Hi! I'm Karen
Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Certified Brain Health Trainer
Certified Vipr Pro Trainer
Certified in Kinetic Link Training Coach Level 1 & 2 (Functional Strength)
Diploma in Nutrition (CPD Accredited)
Graduate Dip. In Applied Positive Psychology
Owner of Karenlee.fitness
My problem started when I was a little girl growing up with my grandmother. Back then, my parents were on the verge of divorcing and my dad had to leave me and my sister under my grandmother’s care. In order to substitute the parental love my sister and I had lost for 5 years, my grandmother literally stuffed us with food. It was her way of showing her love; the more she fed us the more she loved us.
Like it or not, it was a warped Chinese way of showing love from an elderly person but it is true. I had many happy memories from my grandmother, and even though I was carrying the extra weight I did not like, I was the apple of everyone’s eyes.
That was only because I was extremely adorable and chubby. “You have such chubby and squishy cheeks I just want to pinch you!” This was often said out loud by my relatives and family friends.
Unfortunately, I was not that lucky in school. Classmates mocked me and called me names. I often wondered the reason for such bullying. Even when I attended Sunday school in one of the churches, I had names like “Canon Ball” and “Miss Piggy”. Such name-calling was hurtful and we had to move to another church and school to find solace. My chubbiness stayed with me when I hit teenage hood.
Battle With Inner Self
I joined basketball and Girls Brigade and weight gradually decreased but not drastically. At the age of 17, I had to leave for Australia and a sudden wave of inferiority overwhelmed me; the slender-looking images of girls flashed across my mind repeatedly. I was simply terrified and disgusted of the way I looked and felt about myself. When I had landed in Australia, the first thing I did was to scan for obese individuals. It was crude of me to say this but I was relieved when I saw not one but many. I felt safe. I felt at home. After a few months, I became bigger because of delicious shepherd’s pies, doughnuts, cottage cheese pies, hot dogs and my all-time favorite pavlova!
Within a year, I grew from 70 to 85kg and my emotional life just went spiraled down. I became helpless and hopeless. Nothing could make me happy except eating. The more I ate the happier I became and that was how binge eating started. Needless did I realize that I was getting emotionally stressful and I experienced hunger for no reason. I woke up in the middle of the night and craved the worst possible foods. Chronic stress hit me thus causing my cravings to be insatiable, day-in and day-out.
A New Chapter
Then one day, I came across an advertisement, “Camp Summer USA! Wherever you are, we are looking for young, energetic and passionate youths to join us for 3 months of camping program where you would have the chance to teach a sport of your choice. Remuneration, meals and accommodation are provided. Apply by June 18th finally bestowed upon me. I cut up the advertisement and took the clipping to Goodlife Health Club in Cottesloe which was at least 45 minutes of bus ride from Swanbourne where I lived.
Trish, a 6 feet tall Amazonian looking Personal Trainer was hired to kick my butt 7 days a week at least 2 hours of training each day for 60 days. I lost from a whopping 85kg to 65kg.
I realized it was not the advertisement that motivated me to lose weight. The intention of losing weight had always been on my mind. It was when I saw the advertisement that pushed me to take the extra leap. The mind power simply manifested and in turn willed the body to take actions. It was an inside-out approach. Amazingly. I had lost 20kg, and completely transformed my body and life. I have kept the weight off now for more than 10 years. Working out and staying healthy has become a major part of my life since then.
“Give Into What You Believe In and Follow the Journey"
Karen has been featured in 93.8 Live FM Radio Singapore, Her World Singapore’s No.1 women’s magazine, Expat Living Singapore digital publication, Connected Women digital publication, Soulscape a digital lifestyle and wellness platform as well as Shopee Singapre Blog.
Karen was rated and voted as one of the top 9 Personal Trainers in Singapore by Shopee Singapore, a digital customer e-commerce platform in 2019 amongst other established trainers.
You can find Karen on social media as karenlee.fitness where she educates, motivates and empowers people to #eatsmartmovesmart