#Fitspo Singapore This Week: Michelle Goh

Michelle Goh is a digital marketer and real estate agent. (Photo: Cheryl Tye)

Life is more than the number on the scale, your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to the inspirational men and women in Singapore who lead healthy and active lifestyles. Does anyone have a recommendation?beat on top or !

Name: Wu Jingyi ()

age: 27

high: 1.57m

weight: 47.5 kg

Profession: Digital Marketing and Real Estate Agency

status: Married

food: I try to stick to two meals a day, with juice as the third meal – lunch or dinner depending on the day. I also limit my carbohydrate intake like rice, bread etc.

exercise: I work out four to five times a week – run or swim or HIIT (high intensity interval training).

Q: When you were young, swimming was a big part of your life.

A: From a young age, my parents exposed me to various sports that I really like, such as ballet, gymnastics, martial arts, sailing, tennis, roller skating and swimming. But one sport that has become a huge part of my life is synchronized swimming. I am also part of the national team and train eight times a week (eg Monday to Thursday 5pm to 9pm, weekends 7pm to 12pm, weekends 2pm to 5pm).

Michelle has represented Singapore in synchronized swimming.

Michelle has represented Singapore in synchronized swimming. (Photo: Cheryl Tye)

What do you get into as you get older?

Training seven or eight times a week when I was younger made me feel deprived of my social life. When I got into Poly, I kind of “revenged the break” and refused to play sports for the next three years. But eventually when I got to college, I missed team sports and realized what I needed was more of a balanced lifestyle, so I ended up on my college swim team and started life saving as well.

Being on both ends of the spectrum (from exercising seven or eight times a week to not exercising at all) made me realize that exercise does release the happy hormones, it relieves stress and makes you mentally healthier and happier.

How do you ensure a work-life balance between work and exercise?

I either get up early to go for a run, or find time to exercise after get off work. I also set aside specific days to go swimming with my friends so that it takes precedence over other appointments.

Sure, there are times when I feel lazy to run, or unmotivated, but that’s okay. I’ll do a reeeeeallllyyy short workout (because hey, less exercise is better than no exercise) or I’ll treat it as a rest day, as long as I don’t do it for a few days in a row and eventually lose motivation to exercise.

What are your current fitness goals?

My fitness goals are really simple, I just want to be able to work out four times a week so I can eat more. I really love food so my motivation for exercising is to eat lol! Fitness for me (besides making me eat more) is a way to de-stress, take my mind off things and focus on the workout I’m doing.

I know the process can be painful at times and not the most enjoyable, but trust me, it gets easier and when you can feel it easier, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment.

Michelle's current fitness goals are to exercise enough and eat enough.

Michelle’s current fitness goal is to exercise more and eat more. (Photo: Cheryl Tye)

When you were young, did you go through something that made you feel insecure about yourself?

I don’t think there’s any particular incident, but I think my mom (or I’ve heard from friends) Asian moms tend to tell their daughters they’re fat even when they’re not. Combined with participating in a sport like synchronized swimming, I don’t think I can say with 100% certainty that I feel confident and secure in my body. It’s very ironic because when you see us playing, it’s all about exuding that confidence.

But as cliché as this sounds, I think through all of this it dawned on me that behind all the “glam” you see on stage is a bunch of young girls who are constantly being compared and having to live up to ridiculous standards of beauty , and they may be “thin” or “fit,” but each of us has our own struggles.

This has taught me to love myself more, treat myself better, and have more empathy and understanding for those who struggle with their bodies because we don’t know what they may be going through.

When were you least confident in yourself?

When I came back from a month of summer school in Korea, I felt the least confident in myself. I barely exercised, ate and drank too much and gained a lot of weight as a result. Coming back to training and wearing swimsuits made me very aware of the weight gain, especially in swimsuits where your curves are further accentuated due to the tight cut.

So I acted on my insecurities and actually went on a two week diet and exercise program to lose weight. Besides exercising three or four times a week, I stay away from alcohol, sugary drinks, and eat a salad for dinner by 6:30pm. The fact that my boyfriend was overseas for those two weeks also helped me a lot because no one was tempting me with food on date night so I could stay disciplined and follow through throughout.

Michelle felt pressured to keep her weight while in synchronized swimming.

Michelle felt pressured to keep her weight while in synchronized swimming. (Photo: Cheryl Tye)

Have you ever struggled with your body?

Yes, as I mentioned earlier, in an arts program like synchronized swimming, the coaches place a lot of demands on our bodies. It felt like we had to be a size 2 with a 24 inch waist and slender legs. In their eyes, being underweight is “acceptable” and acceptable is “overweight”. They would monitor our weight daily before and after training.

I also remember they had this formula to determine if your weight was acceptable – eg; your height in centimeters minus 13 (57-13 = 44), so anything over 44kg would mean overweight , you have to do extra training to compensate for it. Being in that environment made me feel like anything overweight would make me fat and insecure, and that I had to be a certain body type, and that mentality stayed with me until I got to college.

It doesn’t matter that my BMI is in the acceptable range, but I always feel fat. Looking back at my younger self, I’m thinner than ever and I wish I could tell myself I look good and be confident.

Are you satisfied with your current body shape?

Yes, or at least I try to be. When I get a certain amount of exercise each week, I think I’m happy with my body. As long as I work out, I’m happy with my body because I’ve put in enough effort to keep it healthy. I’ve come to realize that everyone has a different body type and all I can do is work on owning my body.

Have you ever received comments about your body?

I’ve definitely gotten comments about my body. My mom always said that, I haven’t seen my trainer in a while and will tell me I look fatter, I’ve gained weight, I should do more squats, make my legs thinner, etc.

At 1.57m, I feel that every extra kilogram has a significantly more impact on the body. I would love to grow taller if I could change myself, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t aware of my thighs at all, but hey acceptance is a process and I’m working on it 🙂

#Fitspo Singapore This week: Michelle Goh.

#Fitspo Singapore This week: Michelle Goh. (Photo: Cheryl Tye)

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