Updated: Sep 20, 2020
This post is a story. A deeply personal story, and I want to share it for all the people who have ever been dissatisfied with the way they look or feel.
I’ve always been petite-sized, so I never really fit the traditional notions of long-legged, slender beauty. An extra kilogram shows up on me in a very obvious manner because of my height. I never did sports because I don’t have the best hand-eye coordination. I coped with stress through food, and puberty didn’t really help me. A combination of all those factors led me being a rather chubby girl through my primary and secondary school days.
I was bullied terribly for my size even though I wasn’t severely obese and overweight. At 11 years old, I felt extremely self-conscious and insecure about my appearance. I just hated the way I looked. I would count my fat rolls and pinch my stomach. I had no confidence in myself at all. I was always trying to hide in the back of class photos and wearing baggy clothes. That’s when I went on my first diet, skipping breakfast and starving myself. It never worked because I had no knowledge of nutrition, no idea of portion size or calories and I still didn’t like to exercise or move around. In a fit of immaturity and desperation, I was even jealous of anorexic girls, because they had won the battle against their appetite.
This continued through secondary school. I remember the yo-yo diets, how I would lose a few kilograms through starving myself and lots of running, then slowly go back to my old habits and gain all that weight back. While the bullying had stopped, I was still really unhappy with the way I looked. This continued for a long time and so for most of my teenage years I didn’t really have a healthy body image.
It was in the summer of my third year of university before I decided I needed to do something. It was pretty much now or never. I knew once I entered the workforce, I would never have the motivation to change my lifestyle. So, I made a conscious effort to make a permanent, sustainable change. I ran at the gym on the treadmill five times a week. I cut my rice intake by half. I didn’t eat the french fries. And gradually, I did lose weight. But I was deeply unhappy with my food and exercise routine. To me, it was a chore I had to endure. I didn’t even know if it was working.
At some point of time, my younger brother who had just entered the army introduced to weightlifting, and I was hooked almost instantly. I started with the machines, and progressed to free weights. Along the way, I found people who were willing to guide and mentor me to lift in the safest, most effective way to achieve my body goals. (One of them was FitLuc founder, Lucas!) Weightlifting was not just physically stimulating, it challenged me mentally and intellectually. I was continually amazed by how much my body could lift, and all I wanted to do was continually push the boundaries of what I could do. This still remains a major motivation of why I continue to train and push myself in all aspects of fitness.
Being immersed in the gym community also taught me a lot about nutrition. I learnt about macronutrients, calorie counting and how to eat in a balanced and positive way. I didn’t have to eat bland chicken breast three times a day in order to stay and look healthy and fit. I can still eat my french fries, in moderation. I became aware of the bad eating habits I’d developed over the years, like over-ordering, stress eating or eating because I was bored. A flexible diet helped me stay on track while still enjoying the food I loved. I even learned to love fruits and vegetables, something which I thought would never happen. I love exploring different ways of making healthy, delicious meals in the kitchen. Eventually I lost nearly half my body fat and ten kilograms on the scale, and also felt stronger, fitter and learnt to see past obsessing with how my body looked and embrace my physical and mental strength. I became grateful for a healthy body which could accomplish these feats. Fitness was the most liberating thing that has ever happened to me.
I wanted to inspire other people to take up fitness and enjoy the functional and aesthetic benefits of being fit. Most of all, I wanted to help people achieve their goals in a healthy, enjoyable way, and not starve, doubt and hate myself like I did at the start of my journey. I wanted them to love their body, have fun in the gym and look forward to every workout, not dread it like I did initially. I took a Certified Personal Trainer course from the National Council of Strength and Fitness after I graduated from university. To bolster my knowledge and better help my clients I also took a course in Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning. I exposed myself to other types of fitness in order to give my clients more variety in the exercise programs I prescribe. I dabble in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), CrossFit and calisthenic-type workouts, yoga and am training for a marathon.
If you asked any of my friends from my junior college days whether I’d ever be the #fitspo of the group, they’d laugh. I was the kind of person who couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without breaking a sweat. It just shows that when it comes to fitness, there isn’t a ‘type’. Anyone, regardless of age, gender and body type can take up fitness and enjoy it.
It took a lot of hard work to get to where I am today. I’m constantly striving to make myself leaner, fitter, stronger and be the best version of myself I can be. It’s not easy but I enjoy every step of it. But I’m here to tell everyone who ever looked at themselves in the mirror and felt dissatisfied with their reflection; what you see in in the mirror is not a reflection of who you are, but the potential of what you can be. With hard work, motivation and the right guidance, there is nothing you cannot achieve. And I want to be there for you, whatever they may be. Book a trial with me so I can help you #GetThatFitLook!