Nur Aisyah Rayhan

I had always been obese all my life. My daily meals included having McDonalds every day, and I weighed 60kg when I was in primary school! It was not till I started working that I realised my health was taking a toll. I was having constant headaches and menstrual cycle problems – it actually stopped for 2 years because of my weight. I started going for long walks every day and subsequently started to run at the stadium. My weight dropped from 120kg to 88kg in 3 years, but I realise it plateaued at 88kg despite running more and more rounds at the stadium. I was desperate to know what I was doing wrong – and that motivated me to join the gym and consult professional help.

When I joined Fitness First in 2017, I started training under Samuel Chia, and saw changes in my weight right away. Samuel introduced me to high intensity training with the use of weights and gym equipment. I did my first-ever burpee back then! He also introduced and guided me on the right way to do deadlifts, kettlebell swings and how to use bosu and battle ropes. I was really stepping out of my comfort zone as the only exercise that I used to know is running.

I vividly remember my first workout session with Samuel. It was so intense that I felt like throwing up halfway through – my body was shaking and it was so sore for an entire week. I couldn’t lift up my hands and legs without feeling any aches. But at the same time, I felt mentally and emotionally good too. Samuel always said, “When your body is sore, it’s growing stronger.” Subsequently, the sores became bearable, and I did indeed feel stronger after the workouts.

On other days, I work out on my own about 4 times a week. I’m glad that Samuel taught me how to use the gym equipment on my own. Instead of running long distances for a long period of time, I do interval runs now, and it’s more effective!

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Outside of the gym, I’ve also changed my diet. I am (admittedly) a food lover, and I love to eat in abundance. However, with the ongoing weight loss, it motivates me eat healthier. I started a low carb diet, avoiding processed food, sugary drinks and included more wholegrains. I stopped eating white rice and white bread completely, and prepare my daily meals at home every day, avoiding the oily and preservative-filled food from outside. With that, I also developed an interest in cooking healthy food for myself and my family!

At the end of the year, my weight dropped to 67kg! I lost 21 kg in 7 months, and found a new passion in being active. I started to joined sports clubs such as netball, joined hiking trips with my friends, and even completed my first ever 10km run. I’m healthier, stronger, and happier, and in June 2018, I reached my weight goal of 59kg! I’ve not weighed below 60kg since primary school, and have never felt better in my life before.

To top it all, the best thing that has happened so far is seeing the people around me make changes to their lives as well. My sister joins in my runs, and my colleagues at work are starting to work out too. I also managed to inspire my mum to cook healthier food at home. Now, she loves to eat brown rice at home, and her diabetic levels has improved ever since.

Reaching my ideal weight, my current goals now are simply to pursue new interests and hobbies. I enjoy learning new sports such as rock climbing and Muay Thai! My next goal also includes hiking Mount Rinjani in Indonesia, and I’m excited to train for it.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and never gave up on my goals. I’d like to be role model for the people who are afraid to take the first step – to show them that courage and determination will help them achieve their goals in life!

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