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Status: Married to fellow stand-up comedian Sharul Channa
Food: During my transformation programme, I collaborated with the team from Nutrify Meals, who fed me clean and tasty meals for 110 days. These meals ranged from grilled chicken, to broccoli, to salmon, cauliflower, capsicums, turkey, sweet potato, all in varying combinations and quantities, according to my required goals.
Exercise: My training programme was designed fully by EJ Phillip. It involved a six-day training with one day of rest.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays we would hit weights for one hour and then do 45 minutes of cardio (such as walking on incline, which I learnt is the most effective form of low-intensity steady state cardio for fat burn).
Wednesdays and Fridays, I would do a 30-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session on my own.
Saturdays would be a walk or a swim just to do some active low intensity stuff.
Sundays I would normally relax. We kept this up for approx 3.5 months, with exceptions of some missed days due to travel/work/filming schedule.
Q: When you were younger, were you active in sports?
A: I wasn't in great shape, but I played a lot of sports. I was on the school football team in primary school, but only as goalkeeper. In secondary school, I played tennis and badminton for the school, and also played football very regularly. So yes, I wasn't extremely fit, but I played a lot of sports.
What was your fitness regime like as you got older?
It was on and off. I did try and keep some form of consistency after completing National Service, especially since I've been in show business since 2009. But without any proper guidance, I was just doing some running, some weights, some dieting.
How did you let yourself go?
During the pandemic, my diet was pretty bad. I put a lot of junk in my body and had a lot of alcohol. The pandemic fatigue and the loss of a loved one threw me into a downward spiral with my health and I was in bad shape, physically and mentally.
My body fat percentage very high and so was my visceral fat. Weight was 91kg at this time, heaviest I'd ever been. Also I felt listless, lethargic, and not at my creative best.
When did you decide to do something?
In October 2021, I made the decision to take charge of my health. I had met EJ Philip Joshua of Alphabeast Fitness, who introduced himself as a celebrity transformation specialist. He was a guest at my comedy show and some friends recommended I speak to him if I was keen to get into shape. That's how it all started.
How do you feel about your transformation?
When I started, it seemed unlikely that I would meet the goals we set out. But EJ truly believed in me and believed that I could do it. So, I just stuck to the plan of the daily workouts and the caloric suggestions of macros. I took it one day at a time.
Once we started seeing some results, I got more motivated to keep going. And before we knew it, we were ready for a topless photoshoot, something I truly NEVER imagined myself doing.
After 110 days, I lost 17kg (91kg to 73kg), lost 4.5 inches off my waistline (39.5 to 35 inches) and dropped body fat from 32% to 17%.
Did you ever struggle with your body?
Growing up, I was never confident about my body. In primary school, I was known as the fat goalkeeper. Or rather, I was told I was the goalkeeper because I could cover most surface area. I was big, but I was good, I think. I even went for a Milo soccer selection.
So, I used humour and sport as a way to build self-confidence I suppose. I had no future as a sportsman, but luckily as a stand-up comedian, I'm doing OK.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
I've never had an amazing physique, but people around me would always say "But it's ok, you're TALL." Tall doesn't mean can be unhealthy, right? Perhaps it was diet or genetics or maybe just excuses? But, being in showbiz, it helps to be fit and healthy and be able to handle the rigorous filming and live show schedules. And, I really want to be in a Marvel movie one day. As the Indian Hulk maybe?
Are you satisfied with your body now?
I'm truly happy with where I am right now, health and physique wise. I'm not starving myself, I'm leading a highly active lifestyle and I look forward to training sessions. I am feeding myself well and also including some cheat meals along the way.
Making the choice to take charge of my health was really life-changing. While I can't be in "photoshoot shape" all year round, I've most importantly learnt how to be consistently energetic and healthy.
Comments about my body? Well, here's the oddest one: I said, “I can't wait to have a nice plate of Hokkien Mee after my photoshoot”. And someone said, "I wanna eat Hokkien Mee off your body." Yep, dream come true.