Trigger warning: Turn away now if you’re uncomfortable with statements about eating disorder (ED) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BD)
Disclaimer: Not medical advice.
If you’re someone who can’t function around food because you’re hyper-obsessed with calorie-counting and worrying about how people judge you for having a bit more fat on your body, this story of Belle might inspire you to take the first step make a change today.
Belle recounts the first instance she was conscious of her body, her weight and how she looked in comparison with her peers – she was in upper primary, and 34kg then. Since then, she had always monitored her weight.
Although Belle never went to the doctor and was not medically diagnosed with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, the likes, she was sure she had very disordered habits and crippling body dysmorphia. As she grew up, toxic comments made by others put her down, leaving her to feel ‘absolutely disgusting’ and ‘self-destructive’.
This led to the presence of food having a vicelike grip over her life. “I could not stop, and it felt like I was being possessed or something. Even food I didn’t want to eat, like sauce? Wasabi sauce? Condiments? Protein powder? I would find some way to make sure it’s finished,” she says.
“When I was super full, I would still go on and on, and when I tried to distract myself with work or something, my mind was constantly on what food I had in my room,” says Belle. “It was like a brain scanner alarm that picked up food and alerted me until I didn’t have it anymore.”
“I absolutely hated this. I couldn’t study or focus on anything else because my mind was just constantly on food and it was just terrible.”
Her last resort
Belle had a ‘last resort’ to her problems – personal training. She was originally apprehensive to the idea, she says, because “personal training is expensive and a privilege”.
But as she puts it, “No regrets getting it.”
Check out Belle’s transformation below, but remember, these pictures alone do not tell the full picture of how she had a major paradigm shift and how that improved many aspects of her physical, emotional and mental health.
The turning point
Belle had a paradigm shift after she started training with dinokang – prior to training, she used to see diet and nutrition as the start and end points after she reaches her ‘dream body’. The truth, however, could not be further.
“In reality [diet and nutrition] are consistent things throughout the rest of my life, and that’s honestly great; it just shows great things are maintained with consistent effort,” says Belle. “I realised I kept procrastinating and prolonging my suffering. My trainer always reminds me that I have the rest of my life to lose weight. It does really set in when you think about the bigger scale of things.”
And to the demons that Belle battles with, she has a newfound empowerment to deal with them. “I just tell people I’m gonna get chicken breast, tell them I take care of my diet and have goals to smash, and that’s it,” she says. “Didn’t make it sound like a big deal, isn’t a big deal.”
“I used to be super sensitive about it as if it was a crime, but now I see it as I’m just an individual with different priorities,” says Belle. “And who is anyone to judge and disrespect that? And if they do then it isn’t my problem either.”
“I decide whatever I put into my mouth and nobody should pressure me otherwise. Of course, [there’s also the] part where I made everything a problem when it’s actually not problematic, but rather just an uncommon preference.”
Belle credits dinokang with helping her with this mindset shift. “Indeed, getting personal training has taught me that it is not the number, but what makes up the number that’s really crucial in making it sustainable,” she says.
If there’s anything we hope you take away from this story, it’s these:
- How improper calorie-counting can backfire, but how you can bounce back and find the right balance for yourself
- How simply lifting weights can help many aspects of your life, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally
- How weight loss isn’t anything to be celebrated and weight gain isn’t anything to be criticised.
Lifting weights will save lives. Make no mistake about that. Because it already has. More people just need to know that.
Take the first step today with us. Join the waitlist.