GEORGE TOWN: It’s all about “number-crunching” for Malaysia’s first female athlete to win gold in the World Bodybuilding and Physique Federation (WBPF) World Championships.
To her dismay, Lilian Tan, 41, discovered that four small peanut cookies contained at least 200 calories.
Yes, it is all about calorie-counting for Tan, who has to stick to a high-protein diet.
“It was only recently that I discovered the tasty peanut cookies had so many calories. It would take me 20 minutes of intense cardiovascular exercise to burn that off,” said Tan, who is back in her hometown here for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
“Even when I’m not in competition, I need to stick to a clean diet’,” added Tan, who is based in Kuala Lumpur.
Tan, who prepares her own meals of fish and chicken, carries her food in a cooler box everywhere she goes. She spends about RM1,000 monthly on food and supplements.
Although she admitted to indulging during the reunion dinner, she said she was very picky about the steamboat dishes that she consumed.
“(As a professional bodybuilder) I don’t eat for taste anymore I eat to train. Only on Saturdays do I indulge in my favourite pasta.”
She said training hard did not, by itself, ensure success.
“Sticking to a strict diet is crucial. When I go into competition mode, my body fat is about 6%,” she said.
Tan finished fourth in the 2011 world meet but was the silver medallist in the Asian championship that same year.
Winning gold in the WBPF is her biggest achievement since she picked up weight-lifting in California. She topped the above 50kg weight division contest in Bangkok on Dec 9.
Tan, who is also a freelance personal trainer, will not be defending her title this year.
“I have an elbow injury so I’m giving my body some time to heal. But I will be back in 2014,” she said yesterday after receiving a RM5,000 cheque from State Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi for winning the gold medal.
Malaysian Weightlifting Federation president and Penang Amateur Weightlifting Association president Datuk Ong Poh Eng said it was “very difficult” to register an association for female bodybuilders.
“We wanted to form an association for women bodybuilders but we were advised against it by various quarters. We do not want to offend sensitivities due to the attire,” he said.
Congratulating Tan, he said her success was due to her own hard work.
“It definitely wasn’t easy for her because female bodybuilding is not well received here,” he said.
Source by: The Star