After being mocked and criticised, Bernice Lim was motivated to overhaul her unhealthy lifestyle. By Estelle Low
Photo: Roger Chua
Weight lost 8kg over 8 months
Weekly workout schedule
Weight training six times a week, plus stair-climbing, sprinting or long-distance running daily
While in school, I played volleyball frequently and thought I could eat whatever I wanted. Every day, I would treat myself to fast as well as junk food such as potato chips and instant noodles. I even upsized meals, thinking it would give me more value for my money. My weight increased significantly when I was 14, and people would call me names like “fat bunny”. At 18, I decided I’d enough of being mocked and criticised. I wanted to show my relatives and peers that I could be slim, fit and strong.
I started lifting weights as I thought that if I gained muscle mass, I would be more respected by others. But that didn’t last long. My parents worried that I would bulk up, and persuaded me to stop going to the gym.
To continue exercising, I turned to running twice daily. I also starved myself and avoided eating out. I had frequent mood swings and was unhappy. Then my cousin introduced me to a personal trainer who’d recently had a baby and looked amazing. I was so inspired.
Under her guidance, my workouts consisted of weight training, ab-strengthening and cardio. I also learnt how to engage the right muscles and adopt a good posture during training. She gave tips to improve my diet, too. For instance, I learnt to avoid adding processed meat and cream-based sauces to my salads as they are fatty and hardly nutritious.
Every day, I would have two hard boiled eggs for breakfast, and then brown rice with steamed or boiled chicken breast and asparagus for lunch. Dinner would be similar, but without the rice. If I had to snack, I would eat a handful of blueberries or an apple.
With my regular workouts and revamped diet, I steadily lost a kilo every week.
To stay motivated, I joined a physique competition last year. Halfway through, I felt demoralised as the other participants were way thinner. I also started to binge-eat to “reward” myself for losing weight.
Thankfully, my friends, family and personal trainer were supportive. They reminded me of how far I’d come, and that I would be wasting my efforts if I continued binge-eating. To curb that, I tried to have regular meals, and drink more water to stave off hunger.
I’m also glad to have been introduced to Rock The Naked Truth, a movement that celebrates body confidence through fitness. It connected me to people who shared goal to be fit, positive and healthy.
I’ve also stopped comparing myself to others since accepting that no one has a perfect body. To reach my ideal weight of 55kg, I modify my workout every fortnight and watch my diet closely.