She was a hefty 85kg when she decided to lose weight*. Standing at only 158 cm, her BMI of 35 was considered 'obese'.
Says mummy of twin girls, Jeni Lim, "I was 55kg when I was pregnant. I put on weight during pregnancy and failed to lose those extra pounds even after giving birth. When my twins turned 3 in 2012, I still weighed around 88kg.
Decide to lose weight
So what was your motivation for losing weight? Were you ever subject to body shaming?
Jeni reveals, "I wanted to be healthy for my kids. And I also got sick and tired of walking into clothes shops and getting stared at. Some would even comment, "Sorry our XL size also has small cutting ... I felt like I couldn't buy anything anymore. I would always end up with loose tops and tights."
"It got to a stage where I didn't want to step out of my house anymore. I was embarrassed about being asked "Are you pregnant AGAIN?!" for the umpteenth time.
I was forever tired. I felt ugly. And I did not want to look at myself in the mirror anymore."
Secrets to weight loss
We would love to know your weight loss mantra! Diet, exercise...?
"In September 2012, I told myself that enough was enough. I had to do something about my life.
I started on a very strict, low calorie diet, which allowed me to take a maximum of just 500 calories a day*. I was allowed only 100g of meat for each meal. I even went to the extent of weighing my food before I cooked them! I went on a no carb, no oil, no sugar diet.
I ended up losing 18kg within 2 months! Thereafter I coupled the diet with exercise. I first joined a pilates class, only to realise that being fat also meant that my core was too weak to perform well. I had a terrible instructor who actually mocked people who were fat.
So, I gave up on that class. Right after that, I went into Zumba and lost 12 kg within the next 8 months. It took me 13 months to lose 36kg - from weighing 85kg, down to 49kg.
But I realised that with just Zumba, I wasn't toned up. So I went into Piloxing and it toned me up, and strengthened my core. That's when I became a Zumba and PILOXING instructor, as I wanted to share my success story with my students. I want them to know that it's possible to make changes to our life as long as we are determined."
Loving the new me
What difference do you feel now, in terms of general health?
"I feel fit and healthier. I also feel happier and more energetic. I am able to handle my day to day chores better too. My life is 'richer' now.
After losing weight, my friends and family are happy to see a new me. I also helped many of my girlfriends with similar weight issues to lose weight. They are all slimmer and happier now."
Advice to other mums
What would be your advice to readers on losing weight the right way?
"During my weight loss journey, I tried many methods. I spent close to $20,000 on slimming centres, with negligible results. I even spent money on supplements for losing weight, only to find that your weight bounces back straightaway once you stop taking them. Even slimming medicines from the doctor did not work for me, the palpitations and sleepless nights were unbearable."
"The only thing that works for me is proper diet and exercise. One advice to readers, dieting does not mean that you totally stop eating. Proper meals with a nutrition plan is a must. If you stop eating, your body goes into starvation storage mode, and it will end up storing all the fat that you want to lose."
"Proper cardio workout is a must in our daily life. It helps us get rid of calories faster and makes us happier with all the endorphins released from exercising."
Jeni became a full time fitness coach in August 2014, with ActiveSG. She now runs 25 classes islandwide, teaching Piloxing, boogie bounce xtreme and pound fitness.
She says, "I'm at the peak of my health and I have never felt this fit and happy. I encourage everyone to devote at least 1 hour a week to enjoy any workout that you love. It's better to move than to be a couch potato."
"Most people who work feel that they would rather rest at home for an hour, but that's when you start piling on the kilos. Stress from work also makes you more tired and restless. During my 3 years of teaching, I have seen many a transformation, I have seen my students go from being obese to slim. They are so addicted to exercising that some attend my classes 3-4 times a week! Exercising in a group also helps you build relationships; new friendships bloom, and the overall happiness is much more."
* This is the story of Jeni Lim. theAsianparent strongly advises readers to consult a doctor before embarking on ANY diet, as every 'body' is different. Jeni's stringent '500 calories diet' was also carried out under medical supervision. She no longer needs to diet though, and eats normally these days, as regular exercise keeps her fit 'n' fab.