On The Path To Living Healthy – My Fat Story

Are you trying to be a body builder?

Don’t do too heavy weights, you will get so big!

The best way is to use your own body weights. If you use those machines and stop, you will balloon up twice the size you were before!

Stop it, you’re too skinny now!

You look scary now.”

Those are just some of the lines I’ve heard being directed to me lately. Two of them came from two different trainers.

But the award goes to:

Are you on steroids???

WOA, holy cow Batman! Like seriously?! This is my friggin blog so I’m gonna go ahead and said WTF?!

Warning: This post is gonna be long so you’ve been warned! 

The History

Ok first of all, let me get this straight out…I’ve battled my weight issues since eons ago. I wasn’t a fat kid growing up. Actually, I was a fit tomboy girl who climb trees and race my little bicycle every day.

I got fat in Junior High. Hormones? Maybe, but mostly it was from poor diets. My fatness went throughout high school. That tomboy active girl was buried inside the fat awkward girl. That’s why I don’t have that much pictures from my high school days. I hate being photographed with a passion. At my heaviest I was 80 kilos (176 pounds) and for someone who is 165cm (5’5”) I felt like a giant.

After college started, I dropped weights purely from crash diets, instant noodles or ramen noodles alike. Hey, I was living on my own in boarding houses! That plus going to college that 90% girls kinda pushed you to start dieting. In under 3 years I’ve managed to starved myself and dropped to 55 kilos (121lbs), a whooping 25 kilos (55lbs) gone, albeit in the most unhealthy ways.

Crashed diets were a staple back then. Hunger became my best friend just so I can look skinny…looked normal in society eyes. But in my head, I’ve always felt fat even when I was weighing 55 kilos.

My weight went up after I moved to the States and got married, I packed up around 5 kilos (11lbs). Then came pregnancy. Surprisingly, I didn’t gained a ton of weights during my pregnancy.  It wasn’t until post pregnancy that I gained a whole lot of weights.

I turned to food to comfort my loneliness, my unhappiness…so no wonder I gained a lot of weights post pregnancy. Maybe, it got something to do with my undiagnosed post partum depressions too. But living in one of the States where obesity is rampant, I lied to myself and think I’m doing fine. It wasn’t until I came back to live in Jakarta that I realized I had let myself go.

Going through separation and divorce…boy, did I dropped a lot of weights!

I started doing the power walk thing but quit after awhile.

My weights linger between 65 – 70 kilos (143 – 154lbs) during these times. I started my diet of no breakfast other than coffees and no dinner other than papayas. Gosh, I ate so many papayas I should be sick by them now.

My weights yo-yoing around really and I still feel unhappy about it.

The Day My Life Change

My whole life changed the day I decided to join the gym back in April 2012.

Good thing I have a best friend who is a health and gym freak! She’s my true role model, motivator and inspirations. Thanks, girly you know who you are! From her and also Google, I’ve learned so much in the past few months.

Getting fit has become a goal for me. For the first time in my 33 years self, it’s no longer about being skinny. It’s about being strong, lean and healthy. It is a lifestyle changing journey, I’ve been committing myself to this for almost 3 months now so clearly I still have a long way to go. Not only I’ve found a new love – thanks endorphins – of actually working out, sweating-a-ton, I’ve come to love the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness) because it means it’s working and I’ve pushed myself harder.

You’ve turned to be quite a gym freak now, have you?” This comment actually made me laugh.

Yes, I feel happier now more than ever. Physically, I’ve never felt this strong ever. Plus, knowing that I am battling my family’s heritage of type 2 diabetes disease is enough to keep me going strong. I am at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. My father had gangrene last October and lost a toe also 2/3 of skin on his left foot. He’s on the way to a full recovery now but after seeing the horrible horrible things it did to my father, my mother, my grandparents, my aunt…something has to change for me so I at least can minimize the risk it bring for my son.

Because of my father’s illness back in October…I had quit using sugar altogether. Yes, I still use the sweetener for my coffee but that’s it, I’m not much of a sweet tooth and with a long line of diabetic history it’s enough to pushed me to start taking better care of myself.

No longer do I starve myself now. Actually, for the first time in years I can eat dinner and not having to worry about the number on the scale! Making healthier choices has been my way of eating now so I had divorced my diet for good. No longer do I feel jealous of the typical itty bitty-super-petite-skinny girls around me. Why? Call me a snob, but I’m sure they can’t do a 70 kilos (154 lbs) leg press and their body fat counts must be higher than mine.

Indonesians food are famous for its deep fried goodies and coconut milk rich meals and I have been doing pretty good in staying away from these food. We do have a lot of healthier food choices available here so it’s really just picking the right thing, which is something I didn’t know about before. Now I eat red rice, a healthier choice than white rice and tons of veggies also lots of proteins.

Funny how when you are fat, people will make sure you know it from their ‘playful’ yet painful comments, yet when you are actually trying to live a healthy lifestyle they are making negative comments too. But you know what, it’s these negativity that pushed me to do what I’ve been doing even harder.

Even my own mother made a little comment about how crazy I am now to build more lean muscles. I had to explain to her how muscles burn calories and all that. Luckily, she understands it now and just let me go my merry way to the gym.

The Journey Continues

I am now weighing in at 62 kilos (136.4 lbs), been steady for a little over a week. When I first started this whole thing, I was 67 kilos (147.4 lbs) so I’ve only lost 5 kilos (11 lbs) not a whole much. But I know I feel leaner and stronger. The inches dropped doesn’t lie too. Right now, I don’t have any jeans left that fit me. They are all super loose.

When I first started, I told my trainer I wanted to get back to 55 kilos, my pre-baby weight. But now as I’m starting to see some muscles, my trainer said I would be best at 60 kilos (132 lbs) with toned muscles and that’s has been his goals to make me leaner not skinnier. So I agreed at 59 kilos (129.8 lbs) hah!

I still have a long way to go but I am at a happy place right now. So screw those negative people, whatever they said will not make me put down those weights that has been toning me up. I got this far through tons of sweats, some tears and pure self determinations.

For your entertainment, here’s a comparison picture from one of my heaviest moment to last weekend. Now, let the journey continues…one sweat at a time!





Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook



  1. July 17, 2012 / 7:10 pm

    YOU look fantastic and so strong. I too am taking the journey to become STRONG. My weight is not a huge indication on my progress. BUt the more I do is my way of Measuring my progress. Some days it’s easier said then done. Keep up the great progress.

    • Maureen
      July 18, 2012 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you Janelle. I agree with you on becoming strong. My best friend told me that it doesn’t get easier doing those weights and things at the gym but we get stronger. I remember when I first started, I could barely do any crunches lol.

  2. Saundra Rohn
    July 17, 2012 / 7:18 pm

    You are awesome!!! I’m motivated and inspired by your journey to be fit and healthy! Love you

    • Maureen
      July 18, 2012 / 2:58 pm

      Aww thanks, Mom! Love you too 🙂

  3. July 18, 2012 / 12:49 am

    You’re doing it the best way there is to do it now! I myself was thin in high school and college (well, I played football, so I was never “thin” but not fat at all. Then I stopped sports. Long story short, I battled weight issues until last year when I reached my highest weight ever (395 lbs). I am 6′ 3″ and carry a lot of muscle so people always thought I was a lot less than that but I knew (and my lungs knew)! I had VSG surgery which basically takes away 85% of the stomach. Now I need to do what you are doing, which is get back in the gym and eat healthier. In one year I’ve lost 120 lbs and feel great. GOOD JOB! 🙂
    R.S. Guthrie (@rsguthrie) recently posted..How To Handle A Rare Reviewer (Or: How Many Stars DOES Your Book Deserve?)My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 18, 2012 / 2:59 pm

      Thank you for sharing your own journey to be healthy. WOW 120 lbs is a lot of weights to drop. Keep up the good work, you are on your way and those numbers shed really are inspirational. 🙂

  4. July 18, 2012 / 4:16 am

    Hey Maureen, I’m very impressed. Not just because you look great but because of your journey!

    I’ve been exercising by myself for the past year. After this summer is over, I’ll probably go back to the gym. I miss the clank of the weights and the people – not that I was there to talk to people but sometimes it energizes you to feel that common bond of people trying to get healthier.

    Anyway keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working!
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    • Maureen
      July 18, 2012 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks, John! I’ve tried a lot of things to get skinny even those stupid pills that promise you will instantly lose weights lol but I’m so glad I give this thing a try…the whole healthy living doesn’t turn out to be as painful as I thought it would be.

      Hope you get to enjoy the gym again after summer. There are so many things you can do during the summer that will be fun and burn calories too 😀

  5. July 18, 2012 / 8:06 pm

    You look FABULOUS!! You have totally inspired me as I am on the same journey to get fit and healthy. Thank you and keep it up!

    • Maureen
      July 21, 2012 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you so much. Let’s do this together 😀

  6. July 19, 2012 / 7:36 am

    Looking good! That’s so great you lost 11 pounds and have gained muscles. People there sure seem to make a lot of comments about things they have no business about. You know in the states it would be totally normal (and admired) what you’re doing. Heck, I admire what you’re doing as post-pregnancy it’s been tough to lose all the weight. I know you will continue to do with your quest to get fit!

    • Maureen
      July 21, 2012 / 10:40 pm

      Thanks, Maria. I guess it’s part of our culture here…people just say what’s on their minds without any filter because it’s considered normal. I felt like slapping the lady who asked me if I’m using steroids with my calluses hand hahaha. You are an awesome friend, thank you so much!

  7. July 19, 2012 / 2:05 pm

    Wow. The last picture said it all..! Congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle.

    • Maureen
      July 21, 2012 / 10:40 pm

      Thank you so much Purnima 🙂

  8. July 19, 2012 / 8:21 pm

    you look H.O.T!!!

  9. July 19, 2012 / 10:29 pm

    First thing I saw on your page was that new picture in the upper corner and I thought: wow, she is beautiful!
    You look absolutely great. I have struggled with my weight ever since i was a teenager. I had to listen to negative comments about my weight all the time. Two years ago, I was finally able to loose the weight. I lost 10 kg (22 lbs). All the people that gave me comments when I was overweight, never even said anything or still gave me grief. Even my family kept complementing my husband who had not even lost half of the weight had lost. I ate all of the weight back.. It is motivating to read your story, I know I need to get back to it…
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    • Maureen
      July 21, 2012 / 10:42 pm

      Dankjewel, Mirjam!
      WOW that’s a lot of weights that you drop but I understand the negative people’s comments. They are so annoying but actually they fuels my motivation tank when I’m at the gym. Sometimes when I’m too exhausted to pull or push, I just picture them all in my head and said to my self “Take that you bitches!” Hahaha it works every time. So if I can do this, you can too, Mirjam 🙂

  10. July 20, 2012 / 2:21 am

    Wow! You look amazing! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I think all moms must do some form of weight training because feeling and being strong are both amazing feelings!
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    • Maureen
      July 21, 2012 / 10:45 pm

      Thank you so much, my friend. It is amazing to be able to push ourselves to do something that we never think possible. Like, I never thought in a million years I could even do a weight squat lol.

  11. Rachel
    August 16, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    hi maureen, do you work out with a trainer? i currently have one but im having second thoughts about renewing his services 🙂

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