Cheryl Wee's pregnancy saved her from eating disorder
Actress Cheryl Wee beat eating disorder by focusing on her pregnancy
After starving herself for days, she would binge on cakes. But she would get upset over her weight gain and start starving herself again.
That was the vicious cycle that local actress Cheryl Wee, 31, heir to home-grown beauty chain Jean Yip, went through during her four-year battle with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
BDD is a mental disorder characterised by the obsession that some aspect of one's body or appearance is severely flawed and needs exceptional measures to hide or fix.
She told The New Paper: "It is not just wanting to be thin, there is a lot more to an eating disorder.
"I was just not happy with myself. I was 42kg but I did not like what I saw in the mirror."
Her fight with BBD started in late 2013 and it was her pregnancy last year that turned things around.
Wee's husband is architect and general manager of Jean Yip, Roy Fong ,31. They have a two-month-old son, whose name they have teased about but have yet to reveal.
Said Cheryl: "My pregnancy saved (me from) my eating disorder. When you are pregnant, you are no longer eating for yourself. You cannot be like, 'Oh, I don't want to put on weight', and then let the baby starve.
"The whole experience really changed my thoughts on eating. Now, I eat regularly and do not undereat or overeat, especially since I am breastfeeding."
Inspired by her own journey of overcoming BDD, Wee founded Cheryl W Wellness & Weight Management two years ago to help women achieve healthy weight loss.
Last week, she bagged the Pulsar award at the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2018, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of women.
Her centres offer customised detox, wellness and weight management treatments as well as wellness drinks ranging from detox to collagen drinks and energy-boosting teas.
Recalling her eating disorder, Wee said: "I felt fat and insecure. I wanted to go on a diet and I was not happy every single day.
"I cared only about myself. I thought only (of) what kind of diet I wanted to be on and how I wanted to become 41kg (from 42kg). My whole focus was so inward and self-centred."
Now, at 52kg, Wee said motherhood has awakened her to her new responsibility and has taught her to be more comfortable with her weight.
"(Starving) definitely did not make me a happy person, and I was searching for a 'why' to my problems. I realised the answer was to look outwards and to put your focus on other people," she said.
Instead of shedding her post-baby weight quickly, Wee has a more gradual approach. Currently, she is taking breastfeeding, fish oil and calcium supplements as well as her company's Signature Royal Flush Treatment, which uses customised essential oils and sea salts.
Her favourite treatments include her Ginger Sparkle Treatment (which helps to expel wind, keep the body warm and potentially alleviate joint and arthritis pain) and Multipolar Treatment (which helps break down fats in targeted areas).
As Wee is still recovering from her pregnancy, she intends to start her fitness routine next month, saying: "I will focus more on how I look and feel than the numbers on the scale.
"Now, I have a different perspective of losing weight. It is more about being healthy and feeling good.
"It is not about going on extreme diets where (for) the next few days, I cannot move and feel moody. I do not think it is sustainable."
Supermum Yvon Bock's guide for successful breastfeeding journey
With four children aged between eight and 14, Mrs Yvon Bock, founder and managing director of home-grown brand Hegen, understands what new mums go through.
Last week, the 39-year-old Singaporean was the Nova Overall Winner at the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2018 for creating sustainable and practical breastfeeding products and an integrated solution for breastfeeding.
Hegen, established in 2015, boasts an award-winning Express-Store-Feed system and retails in 11 countries, including Singapore, the US, the UK and China.
Mrs Bock shares some tips for mums, using the acronym Breast.
B FOR BELIEVE
When Mrs Bock had her first child, she struggled with self-doubt and paranoia when it came to nursing her baby.
Worried that she would not have ample breast milk, she said: "When he did not get milk fast enough, he ended up tugging the nipple. The stress caused by the pain and the inability to feed properly also affected the let-down reflex, compromising the quality and quantity of my breast milk."
R FOR REST
"Rest affects the quality and quantity of milk. My grandmother used to tell me when the baby sleeps, the mummy should (also) sleep," said Mrs Bock.
E FOR EAT
Many women want to shed their post-baby weight right after pregnancy.
Mrs Bock said: "I encourage mothers not to fixate on their weight right after giving birth, because when you are breastfeeding, it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet, so your child can take in as much nutrients as possible."
Breastfeeding helps to burn calories and promotes weight management, she added.
A FOR ASK
Mrs Bock said: "We need support from people around us - our spouse, parents, family, even colleagues and bosses."
S FOR SPOUSE
Mrs Bock named her husband of 16 years and Hegen director, Mr Leon Bock, 42, her "superhero"- he did his share of midnight feeds and diaper changes.
She said: "We are a tag team. Only with our combined efforts can we create a sustainable breastfeeding journey."
T FOR TOOLS
Her must-haves include an efficient storage system, nipple cream and the Hegen Manual Breast Pump, which allows mothers to pump milk on-the-go and store it easily.
An electric breast pump will be launched next month.
She said: "(When I was a new mum), there wasn't any product readily available that could address all my breastfeeding problems.
"So I turned to my own experiences to create something for all mothers today, in the form of an integrated ecosystem of mother and babycare products."
- SHERLYN SIM