Tired of feeling weak and all the name-calling, Lee Theng decided to revamp her life. By Estelle Low
Photo: Roger Chua
Soo Lee Theng
Weight lost 23kg in 3 years
Lee Theng’s challenge
Since young, I loved to eat and disliked exercising – I was a large kid. When I was in my teens, I weighed about 80kg. I didn’t feel good being fat: My inner thighs constantly rubbed against each other, causing skin abrasions. I also sweat easily, which made me feel awkward and uncomfortable most of the time. Plus, I was frequently mocked by friends and strangers. Once, when I was cycling, a man shouted at me: “Get off your bike or you might knock someone down. You shouldn’t be cycling because you’re so fat!”
Despite being overweight, I was quite fit during my secondary school days, and was captain of my school’s netball team. During my university’s term break, I started running 10km thrice a week to regain my fitness. Weight loss wasn’t my priority then. At first, it was difficult to keep up with the running regime. I experienced headaches after each run. As I persisted, running felt easier.
Soon, people around me commented that I had lost weight. Encouraged, I signed up for a marathon to push myself further. I didn’t complete the 42km run as my ankles became swollen and painful midway. But I was glad to know that I could actually run 21km!
To help my weight loss, I knew my eating habits had to change. During mealtimes, I reduced my carb intake, from two bowls to half a bowl of rice, and ate more vegetables and lean meat. I cut out my favourite chocolates and soft drinks as well. When I felt like snacking, I’d reach for yogurt and nuts.
After two years, I was 15kg lighter. My knees and ankles started to hurt, so I stopped running, and attended a hot yoga class upon a friend’s recommendation. I ended up loving it. After a year of doing hot yoga, plus watching my diet, I lost another 9kg.
Recently, I signed up for a gym membership that offers unlimited hot yoga classes – I aim to do hot yoga at least thrice a week. I’ve never imagined looking this great! My next goal is to sculpt my abs and shoulders.
My friends and colleagues are amazed by my physical transformation. To me, weight loss is all about determination and patience. Don’t expect instant results; I took three years to get to where I am now. If I can do it, so can anyone else!