Journalist Zalinah Noordin, 37, was a chubby kid who tried all kinds of fad diets and products to shed her weight but these bore no fruit. To worsen the situation, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was an undergraduate student. Fitness has helped the Penangite remain drug-free and she is now full of positive energy. Here’s what she has to say.
Tell us about yourself “I’m married with a son who will be turning seven soon. I used to run five to 13km without fail every morning at 6am before hitting the gym for some strength training to prepare myself for the day ahead. Life wasn’t complete without that routine but now I’m listening to my body and take rest days in between.”
Growing up, did you have any reservations about your body? “Of course. I used to skip physical education lessons in school as I was always conscious about my weight. I was constantly shamed for not being able to do many physical activities like my peers. From kindergarten till high school, my uniforms had to be tailor-made because I couldn’t fit into store bought ones. Even as a child I was already wearing adult-sized clothing. In secondary school, we had to weigh ourselves and I remember my science teacher reading out that I was 103kg. That “public announcement” scarred me but it was a wake-up call to do something about it. I weighed my heaviest in 2011 after giving birth as the post-natal blues caused me to go on an emotional eating spree. At 172cm, I was 135kg – obese definitely! Everyone in my family is big so it’s partially genetic as well.”