Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit up on or !
Occupation: Bar Manager
Food: I do not really follow a specific diet but I take mostly vegetables, meat and fruits. Once or twice a week I will have cheat meals.
Exercise: In a week I will do two days of cardio and strength training, four days of weight training and one day of rest.
Q: You were quite sporty when you were younger right?
A: Yeah, growing up I participated in many sports. When I was in primary and secondary school, I took part in basketball, soccer and badminton where I represented my school and competed with neighbourhood schools for championships.
As I entered polytechnic, I went into water sports like kayaking, dragonboating and swimming. During my time in poly, I was introduced to the gym where I learnt how to use gym equipment to train the different parts of my body.
Then after you finished school, you started to gain weight and at one point became overweight.
Actually I was overweight as a kid, from 10 to 16 years old. I lost a bit during my poly days and even more when I was in the army as a recruit. I was at my lightest then which was around 58kg to 60kg.
Then when I was an instructor in Pulau Tekong, I gained 10kg. After ORD, I started my fitness routine but I did not go on a diet. I just ate as much as I want, did my own training and bulked up in the end.
In 2015, I got lazy and stopped working out entirely and that was when my weight shot up. From 2015 to 2020, I gained another 15kg and became my heaviest, at 90kg. My co-workers gave me the nickname ‘No-neck Pong" because of my double chin haha!
What made you decide to do something about your weight?
It was in March 2020, just before we got into Circuit Breaker, when I decided to do something about my weight as I realised I was becoming very unhealthy and feeling very fat. Other factors that started my fitness journey would be my friends and family members telling me I was becoming too fat and it is not healthy and I looked old.
What did you do?
From March 2020 till April this year, I lost a total of 25kg. I did intermittent fasting, so I would eat from 12pm to 8pm and fast for the next 16 hours. The thing to look out for is calorie deficit – basically input versus output.
As the gym was not accessible then, I started doing cardio first. Every morning, I would wake up at 8am for a light run of about 3km or 4km, after which I would do my own static workout such as push-ups, squats and abdominal exercises. When the gym finally reopened, I went to renew my membership and started weight training. I wanted to get more defined as doing cardio alone would cause loss of muscle mass, water mass and fats. That’s not really ideal for me as I wanted to have a well-defined body and be lean instead of thin.
How is your lifestyle now to help you keep the weight off?
My lifestyle has definitely changed quite a bit compared to the past few years. I work in nightlife so I would wake up at 10am and go to the market to do my own grocery shopping so I can prepare my own meal rather than buy outside food. Then I would spend at least two to three hours at the gym before heading home to sleep until the time I need to wake up and prepare for work or for a late lunch.
In the past, I would go for a workout as and when I feel like it or when I am in the mood to perspire. But now I enjoy working out and it has become a part of my life and I feel good after working out; it makes me feel awake and energised.
Did you ever not feel confident about yourself?
To be honest, I never really felt that way, not even when I was overweight. Growing up, I was taught and reminded to be confident of myself always.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
I am partially satisfied with how I am now but I still have room for improvement. I am not looking to bulk but looking to become more lean and defined. My body fat percentage is between 10 to 11 per cent now and I am looking to cut it down further to a single digit.
It is not that simple with the drinking because of my work and sometimes supper after hours with friends and colleagues. But I believe I can achieve that someday. Well it’s only been a year since I started my fitness journey and many people take years of training to get their desired body and that is what I am striving to achieve as well.
Does working in nightlife affect your new lifestyle?
Definitely, working in nightlife with the late hours and entertaining of customers does affect the healthy lifestyle that I am pursuing. Alcohol amounts to sugar and carbs. Sometimes I drink a lot on busy days, sometimes I control myself on less busy days but no matter what I still have to drink a bit in my line of work.
When you drink, the body metabolism rate drops and the next day when you wake up, your body will be tired and dehydrated. But I just tell myself despite so, I cannot be lazy and give up. It’s all in the mind! Nothing is impossible once you have set your mind to it. I know this sounds like it came from a textbook but it is true. The willpower to achieve what you want is real; you will achieve it if you believe in yourself.
How did people react to your transformation?
I received a lot of comments from many of my friends and customers at Joo Bar. All were shocked and amazed at how much I have transformed myself over a year. Many of them said I look good, healthy and younger.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yes I have, plenty. Many say my body is really looking good and I should just maintain like this. My family says I am too thin now, not much fats left in my body and I should stop cutting my fat percentage lower. LOL.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
No, I don’t think I would want to change anything about myself. Being imperfect is somewhat sometimes perfect to me. There are things in life which we can strive for perfection but there are also certain aspects in life where we should just accept it for the way it is and not seek perfection. Most importantly, just be yourself and give it your best in everything that you do so you would not live a life without regrets. What matters most of the time is your heart and mind. That, to me is true beauty.