If you’re an 80’s – early 90’s kid, you’d probably have heard of the funky TAF club. I was in the TAF club for one year in Primary School.
Officially, TAF stood for Trim and Fit but people often read it backwards. Yepp, the “FAT” club. Where fatties get singled out and got put through exercise classes to slim down.
See, my parents are the type who would cook a 6-person share even though we only have 3 members in the family. I eat more than I should most of the time. I also had quite a lot of pocket money so it was snacks and soft drinks galore everyday after school.
We had a yearly weight and height check and it was one of the things I dreaded going to, other than the dentist.
One fine morning, this person with a clipboard came to our classroom door.
“John Tan. Andrew Ng…. …. Jennie Tay.”
That’s it. I’m one of the fatties this year.
We were the new joinees to the TAF programme. And we can only call it quits when we get to a weight within our acceptable range.
I remember exercising when others were having recess time, playing sweaty sports like hockey, basketball or running. Ewww. We didn’t have time to clean up or grab a bite before break time is over.
I ended up hungry, sweaty and miserable on most of my school days that year.
But it wasn’t just the denial of yummy canteen food or having to sweat like a cow that punished us.
People called us names. My lil cousin happily announced to the entire extended family that I was in TAF club and everyone laughed.
I was so embarrassed I almost died. Everyone who talked to me suddenly became an expert on weight-loss and told me to do this, do that…
And that’s it. One day, I snapped. I decided to stop eating altogether.
I lost weight so fast that I was dropped from the TAF programme after one year.
Mind you, the kids who were on TAF were usually there for 2-5 years, which is pretty much throughout their school life.
Everyone complimented on how skinny I was then and I felt really good about myself. It was like everyone was admiring me for my new ‘look’.
I decided I wanted to keep the compliments coming so I kept up with the dieting even though there was no need to do so anymore.
I became skinnier and gradually people started telling me “you’re too skinny, you should eat more”. At some point in time, I started feeling weak and tired constantly.
I couldn’t do anything anymore. I felt cold and lethargic. This had to stop, and so I did.
I started eating right and gained back some weight, but I always cautioned myself to not go back to that stage where I was overweight.
I still struggle with my weight now. Over the years, there were times when I lost control and got chubby again but I always set a limit for myself and exercise to lose weight when I see myself nearing that edge. I also try to eat healthy and not diet the wrong way when I start gaining weight.
Here are some tips (tried and tested!)
- Stop all soft drinks (no canned, sugary drinks, just water/tea)
- Eat / drink soupy stuffs like porridge, noodles, soup + rice.
- Take fast food once a week max
- Exercise by walking fast – try to break into a sweat everyday. Increases metabolism rate
Below are some photos of me in recent years still struggling with my weight.
When I was overly skinny
(Lost a lot of weight dancing and not eating right)
When I was plump (Look at those arms!)
Where I was in the normal weight range for my height
Here’s wishing all of you who put losing weight as your new year’s resolution to achieve what you aim for!
“The longest journey starts with a single step”.
Start somewhere and you will keep on going :)
- Throw That Scale Away!! (mealsandmotion.com)
- 3 Natural Ways to Lose Weight Without Killing Yourself! (epicahealth.com)