Rachel Puen Chui Wen

Rachel Puen Chui Wen

Customer Happiness Executive

I had always been an overweight kid. My mouth could never seem to stop munching. I love food. I love exploring and tasting different kind of food. However the people around me couldn't seem to understand. I have been called all kinds of nasty names such as paus (whale in BM), fat dinosaur, mouth gym, fatty and many others. This really left a very deep scar in my confidence as the little Rachel took these comments and verbal attacks very personally.

Why did people say nasty things like that? What's wrong with me enjoying my food? What's wrong with eating till I'm satisfied? These were the questions I used to always dwell on and as the young & naive Rachel grew up, it made me a very negative person. As things worsened, I became anorexic at the age of 14.

I lost half my body weight, going from 65kg to 30+ kg in a year because I was constantly reminding myself of all the negative things that people said about me. As other adolescents my age were busy with dating, friends, outings and sports, the only goal I had at that time was to get out of my "fat shell".

After 2 years, I was hospitalised when I fainted in school. When I woke up in the hospital, I saw my mum in tears by my bed, holding my icy cold hand as I was pale and thin as a sheet of white paper. A deep sense of guilt struck me then. Because of what I did to myself, my family was suffering. I started to understand why my parents used to limit my food intake: because they cared for my health and didn't want me to be obese, not because they didn't want me to enjoy my food. I started to understand that my siblings didn't mean to call me nasty names to hurt me, but it was just their way of getting my attention. I started to understand a very important thing: I couldn't control what people say, but I could control what I wanted to listen to :)

My beauty lies not in the comments of others, but in what I am and what I have within me. I learned to speak positive things to myself and love and embrace myself for who I am.

Today, I have trained my body into a shape that I am content with and proud of. More importantly, I have trained myself to use and practice positivity in my life. I gained the courage to share this story of mine because I aspire to be an example for those who are going through a similar emotional war. It might be a tough journey but there's only one goal: to walk out alive. I'm proud of my war scars because they taught me to be a better person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's only when you learn to love yourself that you'll be able see how beautiful you truly are deep down.