8 Malaysians Open Up About Weight Struggles And How They Worked Their Butts Off To Get Fit

They'll be your new #fitspiration.

Cover image via Aqila Zainal

1. "I went from 92kg to 75kg by eating healthy and working out 3 times a week"

Image via Julie Mokhtar

"Thanks to all my post-wedding weight gain, I was the heaviest I've ever been back in February 2017 - 92kg. I've always had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) issues, but the weight gain made them so much worse, my period was so crazy haywire that I was practically bleeding through the month!

I decided that I had to do something about it so I surrendered my sad self to the wonders of the ketogenic lifestyle, which is basically a high-fat low-carb diet. I’ve never had good experiences with diets but it’s been different being keto and I’m loving every minute of it."

Image via Julie Mokhtar

"After about 6 months I’d managed to shed 17kg and my PCOS symptoms weren’t too crazy anymore, yay! I also got myself a personal trainer and started working out 3 times a week. It was hell at first but now I'm happy to say that I'm one of those people who genuinely looks forward to workout days."

- Julie, 31

2. "I first realised that I needed to lose weight while bungee jumping in New Zealand"

Image via Chris Wee

"They needed to take my weight to calibrate the tension of the rubber band, and for safety purposes the heaviest would go first. Amongst all the kiwis and huge ang mohs, I was at the front of the row. I remember the number clearly, it was '101' written on the back of my hand. Yes, that means 101kg.

My weight loss wasn’t immediate. Over the course of 6 years, I slowly but surely lost a total of 28kg. When I hadn't started work and had no money, I went gym hopping, taking advantage of their 1-2 week free passes with personal trainer sessions. I went to 4 gyms over 6 weeks and lost 6kg."

Image via Chris Wee

"Cooking at home definitely helps too. Less salt and less sugar. I'm also constantly trying new ways to exercise. I get bored easily so trying something new helps me push myself to keep going."

- Chris, 30

3. "I used to be 48kg before I had my daughter"

Jess is on the far left.

Image via Jess Lew

"I gained 20kg during my pregnancy and it was very hard for me to lose weight after giving birth. My weight maintained at around 56kg for about 1-2 years but I wasn't really too bothered about it.

Last year, our office hosted a few exercise and healthy living challenges so I decided to join for fun since all my teammates were doing it too. I started working out again (about 3-4 times a week) and eating clean with less carbs and more protein."

Image via Jess Lew

"I don't know how much I weigh now but I definitely feel healthier overall and a lot more energised on a daily basis. The most important thing I learned throughout this journey is to love your body no matter how it looks. Health comes first so be proud as long as you're healthy."

- Jess, 33

4. "I used not to care what I eat and just ate whatever I like, whenever I like"

Esther is on the far right.

Image via Esther Chung

"I also used to skip dinner simply because I had heavy dishes earlier during the day and didn't feel like eating. And I hated exercising. Absolutely hated it (because it involved sweating).

I started to realise I was super unhealthy and unfit when a friend measured my body fat with this canggih machine. I didn't expect my body fat percentage to be over 30%, was quite shocked. Probably because I couldn't 'see' the fats."

Image via Esther Chung

"I picked up yoga to slowly 'ease' myself into making exercising a habit, because it didn't seem that 'hardcore' BUT I WAS SO WRONG BECAUSE IT IS. I also started attending other fitness classes with my friends and from working out once a week, I now do at least three days a week.

After exercising more regularly for a month, I definitely noticed that certain body parts are now more 'solid'. But I'm far from being toned - still working towards it!"

- Esther, 26

5. "I started going to the gym after breaking up with my high school girlfriend"

Image via Yong Sheng

"I was chubby as a kid but I was happy because the girls found it cute so I was quite popular hahaha. During my high school days, I started getting more active by taking part in scout activities and started playing basketball too. Slimmed down quite a bit and started dating this girl but we broke up after a few years.

Had a lot of free time on my hands after that and idk why going to the gym was the cool thing back then lol. So I started going with a bunch of my high school friends as a way to de-stress from the breakup. We would work out together regularly but they all slowly started to always ffk and eventually stopped coming."

Image via SAYS

"Having to work out alone was pretty demotivating at first, but gymming ended up becoming my way to have some me-time. I also set a goal for myself to get fitter. My hardwork paid off and I at least have a better physique now.

So I make sure to keep at it, even if I have to work out alone or go at odd hours like early in the morning or late at night after work. Bet my ex-gf regrets breaking up with me ;P"

- Yong Sheng, 24

6. “I used to always look at the number on the scale, but now I find joy in looking at numbers of my powerlifting weights”

Image via Aqila Zainal

"I’m naturally an outdoorsy person, so it wasn’t hard to realise that my unhealthy ways had started to take a toll on me. As embarrassing as it was, I actually fainted before we even reached the peak while hiking up Bukit Gasing.

And I struggled so hard just to climb the ladder when we went to do Skytrex that everyone had to (pity) cheer me on. I was 104kg at the time and the fact that I was constantly out of breath while doing activities that I really love and slowing everyone else down really stressed me out. I didn't want my weight to hold me back from exploring and experiencing adventures."

Image via Aqila Zainal

"I started joining bootcamps and online weight loss challenges that involved getting tips on food and daily workout routines. I really learned a lot from all that and started applying them to my daily life with a few tweaks that suited me.

Now I do a lot weightlifting and have started to really enjoy powerlifting. What really excited me was when I realised I could deadlift 125kg without even having a proper training program.

I don’t constantly check my weight on the scale like I used to. Instead of always focusing on losing weight, I find myself working hard to get stronger in the gym and always try to up my personal record for powerlifting. I love feeling strong and like I can accomplish anything."

- Aqila, 31

7. "I lost 5kg in a month and stopped feeling so tired all the time"

Image via Kenneth Leow

"It all started when I started to feel sluggish at work and was always tired and sleepy, no matter how much sleep I got the night before. People around me kept commenting that I looked like I need more sleep too. That's what spurred me to start being healthier.

I started Intermittent Fasting and going to the gym on weekends. I also occasionally hike up Bukit Wawasan in puchong which is nearby where I stay. I mostly just focus on doing simple cardio and circuit workouts, as well as body weight training."

Image via Kenneth Leow

"I ended up losing 5kg in a month. I was 75kg in December and come January, I was 70kg. Currently, I'm hovering between 68kg and 69kg. But some really impressive milestones that I wasn't expecting to hit when I started being more active include improving my stamina, now being able to do intermediate level hikes, and being able to stay underwater for a longer period of time while swimming."

- Kenneth, 28

8. "I absolutely love snacking and hate working out"

Image via Tamara Jayne

"Who doesn't love snacking right? No matter the time or place, chances are you'll probably find me stuffing my face with some kind of food. So it's no surprise that it started to show a bit lah. I wouldn't say I was fat, but growing up I started to get chubbier and people would call me 'meaty'.

 The thing is, I do enjoy playing sports like badminton and futsal but I absolutely HATED workouts that require going to the gym. After much paksa-ing from my friends, I very reluctantly tried weightlifting and workout routines at a gym nearby."

Image via Tamara Jayne

"The first month killed me, but I began to feel less lethargic and motivated to push through. As much as I disliked the soreness after, I love the rush I would feel after a session and best of all, I get to enjoy a guilt-free life of constant snacking hehe!

Coming from someone who thought gyms were for losers, it has definitely improved my lifestyle but I still prefer working out at home or by doing sports and outdoorsy activities. I try to sneak in a futsal game or hike once in a while to break my workout routine.

As for my eating habits, I've learnt that my body falls sick easily when I lack veges and fruits, so I've started making an extra conscious effort to have enough of those in my meals even if it means blending vegetable juices when I know I am lacking for that week."

- Tammy, 24

Inspired to go on your own fitness journey? Watsons wants to encourage you to #GetActive and start living a healthier lifestyle :)

Working out doesn't have to be such a pain! Start small by getting some basic supplies and doing simple exercises in the comfort of your home.

Watsons has the perfect line of exercise equipment that's catered for beginners. This includes dumbbells, yoga mats, gym balls, and ab wheels. Check them out below: 

Image via Watsons

Watsons 1kg Dumbbells (2pcs)
Made from PVC and iron, these dumbbells aren't too heavy so they're perfect if you're just starting to lift and looking to tone your arms with some simple muscle exercises.

Price: RM32.90

Image via Watsons

Watsons Lifestyle Exercise Mat Asst 1's
Yoga mats can get pretty pricey so if you're taking your first yoga class and aren't sure if you're going to continue with it just yet, it's best if you opt for one that's affordable yet doesn't compromise on quality.

Price: RM35.90

Image via Watsons

Watsons Gym Ball With Pump (1 set)
Gym balls are ideal for whole body workouts and great for all fitness levels. It improves your balance and coordination as well as strengthens and tones your body. The Watsons gym ball is made from phtalate-free, anti-burst PVC to ensure optimal quality.

Price: RM42.90

Image via Watsons

Watsons Ab Wheel
Want ripped abs? Get started with an ab wheel that'll help you engage your entire core and specifically targeting the relevant muscles in your abdominal area. Some important posture tips to keep in mind for ab wheel newbies are to avoid arching your lower back as you roll out and to always keep your head down in neutral position.

Price: RM29.90

Need some more #fitspiration? We've got you covered: