She juggles her exercise schedule with a full-time job, motherhood and social life. By Joyce Teo
Ms Eng goes to Sengkang Riverside Park to jog and train for upcoming races. Photo: Feline Lim
ABOUT ENG YING TIAN
Ms Eng, a senior leasing executive, loves running and continued to run in the first two trimesters of her pregnancy.
Her gynaecologist gave her the go-ahead as she had been working out regularly and was physically fit.
During the last trimester of her pregnancy, she swam and also attended spin, Body Pump and yoga classes. “What kept me going was my love for fitness and that post-workout glow,” she said.
She will be taking part in the Income Eco Run 2017 (previously known as the NTUC Income Run 350) on April 30.
She and her husband, 30, a civil servant who is a big Lord Of The Rings fan, have a 16-month-old son named Stryder.
Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?
A By staying positive, having a grateful heart and smiling, no matter what life throws at you.
Nothing beats the happy endorphins that come from exercising. I enjoy my Body Pump (barbell workouts) and yoga classes.
Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?
A I played netball in junior college but stopped exercising in university. I weighed below 50kg but I was out of shape. I decided to do something about it when I found myself panting while climbing the overhead bridge.
Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
A Juggling a full-time job, motherhood, exercise and social life can be challenging, but it is possible.
I plan my exercise schedule a week in advance. Setting aside time to exercise keeps me going. Even a 30-minute run is better than nothing.
Meeting my girlfriends to indulge in food is equally important to me too. I usually take my baby along. I’m thankful to have a supportive husband.
Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?
A Fitness is a lifestyle, not just a hobby. Exercise keeps me sane and I can’t imagine life without it.
This is why I’m determined to make it work at the expense of sleep. Before my son was born, I slept about seven hours a day. Now, I get four to five hours of sleep a day, even on weekends. The thought of having time for my passion helps me overcome any tiredness. I also continued to exercise throughout my pregnancy.
My friends say I’m an energizer bunny.
Q What is your diet like?
A Breakfast is usually two slices of bread with a cup of coffee.
Lunch is either a bowl of noodles or a rice dish. I go home for dinner at least three times a week. My mum is a good cook and her dishes are generally quite healthy.
Q Do you have to watch your diet carefully?
A I love food, so eating clean is out. Besides, I’m hungry all the time as I am breastfeeding my son. I eat almost every three hours and snacks are a must. I go for fruit and nuts instead of sweet things.
Weekends are my cheat days.
Q What are your indulgences?
A Truffle fries, sushi, bubble tea and ice cream.
Q What are the three most important things in your life?
A Family, fitness and happiness.
Q What’s your favourite and least favourite part of your body?
A I like my broad shoulders and small waist. They help me to look good in clothes. I wish my hips were smaller, but I’m grateful to them for giving me a healthy son.
Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?
A I got tired of keeping to a training schedule and decided to just run for 50 days at a stretch. I ran without any regard for distance or pace. I felt free.
I emerged stronger physically and mentally at the end of the 50 days and I realised that running should not always be about being faster than your last run. Run happy, run free.
Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?
A My parents are supportive even though they do not really understand why I love running so much.
I’m proud of my younger sister, who is 28 years old, for completing several runs in the past few years after a hiatus from exercising.
My husband also runs. We have done about seven races together, with the most memorable being the Sundown Ultra-Marathon in 2013.
He taught me how to be a better runner and to train more efficiently for marathons.
We take turns to run because of the baby. On weekends, I do long- distance runs to train for upcoming events while my husband babysits our son.
Q What is your most prized sports-related possession?
A My recent Osaka Marathon rainbow medal. That was my first overseas run after I had given birth.
My husband and son were at the finishing line, cheering me on. The race was held in late October, when my son was a year old.
Q Would you go for plastic surgery?
A No. I’m satisfied with how I look.
Q Do you think you’re sexy?
A Not at all. Fit is the new sexy. Exercising gives me confidence and I hope to keep running as long as I can.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline ‘Fitness fanatic ran even during her pregnancy’.