Derek Tan, 26
With his lanky fame, you’d never imagine Derek Tan had to battle the bulge several times, and once tipped the scales at 111kg. “I was the yo-yo man,” the 28-year-old consultant chuckles. He lost weight, then gained it back – not once but thrice. Almost six years ago during his national service, he lost 21kg. After he left the army, he slacked off and hit 98kg. Another round of dieting and exercising helped him shed 17kg.
But long hours at work and regular business lunches soon piled the kilos back on, and he hit the 98kg plateau again. “Supper was a daily affair – that was the worst thing I was doing,” he admits.
THE WAKE-UP CALL
“A friend told me I looked like I had given up on life,” he says. “I was taken aback.” Moreover, diabetes ran in his family, and he was worried that he would succumb to the disease as well. After his medical results came back clean, he was determined to do something about his weight for good.
Derek started on the P90X home exercise regime, which emphasises cross-training and switching the order of exercises, as well as incorporating new and varied movements. This supposedly prevents the body from adapting to exercises over time, and results in continual improvements without plateaus.
He also stopped eating supper and paid more attention to the nutritional and caloric values of the food he was consuming. “Now, I eat five to six small meals a day. I avoid certain dishes such as nasi padang and char kway teow,” says Derek. But he lets on that he isn’t an obsessive calorie counter.
Apart from the P90X regime, Derek also puts together his own fitness routine. He would jog 6km to 8km on Mondays, and do push-ups and pull-ups on Tuesdays and Fridays. He would reserve Wednesdays for yoga sessions, while Thursdays were for tennis. He gave himself the weekends off.
The immediate benefit derived from his latest successful bout of weight loss is that he feels more energetic now. He’s also happy he’s able to indulge in his love of beer, minus the guilt. But he admits the greatest reward is something else: “I feel fantastic – and I think I look great. That definitely ups my chances with the ladies!”
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