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Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program Post 3

My journey with Eu Yan Sang’s Weight Management has now reached an end.

 Bear with me as I tell you a long winded but absolutely essential story, about my struggle with my weight.. and how Eu Yan Sang has helped me work towards my goal to be healthier, and happier.

I will never forget the day I walked through those clinic doors, because that day changed my life. I was bursting with excitement, yet afraid at the same time.

Excited that someone out there was willing to offer their help to manage my weight problem, but also terribly afraid of the possible outcomes. For some reason, the idea that I was going to be fat forever was drilled into my head… What if even Eu Yan Sang couldn’t help me??? I haven’t always been drastically overweight. For my earliest blog readers, you would know that I used to be much more confident of the way my body looked and did photo shoots in skimpy bikinis for the heck of it and some part time casual modeling as well. I would put on make up and dress up in nice clothes literally every other day because I enjoyed looking nice. But somewhere along the way I somehow just stopped caring so much about whether my butt looks big in these jeans (my butt looks big in everything anyway), or if people think I’m good looking or not. I formed the idea that looking hot and pretty is overrated. I met my boyfriend Sam, who was insanely nice to me at the start, and assured me that no matter how I end up looking, he would love me all the same anyway. I naively believed it, and thought that gave me the OK to stuff my face with food every single day… because it’s okay to be fat as long as people who love me still continue to love me, right? At that point in time I’d already stopped taking photo shoots. I figured there wasn’t much of a reason for me to wanna strive to be slim anymore. I’ve never looked back since.

Well, not up until half a year ago. When I finally realized how grossly and scarily unhealthy I had become, I knew I had to do something about it. I had wayyy passed the stage of “not conforming to society’s expectations of beauty” to “plain unhealthy, pure negligence” and…. dare I say it? Denial.

The thing about being a “curvy” girl is that you’re always just one meal off from being fat. The most frightening part about gaining weight is how fast it actually happens, and how some times you can’t exactly wrap your head around the idea that you’re bigger because you see yourself in the mirror everyday and you don’t realize the magnitude of the differences until you look back at old, thinner photos of yourself and go “WHAT THE HECK happened?!?” I didn’t spend the past 2 years gaining weight, as some people might think. I probably gained all the weight in the first 8 months and then spent the rest of the time not doing anything about it. I didn’t do anything about my weight for such a long time, for a few reasons.

1) I liked food too much.
(And I didn’t like exercise, at all) You could even call it an obsession. I give a more in depth explanation of why this is so, here. I don’t know when I decided I loved food a helluvalot more than I love my own body, health and image, but I’m glad I’m not like that any more. I mean obviously I still freaken love food but I love myself just as much, too.

2) Everyone kept pointing out to me that I was fat. 
Clearly nobody likes to be told they’re ugly or unappealing to the eyes in any sort of way, but I didn’t feel upset, hurt or insulted as much as I felt pure annoyance. I remember thinking to myself, why on earth is it normal and totally okay for someone to casually say “You’ve gained weight!” when no one ever says to people, “Hey, you’ve gotten uglier”, even when the latter also happens to be true? I mean, just the way people go about addressing weight issues REALLY pisses me off. There are much worse things in life than fatness. Like I have mentioned in an earlier post, and I will say it again, Singaporeans in general are disturbingly allergic to fat people. In a way, the retarded rebel in me decided if these annoying people are telling me to lose weight, then NOT losing weight is exactly what I’m going to do. WHY should I let these jokes who don’t mean crap to me tell me how I should look, how I should eat, how I should look?! Mind your own business!

3) Eventually, though, reality sinks in, and I woke up to realize that even I don’t like my own body no more.
Opinions from others aside, I admitted to myself that I’m worth so much more than this. It really doesn’t matter what people say, how I feel about myself holds a ton more weight (if you know what I mean). My figure and physique became more of a burden than something I take pride in, or something I could be proud of. The days of modeling now seem so long ago…. how did I ever let myself fall this far? When that day of realization actually came, I cried long and hard. I now know it wasn’t just about I didn’t care what others had to say about me. The truth was that I just didn’t even care about myself anymore. Inadvertently, besides gaining weight I let my hair roots grow out and I never bothered to brush it, I settled for ugly clothes because it was the only thing I could ever fit in and my health was worse than any other 19 year old I knew… I was just so sick and tired of the situation. I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. For real this time.

Lucky for me, somewhere around May, Eu Yan Sang stepped into the picture and offered their Traditional Chinese method of weight management to help me keep my weight under control. If you haven’t already, read the start of my experience with them here, and post 2 here, because I talk a lot about how the treatments (acupuncture & herbal medication) are carried out, the costs, side effects, and everything else you need to know.

This post is more of a conclusive one to summarize what life is like after my 2 months plus long treatment with them has ended.

This is me, on my very last session of acupuncture with Eu Yan Sang….. You can see the needles poking out from my back. I’ve gotten so used to needles poking out from all sorts of angles in my body that I could camwhore, use my phone and play games with the same hands that have needles in them. No problem.

I felt very emotional that day, because I was so thankful to have been given this opportunity. I don’t know how long I would have procrastinated before doing something serious about my weight if not for Eu Yan Sang. Prior to my collaboration with them, I restricted myself to less soft drinks, more exercise here and there etc but I wasn’t trying anywhere near as hard because nobody was there to give me a helping hand and pushing me along, but everyone at the Eu Yan Sang clinics did. The people I’ve had the pleasure to meet while on this journey are so nice and encouraging, they always made me feel welcomed and comfortable, which is a huge plus point because losing weight should be something positive, not a miserable activity. It is vital in weight loss to keep determined, to BELIEVE you are worth the change, and some times you need other people to convince you so.

On this note, I would like to give special mention to my physician, Ms Yang for being the most amazing physician in the whole wide world. She is kind, smart, funny (made me laugh on every single trip to her clinic), but most of all, extremely caring. She motivated me the most and believed in me every step of the way, pressurizing me in all the good ways possible. Even when I was bad, and strayed off my low carb diet some times, she never seemed disappointed but instead tried to encourage me to stay resilient even more. It was lovely to see how genuinely happy she was for me as she saw my weight dip lower and lower, under her guidance and care.

It was sad to have to say goodbye to all the lovely people at the Eu Yan Sang clinics after seeing them at least twice a week for more than two whole months. I promised them that the next time they should see me, I would show off a more lean figure than before!!! I’m going to work on it for another few more months before paying them a visit, lol.

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Now looking back on previously taken pictures of me, I’m inexplicably glad I set out to make a difference in my life, because the results are paying off.

Since Feb 2012 to September 2012, I’ve lost about 11kg, and dropped from a dress size of UK 16 to a UK 10. 

Pleaseeee try to maintain your gasps of horror at my fat pictures…. Lol. I was considering a long time whether to post up the fat pic or not, because its basically social suicide, but I did in the end to show you guys what’s REALLY going on here. The above “Before” photo was taken in September 2011. One year later, in September 2012, I took the “After” photo on the left, in my home and in PJs, no make up or editing because this is the real me. I only decided to make a change about my weight 6 months ago, in the start of February, however since I do not have a suitable full body hot to use from the start of February, I used a pic from September 2011 as my weight didn’t increase or decrease from Sep 2011 – Feb 2012. (Is it just my imagination or do I look like I’ve got male genitals? Must be because it’s tight around the thighs…)

I know I’m not that slim still (I can’t change the fact that I will always be bottom heavy, just the way I’m built) especially not by Singaporean standards, but I’m not going to beat myself up for not losing weight fast enough. I don’t mind if it takes me another year, or two, to reach my ideal physique. I know I still have a long way to go before I’m ideally healthy. However, as long as I’m putting in enough effort, making a difference and improving myself, that suffices for me. At least I don’t feel like a giant slob any more. Ain’t about how fast I get there… ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – It’s The Climb. I know in my heart that I have Eu Yan Sang to thank for much of my weight loss thus far. :’)

Thanks to Eu Yan Sang, I managed to lose 5.2kg while on their TCM Weight Management Program… in under 3 months. 

And my tummy / hips / butt area actually lost more than 10cm after comparing the Before and After measurements. Pretty amazing. No fad diets, no slimming pills, everything done healthily, and properly. I almost couldn’t believe how well the treatment worked for me, and to think I didn’t even follow my low carbs diet strictly… I wonder how much more I could’ve lost if I did. Sure, my results were more than satisfactory because it was coupled with a better diet and exercise routines a well, but on the whole my general well-being has improved by leaps and bounds. Acupuncture has been known to treat many various health problems. For me, it increased my metabolism rate, lowered my heart beats from 112 (super unhealthy) to 80+ per minute (healthy range) and also gave me a great kick start to achieve the weight I want to. I have not regained any weight since I’ve stopped the treatment, and in fact have lost even more (slowly, but surely) rather effortlessly as well. I’m wearing so much more pretty clothes now and I love it!!!!!

Now that the treatment has ended… I have to maintain the weight loss myself, of course! I exercise relatively frequently these days. Badminton, swimming, gym / long periods of walking are part of my usual routine. As you can see in the above picture I wanted to give up….. But like someone once told me, don’t stop exercising until you feel the burn in all your muscles. And when you think you’ve had enough, GO SOME MORE. Sweat is fat crying, after all.

I find that theory works for me. When I’m on the treadmill after 20 minutes I’m all like “Omfg I’m going to die I can’t do this anymore” but once I occupy my mind with other thoughts other than how tired I am from running, I realize its now 40 minutes on the treadmill and it wasn’t so bad, after all. Funny I should say this but I actually LIKE exercise these days. Badminton is superrrr fun and swimming is so relaxing!

Being aware of what I eat is also super important! You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. I’ve grown to enjoy and like the taste of fresh salads (with enough dressing and ingredients lol) and my favorite one is Sumo Salad! I frequent the outlet at One Shenton. Super healthy and yummeh, and absolutely guilt free.

There was once I showed a picture of my eggs benedict breakfast to my physician (upon her request), who was completely appalled by it. I didn’t think it was that bad in that point in time. Only 2 slices of bread, some bacon, eggs and sauce…. how fattening can it be? How little does she want me to eat?!?

Then I realized that dieting is NOT just about eating lesser. It is eating smarter. I did some research and attempted cooking eggs benedict myself, and discovered there’s approimately 500+ calories in one serving of eggs benedict (2 eggs) and the reason why this is so high is because the hollandaise sauce is essentially 65% butter, 35% semi cooked egg yolks. That is approximately over half a cup of melted butter and 4 whole egg yolks that is used to cook hollandaise sauce. Gross!!!!!!!!!

4 eggs yolks in the sauce + 2 egg yolks in the poached eggs… can you say heart attack on a plate? A greasy McDonalds DOUBLE cheeseburger is apparently less than 500 calories. Dear Benny, I love you and everything…. but I think it is time we broke up! It’s not working out.

Eating frequent but small meals also helps keep my weight down. Instead of a decent sized portion of pasta for lunch as seen on the left, on weight conscious but still greedy days, I would have some cheese, crackers and sausages. I’m still getting protein (sausage), carbs (crackers), and yumz factor (jalapeno cheese), and while it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world to eat if you’re trying to go on a diet, its light enough to not make me fat but way more satisfying than vegetables or other diet food. The crackers assemble will digest way quicker than a heaping bowl of pasta, which is 99% carbohydrates. I could never survive on REAL diet food…. sustainable dieting is the key for me! Most people attempt too difficult diets to maintain, so they give up halfway and never achieve the results they wanted in the first place. My way may be slower but it keeps me sane… and hey, slow and steady wins the race.

Me, on my 20th birthday on 20th September.. in a pretty UK 10 dress I’d never dream about fitting in less than a year ago!!

…So, having typed out allll of that are sharing with you guys my experience with trying to lose a large amount of weight, I hope it provided some useful insight on Eu Yan Sang’s TCM weight management program and gave some motivation for people who needed it.

I highly recommend the treatment for people who just can’t seem to find a proper stepping stone or a way to start, or even people who aren’t that overweight but have stubborn problem areas such as love handles *raises hand*.. Having a qualified TCM physician to guide you along the path of wellness is very helpful! Best of luck to anybody out there hoping to lose weight, be it through Eu Yan Sang or not. Always remember that your health comes first!!! As mentioned before, I participated in a Mediacorp program about TCM, documenting my experience about this weight management from Eu Yan Sang… they have episodes from 25 Aug till 27 Oct every Saturday 9:30pm on Channel 8, and my episode is airing tomorrow, on 22nd September! Brace yourselves. Lol. You have been forewarned.

• To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Eu Yan Sang Clinics is raising funds for Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society (THK) through various fundraising activities. Besides giving direct cash donations in the donation boxes placed in clinics, you can also drop by any of Eu Yan Sing clinic to pick up a special red commemorative THK-EYS umbrella for S$10, from which proceeds will go to THK.

• A new question regarding Eu Yan Sang / Traditional Chinese Medicine will be posted every week on this website. Send in your answers and stand to win a Eu Yan Sang goodie pack worth more than $32! Next week’s question: The TV series airs on which channel and which day?

Head on over here to answer!

xoxo,
Jess

Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program Post 2

This is my second post to update you guys on how my Weight Management Program by Eu Yan Sang is going! If you haven’t seen it already – check out my documentation of the beginning of my weight loss journey with Eu Yan Sang here.

To be really honest, everything is panning out even better than I dared to expect… I’m feeling quite delirious typing this because I’ve been in better health these days than I have in the last 2 years!! And my progress is coming along quite nicely, so I am very pleased and proud of myself. Like I’ve said before, I wasn’t quite sure how much Acupuncture could help me with my weight woes, or overall health, but let me explain my first-hand experience of what it was like to get poked with 20+ needles and zapped with electricity, twice weekly, for the past 2 months. I promise you everything I write here is my true testimony, I’ll tell you everything good about it, and also about the few negative points you need to know about. :)

— What improvement / changes in your health have you noticed after 2 months of acupuncture treatment?
First of all, I feellll great.

I’ve started wearing jeans again – can you believe it? I’m in minimal make up in the above btw, just in case you thought I looked funny.. which I suppose I do :3

I couldn’t wear jeans for the longest time because I couldn’t find any that fit me nicely.. now I actually fit normal pants, yay. This picture was taken just yesterday. (Note: I wrote this post in early July) 

AT MY LARGEST, I used to wear a freaking UK size 16 for dresses. At that point in time, it didn’t seem so big. *facepalm* I just told myself I was big boned, and structured differently from other girls. Somewhere along the way I wisened up and realized I was terribly mistaken, and that this wasn’t just about whether I was confident being myself any more. It’s gotten past that stage and has developed into a full blown health problem.

Now, I can happily say I wear a UK size 10 for most dresses. ♥
Being lighter and fitter means it’s easier to find clothes that fit ya (most clothes in Singapore are sized super small), I don’t get exhausted from doing certain activities as easily… I find that generally I have more energy and spunk in me, and especially since I’ve been exercising more regularly and watching what I eat, my overall health has improved leaps and bounds!

This is Physician Yang taking my pulse, calculating how many times my heart beats per minute, during my first trip to Eu Yan Sang’s clinic in Hougang months ago. 

She told me in a concerned tone that my heart rate was abnormally high, about 116 beats per minute – which means I had a weak heart. My heart needed to pump many more times a minute to make sure enough oxygen gets to the organs in my body, and because of my weak heart, I become out of breath and tire easily. She reckons this is so because I used to exercise so little and eat foods that are oily and high in fat. A normal pulse rate is usually about 70-100, and people who are athletically trained have rates about 40-60 per minute. Of course, I got worried… A weak heart at 20 years old?!?! Are you kidding me??? I don’t want to die early!! I have so many things left to do. Although I appeared calm on the outside, I panicked silently. I told myself I HAVE to start taking my health seriously, I’m a grown up now, my own health is something my mother cannot help me look after any more…

So with continuous treatment from Eu Yan Sang, and making it a point to exercise more often, after a month I went back for one of my sessions and Physician Yang happily informed me that my heart rate is now down to about 82 beats per minute. It has been steadily decreasing since my first treatment. This is a significant improvement from the 100+ beats per minute now – my heart rate is actually healthy and normal!! It only took one month’s worth of efforts… I breathed a huge sigh of relief. In the past, doing a bit of exercise made my heart pound like crazy and I got very light headed – probably not enough oxygen to my brain. Felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM it screamed, begging me to stop, “I can take this no more!! I’m going into cardiac arrest in 3, 2…”

Now I can run, jog, do sit ups and moderate exercise with a fair amount of ease again. It’s a vicious cycle, really. When you don’t exercise for a long time, the next time you attempt to, you’ll feel like you’re going to die, just like I did. BUT if you force yourself to slowly introduce regular exercising into your life again, it gets easier and less painful every time you do it.

Taking charge of my health has been the best thing I’ve done in the whole of 2012 (besides a lot of awesome cakes!!!)

— How many kilograms have you shed since your first treatment?

I just weighed myself, and although I won’t tell you just yet how heavy I weigh (you’ll find out soon enough anyway lol) I have lost a total of.……….. *drum roll* 4.2kg so far!!! ^___^ *throws confetti*

 It probably doesn’t sound like much, to you it’s just a number “4″… but to me, it means downsizing my clothes size, looking less flabby, feeling less sluggish and being more confident. Eh, in 2 months or so 4kg is not bad hor, considering I didn’t go on a crazy fad diet, take any risky slimming pills or exercised everyday! I’d still like to lose more until I reach a healthy weight, and since my treatment hasn’t ended yet, I will update you guys the final weight loss count in the third post, after I’ve completed my whole course.


— If you’ve been exercising and watching your diet, what makes you think acupuncture treatment from Eu Yan Sang helped you lose the weight, and not the lesser food intake / increased physical activity?

Good question. How do I know it works? Let me break it down into different points for you.

• Hips Don’t Lie

Before I started on this treatment, I’ve already been trying to lose weight. In fact, I lost about 5kg on my own through dieting from my heaviest point up until before I started Eu Yan Sang. It was so much more difficult to do it on my own. However, I realized the weight loss didn’t appear significantly in any particular areas, but rather, I only shrunk in overall size generally. Since beginning my acupuncture treatment, amazingly enough my hips specifically have shrunk A WHOLE LOT. Physician Yang measured me the other day, around the hips area I lost a whopping 10+ cm.

Before, they were HUUGGEEEE… Now, they’re just… big. Lol. But I was amazed to see my hips go from HUGE to Big because I have only ever seen my hips increase in size – never in my life have I seen it become smaller. That was the first thing my boyfriend pointed out to me after 10 sessions of acupuncture – “Hey, your hips have gotten a lot smaller!” That totally made my week. :D

I know my acupuncture treatment was responsible for the reduction of my hips because she inserts these super long needles into my hips – 2 of them on each hip! They’re almost twice as long compared to the normal short ones used on my tummy. Don’t be intimidated, just because they’re longer doesn’t mean they’re more painful. Considering my hips are 99% fats, most of the time I don’t feel much. 
Even though I’ve been exercising, I have not done anything to tone up my hips area.. I would think love handles are one of the most difficult parts to get rid of because there’s not exactly a lot of muscles you can work there to burn the fats off, so I’m convinced acupuncture is really effective for targeting specific problem areas. Of course, I’m not attributing all my weight loss to the treatment, and discrediting my diet and exercise. Watching what I ate and making an effort to exercise made a massive difference as well.

Me in my exercise outfit about to hit the gym last month! Not meaning to say the last time I went to the gym was last month… I just don’t normally take pics of myself gymming :P 

• Maintenance 

I have to admit, as hard as I tried.. during these 2 months plus, some days (and weeks) I completely failed at my weight loss routine. On average, I’d exercise at least twice a week, and limit my soda / sweet drinks intake to 2 a week, but some days I would just pig out, succumb and go to a buffet, or get so busy / lazy / tired I didn’t exercise at all for the whole week. *hangs head in shame*…. I TRIEDDD. To my surprise, however, instead of putting on weight like I normally would, the acupuncture has helped me MAINTAIN my weight, keeping it at a constant. Judging by the way I ate some days, I’m pretty sure the weighing scale would have gone up if not for the acupuncture treatment increasing my metabolism rate.

If I have a big meal before I go for acupuncture, I 100% always need to poo straight after my treatment is done!!! Like I’d be running out of the treatment room to the toilet. This is probably due to acupuncture’s effect of increasing bowel movement (I know, TMI :P) and reduce water retention. As such I did feel like I needed to pee more often!!

• A natural appetite suppressant

Without having to take any risky slimming pills, my appetite has decreased drastically. I feel like it shrank my stomach, quite literally. It takes a lot lesser food for me to get full now. I noticed this only after 3-4 treatment sessions. You have no idea how big my appetite normally is – bigger than my hips, and that’s seriously big, let me tell you. LOL. I’m very happy coz I get to save a lot of money on food :) I used to go for expensive buffets and extravagant meals ALL the time! These days I’m happy with just having an apple for breakfast, tofu for lunch and fish for dinner. Now, having said all these wonderful things about acupuncture, I have to stress it’s NOT a miracle treatment… It really does what it says it does – helps you manage your weight. If your eating habits are still spiralling out of control all the time, and you don’t put in any effort on your part, then the effects of the acupuncture will be greatly lessened. But if you’ve tried losing weight without acupuncture before, like me, then you will realize how much it truly helps you on your journey.

— What habits did you have to change, other than going for Eu Yan Sang treatments?

Changing my diet, completely. It absolutely killed me to go on a low-carb diet, because I love carbohydrates to heaven and back. My favorite food is pasta. I love linguine, spaghetti, penne, fettucine, creamy, tomato, pesto, ANYTHING PASTA. My second favorite food is potatoes. I love potato salad, baked potato, roasted potatoes… ok you get my drift. *stomach growling*

One of my ideal dinners I cooked some time ago – home made rosti (a potato pancake) with lots of smoked salmon and sour cream. That much potato is SO fattening (but yummy)!!! My diet change started really slowly, and painfully. From drinking sodas almost everyday, I limited myself to 4 times a week. Then slowly, 2 times a week. I had to cut down from having pasta at least twice a week to eventually none at all. I CANNOT remember the last time I had pasta or a whole can of soft drink….. *emotional* Excuse me, I think I have tears in my eyes. *sniff* Tears of sadness, and also, tears of pride for myself.

BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT.

Every time I don’t eat carbs, I drop the most weight. The past week I’ve been very strict with myself and have seen an amazing improvement.. it makes me so happy! Even without exercising, I’ve dropped a full kilo and a half.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m eating rabbit food or shit food – I’m still eating nutritious and healthy food, just not eating a lot of carbohydrates.

These have been my type of meals recently, all home cooked myself – spicy kimchi soup with spinach, cabbage, golden mushrooms, tofu, cuttlefish balls.. salad with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, onions and italian dressing… creamy mushroom soup… grilled dory fish…

I highly recommend anyone who’s trying to lose weight to QUIT the sweet drinks (especially bubble tea omg so damn fattening!) and cut down on carbs. The difference is pretty amazing. Low carbs doesn’t mean NO carbs – have your carbs, you need it to live, but in very moderate amounts. I try to only have a carby meal either for breakfast or lunch, so I have enough time to digest it before I go to bed and it doesn’t turn into fat cells.

Feel like snacking or having dessert? Have some grapes, ditch the potato chips or ice cream!!! My physician has honestly been a true angel this whole time, gently encouraging me, giving me exercise and dieting tips, never one pressuring me too much but instead always pushing me at a comfortable steady pace for better results. Thanks to her constant support (and monitoring hurhur) I’ve been eating a lot more fruit and healthier foods these days, it keeps me sane when I get hungry in between meal times, and even though they’re full of sugar, they’re natural sugars that are much better for your body than artificial sweeteners and chemicals found in soft drinks, desserts, or anything artificially made that’s sweet.

Exercising more often goes without saying of course – surely you don’t need me to tell you how to exercise. Just skip some rope, jump around like a monkey, run on the spot, go the gym, go swimming… do anything. For me, I’ve been doing badminton playing (I’m pretty good at it I think hehehe) and hitting the gym! During the days I pig out more, I try to make up for it with more exercise. If I’ve been eating a lot lesser, I will exercise less vigorously. Overdoing exercise can cause harm to your body especially if you weren’t terribly fit to begin with.

— If I’m not overweight or looking to lose weight, can I still benefit from Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Anyone who is interested in a holistic approach to total health & well-being can seek TCM treatment. TCM treats a range of conditions from acute to chronic illnesses, such as asthma, dermatological conditions, insomnia…. the list goes on. You can find out more by visiting one of Eu Yan Sang’s clinics for a consultation. Here is a list of the all the clinics. Recently my mum has been having some leg pains, so I brought her to see Physician Yang…

TCM acupuncture is well known for treating nagging muscle aches, tense areas, or even increasing the rate of recovery for some injuries, so I hope they can ease my mother’s discomfort after a few sessions.. she’s already gone for her first session and said she noticed an improvement in the pain – it’s lessened by quite a fair bit.


— Do tell, what are the less favorable points about your experience with your treatment so far? Surely it’s not totally perfect?

Nothing is perfect. But as weight loss approaches go, this is as healthy as it is EVER going to get, besides strenuous exercising and dieting by yourself (duh, if you can do all of that alone, then you don’t need this what). There are certain things that I find is important to know if you’re interested in trying the same treatment as mine:

• Some times, you’ll get bruises on your body. I’ve had several on my stomach and legs already… it’s not very painful, it’s just a little sore when you press on it (like any other bruise) and it goes away within 10 days, sometimes less than a week.
“Since the needles are very fine in diameter, acupuncture generally does not cause bleeding. If a small capillary is punctured—and capillaries are everywhere—it may cause a tiny spot of blood to emerge. Similarly, slight bruising may occur, particularly in those who have blood vessels that are fragile. These are mild reactions and no cause for concern.” – source

• For your acupuncture treatment to be effective, you should go for sessions at least twice a week. Even more preferably, thrice a week. Not everybody can commit this sort of time to travel down to the clinic and lie there for a full hour, twice weekly.. However, acupuncture to treat other illnesses may not require as frequent visits, for example my mother is advised to only go about 3-5 times in total, an estimated time frame they think she will recover by.
• Acupuncture, obviously involves… needles. If you have a needle phobia, obviously it’s not really going to work out. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage people who are afraid of needles to man up and give it a try if they’ve a health problem that won’t seem to go away. The needles are so fine, and not painful most of the time, it is nothing like taking an injection at all.
• Traditional Chinese Medicine is damn bitter. LOL :(

For more detailed information about Eu Yan Sang, their Traditional Chinese Medicine practices and clinics, visit this link to learn more!

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As mentioned in my previous post, Thye Hua Kwan is Eu Yan Sang’s adopted beneficiary as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, and they are now gathering donations for the non-profit organization by placing donation boxes in their clinic outlets.

So if you see one of these during your clinic consultation or treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach into your wallet and give a little something!! All donations go towards Thye Hua Kwan. What’s more, Eu Yan Sang Clinics will top up an additional 10% of all the donations collected. The boxes will be in clinics until the end of the year.  Your efforts will go a long, long way, I’m sure. :)

xoxo,
Jess

Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program

Weight gain.

Something that I don’t talk much about, that some others seem to love to.

Well, now it’s my turn to talk about it. This is not just going to be a robotic & commercialized sponsored post, this is a teenage girl (have to use this term as much as I can before I turn 20 in September!!) who has been struggling with weight issues opening up about her first hand experiences.. and I know a lot of females out there will be able to relate with me when I talk about these problems. Look, I know I’ve gained weight. Some people seem to think I’m in complete denial just because I don’t go “OMG I hate my love handles, I hate my thunder thighs and hulk arms, I hate my muffin top, I hate myself, I hate being fat!!! Must slim down!!!” and because I say “I still like being myself.” I do. That does not mean I like, or approve of being overweight. Don’t be so narrow minded. I have huge full length mirrors in replacements as walls in my living room (not kidding.) I can clearly see the difference in my body mass and width since I first started blogging 5 years ago. That’s the thing about having a blog… it’s easy to keep track of what has happened, because you have photographic proof in a chronological timeline.

From years ago, when I was slimmer… and used to wear bikinis. You don’t need me to post a side-by-side-before-and-after-photo to notice the difference. No photoshop or tweaking here, just sucking in of belly. Ahah! Some of you Singaporean girls must be thinking, “WHAT?! This was you when you were slimmer? Still fat leh!”

I *have* been skinnier since I’ve started blogging, but didn’t use to take a lot of full length shots back then, so these are the only ones that show enough skin. I have never really been skinny, just ranging from healthy weight / normal sized to larger frames. I know a lot of people use big bones as an excuse but I REALLY do have big bones FML.. from wide hip bones to wide shoulders to a broad back to large wrists. So it’s impossible for me to look skinny anyway.

I have openly made jokes about my weight on my blog, and always publicly discuss the reasoning and effects of it on my Formspring, when people ask. I acknowledge it silently, and understand the health & social effects.. I’m not stupid. I’ve just never really done anything about it because I couldn’t be arsed, and I was comfortable being complacent. There’s no nicer or simpler way to say it. I knew I was gaining weight, but I didn’t do anything about it. I consciously chose not to. Partly because food helped me cope with my emotions, so I knew if I stopped eating so much, I’d feel worse emotionally, although I’d look better.

Despite my expanding width of late, I didn’t see a need to hate myself for it, I mean what’s there to be so upset about? I knew perfectly all the solutions to fix my problems, I just didn’t have the willpower to do it. It’s not like I had cancer. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t worry about my problems as long as I knew how to fix it. And deep down inside, I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d fix my eating and lifestyle habits, but the time was not now (back then). I needed to focus my energy, efforts and time on other things instead. Call me melodramatic, but I believe a lot of people who gain weight rapidly in a short period of time must be going through something difficult. Nobody in their right mind just wakes up one day and decides to self-destruct by eating their own weight in food. If you’re a real glutton, you’re born a glutton, and these people are usually obese since childhood. I’ve actually been expanding and shrinking since I was a kid… Fat when I was in kindergarten, slimmed down by the time I was Primary 4, gained some weight after that but lost it again after I entered Secondary School. Then as I was leaving high school, I gained the weight right back. So you could say my weight fluctuates a lot.


“How did you gain weight recently?”.. some people ask.

I eat my feelings. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m upset, I eat more. When I’m stressed out, I eat the most. (Explains the weight gain after Primary 4 and nearing my O’levels, damn stressful. Haha) Last year was probably one of the most stressful years of my life, because I’d just gotten my cake business up and running, there were so many obstacles to overcome, and just so much work to do. I worked so hard last year, that all too often during a working day, I’d skip breakfast & lunch, then binge on a huge dinner after all my work was done coz I’d be so damn hungry. On weekends especially, I would work until 1am in the morning, and then feel famished afterwards. Believe it or not, my job makes me hungry all the time, because 1) I was working with food. Even though I didn’t necessarily want to eat cupcakes, being constantly surrounded by food makes you think about food. and 2) My job was a lot of manual labor. I don’t lounge on a computer chair and reply emails all day (I do that at night) a lot about cake making is scrambling around, cake decorating is not serene and peaceful like an artist drawing a painting. It’s chaotic, stressful, and hunger-inducing. Please don’t laugh at me, I’m telling the truth, lol. I was legitimately hungry all the time… or so I thought. I’d recently discovered your stomach is like a muscle you can train, if you eat less for a week, by the 2nd week you’ll find you don’t need as much to get full. The fact that I didn’t go out often because of my work, and didn’t need to leave the house to travel to school / work like any other normal person also meant that my physical activity was limited. Think of it as being a housewife… how many housewives do you know put on weight after being assigned to a full time job contained in the house? There just isn’t enough physically stimulating activities. If you ask a housewife to go to the gym, she would most likely say, “Siao ah! Where got time? So tired la.” 


“Do you know the consequences of being overweight?”

I can honestly tell you the heaviest consequence of being overweight is being relentlessly taunted and teased by people. You can be stupid, ugly, poor, or promiscuous. But if you’re fat, the only insult people will ever bother using on you first is Fat. Diabetes, high blood pressure, lethargy, heart failure… Yes, those are very common health risks with obesity, but the FIRST thing that’s going to hit you real hard is the way people react to it. Especially when you’re a teenage girl living in Singapore. People in Singapore seem to be allergic to fatness. They look at fat people like they’re ogres. In Singapore, quite simply, if you’re not thin, you’re fat. There is no in between in their opinion. Even when I WASN’T fat (see: earlier years in blogging), the word “Fat” was still constantly being used on me. Moral of the story? If you’re fat, either lose the weight and stay in Singapore, or migrate to another country where people of varying sizes are actually socially accepted. Since I have to stay in Singapore because of my business, I’ve decided to shed the pounds. Lol, just kidding, I’m also actually really concerned about my health. Now that business is good, work flow is easier to handle and I’m (slightly) less stressed out, I finally have the time and enough mental energy to channel that into living healthier. Being healthy isn’t a past time, it’s a full time commitment.

Now, thank goodness I have a reliable friend to help me along in this arduous journey, because God knows I couldn’t do this all by myself. Maybe this was the miracle I’ve been waiting for all this while.

To give me that push I really needed.

So you’re probably thinking… “Eu Yan Sang? Isn’t that the place my mum always gets her Bird’s Nest from that sells Traditional Chinese Medicine – they have weight loss programs?”

Yep. You’ll find out all about that later on, but first, let me introduce Eu Yan Sang to those who haven’t heard of it before. Besides selling awesome tasting quality bird’s nest that is good for you, they also have clinics practising Traditional Chinese Medicine!

Eu Yan Sang first opened Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics in Singapore in 2002. They are now 10 years old, woopie! 10 years of providing good health to Singaporeans. They have some celebration plans which you can partake in, which will be elaborated more at the end of this post. ***

Since their opening, they’ve gained a steady reputation and popularity with Singaporeans who seek to treat acute and chronic conditions, as TCM has always been viewed by Asian people as a more “holistic” approach to health care than Western Medicine. At Eu Yan Sang’s TCM clinics, their practitioners are meticulously selected and licensed by the TCM Practitioners’ Board. Treatments are customized to the individuals’ body with the aim of bringing one’s internal system back to a balanced state. (Like balancing the yin and yang… what chinese movies always talk about!!)

Here I am, excitedly and nervously signing up for my first treatment session & consultation with them, at their outlet in Hougang Mall. Honestly, stepping into the clinic… I had NO idea what to expect. I have never tried TCM before. Could this be the answer to my flabby woes? I, for one, used to be very skeptical about TCM. “Sure or not?”, with raised eyebrows, would be my tone if someone had told me that a TCM treatment worked for them. The first thing that struck me was how immaculately clean the clinic was, and the friendly receptionist and physician made me feel more at ease. I filled out a form containing all my particulars, and was led into the consultation room to meet my physician for the first time.

I sat down, and thus began my first consultation with Eu Yan Sang. My physician, Ms Yang Wei, greeted me with a smile, then began the standard procedure of asking a whole bunch of questions so that she may gain more insight about my general health. Unlike Western clinics, TCM physicians will not just ask you, “So, what’s wrong with you today?” and then prescribe you some antibiotics to battle the virus. TCM is about understanding your body’s condition and achieving a full body kinda zen. It is not just about that particular bout of flu that you’re dealing with, but rather, what is wrong with the rest of your body so that your body is not able to fight the virus on it’s own? To fix the overall problem will bring overall wellness and help keep future illnesses at bay, instead of only offering a temporary situation. That is the best I could phrase it.

Physician Yang asked me a lot of varying questions about my health that made me question myself for a bit. For example, she asks, “How many times do you exercise a week?” I look at her and go, “none.” Then she says, “How about in a month?”

And I say… “maybe once?”

To listen to yourself address these problems is sort of a wakening experience. No wonder I keep falling sick! Exercise and a healthy diet keeps you well.

This… Was probably when she asked me to do a urine test and to collect my own urine sample in the nearest bathroom. Not the most fun thing to do, but necessary. I believe this is standard procedure and all patients have to do so! See what I mean by they really wanna find out what’s going on with your WHOLE body?

This was probably when she asked me whether I had constipation probems and what type of craps I take.. whether they were big, small, long or short. Blank face. LOL.

Afterwards, my height and weight was taken, BMI calculated, then we addressed my weight problems, and my targeted goals. She asked me what my ideal weight was. I truthfully told her I have no ideal weight, which I think sort of confused my physician. I don’t wish to be skinny per se. I honestly just want to be healthier in general, which weight loss will contribute to.

Of course, if I lose 10 kilos, hurrah! But even if I only lose a couple of kilos through this treatment, I’d be happy. Knowing that I am putting in effort and making a change in my lifestyle to live better is already good enough for me, instant flash results are not what I am after. I didn’t put on the weight in only a few months, I cannot expect to lose it all & more within a few months.. that wouldn’t be good for my body either. I don’t wanna set highly optimistic targets for myself and then get all upset if I don’t hit them. I’m just doing to do the best I can, and whatever happens, happens. I like how this Weight Management Program by Eu Yan Sang does not promise over optimistic results, which can appear very gimmicky when other slimming centers do it. “Lose 10kg in X months!!! Guaranteed or your money back!” …and then you don’t get your money back.

You can’t guarantee anything when it comes to the human body. Every body reacts to treatments differently.

I was thoroughly briefed about the treatment that I was about to start on before being led to the procedure room.

I will be going through a total of 20 treatments, over a course of three months. Acupuncture Treatment and Chinese Herbal Medicine will be used to help me target my problem areas and increase metabolism rate, under the guidance of Physician Yang.


“What is Acupuncture, how does it work for weight management?” 

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin at different points in the body. It is thought that acupuncture works by balancing the flow of energy—called qi or chi—that moves through the body’s pathways. Acupuncture is believed to treat many ailments in the body, including addiction, depression, immune dysfunction, digestive disorders and pains such as migraine headaches. Acupuncture can also be used to tackle weight loss by treating multiple areas of the body that, if out of balance, could contribute to weight gain.

Acupuncture needles inserted into certain points on the body can aid weight-loss efforts by boosting metabolism, improving digestion, reducing cravings, curbing appetite, improving the way nutrients are used within the body and regulating hormones related to obesity, says Oz. Acupuncture can also aid a person in recognizing when he is full and improve his liver function, which aids in digestion, nutrient processing and fat breakdown. (source of information)


(not my hand modeling this)

The needles are extremely thin, and completely sterile. Here’s a pack of the needles on a hand, so you can roughly gauge the size. They don’t insert it all the way in – just partially! If you visit shabby & unlicensed clinics, they may use needles that aren’t sterile, and who knows what sort of nasty infections that might carry… Or even worse, poke you in places that would cause severe pain. I wouldn’t consider doing this treatment anywhere else, because I trust Eu Yan Sang. In fact, I have never considered doing weight loss programs ANYWHERE else, because I don’t trust their gimmicky methods. I am also not willing to consume slimming pills, every time you try to take the short cut and easy way out by cutting corners, you will pay in another way. TCM, I believe, is as natural and non-invasive as it gets for weight management.

Non-invasive? When there are needles going through my skin? Am I for real?

Yes. Acupuncture is also effective in aiding muscle aches, stiff back problems, etc… If it works for all of that, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for slimming. And instead of laboratory-produced chemicals jam packed in slimming pills that might cause you brain & liver damage or other health problems, acupuncture done properly, is pretty much risk-free.

I know you have a burning question.

“JESSSS!!! Does it hurt? That looks sooo painful! OMG needles!”

Yeah, to tell you the truth, I’m no fan of needles either. I *almost* backed out of this, until I read all the positive reviews online by people who have successfully lost weight through acupuncture. I was breaking out in cold sweat and mildly shivering before the acupuncture treatment started. I was advised by Physician Yang to relax my muscles, because if my muscles are tensed and stiff, it’s going to hurt even more.

So…. Does it hurt? Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it? It’s a needle going through your flesh.

But is it bearable pain? It is. Every one’s pain threshold differs, so for me, it’s bearable although I do wince and cringe when needles are being inserted into my sensitive areas (mainly my stomach) but for other areas such as my arms and leg, some times I don’t feel anything at all. The sensation is always different with each treatment session, sometimes you will feel pain in this area, sometimes close to zero…  It’s not as painful as an injection, because the needles are so much finer. Although you do get poked much more times than a single injection, lol.

IS IT WORTH IT??? I’d confidently say yessss with a *FIST PUMP*. You can pay the price of some pain and slimming down or you can pay the price of remaining overweight or being flabby in areas you don’t wanna be. You choose your path.

It’s not as bad as you think. The pain only lasts for a few seconds when it’s being inserted, then after that, it doesn’t hurt any more. Since you’re meant to leave the needles in for approximately 50 minutes, I did manage to fall asleep in this awkward position, amazingly enough.

They have different sized needles for varying positions – I had super long needles inserted into my hips because I have serious love handles!!! It doesn’t mean that the longer the needle, the more it hurts. Normally I don’t even feel the needles being inserted into my hips, I’m guessing because it’s mostly fat content.

A heating lamp with infrared rays was placed over my tummy area, to cook my fats. Just kidding, I’m not entirely sure of what it does or the science behind it, but it is to aid the acupuncture treatment to be more effective. And it keeps my belly warm as I fall asleep.

These clips are attached to the needles, which is connected to a machine that sends electrical currents to my tummy stimulate the acupuncture treatment even more! It’s a rather tingling sensation. It’s not painful as long as the current is not too strong.

With each electrical shock wave it sends to my tummy, I feel like my flesh is “jumping / twitching” just the slightest. It takes some getting used to, but you’ll be so distracted by the needles poking out of your body, I doubt you’ll think of this much.

So once all of this is set up, I am left alone to lie down and wait for 50 minutes for the treatment session to be over. Bring an iPod so it’s not terribly boring and so you don’t keep looking at the needles…. When the 50 minutes was up, Physician Yang came back into the room to remove the needles and surprisingly, there wasn’t any blood or significantly visible marks where the needle was inserted. It’s not like an injection where your muscle feels sore for the next few days. In a matter of ten minutes, I was up and about continuing with the rest of my day without any inconveniences.

After my treatment, I was given a mini tour of the medicine room to show me how my medicine was being prepared! Look at all those different jars of Chinese herbs!!!

A special concoction of herbs is prepared specially according to each patient’s unique needs, and weighed to precision. It’s not like Western Medicine, where anyone can use anyone else’s paracetamol tablets. This medicine is unique to yourself! The medicine is supposed to help me curb my appetite, etc.

This next part is pretty cool. The powdered, ground up herbs are then sifted into this machine, and in a few seconds, it comes out in accurately packeted individual sachets – so quick & concise.

I was given a week’s supply of medicine, which costs $7.50 a day. I am meant to take two sachets daily, one in the noon and one at night. It tastes like what Chinese medicine usually tastes like…. All kinds of bitter. @_@ But hey, no pain no gain right?

And that, was my first experience of Acupuncture Slimming with Eu Yan Sang. Did it went well? I think so. I actually went home with a smile on my face, despite being poked all over with sharp needles and zapped with electricity. I was so pleased because I was finally doing something about my weight, I saw this as a gateway to wellness. Has my appetite been decreased? Honestly, not really. I don’t think anything will suppress this monster appetite of mine. I still feel hungry all the time. BUT, I have noticed it takes lesser food for me to become full. Perhaps it’s a mental effect, I don’t know. Needles are a pretty good way of restricting yourself from eating. Here’s how I think: “If I eat this chocolate cake, that means 20 more needles will have to be inserted into me. I don’t think it’s worth it.”

And that, is a fantastic deterrent, my friends. Anyway, how are the results like? I’m still in relatively early stages of my treatment, so I can’t tell you for sure. You will find out in my next blog post though, for I will be doing 3 posts in total – documenting the beginning process, the mid process and the end results!!!!! Wish me lots of luck, yes? My next update should be in a few weeks. Actually I can already see some results but I can’t reveal exactly everything in one blog post, plus it’s fun to keep you guys in suspense.

I will be happy to answer any questions regarding Eu Yan Sang’s Weight Loss Program in my blog comments section, or on Formspring. I know a lot of girls out there are desperately looking for “safe and quick” ways to slim down… After having tried this treatment myself, I genuinely believe it works, otherwise I wouldn’t have written such a lengthy and detailed post about it. How much and well it’d work for you, that is a different question altogether. Perhaps even better than it will for me? :) Of course, you can’t still eat like a pig and then expect Acupuncture Slimming to work wonders. It’s a treatment, not a cheat code. You still have to watch your diet, exercise more often, do your part as well.

I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress in my next post. I’m so excited for what is to come…. Hopefully only good things!!!!!!

Btw, if you’re too excited by this idea and cannot wait for me to show you my end results before trying it yourself, you can visit the Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic that I went to here:

90 Hougang Ave 10
#04-19 Hougang Mall
Singapore 538766)
Tel: 6385 5969

- 10 sessions: $533.60 (includes consultation and acupuncture)
- 20 sessions: $1,044 (includes consultation and acupuncture)

They have a lot of outlets all over Singapore, in the east, west, central etc. To view a list of outlets visit this link.

Call their clinic hotline: 6225 1887 for enquires / email enquiry@ihealth.com.sg OR contact the respective clinics to fix appointments for first consultation.

——————————————

*** As I was telling you guys before, Eu Yan Sang turns 10 this year!!!

Their first clinic opened in South Bridge Road in 2002. To celebrate 10 years of quality TCM healthcare, Eu Yan Sang has appointed THK as their beneficiary. Some background information: Since 1978, THK, a non-profit voluntary welfare organization, provided both institutional and community-based services in social, health, emotional, educational, disabled, financial support and aid to all people. ♥

From now till the end of the year, THK donation boxes will be placed in Eu Yan Sang clinics, all donations will go to THK. Eu Yan Sang Clinics has also pledged to donate an additional 10% of the total sum collected to THK – how about that!!! So please, if you see these donation boxes at their clinics, it’d be nice if you could drop some loose change into it, you don’t need to give a big amount to make a big difference.

This month (July 2012), you can also do your part to Go Green by bringing your own bag to Eu Yan Sang clinics! The bags in their clinics used to contain medication are earth-friendly, biodegradable ones, but less is more, so the lesser, the merrier. If patients request for bags, they can get one by donating $1 for each bag used. All proceeds will go towards THK. Everybody wins in the end ;)

P.S - Eu Yan Sang is having some mini contests weekly on their website! Head on over to this link to answer a new question (most likely regarding Traditional Chinese Medicine or Eu Yan Sang itself) every week, and stand a chance to win a goodie pack worth more than $32 – which includes ginseng, a voucher to get a complimentary consultation at their clinics… What are you waiting for?!

xoxo,
Jess
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