Liv Lo wants you to know that she’s not here just to inspire you – she wants you to get up and do something about it.
It’s Saturday morning, and Liv Lo’s Fitsphere Force workout has us panting on our yoga mats and dripping with sweat. “Do what feels good, and do more of it!” she chirps as she takes us through some pretty brutal reps of lunges, warrior poses and squats – all while holding deceptively small 2-pound spherical weights. If you weren’t yet convinced that she’s worked hard for that body of hers, you will be after taking a class. It’s sweaty and satisfying, and guarantees that post-workout endorphins buzz.
Outside of the physical classroom, Liv has also found her place in cyber space, where you’ll find she is just as encouraging, clear in her instruction, and knowledgeable (trust us, we got clicking). Fitsphere, a website started by the model turned host turned fitness guru, features workout videos that run the gamut from yoga classes and strength training, to HIIT and circuit exercises, and even meditation and stretch sessions. It started with a programme of 12 classes, before recently expanding to include themed classes such as a holiday focused workout and a morning routine. As it’s a holistic approach, she recommends you run through all classes.
Fitsphere was borne out of a want to document her own yoga practice, but also a need to have greater flexibility with time. “It got to the point where there were too many bodies to fit into a classroom,” she says. “I was travelling a lot more and I didn’t want to anchor myself to a studio. I’d rather have my studio in the cloud, online, so the people I connect with can take this with them wherever they go.”
(Also read: Liv Lo Does Yoga in Uniquely Singaporean Style)
Hearing her schedule, it comes as no surprise that time is a precious commodity. Since Fitsphere launched in 2017, it’s been steadily gaining momentum and expanding to include an international userbase. It was solely funded by Liv, but in this short time she’s already seeing returns on her investment. She’s taught yoga classes in Maldives and Phuket and the Philippines. She’s also travelled and hosted with Fox Movies. Next on the list is a launch event in Kuala Lumpur for her new website, and a trip to New York to teach a class in collaboration with Classpass. And of course, she travels to spend time with husband Henry Golding, whom you might have seen starring in a little movie called Crazy Rich Asians.
“I spent a lot of 2018 just getting comfortable,” she muses. “What people see now is the result of a lot of hard work. 2017 was tougher because Henry and I were both trying new things – he was acting and I was taking things online. But now with Fitsphere, it means I can fly to see him.” She understands that there’s a lot of curiosity behind the dynamics of being frequently apart as a married couple. “People ask all the time how we make our marriage work. But we just do it. I don’t consider travelling to be with him tedious, because once you have that confidence and comfort in your relationship, you can only grow from there.”
And when it comes to growth, Liv gets real about how she didn’t always have that envy-inducing body she has now. It took 13 years of experience, she reminds us, to get her to this point.
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“I hit the lowest of lows before realising I needed to get healthy”
When I was 20 and restricting what I ate for my modelling career, I was very thin, weak, and bulimic. I didn’t even get my period. Back then not many people knew about yoga, but I decided to give it a try after hearing that models like Christy Turlington were into it. But while practicing yoga made me feel good, once I started getting some definition in my body the people in the modelling industry told me they had to Photoshop my muscles and that I looked too big. It was then that I realised that how I feel should overrule [all of this]. And once you get that truth, there’s no going back. I saw and felt that I was unhealthy. So I quit modelling, picked up hosting, continued my yoga practice and worked hard to get myself out of that space.
“I don’t worry about what I’m eating”
When it comes to learning about nutrition, I believe in trying to eat food that will help me perform better. I don’t just believe what people tell me when it comes to diet – I want to learn for myself and try it. I don’t need to eat protein bars or energy drinks, because I prefer to eat natural food. That being said, I don’t police myself. This is literally what I had to eat yesterday: a wholemeal wrap with cheese and avocado for breakfast, a late lunch of minced meat noodles because everything else was shut, and pizza with friends at night. I believe that the rules of life and food are: eat real food, don’t eat too much, and eat more vegetables.
“I’ve definitely cried on the mat before”
Yoga is the one constant that I can always go back to. It’s taught me about my emotions, and how I treat myself and others. It’s a very personal thing. Anyone who practices yoga will know that if they’re having a bad day they can beat it out on the mat and get away for that 60 minutes. It’s a release. We forget how to process emotions and this time we use for our practice is so personal. By the end of the class, you think, I got this. And through this processing, it’s also made me a more positive person. A lot of people feel that they can’t do something, and it becomes negative. I’ve been trying to intentionally put a positive spin on things for some time, and now it’s become a habit.
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“I can inspire you, but that’s not enough”
The most common question I get asked is where do I find my motivation. People constantly ask the same thing in different ways, hoping for a personalised response. But it has to come from within you. You already have the answer – you just don’t know it yet. I can inspire you, but you need to take the next step to figure out what you need to better your life on your own. If you find joy in something, do more of it, and the routine will build. I try to use different ways to reach people to push them to go beyond inspiration. I show them what I do through my posts, answer questions, do Instagram Live sessions. If they think what they see is great, at least I triggered that. So here’s the Fitsphere programme, let’s try it now, let’s learn and get it.
“People don’t work out enough”
I’m glad that yoga and fitness is a big trend now, but I think there’s more to be done. Singapore has studios everywhere, but I want people to know that they don’t have to pay too much but they can still get the building blocks of knowledge that they need. It’s important to know why and what their instructors are teaching. Asia is still so far behind when it comes to fitness. I’m hoping to go to New York, get more knowledge, and bring it back to Singapore. Next year, I’m looking to consult and help companies drive the industry faster and further. It can only be a positive thing.
(Also read: How to Get Glowing, Flawless Skin Like Liv Lo’s)