World Obesity Day: NS Stories To Inspire Those Going Through A Challenging BMT

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World Obesity Day: NS Stories To Inspire Those Going Through A Challenging BMT

STORY: Sim Ding En
04 March 2021
(From left) CFC Cheng Wenhao, REC Chan Xiao Long and 2LT Tsaqib relied on grit, tenacity and a mind-over-matter spirit coupled with support from their section and platoon mates.
(From left) CFC Cheng Wenhao, REC Chan Xiao Long and 2LT Tsaqib relied on grit, tenacity and a mind-over-matter spirit coupled with support from their section and platoon mates. | Photos: (from left) Facebook/@wenhaoc, @BMTCSAF and @mindefsg

Any guy who has gone through or, indeed, is going through National Service will tell you it is a life-changing experience. For those who are obese, BMT can be a decidedly tough time.

To celebrate World Obesity Day (4 March) and raise awareness and support for it, here are three stories that will inspire and encourage you, especially if you're about to enlist or are going through a similar sitch.

My BMT Story: Testing My Limits The start of every soldier’s BMT is bound to be difficult, but this was especially...

Posted by Basic Military Training Centre on Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Mind over matter

REC Chan Xiao Long admits he had been “severely obese since young” due to his “unhealthy lifestyle” and decided to “make a change in [his] life”, according to a Facebook post by Basic Military Training Centre.

Camaraderie and encouragement from his fellow recruits (who offered to pace him when he was struggling) played a big role in motivating him.

Here is the full post:

My BMT Story: Testing My Limits
The start of every soldier’s BMT is bound to be difficult, but this was especially challenging for REC Chan Xiao Long who weighed over 97kg prior to his enlistment.
REC Xiao Long candidly stated that he has been “severely obese since young” due to his “unhealthy lifestyle” and decided to “make a change in [his] life”. With this goal in mind, he seized the opportunity to lose weight during BMT, strengthening both his mind and body in the process.
He was motivated to do so by the people around him. The strength of the bonds REC Xiao Long forged with his fellow recruits can be seen by how he refers to them as his “group of brothers”, vividly recalling how they offered to pace him when he struggled with running initially. The same can be said for REC Xiao Long’s section commander SGT Chen Jun Shen, who, in his own words, “pushed [him] harder in breaking [his] personal best records”.
REC Xiao Long’s persistence paid off. By the end of his training, he shaved two minutes off his run time and lost over 30kg, a remarkable feat by any measure. He was fit enough to skilfully manoeuvre his way around the vegetation during his field camp training package, accomplishing different missions no matter how “tough and tiring” it was for him.
Over these 18 weeks, REC Xiao Long has exemplified the spirit of mind over matter, facing the obstacles in his way with grit and tenacity. Even though the journey for him and the other Physical Training Phase recruits was longer, this only makes their victory sweeter when they toss their caps this Friday and are declared trained soldiers.
#ExcelThroughBasics

Band of brothers

The fighting spirit and helpfulness of 2LT Tsaqib's camp mates egged him on during BMT.

"They weren't the fittest of soldies, but they spurred me on, espeically during my first field camp. Some of my friends had finished their shell scrape much earlier than me and they offered to help me," he recalls. "I really got inspired by that fighting spirit and camaraderie."

Here comes a long one: I can't believe it. Two years ago I handed them my pink IC, not knowing what to expect in the...

Posted by Cheng Wenhao on Thursday, 25 February 2016

Change of heart (and mind, and body)

CFC Cheng Wen Hao reflects in this post from 2016 about his NS journey, and how BMT and the rest of those two years made him a changed bro.

In his post he writes: "I was once asked what I hoped to take away from these two years in NS. I said I wanted to see a change in myself: a change in my lifestyle, a change in the way I spoke and interacted with my peers around me, and a change in how I felt about myself. And I did."

And he also expresses his gratitude for "my platoon mates and my section mates that made our bunk so lively throughout 19 weeks of obese BMT".

Here is the full post:

Here comes a long one:
I can't believe it.
Two years ago I handed them my pink IC, not knowing what to expect in the coming months.
Today I received my pink IC, again not knowing what to expect in the coming months.
It has really been a fruitful journey, one that seemed long but passed with the blink of an eye. I enlisted without knowing what to expect, but leaving with fufilled expectations, as well as regrets.
I've been encouraged to keep an open mind and face everything with a positive attitude in BMT, so maybe that's why I've never exactly disliked wearing green. 2015 was indeed a busy year with many events occuring back-to-back, eating through each week of our supposed 'lull' period. Having the chance (and honour) of participating in almost every single event I could (127&128 Tug of War, SEA Games Funpacking and Flag bearer, NDP Mobile Column, Dragon Boat Regatta, SAFSA Swimming Meet, vehicular displays, SSPP etc) gave me so much exposure, be it as a participant or to experience event organisation on a higher level, and I have no regrets despite having burnt some of my free time and weekends.
I was once asked what I hoped to take away from these two years in NS. I said I wanted to see a change in myself: a change in my lifestyle, a change in the way I spoke and interacted with my peers around me, and a change in how I felt about myself. And I did. I started to enjoy being with others more; I talk and start conversations with new acquaintances more easily; I stopped bottling everything inside my heart all the time, as I confide in others at times.
Sometimes, not everything will turn out the way you wanted it to. Days off? Maybe it's a privilege, not an entitlement. Last minute things thrown to you to take care of? You just have to suck thumb and do, or take a moment to think through things, what's the reason behind it, what you can do to help out. If you just spend all your time complaining, or pointing fingers to push the blame to others, you will probably just end up ruining your relationships with others and killing the mood around you. A little sacrifice won't hurt, but losing the people around you might.
I'm really thankful to those who were by my side in army these two years: my family, my platoon mates and my section mates that made our bunk so lively throughout 19 weeks of obese BMT, my fellow HIMARS operators who went through every up and down together, the friendly people in Bravo that I got closer to over time and fought an amazing FATEP with, the few people I got ridiculously close to, and my other commanders that have constantly inspired me and motivated me to do better. I'm so fortunate to have crossed paths with all of you. Hopefully our fate doesn't just end here!
But then as I sunk myself deeply in the commitments of NS, I began to realise that I've gradually lost myself outside. I didn't know what to study in uni, I didn't know what kind of a career I would want to embark on afterwards. I still have not much of a direction now, but hopefully I'll get somewhere and move on.
I chose to shelve off any thoughts about signing on for now, as there is a much bigger world out there for me to see, to explore and experience. Maybe, just maybe, I'll come back?
Thank you SAF for taking away two years of my civilian life, for I have taken away much more than I can count during these two years. These two years are probably the best years of my life yet.
--
If you bothered to read this whole chunk of text, here's a smiley face to show my appreciation

Gambatte! Have a good BMT and a meaningful NS experience, guys!

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TAGS: National Service , Weight Management
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