Name: Alessandra Leong
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Type of exercise and frequency: At least one cardio a week, or HIIT 3 times a week. Gym 5-6 times a week. At night, I’ll end off with either yoga/pilates.
1. You lost 11 kg in 4 months. It is really amazing, how did you do that?
I did a lot of cardio workout, like running, climbing up stairs instead of taking lift. I walk a lot too, since my job requires me to move around most of the time.
Not only that, I started to eat right. Less carbs and more protein and fibres. I hated vegetables, but I’m slowly starting to like them now.
2. What was your motivation to lose weight?
I always wanted to be fit. I used to weigh less than 60 kg back in secondary school, however when ‘O’ levels kicked in, working out has been the least of my priorities and I gained more than 10 kg. When I reached poly I was closed to 70 kg. It is not easy for me to get to school everyday since my faculty is up on the hill in Ngee Ann Poly. We also had to move around to get to different class. This is when I found it challenging for me, I started to pant and had breathing difficulties, and it occurred to me that I was unhealthy.
During this period, Instagram became popular and I started to follow many fitness inspiration like @sugarrandspice, @kaylaitsiness and @jenselter. I decided to go to the gym to work out. But I showed very little results as I wasn’t doing the proper techniques and didn’t know how to lift weights correctly. Hence I stopped gymming and decided to run my first ever 10 km run at Sundown. I do remember I was still a chubby teenager and couldn’t even do 2.4 km run, so signing up for a 10 km run was the craziest thing I did! But it was my greatest achievement at that time.
Being a nurse allows me to see more and more younger people being admitted for heart disease which is saddening. Hence, I made up my mind and changed for the better by signing up for a gym membership and joining Nutrigirl to gain more fitness knowledge.
3. You also joined marathon runs, what are the challenges you faced?
I guess one of the challenges I face is to think of which marathon to sign up. It is true when they say ‘once you start running a marathon, you will want to continue to run.’ My main challenge is to find the time to train for a marathon. Recently, I signed up for a full marathon at Sundown, till date I’m still finding the time to really train for it. It will be my first ever full marathon considering that I just started my marathon journey, I’m afraid yet excited for it!
The toughest marathon run if you were to ask me, it would have to be Standard Chartered Marathon. OMG! I nearly died! It was my second 21 km, however the sun was blazing hot and I wanted to give up, but I thought to myself, I paid so much money to run and I really want the finisher medal, so I continued. So guys, remember to keep your eyes on the prize!
4. Besides running, how many times do you workout a week? What kind of workout do you do?
Instead of running, I will try to do boxing, or attend some classes at the gym like pilates or yoga to stretch myself. Kickboxing or Zumba works too if I am feeling lazy to run.
5. As a nurse, your working hours are not fixed, how do you manage your time to workout?
When there is a will there’s a way. I believe if you have the passion and you really love doing it, you will find the time to do it. Working out has become my hobby, and I will try my best to end the day right by doing some simple workout before I sleep.
6. Are you happy with how you look now?
Definitely! I’m a much happier person as compared to last time, being able to fit into clothes that I previously can’t is the greatest feeling ever! I have been buying clothes online like nobody’s business. From size L to M and sometimes S, that is my greatest achievement. I actually proud of myself that I could come so far.
7. Any challenges that you are facing for Nutrigirl competition and how do you overcome?
Dieting! My love for food is tremendous, and I cannot say ‘No’ to food. It took me awhile to get used to eating clean. You have to be determined and you need a strong will to go on a diet.
8. What does it takes to be a winner?
As long as you are willing to start, you are already a winner.
9. What did your family and friends say about your progress?
They are proud of me, and some of my colleagues are asking what am I doing to lose weight.
10. What is your advice for people who want to achieve similar goals like you?
It is not going to be easy, you will want to quit. But think of what you will achieve at the end of the day, and look at how much you have progressed. Don’t give up. Do it for yourself and not others.