Bulging Enemy

“One killer heels… 2 killer heels, 3…4… 12 !”

An occasional walk along Shenton Way is a great session to people-watch. Observing fashionable office threads was essential to do my wardrobe revamp. Ever since I stepped into the corporate workforce, office attire has taken over my existing wardrobe of sundresses and jeans.

One noticeable commonality was that most bear the same tummy bulge, regardless of age. The size differs and is often referred to the number of pregnancy months. Never let a woman know that she’s tagged to such a number, no however how small.

It’s no wonder, considering the amount of time spent seated behind the office desk. Many women lament the fact that at the end of a hard day’s work, it is indeed most disheartening to acknowledge the fact that their tummy wasn’t getting any smaller. Due to lack of exercise (where is the time for that?!), even the thighs and butt have surrendered to the effects of gravity.

My ultimate goal

I, like many others, can attest to that. Though the weighing scales states status quo, my jeans certainly disagree. Office lunches of char siew rice and mee goreng have exacted their revenge. It didn’t help that routine morning jogs have dwindled to a minimal.

Now that explains why soup dishes are extremely popular with ladies. Many turn to lighter lunches. Curry and buttery sauces are out.  Did you know that the calorie intake for a bowl of dry wanton mee is double that of wanton soup noodles? I had no idea that sauces pack a fat deal of calories. In the past, an extra spoonful of sauce seemed insignificant and I used to drench my rice with loads of that. If only I knew…

Worry not. Yong tau foo and fish slice soup are excellent choices to lower the guilt. Note: fried fish slice version does not count. Healthy sandwiches with mayo lite from Subway are a great option too. Otherwise, you can always fall back on packed low fat soba noodles and salad with non-fat dressing. (A generous squeeze of lemon juice and dash of salt, pepper and balsamic vinaigrette serves as a delicious dressing)

Dessert? Forget it. And if all else fails, perhaps we could go the Qi Yu Wu way – the MediaCorp hunk rids his meat guilt by filtering with warm water for oil removal!

Look what I found out from a long time corporate lady. She calls this The Office Tummy Squeeze:

These tummy exercises tenses your abs, which firms and strengthens them, and because you’re just tensing and relaxing muscles, these tummy exercises can be done at your desk at work, zoning off in the passenger seat, waiting in line at the grocery store…practically anytime. No one can tell and it’s as simple as breathing! Here’s how:

1.    Exhale.

2.    Suck in your stomach to the max.

3.    Hold for about 15 seconds, then relax and breathe in.

4.    Repeat as often as you can.

5.    Actually do the above steps!

Here comes the dreaded S word – Stress is a factor! This is a big one. When you are under stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol. In turn, this hormone causes your liver to make excess sugar that your body doesn’t really need. As a result, you begin to feel hungrier and begin to eat more. And guess what…a lot of those calories go straight to your waistline and thighs!

Now we all know that not being able to see your toes while looking down is an aesthetically worrying sign. But it’s the health concerns that should be ringing the alarms bells. Four inches of fat on waistline increases risk of heart problems!

Does this look scarily familiar to you in the mirror?


Do you have any tips for the desk-bound? Do share with us!

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5 responses to “Bulging Enemy

  1. If the office ladies/gents are really serious about slimming down, forget about taking the lift..just take the stairs as often as possible and voila….calories furnace!

    When munching, take smaller and lingering bites so that the brain has the time to tell you when you’re full. 🙂

    • Thanks for the stair-climbing tip. It really is a simple and effective way of burning post lunch calories. The only concern for some office ladies is doing that in their heels.
      What my friend does is to keep an extra pair of presentable flats in her drawer for major walking purposes – be it climbing the stairs or walking from department to department. It’s a lot less stressful on the legs and cuts out the distraction when you minus the ‘click-clack’sound of heels as you hurry along.

      I don’t know about most people, but the quickening pace of heels set my heart beating a notch faster as well !

      Bites : Smaller and slower is definitely the way to go ! We get to appreciate the taste and atmosphere ( if any) more and don’t end up feeling overstuffed after rushing through the meals. Thanks for your advice ! 🙂

  2. Ultimately we should always strive to strike a delicate balance. Maybe we should do what’s relatively painless and yields a relatively high amount of benefits. For example, it may be pretty hard to do a half marathon. All the preparation work in addition to the demanding run plus the post-run trauma and fatigue may not be worth the calories burnt.

    All the comfort food we consume to sooth our flayed bodies is going to render the earlier efforts null and void. In contrast, if we learn to be more discerning when it comes to what we stuff in our guts, it may yield sustainable results over a long term basis. Exercising and eating like crazy at the same time tends to cancel each other out.

    Instead, lets trim the fats off our Chicken. Take an apple in place of a scoop of ice cream. Do a little brisk walking or a light session of swimming instead of settling our bottoms on the couch for hours on end. We humans are creature of habits, once we see the little actions accumulate into tangible benefits; we will be inclined to do that bit more over time.

    A trim and fit body requires such built up mental discipline. With the mental discipline, losing weight is a matter of time and it can be a pleasurable process. Further more, there are always our loved ones to spur us on. In this era whereby we are all well educated and stuffed with weight loss advises all over, we all know these stuff, all it takes to start may be a little motivation and reminder. Some tender loving care surrounding us can only help us to attain our goals.

    Weight loss need not be painful or tiring. Tuck in!

    • Hi ChrisP,

      You’re absolutely right about striking that balance.

      I’ve tried many times in the past when the 5-minute enthusiasm struck, lifting weights or stepping the life out the stair master, only to end up with super-achey muscles and vowing not to do that in a long time.

      Slow and steady will certainly win the race in this case… 🙂

  3. Hello there, I do think you do have a good blog and it is very much alike my niche and I want to exchange links with you. Would you be interested in doing this? Thanks

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