Noemi Chaw: You do not have to live your life for anyone but yourself

I was bullied throughout the time I was in kindergarten up to Primary 6. I was called names like “Pig”, “Chicken” and “Fat Cow”, yet in reality, I was not really that fat at all. I was neither overweight nor close to being overweight; I was merely somewhat plump with baby fats. However, because of the words that labelled me, for years I truly believed I was fat and ugly and therefore, did not deserve friends or to be loved.

It was not just words. People around me publicly shamed me by chasing me around and laughing at me because my fat jiggled, they left notes and scribbles on my table telling me how no one could ever love someone like me and how worthless I was because I did not look as good as someone else. Because of this, I discarded and deleted all photos of how I used to look, hoping this would mean there was no trace of how I was when I grew up.

In primary school, we were taught about bullying – how to identify if you are being bullied and what to do if you are being bullied. I recognised that I was being bullied and like how we were taught, I tried to go to my teachers and to my parents. However, both sets of adults told me the same thing – that everyone around me was merely teasing or joking and I was taking things too seriously, hence it is my fault for feeling bad and lousy about myself because I let their words get to me. Many adults in my life did not believe that I was being bullied by those around me because I was always taller than most.

As a result of this environment, I eventually fell into anorexia. Unlike many people who suffer from anorexia, I did not lose much of my body mass because I could not overcome that hunger that I felt; I continued to eat just slightly less. But because my body and mind were not in sync, I began to hate myself from the inside out, ridiculing myself for not being able to control my hunger and for eating. In addition, because I did not lose the excess weight, no one believed I was diagnosed with anorexia; instead, I was told that I was attention-seeking and making up lies for popularity sake.

I never had the support of anyone in terms of my body image issues; no one ever told me I was not fat, no one told me it was in my mind, no one told me I was beautiful the way I was. It took years of time to love myself and slowly come to the realisation that I had truly been living my life for others and what they thought of me. For years, I could stand up for my abilities and my passions but I could never stand up for my appearance and my insecurities. It was a long and arduous process that I had to go through, however I hope that my story will help someone else going through the same thing without any help.

You do not have to live your life for anyone but yourself. Whether you are taller, shorter, larger, smaller or anything at all, it does not matter because the only thing that truly matters is to be happy. Stay away from the people who look down on you or do not support you the way you deserve. No matter how you look, I know that you are beautiful anyway and you definitely deserve happiness, even if no one else thinks so.

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  • Come and join us for Bhangra-X next Saturday morning!! Don’t be afraid of trying new things; just grab a friend and #rockyourmoves with us! 9am at the Esplanade Waterfront, free, for men and women of all ages. Sign up at (link in bio)
This is in conjunction with Esplanade for the dans festival! #rockthenakedtruth #Esplanade #dansfestival
  • Our ROCKstar of the Month for August, Gilbert (@gilbertyang), was at his peak fitness during his army days. Then he went to Uni and the stress of studies caused him to gain weight.
He said: “I put back more than 10kg, making me even more plus sized than my polytechnic days. The passion of running was replaced by the love of making great architectural designs and late night suppers.
After I graduated and started my career in private practices, I still couldn’t find the discipline of keeping an active fitness routine. It was also during this time that I went through three incidents that knocked me down hard.
First, my dad passed away unexpectedly due to cardiac arrest. I do not have a pretty picture of a perfect family. I recall how I used to get so excited when I saw my dad (four times a year) and then often cried when he had to fly back for work after his brief visit home. So losing him like that, was very painful.
Second, years later, my childhood friend was the only victim in a car crash. Third, I broke up with my girlfriend of seven years after we laid plans for marriage.
All of these caused me to slip into depression. I did move on, I dated someone (it didn’t work out though). Then my ex-colleagues encouraged me to seek an avenue to keep myself occupied. I took up running and gymming, something I missed out on during the peak of young adulthood.”
Today, Gilbert is back in fine shape and has found back his love for running. He also married his love of his life (the ex-gf of 7 years from before). •
So don’t lose hope in life! It can turn around!! Read the rest of his story on our blog. Link in bio. #rockthenakedtruth
  • So if someone treats you like shit, it doesn’t mean you’re shit. Don’t let them get you down! #rockthenakedtruth
  • American singer Demi Lovato's battle with body image started before she was officially diagnosed with bulimia. •
Growing up, Lovato witnessed how her grandmother and mother both struggled with bulimia. •
Lovato's insecurities with her body and looks are also attributed to the many beauty pageants she participated in at a young age: Being onstage and judged for beauty. •
She started binge eating at a young age of 9. She put on lots of weight, lost confidence and started binging and purging just to make sure she fits the stereotypical skinny image of a model. •
She was also bullied in school and she started cutting herself. •
Lovato sought treatment in 2014 and have since recovered. She then used her fame to raise the awareness of body acceptance and is known to slam the 'thigh gap' trend. 
#rockthenakedtruth #rockceleb #bingeeating #bulimia #EDrecovery #eatingdisorders
  • These 2 girls were once doubtful of themselves. Hui Shan (@shani3, left) used to be bullied in school for being too quiet. Jasmine (@choops56) went through a damaging relationship where she was physically abused and her money was taken from her to fuel her ex’s gambling habits. Both of them are in better places now and have gained more confidence in themselves. They have no dance background but will be trying Bhangra-X for the first time at ROCKda:ns on 28 Oct, Sat, 9am. This is in conjunction with the dans festival at Esplanade. Sign up at It’s free! (Link in bio) #rockthenakedtruth #rockdans #dansfestival
  • This is difficult, very difficult... but necessary. It’s all about finding the balance and allowing flexibility, while learning to accept your body. #rockthenakedtruth
  • Some of us from ROCKtri were at this morning’s @city60bikerun! Also loving our ROCKtri tank from @2xu_singapore!!! #rockthenakedtruth #rocktri #city60sg
  • Counting our lucky stars that the weather was good today so we could have our first swim clinic for ROCKtri! Thank you for the Aquasphere goggles and 2XU swim cap too. ✌🏼✌🏼✌🏼#rockthenakedtruth #rocktri