GEORGE TOWN: Businessman Eason Lee has a physique that turns heads nowadays but, unknown to many, he was often the butt of fat jokes before that - he was 140kg in 2017.
The 23-year-old managed to reduce his body fat, and has now packed more muscles in his 87kg frame.
He even made it to the top eight of the World Fitness Federation Battle of Titans 2.0 Malaysia Championships Pro Qualifier under the above 75kg category on Dec 4 this year.
"It's all about good health and regaining my confidence.
"People used to call me fat boy and I had low self-esteem because of that.
"I might be cheerful and jovial on the outside but deep inside, I was not happy with my body.
"That's when I decided to hit the gym and transform myself," said Lee from Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
He spent 22 months on a strict regime starting from January 2017, before shedding more than 50kg in the process.
In the beginning, he had trouble catching his breath even by doing lunges or getting into a deep squat position.
"I feel like dying but I know there's no shortcut to success. I persevered with my routine and diet," he told Kwong Wah Yit Poh.
After eliminating fat, glycogen and carbohydrate stored in his body while maintaining his muscle mass, Lee flew off to Guangdong Province in China to take part in a bodybuilding competition in July 2019.
He finished fourth in one of the categories. The fruitful outing also saw Lee landing a job as a bodybuilding and fitness coach there.
He only returned to Penang last year, before venturing into an online food business with his friends.
For now, Lee still hits the gyms regularly to maintain his body shape. He will be jogging or hiking on days when he doesn't go to the gym.