“My Healthy Lifestyle Has Made Me Happier!”
Once a big fan of desserts and snacks, Irynn Leong now maintains a healthy attitude about food, fitness and life.
“I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted” says 21-year old Irynn Leong, who was a huge fan of sweet cakes and ice cream in her teens. She says, “When I was 16, I was never worried about my looks. I loved my junk food and would have my daily fix of cheesecake; during exam revision time, I’d have a packet of chips.”
Although Irynn was constantly told to lose weight by her friends and family, she chose to ignore their advice and continued binging on her fav treats. Her sedentary lifestyle in tandem with unhealthy eating habits had led to a massive weight gain. “When I stood on the weighing machine, I was 77 kilograms;
and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. I thought to myself: ‘I used to wear a women’s M, but now, I wear a women’s XL’,” says Irynn.
In 2011, Irynn decided to slim down because her excess weight was affecting her emotionally, mentally and physically. She says, “Due to the constant pressure I got from my family and friends about my weight, I often locked myself up at home because I felt horrid about my body.” She put herself through unhealthy diet plans such as eating only one meal a day to lose the excess weight, but it only caused her to gain even more weight and develop digestion problems to boot.
HER TURNING POINT
By the end of 2011, Irynn had the wake-up call she needed, and was inspired to change her lifestyle. “I really wanted a lean and fit body like most gym-goers. They have that perfect body shape that screams lean, fit and muscular!” Although Irynn had never felt comfortable exercising, she immediately joined a community gym and started with simple exercises such as stationery cycling, running on the treadmill and lifting light weights.
Her new lifestyle helped her shed 4 kilograms in six months; however she found that her weight loss was relatively slow compared to others. “During my first six months at the gym, I had no one to guide me in my weight loss regime. I kept my snacking habits and would not push myself during workouts,” says Irynn.
In November 2013, Irynn joined Fitness First at Paradigm Mall and became more productive and proactive about her lifestyle. She began embracing healthier eating habits and went to the gym regularly. “I started going for intense workout classes such as GRIT Strength, GRIT Cardio and Body Pump. I also practiced yoga twice a week, and if I had additional time to spare, I’d run on the treadmill or hula-hoop.” Irynn ditched cheesecake, replacing it with healthy granola bars and crackers.
Over the next six months, she shed another 7 kilograms, slimming down to 66 kilograms. Despite the many challenges she faced, Irynn says she rarely felt discouraged. In fact, she says: “when the going gets tough, I have my gym buddies to motivate and guide me. Besides, I learn new workout routines each week and the personal trainers help correct my mistakes!”
HER LIFE NOW
Irynn still continues to challenge her body with high-intensity workouts. In the meantime, she’s also training for a 15-kilometer run, the Kuala Lumpur Marathon, in September 2014. Her dream, she says, “is to have both a fit body and a fit mind.” Whilst Irynn still indulges in desserts every now and then, she does it knowing that moderation is key in maintaining the figure she has worked so hard to attain. These days, Irynn notes, she is a lot more mindful of her diet.