Exercising regularly gave this Shape Fit Girl 2018 finalist newfound confidence about her body.
Holding a full-time job as a digital marketing executive, 28-year-old Gillian Goh still finds the time to train in either Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing or Muay Thai every evening. That is coupled with the occasional early morning yoga sessions and strength and conditioning classes. Her greatest achievement to date is snagging third place as a white belt at the 2016 IBJJF World Championship. Get to know more about Gillian and how she stays fit with these eight facts about her.
Since young, Gillian had always been self-conscious about how she looks.
Suffering from sensitive and allergy-prone skin, she did not feel confident about her appearance. And that was not all. “I had also never really liked the shape of my legs as I felt they were short and bulky, with lots of scars and scratch marks,” she says.
But exercise allowed her to gain confidence.
“When I made a lifestyle change and started working out, I started working on my mindset too, and it made me feel so much more confident about myself and how I look,” says Gillian. Even though she still suffers from sensitive skin, it does not stop her from doing the sports she loves and being under the sun.
She eats out all the time – but healthily.
Due to her busy training schedule, Gillian hardly finds the time to cook for herself and often eats out. While her favourites are the local chai tow kway, Hokkien mee, char kway teow and satay, she usually opts for healthy soupy dishes. Her go-tos at the hawker centre are yong tau foo and fish soup where she piles on the veggies.
She practises portion control by sharing snacks with her friends and family.
Her favourite indulgences are Kith Singapore’s sea salt dark chocolate cookies and Garrett Popcorn. “Usually I buy them for my friends and family so I get to eat a little bit when they open it – this stops me from eating everything myself,” says Gillian.
She only takes her carbs in the morning.
GIllian kickstarts her mornings with coffee and a hearty breakfast like a Subway wrap or porridge. Then, she avoids carbs for the rest of the day, having salads and protein-rich foods instead.
She once lost 6.5kg in a month through dieting.
That was to meet the weight criteria of 46kg for the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship. “I was training two to three times a day, counting calories and tracking my diet with a spreadsheet,” says Gillian.
She finds mindfulness in doing martial arts.
Finding inner peace while fighting? That’s right, Gillian loves the freedom she has to express herself with her body in martial arts. “When you fight, you have no mental capacity for other distractions aside from engaging your opponent,” she says. “That’s how I practise mindfulness. Everything slows down even when I’m moving swiftly.”
To compete, she used to train thrice a day while holding a full-time job.
When she was preparing for her Brazilian jiu jitsu competitions, Gillian had to juggle between her full time job and trainings. She would start training at 6.45am, squeeze in short runs or yoga during her lunch breaks and end her day with another jiu jitsu session.