Who is your favourite? Get to know them here.

    We received awesome entries for the second edition of SHAPE Malaysia’s Fit Girl search, and from those, we have selected these 10 women as the finalists. We think that they embody a lifestyle that centres on fitness and wellness. They work out, eat well, and inspire others in their own ways. In other words, they walk the talk. The winner will be featured on our June 2018 cover and she will also walk away with great prizes. So, get to know them, and don’t forget to VOTE for your favourite(s) HERE


    1. Elizabeth James

    Fitness mantra: ‘Push yourself, break yourself, repair yourself.’

    How did you get into fitness? “I was done with being restrained by what I ate on a daily basis or feeling bummed when I came back from a long holiday of  over eating. I felt this was not the way to live life. So, I swapped my cardio pants for lifting pants and toned up. I work out for sustainability. It’s not for the short run.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “Circuit training with weights to get the heart rate up. Apart from that, I do my basic weight training at the free weight area.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I eat whatever I want but I eat in moderation. I don’t see food as the enemy and I do not believe in self deprivation.”

    What’s on your playlist?Waar by DJ Buddha ft. Munga, Flat Line by Dodge & Fuski.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Dumb-bells. I know this is boring but seriously, I can get so many forms of workout done just with this.”

    Do you love your shape? “I embrace my shape and always strive to make it better and leaner. I love feeling strong – it’s an addictive feeling and makes me feel like a badass (in a good way).”


    2. Nursheila Izrin

    Fitness mantra: ‘Let go of limiting beliefs, and always say I can do it!’

    How did you get into fitness? “I first started learning about exercise and healthy eating when I had a period of depression in 2014. I started running and it made me feel better. Initially, it was just a temporary stress reliever, but I got hooked on it. When I exercise, my body feels better, I am happier and my skin looks better too! I want to feel happy and healthy for as long as I live – that is my main reason of getting into fitness!”

    What’s your main form of workout? “I try to vary my workouts so I don’t get bored easily. I do weightlifting and strength training. I go to yoga classes for spiritual and flexibility training. I test my strength and endurance through wall-climbing and hiking, and of course my favourite cardio workout is dancing!”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I try my best to find healthier options for my meal – like drinking black coffee, eating brown rice instead of white rice, and wholemeal bread. I don’t skip breakfast, and I avoid sugary drinks and eat lots of fibres. I try to calorie count but not obsessively – as long as I am mindful of what I am putting on my plate, and controlling my portion.”

    What’s on your playlist now?Need Me by Rihanna.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Definitely dumb-bells for their versatility. I can do upper body, lower body, and core workouts with them. And, I can train my weaker side better.”

    Do you love your shape? “I love my shape because I work hard for it. I feel good in my body. I feel stronger, and healthier. Makes me confident to do anything and rock any outfit!”


    3. Chloe Koh

    Fitness mantra: ‘Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.’

    How did you get into fitness? “I was an active sports woman who represented school in track & field, and golf. But when I stopped training and working out altogether, I felt easily tired, my complexion looked dull, and I didn’t look my best. I tried many workout plans but failed to commit until found Blogilates teaching POP Pilates on YouTube. It was love at first sight. My journey began then.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “I love mixing things up to keep my muscles guessing and to avoid getting bored. On Mondays I do HIIT, Tuesdays are for spin. I box on Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays, and if I do feel really sore, I’ll do yoga to loosen up. Friday is my toning session with my beloved Blogilates. However, every week varies for me as it depends on my mood.”

    Your healthy eating strategies? “They say Malaysia is the hardest to eat healthy. I have a little confession to make – I live the “chap fun” life. Not saying that it’s bad, but it’s actually healthy if you pick mindfully. For example, I’d go for turmeric cabbage or stir fried snake beans with carrots and pair it with chicken korma. I usually opt out the rice and bring my own brown rice.

    What’s on your playlist now? “I workout to the playlist I’ve choreographed for my class routine to distract myself by thinking of the moves and practicing my cues and countdowns. It’s mainly pop songs to get the heart pumping or deep house music for that chill vibe.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “My yoga mat. It’s been with me through thick and thin. It has seen me at my worst and at my best, and has never judged me nor left my side.”

    Do you love your shape? “Of course! It’s my USP (Unique Shape, Period). If we want to workout to look like our fitness idol, we will end up disappointing ourselves because we have expectations on our body and end up not achieving that “look” or worse, not accepting ourselves in the end.”


    4. Kimbeley Yap

    Fitness mantra: ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before.’

    Why did you get into fitness? “I’ve been an athlete since I was seven years old. In 2009, I had to undergo a spine surgery. During my recovery, I was assigned a trainer who helped me mentally and physically at the National Sports Council. That was when I told myself that I wanted to help more people in health, fitness and also injury management –  which is why I decided to take up a degree in sports science.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “I hit the gym two to three times a week, mainly for strength workout and HIIT training. I do a few trail running sessions every month.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I like to call it the caveman diet. Before I eat something, I like to ask myself if my great grandparents would recognise this food. I also cut down on processed food.”

    What’s on your playlist?Here as in Heaven by Elevation Collective ft. Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Danza Kuduro by Don Lore V and Fight Song by Rachel Platten.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Kettlebells. In my opinion, kettlebell is the best all-around option for fitness as it requires minimal equipment, minimal space, and can be used for both strength and cardiovascular exercise.”

    Do you love your shape? “Yes I do, and I’m very proud of my scars. I believe that everyone is uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made.”


    5. Farhanna Sedek

    Fitness mantra: ‘Fitness is a long term practice.’

    How did you get into fitness? I’ve always been categorised as overweight, big and chubby. My love-hate relationship with fitness started in 2006 when I weighed nearly 90 Kg. I was ashamed of my body and had low self-esteem. Then I challenged myself and began on this journey. Exercising gave me more energy throughout the day. It was not easy, but I learned not to give up, and here I am!”

    What’s your main form of workout? “My movement preparation is the most important thing for me as it physically prepares me for any workout. I focus mostly on functional strength training which involves unilateral training (total-body) working against resistance to improve my performance.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “Eat in moderation. I start my day with one tablespoon of coconut oil. I always try to drink three to four litres of water throughout the day. I also eat plenty of vegetables at every meal with sufficient nutrition, including carbohydrates, protein and fat. I also drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar after meal or sometimes, before bed.”

    What’s on your playlist?Famous by French Montana, This is It by 6.AM, Days In The West (Ekali Remix) by Tinashe.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Dumb-bells. It can be used for a variety of exercises and different movement pattern. The size allows me to hold in one hand which works well for any unilateral training.”

    Do you love your shape? “Yes. I learned to love my imperfections. I may not look perfect, but I’m able to flaunt my curves and be proud of how healthy I look now. Love my shape for sure!”


    6. Rachel Heah

    Fitness mantra: ‘Don’t just wish for it, work for it.’

    How did you get into fitness? “Body goals. I’ve never really been fat but I had insecurities about my legs so I wanted to make them slim. It was about looking good but my motivations have shifted. Today I work out to become the best version of myself and to help others achieve that along the way.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “It’s a combination of HIIT and strength workouts. HIIT – indoor cycling, rowing and boxing at my studios for overall body-conditioning but I supplement that with hitting the gym and lifting weights for strength.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I’ve tried so many diets in the past but they made me unhappy (I love my food). What I practice now isn’t restriction but moderation, so I allow myself to eat dirty every so often within reason.”

    What’s on your playlist? “I’m obsessed with The Greatest Showman soundtrack. It’s playing on repeat.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “The rowing machine. It’s one of the best forms of cardio endurance which is incredibly low impact and targets your entire body; legs, back, core and arms.”

    Do you love your shape? “If I have to be honest, I’d say I’m getting there. Years of insecurities don’t disappear overnight and I still catch myself checking out my reflection in the mirror and thinking that my thighs could be a little smaller, and then I snap out of it and remind myself that I’m fine just the way I am, that I don’t need to be perfect because perfection is subjective (and probably doesn’t exist).”


    7. Munmun Lim

    Fitness mantra: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’

    How did you get into fitness? “I started my fitness journey about three years ago. I knew someone who suffered from leukemia, and that made me re-think my own health. That’s when I decided to make a change in my lifestyle.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “I mainly do weightlifting – about 12-15 reps with each weight. The reps decrease as the weight increases.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “Eat right, and not less. I don’t decrease my amount of food intake, but choose the right food. For breakfast I usually have milk and homemade granolas, rice for lunch with some form of protein and a lot of vegetables. Dinner is all about protein and vegetables too. My midday snacks are like yogurt and fruits.”

    What’s on your playlist? Good Life by G-Eazy & Kehlani, Alone by Marshmello, Live My life by Justin Bieber, Wolves by Selena Gomez & Marshmello, Everywhere by Rita Ora, Fight Song by Rachel Platten and Despacito by Luis Fonsi.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Dumb-bells because they are super versatile. They can be used for any type of workout, from circuit training to endurance and resistance training and more. Besides that, you can also pick the weight that is most suitable for you.”

    Do you love your shape? “Yes. Everybody has a different body shape. I know my body well, and it was not easy to attain my current shape, so that’s why I love and appreciate what I have.”


    8. Cheryl Raj

    Fitness mantra: ‘Lift. Learn. Love. Laugh.’

    How did you get into fitness? “I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I got into fitness because I was not happy with how I was overall. Fitness did not only change my physique but my confidence level and mindset as well. It gave me a positive approach towards life.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “Strength training: heavy resistance and lower reps. For cardio, I focus on metabolic conditioning circuits and explosive power-based moves.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, in no particular order! I also have my weekly dose of banana leaf rice.”

    What’s on your playlist?Hard To Handle by The Black Crowes. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “The bar because there are so many workouts you can do with it (deadlifts, squats, presses, and more).

    Do you love your shape? “Abs-olutely! Only I know how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am.”


    9. Rina Omar

    Fitness mantra: ‘Stronger, harder, faster.’

    How did you get into fitness? “I’ve always been a sporty person. I was steered into sports from a very young age. My health took a definite backseat when I started working in TV. I decided to take my life back into my hands when I left TV. My health was top on that list. I joined a gym, got a trainer, got back into working out again. Things have a way of falling into place – I found joy in pursuing in environmental work and a healthy appreciation of my body after hating it for so long.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “F45 training and dragon-boating. I do F45 HIIT training five to six days a week and paddle my heart out with the Argo Naga Dragonboat Team on weekends.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I’ve been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since October and I hope to make my way towards being a full vegetarian and eventually vegan one day. As far as healthy eating strategies go – I hardly eat out. I prefer preparing my own meals so I know what exactly goes into my food.’

    What’s on your playlist? “I really enjoy hip hop (Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, NWA…). I would either choose an old school mix on Spotify or play one of my own iPod mixes.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “Dumb-bells. They’re the most versatile piece of equipment you can have for working out at the gym and at home!”

    Do you love your shape? “I’ve come to terms with what I can and cannot change about my physical appearance. I love my body more nowadays, mainly because of what It can do. These muscles are built from dedication and hard work, and the discipline of trying to eat right to fuel my body properly.”


    10. Karen Siah

    Fitness mantra: ‘Train insane or remain the same.’

    How did you get into fitness? “My parents play a big role! They brought me up in a very active household, always bringing my brothers and I out to play and exercise. I knew I would never be any good sitting behind a desk all day.”

    What’s your main form of workout? “I am still a triathlete in training. I do lots of swimming, cycling and running. I throw in some body weight strength and conditioning exercises once a week to keep my form strong too.”

    Your healthy-eating strategies? “I cut back on sugar and processed foods wherever I can, and everything in moderation. If a festive season comes around, I don’t necessarily abstain from all goodies, I just make sure I balance it with a good workout daily.”

    What’s on your playlist? “Whatever Spotify recommends me! Haha, but I usually go for more Alternative rock like Coldplay and Imagine Dragons.”

    What’s your favourite gym equipment? “The treadmill and the jump rope because I spend most of my time using these items!”

    Do you love your shape? “I’m very happy with the way I look because I work hard and eat well to nourish and empower my body. It is with this body, that I completed two Iron man races.”



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