About my love of food
I was brought up in a household where food was a central part of our family – my parents owned a food business and they loved to cook all the time. I have learnt from the best (my Dad) and I love to cook at home and I enjoy eating well. As I am from a Chinese background, I love cooking stir fries, soups, meaty dishes, rice and noodles alongside using our favourite ingredients: soya sauce, MSG (woops), salt, animal fats etc etc. Tasty meals galore!
About my love of going out
I’ve lived the social life a bit, with my twenties working in Advertising and Marketing Agencies in London and going out for drinks after work and eating pizza/kebab/pasty (delete as appropriate) on the way home or sometimes not even eating at all – after all, eating is cheating right?. The next day would be hangover day: stopping by the cafe to grab a ham and cheese toastie, getting crisps and a diet coke on the mid-morning snack run, having hair of the dog after work and the cycle goes round and round. Now, I’m not saying I’m a food hog or an alki, by no means am I irresponsible, just a bit undisciplined.
About my love of champagne brunches
I then moved to Dubai, UAE. The land of all things expat and living the busy life still. This time it was champagne brunches and all-you-can-eat five-star buffets. Coupled with this, public transport was non-existent so reliance on driving everywhere was in full force. I’d try and be sensible – no more drinks after work, eating more salads and going to the gym – but because I was hitting my thirties, it wasn’t so easy shifting those additional kilos.
A sudden realisation
In December 2010, my boyfriend of seven years decided I was the woman for him and asked me to marry him – of course I said ‘yes’. As I was planning one of the biggest milestones of my life, I found that I needed to do something about those extra kilos, after all they’d been with me for a while and my clothes were getting a bit snug. I wasn’t getting any younger, I wanted to be fitter, healthier and wake up with a spring in my step (very hard for me as I’m a night owl). I wanted to be slimmer and not worry about the jelly belly boinging around under my clothes. I didn’t want people to give up their seat on the bus because they thought I was pregnant (oh yes..).
How I got to Clean and Lean
As I mused on maybe going on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, detoxing, yoga, pilates, running, Zumba, getting healthy food delivered, personal training and all those other things that are in vogue, I was introduced to James Duigan’s books ‘Clean and Lean – Flat Tummy Fast!’ and ‘Clean and Lean Diet’. My friend raved on about it, so I decided to give it a read. As I read it more, it seemed to make sense, it was a cleaner way of eating, it was cutting out the ‘CRAP’ (his words not mine) and the alcohol, de-stressing and drinking lots of water. So, I decided to put some effort into actually living this clean way of life and make myself a guinea pig -all for a good cause – to enlighten the general public who live a similar lifestyle to me to see if it really works. As James puts it in his book: ‘Brides are the best people to train because there are few human beings on the planet more motivated to strip fat!’.