Name: Henry Low
Prev Weight: 85.4KG
Current Weight: 66.3KG
Time Taken: 28 WEEKS
Being unhealthy wasn’t a natural thing for the younger Henry: based in Europe previously for his MBA and work, he was leading an active lifestyle then.
He worked out regularly and even took part in triathlons annually. After his relocation back to Singapore and welcoming two kids into the family, it was when his lifestyle took a 180-degree change.
The fact that he and his wife were foodies didn’t help matters, and his sedentary lifestyle was further amplified when his family would go on road trips, making sure that the car was fully stocked with snacks- M & Ms especially.
The Wake-Up Call
For Henry, there wasn’t any particular event or moment that stood out for him which made him start to lose weight. Rather, it was an accumulation of many small things like body aches, pains, and a growing reluctance to take family photos that when combined together, made him realise that something had to be done.
The catalyst that pushed Henry to finally do something was the ritual of his children wanting a jump hug from him every time he came home from work. “My back would hurt when my elder son tried to jump on me and I had to catch him. And it wouldn’t be fair to the younger one if I didn’t catch him when I did so for the elder one,” he said.
Initially, Henry took things into his own hands. He read online on tips to lose weight, and restarted his old fitness regime-running-which didn’t go well.
It was then that he realised he needed to get external help. The thought of weight loss surgery did cross his mind, but as he had thought, there were risks involved, and he believed that he could do it without surgery.
His wife had suggested trying out personal training. He finally decided on Ultimate Performance based on a single factor: Many of the clients at the gym were everyday people. “The results,” he said, “were simply amazing”.
The initial weeks were tough. Henry’s diet underwent a total change from all the desserts and foods. It came down to this: no fruits, no sugar and no carbohydrates, as set by his assigned personal trainer, Mark. “The first 10 days,” he recalls, “were tough. I would feel hungry every day.”
To cope, he ate smaller meals throughout the day, snacked on healthy nuts, drank water, and added more healthy foods to his diet. His family too, helped: During meals, there would be the normal family foods, and there would be “Henry’s meal”, as he termed it.
At work, he would choose which social gathering to attend, and for those that he did attend, he would pick options that would suit his dietary restrictions.
Even till today, he is proud to say that he is still following the dietary plan that Mark had set for him. “My body has adapted accordingly to the diet. But once in a while, I will still indulge in a nice dessert. But not the full portion.” he said with a laughed.
He is still undergoing the fitness training programme that Mark had set for him initially. And when asked about what kept him going throughout, he revealed it was “a certain relief” that he was in someone’s capable hands, which was “a mental relaxation” for him. “After all,” he said, “I know that someone who knows the best for my body is there for me, guiding me every step of the way.”
It wasn’t a bed of roses – his personalized and progressive fitness programme incorporated a lot of bench presses, leg curls, push ups and sit ups, or even “the Prowler”, where he had to manhandle a three-pronged metal contraption down a 25 metres track multiple times, but never once did the thought of giving up cross his mind.
For Henry, there were consistent results physically. The first four months into the journey, he felt that his clothes were getting looser, he looked fresher, and the best thing: He had to switch his wardrobes a couple of times entirely, because he couldn’t fit into his clothes.
“It can be done,” he advised, “Your commitment must be there. You must really, really want it.”
Text by Nicholas Woo & Henry Low. Photo by Darren Chang