what it does? lol #fail

Thalgo-firming-cream

After shower/bath everyday, I also take 5 minutes out to massage problematic areas like tummy/thighs with Thalgo Stomach & Waist Sculptor. This gel cream helps to firm up my skin. Remember consistency is key. You don’t get good skin by using one bottle of serum, you don’t get results by being fit for a month either. These small little steps have all incorporated into my daily routine.

val food diary

Now, everyone who knows me knows that I do not cook and that I eat out almost everyday. I love my food and I love discovering new restaurants hence my instagram also document a lot of these yummy foodie pictures. One thing I wasn’t ready to give up for weight lost was certainly food and changing my diet. Of course, I firmly believe that everything should be taken in moderation, so portion control is key for me.

For Monday – Thursdays, I start my day with a big breakfast/lunch and end my day with small dinner. Also remember to have dinner as early as possible. I did not cut out carbs entirely or anything like that. On the weekends, I do not limit myself, I just go out and eat whatever I want but instead of finishing my meal, I’ll share it with a friend. Or opt for multiple entrees over one big main. I never deprive myself from any food I wanted to eat or crave. So I guess the Defat health supplements that I’ve been taking must be miracle pills?

weight lost

So there you have it, my tips on how I lost all that weight and I’ve not felt this good in ages. I can now wear clothes confidently and be happier with my body. I am maintaining my weight by still do daily core exercise at home via Youtube videos on TV (my fav are XHIIT as they only take 15 minutes max), daily abs exercise (I want toned abs!) and shall start with some muscle building to get some definition.

I also do know that weight on the scale shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but since this was a personal journey for me, I was determined to lose all that weight before I start building muscle that way I know that I am building muscle on lean skinny me rather over fat. Well, this is my thinking anyway. Now that I’ve made my goal weight, I am happy that I am feeling myself again but #firstworldproblem now I need a new wardrobe none of my size 8 bottom fit any more.

Good luck!

 

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essie Dress to Kilt Fall 2014 Collection

essie-nail-lacquer

Today, I am reviewing the Essie Fall 2014 collection – Dress to Kilt. I know this was launched back in 2014 overseas but it has just hit out counters due to our Australian different climate/seasonality compare to the rest of the world. It is after all Fall here in Australia now.

essie-new-collection

From left to right: #The Perfect Cover Up  (dark green), #Partner in Crime (rich brown), #Style Cartel (royal blue), #Take it Outside (taupe/grey), #Dress To Kilt (red), #Fall in Line (dusty green).

Overall, this collection contains essie’s upgraded formula, great pigment, great longetivity and is the perfect palette combination for this fall. All swatches were swatched with two coats. My personal favourites are the ever on trend taupe/grey shade – #take it outside and dusty green #fall in line. I just have a thing for dusty, green shades.

RRP AUD$16.95 each
Available in counters now 

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Bioeffect EGF Day Serum

Bioeffect-EGF-Day-Serum

From the cult favourite Bioeffect EGF serum, they have now released the new EGF Day Serum. This anti-ageing serum is designed to use with the bestselling EGF serum to deliver anti-ageing benefits to skin specifically during daytime to restore moisture balance, firms + rejuvenate skin and provide a smooth finish, prepping skin ready for make up.

Containing the same hero ingredient – EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), this gel-like serum is specifically developed for women age 30 and up in mind. Ahem, yours truly is turning 31 this year! Suitable for all skin types, all I needed was one and a half pump (yes pump bottle packaging are awesome!) applied on clean face and neck. I massage it thoroughly into skin and then let it sit on my skin to absorb for 5 minutes before applying sunscreen + makeup.

Bioeffect-EGF-Day-Serum-review

Yes, you read me right. This awesome serum also saves me time from applying moisturiser, so I go straight to sunscreen step and make up. The only catch is that it does require some time to fully absorb into skin, so I time myself by applying the serum and go get change while I wait for the serum to dry. Once it is dries, it also makes make up application truly a breeze in the park.

I don’t feel tightness or dehydrated throughout the day either without the need of a moisturiser, incredible huh?

Bioeffect-EGF-Day-Serum-swatch

Overtime, the Bioeffect EGF Day Serum promises:

  • Denser and firmer skin
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Restore skin elasticity
  • Reduced pore size
  • Younger looking complexion

While I haven’t seen any drastic change to my pore sizes, I do feel that this serum certainly helps with hydration issue, saves me time in the mornings and helps to keep my skin cell renewal rate at a high especially when I am recovering from acne scarring even cystic ones.

Overall, I highly recommend this water based serum and this is my go-to serum now everyday as it helps to save me time in the mornings (double thumbs up) and also looks after my skin by maintaining the collagen, elastin, cell renewal balance to ensure my skin stays youthful.

RRP AUD $195
Stockists: Bespoke Beauty, Adore Beauty, Sephora and selected spas and salons

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Listerine Total Care 21 Day Challenge

Listerine-Total-Care

Recently, I took on the 21 Day Challenge with Listerine to jump start to a healthier mouth month in March 2015! Especially since I have embarked on my journey with my Invisalign treatment, I have taken extra care to brush, floss, pickster and rinse my mouth on a daily basis to keep my oral hygiene at its tip top condition.

listerine challenge

 This is me with my Invisalign over-correctors in. 

In just one day, I have fresher breath. In 7 days, I can expect plaque controlled, in 14 days, stronger teeth and in day 21 I will have a healthier mouth. Do you have the habit of rinsing your mouth with mouthwash? If not, why not take on the 21 day challenge too?

Listerine Total Care RRP AUD$9.45
Available in supermarkets and pharmacies now 

 

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Bioderma Hydrabio Range

Bioderma-hydrabio

Have dehydrated skin? then you will be glad that Bioderma has launched the Hydrabio skincare range as this trusted French skincare brand is notorious for their efficiency in skincare delivery and more importantly, good value for money skincare products.

With Summer over and the change in season, no doubt our skin will require more hydration to replenish and to keep it hydrated all day round. Remember, dehydration is the main cause for fine lines, wrinkles and lacklustre skin so be sure to keep it well hydrated.

bioderma-hydrabio-h2o

Along with their bestselling H2O, Bioderma also released a hydrating version, a gentle exfoliating cream to prep skin to absorb skincare without drying it out. Next, there’s also a serum and two moisturisers to choose from. Just look out for the blue range.

Hydrabio H2o RRP AUD$29.95 
Hydrabio Gentle Exfoliating Cream RRP AUD$39.95
Hydrabio Intense Moisturising Serum RRP AUD$42.95
Hydrabio Rich CreamRRP AUD$39.95
Available in Priceline counters and online via AdoreBeauty now 

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Jurlique Clarity Hand Wash & Hand Lotion

jurlique-clarity-hand-wash

Jurlique recently released a luxurious hand treatment duo that comes in a jumbo sized 500ml each. The Jurlique Clarity Hand Duo features Jurlique’s new scent which is a combination of the finest blend of natural herbal extracts and essential oils to provide an revitalising and gender neutral scent.

The Clarity Hand Wash makes my hand washing experience an indulgent one with it’s creamy texture and leaves my paws soft and hydrated without leaving it dehydrated.

Over the years, one of my habit is to always apply hand lotion once I wet my paws to keep my skin supple and smooth. For best results, layer your hands after hand wash with The Clarity Hand Lotion to not only soften dry cuticles and hands but also to replenish hands with the lost moisture. Most importantly, I like how non greasy the hand lotion is.

Both products available in Jurlique counters now
Hand Wash RRP AUD$45
Hand Lotion RRP AUD$80

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ponikuta the sunday telegraph

I am so honoured to be interviewed by Katrina Lawrence (Beauty Journalist for The Sunday Telegraph) to cover the topic on Asian beauty. To read the full article on Asian beauty click here.

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