"Remember you don’t fail until you actually give up so hang in there." - Dionis Chiua
We’ve a certain admiration for people who are able to chart their course in life and work towards their goals. Our theme - Like a Boss - is really about people who see opportunities where others don’t and rise above challenges to make things happen.
We speak to Dionis Chiua, co-founder of Lean Bento – a bento bar in Raffles Place serving delicious and healthy meals – and discovered that aside from grit, determination and a will to succeed there are secrets to weight loss and how to start a restaurant business with no prior experience.
Read more in our quick fire interview where questions have to be answered in 20 seconds or less!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Dionis Chiua and I am a co-founder of Lean Bento. I started this business because I strongly believe in healthy eating, partly because of my own story when I used to be 20 kgs heavier than what I am now. I achieved this through eating healthily and I wanted to extend this to people around me.
What’s your fitness story?
I have been overweight throughout my entire life. The year I turned 28 I wanted to do something for myself and that’s when I decided to start living healthily. I started from zero, from a total couch potato and someone who hated anything to do with workouts, to exercising 3 times a week.
Dionis before and right now as the boss of Lean Bento.
What’s your secret formula to shedding the weight?
The secret is to keep things really simple from the beginning so that you have nothing to fight against. For example, if you want to start exercising and you find it difficult to run, just walk for 5 mins. The next round walk for 5 mins and run for 1 min. So you keep building it up. That’s exactly how I started. Small steps forward.
So despite your busy schedule how do you remain being fit?
What works for me is scheduling my workout into my calendar because we often get so caught up with our business we don’t set time for it. Once I block out that time and dedicate it to fitness I know I will make it happen and I put in my best for the time I’ve set aside.
Share your current workout routine.
I work out 3 times a week. Twice I do weight training at the gym near my work. Once a week, the workouts are more social and I take part in rock climbing and swimming. The social part allows me to spend time with friends while still being active.
Do you prefer being Skinny or Strong?
Definitely strong. Being strong has allowed me to do a lot of things. When I managed to lift 80kg for a deadlift. I felt really empowered and thought I could do a lot more in life. And that’s where I built my perseverance and grit. It was actually through the gym.
Do you have friends who say they are afraid of you bulking up with all the weight training?
It’s a contradictory statement because they ask me if I was afraid of bulking up but on the other hand they also ask why I keep getting smaller!
Tell me about Lean Bento and why does Lean Bento exist today?
Lean bento is here because I got sick and tired to find the kind of food that would fuel my lifestyle. And it was also difficult to find food that has portion control and that it’s also clean at the same time. That’s why I decided to create Lean Bento.
At Lean Bento, they calculate the calories and macros for you. They are also Halal certified and they offer delivery. It doesn't get easier to eat healthy.
Who would eat at Lean Bento?
We design our food for everybody. It’s not just for athletes or body builders at the gym. That’s why we focus a lot on taste as well as the health factor. To let people know that tasty food can be healthy too.
What’s your ambition for Lean Bento?
To help people change their eating habits. To achieve a sustainable healthy lifestyle through food. My vision is to have multiple branches and to start a lunch box service.
What’s the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome with Lean Bento?
My lack of F&B experience coming into this business. To overcome it I applied my engineering training and started breaking down the problem into small portions and worked on one portion at a time to overcome my obstacles slowly and steadily.
For someone who wants to start out on their own, what is one advice you can give them?
You have to get ready to persevere and have lots of grit because sometimes the challenges and obstacles that appear will be very overwhelming. You will feel like giving up all the time but just remember you don’t fail until you actually give up so hang in there!
How do you unwind from a hectic week?
Massages! That’s one of the best things I can do for myself. Treat myself, relax and undo those knots.
If you're feeling pretty hungry right now. Check out the links below and drop by Lean Bento to get your healthy eating fix!
Here's our comprehensive size guide. If you are still in doubt please have a live chat with us at the bottom of this screen or you can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If after purchasing and you are not happy with the fit we will gladly make an exchange with you! After all we want you to be suitably KITTED while you take on the next big yoga or sweat challenge!
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