Chatting up..Cheryl Wee

Once a victim of fad diets, this local actress has since turned her life around and now helps others slim down safely at her wellness and weight management centre, Cheryl W.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Looking at how comfortable and natural Cheryl Wee is in front of the camera, it’s hard to imagine that the 29-year-old starlet struggled with body image issues in the not-sodistant past.

Back in 2013, when Cheryl started making a name for herself in the entertainment industry, she succumbed to the usual pressures of body ideals. “I thought it was my responsibility as an actress to look good, and tried to achieve that by losing weight,” she says.

“I subscribed to any diet that promised to make me thin. It was the only thing I cared about for a period of time, and it consumed me.”

The next two years were a tumultuous journey of extreme dieting and self-discovery for Cheryl. She shares more:

● The craziest thing I ever did to lose weight... was to create my own diet. I limited myself to eating three cups of oatmeal a day for three consecutive days – and nothing more. And this was when I still pushed myself to exercise for three hours at the gym daily. I did this every alternate week for a few months.

● My current approach to weight loss is... to be healthy from within, and to listen to my own body. When I was solely focused on shedding kilos, my weight hovered around a low of 42kg [Cheryl is 1.63m tall], yet I was constantly unhappy. I’d start crying for no reason, and my body went haywire. My period stopped for 1½ years. There’s no point embarking on unsustainable crash diets that promise you quick results at the cost of your physical and emotional health.

● Nowadays, I keep myself in check by… starting my mornings with 10 minutes of meditation and mindfulness by using the Headspace app. I also squeeze in 30 minutes of yoga, spinning or elliptical training whenever I can.

● Since overcoming my obsession with weight… I channelled what I learnt from my own experience into opening Cheryl W. I’m passionate about wellness and safe slimming methods, and want to share what I know with others who might be going through similar struggles.

● What keeps me going… is the joy and fulfilment I get from connecting with people. Even when I act, it’s never about fame or popularity, but about engaging and inspiring the audience through my characters. Similarly, I can empathise with and understand customers at Cheryl W better, having overcome my own body image issues. The conviction to empower others drives me.

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