June Member Spotlight! Meet Pherform member & soon-to-wed Eloise Fardon..

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There is nothing better than hearing someone tell you about their wedding plans and having a smile from ear to ear while doing it.

Eloise Fardon is preparing for the next big adventure of her life and we couldn’t be happier for her. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with her to learn more about her life, what brought her to Hong Kong (and Pherform) and her future plans.


Using 3 words, how would you describe yourself?

Organised, sociable, a do-er


What career background do you have?

Have always been in law.  Currently working in private practice specialising in insolvency & restructuring and general commercial litigation.


If you could quit your job and live anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Somewhere in Japan.  I am trying to learn Japanese at the moment and it is very slow going.  If I didn’t have to work and could immerse myself fully in the language hopefully I could learn it much quicker.  And of course eat a lot of delicious food along the way!


Do you believe in fate? Have you ever experienced it?

Yes.  Every time I bump into a familiar face or a connection of a friend in an unexpected part of the world I think that’s a kind of fate.  It reminds me how small our world is and to never say anything mean about anybody.  You never know who and where you might see that person.

For 2018, what do you want to accomplish? Personal, health and professional.

I’m getting married in October this year so that’s the biggest thing on the cards for 2018. I want to plan an amazing, different and fun wedding but make sure I keep everything else in life (health, work, friendships, relationship) in balance along the way.   I don’t think its necessary to do anything too rash diet or exercise wise in the lead up to the big day.  Instead I am hoping to maintain a healthy balance for 2018.


Have you ever volunteered for a charity and if so which one? Tell me more….

Yes.  During my university and post university years in Perth I spent a lot of time volunteering for two charities called Uni Camp for Kids and LYF (Leading Youth Forward) which provided camps and mentoring opportunities for children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds.  As well as seeing a real difference in those kids lives I built fantastic relationships with the other volunteers and gained an extra appreciation for how lucky and privileged my upbringing was. 

I have done some small volunteering through CSR activities offered at my work in Hong Kong (recently with Room to Read HK).  I am always interested to hear about other opportunities.   I definitely need to set aside more time for this!  Hands On Hong Kong has a great website and calendar with opportunities for volunteering. 


What do you feel is your best asset?

Go-getter attitude


What brought you to Pherform?

Friends I had made during my time at Bikini Fit who were members at Pherform.  I made some amazing lifelong friends during my time at Bikini Fit.   During 2016-2017 I spent 1 year on secondment at my firm’s office in London.  During the time I was away from Hong Kong Bikini Fit ended and Pherform grew as a gym.   While I was in London I tried a few different places for working-out: 1Rebel, Frame and Basefit to name a few.  It was great that they all had really flexible offerings (membership wise) so I could sample different places, but I did miss (i) the coaches didn’t get to know you on a personal level and (ii) having a supportive consistent group of work out buddies.  When I moved back to Hong Kong I tried out a bunch of different gyms; Pherform seemed like the right fit due to the location, quality of coaches, the coaches knowledge of the members, range of classes and friends who were there.   I also loved boxing classes at 1Rebel in London so was excited that Pherform was offering Rumble classes! 


What inspires you? What gets you up in the morning?

I have a pretty busy schedule with work and plenty of extra-curricular activities.  I need to get to the gym in the morning before work otherwise it won’t happen.  Getting out of bed never gets easier, but it is always worth it after a workout.


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That Stubborn Fat.. That problem area.. Them squidgy bits. Why are they there?

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Ever seen a newsreader who looks fantastic on television, but in reality she doesn’t look quite so hot? Do you feel like you have a flat tummy, but your arms resemble parachutes should a strong wind come?

We all have problem areas, that part of the body that disproportionately tends to accumulate fat, and we have trouble getting rid of it once it’s there. For men, this tends to be the naval, back and hips, and for women it tends to be the hips, thighs and butt.
Ask any of your girlfriends which part of their body they would magically change, and the hips/thigh/butt combo is a universal response.

But why is this? Well, in the example of male vs female it has to do with hormones. Men have more testosterone and less estrogen, where women have higher oestrogen and less testosterone. Most people can accept this as a logical reason why there are significant differences to the way men and women build muscle and lose body fat, but what if it wasn’t as simple as male vs female? In actuality the hormonal spectrum is enormous, just think of frail, petite little Sally vs Olga, the rugby-playing, tree-cutting, deer-hunting female competitive shot-putter… You get the point.

If you have been adopting a well thought out nutrition plan and training effectively, but the body fat isn’t shifting from certain areas – there may be some underlying causes…

Genetics will play a vital role into how your body shapes itself. Some people draw a lucky card, other less so. However this is no reason to throw you hands in the air and claim defeat. On the contrary – a little awareness into what other areas you can focus on will dramatically improve the genetic baseline. No one complains more about their body shape than those who do almost nothing to improve it – a sad fact.

Dr Laurena Law, a leading anti-ageing and aesthetics specialist in Hong Kong says, “Body fat storage in women (and men) in specific areas could be a reflection of underlying hormonal disruption. Adding to this is exposure to environmental toxins that mimic our hormones or increase toxic burden – leading to storage in fat cells

A cheat-sheet of areas to focus on is:

Not much you can do about this. But once you are honest and look at the cards you are dealt with, you can use this as motivation for how you look at the next areas. Turn your Datsun into a Ferrari!

There are so many environmental and behavioural elements which disrupt normal hormone production. Getting a full hormone panel done by a physician is a great first step. Once you know what (if anything) is wrong, you can look at natural or synthetic options to optimise hormonal levels.

Digestive health
People are increasingly growing aware of digestive health as allergies, auto immune conditions and other intestinal issues are affecting record numbers of people… As it turns out, overly processed foods is not what you body likes! Try an elimination diet where you remove sugars, gluten containing carbohydrates and anything processed – as this will give you initial feedback about these most common causes of poor digestion.

Toxins cause bloating, lethargy, poor metabolism, irregular fat deposits and can make you very sick. We all have them, but little know much about how to avoid, and how to eliminate. Research environmental toxins and focus on food quality. A great resource is www.ewg.org

Vitamins and mineral deficiency
Vitamins and minerals regulate all metabolic systems and play an important role in detoxification. Being deficient in any of these can be a result of imperfect nutrition or fast-paced Hong Kong lifestyle.In particular, look at: zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, omega 3 and glutathione.

So ladies, the clear message here is that there are a multitude of factors which may be responsible for you having increased body fat in a certain area (assuming that late night kebabs and jelly shots aren’t to blame).  Now that you know what these key areas are, you can active steps to negate these possibilities.

It’s a long road and there are no simple solutions. Remember that nutrition and exercise is all about improving your quality of life, not detracting from it. Embrace the challenges, train hard, and seek clinical or qualified support in eliminating these additional factors and watch your body transform!




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Pherform Go To Manila & compete in the IPF Philippines National Powerlifting Competition!

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An INCREDIBLE weekend in Manila as we watched dozens of young women compete in the IPF Philippines National Powerlifting Competition!

Our very own Coach Leslie not only acted as an official and helped organise the operations of the event – she also took GOLD in her division and moved on to the Asian Championships!

We are very inspired by these women who have dedicated themselves to strength training – supporting each other and enjoying the process, and building character and confidence which transcends “lifting weights” and very much creates the fittest, happiest, and healthiest version of themselves!

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Some say turning up to the gym is the easy part so why do many of us struggle with nutrition?!

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Why is the topic of nutrition so complicated? Why do we have infinite resources at our fingertips, yet have so many question marks over how to eat properly to reach a goal?

In an age where an ever-increasing number of people have Internet access, there is a lack of quality control in the information being put forward. Fitness blogs are like Internet dating; most people are lying, misleading, completely naive or a heavy-set bearded guy named Bruce with a penchant for listening to Kenny G while rubbing oil onto his chest… I’ve digressed.

The point is, in the hustle and bustle of living your busy life, it can be very difficult to get a clear picture of how to eat. Especially when a perfectly framed picture of a hipster glass filled with organic oats, berries, banana, chia seeds, yoghurt and honey can be hash tagged #raw #organic #cleaneating #glutenfree, and yet still be a calorie-dense sugar bomb.

Additionally, it’s very easy to suffer “analysis paralysis” and never start adhering to any kind of nutritional plan until you find the perfect plan. The perfect plan doesn’t exist – in fact, the perfect plan is no plan at all! When you reach a point where you truly understand how your body reacts to different foods and have created a foundation of discipline, then the aim is to enjoy life and eat intrinsically within the boundaries of health and fitness. The only way you will reach this Jedi-level of awareness is to stick to rigid plans and start creating a personal framework. It may take months or years, but it will give you the best return on investment.

Below is a step-by-step process that has given clients and myself huge success over the years. It starts off with some fluffy stuff, but the fluffy stuff is crucial… Grab a pen and paper, a cup of joe and strap in for the long-haul. I can guarantee that following at least some, if not all, of this process will definitely assist in creating a more positive and proactive approach towards nutrition.

What is the focus of undertaking a structured nutrition plan? What do you want to improve: health? Performance? Body composition?

If you don’t have a clear priority from these three streams, that’s fine. I’m yet to meet someone who says they intend on getting fatter, slower and as unhealthy as possible – so let’s assume that there is a unified focus on improving all three simultaneously. Your priority will give context to the plan. If, for example, you have recently received news of significant hormonal issues, then your primary focus should absolutely be focused on improving health rather than on achieving a “thigh gap”.

When do you want to achieve this by? Let me give you a hint – “some time” is a mythical anomaly that unfortunately doesn’t exist. Seek the guidance of someone who specialises in your goal, and ask whether the timeframe is realistic. The key is to make it an acute period that you can confidently see yourself maintaining discipline throughout.

How have you gone so far? If you’ve had previous success losing body fat or improving a health issue in the past following certain principles – great! If on the other hand your goal is to “lose 5kg of fat” and your timeframe is “within 2 weeks”, and you’ve had this goal since 1997, then that’s a different story. We need to be realistic about the objective in the first place! Unless you look at all lifestyle factors, there is a very real chance you will be saying the same thing in 3015. Unless we are robots by then. Better to take some action now just in case. 

Relevant to your goal, get some baseline measurements to help get clarity on where things sit today. 

Health – hormonal profile, blood pressure, cholesterol, stress levels & sleep.
Performance – strength test, endurance test
Body Composition – DXA scan at HKU.

It goes without saying that in order to track progress, you want the best possible technology at your disposal… A dehydrated selfie in a forgiving hotel bathroom mirror with brilliant lighting and a few Instagram filters applied does not count as a true representation of your body. Comparing yourself to this a week later is only going to cause disappointment.

When it comes to your track record of setting a challenging goal and then achieving it – let’s take an honest look at the scoreboard. Are you a bloodthirsty savage who is happy to train until aneurism and eat gluten-free cardboard? Or are you a pacifist stoner who has been wearing the same pyjamas for a few days straight? There’s neither a right nor wrong here, being a bit flaky is natural and doesn’t make you any less of a person. However, if you’re setting a very high goal and placing a difficult timeframe on yourself while having an abysmal track record, re-adjust the goals to something more realistic like “don’t eat pizza for breakfast”… After you have proven to yourself you can stick to smaller, more manageable goals – the bigger ones become much more achievable.

What obstacles will you have to overcome in order to maintain a rigid nutrition plan? Regular work trips to Beijing? Mandatory Wednesday dim sum with the boss? Wild weekend swinger parties in Discovery Bay? Whatever foreseeable situations you have occurring that impede your ability to stick to something 100% – make note of it and take this into consideration. The most thought-out and scientifically validated plans will be futile if you are making considerable deviations based on other commitments.

As far as I am aware, scientology or zen Buddhism will not help you here. What we mean is that you should create a framework you’ll work within, in order to reach your target. This may be paleo, low carb, ketogenic, low fat, vegan… the list goes on. If this is the most confusing step for you, allow me to simplify. Follow the “stop eating sh*t diet”. It always works! This means alcohol, croissants, ice cream and chocolate are definitely out. Completely out! You’ll be amazed at the results just from making this “easy to understand, harder to adhere to” change will make.

Once you’ve become crystal clear on a) what you want to achieve b) when you will achieve this by, and c) navigated through the obstacles – it’s time to start crunching some numbers. If you are allergic to numbers, look away from the screen immediately. Do not make direct eye contact as the below function will almost certainly cause spontaneous combustion.

BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years ) 

Or… you can follow this link and use the calculator by plugging in your weight, height and age (don’t lie!). The resulting number will be an approximate number of calories you need per day to maintain weight, given the variables and activity level. Like all formulas, this isn’t perfect. But it’s the best system we have.

If you wish to lose some junk in your trunk, then we need to lower the daily intake of calories slightly. The term “caloric defect” is essentially ensuring you are taking in less energy than you are spending = fat loss.

As general advice, I like to see women be much more moderate about how many calories they remove initially. The truth is, many will see amazing results even without caloric restriction – just by removing all the crap foods and reducing cellular inflammation.

Try reducing overall calories by 10%-20% initially. If you start seeing noticeable results and feel great, you can always increase this a fraction. There is no point making life harder for yourself by introducing a strict nutritional plan and also going into extreme caloric defect at the same time.

Example: BMR = 1,800 calories for weight maintenance. (20% defect) would = 1440 calories for fat loss.

If you’re still reading this and haven’t been terrified by the calculations, I commend you. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet explained where these calories come from, and I truly believe that the specific source of energy is more important than the total amount itself. It would be completely irresponsible of me to offer you a set macro-nutrient breakdown to follow, everybody responds differently. However there is one universal truth: most people consume way too many carbs, from the wrong carb sources, way too frequently.


If you’re looking for a balanced approach, try: 40% protein / 30% carb / 30% fat

If you’re looking for a low carb approach, try: 50% protein / 10% carb / 40% fat.

****Make sure you calculate this on calories, and NOT molecular weight. Each macronutrient has a different amount of calories per gram of weight.

Protein = 4 calories/gram   Carbohydrates = 4 calories/gram   Fat = 9 calories/gram

Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of physician or registered dietician/nutritionist before undertaking any structured nutrition intake.

Now for the fun part! You will have to set up a spreadsheet and there’s a good chance this will take an hour to two… yet if you’ve struggled with body issues for some time, I cannot think of a better way to invest some minutes.

Remember that “close enough is good enough”. Don’t lose your marbles and avoid starting because you are missing a few grams of protein here or a few extra grams of carbs there. I dare say following this process has defined an intake which is lightyears beyond what you were previously doing. Use the resource calorieking.com for the nutritional breakdown on anything you can imagine. Do not search “chicken nuggets” or “oreos”.



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