Pear-Alita: From an exercise hater to a fitness enthusiast | Main Stand

For many, exercise is a sacrifice needed in order to stay healthy. People’s goals in working out vary, depending on time, skills or convenience, making it hard to build a successful routine. 


It might seem back-breaking, but it is what exercise lovers have experienced before. A great example is Pear-Alita Virajahntorn, a health and fitness influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram.

With her image of taking exercise seriously, as well as her all-around physical abilities such as strength and agility, many might never realize Pear was once no different from others, attempting to work out to get in shape. In fact, she initially hated exercise and paid little attention to her health.

Follow along with Main Stand to hear the story behind Pear-Alita, one of Thailand’s most famous health & fitness influencers.


Her life before exercise 

People generally have this image of influencers as perfect, flawless people. This is especially true of health and fitness influencers, whose ‘hardcore’ workouts seem impossible to follow.

However, the saying “everyone has to start somewhere” really does ring true. That is the case with Pear-Alita Virajahntorn, who was once an exercise hater around a decade ago. 

Today, Pear is considered one biggest health influencers in Thailand, with over 200,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook, respectively. Beyond that, she was one of the four health & fitness influencers nominated to win Influencer Asia 2017 among Bebe-Thanchanok, Cherry-Nonnattada, and Meiji-Anoma. In addition, Pear still works out regularly, creates exercise courses, and shares tips and tricks with those interested in health and exercise.

We asked her to tell the story, dating back to the very first time she started to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Her life before exercise may shock you, because it is a far cry from where she is now.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to have a face-to-face talk with her and had to contact her over Zoom one late morning.

“Previously, I had a very inactive lifestyle,” she explained. “I was just a normal person with no particular interests. I didn’t do any physical activities because of my laziness, viewing it is such a tiring activity. I never cared about health because I didn’t have any health problems.”

“I never liked my body, and I was not so confident. The lack of self-confidence did not urge me to work out, though” she explained. Instead, struggling to cope, it became a source of stress which cost her tens of thousands of baht with unsatisfactory results.

“I once took a weight loss course. I was told to sit still in the portable sauna. I knew nothing much then. Later on, I just realized it only caused our bodies to lose water from doing so. When the body lost water, the body weighed a little less. It yielded no long-term results. Nothing got better. It was a waste of money, actually.”
As she explained, her lack of knowledge and understanding about exercise was detrimental to her physical and mental health. 


Trail running

After her ineffective weight loss treatment, she was introduced to trail running. This form requires runners to travel along natural routes, which are often uneven trails of grass and mud.

“My exercise journey started when I had a chance to enjoy trail running with friends in the community,” said Pear. “ It was an activity my ex liked to do with his friends. He once invited me to try it out but I refused all along. In the end, I decided to try once. The community included people of all ages, from teenagers to the elderly. It was the first time I took running seriously.”

“For my first time running, I was out of luck because it was ten kilometers long. On top of that, I had to make it through heavy rain, tall grass, and half-leg-deep mud. I couldn’t go back because trailing running requires runners to keep following along with the trail. Fortunately, I made it because I ran and walked alternately and took a break until I reached the destination.”

“When the day was over, I told myself I would never come here again,” she chuckled. 

“How some old people in the community ran absolutely shocked me. They ran effortlessly despite the tough conditions. At that time, I weighed only 49 kg. Then I realized I was slimmer and younger. It was more conducive to running, actually.”

“My hatred of what I was, along with the desire not to lose to older people, became my motivation. I decided to apply for a gym membership even though I knew there was nothing other than treadmills and exercise bikes. At least, I finally embarked upon it.”

Although she started exercising with treadmills and exercise bikes, she never meant to devote herself to running. Instead, she started to take an interest in weight training, figuring out dumbbells and other fitness equipment through trial and error.

“I faded from running, taking an interest in weight training,” she shared. “It seems to provide more options for workouts to enjoy,” she added. “Dating back around 10 years ago, not so many people were interested in exercise, so I learned about it myself through observing how people in the gym worked out, Googling, or asking those who seemed friendly for tips and tricks about exercise. It yielded a result in a few months. My abs gradually became visible. Since my upper body did not have much fat, I could easily grow muscle.”

“Adjusting eating behavior plays a key role in toning abdominal muscles. I quit consuming sugary drinks, so it did not take long to yield a result. It was the first transformation that I really took pride in.”

Pear took exercise more seriously and developed an interest in the form of calisthenics, which are bodyweight exercises for strengthening muscles using no equipment. She first learned of this kind of exercise from a Youtube video by Frank Medrano, a calisthenics specialist.

“I have been a big fan of weight training for a long time,” said Pear. “I still love it. However, weight training requires equipment. I didn’t have a gym at home, so I needed to go to the gym. Going to the gym was not an easy thing. There were gym and travel costs. That’s why I embraced bodyweight workouts as a way to exercise instead.”

“I previously questioned if bodyweight exercises would be as effective as weight training. At first, I thought weight training may outstrip, but Frank’s video changed my mind, inspiring me to try bodyweight exercises. It was insane. The video changed my point of view toward bodyweight workouts. Then I learned how to do push-ups and pull-ups, the ways of working out that have always seemed beyond me. When I managed to do them on a regular basis, I felt it gave me more strength than weight training.”

“Bodyweight workout enables me to be aware of my physical strength, how to control the body, know my body better, and most importantly work out at home. The fact that a bodyweight workout requires no equipment, allowing me to do it anywhere, is the most positive point for me.”

Her strong interest in calisthenics led her to own a brand called Loaded Fitness to fulfill her purpose of encouraging people to work out. A set of Loaded Fitness consists of a weight vest, resistance band, parallel bar, and a lot more accessories. All these are what she uses for her own workouts, and highly recommends to others. 

Exercise has literally become Pear’s life and lifestyle - an incredible transformation considering where she started from. 


More than a physical transformation

As Pear explained, adopting this lifestyle has improved more than just her physical health. 

“My mental health has massively improved,” she explained. “Earlier, I was a pessimist. People viewed me as confident, but it was just how I looked. No one knew I totally lacked self-confidence. In the old days, all I did was study. I didn’t do many activities, so I wasn’t so happy.”

“A person who couldn’t do anything other than studying has turned into the person I am now, as a result of 100% endeavor. Earlier, it was only 60-70% but it yielded a result. I thought if I put in more effort, there must be a lot more progress.”

When asked if she had any role models to encourage her, Pear omitted to mention either calisthenics specialist Frank Medrano or the tough senior runners who encouraged her in the first place. The only thing that moves her forward, she says, is herself. 

“I have no role models,” she said, shaking her head. “I base the exercise’s goal on myself. Personally, if you consider someone a role model, you may, inevitably, compare yourself to them, stressing yourself out when you fail to be as good as them.”

“All of us are not from the same start. If you keep comparing yourself to others, you will be discouraged. On the contrary, when you get a reward for your own perseverance, you will realize all the sweat you lost is worth it. Previously, going up an overpass was a tiring thing, but now I no longer feel tired doing so. Minor changes that only I myself can be aware of are the genuine inspiration.”

“It is like ‘going up a flyover costs me no more sweat.’ No one is aware of this tiny change other than me, who is proud of it. When I went trail running again, I realized I could run better than how I did on the first day. Compared to when I first worked out, I have significantly improved.”

The changes Pear mentioned are physical. For example, she feels more alert and less prone to tiredness. She no longer wants to stay sedentary as she did earlier. These are the most apparent changes in her workout journey.

We can’t help but wonder: has her passion now become a source of pressure for her? 

“I never wanted to quit it,” she admitted. “I felt desperate from time to time. I didn’t understand why my legs did not slim down. I wondered if I had made a misstep. I didn’t know how much I had to do to yield a result. But, regardless, I kept doing it.”

“Although my body was not firm yet, I was stronger. This change pushed me to keep on working out. So many small signs of progress became my motivation. I realized these small changes were the outcome of what I did.”


Sentimental success

Throughout the talk, Pear never once mentioned the idea of perfection.’ She never stated exercise must be successful. She never even said those who exercise must be good-looking or have an aesthetic physique. Instead, the accumulation of small changes makes the training truly count. 

As her online presence grows, she makes sure to spread this message, telling people to focus on the ‘means’ and not the result’ She explains that people who are too obsessed with the latter end up quitting. 

“Most people want to find a way to put in the least work and get the most results,” she shared. “They ignore how to succeed in it or what intensity is required. What matters to them is how long it takes. If it takes longer, they will quit in no time.”

“Many seek the quickest way to achieve the goal, but exercise takes time. It requires practice and self-discipline. The greater the goal is, the longer it takes. Perseverance and dedication are a must. You need to set a goal. Sometimes exercise alone does not work. The way to eat and sleep as well as daily routine also plays a role.”

“I need to tell people what the right postures or exercises are. Most importantly, I need to clear up misconceptions about how to lose belly fat or slim down legs and arms. I always emphasize that no exercises specifically help with losing belly fat and exercises help with losing a particular part of the body. It is about exercising muscles and varies from person to person.”

“The true standpoint is strength. Women need to be strong. This is what I adhere to all along.”

Before concluding the interview, we fired the last question: what is her priority as a health influencer?

“I keep telling people not to set a big goal because it is too demanding to succeed in. The more demanding it is, the more likely you quit. Such an idea is based on my own experience. I see a small change while others do not, and small changes can make a big difference.”

“I once lacked self-love, bombarding myself with negative energy. Now I really love myself. I want to take good care of myself. I just realized how important health is. It might be something no one can see other than me. This is what I’m proud of the most. No one knows how greatly I have improved apart from myself.”

“It is a sentimental success,” Pear concluded with a proud smile on her face.


Nattapol Thongpradoo

Memento Vivere / Memento Mori


Watchapong Duangpang

Main Stand's Backroom staff


Paradorn Paradorn

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