Oct 2002 Issue
CHALLENGING YOUR PERCEPTIONS....AND LOSE WEIGHT
The March edition of LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS on five ways to get motivated to get fit and lose weight was so well-received , I thought I'd follow up with something in similar vein.
Almost every weekend during the ' off-season' ie between expedition periods, you can find me with my trusty 15kg pack in the depths of Bukit Timah. I find the 2 hours I spend there interesting for these reasons: At 164 metres, Bukit Timah represents the 'goliath' of geographical features in Singapore. When Mt Everest stands at 8850m above sea-level, you begin to appreciate the interesting beginnings I had in 1994 when I concocted a plan to get a bunch of flatlanders to the top of the world.
But challenging perceptions is not an exercise reserved for ground breaking or high and mighty projects. It is a way of living daily. So long as we stay in the comfort zone and a routine, we can never find the germ of creativity or the spark of life.
Consider multitasking next weekend. Get off your favourite TV chair and challenge your perception of
1) how boring Singapore is,
2) lose weight!
For those on this subscription list who don't live in Singapore, look around your area for some suitable hills. Pack some spare clothes in plastic should it rain, carry a litre of water, get on some comfortable shoes and head for the hills. For those above 35 who do not require a physician's examination beforehand, head to the Ranger Station, pick up a map and nature park brochure. Start earlier i.e. before 830 to get a carpark slot and avoid the heat of the noon day sun
Each trail is like a journey into the virgin forest described in books. Wonder at the olfactory adventure - from rotting bark to the scent of insects and seasonal flowers. The Dairy Farm loop has a challenging and slushy gully topped with a pointless 100m face of roots and packed mud to challenge the fittest. Perhaps a shorter loop on the footpaths will allow you to hit your stride ( NB: walking is often considered to be the most accessible and best of exercises )
Kids? Bring them along on your second foray to the hill; after you have worked out a route which allows an escape to shorten your usual loop if your child had had enough for the day. A friend of mine who was diagnosed ( to his shock ) with high blood pressure at age 40 has resorted to these walks twice a week and often has his 12 year old in tow
I guarantee a burning up of at least 600 calories after 2 hours of brisk walking. That's about as many calories as a Big Mac. Best of all, you might realise how fantastic you feel after unclogging all those fatty arteries and next time, try to challenge yourself on a different route.
Adventure is a state of mind. If you can also lose weight at the same time, power to you.