Like many people, project manager Florence Wan Wai Ching only exercised when she was in school. Once she entered the workforce, she was left with little time to work on her fitness, and the pounds accumulated. The turning point was when she almost lost her diabetic father to high fever. That incident got her thinking of her own health, and she eventually took steps to change. Today, the 42-year-old KL-ite is in the pink of health. Here’s how she got her body back in shape.
What’s your fitness story?
“I stopped being active at the age of 16, to focus on my studies. My lifestyle had been pretty sedentary since then, except for the occasional hike or swim during the holidays, perhaps twice a year. As an adult, I worked long hours, sometimes late into the night. A few years back, I made several attempts to move more by going on weekly walks or hikes. I tried controlling my diet by eating less carbs. I successfully lost weight, but I gained it all back a year later.
“Then, In 2014, I signed up with a gym and took part in 10km and 21km road races. When my trainer left, I was struggling for a reason to go back because I just hated doing cardio group classes at the gym. Things went downhill from there. I was at my lowest point in 2013 – I was terribly unhappy with my career and felt unsure of which direction to take. I was also at my heaviest in 2016, at 81kg.”
What was your turning point?
“I was climbing a flight of stairs at work in 2016, and I was panting really hard. So, I asked myself, “how did I go from running a half marathon to that?”. Just before that, my father was hospitalised and warded in the ICU for a severe fever. We almost lost him, but, thankfully, he pulled through and is well today. I thought to myself, this is not how I want to live the rest of my days. One of my closest friends had died from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord), and was known to love running. That’s when I decided that I should shape up, and care for myself and loved ones better.”
When did you start seeing results?
“I was following Noel Chelliah, a fitness trainer, on social media for several months in 2016. He offered an online coaching course and I signed up for it. Not long after, I joined his DailyMuscle gym and took part in the weight loss challenge. In a year, I lost 13kg. The community support at DailyMuscle is the reason why I’m staying committed to my weight loss journey.”
What is your favourite workout and why?
“HIIT workouts are the best. I get my whole body worked out effectively in 45 minutes and don’t believe in spending ridiculous amount of hours at the gym. HIIT is also easy to do without gym equipment; when I travel, I have a (written) set of workouts, and do them in the hotel room.”
Which body part did you work the hardest on?
“My upper body and core are not as strong as my legs. I still can’t pull myself up to the bar, and there is a stubborn pudge of fat around my lower abs! My fitness goal? I aim to do the Spartan Race again next year, with a faster finishing time.”
What do you like about your body?
“I like that I am still curvy, but I am much leaner and stronger now. Many people have told me that they see a wonderful glow about me.”
Swipe right for Florence’s diet.