Rachel Lee: Listen to your body

I lost a whooping 15kg in just 10 months and it was the skinniest I’ve ever been. Physically, it felt great. I started to receive lots of compliments, guys were chasing me for my looks and figure, family and friends started to tell me that I look more amazing than before. I was chasing after vanity, I was chasing for acceptance.

However, to get there, I lost a total of 8kg of lean muscle while chasing my “dream” of being skinny. I did tons of cardio and HIIT to “burn fat” and after losing that 15kg, I still thought I wasn’t lean enough and I wanted to have abs. So I went on all these fad diets – vegan, raw vegan, paleo, ketogenic, IIFYM, replacement shakes – you name it, I’ve tried them all… but they don’t work!

As a result, I started to become stressed and frustrated. These fad diets led me to develop a serious binge eating disorder due to the crazy restriction of food. Everyday I stressed about food – if is “good” or “bad”, if I’m exceeding calories and I kept craving more junk food. This also led me to develop more insecurities after all the binging and the fear of becoming fat again like I used to be. It got so bad, to a point that I isolated myself from others.

When I started doing CrossFit, I restricted myself from food even more and I became so down and discouraged. My binge eating disorder worsened because my body was starving and I wasn’t feeding it the right food. I wasn’t happy and these became the darkest moments of my life.

My CrossFit journey wasn’t a smooth one initially because I was so negative, VERY negative. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing as my brain couldn’t function due to all the restriction and starvation. I couldn’t think or act logically and you can say I’m like, the most blur person in the box. Everything whizzed by me – I don’t know what I was doing, what movements I performed, what weights I used. It was dangerous because I could have gotten injured but thankfully nothing happened… until I sprained my ankle.

I couldn’t exercise or walk properly for three weeks and I was so stressed because I was worried that I would get fat again. My one-week school overseas exchange programme to China happened then and so I told myself that I I would give myself a week – that I would not stress out and just eat whatever I wanted and just enjoy the trip.

I returned from that trip a lot happier. I didn’t starve myself, I ate what I wanted and I enjoyed myself throughout the whole trip. That was a turning point.

It took me eight months to recover from binge eating and another three months to get back to a normal diet where I don’t cut out any micronutrients and just focus on healthy eating, with occasional treats.

If you ask me if I miss the skinny me, yes I admit that part of me does miss it, but that skinny me couldn’t do anything. At that point I felt the weakest I’ve ever been. Now I can do so much that I couldn’t do in the past.

I feel the strongest I’ve ever been – never would I have imagined. I am hitting my PRs, lifting weights, doing rope climbing, pistol squats, handstands, pull ups, toes to bars – I am better and happier with where I am now.

So, listen to your own body. If your body needs rest, skip a workout and rest at home. If you feel like eating an ice cream, go and have one. If you feel like running 10km, just do it!!! Basically just listen to what your body says!

This is self-love.

Love enough and respect that your body can do whatever it is capable of doing. I respect my body for what it can do and for that, I am not doing anymore fad diets to change anything about myself. It will come when you treat your body right.

I’m just so, so, so glad that all I’ve been through is now in the past and I’m proud to say that I’ve overcome it and am back to my happy self. I wish I had known all of these before, but I hold no regret. I am stronger than I was and now I’m able to help others by sharing my journey.

LATEST Inspiration

On Instagram

  • Missing the yummy food from @theautobus.cc at #RTNTturns2! Did you enjoy the food too? There was nothing left :( (I didn’t even get any of the sweet potato fries!! - Cheryl)
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The Autobus is open every day of the week, 7am to 10pm on weekdays and 7am to 3pm on weekends. Their protein bowls at lunch are so good; but also try the brunch on weekends k. ✌🏼✌🏼✌🏼#rockthenakedtruth #theautobus
  • Congrats to Team K for coming in 3rd place for ROCKadventure, just 1 point ahead of the next team. So close! These ladies took home a 1-month @triplefit.sg membership each, an RTNT tank top each and a $200 @2xu_singapore voucher to share. You should have seen how stunned they were when we announced their names. Hooray! #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2
  • Wanna do Barre with us this Thursday, 25 Jan, 7pm at @theautobus.cc? We have 5 slots available for this exclusive session, in partnership with @axagamechanger, so DM us if you would like to join us! First come first served!! #rockthenakedtruth #AXAgamechanger #barretime
  • HUNT FOR THE ACE
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The bonus mission for ROCKadventure was to hunt for The Ace (@kangkiat), who was randomly running around the Bay. So if teams spotted him, they had to chase after him and get a selfie to score bonus points. You should have seen how hard our Ace was sprinting man! Well done to all the teams who managed to find him (swipe to see the pics). #intervaltrainingfortheace #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2
  • This group of RGS students came for our 2nd anniversary and presented their project - Project Anorexia - to do their part in helping youths struggling with body image! It’s a very important message and I’m really thrilled to see them start young... #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2
  • Were you one of the first 50 to arrive at #RTNTturns2 and receive one of these limited edition @odlo x @rockthenakedtruthsg water bottles? One group left their bottles behind by accident - so let me know if you still want them! #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2 #odlo #odlosg #triplefitsg
  • Congratulations Team B (@j_.ve, @lynnovation, Elaine and Edwin) for coming in 2nd!! They went home with a 3-month @triplefit.sg membership each, $400 voucher (collectively) from @2xu_singapore and a RTNT sports bra each! #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2
  • A big thank you to the #RTNTturns2 committee - @nie_n_milobaby, @choops56, @kangkiat, @gwenkok10, @angelrun.diary, @abxoolutely, @gandhiaabha, @dawnlpc, @shani3 and @yaneeselflove (missing from pic) - for putting this event together in just a month! Wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without you guys 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 #rockthenakedtruth #RTNTturns2