I was from the TAF (FAT) Club


If you’re an 80’s – early 90’s kid, you’d probably have heard of the funky TAF club. I was in the TAF club for one year in Primary School.

Officially, TAF stood for Trim and Fit but people often read it backwards. Yepp, the “FAT” club. Where fatties get singled out and got put through exercise classes to slim down.

See, my parents are the type who would cook a 6-person share even though we only have 3 members in the family. I eat more than I should most of the time. I also had quite a lot of pocket money so it was snacks and soft drinks galore everyday after school.

We had a yearly weight and height check and it was one of the things I dreaded going to, other than the dentist.

One fine morning, this person with a clipboard came to our classroom door.

“John Tan. Andrew Ng…. …. Jennie Tay.”

That’s it. I’m one of the fatties this year.

We were the new joinees to the TAF programme. And we can only call it quits when we get to a weight within our acceptable range.

I remember exercising when others were having recess time, playing sweaty sports like hockey, basketball or running. Ewww. We didn’t have time to clean up or grab a bite before break time is over.

I ended up hungry, sweaty and miserable on most of my school days that year.

But it wasn’t just the denial of yummy canteen food or having to sweat like a cow that punished us.

People called us names. My lil cousin happily announced to the entire extended family that I was in TAF club and everyone laughed.

I was so embarrassed I almost died. Everyone who talked to me suddenly became an expert on weight-loss and told me to do this, do that…

And that’s it. One day, I snapped. I decided to stop eating altogether.

I lost weight so fast that I was dropped from the TAF programme after one year.

Mind you, the kids who were on TAF were usually there for 2-5 years, which is pretty much throughout their school life.

Everyone complimented on how skinny I was then and I felt really good about myself. It was like everyone was admiring me for my new ‘look’.

I decided I wanted to keep the compliments coming so I kept up with the dieting even though there was no need to do so anymore.

I became skinnier and gradually people started telling me “you’re too skinny, you should eat more”. At some point in time, I started feeling weak and tired constantly.

I couldn’t do anything anymore. I felt cold and lethargic. This had to stop, and so I did.

I started eating right and gained back some weight, but I always cautioned myself to not go back to that stage where I was overweight.


I still struggle with my weight now. Over the years, there were times when I lost control and got chubby again but I always set a limit for myself and exercise to lose weight when I see myself nearing that edge. I also try to eat healthy and not diet the wrong way when I start gaining weight.

Here are some tips (tried and tested!)

  • Stop all soft drinks (no canned, sugary drinks, just water/tea)
  • Eat / drink soupy stuffs like porridge, noodles, soup + rice.
  • Take fast food once a week max
  • Exercise by walking fast – try to break into a sweat everyday. Increases metabolism rate

Below are some photos of me in recent years still struggling with my weight.


Year 2009
When I was overly skinny
(Lost a lot of weight dancing and not eating right)




Year 2010
When I was plump (Look at those arms!)


Year 2011
Where I was in the normal weight range for my height


Here’s wishing all of you who put losing weight as your new year’s resolution to achieve what you aim for!

“The longest journey starts with a single step”.

Start somewhere and you will keep on going :)


  1. I went through a tough time too with this, only I did not stop eating, I wish that I at least had a similar club to what you had in school to help with the exercise. good luck in your journey

  2. Oh gosh… I remember being in the TAF club before when I was in primary school. My brother used to tease me about it. He used to joke that TAF stood for “Torture All Fatties!”

    Anyway, for some strange reason, my teachers seemed to have neglected the TAF club. So I rarely participated in those weight-loss activities.

    I escaped TAF club in secondary school. Somehow, puberty hit and poof! – my metabolic rate skyrocketed. Even though I continued to eat a lot, I lost a lot of weight! And TAF was history!

    • well, you should count your lucky stars! many will kill for that metabolism.. Good to have a fellow TAF member here who can understand how I feel. Well, it’s over now! here’s to us being healthy and having a healthy weight :)

  3. Hi hun, thanks for stopping by my blog (PlantG) . I share your concerns for body weight and body image, I have walked the same path as you in terms of weight fluctuations. I think you are gorgeous right now (please accept this compliment). I was told that we all have a natural weight that is ideal for us, I just have to come to peace with what that looks like and not aim for lower!
    drop me a mail to let me know your thoughts on this ‘ideal’ weight idea!
    Sarah xoxo

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