Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Sep 24, 2015
For some, age is but a number. At 59, ONE FM radio DJ Flying Dutchman (FD) is proud to say he feels only 40. He would even go as far as to say he is in his prime.
All it took was a long overdue weight loss over four months, shedding 8kg and 20 per cent of his visceral fat, which is the deeper layer of fat in the abdomen that surrounds the organs.
Now, at about 77kg, he can easily bend over to tie his shoelaces. He can also see his feet when he looks down now that his pot belly is gone. And following his weight loss, the 1.78m-tall radio jockey no longer needs to push himself off the bed with his hands in the morning.
This journey is a big deal for FD - he has not been able to do these things for almost two decades. He is now happy to enjoy his improved mental and physical health.
FD, whose real name is Mark van Cuylenburg, co-hosts the #1 Breakfast Show on ONE FM with Glenn Ong and Andre Hoeden.
"I'm able to walk longer now and no longer get breathless," said FD. "I used to struggle to get up because I was big but now, I'm more agile and flexible. In fact, I think I'm finally ready to head to the gym. Find me again in December!"
Six months ago, a friend suggested that FD - who weighed 85kg - try a customised weight-management programme at men's body toning and skincare centre Kris By Mence, the local branch of Hong Kong's Mence, to reduce his body fat and increase his muscle density at his own pace.
Following the twice-weekly treatments, he has since dropped two pants sizes - his waist now measures 34 inches - and can no longer fit into anything in his wardrobe, save for two pairs of jeans.
FD's struggle to lose weight began when he suffered a heart attack in 2012 and underwent surgery to have a stent inserted in his coronary artery. Since then, he's become "neurotic".
He said: "I know I can exercise but I question what I can or cannot do. I was overprotective. I ended up not exercising at all. I didn't like the way I looked. I am vain. I feared walking into the gym and watching everybody go, 'Oh my God, is that FD?'"
The father of four daughters aged between 22 and 36 also credits his wife Michelle Anne Seow for his drive to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Their shared passion for adventure has taken them to exotic locations such as South America and Morocco. Travelling across the globe with Madam Seow, who maintains an enviable figure at 50 thanks to belly dancing, meant that FD struggled to keep up with her.
"We went to Peru in March and she effortlessly did a day hike up Machu Picchu," said FD who is aiming to hit 75kg. "Once she got going, I completely lost her and could not keep up. I was using a stick to hike. I was panting heavily and felt truly embarrassed. When I got back home, I made the decision to get serious about getting back in shape."
Now, the fun-loving couple go for salsa lessons.
"He used to tire easily during lessons but now he enjoys them more. He also has a better energy level and is on the whole, happier," Madam Seow told TNP. "And, yes, he is even more attractive now."
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