Name: Kylie Yuen
Weight (Before): 99.7kg
Weight (After): 54kg
Growing up, Kylie Yuen, now 20, was often referred to, sometimes jokingly, as "the chubby kid", and it certainly didn't help that her Chinese name, Yuan Xiao Nan, literally translates to "round small boy". The first time her weight became an issue was back in her primary school days, when a girl refused to share colour pencils because other girls "don't talk to her". At that time, Kylie brushed off those comments, dismissing them as taunts from mean-spirited classmates. However, she couldn't ignore the words of her relatives who, behind her back, referred to her as "fat and ugly".
"At that time, I was staying with my relatives overseas without my parents. I thought they were people I could rely on and love me for who I was, which is why it was a terrible time for me," she says.
Kylie was spurred on to lose weight during her polytechnic days when she finally tipped the scales at 99.7kg. At the sight of those figures, something inside her head clicked into place. "I realised that I couldn't carry on like this, and I had to change for myself." On 12 July 2010, her weight loss journey began.
Kylie's weight loss journey
Like many dieters out there, Kylie initially looked to "miracle creams" advertised on television for a quick and easy way to lose weight. When those products failed to work, she decided to adopt the tried-and-tested way of managing her weight: exercising and dieting.
In terms of diet, Kylie's eating habits went through a dramatic change. She stuck with natural ingredients instead of processed foods. Kylie also researched nutritional information online, and even went as far as visiting food blogs to curb her occasional hunger pangs.
For a time, her dieting routine worked wonders. Within the first three months, she shed a remarkable 30kg. However, such a drastic change eventually took a toll on her body. Emotionally, she became more moody, and she noticed hair loss – she even shared a picture of her scalp with an obvious bald spot. That sounded the alarm for Kylie. Her lack of protein wasn't doing her any good, and she began incorporated lean meat and seafood, back into her diet.
Today, most of Kylie's friends from her primary school days probably wouldn't recognise her on the streets. Just three years after she decided to lose weight for good, she lost 45kg – that's half the weight from her poly days! Still, her diet discipline continues even today, and she sticks to simple steamed fish, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and home-cooked meals instead of the fried, greasy food that she indulged in back then.
"My taste buds have changed and I get quite turned off by oily, greasy food. Even cakes seem too sweet for me," she says. That is not to say that Kylie doesn't treat herself every once in a while. She still goes for buffets every now and then and waxes lyrical about how much she loves Japanese sashimi.
The changes that Kylie has experienced are not limited to her physical looks. Emotionally, she's grown more confident as a person. Now, she no longer cares about how people judge her. More than three years of strict diets and exercising have also helped her develop a keen sense of self-discipline, which carried over to other areas of her life. As an accounting student at Nanyang Business School, Kylie finds it easier to juggle her studies along with her work as a freelance model.
"No matter what, there will always be people who are judging you based on your appearance. Just get yourself out of that constant cycle of feeling sorry for yourself and take the situation into your hands. Make a change and make a difference for a better you. Some friends may tempt you with food while others will cheer you on, but ultimately, the change will affect you. So push yourself, keep going and surprise your friends at the very end!"
Kylie's top tips for losing weight
The freelance model gives the following advice on losing weight safely and effectively.
Are you inspired by Kylie's story and want to eat more healthily and lose weight? Try our seven-day food and fitness plan – it has some great exercises, diets and activities to help you lose weight and stay motivated each week.