Winning the 2005 Miss Chinese International Pageant, Leanne Li was known for beautiful figure. In her early career in the entertainment industry, Leanne had maintained a rigorous weight loss routine which resembled hell. Due to excessively suppressing her appetite, Leanne had exhibited symptoms resembling to bulimia, where every two weeks, she would binge eat, losing complete control!
Finding Respite in Praying to God
Leanne revealed, “As a child, I never considered that I would become an actress. I do not know how to socialize well. All along, I wished to become a graphic designer or teacher instead. I struggled over the decision as to whether to enter the entertainment industry with my family for a long time. Once I signed a contract with TVB, it would involve a two year commitment, with a stand alone option of another four years. In other words, if I felt that the first two years’ development was not good, I have the option to return to Canada to resume my studies. Although TVB’s offer was quite good, my family still worried that I was unfamiliar with Hong Kong and did not have any relatives to take care of me…. In the end, I chose to pray to God. After consistently praying for two to three months, my entire family found inner peace. My parents were willing to let me enter the entertainment industry. Reflecting back, this incident was quite a miracle!”
Mother Had High Expectations
Leanne stated, “In my first two to three months in the entertainment industry, my mother especially flew from Canada to join me in Hong Kong. Accompanying me on work excursions, she wanted to make sure that I did not possess any fears hosting a variety program and ascertain that the program’s Director and Assistant Director took care of me. My mother also arranged a couple to prepare soups for me, to ensure that I would be able to drink soups on a regular basis and reap the healing benefits.
“Although my parents were concerned about me working in the entertainment industry, they felt that once the decision was made, then I can only do my best. My parents possessed vey high expectations toward my career! Aside from noting how I dressed, my hairstyle and acting, my parents focused heavily on my physique. Therefore, early in my career, I worked very hard to lose weight. Each day, I went jogging for half an hour and ate modest meals. For my breakfast, I only ate one bowl of oatmeal. For my lunch, I ate steamed fish and boiled vegetables. At night, I ate the same boiled vegetables, a little meat and soup. I did not dare to eat rice. If I did not have time, I would eat fruit and salad.”
Binge Eating Disorder
“During those days, I appeared to be without any problems on the surface, but I felt very painful in my heart! When I could no longer tolerate my plain diet, my food cravings would suddenly erupt! I would eat a lot of snacks and cakes in one sitting. This type of binge eating broke out once every two weeks. One time, I felt so painful enduring my plain diet, I went to a buffet restaurant by myself on a whim after work. Why did I not ask a friend to the buffet with me? At that moment, I desperately wanted to eat a lot of food. If I were to ask someone to come along, it will take at least half an hour! I wanted to eat ravenously and could not even wait another half hour! Thus, I went to eat the buffet by myself.”
Envies Good Friend, Linda Chung
In her first two years in Hong Kong, Leanne lived at a dormitory that TVB provided for many overseas beauty pageant contestants, who did not have local relatives to take care of them, as a contract perk. Leanne said, “Despite this, I have only been able to send back money to my family in Canada recently. There are too many expenses that an artist has to incur. For example, we cannot buy clothes that are too cheap. We need to buy more cosmetic products than the average woman. Transportation costs are also very hefty, as I often need to take the taxi. Anyhow, it is very difficult to have spare cash left over!
“Of course, there are gains and losses. During my first few years in the industry, I struggled very hard, whether it involved money or my eating habits. However, I am very happy to have met a group of like-minded good friends. My first real friend in the industry is Linda Chung, who resided in the same dormitory provided by TVB. We lived together for half a year, which cemented our close friendship. Our personalities are very similiar; aside from possessing a Westernized personality, we are very gentle and deal with things carefully. We are not impulsive, but may be a bit faltering.
“Another close friend is Grace Wong. We became good friends because we also lived together. We are both Christians and at the time, both of us tried very hard to lose weight. Grace and I exercised the same restraints in our diet. At night, we would eat a dish of boiled vegetables together without any complaints!
“As for Linda, she is luckier than Grace and I. Although Linda also tries to eat very light, but every five minutes, she will put something in the microwave to eat. Perhaps it is due to her thinness, she will not get fat no matter how she eats! At the time, I was very envious of her. Each time after returning home from my daily jog, I would hear running the microwave. Each time, I would think, ‘Why do I still have to go running?’ It cannot be helped, things in life are not always fair!”Source: Oriental Daily
Translated by: Jayne @ JayneStars