March 31, 2016 Zhou Jia

Transformation Story: 1-on-1 with Angela Nibungco


Sometimes the hardest part of making a big change is getting motivated. We sat down with Prime Shanghai’s regular member and fitness enthusiast Angela “Gel” Nibungco to tell us about her incredible transformation story. Talk about motivation and hard work!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: your background, how long have you been in China, what brought you to China, what do you do/work as.

I’m from the Philippines, doing marketing for a skincare company. I was previously based in Indonesia for 2 years then moved to Shanghai in December 2014 to join our regional office.

What got you into exercising, and why did you choose Prime?

While in Indonesia, I discovered Zumba with some friends and really enjoyed it. That was the first time in my life I exercised regularly. Moving to Shanghai, my goal was just to continue what I was doing in Jakarta. Unfortunately I gained quite a lot of weight after moving here and I felt Zumba wasn’t getting me in the shape I wanted to be in for my wedding in October 2015.

I had signed up for gyms in the Philippines before where the trainer gives you a routine then you do it all on your own. I would always take a long term contract then end up going a couple of times and never again. So then I thought of trying out personal training not only to help teach me what to do but also push me to keep going. I shortlisted about 3 places/instructors I found online; Prime was the first one I tried and I signed up immediately!

What are your favorite things about training at Prime?

I didn’t grow up playing sports and very rarely worked out so I had a lot of preconceived notions and felt really intimidated at the start. This is where I felt a personal trainer could really help. At Prime, William was crucial in making me feel comfortable and pushing me to try things I never thought I would be able to do. It’s probably a personality fit and I feel his style works for me. William strikes a good balance between pushing me out of my comfort zone without being intimidating. Many times I would hesitate before a new exercise then really surprise myself by pulling it off because he manages to break it down into bits a newbie like me would understand. As we went on, I started to get a lot satisfaction and motivation from doing these new things.

I also like the idea of one-on-one 30-minute sessions because even on busy days, setting aside 30 minutes is totally doable! I really managed to plan my days with those 30 minutes for myself so that I’ve only missed a session because of work once. Being consistent has really helped me progress. Furthermore, such personalized workout helps me fully focus on achieving my goals, while pay special attention to my bad posture and knee pain to prevent any potential and unwanted injuries.

How would you define/describe your past and current lifestyle?

It’s totally different! I started out with the wedding as a goal and considering the time we had (5 months), I was happy with what I achieved.

I remember William telling me that the idea was not to look back on the wedding and think of how thin I was then but to continue with the progress. In my head I thought I would need another goal to keep my head in the game, so I made it “getting fitter before turning 30 in January 2016” but now I realize that it’s really (hopefully) a life-long motto.

The Angela from the past would be dragging herself to go work out but now I always look forward to going to my Prime sessions… it’s time dedicated in improving myself. My diet has also changed drastically. I used to eat whatever I wanted and also ate a lot when I was stressed, particularly chips and sweets. I am now more discerning about my choices; I always think of what William said about not every meal being a celebration – so I try to ask myself why I’m eating and what I’m eating, if it’s really the best option, if it’s fuel for my body or a treat. My husband is extremely supportive and he has also gotten into trying to eat clean and healthy with me, which really helps.

Some days are better than others, diet and exercise wise, but I try not to get discouraged. One more day of exercise and healthy eating is one more day added to my goal of making these changes for life.

What’s next? Where is life taking you next?

Unfortunately, I leave Shanghai a lot earlier than expected. Will truly miss this vibrant and energetic city but I move on to a new post with the same company in Hamburg, Germany… hopefully continuing what William and Prime have taught me. I’m extremely happy with the results that I got by training at Prime; Prime has been one of the greatest things I’ve gained from Shanghai.

What I’ve gained is not just to be fitter and healthier but also having more confidence in what I am capable of. As I said, I didn’t grow up playing sports and I always felt like I would fall or injure myself doing anything physically challenging. But seeing what I’ve managed to do at Prime which may not be much but still beyond anything I thought I could do: my husband got me to play ping pong and the other day I even crossed a river jumping on rocks! These may seem like simple things but even my husband claimed that I wouldn’t have done these things before Prime. This newfound confidence in my ability is the best thing I’ve gained, more than the pounds I lost. That said, I’m really grateful to William and Prime, for how they have changed my life!