Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook!
Name: Melissa Foo (@swashed)
Occupation: Customer Relations Manager
Food: I don’t follow a diet but where possible I try to go vegetarian on weekdays when I cook to get more veggies in.
Exercise: I run about four times a week usually with various running groups. When I was training for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, I did my easy runs with Superhero Runners on Tuesdays, tempos with Running Department on Wednesdays, intervals with The High Panters on Thursdays and long runs with Running Department again on Saturdays. I also go to the gym at least once a week for strength training. On some weekends, I hike in the mornings as well.
Q: Were you always active?
A: I actually hated running and would sometimes skip PE lessons in school. My schoolmates were stunned to find out I’m running so much now! I started running when I realised I was starting to gain weight after a few years in the workforce with no exercise. I joined a running group (Superhero Runners) in 2018 and never looked back since.
What are your fitness goals now?
I hope to break my personal best for various race distances (5km, 10km, half-marathon and full marathon), as well as get more toned, but most importantly remain injury free too.
How do you ensure you have a healthy work-life balance?
I’ve been quite lucky as my work so far has been manageable and I’m able to go for a run or to the gym after work on most weekdays. I also try to wake up earlier on weekends to get a run in before my other activities like hiking.
When you were younger, did you experience any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?
I went through a dieting phase in junior college where I was barely eating, but luckily I had a classmate who used to suffer from anorexia who stopped me in time. I think it’s also important to surround yourself with positive people who teach you how to love yourself and your body.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
Few years back, a friend casually commented that I had a belly when I sat down. Somehow that comment affected me, but instead of dwelling on it, I decided to sign up for a gym membership and work on toning up, with zero strength training experience before this.
I still don’t have very defined abs now but I do have more muscle definition than before and most importantly, I got stronger as well, which also comes with other benefits like getting injured less while running. I also gained confidence from knowing that I could do anything as long as I wanted it enough.
I am pretty content with my body right now because I know I worked hard to get there and I want something more in future, I also have the confidence to get there as well.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
The interesting thing is that after I started strength training, I also got comments like I’m getting too muscular like a guy. That’s when I realised that people would always have something to say and there’s no way to satisfy everyone, so I stopped caring and focused on just what I wanted for myself instead.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
Appearance wise, nope, but I’m constantly working on how to be a better friend/family member to the people I care about.