Paul Saelee Transformation contest

Paul Saelee Transformation contest


I was the guy who kept unconsciously tugging on his shirt to hide belly fat and the contour of my love handles. I remember the day when my mom tried to convince me to start a weight-loss program with her. That hit me hard and awakened my unconsciousness to how bad my weight was. My health was really turning into an issue. The day I changed, I looked in the mirror and was disgusted at what stared back at me. I stepped on a scale and it tipped right below 300.

I didn’t know where to start or how to work out besides doing push-ups and bench press. I started running and doing sets on a flat bench. Shortly after, I started reading magazines and online articles to pick up demonstrated exercises and find resources to build lifting routines.

I changed my eating habits and tightened up my diet. Being of Asian descent, it’s hard to tell your parents that you don’t want rice or noodles. I gave up most of my favorite foods and started eating clean. I started monitoring what I put in my body and ate nutritious food.

It was discouraging when I started working out. I gave up many times and told myself I wasn’t going to do it. The first morning I attempted to run wasn’t pleasant at all. 300 pounds pounding on my knees was excruciating. I had to pace myself and work my way up slowly. I started slowly jogging, then jogging faster, and eventually jog-running.

I remember when I first began in this fitness journey, I never imagined taking it as far as the whole “bodybuilding” or “competition” epidemic.

I was just overweight my whole life and lacked self-esteem, lacked self-confidence, lacked the feeling of feeling good in my own skin.

Exercising does something to you more than the aspects of physical shaping. It opens up a new world of what more you can do and what more you can learn about yourself, for yourself, to help yourself, and shape yourself.


I overcame eating disorders.
I overcame the fear of eating certain foods
I overcame peer pressure of using drugs
I overcame my desire to go through surgery for perfect skin
I overcame losing who I was and the purpose of the goal
I overcame idolizing bodybuilders and bodybuilding
I overcame myself by transforming who I was but not changing who I was

These pictures don’t show all of the struggles and most people won’t understand that the physical transformation was less difficult than the life transformation. Having my heart broken between who I was and I am, was much harder.

Nothing is ever worth so much to change who you are to have or become.

I’m so blessed that I can share my love, passion, and fitness journey with you. But I’ve been thinking long and hard and after this year, making a total of 10 years, It might be time to take a break and end this chapter of my life.

Before and afters never show the during and in-between. The best advice I can ever give to you is to keep being the best person you are because of who you are now and who you’re going to become. Because who you become isn’t a stranger to who you once were, who you once were is every reason you are a better you now.

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