At CLEO, we celebrate all body types and shapes, but we do love a good story. Here’s how one millennial lost 10kg by watching Netflix (not only that lah, but read on to find out).

Losing weight is tough—just walk into any gym in January and you’ll probably find ‘losing weight’ on someone’s list of New Year resolutions.

When it comes to dropping a kilo or two, most people achieve that goal by eating less or moving more.

When it comes to shedding over a quarter of your entire body weight though, it’s a whole other ball game because the answer is never a temporary fix. It’s a lifestyle change.

I would know. Because I’ve done it before, dropping from 96kg in the beginning of 2017 to hovering around 75kg in 2018.

And embarking on a fitness journey was the most challenging, yet rewarding decision I’ve ever made in my life. Here’s how I did it.


The science behind weight-loss is clear—you lose weight when you’re in a caloric deficit (you’re using up more calories than you’re consuming) and gain when you’re in a caloric surplus (you’re consuming more calories than you’re using).

If losing weight is your ultimate goal, you need to be in a caloric deficit.

And the secret to keeping a large amount of weight off for a long time, is to find a way that allows you to be in a deficit for a sustained period of time.


To create my deficit, I combined my favourite pastime with what I dreaded most, and moved my Netflix-bingeing activities over from the living room to the gym.

This made the thought of exercise much more bearable because I had something to look forward to whenever the concept of exercise inundated me with dread.

Instead of lying in bed and devouring consecutive seasons of dramas, I took advantage of the free WiFi at the gym and devoted a minimum of 20 minutes each day doing some form of cardio.

My choice of equipment was usually the treadmill or stationary bike because it meant that my phone could rest on a steady surface while I wheezed my little heart out.



Within the first six months, I had dropped close to 10 kilograms because I was disciplined enough to drag myself to the gym for my 20-minute daily drama fix.

Also within the first six months, I finished at least three Korean drama serials and two of Netflix’s biggest hits—Stranger Things and Sense8.

Apologies for hogging the equipment, but #sorrynotsorry.

Of course, 20 minutes was not all the time I spent at the gym. Along with cardio, I learnt about resistance training through YouTube and the Instagram #fitfam, and started lifting weights.


Most days I spent about an hour sweating away; sometimes even two hours if I managed to be “distracted” enough.

Over time, I realised that exercise was not the same traumatic experience I had throughout my TAF (trim-and-fit) club days in school.

After a decade of P.E (physical education) teachers forcing me to run laps around the school compound, the decision to take up exercise was an empowering one and I was continually motivated by the results that came after.

Sustainable weight loss is never the result of a crash diet, magical weight loss pills, eliminating certain food groups forever (carbs are not the enemy, people) or working out for a week due to sudden motivation.

It involves learning how to manage your caloric intake long-term by combining healthy eating habits with a sustainable exercise routine.

Take it from me, all it takes to get started on your fitness journey is the willingness to try and the belief that it’s possible.

You’ll have nothing to lose (except weight), and only your health to gain.

Images: Joey Lee / AsiaOne
Text: Joey Lee / AsiaOne / July 2019