I've been struggling with being overweight all my life.
I've never been obese, but just big enough to be on the "fat" side of the spectrum, and constantly getting jibed for at it. Growing up, my cousins called me "肥妹", and even my mother constantly criticised me about how I looked and how fat I was. (This is something I hope I will never do to my future daughter.. Mothers just don't understand the kind of damage they're doing to their daughters with all the negative body talk!)
I remember one occasion when I was in Secondary 1 or 2, and a boy I knew got teased for "liking" me. You know.. Typical childhood teasing that most people took no notice of. Of course, the poor boy got embarrassed and the first thing that shot out of his mouth was,
"HUH, why would I like Yina, she is so fat and ugly?"
Walao eh! It really stung me man, but of course I just laughed it off together with the rest, even though I was feeling hurt inside. Of course, that's not the only incident that I got called "fat" or other ugly names, but this was the one that stayed with me even after so many years. It really left an indelible mark on me.
I found my old report cards from secondary school, and here's my weight records from 13-16 years old:
Sec 1: 50kg 158cm
Sec 2: 56kg 160cm
Sec 3: 60kg 161cm
Sec 4: 62kg 161cm
That's 12kg over the course of four years.... WUT!
2003, I was 17 years old.
I hated taking photos when I was fat, which is why I only have those few photos to show you.. It was horrible!
My waist was practically non-existent!
At my biggest, I was weighing close to 65kg or so, (UK12 - UK14) and could not even fit into a pair of Levis jeans because they only went up to waist sizes of 30". I remember being SO happy when I could finally pull on a pair of size 30 jeans at some random shop that I immediately bought those jeans even though I looked terrible in them, with my muffin top bulging over because the jeans were obviously still too bloody tight for me!
When I went overseas with my family, I tried my best NOT to take any photos, and I was so upset because my dad was trying to get me to take a photo with him and I flat-out refused because I looked like a WHALE.
The photo that I took so unwillingly: I do bear a pretty close resemblance to my dad back then, huh?
I think what sucked even more (for me) was that my mother and sisters were all much smaller than I was, so I stuck out like a sore thumb.
A photoshoot that I had to do for some competition during my polytechnic days. This is what I wore constantly throughout my teenage years: Black t-shirts and berms or a denim skirt cos nothing really fit me well. And that long long rebonded hair? I thought it made me look smaller somehow because I could "hide" my face and body with it. What a joke.
In 2006 when I was at my biggest, I think?
I was plagued with self-esteem issues and I hated myself at times. When we received the 4R photos from the film shop after our family trip, I quickly took all the photos aside and pulled out all the ones that I looked horrible and fat in, and hid them in a corner of my drawer so that no one would ever see them.
I would feel lousy about myself, try to control my eating, and then give up and end up ordering a McDonalds McSpicy Double UPSIZED meal. Thing is.. I LOVED food so so so much! I worked part-time at Swensens when I was 17, and this meant FREE ice-cream practically every day, and baked rice for supper after work. I was rapidly putting on weight and I was resigned to fate because I thought that I was gonna be a chubby and overweight girl for life.
The changing point came the year I turned 20, and together with one of my best friends, we both decided to start exercising (there was a gym right upstairs my office, conveniently) and eating healthy. We saw a doctor together and were prescribed appetite suppressant pills to help us control our diet.
Rapidly, I lost 10-12kg in the span of 4 months, and I was feeling SO good about it! My confidence and self-esteem grew because, finally, I felt like I could wear pretty clothes and look good in them. That was also the period of time I met YZ and got into my first relationship.. I never had the confidence to date any boys previously because I never felt like I was good enough.
How I looked like on my 20th birthday after losing about 12kg from exercising 5 times a week and going on a very strict diet.
It may sound unhealthy, but ever since then, I've thus associated confidence and happiness with being slim and good-looking.
What doesn't help is that I'm now in an industry where I'm surrounded by SO many good-looking, skinny people. Sometimes I hate them with a vengeance, sometimes I hate myself more. I wonder why they are SO slim, and don't have to worry about what they're putting into their mouths.
Whenever I have to attend events or meet clients, I am perpetually worried about what to wear to flatter myself best and look good next to all the other bloggers/influencers. Whenever I have to take group photos, I fret over where to stand even cos' standing at the side will make me look even bigger than I am.
What I realised throughout the years is that weight loss is NOT permanent without a healthy lifestyle change, because ever since my weight loss 8 years ago, my weight has been fluctuating up and down (more volatile than a stock market FML) and to my dismay, it has been slowly slowly creeping back on me again.
At my healthiest and slimmest when I first lost weight, I was around 53kg, but over the years, I've seen the weight coming back bit by bit. During my wedding, I managed to lose weight to a pretty healthy 54kg thanks to Slim Couture, but even then I don't think I was very slim on my wedding day.
Of course, right after the wedding, YZ and I went on a celebratory eating spree, indulged in SO much eating and eating non-stop, because, hey, the wedding was over!! We ate our way from post-wedding to honeymoon in Taiwan, through CNY and we still carried on eating.
YZ and I during CNY: This was after a crazy insane foodie trip to Taiwan as well as a stuff-yourself-mad trip to Kukup, Malaysia. Yes, the weight was DEFINITELY showing. This dress used to be loose on me but it had become tight instead!
Unedited photo taken for an ad during early April. You can see how chubby I look here, and my boobs got bigger too which I didn't really like!
The biggest shock of my life came when I stepped on the weighing scale a few months ago and realised that I was 58.8kg??? That's barely a few kg away from my heaviest weight, and I was about to tip the scales to go past the 60kg mark!
Taken just a couple of months ago, April 2015. This photo completely horrified me. Because I looked like a COW. Granted, it's a really unflattering angle but if I didn't know myself I'd have asked myself too if I were pregnant -.-
I felt so anxious over the weight I'd put on because I couldn't hide it anymore. I could barely fit into my own TVD size M clothes (which fits UK8-10) and I was panicking internally. Taking photos was stressing me out because I didn't want to look fat and ugly next to all my skinny and pretty friends. I hid my figure by wearing long-sleeved clothes and loose dresses most of the time so only my small face and calves could be seen.
You might have realised that YZ stopped taking photos with me for a LONG time because he was feeling the same as I did: lousy, unattractive and insecure.
So how did we go from the above ^^^
In just TWO months time?
The answer is.. Slim Couture!
In two months with Slim Couture, I successfully lost off all the weight I put on and even MORE, to achieve a weight I never ever thought I would see on the weighing scale again! Together with me, YZ lost over 10kg with Slim Couture's treatments as well.
I finally achieved my weight-loss goal of 50KG!
For someone who's been overweight since puberty, you cannot imagine what it feels like to finally hit a pre-puberty weight. The last time I was 50kg was when I was 13 years old, 15 years ago!! To see that number on the scale seemed like an impossible dream, but I did it with Slim Couture.
I've been keeping it low-key this time because I was tired of anonymous readers leaving rude questions on the internet, saying things like "Yina says she wants to lose weight, but she's still so fat. Her sponsors should fire her." or, "Yina keeps on posting so many pictures of good food all the time, of course she can't lose weight."
Much as I'd like to say I don't care, I do care and my self-esteem does get affected by what I hear at times.
That's why you might have realised that I haven't been posting anything much about weight loss or diet this time round, because I wanted people to SEE a difference instead of me talking about it.
And I know it worked, because I've been getting comments about my weight loss on my social media and even via email, as well as from people who haven't seen me in some time and bumped into me recently!
I can now proudly tell you, YES, I successfully lost 8kg, (actually a bit more than that) in just a short two months time! The feeling is practically surreal!
Now that I'm probably the slimmest I've ever been in my entire adult life, I decided to snip off the locks to celebrate a brand new me! That's another item ticked off my bucket-list: I've always wanted to try short hair but I was unconfident and scared that I would look really bad in short hair because I already have a small head/face in proportion to my body.
Fresh new look for fresh beginnings!
And what's a post about weight-loss without some "Before" and "After" photos, right?
I intentionally wore the same yellow top that I looked absolutely terrible in just two months ago, because I wanted to see the difference. All I can say is.. I hope I'm never going back to those unhealthily fat days again.
Before (April 2015) and After (June 2015)
For the first time in a VERY long while, I no longer feel as worried or stressed whenever a camera is pointing at me. I always worry about my "good angles" and find certain angles of me extremely unflattering (especially when my arms are taken from side view) but after I lost weight, I feel so much less insecure now!!
Before and After: A difference of at least 4cm reduction from my arms!
My arms have never been slim even when I was at my thinnest, and I've always been extremely self-conscious about my arms. The "Before" photo is taken during a photoshoot I did some time ago and I looked SO big and disproportionate in those photos. The "After" photo was taken in the 7th or 8th week of my 2-months programme with Slim Couture.
As for YZ, just look at his "Before" and "After" photos!
These photos speak for themselves! He's back to his healthy and fit-looking weight and size, and all the clothes that couldn't fit him now fits him perfectly again!
Some of the photos YZ and I took together from last week, after we completed our two-month programme on 17th June!
Dressed up smart at the SME Of the Year Award 2015 for TheVelvetDolls!
That feeling of not needing to edit/touch-up your photos at all.. Is priceless!
Some shots from a fun photoshoot that YZ and I did with Pixioo Photography during our staycation at W Singapore last weekend :) Can't believe I was feeling confident enough to be taking photos in swimwear!
Obviously, I'm still not super skinny and I don't think I will ever, ever, be.
I will never be as skinny as my dear girlfriend Mel (whom I love dearly despite how much I hate this girl for how much she can eat and still be SO petite and skinny), just because my hips are built that wide, and my waist will never be that tiny.
But what I really want is to feel good about myself, and be the best version of myself. I can't emphasise enough about how important it is to LOVE yourself and to work towards losing weight because you want to be a healthier person both physically and mentally.
Having excess weight on you doesn't just affect how you look. It was making me feel lousy about myself. In such an image-conscious industry, I was constantly surrounded by good-looking people who were slim and gorgeous and well-dressed, and I wanted to be like them too. I wish I could look as good as they did. I felt disgusted with myself for eating, and for being fat. And that, I think, was the most unhealthy thing, ever.
I want to stop feeling like a giant piece of walking lard and actually be proud of my body and myself. I just want to fit nicely into the clothes I want to wear and not feel despondent and repulsed by how hideous I look in it.
In sharing this blog post, I hope I can encourage everyone who's feeling negative about their own body image to step out and make a change in your lives! It starts from the smallest steps, like making changes in your diet. Be it swapping out your fries for salad, or controlling your snacking portion (instead of eating 2 or 3 cupcakes, just have half of one!)
Most importantly, please don't compare yourselves with a Victoria Secrets model, or even that super skinny and hot friend of yours. Remember that you can only be the best version of yourself, not another person!
Learn to love yourself, and remember that no one is ever perfect. You will always always find flaws about yourself to pick over, because I know I do. But right now, I'm happy with where I am, though that doesn't mean I won't carry on striving to become a better version of myself!
This photo was taken just this week, 23 June 2015. And when I look at it, even I'm amazed by the difference in my physique, and how much "smaller" I look!
Well, I've already talked a lot about Slim Couture and their TCM slimming therapies, but here's a short FAQ that I think will answer most burning questions.. If you do have any questions or queries, just shoot away and I'll try to reply you!
HOW DID YOU LOSE 8KG IN 2 MONTHS TIME?
Purely though twice-weekly Slim Couture TCM sessions of Gua Sha and Ba Guan, and religiously following their recommended diet!
Yes, that's it, nothing else. I didn't exercise, I didn't do any funky kind of machine treatments, and I didn't take any kind of weight loss supplements or diet pills. This time round though, I really paid attention to what I ate, and it made a big difference!
It wasn't all easy: There would be days when the weight loss was a little slower, which got me feeling dejected. Or days when I was so sorely tempted by food! (Don't forget, I even travelled to Phuket during this 2 months period!) But I don't know why, this time round, I just REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, wanted to do it, to prove that I could actually lose weight successfully, and to hit that personal target of mine that I've always talked about but never actually achieved.
What helped me a lot were the regular weight-ins and measurements twice a week: Seeing real results happening every session with my weight and measurements going down progressively and steadily over the two months was a huge motivation to carry on working hard to achieve my target weight.
Without Slim Couture, I don't think I'd be able to have that willpower and determination to keep up with the weight loss! Knowing that my progress was being tracked and having a goal to work towards as well as a game plan to follow gave me the resolve to stay committed towards my weight loss target.
YOU'VE BEEN THROUGH SLIM COUTURE PROGRAMMES BEFORE BUT YOU DIDN'T LOSE WEIGHT/THE WEIGHT CAME BACK. WHY?
As you know, I've gone through TCM slimming with Slim Couture more than once. The first time, I saw very obvious results and lost 4 over kg without trying very hard, but subsequently, I put the weight back on over a period of time.
Why? Because I did not follow Slim Couture's advice to "un-diet" the right way by slowly re-introducing carbs into my meals in the subsequent two weeks after completing the programme, but went on a binging frenzy and stuffed myself silly with SO much unhealthy and junky food that it was impossible not to put on weight.
To be honest, food is a huge part of my life and I LOVE unhealthy food like chips, fries, ice cream, cookies, waffles... so on and so forth. Regardless of HOW you lose weight, you need to make a healthy lifestyle change in order to maintain the weight loss!
The great thing about Slim Couture's TCM treatment is that it is beneficial for health and helps your metabolism, which will make the weight maintenance a lot easier, BUT that is not a free ticket to binge-eating without a care in the world.
WHAT'S THE DIET LIKE??
To be completely honest, the diet was the hardest part for me! Basically, it's a diet that cuts out carbs and processed food, so it was very challenging for me because I love snacking on junk food but I couldn't do so during the two months.
On the SC diet, you are recommend to eat healthy, whole foods like chicken, fish, vegetables, certain fruits (kiwi, dragonfruit, papaya, blueberries etc) are recommended. You still eat three meals a day, but you should stop when you're about 70% full at every meal.
It's pretty much common sense: No carbs (this includes rice, noodles, bread etc) no processed food (no cakes, cookies, potato chips or other junk food) and lots and lots of healthy fruits, veggies and lean meat. Fatty red meat like pork and beef are not advisable, so only lean white meat like chicken and fish are recommended.
Certain fruits that are very high in sugar like mango and longans etc are to be avoided, and fruits high in fibre like kiwis and dragon fruit are encouraged! You also shouldn't drink soup cos of the high sodium content that will lead to water retention. (I had trouble with this at first because I love drinking soup and I always thought it was healthy!! Guess I thought wrong. But I got used to not drinking so much soup after awhile, which is good for me!)
SC also highly encourages snacking on cherry tomatoes (I like to pair it with blueberries cos it tastes better like that) in between meals, which I find really helps to keep me feeling less hungry especially when I'm craving to munch on unhealthy food!
Once you complete your programme, you can then start re-introducing carbs back into your diet, bit by bit! And you can then eat all your favourite pasta/noodle/rice dishes again!! But don't do what I did previously and immediately binge eat! When you've just lost weight and your weight hasn't stabilised yet, you will definitely rebound in the blink of an eye.
SO IF YOU DIET WITHOUT THE TCM TREATMENTS, WON'T YOU LOSE WEIGHT TOO?
Yes of course, anyone who cuts down on their caloric intake and eats healthily WILL expect to be able to lose weight. It's just a matter of how quickly!
If you just rely on diet alone, it might take you a much longer time to see results. And to be honest, hard-core dieting is not sustainable at all, because how many of us can actually diet straight for a year?
TCM slimming therapies target fats by stimulating the acupuncture points and unclogging the meridians - commonly known as the natural energy pathways of the body. This helps to increase the body's metabolism of fats, which in turn transforms into energy for the body's consumption and is dispelled.
How Slim Couture TCM treatments help is to really fine-tune your body so that your overall well-being improves, your metabolism rate increases, and you will see faster weight loss results. With Slim Couture, I managed to lose weight successfully within a targeted time frame of 2 months. It's way easier to diet for 2 months than say, 1 year.
The Gua Sha also helps with reducing cellulite and shaping your silhouette too, I swear!
After losing 8kg, I feel so much lighter and healthier. My double chin is less obvious, my face is less puffy. The rolls of fat at my tummy have significantly lessened, and those protruding love handles at my hips are way lesser. Even my shoulders look bonier.. that's what 8kg lighter does to you! The last time I wore this pair of culottes, it was so effing tight on me but now it fits perfectly. And that feels REALLY good.
Right now, I'm thinking of taking up yoga or pilates classes again because I'd like to get fitter and stay healthy, to make the weight-loss become a permanent reality! I don't just want to look good, I want to feel mentally and physically at peace with myself, and conquer my body issues in this never-ending battle.
I really have to thank some very important people. The first one is of course my husband who was there to motivate me and encourage me throughout the entire two months! And lost 12kg together with me too!!!
Secondly, it goes without saying that I have Slim Couture to thank! Without Slim Couture's TCM sessions, friendly therapists who advised us and kept a close eye on YZ and my progress, as well as the incredible weight loss results that kept me motivated to keep on working hard for even more results, I don't think I'd ever have seen the number 50 on my weighing scale in this entire lifetime! Thank you SO MUCH, Slim Couture!
Especially for my readers, Slim Couture is offering 10% off all packages signed before the end of July! Just call Slim Couture up and let them know that you're my reader, or head down for a free consultation. The people there are so nice and genuinely there to help you, they are not pushy at all, I promise!
Official website: www.slim-couture.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SlimCouturePteLtd
18 Cross Street, #02-06
China Square Central
Tel: (+65) 6536 8586
190 Clemenceau Ave 2,
Singapore Shopping Centre, #05-29
Tel: (+65) 6336 8665
I wrote another post on my Dayre as well, with some weight loss tips too if you want to pop by to take a read! (Dayre post: Fat girl stories / How I lost 8kg in 2 months)
I wrote another post on my Dayre as well, with some weight loss tips too if you want to pop by to take a read! (Dayre post: Fat girl stories / How I lost 8kg in 2 months)
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