Firdaus Tarmizi

Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ Category

The Case Against Dining Out

In Health and Fitness on July 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

1.  I am going to do something that will make me very unpopular, and could even be seen as blasphemous to some people.  But I do hope my dear readers would at least hear me out before coming to my house and burning it down.

Here goes.

I am urging, even though we are living in Malaysia, the gastronomical center of heavenly cuisines, and even though I am myself in Penang, the epicenter of culinary delights, for my dear brothers and sisters… to start appreciating home cook meals and to NOT EAT OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME.

*cue the boos and throwing of rotten vegetables*

*dodges a stalk of choy sum* Wait wait!  I am just saying, you should not go eat nasi kandar and fast food every single day.  And to stop drinking all those nasty carbonated drinks.  Not such a tough request, isn’t it?

*ducks to avoid flying chairs and tomato missiles*

2.  Perhaps I should start with my own experience in the sinful world of pigging out on unhealthy crap.  4 months after graduation, I got a job in AMD as a buyer in a shared services center.  Being in a global department, I had to work permanent night shift (10pm – 6am).  Since the break time is at 1am-2am, you can guess which eateries were open at those hours; yes, the nasi kandars and the fast food joints.

3.  So, I started my journey of gorging on roti telur bawang kuah banjir and KFC’s Zinger Burger.  On mee goreng + telur mata taruk atas and Spicy Chicken McDeluxe.  On tandoori chicken and Big Mac, large fries and large coke.  Nearly every single night (or morning).  I was enjoying myself, after being free of the bland and unexciting food of the United States.

And I gained 15 kg in less than one year.

Pelita- from

The evil corporation selling the irresistibly delicious sup kambing


4.  That’s right folks, I grew sideways from 65 kg to 80 kg in a matter of months.  And don’t get the facts wrong.  I was not at all a couch potato in any measure:  I exercised quite regularly, after signing up at a gym, and could last at least half an hour on the rowing machine before continuing to lift weights for another half an hour.  But the combination of (maybe) the lack of good night sleep, and constant influx of high calorie, sugar and salt, led to my spare tire growing non-stop like Jack’s magic beanstalk.

5.  The simple fact is, the food prepared in eateries are expected to be delicious and scrumptious.  You stop by at the nasi kandar joints and expect flavorful, big generous portions of gravy and oily meals, topped up with refreshing big glass of Teh Ais.  Before you know it, you add-on the A.B.C, another small plate of fried chicken and another can of Mirinda Orange, the longer you lepak at the place.


Yummm..... mouth-watering dinner in a pretty, attractive package. Also known as "1500 calories you will need to burn through 2 hours of running."


6.  How do you expect they made all the above, especially the processed meat, beef patties and sodas, to taste so good, and could last for a long time (to be transported and in storage)?  And why do you think you can’t just seem to stop yearning for that plate of meggi goreng and char kuey teow?

7.  The answer lies in the unholy trinity of sugar, salt and CALORIES.  Yes, the cheerful clogger of blood veins, the brave partner in increasing your blood pressure, the silent reason you thirst for more sugar-laden soda even though you have just drunk a bottle of it (answer: it’s due to the high salt content in the burger you just ate).  A few years of these unchecked, and you’ll be finding yourself browsing the XXXL section of the department store.

obese- from

This could be you in 5 years.


8.  I think that should tidy things up.  I hate to sound so preachy, but hey, I hope I am doing you some good.  My deepest wish is to be able to watch my grandson graduate from college and get married and get babies of their own, all thanks to a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet.  And I hope to see you there too, sitting next to me, watching your own great-grandchildren taking their first steps.

And if me getting bashed over the head by an eggplant is what it takes to get this message across, then so be it.  You’ll thank me someday!

9.  Lastly, something for you to fill your time with.  It’s long and boring, just like my post, but filled to the brim with good info.


Newbie BodyRocker Firdaus: Team Malaysia

In Health and Fitness, Self-Improvement on July 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

1.  I have been working out throughout my college days, but I restricted myself to weight training.  At that point, I foolishly dismissed the importance of cardio.  Who needs to be able to run straight for 2 hours, when you can look like a heavenly ripped Christian Bale in American Psycho?  Right?

Christian Bale (from

Yummy. Umm err that's what my wife said *cough* *cough*

WRONG!  I found out the hard way how cardio is the lifeline to overall fitness when I agreed to keep my wife (my girlfriend at that point) company in one of her aerobic sessions.  I started confidently enough, puffing up my chest and flexing my muscles to the beat of the music.  15 minutes into the 1 hour session, I nearly blacked out and had to be carried to the side of the gym by a small elderly aunty, who then continued with her aerobic session as if nothing happened.

2.  Somehow, I stopped working out after I got married.  Maybe that’s what comfortable, happy living can do to you.  Luckily, stories of young friends (30 something) dying due to heart attack, stroke and raptured blood vessels managed to convince me that I’ll die in a few years if I don’t change my lifestyle.  Friends like Hazwan, Faiezy and Farah who are active in joining marathon, mountain climbing etc, also served as my inspiration.

3.  Since then, I have been slowly building up my fitness level through running and light aerobics.  I have to admit that cardio workout, for me, tend to be monotonous.  You just got to spice it up with great music along the way.  Recently, however, I found a great, fun alternative and addition to my exercise set list :  the BodyRock home workout movement.  Of course, you have to realize that it is mostly High Intensity Interval training, but that’s why it’s so awesome: you spend just around 10-15 minutes a day to get the same amount of sweat as a 1 hour run.

4.  It also doesn’t hurt to admit that part of the reason I love BodyRock is because I dig the instructor: Zuzana.  She’s adorable, with her unique accent and wide sweet smile.  Go ahead watch this video and tell me you are not entranced with her.

5.  So now, my normal workout week includes running, some weight training, with BodyRock workouts sprinkled in between.  You fill definitely see a steady increase in strength and fitness level when you continue your exercise plans diligently.  For the exercise above for instance, I only managed to get 15 repetitions (!) the first time, and around 30 reps the next few times, but now I am at the range of 50 reps each time I do it.

6.  Lastly, I would have to say how I am a great believer of no shortcuts to fitness and health and fat loss.  I do not believe in Herbalife, Premium Beautiful or any of these bull crap slimming tea as alternative to HEALTHY weight management.  You are just kidding yourself if you think that any ingested product or something that you simply put on can actually make you healthier and fitter without any real effort and sacrifices.

7.  On that note, let’s all get off the couch and start to BodyRock!