At the beginning of every new year, I have always set my health resolution. Including this year. I want to get fitter and eat healthier. Somewhat, I will usually be on track on this resolution until the Chinese New Year comes.
For me, Chinese New Year always started with a big feast: The Reunion Dinner! I will always look forward to enjoying the dinner, especially when my parents serve up some of my favourite dishes. They are simply impossible to resist. In addition, I get to enjoy the reunion dinner twice. Once at my parent’s place and another at my in-law’s place.
This will be followed by 2 days of Chinese New Year holiday! A good time to relax, a good excuse myself from running, and of course a wonderful time to enjoy all the Chinese New Year snacks!
The temptation from eating all the bak kwa, pineapple tarts, kueh lapis is simple irresistible. Once I start one piece, the desire to eat the next piece and the one after is so strong. I discover another sinful secret; if you pair them together with some soft drinks, it could sometimes be so heavenly.
At this juncture, I will tell myself this Chinese saying “今朝有酒，今朝醉”. Why not just cast aside the new year health resolutions just for a few days and enjoy while I can.
After 3 days of consistent feasting, reality usually starts to hit on the third day. My body starts to feel sluggish and it seems like there is an additional kilogram of my weight gained somewhere. The regrets of indulging with so much food gives me a bad feeling. This kind of feeling can sometimes make you feel guilty and makes you think that you have failed in your health resolution. You should just give up.
This is the pivoting moment where your thoughts will determine the success to your health’s resolution. If you decide now to give up now, then your new year resolution it will be gone for the year.
I have discovered that best way to keep up with my health’s resolution is to simply restart my running. To have any success in my goals, it will require the building up of a consistent habit. The Chinese New Year season have broken the habit that I build in January. The only way back is to build up this habit again.
No matter how bad I feel, or how much I have eaten, if I can just put on my running shoes NOW and head out to run, I will still be on track on my fitness goals. It does not matter what distance that I run, even if it is just 100m, if I can just head out to run now, I can break the cycle of failure. I will be on the way to restart and rebuild back my fitness habit.
So, what is the damage done?
I have a soft spot for pineapple tarts. Especially those homemade ones which are only available during the Chinese New Year period. I think I might have gobbled down some 20 pieces of them during this Chinese New Year Period. I wonder how much I must run to burn them all off. I did some research online, and it states that for every 4 pieces of pineapple tarts contains 373 calories. Thus the 20 Pieces that I ate will be a total of 1,492 calories!
How much distance do I have to run then?
Based on my age and weight (the weight I assume here is before the Chinese New Year, just to make myself feel better…hahaha), running at a 6min/km pace for 60mins (or 10km run) I could burn around 577 calories.
Thus taking 1,492 calories divided by 577 times 10, I will have to run at least a 26km to burn them all off! I cannot imagine those innocents looking little pineapple tarts could be so high in calories! Just 20 pieces of them is equivalent to a whopping 26km run!
Here, I have only account for the pineapple tarts. How about the soft drinks, bah Kwa, fish skins etc!!! I think it will probably take me at least 2 weeks of good, consistent workout to recover from the damage.
Is it worthwhile?
Is it worthwhile to indulged for 3 days and being set back by 2 weeks in my health goal? To me, Chinese New Year comes once a year and I console myself that it is ok to take a step back. I try to be positive and tell myself that:
“Because I train hard so I can eat more, and because I eat more, I can train more”
However, the most important thing that I learned is that no matter what had happened, the only effective thing to do now is to look forward. I believe just by getting back immediately to on my fitness goal is the only way to make it all worthwhile!