These 7 fit mums rock the stage in bikinis

It takes a lot of courage for some to wear a bikini in public, but these seven mothers lift weights and don bikinis to compete on stage. They confidently wear their stretch marks and C-section folds proudly, hoping to inspire women out there. [Read the full story on Yahoo here.]

Group shot (2)

Gisele Lim

Age: 36
Occupation: Special Education Teacher
Kids: Phoebe Faith Chan, 8
Height: 172cm
Weight: 54kg
Diet: A balanced diet of whole, natural and unprocessed food most of the time
Training: 6 times a week of HIIT, weightlifting and group classes like Bodypump and RPM, as well as one session with a personal trainer
Competitions: Muscle & Fitness War 2015, Women’s Figure – 3rd


What made you decide to compete?

I never fancied myself competing. However, I realised that even with the limited but regular workouts that I had been doing at the gym, I had begun to inspire others around me to get fit. Firmly believing that women can take control of their bodies if they put their minds to it, I decided to compete in the hope of inspiring others to start getting fit and strong. The discipline involved in getting fit will benefit these women in all aspects of their lives.

How do you hope to inspire?

I realised that previously, the limited but regular workouts I was doing at the gym was already inspiring others around me to get fit. Thus, holding firm the belief that women can take control of their bodies if they put their minds to it, I decided to compete in the hope of inspiring others to start getting fit and strong. The discipline involved in getting fit will benefit these women in all aspects of their lives.

Women have to realise first and foremost that their bodies are beautiful. They conceive, nurture and bring life into the world with their bodies. Their bodies are wonderful and amazing. I never advocate anyone being obsessed with weight. It is much more important to be fit and healthy, and to be confident and proud of your body.

Did you struggle with post-pregnancy weight gain?

I gained about 20kg when I was pregnant and lost most of it within months. I am not obsessed with weight though; in fact I am now heavier than I was before getting pregnant, but much fitter and stronger.

Do you feel more confident about your body before or after birth?

I was very conscious about my stretch marks after birth and I even stopped wearing bikinis. I didn’t want to be judged or laughed at. Now I wear them as my badge of honour from the wonderful birth of my daughter!

Kareen Lai

Age: 32
Occupation: Director of Mums In Sync
Kids: Twins Aasha and Kiran Fan, 4
Height: 1.65m
Weight: 56kg
Diet: As clean as possible with minimum processed food; cooks at home as often as possible, with lots of greens, lean meat, salmon, clean nut butter and quinoa
Training: Works out almost everyday, doing things like weights, gymnastics sprints, swim or climb
Competitions: Singapore Fitness Model Search 2014, Miss Bikini Fitness (above 30 years old) – 3rd


Did you struggle with post-pregnancy weight?

Absolutely!! I gained 30kg during the twin pregnancy. Before you think it’s normal because I had twins, let me tell you both of them added up to less than 3kg. So all the gain was on me and it was no fun at all! It took me a good two years before I lost all the weight and became lighter and leaner than pre-pregnancy days.

What do your husband and kids think about seeing you in a bikini on stage?

My husband is supportive in what I do. In fact he was the one who chose my bikini colour! We brought the twins to the competition finals too and the moment I stepped out on stage, I could hear them scream “Maaa meeeeeee!!” right from the back. That moment told me it’s worth the experience for them. I think children gain so much by being exposed to such experiences and seeing their parents do things differently.

Do you feel more confident about your body before or after birth?

I definitely lost my sense of confidence after child birth. I never felt so pudgy, fat and weak before, plus the tummy just refused to go away after a year! All these made me lose my self-confidence and self-image, but I worked hard to get my body back and now I want to share my journey with others.

Inspired by my own weight loss journey, I want to reach out to other mummies to let them know that it is possible to lead a sexy fit motherhood amidst all the duties, responsibilities and multiple roles. Thus I started Mums in Sync and I also published my first book, “18 Again – Bringing Out the Sexy Fit Mummy in You”.

Gladys Leong

Age: 35
Occupation: Full Time Personal Trainer
Kids: Ian 11, Zac 6, Wyn 2
Height: 157cm
Weight: 38kg
Diet: No cold drinks; homecooked meals of brown rice, quinoa or wholemeal pasta with beef, chicken or fish with a huge serving of vegetables; no sugar in tea; lots of fruits
Training: Daily training (except Sunday) on different body parts (eg. arms and triceps, chest and abs, back and shoulders, legs and core, cardio and TRX, full body touchup)
Competitions: Singapore Bodybuilding Federation Nationals 2014, Women Under 160cm – 5th


What made you decide to start competing on stage?

It was a challenge to myself and also for the ladies in my movement NoFlabMommas – if I can do it, they can keep fit too! I want to let mums and mums-to-be to realise that it’s possible to look better then before through dedication, eating wisely and exercise.

What do your kids think about seeing their mother on stage in a bikini?

They were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to play with my medal! My sons also boasted to their friends and teachers about me in school, haha!

How did you deal with your post-pregnancy weight?

I was exercising throughout my pregnancy. I gained about 20kg for each one, but it only took me a month and a half to get back to pre-pregnant weight.

Barbara Chng

Age: 40
Occupation: Part-time personal trainer; helps husband with wine business Ayden Wines
Kids: Twins Brad and Ariel, 4
Height: 157 cm
Weight: 57 kg
Diet: Healthy balanced diet that consists of vegetables, sweet potatoes, oats, beef, chicken breasts, eggs, fish, dark chocolate and almond nuts; five small meals a day and a treat meal on Sunday
Training: Weights and moderate cardio from Monday to Friday for about two hours
Competitions: WBPF South East Asia Bodybuilding Championships 2014, Athletic Physique (below 165cm) – 2nd

Barbara Chng (1)

How did you overcome your post-pregnancy weight gain?

I was depressed as my post pregnancy weight was 76kg! I ballooned from 45kg to 85kg during my pregnancy. It took me a year of healthy eating, inline skating, jogging and weight lifting to lose 37kg. After all that, I picked up bodybuilding only at the age of 40, but it;s never too late and I wanted to show my children that in whatever their passion lies, if they put their heart and mind into it, they will succeed.

What are some tips you have for mothers-to-be who fear weight gain?

With proper nutritious food and exercise, it is definitely possible to get back to pre pregnancy weight.  Set goals like “I want to be able to fit into my pre pregnancy shorts/skirt/dress again.”  Most importantly, enjoy the pregnancy and be happy, because being pregnant is a miracle and a blessing.

Do you feel more confident about your body after birth?

Pregnancy has taught me to listen more to my body.  When I was pregnant, I felt that my body didn’t belong to me anymore and I wanted to eat food I usually don’t eat, as well as not eat food I usually eat.

I was also bedridden for the last few weeks of my pregnancy for fear of early labour. After birth, I was thrilled that my body belonged to me again; hence I appreciate and love it even more.

How do you hope to inspire?

Before I had kids, many mothers tell me that they never regained their pre natal figure after having kids, and that their bodies are ruined. I compete not because I wanted to prove them wrong, but I compete to prove myself right – that it is possible to regain your pre natal figure and perhaps build an even better and stronger one. To be able to inspire others in turn inspires me even more!

Wendy Hau

Age: 44
Kids: Beatrice 20, Leah 16, Jacob 15
Height: 162.5cm
Weight: 51.2kg
Diet: Flexible dieting – essentially intuitive eating where you are aware of approximately how much protein you’re consuming and you consume your carbs and fats at strategic times, and also get in sufficient fibre. It is a diet composed primarily of whole food sources with a sprinkling of fun indulgences on the side, hence giving complete freedom over food choices.
Training: 5 days a week of heavy lifting with occasional metcon workouts
Competitions: NPC Fort Lauderdale cup 2013 (Masters Over 40s Bikini Division) – 9th; IFBB Shawn Rhoden Classic 2014 (Bikini Open) – 5th


What advice do you have for women who struggle with post-pregnancy weight gain?

For fat loss goals postpartum, consistency and dietary adherence is absolutely paramount. If you can’t follow your nutrition programme consistently, then you won’t get anywhere. If you’re having an impossible time losing fat, consider switching gears and building some quality muscle for a while. You’ll not only look better when you lean back down, but you’ll likely have an easier time, as lean muscle is metabolically active.

What made you decide to start competing on stage?

 The idea of competing has always appealed to me. It’s what got me to fall in love with fitness in the first place. The concept of bringing your body to its physical peak through months and weeks of dedicated work has always seemed natural to me. As a (recovering) perfectionist, I’m always looking to bring my best to whatever it may be that I’m doing – whether it be academic, career-oriented, or physical.

Have you faced any backlash for competing in a bikini?

Yes, but it doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life – whether you compete or wear a bikini, are a mum or single, go to the gym or sit on the couch every night – whatever you do, someone will judge you for it. I try not to respond to haters and critics because these are the people who will find a reason to project their insecurities, negativity and their fears onto you if you let them.

What are some of the valuable life lessons you have learnt through your fitness journey?

Your workouts are a commitment that you’re making to yourself for your long-term health. If you can train, you are fortunate. There are people who are limited in their abilities and are not able to. Appreciate that you have the gift of being able to train and exercise when you want and as hard as you want. When the alarm goes off early tomorrow morning or you’re tired from work and don’t feel like training… Remember the people who can’t. Be thankful, and go pick up something heavy 🙂

Angel Aw

Age: 36
Occupation: Freelance Personal trainer
Kids: Kyle 7, Colby 5
Height: 161cm
Weight: 57kg
Diet: A clean diet generally of high carbs due to high energy requirements for frequent training days and much travelling around during work
Training: 4 to 5 days a week doing a mix of body sculpting, movement-based exercises, plyometrics and cardio, as well as 2 hours of yoga once a week
Competitions: Singapore Bodybuilding Federation 2011, Model Physique – 3rd


When did you start going to the gym?

15 years ago when a friend dragged me to California Fitness and even helped me pay my first month membership when I barely had enough. That was when I met my husband, who was starting out as a trainer and I was his first trial session. We became friends at the time and I’ve never stopped training with weights since.

How did you lose the post-natal weight?

I gained 15kg for each pregnancy and I made an elaborate plan to lose weight after the first one, but nothing worked out! My fitness level was crap, I was hot and sweaty all the time, not to mention the boobs were frequently engorged, and it was emotionally taxing to be away from the baby.

I also spent six hours a day travelling on public transport just getting to and from work and fetching the baby. But being in the fitness industry meant I have to do more than what I preach, so I started with short cardio sessions daily, and worked up to circuits and weights.  It took me four to six months to get back to pre-pregnancy conditions.

What does your husband/kids think about seeing their wife/mother on stage in a bikini?

My kids generally pull my clothes to cover me up if I even wear a midriff, so I didn’t show them pictures. My husband on the other hand, is happy to put me in a bikini to go shopping if he can. He thinks more highly of me than I think of myself, and has encouraged me to compete more.

What are some tips or advice you have for mothers and mothers-to-be?

First love your body. If you love it and take care of it well, you’ll know you’ll never let it deteriorate (in fitness or health) no matter what. Pre-pregnancy weight is not important when you know you are giving your body the best you can. I’m at my heaviest, at non-pregnant state, and nobody’s ever asked me about it. Inevitably, your body shape and size will reflect your hard work; don’t be misled by your weight if shape is your true concern.

Do you see yourself as an inspiration?

Actually I took part in the competitions purely for experience, just to try different things. As for being a role model, it’s more complex than just having a nice physique. I want to show other mothers that I too, have many things to do. I spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about food, as well as exercise.

Yes, exercise is part of my work as a trainer but I’m not saying everyone has to be like me. I just want to show them that in spite of that impossible schedule, it is possible to balance health and wellbeing in a way that doesn’t have to sacrifice looks, figure, work or family life – if this is what they want.

I have learnt and am still learning how to best balance my life at the same time. I feel good doing it and I truly hope it inspires, so that inspired women in turn will inspire other women.


Filza Dorah Sim

Age: 35
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Kids: Irfan Rais Sim
Height: 153cm
Weight: 54kg
Diet: High protein, low carbs, low fat
Training: 6 times a week of weights training, focusing on specific body parts with cardio training twice a week
Competitions: WBPF National Bodybuilding Championships, Athletic Physique (Open) – 1st


Why do you compete?

I like facing challenges, because when I overcome them, it makes me feel strong, powerful and accomplished. As a woman, I think it’s very important to have a sense of those feelings, as it helps you feel very secure and gives you that added strength and positivity when it comes to your outlook on life.

How did you overcome your post-pregnancy blues?

I put on 23kg for just one son! I had borderline gestational diabetes and because my son was breech, I had to go thru caesarian so I was only able to start working out six weeks after birth. However, I met with an accident a few months later so I was not able to workout at all for two months. Eventually I lost the 23kg I gained and another 2kg in eight months after birth.

Do you see yourself as an inspiration?

I do hope to inspire mummies out there that it really is possible to get the body shape that you desire, no matter how old you are or how long ago you have given birth. I have done it myself and I have also helped many clients achieve that. On Instagram, I have many ladies telling me that I inspire them and it makes me happy and somewhat accomplished knowing that I give people hope that things will get better and they will achieve what they want.

Any advice?

Be positive and have a plan. You will definitely put on weight during pregnancy and you can’t avoid it. Plan ahead on how you intend to lose the weight, including your diet and workouts. Don’t just sit around and worry for 40 weeks!

What really helps is to keep working out safely (under doctor’s advice) throughout your pregnancy to stay fit and healthy. It will then be a lot easier to lose the weight after.

The best is to start working out even before you get pregnant so your body recognises the body shape and it will be easier to go back to that than starting a brand new lifestyle.