Fit And Fab

3 football games in one day

Mr Fabian Tan keeps up with his fitness routine as exercise gives him positive energy.
Mr Fabian Tan keeps up with his fitness routine as exercise gives him positive energy.PHOTO: MARCUS TAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

That was when former Under-21 footballer Fabian Tan was 'young and crazy'

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A I think it's just being comfortable with yourself and having a positive mindset amid all the stress in life.

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

A About 10 years ago, I had quite a bad injury - I twisted my ankle - and was on crutches for three months.

It was quite sad because it was the middle of the football season. To see your teammates play when you can't engage in any high-impact activity didn't make you feel good, mentally or physically.

Q What is your diet like?

A I try to keep to a diet but I do not count every single calorie. My philosophy is that input must be less than or equal to output...

If you are going for a big meal, you try to have an exercise session before or after, to make sure you work off the calories. I wouldn't say I have a strict diet, but I try not to eat things that are too sweet.

Q What are your indulgences?

  • Bio Box


    Age: 32

    Height: 1.82m

    Weight: 71kg

    In 2004, Mr Tan joined the national Under-21 football team.

    He played in the S-League for the Young Lions, Geylang United and Gombak United from 2006 to 2010.

    He juggled his sports career with studies at the National University of Singapore.

    Mr Tan, who has a finance degree, was previously a broker for a shipping firm in Denmark and is now working in a leadership advisory firm here.

    Although he no longer plays professional football, the bachelor helps to coach at-risk youth and gets together with former teammates for friendly matches.

    He will be taking part in the 5.6km JP Morgan Corporate Challenge run on Thursday.

A Teh peng (iced tea with condensed milk and sugar) or bubble tea.

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

A In our day and age, we no longer talk about work-life balance, but work-life integration, right?

To make that work, you need a "switch". I learnt that you've to be focused on what you do. You can't be taking your work or study stuff onto the soccer field, or vice versa.

Once you are somewhere, you try to mentally switch into the moment. Developing that discipline will help you adapt.

Q What do you do to relax?

A Spending time with family and having someone you trust to talk to keeps my mind off the stressful things in life.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

A I like my height. My least favourite may be my arms but you don't really need them in football.

Q What are your must-dos before and after exercise?

A Carbo-loading, one day before, with rice or mashed potatoes. Recovery drinks are very important, to gain back what you have lost.

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

A Extremely important. If you are in good physical condition, you can work better and enjoy life because exercise gives you positive energy.

Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?

A I've played three football games in one day before. That was when I was young and crazy. It wasn't for fitness, though, but for the love of the game.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

A My brothers look up to me in terms of my football achievements and they make it a point to exercise as well. My sister ran for her school.

My dad is 65 and he walks a lot.

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

A I still have the jersey for representing Singapore in the Under-21 football team.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A Unlikely. But you never know, never say never.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A Not sexy, but just comfortable. I have a certain level of attraction which appeals only to some people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline '3 football games in one day'. Print Edition | Subscribe