Oct 15, 2020

What I did to lose 20kg in 6 months (& sharing the workout videos I followed)

If you have been following my Facebook and/or Instagram accounts, you will know that I had exprerienced pretty significant weight loss - and in a good way.

The truth is, I have been overweight for the most part of my life, probably since secondary school days. Yes, back in those days when there were still TAF (Trim and Fit) physical exercise sessions - or if you flip it around, it spells FAT... makes me wonder who in MOE thought of this back in those days 🙄. Anyway, fat just hung around with me since then, through army, through university, through dating, through marriage, through parenthood, until now.

Don't get me wrong, being fat didn't really bother me - fat jokes and all.

But I think there comes a point in time when I want to be healthier for my family.

And COVID happened.

Forced to stay at home for a good 2 months, I grew bored and restless. Sure, I was relishing in my new role as Canteen Uncle and preparing recess food and lunch for my kids but I was looking for something else to occupy my time with.

Then the wifey started exercising.

She played fitness exercise videos on TV and followed the trainers. For the first week or so, she was exercising alone. Me? I just sat on the sofa and surfed on my phone. 😅 Then one day, I decided, "Ah what the heck... let me just join in and give it a go."

And that was how it all started.

Thanks to COVID... and my wife of course.

So to all wives who are reading this, let me just say it is no use nagging your man to start exercising and losing some weight. YOU have to set a good example and do it yourself first, or begin exercising with him. You're welcome.

So that fateful day kick-started my journey to weight loss. Every morning, together with the wifey, we followed workout videos on YouTube for a good 45 to 60 minutes. We started with simple cardio and core exercises in April and subsequently, we have been doing cardio kickboxing workouts. And we are still doing it now consistently.

In fact, we have grown so used to sweating it out on a daily basis that if for some reason, we can't workout in the morning, we will make it up with a session in the evening.

In addition to exercising, these are what I did during the past 6 months:

- For meals, I try to avoid carbs for at least 2 meals a day. This isn't set in stone but if I do eat carbs, I only finish half the portion now. Rewind one year ago and you will see me finishing all of my food AND finishing the leftovers from my kids too. LOL.

- I eat a serving of fruits every morning after each workout, mainly low sugar fruits like jambu and guava. They contain a lot of fibre too, so that keeps me full for a longer period. 

- Pre-COVID, I have breakfast at hawker centres because I drop my wife off at work after sending the kids to school, so we usually have breakfast together. With COVID and WFH, that has stopped so my breakfasts for the past 6 months usually consist of rolled oats, muesli... and sometimes bread - but only if the wifey bakes them at home. For muesli, I go for those with low sugar content and avoid those with dried fruits.

- I also started jogging in August but I only jog about once or at most twice a week, and I cover about 4km to 5km each time.

- Ever since Circuit Breaker ended, I embarked on a weekly visit to a nature park in Singapore together with the whole family (no matter how unwilling the kids may be 🤣). We have visited numerous parks and even off-the-beaten-track places so far, and you can see our weekly adventures on my Facebook and Instagram accounts. So this also forms part of my exercise regime because I belive trekking in nature weekly helps not only in increasing activity but also invigorates the mind at the same time.

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Eldest son's exams done and dusted, still two more monkies to go. But since their exams are still more than a week away, it's the perfect excuse to resume our weekly date with Nature! Because trudging along uneven trails and skipping over muddy puddles are exactly the kind of memories I want to create with my kids. 😁 . We visited the South Loop of Chestnut Nature Park last month so it's time to complete the North Loop. The North hiking trail is 3.5km long and actually consists of 2 trails. The longer one (orange in map at the park) leads you to the Chestnut Observation Tower and beyond, lies Zhenghua Nature Park. If you don't want to venture so far, you can turn back after reaching the tower and walk back the same path back to the carpark. . Which was what we did, because there lies another trail, a Nature Trail (red in map) which brought us to the central rustic part of the park, with a stream flowing through it! Water definitely looks inviting but our growling tummies won the day. 😜 . After hiking through both North and South Loops, I say Chestnut Nature Park is certainly a gem. The trails are not your usual tarmac surface but rather, they are rustic muddy pathways with varying terrains and lots of plants, insects and animals to spot... if you look hard enough. 😉

A post shared by Kelvin Ang (@cheekiemonkies) on

Frankly, if you had told me about all these 5 years ago, I would have laughed my head off. It's amazing what a little discipline can do.

So there you go, it took me 6 months to go from a bloated whale to this.

And in the process, I lost 20kg. I didn't actually think I lost that much weight - you know how the whole self-perception thing is always skewed - but when I placed earlier photos of myself beside current ones... Ok, I can see the change. 😅

A lot of my readers had since messaged me to ask me on my daily routine as well as the workout videos that I follow. So I thought why not do a blog post too so that I can embed the videos here as well.

First and foremost though, let me stress that I'm NOT a trainer, I'm NOT an athlete, and neither am I a fitness blogger. And I sure do not have any koyok to sell.

I'm just a regular guy with a (huge) Dad bod, decided one day to do something about it and just went about doing it. So what had worked for me might not exactly work for you in the same manner.

But I can guarantee one thing though - if you can do it CONSISTENTLY, then you will succeed too.

(Boy, I sound like a life coach now)

But it's true: if I can do it, you can do too.

Some of you might say that it is tough to get started, or can't sustain exercising, or too tired, or no time, I can tell you those are just excuses. And I know... because I told myself the exact same things pre-COVID.

But guess what, you can start by just wanting to exercise. It doesn't have to be a long session; just commit to putting in a good 15 to 20 minutes daily is good enough. And NEWSFLASH, scrolling through your FB or IG feed takes about the same time too. 😂

All you have to get your ass off the floor and get into a routine. 

All you have to do is START.


So... can exercise or not? 😜

Jiayou! 😊


The wifey started out with Coffee Lam, who is a qualified Yoga instructor based in Hong Kong.

I have to say her videos are pretty good. If you follow her core exercises videos, I can almost guarantee you will feel sore muscles the next day. If you are looking to indulge in some intense burn in the muscles, do check out her other videos!

Then, we started to follow Emi Wong's videos after a month. Also based in Hong Kong, I would say her exercises are a little simpler and not as strenuous. So if you are thinking of starting somewhere, her videos will be good. And because I do not want to think what exercise should I do every day, we started on her 4-week Transform Challenge where there is a set of exercises that we had to do every day for 28 days.

For close to one month, we worked our various parts of the body, from arms and upper body to the back to abs to the legs. And there's a one day rest after 6 days of workouts too. 😁

If you like a trainer who keeps quiet most of the time, then you may check out Pamela Reif, who is based in Germany. Her workouts are GOOD! Pretty intense and very effective. I love her Intense playlist because it really targets the specifc area and the workouts are kept short and sweet. But even though the videos are short, the burn is real because she never takes breaks in between each excercise.

Or if you love to include more fun in your workouts and dance at the same time, check out Maddie Lymburner, or more popularly known as MadFit, who is from Canada. Her claim to fame is her workout videos created to specific songs from popular artistes like Billie Elish, BTS and BlackPink. One of the videos we loved are the TikTok dance ones... because we even got Ale to work out together with us!

By June, we decided to look for something different and found PopSugar Fitness. They have an extensive selection of fitness videos, catering to different people of varying fitness levels. If you are short on time, just follow a different 30-min workout video from its 30-minute workouts playlist.

The above video was the first video from PopSugar Fitness that we worked out to, and it is perspriation-inducing!

My personal fave is the video below. Very intense and the day after I first did it, my abs and arms were aching like mad! But I have since worked out to this video five times already. 😆

Now, the wifey and I are into cardio kickboxing because not only does it get the heart rate up, the exercise routines don't feel monotonous. We are both fans of Christa DiPaolo's kickboxing workouts because they are relatively easy to follow and boy, they can get intense too!

Along the way, we also interspersed the kickboxing workouts with resistance band trainings too (Decathlon sells them pretty cheap) and we followed HASfit's videos.



Then no excuse, just follow this 5-min pre-fight warm-up video:

Nothing too intense but you can get your heart beat up in that 5 minutes and that can make you feel more energetic for the rest of the day!

I hope to have provided you with enough motivation to get started. Oh, and here's a final workout video that I do sometimes - the wifey doesn't like it because it is very siong!!! LOL. The first time I did it, I was panting like mad after 5 minutes. 🤣😂🤣 But I find it very fun so I am sharing it here as well.

Tell me which workout video is your fave, ok?

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