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Celebrating our people - Thomas Chan

Deloitte SEA has many amazing people!  As we commemorate our 175th Anniversary this year, we want to celebrate our people and feature some of them including those who have an interesting story to share.  Here, we spotlight Thomas Chan, Deloitte Malaysia’s Tax Senior Manager, who successfully embarked on a body transformation journey!

1.      When did you start this body transformation journey?

I started this journey in January 2017.

2.      What was your motivation to begin this journey and push through?

My motivation to transform my body was to improve my physical health. I was overweight at 130kg, which led to illnesses associated with obesity. To push through, I asked myself everyday if I wanted to be stronger and healthier, and told myself that no one else could make that decision for me. 

3.      Tell us more about your journey.

In the beginning, I started jogging and reduced my food intake for a year. This helped me to lose weight quickly from 130kg to 85kg within a year. My colleague, Yogesh Mangla, then introduced me to the gym near the office where I discovered strength training, which is more challenging than jogging in terms of intensity and effort. 

The main challenge I faced along the way was finding the time to squeeze in at least a minimum of an hour workout, four to six days a week for months. The second biggest challenge was mental strength, 90% of the time I did not want to work out, and my mind came up with infinite reasons not to do so (Netflix, sleep-in, parties, it is raining, today is Friday, etc.). In short, the hardest part was to first convince my mind to get off the couch/ bed.​

Before embarking on this journey, I lived to eat. However, once I started this journey, I eat to live. I needed to eat healthy and nutritious food in order to fuel my body for the intensive workouts and also recover from them. Among the favorite foods I had to sacrifice were fragrant spicy Nasi Lemak with deep fried chicken and donuts.

My go-to healthy snacks would be apples and oats with honey, and my go-to exercise would be squats and deadlifts.

4.      How has your lifestyle changed after embarking on this journey?

I changed from being a night owl to a morning person. To ensure that I was able to balance my time well between work, exercise and other other day-to-day essential activities, I had to cut out a lot of entertainment and social activities.

5.      What have you learnt during this journey and what is your best take away?

During this journey, I learnt that losing weight is easy but it is much harder to build physical strength and muscles. Building physical strength and muscles results in increased “mental toughness” that has a positive effect on other aspects of life. With physical strength and muscles, your body will feel as though you are in your late teenage years.

6.      What is one piece of advice that you will give to those who would like to embark on a body transformation journey?

Focus on getting stronger step-by-step with progressive consistency and you will see changes in your body.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates

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