Even though she worked out, stress and emotional unhappiness made Roxanne gain weight. But this didn’t deter her from making a lifestyle change to become slimmer and healthier. As told to ESTHER AU YONG.
Weekly Workout Schedule Spinning and yoga twice a week.
Photography Roger Chua
ROXANNE’S CHALLENGE I was never clinically obese, but I was what people would describe as “big”. By the time I was in my early 20s, I was exercising regularly – running in the gym, going for spinning classes and swimming. I was also teaching yoga part-time. But I just didn’t look slim, and people often asked why that was so even though I exercised. Things became worse in 2014, when I co-founded a yoga studio but quickly realised I didn’t enjoy running a business. I also had disagreements with my partners, which made me very unhappy and stressed out. I started gaining weight and my clothes got tighter. To combat this, I started working out daily. But instead of losing the weight, I put on 5kg in eight months!
● Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important, but they are not the only factors that determine a healthy lifestyle. Peace of mind and happiness matter as well. Stress was the root of my weight gain. It adds mental, emotional and physical strain on the body. In fact, when we’re unhappy, we produce cortisol, a stress hormone that can cause weight gain. Pulling out of the studio business was a difficult decision but it had to be done. I also found the courage to withdraw from things and people who had a negative effect on me. And I went back to what I loved and still love doing – teaching yoga full-time, with 17 classes a week. My passion became my job and I feel a huge sense of satisfaction when I teach. I also started smiling more and began to get compliments from people who told me I was glowing, looked happier and had lost weight. The funny thing is, I never obsessed about calories. Instead, I ate balanced and nutritious meals. Having a clearer mind allowed me to choose better foods. I also stopped overexercising. And I learnt how to allow my body to rest so each workout would be more efficient.
● I’ve never felt better in my own skin and have shared my experience on Rock The Naked Truth (www.rockthenakedtruth.com), a movement that hopes to help people find confidence through fitness. I hope my story will help others work on becoming strong, fit and healthy. We should all embrace our bodies for the amazing things they can do, regardless of shape or size.