Actress Elizabeth Lazan opens up about her love for gongfu, and how it helps her stay fighting fit, both mentally and physically. By Joyce Teo
Photo: The Straits Times
ABOUT ELIZABETH LAZAN
Q: How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?
“It is really necessary for me, not just physically, but because I also do get impatient or restless when I have too long a lull period. I hike in a park or nature reserve as I enjoy exercising outdoors. My fitness gear goes with me wherever I travel. I will always find a way to squeeze in a morning run or do some toning repetitions.”
Q: What do you like about Shaolin gongfu?
“I picked it up in Los Angeles, California, about a year ago and I train one-on-one with a teacher at an outdoor park. The thing I love about it is that it combines mental and physical well-being. You learn how to stay focused and disciplined, while simultaneously training for overall health, flexibility and stamina.”
Q: What is your secret to looking fabulous?
“I truly believe that by maintaining a balanced lifestyle and healthy mind, you will have a healthy body and a healthy glow.”
Q: Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?
“During my university days in Australia, I regularly ate unhealthy or fast food including pizza and pastries. Naturally, I put on weight. I had a reality check when I returned to Singapore. I realised I had to take better care of my body and health.”
Q: What is your diet like?
“I’m always hungry. So I take many small meals throughout the day to keep my hunger in check. I also limit my carbohydrate intake to only one meal a day as well as abstain from eating meat twice a week. And once a week, I give myself a cheat day and have my favourite ice cream.”
Q: What are your indulgences?
“My kryptonite is definitely chocolates and cookies.”
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
“I go to the beach, listen to live music, binge on Netflix or go on a hike. I find it therapeutic to be active and be surrounded by nature. No matter how busy I get, I will always find a way to wind down with one of these activities.”
Q: What are the three most important things in your life?
“Family, friends and travelling.”
Q: What’s your favourite part of your body?
“It’s hard to compliment yourself but people say I have nice arms and I have to say that they are also my favourite. My least favourite would be my ears because they stick out.”
Q: What are your must-do’s before and after a training session?
“I always take the time to do a good stretch before and after training.”
Q: What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?
“I have gone on diets as well as a short detox cleanse. But they were not extreme. I have never done anything extreme because I don’t believe in doing anything that will cause a drastic shock to my body.”
Q: How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?
“It’s been fun. My sister leads an active lifestyle too, so keeping fit is how we spend time with each other when I am in Singapore. My friends and I try to train, run and hike together, and it definitely bonds us.”
Q: How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphenalia?
“I have a few essential outfits and a pair of go-to shoes. Believe it or not, I still have the medals from my track and field days somewhere in storage. My most prized possession would have to be my yoga mat and my glass Flaska water bottle.”
Q: Would you go for plastic surgery?
“I want to grow old naturally and gracefully. Taking good care of my health, being positive in my thoughts and keeping an open heart are the key ingredients to looking good.”
Q: Do you think you are sexy?
“Only when I’ve had enough sleep and have had a cup of coffee in the morning.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2016, with the headline ‘Actress stays focused with Shaolin gongfu’.