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: Joyce Eng (@joyceehs)
Occupation: Fitness studio founder and finance executive in a food commodity company
Food: A balance between daily avocado toasts followed by salad with meat and days of indulging in barbecues, wine, and cheese.
Exercise: Les Mills’ programmes such as BodyCombat and BodyPump, followed by the occasional running and cycling.
Q: Were you always a sporty person?
A: Not at all. My interest in sports and fitness did not come until much later in life. As I got older, I became more aware of the need to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle that comes from a combination of healthy eating and enjoyable workout sessions, then I started becoming more active.
You got into running!
Yes, it started with the first 10km run that I participated with my former colleagues. Their enthusiasm of participating in the run with me and taking the time to train together had motivated me to take up running. It led to a half-marathon with the same group of people and several races after, I saw an improvement in the amount of time taken to complete the race.
At one point in time, I could complete a half marathon within 2 hours 15 minutes and that spurred me on to run a full marathon. It was all thanks to the people I had then who took this journey with me.
I know have interest to run overseas so that I can explore new places and cultures.
What led you to open your own fitness studio, FitNJoy?
When the pandemic hit, the company I was with went into liquidation, hence I became jobless. I thought about the things that I am passionate about, and one of them was related to fitness, especially through Les Mills classes.
A friend of mine introduced me to a virtual Les Mills BodyCombat class, through which I got to know more people with the same interest. Little did I know that many of them were fitness instructors themselves. I had the inspiration then to start a fitness class studio and my new friends were very encouraging.
After hours of research and talking to representatives from Les Mills, I took the leap of faith and submitted my interest to rent a small little space at Outram and start this studio during the pandemic. The rest was history.
What really spurred me on was the human factor. The amount of support and encouragement I received from like-minded friends was the determining factor. The connection that I’ve established with this group of people gave me the courage and sense of adventure to try something out of my comfort zone.
How is your fitness studio doing now?
I must admit, it was tough going at it alone in the beginning. When the pandemic situation got better and I went back to corporate, I had to juggle the studio and my day job. But yet again, new connections came at the right time when I happened to find fellow gym-goers who were interested to be part of the studio. It was the right timing and chemistry that got us working together to expand the potential of this studio.
My new partners brought about a new set of creativity, energy and experience. We started to explore new ways of using social media to connect to our members, ventured into ads, and most importantly setting the identity of the studio. This studio of ours is a space to build connections, be it between members, instructors or with ourselves. A safe space to seek wellness and make progress in our fitness journey, it is inclusive and caters to the needs of different people.
Since then, the number of followers have been steadily increasing, and studio returnees are also going up. We knew that this small community was growing. Someday soon, we might look at expanding the size of the studio.
Have you gone through any adversities in life that made you change how you view life?
I lost my mom to cancer almost 11 years ago, while I was trying to build a life here in Singapore. She was the one who motivated me to make the move to secure a better future. Her passing impacted me greatly and from then I believed that having good health is the most important step to achieving anything else.
Life is too unpredictable for us to take for granted. We need to embrace the fact that looking after ourselves would also mean giving us the ability to care for the ones we love. Now that I still have my dad with me, I make sure that the both of us lead a life that is happy, healthy and as much as possible, carefree.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Yes, definitely satisfied with how I look and feel right now. I had a new sense of purpose or fulfilment when I saw how my body evolved as I became more active and I vowed to keep it like that for as long as possible. This is only possible through healthy eating and living, and with that I am able to continue sharing my energy and enthusiasm with the people who come to FitNJoy.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
I have received compliments about how I look. If I may brag, I seem to have inspired some of my friends to set me as their goal. If it works for them, it works for me.
At this point in time, there is nothing I would change about myself. I think life unfolds in a manner where we can draw values and learn to be a better version of ourselves. I think it has taught me a lot to be what I am today, and with that, I have no desire to change anything.