Guess many of you cannot forget that blue shirt fat guy with his red plastic bag. For me, it will always be a reminder of how unhealthy I was before – both physically and mentally.
I thought it’s time to do a reflection and sharing on my personal fitness journey since then. I hope my story can also encourage you to continue in your personal fitness journey and persevere in it.
I’ve always dreamt of competing in bodybuilding and standing on stage one day. However, I’ve never reached the competitive level and felt I was not prepared. I kept procrastinating and gave excuses for myself. This was the reason that I unknowingly gained so much weight.
After my success in dieting, I didn’t want to put my dreams on hold anymore and decided to search for a suitable fitness competition. I knew I am way too small for any bodybuilding competition but I came to learnt of a competition category in physique. Back in 2013, physique competition was not available in Singpaore and is nearly unheard of. I wrote to a Korea, Thailand, Hongkong and America asking them about the physique competition. Two organiser from Korea replied and told me that I could take part in their competition. I was excited and decide to plan and work towards my first competition in 2014.
In April 2014, I flew over to Seoul. It was my first time there and I took the chance to treat this as a holiday and explore the city.
On the competition day, I reached the competition ground and words cannot express the intense amount of adrenaline went through my body. At that instant, I felt so nervous because looking at the other competitors, I felt my condition was nowhere near theirs. I began to regret signing up and moreover I do not understand their language. The great idea of competing suddenly felt stupid.
Just when I really felt like going back to the hotel, the organiser recognised me and shouted my named. Thankfully, she asked me to follow her for registration.
The friendly organiser who helped me
While waiting for my competition, I met a Facebook friend, Christopher Maslon in person and he was also competing in the same event. I felt much at ease knowing at least someone there. He introduced me to the friends he made there and I felt I was not alone anymore.
My friend, Christopher Maslon
Awesome friends I had made while waiting for my turn
I was so nervous throughout the waiting time and yet while watching at the competition, there was this excitement in me because this was what I had always wanted to experience. (Of course I had never in my life imagined that my first competition would be alone in a foreign land who speaks a language that I do not understand). When it was my catergory, I went over to the queue. The Koreans competitors knew I could not speak their language and helped translate the instructions for me. (I felt so tiny next to them!). When it was my turn, suddenly all my nervousness disappeared and my mind just went blank. All I knew was to just do my best and to enjoy the experience.
I don’t really remember what I was doing but I remembered that I had a good time 😉
As much as I hope I did well, I did not emerged as the top 5 in the competition. I still felt it was a personal achievement – to had came to a foreign land on my own and to compete on stage for the very first time. I carried on to compete in the second competition one week after in Seoul as planned. I was a bit more confident when I stepped onto the stage for the second time.
When I came back to Singapore, I heard about the first fitness model competition organised by the Fitness Movement League. I signed up for it and was looking forward to competing locally. I remembered the competition attracted were quite a number of fitness competitors including local fitness celebrity, Jason Chee.
Jason Chee and our makeup artist for the photoshoot
The feeling of competing in Singapore was very different from when I was in Korea because my family, friends and colleagues came and supported me. I felt more motivated and what to do well on stage.
Although I didn’t got selected as the top 5 contestant again. I am grateful that my transformation story was voted the most inspiring through an online competition.
After the my fitness adventure in 2014, I was more determined to improve my physique and train even harder for 2015.
I decided to compete in Musclemania Korea again as I had a good experience previously and the Koreans are very friendly. At the same time, I use the opportunity to explore Seoul. I trained very hard and although it feels like David facing a many Goliaths and it would not be easy to compete there, I still gave my best. I also took the opportunity to take some photos with the photographer there to remember the moment and the physique I had achieved.
Photoshoot taken while I was in Seoul
I remembered wanting eagerly after competing on stage for the competition to end. I was just looking forward to the celebration with my bestie and have a feast after all the dieting.
Suddenly, my name was announced and the organisers awarded me with a trophy because they remembered me taking part last year and recognised my effort in preparing for this competition. I was caught by surprised as my whole intention of competing was to improve my physique. However, I do have to admit that winning something in the competition was nice.
My bestie celebrating with me after the competition
I signed up for Musclemania Asia in Singapore which was held a week after since I was already in condition.
Try to spot me 😉
In 2016, just when I was looking forward to another year of competition, I had a very bad tennis elbow injury. It was so bad that I could not even lift my elbow and I could not do any training. I tried many treatments but the pain did not subside. I was pretty depressed during that time because I cannot train. However, because of this, I had more time to explore and discover my passion and gift in making healthy desserts. I had to rest for almost a year before I could lift any weights without feeling any pain.
In 2017, my tennis elbow subsided and I was determined to compete again. However, I was very careful about not getting any injury again. I competed in Musclemania Taiwan and had a lovely surprise of getting first in fitness model category.
I was told on the competition day itself that there were no other competitors who registered for my category. Although there was no one to compared my physique with and I got the trophy easily. I felt at least the award was for the efforts I had put in as well. After the competition, I took the chance to explore and enjoy the holiday in Taiwan as well. (The food seems to be even more tasty after the dieting 😉 )
The other top winners in Taiwan and me
Chris and I enjoying the street food in Taiwan Night Market
So, this is my fitness story thus far. Some people may ask what’s my motivation to compete and not win? Or what spend so much effort in dieting and restricting yourself from enjoying food?
Taking part in competition makes me accountable to my fitness goal and not procrastinate, giving myself excuses. When I compete overseas, I look forward to the holiday and appreciate the food much more when the competition is over.
What’s next for me in 2018? Will I compete again? Honestly, this year I hope to set up our healthy cafe and I want to spend my efforts there. This does not mean that I am will give up a healthy lifestyle.
I am always interested and curious in yoga and cathelistic fitness but I wonder if my joints can take the strain. Whatever it is, I know fitness is now part of my lifestyle and I will not give it up.
So to sum up, my fitness journey truly started in 2012 and it has been 6 years since then. Taking part in physique competition helped me to keep me on track. It make me not to give myself trivial excuses just because I feel tired and don’t feel like going to the gym after a long day at work. I wished that after reading my journey, it would encourage you and find ways to help you keep to your personal fitness goals.