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Fri, Feb 20, 2009
The New Paper
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Doing comedies made me fat!
by Tan Kee Yun

DOING comedy makes you laugh, but it can also make you fat.

This dawned on MediaCorp artiste Michelle Chong while she was filming the Peranakan sitcom Sayang Sayang and the satirical news parody show, The Noose.

It's hard to imagine the word 'fat' or 'chubby' being associated with the slim 31-year old host and actress.

But she candidly revealed that there was a time when she had a problem with her weight.

She told The New Paper: 'My weight was already increasing steadily over the last three, four years, especially with all the travel and food programmes I was hosting, like Seoul Far Seoul Good and Sweets For My Sweet.'

The 1.68m-tall actress was a trim and svelte 49kg when she joined MediaCorp in 2004.

By last December, she was tipping the scales at 55kg.

She blames it largely on her recent slew of roles over the last couple of years.

She said the comedy genre doesn't require actresses to be particularly slim and attractive.

'It didn't hit me how much weight I've gained till the The Noose, when I had to play a news anchor.

'My stylists went over to the News & Current Affairs team to borrow appropriate attire, but they just couldn't find anything I could fit in.'

The warning signs were there for some time, though.

She said she had 'outgrown several pairs of jeans' and had learnt to 'hide my bulges' in baby doll and empire line dresses whenever she went on TV, or if she had to make public appearances.

'I knew things were getting bad when people on the street stopped saying 'you look thinner in real life' when they bumped into me; they used to do that a lot,' she said with a laugh.

'Even my mum, who would usually be too nice to make any unkind comments, was subtly hinting at me to lose weight with her occasional remarks such as, 'You don't eat so much rice, okay'?'

Michelle admits that she also has herself to blame, as she is 'one of the laziest people around'.

'I hardly exercise apart from doing yoga once in a while,' she said.

'Plus, I tend to binge eat.'

Unveiled as Expressions International's new brand ambassador on Monday, she was all smiles as she displayed her new lean, toned self to the media.

As part of an advertising campaign titled Farewell Fat Clothes Forever, Michelle discarded her white, baggy clothing to reveal her new figure in a killer black bikini.

After undergoing Expressions' 3-Day Detox Health programme, as well as other body treatments, she lost 6kg in two weeks.

She also shaved off a total of 51.1cm overall, including a 31.3cm off her most problematic area - the hips and thighs.

But she cautions against trying to be too thin.

'Being beautiful and confident doesn't mean that you have to be stick thin,' she said.

'Personally, I am big-boned, so I know I will never be a Kate Moss or Calista Flockhart. I will still have my curves and my boobs.

'But it's a great feeling to have shed the extra kilos, to feel lean and fit.'

Despite comedies playing a part in her weight gain, she is not complaining.

She recently won Elle Magazine's Actress Of The Year Award and the Asian Television Awards' Best Comedy Performance (Highly Commended) Award for her role as Beh Li Choo, the uncouth butcher in Sayang Sayang.

The second season of the series will return to Channel 5 later this year.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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