I Started Lifting Weights. Now I'm 65 Pounds Lighter and the Strongest I've Ever Been.

·4-min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Lim HongZhuang, 38, from Singapore, explains how adjusting his mindset and overhauling his diet helped him lose weight and become a healthier, stronger father to his children.

For the longest time, I tried not to think about my weight gain. I refused to step on the scale and face up to the reality that I was obese. My daily lethargy stemmed from the fact that my food intake was way overboard, at irregular hours, and I was always eating processed food just because it was convenient.

It took me more than five years to recognise that when one day, watching my kids play, I wasn't as mobile and was easily out of breath. I realised the best thing I can ever give to my kids is truly not to burden them as they grow up. That means I've got to keep healthy, and be mobile for as long as I physically can. I had started to read up on metabolic diseases, which is something that creeps up on anyone. This was when I decided to take back my body and mind and sign up with Ultimate Performance.

During the transformation I was training three times a week, doing high-repetition compound exercises which helped to reduce body fat in an efficient manner. I reckon with any modern day knowledge worker, scheduling is definitely a serious problem. I did have an issue putting in training three times a week with the demands of my role as a CEO. But after signing up, the next step was to be committed.

I played sports when I was younger, and had done cardio before, but had no experience in weights or resistance training prior to this. I learned a lot from my trainer Gabriel, from diet and what foods to eat, to techniques for staying sage while lifting heavy volume. But I think the most important lesson he taught me was to not compare myself to others, and focus on my own results. It sounds like a cliché because you hear it so much, but focusing on myself, both mentally and physically, was one of the key lessons I took away from this entire experience.

Photo credit: Ultimate Performance
Photo credit: Ultimate Performance

Other than being committed and consistent, spousal support was the most important factor. As a family we are big on food, but since both of us underwent the transformation, it was more encouraging that we started to change not only the way we eat, and the schedules of eating, but we started to grow closer together with our kids on what they will eat. Eating clean does not have to be boring or tasteless. We made significant changes to the diet of our entire family together and that brought us closer together during the process.

I've never done deadlifts before coming to Ultimate Performance, not even growing up playing sports. In six months, I achieved a 90 kg (198 pound) PR, and recently I was able to do six reps at 100 kgs (220 pounds).

In that same period of time, I lost around 30 kgs (66 pounds) and went from 34.4 percent body fat to 10.6 percent body fat. I also gained around 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of lean body mass. The most hilarious part of my transformation was that I needed to find workout clothes while I was losing all that weight, and the only things I could find that fit were the P.E. clothes I had worn more than 20 years ago at school.

Photo credit: Ultimate Performance
Photo credit: Ultimate Performance

I feel that one of the most important traits a man can have is his focus. Focus creates drive and motivation. The mind being trained to switch on and off during each exercise helped me to also perform the same at home. To focus on being a husband, father, and son.

Once you look after your body, you will naturally take care of yourself in most aspects of your life. I have more energy for my kids, putting them on my shoulders to add weight to clock my steps, and I've become more focused in ensuring my business maintains the course to thrive going forward. My relationship with everyone at home improved, especially with my wife who saw that drastic change in me.

Another enormously positive side effect is to that I am now very consistent with my life. I wake up early at 4am these days to make sure my steps and morning exercise are done, to ensure I am focused on what's coming in the day. That's the best advice I can give to anyone who is at the start of their own fitness journey: be consistent, and trust the journey.

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