Kiss 92 DJ Charmaine Yee takes control of her health

Kiss 92 DJ Charmaine Yee shares her workout routine and talks about her health scares

When Kiss 92 DJ Charmaine Yee is not rocking the airwaves, she is often hosting gigs.

Her spirited delivery and confidence as a presenter is admirable, but the 31-year-old admitted her decade-long career in the media industry has not been easy on her self-esteem.

"I was often told that I wasn't good, skinny or fashionable enough, and I felt pressured to change who I was," she said.

To lose weight, Yee experimented with unhealthy diets, such as going carb-free and juicing, in the hope of quick results. The kilos did slide off after two weeks but returned soon after.

"I tried every crash diet, but that wasn't sustainable."

At 25, Yee was thrown her first health scare. An ultrasound revealed a 10cm cyst that had engulfed one ovary, requiring immediate surgery for removal.

Six years later, she was hit with appendicitis.

These incidents taught Yee not to take her health for granted, and she is reminded daily by the scars.

This year, she made the commitment to clean up her diet and improve her fitness game.

What sparked your decision to reshape your health?

I spent my birthday in July reflecting on the past year, where I left a toxic relationship, found love again and moved into my own home. Looking back at my photos, my face was so bloated from all the red wine I had been drinking over a break-up. I wanted to be the best version of myself.

What is your workout routine like now?

I have been undergoing personal training thrice a week at Neue Fit, a fitness and martial arts studio at Kallang Wave Mall. I do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Muay HIIT and hour-long runs at East Coast Park.

What has been your biggest fitness achievement so far?

I can finally do a proper push-up and sit-up. When I first started, I would be breathless 10 minutes into any workout. Today, my stamina levels are higher, and I am proud to say that I completed my first 10km run at the Asics Relay Singapore 2018. Everything seemed impossible until I gave it a shot.

What changes have you noticed since embarking on this healthier lifestyle?

I feel less sluggish now and I am more alert. I am also leaner, and have never felt stronger, both mentally and physically. Strong is the new sexy.

How do you make time for fitness?

I schedule workout and breakfast dates with my friends before the day starts, meeting as early as 6.45am for a quick 15-minute HIIT session, followed by a healthy breakfast.

What made you choose muay thai-style training?

When I heard of a programme that combined HIIT and muay thai, I tried it and loved the challenge. It is now my go-to 10-minute workout. I've also picked up some good self-defence moves.

What is your diet situation?

Most of my meals are homemade to control the amount of sugar or salt.

Breakfast is typically eggs and avocado, overnight muesli or homemade almond butter slathered on green apples.

For lunch and dinner, I swop out heavy carbs like white rice for healthier grains or seeds, like quinoa, topped up with fruit and vegetables. When I'm eating out, I opt for less meat and avoid salty food.

What is your biggest takeaway from 2018?

Change doesn't have to be a difficult 180-degree transformation. It comes from making small adjustments that can realistically fit into your lifestyle. Sustainability is important for long-term change.

What does being in shape mean to you?

Being in shape is more than just good health, exercise and a balanced diet. It's the emotional, mental and physical attitude to have about yourself. For me, this year has been about self-discovery, and it has given me renewed self-confidence and an extra spring in my step.

This article first appeared in Shape (