This was me. Or at least this is who I was in the past.
Could you believe it? I had a tough time growing up because I was often ridiculed by my friends about my looks and mannerisms. Being a fat and soft-spoken introvert, names such as “fatty”, “softie”, “princess” were just some of the labels that people put on me. The insults and taunts were so bad that my self-confidence was badly shaken and I began to withdraw from school and social activities.
A small little voice within me said “the only way that I could stop all the insults was to grow so big and intimidating that no one would dare to insult me any more”. Therefore, I made it my goal in life to go big. Yeah, just BIG. That would stop them.
After graduating from university and being financially independent, I started training conscientiously and took lots of supplements to grow big. I started to binge and took high calorie junk food in order to increase my calorie intake. The results were initially very encouraging and, unknown to me, the desire to become big gradually became an obsession.
I started to focus on the digits on the weighing scale and not about how I was looking aesthetically. Friends and family tried to make me realize that I was getting obese and I did not look healthy at all. However, I did not bother with their comments. I just rationalized that they simply do not understand what I was going through. I was extremely proud of the fact that I could lift heavy weights and that I could wear t-shirts that are XXL sized and they still did not look big on me. At my heaviest, I tipped the scales at 216 lbs although I was only 5’5”. I felt that reaching that weight was a personal accomplishment and was not concerned about my appearance and my health was the least of my concerns.
During that time, my friends would often remark that I was breathing hard even though I was only working at my desk. My ankles and knees took the toil due to the heavy weight they had to carry around. My feet would get numb after walking even a short distance. I could feel my heart pounding hard when I was doing light activities like standing up from my chair. Looking back, I ignored all the red flags and persisted with my obsession to get BIG.
My eyes were finally opened when my friend sent me a candid shot that she took of me. It was like the scales suddenly fell from my eyes. I simply did not recognise that person in the photograph. It was only then that it finally occurred to me that I was actually obese and unhealthy. The photo made me realize how wrong I was in my training and my diet. I came to realize that I had been in denial all these while.
I knew that I needed to make changes to my life immediately but I struggled to change my lifestyle. I thought that if I were to start dieting, I would become physically smaller and that would certainly diminish my self-esteem. However, after looking at my photographs and listening to advice from well-meaning friends, I gradually accepted the fact that I was obese and not hunky. Losing the excess fat from my body was the only way to go.
I knew eating clean would be a big hurdle to overcome since I was used to eating big and heavy meals. I knew a sudden change in diet would be very difficult for me to adapt and my mind would give up easily. Therefore, I started to reduce the amount of food and slowly transit from eating out to preparing my own clean meals. The decision to take small steps to achieve a healthy diet helped me to adapt to the change easily.
In terms of my training regime, I initially started with a mere 10 minutes on the cardio machine and gradually increased the duration. Eventually, I was able to do an hour and even two hours of cardio exercise without having to feel that my heart is going to fail anytime soon.
Early this year, I decided to take up a personal challenge and took part in physique competitions in both Singapore and Korea. It was an enriching experience as I was able to push myself further. Although I did not manage to place in the competition, I am nevertheless glad that I took part and found my passion in fitness and training.
Years ago I would never have dreamt that I could ever step on stage for a physique competition. Determination has proved me otherwise. I will continue to pursue this fitness model dream now that I realized dreams can only come true if you truly believe in yourself and not give up on your dreams.
So, this is the story of my journey from fat to fab. The journey has been filled with mistakes, tears and ultimately joy at achieving my personal milestones. I know that I still have a long way to achieve my dreams, but I will definitely not give up. I hope that this story will inspire you to do the same.
5 things I had learnt from my transformation:
1. Baby steps are the way to go
Take small and manageable steps to make the change. You will feel motivated as you are able to accomplish each small goal that you set your mind to.
2. Be patient and realistic
Do not give up just because the mirror does not show what you desire to see yet. Rome was not built in a day so don’t expect miracles to happen overnight.
3. 21 DAYS.
That is how long it takes to make something into a habit. Do not give up and stick to it for at least 21 days!
4. DIET. DIET. DIET.
Dieting is as important as training. Proper diet feeds and builds the body at the same time.
5. Healthy food can be delicious too
Many people are put off by the idea of dieting as they think that it involves eating bland food. Healthy food can be delicious too! You just have to use your imagination. There are many recipes for healthy and delicious meals and snacks available.
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Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!