Fit And Fab

Mum-of-two is fighting fit again

Grace Tan
Grace TanST PHOTO: DON CHI

Teacher Grace Tan tells Joyce Teo how she got into the habit of exercising regularly

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Having a positive outlook in life and a strong belief in oneself is crucial in making one look or feel good.

Sometimes, we get too caught up with how others view us that we strive to meet their expectations. I think feeling fabulous is the key to looking fabulous.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A I ran and swam when I was young. I also attended adult ballet classes with the Singapore Dance Theatre when I was at university.

However, it changed the moment I started work. I often had to work late or report for work early in the morning. My work schedule can run from 6am to 8pm from Monday to Friday.

After giving birth, I found it even harder to do any exercise. I gained weight and after I had my second child, my weight was above 60kg. It didn't help that I was constantly eating salty snacks at night.

Q Did you do anything to keep your weight in check then?

A I went for slimming massages at least four times a year. It kept my weight in check to a certain extent, but it was hard to continue as each session cost around $2,000. So I decided I had to do something else.

  • Bio Box

  • Grace Tan

    Age: 37

    Height: 1.62m

    Weight: 56kg

    Ms Tan started running regularly only last year to shed the weight she had put on after giving birth to her second child about two years before. She has since lost about 9kg.

    She will be a pacer for the 21.1km race at the Great Eastern Women's Run on Nov 13. She volunteers as a pacer for events as she wants to encourage and motivate others. "I also like the conversations with fellow runners during the race or training sessions."

    Ms Tan teaches at NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. She is married to scientist Chui King Jien , 39, and they have two children, Chloe, nine, and Nathan, three.

Q How did you get started?

A In July last year, I bought a fitness tracker. My first goal was to meet the target of completing 10,000 steps per day. I went on to include climbing at least 10 storeys a day.

I also started running and found that I loved it. To meet my goals, I signed up for a gym membership and did aerobics for a while. Now, I mostly run and swim.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A To me, it's extremely important as discipline is an essential criteria in training for all sports.

Q What is your diet like?

A I make sure I eat a balanced diet. My meals include meat, vege- tables, carbohydrates and fruit.

Q What are your indulgences?

A I snack a lot. I love ice-cream and potato chips. I curb my cravings by ensuring there is always ice cream in the fridge. Otherwise, I might develop a bad craving and binge.

Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A My workload, as a teacher, tends to eat into my family time a lot. However, I make a conscious attempt to finish my work before heading home.

It helps that I plan my fitness routine around my children's schedules. For instance, I will take them to class, go for my run and then go and fetch them home.

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

A Faith, family and happiness.

Q What are your must-dos before or after a race or training session?

A I must clear my bowels and have a cup of Milo before a race or training session. I used to eat bananas before running but I tend to need the toilet after an hour.

After a race, I need lots of hydration.

Isotonic drinks are great for hydration and salt replenishment.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family?

A My husband started to run earlier this year as he saw that my regular runs had made me fitter and healthier. He has also signed up for races and a gym membership.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A I buy a fair amount of sportswear.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A No, I'm afraid of pain and there is no guarantee that it would be successful.

Q Do you think you are sexy?

A I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do make an attempt to keep myself fit and sexy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Mum-of-two is fighting fit again'. Print Edition | Subscribe