Ex-hubby's unkind remark after sex kick-started her self doubt
She had always been plus-sized, but it had never bothered her.
Until one day, when her then-husband - now her ex-husband - told her after sex that getting intimate with her was uncomfortable because she's too heavy.
Said Ms Annie Chan, 45: "He told me, 'Do you know you're very heavy? Do you know I feel very uncomfortable with you weighing on top of me?
"'Can you do something about yourself?'"
The comment hurt her badly and led to self-doubt and insecurity.
But those dark days are over.
Ms Chan, who once weighed 90kg but now weighs 74kg, is comfortable in her own skin.
She is so confident that she took part in a plus-sized fashion show last Wednesday.
The matchmaker and relationship coach, who also does corporate events training, told The New Paper that she has always been big-sized.
Recalling her ex-husband's comment, which was made towards the end of their five-year marriage, she said: "It left the deepest hurt, one I will always remember. He sounded very disgusted."
Ms Chan said her weight had never bothered him when they got married. But due to marital problems, she put on some 20kg and weighed about 90kg towards the breakdown of the marriage, which finally ended in 2012.
Her ex-husband was about 76kg.
"I hit a low point after that, always doubting myself, always noticing fats here and there," she said.
"I went for slimming programmes, but they didn't work.
"On top of that, I had hit rock bottom when my marriage failed. There were times when I was driving home to our empty matrimonial home, I would think about crashing the car and ending it all."
Ms Chan was among 15 women who walked down the fashion runway at Evolution! Plus Size Fashion Show last week.
The show was organised by former local supermodel Hanis Hussey and online magazine for plus-sized women, Big Is Gorgeous, and it gave bigger women a platform to build their confidence and fulfil their modelling dreams.
The event, which was held at Hilton Singapore, also promotes a positive and healthy body image.
To keep fit, Ms Chan tries to jog at least three times a week. She reduces her carbohydrates intake and tries to eat dinner before 7pm.
Strutting down the runway for the first time, she felt that the event delivered a positive message.
"It's for all plus-sized women to tell themselves that there is nothing to be ashamed of," she said.
"The fact that I dare to get up there is already one step forward, regardless of size.
"I found it admirable that most of them are so much bigger than I am, but they fully embrace themselves."
And when it comes to her love life, Ms Chan wants to take it easy and is dating.
"Happiness is relative, but I'm happy where I am now," she said.
"The girls told me that with just this small opportunity, it impacted them greatly. Most of them started to feel beautiful and stronger, and ready to face their bullies."
— Ms Sharmilah Begum Mehmood, chief editor of online magazine for plussized ladies, Big Is Gorgeous
Her tip to others: Love yourself
FLAUNTING IT: Co-founder of The Curve Cult Rani Dhaschainey on the runway.
She is curvy and loves it.
All her life, Miss Rani Dhaschainey, 25, has never seen her size as a problem.
The co-owner of plus-size online clothing store The Curve Cult said: "I've never battled confidence issues. I look at myself and I see a normal person.
"As I get older, people tell me they're very inspired by me and the way I carry myself."
Miss Rani, who wears size UK16/18, thanks her mother for her self-confidence.
She said: "My mother became plus-sized ever since she gave birth to me and she always had fun with fashion. There were no rules.
"As I got older, she let me buy and wear whatever I pleased as long as I loved it and she loved it on me."
Miss Rani maintains a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym thrice a week and increases the frequency of exercise when she consumes too much fried or carb-heavy food.
On the runway experience, Miss Rani was happy to meet with like-minded people she can work with in future to empower other plus-sized women.
Her tip is simple: Love yourself.
"If you link your self-worth to your weight, you will never be able to love yourself," she said.
"Only when you love yourself and your body will you work to keep fit and healthy because you care enough."
She fought bulimia for two years
SURVIVOR: Bulimia and depression were two of the issues psychotherapist Aarti Dubey had to deal with. - TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
For years, she covered every mirror at home because she hated the sight of her own reflection.
Psychotherapist Aarti Dubey, 32, struggled with issues that included her size and self-esteem, leading to a battle with bulimia in her teens and depression in her 20s.
She kept to herself and stayed cooped up at home, refusing to go out unless accompanied by her husband.
Nobody knew of her problems because she put up a front, but she cried every day.
Today, she has fought her personal demons and continues on her journey of self-healing, posting on her blog curvesbecomeher.wordpress.com
But her younger years were trying.
At the age of eight, she was deemed too skinny by a doctor, prompting her parents to fatten her up.
She then ballooned, partly due to her genes, and had hit 70kg by the time she was 12 years old.
At 14, her two-year battle with bulimia began due to school and other personal stresses, causing her to purge after every meal.
"I would eat three burgers for, say, lunch, every other day and felt so guilty after. Purging was awful," Miss Aarti revealed.
She was diagnosed with depression when she was 20.
"There was pressure to conform, to look good in society's eyes, to graduate, to lose weight and keep my parents happy.
"Something in me just snapped. Later, I was in the midst of wedding preparations and the pressure to look good mounted."
Her weight fluctuated from over 50kg in her early 20s to over 70kg in her mid-20s and over 100kg at 30 years old.
It was when a relative died of cancer when Ms Aarti was 30 that she snapped out of her misery.
She was at the lowest point in her life, having found out that she had problems conceiving.
But her relative's death motivated her to stop obsessing about her weight.
"The first thing I did was remove the mirror covers and search for other plus-sized bloggers online," she said.
"I saw how confident and beautiful they were, no matter their size.
"I thought, 'Why have I been making myself miserable for so long?'"
The runway experience was an image-boosting exercise for her.
These days, she does yoga, swims and dances to keep fit. She is healthy and weighs 85kg.
She said: "For so long, I hid behind closed doors and each time I did that, I felt like a part of me was dying.
"As I walked down the runway, I felt like I had a lot more to give.
"I can play a part now and if I make even one person feel like she can uncover her mirror and not doubt her looks, I'm very happy."