Stomp stories inspire 130kg student to lose weight
ABOUT a year ago, Reuben Foong's 130kg frame was so heavy that his knees had bent inwards from the strain.
Plagued by breathing difficulties during the day and nosebleeds that kept him awake at night, the 17-year-old resolved to lose weight after reading weight-loss success stories on Stomp.
Stomp's report on Laura Patricia, a video blogger who had documented her dramatic weight loss online, was the story that most inspired the second-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student.
Like Reuben, Laura lost a dramatic amount of weight in a span of a year. Her weight-loss journey started in early 2011, after a mean girl called her a fat swan behind her back during her secondary-school prom in 2010.
Laura, who is 1.66m tall, went from 82kg to 58kg by following a strict diet consisting of more protein and vegetables. She also cut down on calories, drank lots of water and slept well.
Another story that proved pivotal for Reuben was that of Belmond Lee, who had undergone a surgical procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy to bring his weight problem under control.
Like the people he had hoped to emulate, Reuben's success was nothing short of jaw-dropping: He lost 54kg, with his waistline dropping from 46 to 31 inches.
Instead of the XXL shirts he used to wear, he now proudly wears S-sized ones.
Reuben achieved the change simply by exercising regularly, and even learnt to cook healthier meals for himself by researching recipes on the Internet.
Concerned that his knees would not take the impact from jogging, he initially chose to swim instead.
He recalls: "I started by swimming 1.6km twice a week and, before long, I had lost 6kg."
He adds: "I remember thinking, hey, this is easier than I thought."
Aside from his astonishing weight loss, Reuben's healthy diet and exercise also improved his complexion and boosted his confidence - something he had lacked as he had been obese his whole life.
He says: "When I was in primary school, my form teacher once told the whole class that I needed help before my tummy 'explodes from fat'."
His appearance has changed so dramatically that he has walked right by classmates who used to bully him in school - without being recognised.
He says: "I feel almost like I have a new identity, and my friends are proud of me. People also treat me differently now. Some have even asked me for advice on how to lose weight."
Despite his success, however, Reuben still maintains a goal of attaining his ideal weight of 70kg.
In the meantime, he is just glad that he can now do what he could not in the past - walk into any shop and buy a shirt that fits.
Are you also striving to shed some stubborn kilos? Read about other Singaporeans who have turned their lives around in Stomp's Get Inspired section, and learn how you can follow in their footsteps.
Make a difference in your life - visit email@example.com to get inspired today.